Thursday, June 30, 2011

Roughing It!

I was going to write a blog the other day and tell you that I was sitting beside this beautiful, old fireplace at the historic Diamond Lake Lodge and I hoped to check in from there and let you know that we were really roughing it at Diamond Lake!  I was going to tell you I had a strong cell phone signal and that I found out the day before we left that the lodge had free Wi-Fi!  It was rough, I know, but I really wanted to check in and let you know that we were having a lot of fun.  And we had already had fresh fish for dinner!  P6279924We were parked in a lakeshore site with access to the lake.   The view from our campsite was fantastic!  P6259633Most of the campground was first-come, first-served.  Some of the sites can be reserved and they are hard to get because they fill up so early in the year.  We like the sites that can’t be reserved and we really had hoped we could have a lakeshore site so my sweetheart could tie up the boat at our campsite each time he comes in from fishing.  That is exactly what we got!  There were only two lakeshore sites available when we arrived and we were given our choice.  The other one was nice but the one we chose was just right!     P6269677We enjoyed relaxing and spending time in the beauty of God’s creation – and a lot of little critters, too.  Chipmunks and birds frequented our campsite and drove Joey crazy when he was outside.  P6289971Mount Bailey was just across the lake from us. She changed through the day as the direction of sunlight changed. Mount Bailey was an active volcano – one of many in the Cascade Mountain Range in Oregon. We were looking into the crater left from an eruption many years ago. I loved the way the late afternoon and evening sun shone across the water.     P6259664One of the days we were at Diamond Lake we took a day trip to Crater Lake.  It was a gorgeous day and the lake and scenery along the way were absolutely breathtaking!  I can't wait to share it with you soon. 

I WAS going to tell you all of that but it didn’t happen!  Some things changed for us and my time was needed elsewhere.  One of the batteries on our trailer – there are two of them – started having problems so our lights got dimmer and dimmer through the evening hours.  We have a generator but the battery wouldn’t charge so we really had to conserve power.  Then we ran out of water!  We were ‘dry camping’, a term that means we are not hooked up to water or sewer connections – we just use the thirty-five gallons in the tank we fill before leaving home and our little bathroom uses the holding tank that is emptied on our way out of camp.  My sweetheart realized that he didn't fill our water tank all the way before we left.  He thought it was fine but he remembered- when we ran out of water - that he hadn't filled it to overflowing.  I quickly forgave him because he took my one gallon jug and made many trips back and forth to a nearby water spicket to give us the water we needed until we could refill the whole tank at a refill site on our way out of camp the next day. We really made it OK with everything going on, but we decided we needed to head to the nearest little, tiny town and have our batteries checked.  As suspected, one of our batteries was very weak.  I’m sure that little town loved having us there!  We spent a fortune in a new battery, a refill of one propane tank and groceries at the only, tiny market in town.  But we were happy and relieved and all is working well.

Yesterday we moved to Odell Lake, a little over an hour away from where we were.  This lake is absolutely breathtaking in its beauty, too.  I am sitting in the sun outside the lodge as I write.  I’m connected to power on the log wall of the lodge and enjoying the benefits of their Wi-Fi.  It would have been fun to write to you from the beautiful, old lodge at Diamond Lake and maybe that will happen some other day!  We are camping with three families from our church. I will share more about this wonderful place soon.  As I write, a little chipmunk keeps coming close to me. I’m sure he is hoping a wonderful snack will fall out of my pocket!  Just a bit ago a big black bird 'dive-bombed' my computer bag, obviously in hopes of finding some sweet treat inside!  There is so much to tell you!  In the meantime, I really do need to get back to camp – I need to get back to ‘roughing’ it again!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Happy Wanderers

P6259631We have gone a-wandering!  We left early this morning – with the boat and trailer – headed for beautiful Diamond Lake in southern Oregon.  A couple of months ago my sweetheart heard that the fishing at Diamond Lake is the best in years so we planned to vacation there this week.  That information has been confirmed by some locals who returned from there this week.  The timing is great.  I'm feeling good and able to do quite a few things.  This is just what we need.  Vacation.  Time away.  Rest.  Fresh air.

We will be in the great outdoors and may not have cell phone and internet access until we come home but we’ve heard through the grapevine that at least one of the lodges has free WI-Fi.  I’m not above buying a diet soda so I can have the access code to stay in touch with the outside world!

We'll be at Diamond Lake for four nights – with a daytrip to Crater Lake planned for one of those days.  Then we move to another mountain lake where we will meet friends from our church and spend four more days in the open air.

While I was getting ready to leave I started humming an old song.  Do you remember this one?

I love to go a-wandering,
Along the mountain track,
And as I go, I love to sing,
My knapsack on my back.
I love to wander by the stream
That dances in the sun,
So joyously it calls to me,
"Come! Join my happy song!"
I wave my hat to all I meet,
And they wave back to me,
And blackbirds call so loud and sweet
From ev'ry green wood tree.
High overhead, the skylarks wing,
They never rest at home
But just like me, they love to sing,
As o'er the world we roam.
Oh, may I go a-wandering
Until the day I die!
Oh, may I always laugh and sing,
Beneath God's clear blue sky!
My knapsack on my back.
Yep, that’s us – my sweetheart and Joey and I.  Happy wanderers.  Don’t worry, we will wander back home again.  Maybe!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

My Father’s Ties

On this Father’s Day I would love to celebrate with my dear father.  He was a wonderful man who was loved by everyone who knew him.  He was loved because he loved so much.  He gave when it seemed he needed others to give to him.  He was the best dad a girl could ever have!
Dave and Dad in Mexico
(Taken in Oaxaca Mexico on a missions trip –
Dad’s lifelong dream come true)

My dad had a heart of gold – a heart bigger than you can imagine.  He was a preacher – a preacher who touched the lives of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people.  For as long as I can remember he had a heart for people all around the world.  His lifelong dream was to preach in other countries – on missionfields around the world.  Every morning he prayed for the people in different countries, naming one country after another, until I knew them by heart.  Not too long before Dad went to be with Jesus his dream was fulfilled – he and my sweetheart went with a team of people to Oaxaca, Mexico where they helped lead a conference for pastors in that area of Mexico.  My dad was one of the preachers for the conference - it meant more to him than most people knew. 

When my father went to Heaven just over eight years ago I couldn’t bear to part with his ties!  As my dear, little mother and I went through his things I just couldn’t let them go.  They were such a part of him.  They were ‘who he was’!  It seemed that each tie held a memory for me and I wasn’t ready to let go.  Then one day I heard of a lady who took her father’s ties and made a beautiful quilt from them.  I ordered her book and I carefully planned the quilt I wanted to make.  A piece of my dad, a bit of my history, a thing of precious memories!  So, for the last eight years those ties have sat in a box on the shelf of my sewing room, waiting for the day I would take them down again and begin to take them apart and put them back together again.  To make that long anticipated quilt.     
JThompsonLast month I ‘ran into’ a dear friend I hadn’t seen for quite some time.  As we talked she told me of a lady in our town who has founded a ministry to pastors who have been imprisoned in Rwanda.  She goes into the prisons and takes Bibles and helps in training them to share the message of the God's love with the people whose lives have been so ravaged by war and terror there.  She said ‘prison pastors who receive the ties and women prisoners who receive the scarves say these gifts are evidence that people are praying for them and that they have not been forgotten.’ One warden told her that, after many years of empty handed visitors, the ties, scarves, and Bibles her ministry provides, were the first gifts the prisoners had ever received! They love scarves and ties and they all want a Bible of their own.  She gives them a Bible of their own.  And gives the ladies a bright-colored scarf.  The men receive a tie!      Rwanda Tie Ministry
As I stood there listening to the story of Rwanda, how lives were being changed, how they longed to have a Bible of their own – and a tie or a scarf – I knew what I had to do.  With tears running down my face I told my friend that I had my father’s ties and I wanted to give them to go to Rwanda.  There was no doubt in my mind – it was what Dad would have wanted.  If he couldn’t go to Rwanda, he would want his ties to go in his place.  He would want his ties to bless men who would go on to preach and share the message of the Bible he so dearly loved.
A few days later I reached up on the shelf and brought the box down.  I opened it up and looked again at the ties I had so carefully folded and placed there.      P5209555
As I took each tie out of the box I prayed for each man who would receive the ties.  I asked God to bless them as He had blessed my dad and fill their lives with the joy I had seen in my dad’s life.  And I knew I had really saved my father's ties for this - this was the reason I had kept them.  It was the reason why I hadn't cut them into pieces for a quilt.  No quilt I would make would ever have the impact my father's ties would have in Rwanda.P5209556
I took the ties and I drove to my friend’s house to give her the ties to pass on to the lady who was leaving for Rwanda just a few days later.    P5209557
I handed my friend forty-eight ties – ties that had taken on new meaning.  Ties that meant a part of my father would go to Rwanda.  After all the years of prayer for that part of the world.  After all the years he had longed to go and preach around the world.  After all the years he had been gone.  He could not go, but his ties went!

Today, on Father’s Day, the team is in Rwanda, giving out my father’s ties!  His ties are touching the hearts of some dear men in that land so far away.  There is no better way for me to celebrate today than to think about the day my father meets these men in Heaven.  And they talk about the ties they shared here on earth!
Rwanda Tie Ministry 2
(These photos are from the website of International Reconciliation Ministries.  You can read more about the ministry to Rwanda here.  The ties in these photos are not my father’s ties – they represent the ministry and show the joy one tie can give when it is given in the name of the Lord.)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Garden Color

I love the colors of my garden - the green of the leaves, the rich brown of the soil and little bits of color showing up as plants bloom and blooms turn into edible delights.  That would be enough to delight my heart.  But this year I found something that just needed to be added. A yellow tomato cage!
I could have used the old, gray metal tomato cages that are stored neatly in the garden shed but I just couldn’t resist this one when I saw it a few weeks ago as I walked through my local hardware store!  I know I could – but why?
There are two more tomato plants to the left of this one that need cages soon.  They will be bigger than this cherry tomato plant and they need larger cages that don’t come in yellow.  They will get ‘new’ ones soon!  They get the big, old cages but they aren’t worried – theirs will look like this one.  The day I bought this yellow cage I went straight to the paint department and bought spray paint the exact shade of yellow as the new one.  What’s a girl to do?  She has to color coordinate her garden – doesn’t she?

Friday, June 17, 2011

My Garden Assistant

A few weeks ago I had an unexpected visit from one of my favorite little people.  My youngest grandson, Mr. H., came to visit for awhile.  Without his brothers or his mommy and daddy.  Just Mr. H. and I for about two wonderful hours.  We had such fun together.  He has a sunny outlook on life and loves to talk and play.  And help.  The first thing we did was get out some favorite toys.  Joey had to check them out!   
P5129533 Mr. H. loves to play with tiny cars that have all kinds of things that go with them.  And he really loves to play with the big, red barn that this Papa built for his daddy when he was about three.  The roof is in the background – it lifts off so you can put the animals inside or drive the old tractor in when you’re finished with it.  I asked him to smile for a picture - when he saw my camera he put on his special smile just for me!     P5129531He and Joey played together and it wasn’t long before we went outside.  I needed to turn the soil in my garden beds one last time before planting this year’s vegetables.  Gardening is much more fun when you have an assistant.  Mr. H. helped me and I think you might agree with me – he did a fine job.  The soil in the garden box he worked on was in great shape when he left for home.     P5129537
Not long after we started working on the garden boxes, Mr. H. found a worm.  When the worm disappeared, the hunt was on to figure out where he had gone.
Within minutes he saw a worm on the other side of the garden bed.  He was excited and he couldn’t wait to tell me he found the worm.  He said it ‘jumped’ to the other side of the garden!
If you need an assistant gardener I know one you can ‘hire’.  His pay?  Just hugs and maybe a cookie or two!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Ancient of Days

Blessing and Honor,
Glory and Power
Be unto the Ancient of Days
From every nation,
All of creation
Bow before the Ancient of Days

Every tongue in Heaven and Earth
Shall declare Your glory,
Every knee shall bow at Your throne
You will be exalted, O God
And Your kingdom
Shall not pass away
O Ancient of Days

Your kingdom shall reign
Over all the earth,
Sing unto the Ancient of Days
For none can compare
To Your matchless worth,
Sing unto the Ancient of Days

Every tongue in Heaven and Earth
Shall declare Your glory,
Every knee shall bow at Your throne
You will be exalted, O God
And Your kingdom
Shall not pass away
O Ancient of Days

Song: ‘Ancient of Days’ by Hillsong