Friday, July 7, 2017

Missing But Not Lost

I've been missing from my blog lately, but I wasn't lost! A lot is going on in my life and, at times I wonder if I'm really just going in circles. I still need to organize and edit the millions of photos from our 'big' trip over a month ago. Shortly after we arrived home from that trip we celebrated the graduation of two grandsons - two brothers - one from high school and one from middle school.

Recently we went away for several days of camping and fishing at a beautiful lake high in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon. I took a lot of photos but didn't have internet access to share them here. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you've probably seen a few photos from the lake. For some reason my cell phone could usually connect to Instagram and Facebook but not to the internet in general.

My sweetheart and I - and some of our family - are working very hard to get my dear, little mother's home ready to sell. It's hard work and has been a hard decision for me. My father built their home when I was in high school and I love the little cottage and yard.  We thought and prayed much about selling our home and moving into my family home but we sensed that it's best to sell instead of making it ours. I took a lot of photos before I started taking things apart inside my dear, little mother's home so we can always look back and remember the wonderful place where we all spent time with two people who were so dear to us. I plan to share those photos with you soon.
I will be back with blog posts that - so far - are in my head. Posts that need to be put in words. And photos. This is a place where I love to come to 'talk' to you and share what's on my heart. Perhaps I need to get off the merry-go-round of life more often and stop here for awhile!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

God's Gifts

I love books - and I love to read them, I love the way they look on the shelf and I love to hold a book and read what's written inside. My love of books came from my dear, little mother. She was a librarian for a few years before she traveled from California to Seattle, Washington to attend a tiny Bible Institute where she met my father! Her love for books has always been obvious. Even when she went to Heaven her home was still filled with books - gorgeous, old vintage books with exquisite covers, rare vintage books that are falling apart from much use, complete sets of books by her favorite old authors and newer books that inspire and bless the soul. She read to me from the time I was too young to remember and trips to the local library were a regular event as I grew older. I began to collect books - and I still love books! I love to snoop through the book section of thrift stores and I'm always drawn to books at garage sales. Once in a while I find a book that calls to me and I know I need to add it to my list of books to read. That happened recently in the back corner of a Goodwill near Palm Springs, California! I found a book - just one - that had to come home with me. And I'm enjoying every word!

One of my current favorite fiction authors is Debbie Macomber. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, as do I, and her stories are often set in cities I know. It seems to add something special when I can visualize the setting. While Debbie usually writes fiction, she has written a few non-fiction books that are a great read - and very soul-stirring. I picked up one of those books at the Goodwill when we were traveling through California recently. The opening pages spoke deeply to my soul. She shared a parable that made me think. And search my heart. I'd like to share it with you. She wrote:

"There's a story that goes something like this:
"A woman arrived at the gates of Heaven to be met by St. Peter.
"'You may first want to join the others at the throne,' he said to her, 'and then greet those you loved on earth. But when you are ready, I'll take you on a tour of Heaven.'
"When the time came for her tour, she could hardly take it all in. It reminded her a little of her earthly home, but she could see that earth had only been a pale shadow of what she was seeing now. They explored every nook and cranny of Heaven - waterfalls, fields of flowers, exquisite buildings, and streets of gold.
"As the tour drew to an end, she noticed one massive door they had not yet explored. A gold padlock secured it. 'What's in that room?' she asked.
"You don't want to see that room,' St. Peter said, steering her away from it. 'It's only a storeroom.'
"But I do. May I see inside? I want to see every bit of Heaven.'
"St. Peter didn't answer. Instead he took a large key out of his pocket, put it in the lock, and turned it. The tumblers clicked and the padlock opened. He took the lock off and opened the door. The woman had to blink several times to take it all in. Inside the cavernous room were stacks and stacks of gifts, wrapped in all the colors of the rainbow and tied with all the colors of Heaven.
"She clapped her hands with delight. 'Is this where you store presents for everyone in Heaven?'
 "'No. These gifts are not for Heaven, they were meant for earth.'
"What do you mean were?' She walked through the stacks and came to a pile marked with her name.
'Look, these gifts are for me.' She fingered the paper and ribbons. 'May I open them?'
"No. You don't need them now.' St. Peter put a hand on her shoulder, guiding her toward the door.
"'But if I don't need them now, does that mean I needed them on earth?' She couldn't take her eyes off the pile. To think she would never get to enjoy all those beautifully wrapped gifts.
"He nodded his head. 'Yes, you needed them on earth.'
"She looked around the room, realizing that there must have been millions of gifts. Maybe more, since she couldn't see an end to the room. 'Why weren't my gifts sent to me on earth?' As she looked closer, she could read names on all the gifts. 'Not just my gifts, why haven't any of these gifts around the room been sent?'
"St. Peter sighed. 'You don't understand. Every one of them was sent.' Moving his arm in an arc that encompassed the whole room, he said, 'All of these and more. These are the ones that were returned unopened.' He moved her toward the door. 'Many people on earth don't recognize God's gifts and fail to open them.'"

Debbie goes on to say:

"I love gifts - both giving and receiving. When I first heard this story, I wondered if there was any truth to the parable. Had God sent gifts to me that I hadn't opened? When I get to Heaven, I don't want to discover that I failed to recognize the gifts God sent into my life. I don't want to miss a single one.
"Unfortunately, in real life God's presents don't always come gaily gift-wrapped, and they are not always easily recognized. Some even initially come looking like challenges. And often these gifts are people shaped."
(From 'God's Guest List: Welcoming Those Who Influence Our Lives' written by Debbie Macomber)

Perhaps the reason this parable touches me so deeply is because I watched my dear, little mother embrace the gifts - the people - God sent her way. She was good at that. Very good. Her life made a difference in the lives of many people along her journey here on earth. Perhaps it's because she is so newly arrived in Heaven and, looking back, when all is said and done, I want my life to make a difference. The way she did! I don't want to miss the gifts God sends to me.

Monday, May 29, 2017

In Memory

Happy Memorial Day!

With gratitude to those who gave so we can live in freedom.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Adventures On The Road

My sweetheart and I have been traveling and seeing sights we've dreamed of seeing for a long time. I didn't have much consistent internet access in most places so I wasn't able to check in here and let you know what we were doing. I had a mobile hot spot so I could stay connected and it worked great - as long as we weren't parked at the bottom of a hill or somewhere between high cliffs that surrounded the campground or so deep into the woods that no signal could reach us! So, I wasn't able to share our trip with you until now unless you've been following me on Facebook or Instagram. It was rather strange that I usually was able to post on Facebook or send text messages in areas where I didn't have enough cell signal to make phone calls or go online. We were on the road with our home-away-from home for almost two months and I took about a million photos of places we've been.  You can imagine that I have some serious sorting and editing to do but I have a few photos to share with you now. Most of them were taken with my cell phone or tablet. Some were taken from the passenger seat of our pickup so there may be reflections from the windshield that couldn't be avoided. There's so much to share about our trip soon when I have a chance to edit my photos. Until then, just a peek here and there will have to do.

We left home on a Sunday afternoon and we traveled a lot of miles before we returned home again yesterday. We made a big circle from home, through four states and back home again. 

We camped in the beauty of Southern Oregon. . .
Crossed the border from Oregon. . .
Into California.
We drove past snow-covered mountains. . . 
Camped beside a lake at a beautiful campground. . .
And spent time at the home of a very dear blog friend (and did a bit of thrifting and antiquing, too).
We spent several days with my father's family.  That included talking almost nonstop to catch up after too much time apart, meals together and a very special Easter Sunday that included church and a very large family gathering.
We spent three days in the land of many palms. . .
Before we crossed the border into Arizona. While we were in Arizona we walked on the desert. . .
Drove  up a mountain and hiked a ways to see the sights below. . .
 Visited National Monuments where we discovered ancient ruins. . .
And explored a quaint, little mining town high in the mountains.
This is just part of our adventures - there's so much more to share but that will have to wait for another day. Long-anticipated adventures became reality. There will be time to tell you all about it soon.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

We're Gone!

Things have changed a lot since I shared the post about the old pickup and my sweetheart’s new-to-us truck!  We’ve run away from home – well, we didn’t really run away - we’re just not there.  My sweetheart hooked up our cabin-on-wheels (trailer) and we put the dog in the car – and headed off for an adventure of a lifetime. Our plans included time with a very dear blog friend along the way and some long-overdue time with family, too.  We plan to go places we’ve never been and before it's over a childhood dream of mine will finally come true.

We left home over a week ago for a dream trip – a trip we’ve dreamed of for a long time. It’s the first of many we have planned.  I have limited internet access right now so I can’t share many photos until we get to a place with more access. Then I’ll show you where we’ve been and tell you all about our trip.  If you follow me on Facebook you may have seen some of the places we’ve landed along the way. We are having a great time – and it has only just begun.  We have many miles to go before we get home again!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

He is Risen - Risen indeed!

Monday, April 10, 2017

A Dream Of A Truck

My sweetheart has been dreaming and planning to buy a new pickup.  He has shopped online and with dealers.  He has talked a lot to folks about what they know about pickups.  He had to check them all out so he would be ready when the time came to buy the right one.  Awhile back, as we drove by a 'classic' car lot, I found what I thought was the perfect truck for him.  I thought it was the perfect truck for him but I didn't quite convince him that it was the one for him.  Since he had successfully restored my vintage trailer I thought, perhaps, he wouldn't mind doing the work needed on this one.
This old truck had such character. Why wouldn't he want a truck with old wooden sides that had stood the test of time?
Everything about this truck was intrigued me. It was an old Willys truck from the nineteen twenties. Family owned by the same family since it was new. Now it was time to pass it on to someone else.
Imagine cranking the engine before you got in to drive off down the road.
I loved the details and tried to imagine how wonderful they must have seemed back in the day.  A headlight. . .
The old windshield. . .
And the steering wheel.
The door handle on the outside. . .
And the handle on the inside.
Running boards that had seen better days. . .
And a rear view mirror.
A turn signal operated from inside the cab so you could stay dry on rainy days.
The muffler just outside the cab. . .
And a fire extinguisher on the inside. A fire extinguisher? Really? That's not a comforting thought!
Everything about this old truck was fascinating.
A thought came to mind. I thought my sweetheart might agree - he could buy this wonderful, old truck and restore it for me!  Wouldn't it be a conversation piece going down the road while towing Daffodil?  A vintage truck with a vintage trailer!  Hmmm. . .I liked that idea!

My sweetheart did buy a truck. Not this one. He seemed to think he wanted something a bit more modern.  So, a few days ago, after a long search, this is what my sweetheart brought home.  Just what he wanted. The perfect truck for him!
The new truck is part of the new season of our lives - and some long-awaited adventures. I'll share more soon.