Monday, January 20, 2014


It's always a blessing to start a new year. New day, new month, new year, clean slate and fresh beginning. Somehow it seems easier to appreciate opportunities in January - though the truth is the Lord grants potential for good - moment by moment, every day, doesn't He?

A New Year Awakening

The sun wakes up, the new morn dawns -
Grand blessings of our Lord upon
Unwritten pages; parchment white
Unstained, unblemished as we write
A story. The biography
Unfolds each day. We knit and weave
A pattern on the tapestry
That stretches through eternity.
With humble heart and grateful praise
We take up threads and interlace
The colors. Patterns shift and move
Through His design and perfect love.
Among the fibers of content
His grace will lead, His mercy lend
The guidance needed to create
His masterpiece upon the slate.
His loving-kindness shields from harm.
A timid shuttle, broken yarn
May threaten ill from time to time.
Still He holds safe, preserves His Scheme -
The blueprint of Redemption found
In sacred word and Precious Blood.
The loom awaits; His Light shines in.
Our leaf of life anew begins.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Mile Marker Fifty

We all love reaching a new milepost. I'm sure that the marker we just passed is the most significant one yet. Earlier in September Wayne and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary. To celebrate the event - as our anniversary occurred on Labor Day as it did on September 2, 1963 - we determined to go back to where it all began. The same park, the same cabin, the same amount of time and even a very similar menu.

So our celebration was a simple one. Watoga State Park, Cabin 32 - ancient accommodations to a younger generation, but our dear and trusted standby for any family fun. Odd as it may seem, we never tire of the location. In fact, just yesterday Wayne suggested we make it a yearly expedition. Fine by me. No matter how many trips in the past or future, this will always stand out as a crowning realization of blessing, joy and love.

Thankful indeed for the multitude of blessings that have been ours over 50 Golden Years! God is so good.

Thursday, August 15, 2013


Such cool and foggy mornings used to come a couple weeks before school started. These days school starts a couple weeks early so now the fog is on time. It was in the 50's here last night - little wonder the tomatoes are shy about ripening.

It's nearly time for Wayne's garden to start waning, though there may yet be a canner or two of green beans and tomatoes before vegetables vanish into autumn air. If the birds don't knock them all to the ground, it will be the fruit trees' turn for attention. Craig is up there in Indiana dreaming of apple butter, no doubt. It could happen. While making the apple butter, I'm holding out for fresh granny smith apples - which are rarely found in stores anymore. 

So here we are counting beans and tomatoes and apples before they hatch and before the morrow. We could be counting blessings - surely that is so. But we are remembering James 4:15 as well - it is the Lord's will that controls the earth, its seasons and its harvest. And it is His will that controls tomorrows, if such there be. My job is to leave all within His will and use His blessings - both time and harvest - in His service, to His glory.

Don't be shy about service...the Lord surely wasn't!

Thursday, August 08, 2013


It's August - summertime, right? Dry and hot, right? Not so much this year.

We're kinda floating through a quiet rainy day. The rain clouds come in patches - patches that are big enough to cover all of Teelside before they sift along slowly. No need to water the peppers or tomatoes after all. Summer rains mean the farmer will delay trying out the new water line he ran from the spring to the garden. But it's buried and hooked to the outdoor faucet; ready for a dry garden season when it comes.

As for autumn air, Amma temperatures have been amazingly cool for this time of year - especially at night. I think the insects are confused, too. They are stirring up boisterous September serenades. All. Night. Long. I love it! Cool air, windows and doors open and no air conditioning motor to mask the music.

[Somehow, these early autumn sounds remind me of visiting Shock, WV, as a child... Nice memory, that.]

Times and Seasons. The Lord established. The Lord controls. Praise the Lord!

"To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:" Ecclesiastes 3:1

"He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end." Ecclesiastes 3:11

"Daniel answered and said: "Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, For wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise And knowledge to those who have understanding." Daniel 2:20-21

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


So quiet - no birds singing, reminding me of that late summer day when I wake to realize the birds are leaving for warmer climes. And then I realize it is not yet light enough for the birds to say good morning. As sheerest shades of sunrise float toward the ridge east of the Barn, out the back door there are still a few stars and a satellite in view. So, quiet.

It takes but a few moments for all that to change. And now the birds sing out in chorus - the first hymn for this, the Lord's day. The morning mist rising on the hillside adds softness to the scene. There seems no mortal way to absorb every facet of this beauty. How conclusively true of every blessing God bestows...His glory here but a glimpse of that to come!

Heaven in prospect - all things beautiful, there fully comprehended. This is the day - join with His creation in jubilant praise for His grace and goodness.

Sunday, August 19, 2012



Watch the shadows now sprinkled across the green lawn
By the afternoon sun sitting down -
Does the sun claim a chair near the waning of day
There to toss soft reflections around?
There's no hurry to scatter or rush to display
The gentle array of the hour
And the evening that laces it's fingers with day
Lingers on, closing beauty to show'r.

What a wonder to watch twilight spread like a cloak
Shielding vision e'er light becomes dim;
E'er the parting of season marks calendar streams
Swiftly flowing t'ward summer's near brim.
Deep the dimness 'neath fringes of woodland's fair trees,
Setting scenes where the fairies of youth
Were imagined through fancy - now caught in the fray
Of illusion met squarely with truth.

Yet in sunsets of August, magic lingers once more
And with pixie dust alters our dreams
Drawing charming sensations as the day slides away
With the music from meadows and streams.
Dancing elves leave soft footprints in the dew as the mist
Gently settles across hill and dale,
Then the shade becomes darkness, and the merriment drifts
Where the moonlight continues the tale.

pjt 7/26/2012

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Summer greens are everywhere around here - thanks to rains and heavy dew. The days have been so humid (typical WV July) that even I am thankful for air conditioning.

Maggie days have transformed into canning days. Every year I think next summer we'll just grow enough garden for the table and for sharing. And every year we check the canning shelves and decide we could always do with a few more quarts of this or that. This summer it's green beans. We did the first two canners yesterday - Roma II, which have become a favorite for lots of reasons. No strings, good flavor and good canners even when they've grown on the vine past peak.

This year Wayne also planted some pole beans and half-runners...just for old times sake. The sapling teepees cut and covered with bean vines used to be a familiar sight on gardens that grew on any lot of any size. These days we don't see so many gardens. Tha't a loss on several levels.

Wayne's 'old-times sake' backs me into the kitchen, but he is so good to help that I could hardly be so mean as to complain. Assuredly kitchen assistance is not quite fair as he does the planting, tilling, tending and picking. But hey, we all know he's addicted to work, right? And did you notice those rocks? We think they come up from China, as they seem to surface no matter how many you gather and haul to the creek banks. 

I'm not immue to the call of tradition myself ...though my call usually takes the form of quilts not canning. Call or no, I know not to plan too much sewing during garden times. Garden times are so much a part of "what we knew first" that it is hard to give it up, especially for Wayne. That is evident in spite of the fact that I no longer do a stitch of work there - except for taking the farmer a drink of water from time to time.

Without living in the past, we are still bound to memories of it. That is a blessing and I'm really thankful the Lord designed our minds with memory banks.

Passages once traveled will seldom reappear -
Stronger, then, incentive for holding them as dear.
Some are set indelibly and easily revived;
Others blend in patterns indistinct, but still alive.

Scenes of fond remembrance seem to etch on glass
Lines to lend fresh import to portraits of the past -
Ne'er to be forgotten, or lessen in their worth
E'en when tethered well beyond the reach of mortal earth.

Who can weigh the value e'er they travel on
Of ethereal summers basking 'neath the sun?
Once the snow has melted, magic glows no more...
Scales will find a balance true on far more distant shores.

Is the heart ungrateful - just redeeming time,
Scarcely comprehending the reason or the rhyme?
Who can know the pattern, gather up control;
Weaving through the tapestry the threads that form the whole?

Time may not uncover hidden meanings of
The raptures of a moment, the painful loss of love...
Soaring hearts, descending tears alike must understand
The soul will win its vict'ry by His near, Almighty Hand.

Patience molds the passage with resolve to hold
Faith for the duration, nurture for the soul -
Pausing and reflecting while memories yet yearn...
For hard it is to turn them free and not wish for return.
 pjt 07/04/2012