Monday, May 28, 2012


Just last week I was roaming Teelside camera in hand looking for lingering signs of spring. Changing seasons always call out to be recorded. And for good reason: no two sets of seasonal photos are the same...similar, but not the same. Flowers take turns; one year the daffodils and iris excel, the next year the peonies outshine them all. Trees and shrubs also change from year to year. Like children they stretch out and mark their own place with larger shadows.

Without question, the best part of Spring in every passing  is the birdsong of morning. My head  rarely lingers upon the pillow beyond dawn, so addicted am I to the sound of it. It is a long-lived tether; a link from early childhood when I woke in my grandparent's farmhouse to birds that seemed to be singing through megaphones. The joy returns as clear reflections of those long ago mornings wash over me with each new morn sixty years hence. God is good.

Back to the photo journal...all at once the camera lens caught more shades of summer than spring. Everything was summer green with only faint illusion to the tender tones of April. May slips away quite quickly when temperatures soar and humidity hangs over the meadow. I sigh and say goodbye to another budding season. 

It is NOT imagination that marks the flying calendar gathering speed with age. It's happening. I've noted as well that the green, green hills of summer are observed with more acute awareness, distinct definition. Awareness is a blessing - God is good.

Visiting time after yesterday's church services took us to shut-ins - a gentleman suffering at home with advanced cancer, a sweet little bird of a lady 'trapped' in a rehab center with a broken hip. These dear folks are by circumstance deprived of birdsong, sunlight and blossoms beckoning in gentle breezes. Perhaps their hearts store pictures of like beauty and they are comforted by their remembrance even among the vicissitudes of life. I do hope so. Along with that, may our brief presence reflect a refreshing breath of loving Son-light for their keeping.

Thursday, May 24, 2012



A nearly perfect day in May--
A canopy of powder blue,
Fresh-grown greens of every hue,
Fragrant blossoms by the way,
Warbling birds on fence and trees,
And rippling streams heard o'er the lea
Hold happy hands and whisper "stay."

"Remain here with us, let the sun
Contentment, joy and peace begin."
They seek us out; they draw us in.
The circling arc of work begun
With April buds and gentle rain,
Brings hope for Life - refreshed again 
In kinship with the Risen Son

Immersed in beauty so serene;
Touched by the grace of Holy Hands,
A soul will soar to distant lands;
A glimpse of Heaven may be seen;
A heart will find its way and throng
With saints before the Son-lit throne,
To sing His praise with the redeemed.

No perfect day will mortals gain
E'en in the beauty that surrounds
These seamless times of wonder found
When seasons change. Yet there remains
God's perfect day, perfect design
When joy eternal will ascend
In perfect life that never ends.


Tuesday, May 08, 2012


Sometime back I thought I might put all of Isobel's gifts on the table, take a picture, and write about how caring and generous she is. Ran into a real dilemma. The more I gathered, the more I found that belonged to that category. And even that sturdy oak table Daddy made wouldn't hold them all.

This, of course, does not mean I've stopped thinking about Isobel's gifts (too many reminders around for that). But inventory is impossible. It's like trying to list friends and knowing you'll leave some out no matter how diligent you are. I'm left with scratching the surface. So be it.

For this purpose, suppose I should stick to functional items (but it would be remiss of me not to mention the boxes of lemon pie mix that are often tucked into the parcels for Wayne).  Many of Isobel's presents are sewing tools. I suspect that when she finds a new gadget - and Isobel does like gadgets - she buys in triplicate: one for herself and one each for the twins. She has added sundry rulers and rotary cutters, quilt calculators and color wheels, frequent packs of fabric, and a nice pair of Gingher appliqué scissors to my little sewing corner - just to name a few.  

The granddaddy of all sewing tools is a Bernina Serger she brought my way when she found a newer model for herself.  That machine (besides driving me bonkers sometimes when it needs re-threading) has been such a boon and blessing. It has made pjs , nightgowns, aprons, jumpers and skirts galore - mostly for grandchildren who are beyond grateful. I hope she knows she has facilitated my happiness in the making as well as theirs.

Since I have dubbed my sewing machine and computer MAGGIE and MOLLY, it occurs to me that the serger needs a name, too. Think I'll call her ISIE (Isobel's childhood nickname). Guess that also means ISIE becomes the grandmommy of all sewing tools.

And now this...can you figure it out? The pin cushion is obvious. And it obviously belongs beside a sewing machine. What is less evident in the photo are especially convenient features. The pin cushion is weighted with some kind of heavy base so that it will not fall off the table or go creeping away from you when you try to poke it with a pin. The bag that hangs over the edge is held open with a stout metal ring sewn in the top; and it is lined with satin so that threads and scraps that are handily dropped in slide out easily when it needs emptying. Isobel doesn't do ugly so the colors and embroidered design on the front are very nice, too.

Now isn't my generous, thoughtful sister so very clever? I appreciate you Isobel, and love you so very dearly!

Saturday, May 05, 2012


Big celebrations in Temple Terrace last night. Two grandchildren (Luke and Sarah Jane - with baby Joshua tagging along 'baby bump' style) walked for Bachelor's degrees; another granddaughter (Hannah) walked for an Associate degree at the Florida College graduation ceremonies. I think it a very special thing for cousins to do together.

DS Doy marked the occasion by posting pictures of the 4-yr 'bricks' laid down as a record for his wife, son and son's wife. I don't know the story of the commemorative bricks, but imagine them to be laid down somewhere on the F.C. campus. Not knowing the details did not keep me from getting a big lump in my throat as I looked at (and lifted) the pictures from Doy's Facebook page.

Sarah Jane's comments on this occasion were: "Graduation! How bittersweet. I wouldn't trade these past four years for anything. The amount of growth and knowledge I have obtained is priceless. Thank you, F.C., for everything. Especially my husband :) I also believe I owe my firstborn to you ;)"

I'm guessing she's giving credit for her firstborn to Luke, not F.C., but you never know. (There is that running joke about kids going to F.C. to get a husband/wife...and it worked well for our girls Laurie/Nina.) Guess Sarah Jane could give F.C. the credit for meeting Luke. However it is sliced, baby Joshua will always tie into college memories.

As to Hannah's response to all the fuss, she wrote: "First year at F.C. is over and I got an itchy blue robe, an empty red case, and a "gold" cord to prove it. Happy Graduation everybody!"

Audrey was packing up the dorm room she and Hannah shared this year and wrote with a touch of wistfulness: "Just took all my happy mail off my walls. There was a lot. I am so blessed. :) As for goodbyes... not really my thing."

My own reaction brought to mind one of those David/Beccie stories stored in memory. When Jonathan and Hannah were baptized (on my birthday) several years back, Beccie asked David, "What did we ever do to deserve these children...?"   Such milestones are both awesome and humbling. And like Audrey, "I am so blessed."