Thursday, June 30, 2011

Passing Thoughts

Journal for Christa—
It doesn’t take much to jump out of my rut while on vacation. I exercise less, eat more junk, and am less than consistent in my Bible study. But, getting out of the routine is good too: no schedules, no housework, just focusing on and enjoying the people I’m with.
On the trip back west, I usually pick up the driving at Salina, Kansas. Just west of Salina is a huge wind farm. Some of the giant windmills are right up next to the road, and they look pretty cool. Yesterday, they reminded me of Don Quixote.  If he had been caught up by one of these windmills, wouldn’t he have gotten a surprise? And, I wondered how often I’m like Don Quixote, fighting foes that are not there and seeing beauty that’s really not there either. Oh well, it was just a passing thought.
Today it’s time to get back into my summer routine, at least for a couple of weeks. It’s time to put away the vacation stuff, do laundry, and weed around my tiny vegetable garden. It’s time to pick up where I’d left off in Ecclesiastics and stop by the farmers’ market for some healthy fare.
There’s not much else to say...other than:  Let the diet begin!

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Journal for Christa-

We've spent a few days in southern Ilinois at my mom's. We walk to the road and back up the hill a couple of times each morning to stave off the damage of country cooking. In summer the orange daylilies bloom wild along the creek edges and roadsides. They aren't hybrid or fancy like the ones in our garden, but they're hardy and prolific, kind of like the farm stock of my heritage.

I always breathe easier here--quite literally because the humidity is just healthier than the harsh, dry Colorado climate. But, I could always breathe easier here--in many ways.

When our kids were little, I slept late. I never had to be out of bed when they woke up. They weren't looking for me anyway, not here. They always rose to find my dad sitting at the kitchen table with his morning cup of coffee, and mom at the stove, frying up bacon, eggs, and gravy with biscuits. And if it hadn't been for the lure of the bacon, I mighty not have roused at all.

There was always stuff-interesting stuff-to do here: feeding pigs, catching fish, riding the tractor, hunting for turtles with their dad--a place of fun, a place of love, a place of peace.

So, even though each daylily only blooms for a day--as they smile in their abundance, they make the path they line a wonderful place.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Journal for Christa—
I’ve been sitting in the backyard. It’s really lovely right now with all the irises in bloom. Some colors bloomed this year that we’d forgotten we had. My friend Nicole refers to our yard as “the garden.” And, it does kind of remind me of the children’s novel The Secret Garden.
This garden has evolved over the years. Ages ago, when annuals were cheap and we were younger and there were lots of kid help, Jay would build flowerbeds and we’d fill them up. Over the years we’ve exchanged most of the annuals for perennials and made it as self-sustaining as a garden can be.  Now days, it’s a bird’s summer paradise—eat a little seed, hop over to the waterfall to bathe, splash around in the sprinklers, and build a nice nest in the trees. What more could a bird want?
Although the garden appears beautiful (and it is), there are things that lurk there—such as the two black widows Jay discovered under the bench we’d been sitting on every day last week. There’s a constant battle with ants and sometimes wasps.
Probably the most frustrating things are the grubs that took up residence in and under the plum tree a couple of summers ago. Everything looked normal until we were cutting into the newly harvested plums, only to discover a tiny white worm in each one. Treating the tree and the soil underneath it has been a chore for Jay, and we won’t know if his effort has been successful until the plums ripen this August.
Relationships can be like this garden. Everything can look so beautiful when people walk out their front door, but things may not always be as they seem. Relationships, like a garden, take a great deal of tending. My favorite quote from The Secret Garden was spoken by the old gardener himself as he and the children worked the soil and took in fresh air: “Where you tend a rose, a thistle cannot grow.” In his experience he’d learned a lot about caring for gardens—and relationships. (He wasn’t just speaking of roses.)
It’s a wise thing to tend the gardens in our lives.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Journal for Christa—
Molly dog is old—nearly 12 ½, which definitely puts her into the dog geriatric category. Molly’s world has changed significantly lately. She has lost nearly all her hearing. It has been going for some time, but I think she knew something had changed during the spring research grading months, when she quit barking at the door to go out and started barking where she could see me at the computer and the door at the same time. And because of her persistence, I often wonder if she thinks I’m the one who’s deaf. Being deaf has made some things more difficult for Molly—like not being fully aware of my movements when she’s underfoot when I’m grating cheese.
Sometimes I think it’s easy for people—or me at least—to be like Molly when it comes to the spiritual realm. There are so many things I simply don’t perceive. And sometimes when God moves around in my world, it scares me because I didn’t hear His coming.
Jay and I are trying to teach Molly sign language—nothing elaborate—just “come” and “stay.” We figure if we can accomplish that with her, it’ll be good enough. I wonder how often the Lord has thought the same about me—

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Thought on Ecclesiates 1:5-7

The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises. The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course. All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again.

The earth is a self sustaining system--methodically replenishing itself--daylight, darkness, wind, and water.

How awesome is creation. It's no wonder that man selects to worship it--ever focusing on the creation he sees, hears, and feels--and neglecting the incomprehensible Hand behind it.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Of Colds and Babies

Journal for Christa—
There are some things you don’t even want to share with your spouse. Currently, #1 on my list is Jay’s summer cold. Being a science type, he told me once how many billions of bacteria are passed with a kiss. I don’t remember the exact amount, but it left a distinct impression that it’s a lot. Seriously, when you’re talking billions, does it really matter whether it’s 3, 4, or 5?
I haven’t been totally unsympathetic. I’ve made him a few cups of hot Russian tea—well, really just one. But, I do keep asking if he has taken his immune building vitamin D, suggesting an afternoon nap, and setting a DanActive in front of him everyday.
We need to get healthy, as Grandbaby #9 is due any day. He’s waiting for me to finish his quilt. The earliest I seem to get these projects done is minutes before the “time.” When William was born, I sat in the hall where there was good light. And after I crocheted the last stitch, I cut the yarn and said to myself, “It is time” and entered Joy’s room with instructions to push. (That actually is the truth.)
In a couple of hours I’ll sew the last stitch in this baby’s quilt, spray the blood stains where I’ve pricked my fingers, and toss it in with the light clothes of laundry. Then, it will be time—time for Mel and Nate to place another jewel in our basket of joys.
Oh, and this garlic I’m wearing around my neck? —it has nothing to do with Jay.