Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Jiggidy Jog

"Home again, Home again Jiggidy Jog." These are words from an old nursery rhyme but that's all I remember about it. They sum up how I feel about being home again. The trip was good but "there's no place like home." (Another applicable quote.)

I promised to include a picture of the Outer Banks and I have two. I'm not sure if I can manage to get both of them in but I'll try. I got one to load. This is the Crocodile River. We saw one man fishing in it but saw no crocs. What we noticed was the perfect image of the shore in the water.

Most of the beach houses in Kitty Hawk are three story. All look like they are built of wood with wood shingle roofs. I don't remember ever hearing of the eye of a hurricane hitting these banks. I'm sure they can get flooding and wind. Another fact about them--they are large. Many were for sale. It would be interesting to know what they sell for.
I learned a lot about the Wright brothers flights, too. I have always thought they flew once, but that wasn't true. They had many flights in 1903. The first ones were in gliders. Then they added a motor and managed four in one day. The last flight was an impressive 852 feet in 59 seconds. Sure glad they made it work. Otherwise we would still be driving back from North Carolina. Reid managed to climb in beside Orville but I stayed on the ground. If I'd been able to climb up there (which was iffy), I might still be there. As you can see it's a little high off the ground.

Now you know all I know.
Best get off to the laundry room and wash some of that NC red dirt off our clothes.
By the way----I'm so HAPPY to be home!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Note

Rather than continue to watch the Cowboys implode, I'll add a note here.

The Outer Banks--a series of barrier islands on the Atlantic Seaboard from Norfolk, Virginia to South Carolina.

We were in Kitty Hawk Friday and Saturday--a typical beach town. I will add pictures when we get back home.

Two more nights then we can go back home and sleep in our own bed. Yea!

Other than that, we've had good food, good company and been on the go all the time.

Clouds and grey skies here. Brown trees. Dreary. I'm ready for the blue skies and beautiful NM landscape.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Outer Banks Adventure

A few years ago I read a book--"Beach Music"--can't think of the author. The story took place in Paris and North Carolina and was about a huge southern family. It took me months to read it because I'd read awhile on it then move to another, less intense book. I always went back because the story and the author's characters, his use of descriptions and words drew me in.
The reader became intimately familiar with every character through pages of back story--a no-no in writer's workshops and seminars. But it worked for this author.

In "Beach Music" I read about the Outer Banks. Still don't know what they are but that's where we're heading today. When I get back, I'll let you know what it's all about. Have you been there?

Off to another new adventure!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Musings

Granddaughter is supposed to be taking a nap. Grampy and Dad are in the garage assembling an electric car. Mom is in the kitchen preparing something for Christmas dinner. Granny is upstairs adding to her blog.

We got in to Greensboro, NC early this morning--about midnight fifteen to be exact. It's grey but no snow or rain here. A quiet neighborhood. When the beagles aren't barking or Granddaughter isn't laughing and squealing, even the house is quiet.

A beautifully decorated house (that someone younger did), Santa back in the mix of Christmas and family. What a great way to spend the holiday.

I remember Christmases past that were filled with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. We lived close enough to have most of the family around. Today Granddaughter's cousins live across the country in New Mexico, up north in Washington and on the west coast in California. Chances are slim that she'll be able to spend many Christmases with them. She will never know what she's missing.

All my aunts and uncles, and of course, my parents and grandparents, are gone, but my girls remember those years when we drove to Memphis, Texas, every Christmas Day and spent a week with their grandparents in Lubbock.

Never to be repeated, but never to be forgotten.

Christmas is all about family. Jesus's birth, His Life, His Death and His Resurrection put us in God's family. Although we can't spend time with our blood relatives here, the day will come when we'll be with them and with the Daddy of us all forever.

Merry Christ-mas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Good News

A lot has been happening at our church lately.

Since last March we've been looking for a new pulpit minister. After careful consideration by many people, including the entire congregation, a new man has been called. I voted for this man.
I prayed, as did many others, and although the man doesn't have the most powerful vocal delivery, what I saw and heard from him was humility, unconditional love and a deep spirituality. My prayer is that our congregation can ingest those qualities and grow into the image of Christ.

At church Sunday morning all the children brought blankets to the front of the sanctuary. The blankets will be given to needy families. They stayed and sang with the congregation. And sang they did. Being in a church with no musical instruments I've noticed young people singing more than when I attended churches with pianos, bands and organs. These same kids were in a Christmas program before church the week before. With the help of the praise team humming in the background, they sounded like pros.

We had a Christmas program last night. A choir, a family sharing from the scriptures and several young and old people signing a beautiful four part carol. What looked like months of practice by the man, his wife and their young daughter, Brooke, turned out, they said, to be quickly put together and unrehearsed. The mom would speak and ask the daughter questions--the same with the father. Every answer the child gave was perfect. Although they didn't rehearse these scenes, it was evident they have taught their daughter well. At her young age she knows the reason for Christmas.

After church we went to our son's house for our Christmas with them. Their four year old knows the answer to "What is the good news?" Pierce's answer: "Jesus is the son of God!"

Pierce and Brooke have it right. They have been taught the real reason we celebrate this holiday. Thank you parents for bringing up your kids in the Truth. I pray that our new minister will help us older ones grow in that Truth, too.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Christmas Sweater

"The Christmas Sweater" by Glenn Beck.

We attended an encore presentation last night of a simulcast from the night before. A small orchestra and fantastic singer backed up Glenn's monologue as he told the moving story of a gift he received from him mother when he was twelve.

I'm reading the book now. The book goes into more detail, of course, but the performance was excellent. Glenn is a natural actor, and because he lived the story, his depiction of the events brought the audience into his world.

For me, the moral of this story is to enjoy every day--to love every person in my life with abandon, and to be grateful. At twelve we think we have forever ahead of us, but the truth is we don't, and the people around us don't either.

I've said it before--life is too short to waste it being angry and hating someone--even ourselves. As Glenn was told, no one is in charge of your happiness except you. Many times we have to learn this the hard way when it seems easier to lay blame on others or look to someone else to fulfill our lives.

If you're looking for an extra gift for someone or yourself, this book is an excellent choice.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Random Thoughts

After a long, hot summer, winter is welcome. Low clouds, snow, cold days when staying indoors is preferable to bundling up in heavy coats and hats to brave the wind. But, as I said, winter is still a welcome change.

I love the seasons--all of them: spring, summer, fall and winter. Each is distinctive. Each has positive and negative elements. Like all situations, good or bad, the seasons change.

All situations change. We may be ecstatically happy or deeply despairing--neither remains that way forever. Like the change of seasons, knowing change will come gives us hope.

It's good to remember that no one is in charge of our happiness except us.

Life isn't fair but it's still good, and life is too short to hate anyone.

Just some random thoughts for a grey winter day.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Looking Back

I love the early morning after a good night's sleep. Some of my best memories are of the years we lived in Amarillo before air conditioning.

My bed was beside a window, which was always open at night during the summer. With the open window on the adjacent wall, I had a wonderful cross breeze. If you know Amarillo in the 40s and 50s, the wind always blew and the evenings cooled down. I'd awaken in the morning to the aroma of honeysuckle coming through those windows; the rustle of elm leaves in the trees and the robin's song.

Now I awaken to practically no sounds, but mornings are still sweet.

Tomorrow I have two tests. Today is clear liquids only. Yesterday was 8 glasses of water. I know the ulcer isn't gone and won't be until I can deal with life better. Or until some things in life change.

We can't go back, but I must say I long for those days when life was simple. No concerns that some criminal would come in through my open window. My parents had everything under control. The morning breeze cooled my room; the birds sang their songs and I had years and years ahead of me. Thoughts like this let me know I'm getting closer to the end of my life. Don't old people look back? Is it only the young who give no thought to yesterday but reach toward the tomorrows? If we only knew what tomorrow would bring. . .

Mornings do this to me.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


I'm not sure what this Tagging is all about, but someone tagged me and it looks like that means I have to share seven random things about myself. When I'm finished, I will tag some people so look at the end and see if you're one of those.

1. When I was about 12 years old, my friends and I decided to climb to the roof of our one story (high-ceilinged) school house and jump off. I was the first to try it. I hung on to the edge of the roof and dropped. Fortunately the ground was wet but it hurt, and no one else would follow.

2. I was Spanish queen in the ninth grade. (Chosen by the students from two Spanish classes.)

3. A favorite playground for a friend and myself was a cemetery about a mile from our neighborhood. We'd make a lunch, walk the mile across a field and spend the day. We didn't play around the graves. This cemetery has a mill and a bridge to a small island that is surrounded by water. We pass it on I-40 when we go through Amarillo. Back then it was near Highway 66.

4. In first grade I would fill pages of my tablet with what looked like longhand and tell my classmates that I knew how to write. Since they couldn't read longhand, they believed me.

5. I always believed in God and knew He was watching me, but I thought He was watching to catch me doing something bad. I had to pray before I went to sleep just to clear the record every day. I don't know when I finally realized Jesus had already cleared that record for me.

6. Since everyone popular in ninth grade was in a choir, I tried out. I had to audition singing "America." Awful! But everyone got into choir even if they couldn't sing, which I couldn't. I was in 2nd period--the worst singers. We were only allowed to sing in a program once. I was an alto and still can't read music. I can't imagine what they poor teacher went through every day at 2nd period.

7. I've para sailed and don't have to do that again. For about a year five years ago I wanted to hang-glide off the Sandias. Thank God, I got over that!

These are the people I'm tagging and hope you'll join in:

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Two Good Movies

We've been to the cinema the last two days.

Yesterday we saw "Australia," which is billed as the new "Gone With the Wind." GWTW it isn't but it is a good film. Although it's long, I don't know what they could cut out. Everything was needed. Kidman was excellent, as was Jackman, but the person who stole the show was the little mixed-race boy. And I don't even know his name. He's one of those kids you want to take home with you.

Today we went downtown and saw "The Boy in the Stripped Pyjamas." I just finished reading the book and found it well written and so moving. If I hadn't read it, I think I would have enjoyed the movie more. The problem I had was the way I had seen the story in my mind, and the film didn't fit it exactly. Still, it's a story that needs to be told, and I recommend it.

Lots of good films coming this December. Now to find the time to go see some of them.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Starting Today

I like to plan ahead, to know what's going to happen so I can order my schedule and be prepared. I don't think that will ever completely change, but something happened today that is telling me to live a slightly different way.

Many years ago I attended a Bible study in Oklahoma. At the end of the year the teacher suggested we ask God to give us a word for the new year--something especially from Him to us. I did and was surprised when I got something. At the end of that year I looked back and could see what that word meant.

I had another new year's activity that lasted about seven years. A friend and I got together around the beginning of every year and wrote out our goals for the year. Then we went to a movie. After the first year of doing this, we would read last year's goals and determine if we'd met them or not. One year, before going to the movie, we released several balloons with positive sayings attached to them. We hoped these sayings would reach someone in need as well as their being positive thoughts for our own futures. She lives in Georgia now and we talk on the phone but we've given up the goal setting.

I've still done the Word from God for about 20 years now and have always been surprised by what those words have meant to my life. Lately I've begun asking again. Nothing seemed to come until today. What I heard really put me at rest, which is what I need the most right now.

"You may be tired of making goals. Take a break from that whole process. Be like the earth--it keeps turning around, and there's no destination point. the moment is all that matters."

That's what I've been missing--living in the moment. I'm starting today.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Wouldn't You Know?

Well, wouldn't you know? As soon as I wrote about making hard choices, I have a hard decision to make. The funny thing about this is that even though I remember the young Muslin girl who chose to follow Jesus, I don't know how to do what I need to do.

Confused? Well, so am I.

I know one thing for sure. If it is God who talked to me about remembering this girl when I have a hard choice to make, then He will show me how to make it. I have a little wooden plaque that reads: The will of God will never lead you where the grace of God cannot keep you.

That says it all.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Hard Choices

We had a wonderful experience last night.

One of our grandchildren, Mason, was baptized. His dad did the honors. Although that was wonderful, even more exciting was the baptism of a young woman from Afghanistan. She had come to this country with her family when she was very young. Her family is Muslim. Her grandmother prays five times a day. And this young lady, after four hard years (she didn't say what had happened during those years), decided to give her life to Christ. The preacher asked her if she was sure. Her answer, "It's time."

She can't go to Afghanistan again or she will be killed. She is probably cut off from her family.

How easy for us to make our spiritual decisions. How hard for some.

Do we have any hard choices to make?

The next time I think I have a hard one, I'll remember this young lady and her courage.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thanks for the Memories.....

It's been awhile since I've had time to do anything on the computer. The past few days went by so fast--much too fast when you're surrounded by people you love.

Both my daughters and their families came the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. The star of the show was fourteen month old Amiyah, of course. Reid's son, Joe, and his family were in town, too, so we got to see them and their two year old, Jaiden. Love those little girls!

We had dinner for 16 at our house Thursday. Ate and watched football--a typical Thanksgiving for my family. I don't think Reid's family is as sports conscious as mine always was. But I've converted him, and he likes to watch as much as the rest of us.

Everyone was gone by nine-thirty yesterday morning. We dragged around all day cleaning the house, doing laundry and putting the house back the way it was. Quiet. Empty except for the two of us. We sent as much of the food as possible home with everyone, so there's not much of that left either.

I remember the years we spent driving from Amarillo (Lubbock, Plainview and El Paso) to my grandparent's home in Memphis, Texas, on Christmas Eve. Family in every nook and cranny of their house. I never thought about how empty the house must have seemed after we all left after Christmas. Maybe Mamaw was glad to get her house back in order, but maybe it seemed too quiet.

Good memories. Bittersweet--just like these past few days. We'll look at the pictures and remember the precious granddaughter and great granddaughter, and wish we could be with them every day to see them grow and change.

Better go before I start bawling.