Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Stillness Speaks Of His Goodness

Sitting in a darkened church on Thanksgiving Eve, I see candles on the altar. Lovely fall blooms are displayed profusely. Only a few decide to soak up the atmosphere. The organ plays. Then we begin to sing "We Gather Together," a hymn about bounty and provision. I can see the Pilgrims at their table and the loving thanks on wearied faces.

We sing "Come Ye Thankful People Come," about the Harvest Home. I am full to overflowing. I will long remember the beauty and sweetness of this time.

To all of you who have made my life richer with your online friendships, new readers, and all others, I wish a Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Food and Then Some

"Food, Glorious Food:" that is the cry of the orphans in the play Oliver. These little cockney boys drool over all of the imagined goodies they can think of.

Sometimes when I give thanks for my food before eating it, I stop and truly think about its many wonders. We have so many varieties. In the store recently, I saw three or more types of just lettuce. I was an adult before I discovered the wonders of romaine. We have delis where I can get just a few slices of ham for my lunches. That way, I don't waste any food through spoilage.

You can watch those survival shows on television where the adventurer eats small snakes, moss and the like. I turn to my own dinner and have meat and potatoes and bread and butter.

Because there are so many people who are hungry at this time, I am thankful for my own food more than ever. I think about the farmers who grow the food. My grandparents grew wheat, oats and corn. There are the people, also many times the same farmers, who plow the grain and get it to granaries. There are the truckers and other transportation companies who get the food to us. There are store keepers who make wonderful displays. How did you feel when some needed ingredient was missing from the shelves? I bet you appreciated it when you got it the next time.

It may be a cliche, but I am so thankful for the wonderful food that is available to me. And the prices have been stable more than other goods. When we were married, it cost about $10 for a bag of groceries. That was in 1973. If I count bags that aren't full, I am close to that on a good day. (Not every time, for sure.)
I am thankful for the four food groups: macaroni and cheese, pizza, fries, and Caesar salad. We have so much bounty and so many choices. I wish for you and your family a happy and blessed Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 18, 2011


When I was a little girl in school, all of the patriotic songs touched my heart so much. I didn't know much about my country then, but the songs took over and helped me as I learned. I loved Battle Hymn Of The Republic, God Of Our Fathers, America the Beautiful, America and others.

Then my family and I took trips and I saw Independence Hall and The Statue Of Liberty. Later I was privileged to see Old North Church and the Freedom Trail in Boston.

As a teen, I sat on our new green wall to wall carpet and watched a political convention. It was so interesting. I got to hear all of the speakers. Even now, I love the gavel to gavel channels and not the talking heads that tell what people said.

More travels showed me the beauty Of America. I have seen the rocky shores of Maine, the southern moss covered trees, the red rock of Arizona, the glaciers of Alaska and the lushness of Hawaii. The farmlands of Indiana and Ohio, to me are wonderful to see and not boring at all. And then there are the many sparkling lakes that make my home, Michigan.

I'm so thankful for the Founding Fathers and our form of government. We have so many conveniences and aids to happy living. I'm thankful for all of the soldiers who strove and still do to keep our country free. And I am thankful for the kind people I meet every day, who help me with difficult things and are so happy when I can do something for them. What a wealth of riches this country is, flaws and all. And so I now say: "God bless America."

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thanks - For Family

This is the second in my series of things I'm thankful for. This one is so dear to me, my family. My husband is such a caring person. He takes me out to eat several times a week and lets me watch shows I like on a regular basis. He was truly a good find and I am grateful for him.

I am also thankful for my children. Here we are on a riverboat at Disney World. That's Joe, the oldest, peeking through the window. He is an adult in his 30s now and so witty and smart. Little Ben is in his early 30s and he is so sweet and smart. Dawn, the baby, is now in her late 20s. She is hilariously funny, crafty, and well just Dawn.

How I recall the days of their youth when we went to the zoo or on bigger trips like Disney World. It's hard to leave that behind.

I am blessed to have three more: the spouses of my children. There's Rebekah, Ben's wife, who does many things well and Sandra, Joe's wife, who is a lovely singer and Dave, Dawn's husband, who is also a great singer. Now I also have Tyrus, Ben and Rebekah's son, who is totally and cute and adorable.

I'm just thinking that this Thanksgiving, I don't want to take any good thing for granted. Family, I love you. You mean so much to me. To my extended family, I say the same. I give thanks for the good thing of family in my life.

The other picture is from one of our Arizona trips. It is just about my favorite pic of the kids when they were younger.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Giving Thanks

I want to start my thanks (as in Thanksgiving) early. First, I want to thank God from whom all blessings flow.

There was a time when I was in college when a girlfriend and I talked to a young man at our opponent's school. He took about one half hour discussing how he felt that there was no God. They seemed logical arguments and in that time, my friend and I were "lost at sea." We talked in the car on the way home and soon, both of us were on our way back.

Logic has nothing to do with God. He works with the heart and soul. During the "lost" time, I felt such a deep sorrow. It was if my best friend were gone. In fact, if this guy's logic were true, I had lost the only irreplaceable thing in my life. I felt like the kids in The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis who were under a similar spell and one said something like: even if there is no Narnia, I am going to love it and live like there were. And then when my sorrow was greatest, I recalled things God and I had done together, our lovely relationship, the fact that I needed Him as the air I breathe, and then He was there smiling and welcoming me back.

Since that time, I have had many more intimate times with The Lord, reading His Word and building the kinds of things one has in a relationship.

So let me say that I am thankful for God, His son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. And I am also thankful for my church, the churches I have previously attended. I learned so much from each. I am thankful for the early church, the leaders of the reformation, the heroes of the first and second Great Awakening, and for all of the church past and present. The whole of God's Kingdom is so glorious and I am truly blessed this Thanksgiving and always.

This lovely church window is inside a Lutheran church in Frankenmuth, Mi. More on that city later.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Searching For Nancy Drew

Some time ago, I did a post on a Nancy Drew experience. I had been reading the yellow books at our library and then discovered a whole set of new paperbacks that had recently been done, updating her for modern teens.

I had read a few of these yellow books as an adult. As a teen, I had fallen in love with Nancy Drew on my first encounter in seventh grade. It was The Secret Of The Wooden Lady. I was off. For Christmas I got The Clue Of The Tapping Heels. I also went to the store with birthday money and searched among all of the gorgeous books, all with full-color covers, to find the best, The Haunted Bridge. I don't know how I lost those books.

About a year ago, I found some old Nancy Drew books at another library. These were reproductions of the original books from the 30s, which had the lovely paper covers. I was totally in love. I read the few they had and tried to get more.

I searched the Internet and found that these could be purchased. They were from 1996. Yes, they could be purchased but they were quite pricey. There was also a set, the ones from the library, that were cut down from the original 25 chapters to 20. And they were updated in the 60s with all new covers and internal art. For instance Nancy's cute roadster became a convertible. And last of all, I recently discovered that there are old books "out there" that are the old ones, but the covers aren't paper but printed and the ones I found have been updated with yet a second, less well known artist. Are you confused yet?" That's how I feel trying to navigate the world of Nancy Drew. There are also other end papers and changes that seem to have no rhyme or reason.

Well, yesterday, my dear friend had seen some books in an antiques store and she took me there. I was able to get the original Haunted Bridge, although not the original cover. We went to several stores and I was able to get a few more of the old ones in pretty good condition.
One thing that helps me feel better that I don't have any of the original art is that I got a book called "The Lost Files Of Nancy Drew at Borders on sale for $5. It's a fun pop-up book and shows how Nancy evolved from the 30s to the 70s. And as a bonus, there are 7 or 8 of the older covers as postcards that I can enjoy.

Now, even the yellow books are disappearing from library shelves. I have 14 books now. I could get them on the Internet, but I am having fun in the hunt. I don't think they're going anywhere, though. From the time my friend told me about the books until we got there, about two weeks later, half of them were gone. No advertising, just a bunch of Nancy Drew fans like me out there grabbing them up. That girl has staying power.