Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Judge each day not by the harvest you reap,
but by the seeds you plant.

Robert Louis Stevenson

Sunday, December 27, 2009

A 1942 Christmas

The whole immediate family was together on Christmas Day. We did sorely miss some "extras" that we've come to consider kin around here, but the original siblings and some of those add-ons were here to make it even more memorable. Nothing beats sharing your joy! I do believe there were 18 stockings hanging in my family room on Christmas morning (19 if you count Gigi -- the pretty yellow bird that resides in my kitchen. Yes, she had her own stocking. Everyone in my house gets a visit from Santa. That's just how it is! If you're here, Santa fills a stocking just for you!)

I want to go on record here -- there is nothing like being together. We laugh, love, and care in a loud, boisterous fashion! We help and serve one another. We address sin and repent and forgive. I also want to go on record to say that Jesus -- only Jesus -- makes all this possible.

I wish it could go on forever.

Some day it will!

Monday, December 21, 2009

An Evening of Christmas Fun

They line the family room floor: five kids including little man himself with several of his nephews and a niece. A couple of pillows press up against the already displayed presents under the Christmas tree. As they slumber the lights cast a colored glow on their smooth child-skin cheeks.

Popcorn, tangerines, and frosted cutouts. Charlie Brown and Emmet Otter. Sleeping bags, pillows, and blankets galore. Stories of Billy Budd and Christmases gone by. Giggles, jokes, and a few reprimands. Eventually sleep overtook. Papa took the end position and Nana slept between the two 3 year olds.

What could Holiday Inn possibly have to beat this?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Movie Night

Remember the Titans

It's a good movie. I always enjoy certain actors. Meryl Streep, Sally Fields, Dennis Quaid. And, of course, Denzel Washington.

So here I sit while my little buddy enjoys the movie, and Mom does too, looking up every now and then. Denzel is pretty dependable. Gotta appreciate talent. At least that's how I figure it.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Online, Offline, Here, There -- I Love Shopping!

I love filling a cart, whether in cyber space or at TJMaxx.

"Let's see, she would LOVE this. That seems like the perfect gift for him. Oh, and who can resist this Disney Princess for her -- I want to buy everything with Disney Princesses that I see!"

At Christmas you actually get to buy lots of stuff for lots of people. I love that! I would buy something for every one of you if I could! (I do have limitations, unfortunately. Or maybe, in hubby's eyes, that's fortunate!)

So, if you see me strolling the aisles of my local Wal*Mart, TJMaxx, or even Kinney's, you can be sure I'm thinking of someone on my list. That list grows longer each year. (Who was it who told me this would get simpler? Silly goose...)

Unfortunately I am going about it in a rather haphazard manner this year. No nice list with a column under each name. No page with $$ tallied. And that record of purchased items is non-existent. Uh-oh. I'm in trouble. I lie in bed at night and in the wee morning hours wondering, "Exactly what is in my closet tucked away in all of those bags? Did I buy something for him yet? For her? How many stocking stuffers does she have compared to her? What about extras? Hmmm..." I am tempted to panic, but determine to shrug it off. I'll just buy plenty and worry about the extra stuff later. I am the queen of returns, you know.

So when you see me strolling those aisles, if you notice a very full cart, now you will know why! I just wonder how many duplicates are actually on my shelves...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Thoughts from Thomas Jefferson and the Holy Bible

"If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretence of taking care of them, they must become happy." TJ

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." TJ

"For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat." 2 Thess. 3:10 NKJ

Does it get any simpler than that?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Edwards Opera House

I stepped into a time warp. One foot was barely inside the door and I knew already that this would be an experience to savor. The building was refurbished, but unchanged -- it was as 19th century as any structure still standing could possibly be. Why, I was simply mesmerized. Anne of Green Gables could have stepped onto the stage and recited a poem, and I would not have been surprised. This was exactly what she saw, smelled, and heard in that small theater where her students performed. The floor boards creaked. The wooden walls and ceiling glowed in the dim light. And the ornate carvings of the proscenium boasted of some craftsman's handiwork. It seemed almost heavenly to me. I wanted to stay, to not return to the reality of life, to imagine and find a perfect world.

Old-fashioned. Days gone by. Great-grandmother's era.

What do those words conjure up in your mind? What emotions, sights, thoughts? I'll bet something warm and fuzzy is amongst them. Something safe, wholesome, quaint, nurturing. Simpler. Quieter. Kinder. Ah -- I closed my eyes and felt it all.

A chamber orchestra accompanied a small choir in the performance of Handel's Messiah. Anne would have loved it. I'm almost certain that... well, I could almost swear that some of those singers looked just like her Kingsport girls. And those gray-haired ladies in their fine woolen coats were surely their mothers. I'll bet some of them were Pringles. They must have been.

But now the last note had been sounded. The audience generously applauded, graciously lingering and taking in the moment. Still, all too soon, they filed out one by one. I looked around and sighed. Sad to say, it was time to leave my imaginings behind.

Certain aspects of turn-of-the-century living (I mean the last century "turnover", not this one) were kinder and gentler. It certainly was many of those things that I loved imagining. But it was not entirely gentle, not thoroughly kind and good. Imaginations are free to choose, to paint with certain colors, to adjust circumstance and truth. The harsh reality is that sin was present then, sin is present now, and sin will exist until Jesus returns. Their world was tainted, too. Very. Their need for Jesus was as great as ours. The culture may have been more gracious, more upright. What a wonderful thing. But their individual need was great. Very.

There is nothing new under the sun. Every generation and every culture is fundamentally the same: flawed by sin. If that doesn't encourage you to pray, "Even so, come Lord Jesus, come," nothing will.

It's time, don't you think?