Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Quiet Place

Our first stop in Kansas was at the home of my sweetheart’s cousin.  They live in a very rural part of Kansas – it’s very quiet there.  I loved hearing the birds singing from early morning until late afternoon.
From the front their home looks like a ‘regular’ house but their home is unique – it’s built into the side of an earthen berm.  The entire back of the house is encased in earth!  There are no windows at the back of the house but there is a lot of light inside because of the design.  Windows along the front and a ‘skylight’ down through the earthen roof make everything seem bright and cozy.P5182972
My sweetheart’s cousin’s husband told us he is trying to encourage growth of a certain type of short grass because he doesn’t want to mow his roof!P5182973
Most of their home is made of concrete, including the ceilings.  It’s quite strong and very energy efficient.  Cool in the summer.  Warm in the winter.  And very cozy inside.
I didn’t take many photos of the interior of their home.  We were too busy chatting and touring and spending time together.  At the front of their home is a wonderful sunroom.  You enter the sunroom through French doors in the dining room.  It's filled with sunshine and shadows and places to sit and relax.  It was a good place for a quiet rest or a good chat with family.  When you walk through their front door a little window in the entry way gives you a peek into this sweet place.
P5172881The sunroom is warm and inviting.  The wood panels on the ceiling can be opened or closed to let more or less sunshine into the room.  The position of the panels depends on the time of year and the needs of the plants (and people!) in the room.P5172883Plants have been planted right into the ground along the front windows.  They don't seem to know they aren't outside!P5172884An industrial farm shelf unit holds the biggest cactus I’ve ever seen inside a home.  Obviously it loves where it was placed many years ago.P5172885
I loved the way sun and shadow filled the sunroom every morning while we were there.  My sweetheart's cousin and her hubby often eat meals at the old table when it's just the two of them.P5172887A little, old wooden bench, an old crock and a vintage watering can had been carefully placed beside the flowers. It looks like someone was doing a bit of work and just left them there.P5172889Even the top of an old, rustic, wooden cupboard was filled with an interesting collection of things to see.P5172890Time went too quickly and soon it was time for us to go.  I left wanting a sunroom of my own and wishing the quiet visits we enjoyed there could have continued.  That’s the sign of a good visit – when you leave wishing you could stay much longer - and when your host and hostess want you to come back and stay longer next time!

Monday, May 28, 2012


Vintage Memorial Day Card
Happy Memorial Day!

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

Sunday, May 27, 2012


How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of the messenger who brings good news,
the good news of peace and salvation,
the news that the God of Israel reigns! 

Isaiah 52:7

(Dedicated to our dear friends, Bill and Mary, who bring the good news to people who are often forgotten and alone in the southeast corner of Colorado – a missionfield here in the United States.  We spent a couple of days with them while on vacation and our hearts were touched by the needs and by their love for the people of that area. You can read about their ministry here and enjoy Mary’s blog here.)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Home At Last

(downtown in our hometown)

My sweetheart and I arrived home last evening – tired but happy to be here at last!  The day was long but we didn’t mind.  We were headed home.  The time had come to return.  When we arrived in town we went straight to my dear, little mother’s home.  She didn’t expect to see us – she thought we would call and say we were home.  The smile on her face and the hugs she gave were priceless.  She seems a bit frail but is an amazing lady.  The peace that surrounds her is beyond understanding!  She is able to do some basic things to keep life going at home but she will need help with many things.  We will need wisdom to make the best decisions.

Thank you for your prayers and words of love and support.  It means so much to us.  Times like this remind us how many people really do care and the world of blog is no different. Soon I will share more about our trip – it was wonderful.  Just what we needed. 
It was time with folks dear to our hearts.
It was time in the beauty of God’s creation.
It was time together.
It was time to relax.

‘There’s nothing half so pleasant as coming home again.’
Margaret Sangster

Friday, May 25, 2012

Homeward Bound

Cottage Home
They say that all good things must come to an end.  Perhaps it’s true – perhaps not.  Our vacation is coming to an end a bit sooner than planned.  My dear little mother suffered a mild heart attack a couple of days ago and we are headed home.  She is resting at her home and she is being watched over by our two adult children who are there to help her.  She has a very deep sense of peace and is in good spirits.  Her faith is strong  - that will never change.  This is her third heart attack.  We are thankful she is still here with us.  She didn’t want us to change our plans – we ignored her wishes and will be home soon. 

We would appreciate prayer for my dear mother and for us as we travel for many hours to get home.  We will make it – our home and our own bed wait at the end of the journey!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Back Again

P5223292(a sneak peek)
After several days without internet – and, at times, cell phone service – I am back online again.  At the home of a dear blog friend.  We’re visiting Mary of Mary’s Meanderings - and her hubby - in southeast Colorado for a couple of days.  I’ll share more soon.  If you read her blog you know her home is as wonderful.  It's even better than in her photos!  I’ll share more soon.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

In Good Hands

My sweet little dog, Joey, is in good hands.  He’s staying with our daughter while we are away.  I had no doubt about leaving him with her because I know how much they love him.  You may remember that they gave him to me for my birthday nearly three years ago.  He has been very special to them from the moment they first saw him.  I’m afraid he won’t want to come home when we return!  Our youngest granddaughter is taking special care of him!  Little Dr. H. will be sure he's fine!
Dr. Hannah and Joey
Our daughter sent a picture late yesterday so reassure me.  Don’t let the look in his eyes fool you – he’s enjoying every minute of her attention!

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you!  He sent me a text Monday night – our first night away. He wanted to tell me goodnight!  What a smart sweet doggie!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Land Of The Western Cowboy

P5152849We’re in Cheyenne, Wyoming tonight.  The land of the western cowboy – home of the largest outdoor rodeo.  They say it’s the ‘Daddy of them all’!  It’s a beautiful town filled with history.  And cowboy boots!P5152858Big cowboy boots.  Eight of them - but we only saw three.  'These Boots were Made for Talkin' was a fundraiser project for the Cheyenne Depot Museum endowment fund to help ensure future success of the museum. The boots were painted by local artists and originally sponsored by local businesses and then auctioned off.  This one is decorated with Wyoming license plates.  The top has painted vintage plates and the top of the foot and the toe are inlaid with pieces of real Wyoming license plates.P5152865Cheyenne is the Capitol of Wyoming.  The capitol building is at the end of a main street in the historic downtown area.  It was pretty impressive with the sun shining on the golden dome this evening.P5152860We left Twin Falls early this morning – just as the sun was rising above the canyon walls.  We made one last stop before heading south.  I just had to take a photo!P5152821And the view behind me was spectacular, too, with the peaceful canyon floor below and the sun shining on the top of the rim.P5152826Tomorrow morning we will leave early again and drive to the home of my sweetheart’s cousin.  His sister will arrive there tomorrow, too, and we will have a good visit before we drive south a ways for the ‘big’ reunion later in the week.  I don’t know what kind of online access I’ll have so I may be silent for a while – or I may be back to share more soon.  Whenever I do, you can be sure there will be a lot to share.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Off To Find Dorothy and Toto

Very early this morning my sweetheart and I left for a road trip that has been planned for a long time. At times we weren’t sure if it would really happen. At times it seemed like a dream – now it’s reality!  We’re heading to Kansas.  To find Dorothy and Toto!  Well, maybe not – we’re heading there for my sweetheart’s family reunion.  Tonight we are in Twin Falls, Idaho – a beautiful place along the rim of the Snake River Canyon.  We drove for many hours, just happy to be together and away on an adventure we will never forget.  Driving alongside the Mighty Columbia River through Oregon always brings joy to my heart.  Then through the beauty of Eastern Oregon and mountains that, at times, appeared to be so close it seemed we could reach out and touch them.
So often I wished we could slow down, stop awhile and take photos of everything we saw.  I wanted to share it all with you.  Once in awhile I ventured a photo through the car window. It was exciting to cross the border into Idaho.  As we left Oregon, a sign bid us farewell and hoped we would return soon.  My sweetheart said, ‘We will!’  Then we were in Idaho.
Somewhere between the border and our destination for the night we saw a sign that said:
Miracle Hot Springs
Three miles
Caution:  Alligators

Alligators in Idaho?  Really?  Why would anyone want to pay to bathe in the hot springs?

After dinner this evening we walked part of the Rim Trail along the top of the Snake River Canyon.  To get to Twin Falls from the freeway we had to cross this bridge from the other side of the canyon.  It's just a couple of miles from where we are staying.
We spent awhile on the rim of the canyon, walking, talking, taking photos.  And more photos!  Then we drove down a long, steep road to the bottom of the canyon where we found a beautiful park along the banks of the river.  The bridge captured my attention again.
P5142703Then a short drive east and we found Shoshone Falls – a site I had hoped to visit.  A sign at the park entrance told us that the water level was low today.  Hydro-electric dams along the Snake River control the water levels.  I'd love to see this beauty when the water is high!P5142749The sun was beginning to set above the western end of the canyon and it was hard to capture the beauty of this spot.  Soon it was time to go – but there was another site I simply had to try to capture.  Just one more!P5142771A brief stop before dark to see ‘Twin Falls’, where the city gets it’s name.  Then back to our motel to rest before another long day on the road again tomorrow.  There is so much more I’d like to share but that will have to wait for another day.  It’s an hour later here than at home – we are tired but happy to be here.  Bright and early tomorrow morning we will point our ‘wagon’ eastward once again, put the ‘horses’ in motion and keep going until we get to our next destination.  Next stop is a town that some think consider to be a ‘western’ town. Strange - we have to keep going east to get to The West?   More soon.  From somewhere east of here.  In ‘Western’ America.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day from my heart to yours!

Today I will celebrate with my dear, little mother and my children will come by to spend a bit of time with me.  I am blessed!

Early tomorrow morning my sweetheart and I will embark on a journey that has been planned for a long time.  Time to be with family far away.  Time to walk in the places where his sweet mother spent her childhood days.  She will be in our thoughts and in our hearts as we walk in those places that were a strong influence in her life.  They were part of who she was – who she became – and who my sweetheart is today.

Both of us have been blessed beyond measure – blessed with the love of wonderful mothers.  Our mothers worked hard, loved much and prayed often.  What more could we ask?

I remember my mother's prayers
and they have always followed me.
They have clung to me all my life.
Abraham Lincoln

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Fields Of Color

Thank you for your kind words about the new ministry my sweetheart and I have undertaken.  It is so fulfilling to begin to develop deep relationships with mature adults all around us.  They have so much to add to our lives and we always come away more blessed than we could ever imagine. 

A couple of days ago, despite intermittent rain showers and a bit of wind, I took a few senior ladies from our church to a big, local annual event.  We had planned to go a week ago but the weather forced us to reschedule.  The Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival draws hundreds of thousands of people from around the area – and beyond – each year.  Acres and acres of color – tulips in bloom all around – capture your heart the moment you arrive.P4302593Giant oak trees stand like sentinels nearby.P4302609Everywhere you look there are tulips – of all colors.P4302596Colors planted together. . .
Or alone.P4302615The festival grounds are filled with places to pose for photos – some for adults, some for children.  It didn’t take me long to spot this big yellow wooden shoe that was soon filled with a darling little girl.  P4302602The windmill on the far side of the fields seems to call you to come close.  Benches are scattered all through the fields for quiet moments of rest and reflection here and there.P4302595You can probably guess that yellow tulips are my favorite. . .but another of my favorites is 'Queen of the Night’ - a 'black' tulip.  I loved how they were contrasted against rows and rows of yellow.  P4302607There are all kinds of things to do and foods to eat – especially on the weekends.  One of the fun features every year is the ‘Cow Train’ that takes guests – big and small – all around the fields of color.  We gals opted for a more dignified way of travel – we took the shuttle with ‘respectable’ seats and easy access in and out.
The main gift shop is filled with all kinds of wonderful things – books, souvenirs, pottery, Dutch Delft tile, cups and saucers and beautiful things that captured my heart.  A little ‘outdoor’ gift shop featured all kinds of things – most related to the garden.  A teapot birdhouse. . .
A garden tile sign (and a silly little snail) that would brighten any gardener’s day. . .P4302590A tiny pot of (plastic) daffodils. . .P4302591And tee-shirts to bring back happy memories.
There were tulips everywhere – in the fields, in raised beds, in pots and in arrangements.  On the counter of the gift shop door we were all enchanted by this vase of yellow tulips.  They were different than any we had seen before.P4302616The blooms were huge!  And they seemed unreal - until we touched them.  P4302617Soon we were headed back toward home.  The car was filled with happy chatter as we rode through the countryside.  Once in town we filled a big table at a new restaurant and enjoyed more time together – and good food.  It’s a day that will always be a treasure in my heart.  The friendships deepened in the tulip fields will be even more special because of the adventure we shared for a few hours this week.  As I reminisce and remember the beauty and the laughter and the fun of our day together I’m carefully studying the catalog I brought home.  Trying to decide and pick and choose the tulips that should grace my yard and home – and bring back the memories of one gray day in the valley of Oregon.  A day that was brightened by the ‘bloom’ of friendships made precious.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Encore–The Best Is Yet To Come

It may seem I have disappeared – been missing in action – gone somewhere!  No, not true!  I’ve been so busy with some ‘new’ things in my life that I’ve not slowed down long enough to take photos, write a blog post or do much more than stop by and peek in to see what you are doing once in awhile.  I have appeared here and there around blog land but there hasn’t been much action here on my blog.

My sweetheart and I have ventured into a new ministry at our church – a ministry that has long been on our hearts.  We are developing a new ministry to mature adults at our church and in our community.  This has been on our hearts for a long time – talked about, dreamed about, prayed about.  It's now becoming reality.  Our church has had a long-standing monthly potluck luncheon for the senior citizens in our congregation but there haven’t been other areas of ministry to those of us who have reached a ‘more mature’ age.
Because my sweetheart has not yet retired and is working very long hours each day, much of the ‘footwork’ and the things needed to lay the foundation for this new ministry have been on my shoulders.  We have almost completed putting together a team that will help direct and carry out the plans we envision for this new ministry. 
The name of this new ministry is ‘Encore’.  Perhaps the article we wrote for the latest edition of our church newsletter will give you a better idea of the reason behind the name and the scope of our vision:

ENCORE – a ministry to mature adults
ENCORE - the name says it all. If you have ever been to a concert that was so excellent you didn’t want it to end, you have most likely cheered for an encore. Stood and applauded and maybe even whistled. Wanted more and hoped the best was saved for last.

This encore metaphor expresses the attitude of many mature adults: Life has been good because God is good. We want more. Perhaps the best is yet to come.

This is a new focus of ministry being developed at Bethany. The largest population group in the U.S. (78 million) is the Boomer generation, those born 1946 – 1964. The Builders, those born before 1946, have been called “The Greatest Generation”.

God is calling us as a church to intentionally reach and disciple mature adults (55+) and to develop relationships in a friendly, loving environment. Over the next few months expansion of this ministry will include:

· Workshops – issues that are relevant to the lives of Boomers and beyond;

· Outreach projects – in our community and outside our community;

· Intergenerational activities – connecting with younger generations;

· Silver & Spice – monthly potluck luncheon and inspiring program, a ministry to the Builder generation;

· Sunday Evening Praise – an intergenerational monthly praise gathering featuring hymns, special music, testimonies and much more. Mark your calendar for April 29th – everyone is invited.

Watch for additional information in the near future!

The best is yet to come
Dave and Adrienne
Mature Adult Ministry Leaders

Last Sunday evening sixty people came for our first Sunday Evening Praise - it was wonderful.  They sang their hearts out!  We can't wait for next time!

Yesterday I took several of our senior ladies to the Tulip Festival in a nearby rural area.  Afterwards we had lunch together in a new restaurant here in town.  We had such fun.  I’ll share our outing with you tomorrow.

Believe me when I say, we’ve only begun – the best is yet to come!