Sunday, January 5, 2014

One Year Ago

One year ago today my dear mother suddenly and unexpectedly died in her home.  She was 86.  We think she died instantly without pain.  (The coroner believes it was a brain aneurysm)  We think it was Saturday morning because she was in her nightgown, but no lights were on.  (No one found her until Sunday)  We think she was ready to say her prayers, or had just finished. (Her bed pillow was on the floor by her bed, and she always used it to kneel on)  These are the things that we think.  

Here is what i know.  

I know that she did not die alone.  In Hebrews 13:5  the Lord promises that He will never leave us or forsake us and because God is faithful, I can always trust him to keep his promises.

I know that she is in heaven with the Lord, where she is singing (loudly) laughing (fully) and praising (continually).   In Psalms 16:11 it says that in the Lord's presence is fullness of joy. In His right hand are pleasures forever. 

I know that she can see clearly now...that her eyesight is beyond perfect.  (What a glorious thing to be able to see Jesus face to face!)

I know that I miss her.  

Most of all, I know that I will see her again one day.  

For I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I've committed unto him against that day.  (2 Timothy 1:12)

Mom (in the center) with her sisters on her 85th birthday.  

Friday, April 13, 2012

Flavors of Florida

I am on a sugar fast. And frankly, it hasn't been that hard. But it was interesting to me the other day when Gary put on a new green shirt. I looked at him and said, "Oooh, mint chip ice cream! Your shirt is the color of mint chip ice cream."

Today we went on a bike ride. (We are in Florida)  We love riding through residential areas, observing homes.  As we passed some unusually colorful ones, I began to name them after ice cream flavors.  Evidently I am missing desserts more than I realize. Anyway, here is a dessert menu that I promise has no calories.  I hope you enjoy the...



Key Lime Pie

Lemon Meringue with Blueberry Drizzle

Pralines and Cream

Grape Ice
Orange Sherbet

Raspberry Diaqari 

Hot Fudge Brownie Delight

Cafe Latte (with whipped cream) 

Mandarin Orange Marshmallow Fluff

Butterscotch Fudge
Mint Chip 
Rainbow Bubblegum
Banana Creme
Coconut Creme
Chocolate Fudge Ripple
Orange Dream Sickle
Peaches and Cream

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Unfit Parents

They told us we were unfit parents. That hurt. But maybe they were right. I will let you decide. Here are our stories.

I can still remember the day we brought Hannah home. Megan claimed ownership, but all three girls were so excited to have her.

When we moved to the country, we thought Hannah would relish the space. Unfortunately, two months after we moved, she was hit by a truck and killed. We think she was chasing a rabbit.

Megan was crushed. She grieved deeply for her dog. We decided to bury her out beside the pines. However, Gary didn't dig the grave deeply enough and well, I still remember one of the girls running into the house, screaming, "the ground is moving, the ground is moving." Apparently, maggots were doing what maggots do, only usually they do it 6 feet deeper.
Then came Reba. I only have two memories of Reba and one was in a previous post. The other was when we had Brace and Brenda and their kids overnight. Leslie and Brett opted to sleep outside in our tent and stocked it with their sleeping bags, snacks, their student Bibles (aww, such good kids), and other paraphernalia.
The next morning they came in for breakfast and when they went back out, they found that Reba had literally chewed up everything in the tent. All ten of us ran out to see the damage. There was polyfil stuffing all over the place from chewed up pillows and sleeping bags. Empty snack bags were in shreds. Even their student Bibles were chewed up. (Gives "feeding on the Word" new meaning!)
Gary immediately rounded up Reba and locked her in her kennel just outside the garage. One by one, we followed each other back into the house, and as each of us passed the kennel, you could hear, "Bad dog, Reba!" or "Dumb dog", or "BAAAAD!" Ten scoldings from ten people was probably more than that dog could take. I think she ran away soon after.
Cocoa was a chocolate lab. She was the prettiest dog we had, and the dumbest. Except for Reba, who was dumber. I don't really remember much about Cocoa. She ran away, too.
Bailey was my personal favorite. She was the only that did her "business" back in the trees so there was never the chance of mowing over it, or stepping in it. Bailey was the most content of all of our dogs. That is, until the neighbor's new dog led her astray. Bailey had never wandered until "new dog" showed her that there was more to her world than our yard. That was the beginning of the end. She would be gone more and more until one day she never came back.
Well, those are our stories. I think we do better with grandchildren than we do with dogs. At least we haven't lost any of them!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

You...My Brown Eyed Girl

I was with two of my daughters as we listened to a broadcast of Dr. Dobson when he gave his "farewell address" to the Focus on the Family staff. He spoke with such tenderness of his life with Shirley. After 50 years of marriage, he could tell what she was thinking just by looking at her. For example, he knew whether or not she liked a gift just by the look in her eyes. It was a sweet admission of a close relationship.

It reminded me of last week, when Gary and I were driving home from a short vacation. He was humming the song, "You, my-ay, brown eyed girl...". He looked over at me and trying to look through my sunglasses, he said, "I forget... what color are your eyes?"

Dr. Dobson, he ain't, but I wouldn't trade him for the world:)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Kids, These Days!

My friend, Jill, was helping in the first grade room at Vacation Bible School. The pastor was telling the children about John the Baptist and how he came to show the way to Jesus. Trying to illustrate his point, the pastor showed them a compass and explained that the purpose of the compass was to always point us to north. In the same way, John the Baptist's purpose was to point the way to Jesus.

Jill felt a tug on her arm. She looked down into the questioning eyes of a little first grader who said,

"Does he mean a GPS?"

Monday, July 12, 2010

For PETA Sake!

We just had to stop for lunch at the Pumpernickel Inn. Gary's meeting was over and we were driving home past beautiful Lake Michigan. He had curried squash soup and I had citrus carrot...the server's favorites. We shared hot chicken salad with tomato and provolone, atop a lightly toasted french baguette. Mmmmmm!

We decided to drive along a scenic route where we had often biked in years past. As we crossed a street, a vivid memory came back to me:

We were biking with Brace and Brenda as we came up to this lake road intersection. We could tell that something was going on due to the number of cars that were lined up waiting to cross. Being on bikes, we of course cruised right on through. But curiosity got the best of us and we circled around to see what caused the backup.

There in the middle of the intersection stood a tall, slender, nicely dressed woman with her husband (I assume). It appeared she was just standing in the street. At first I thought she might be handicapped, but when we looked closer, we could tell that she was protecting something on the road. How nice, we thought...was it a kitty, or a baby bird?

NO! It was a Wooly Worm! A tiny little furry caterpillar was inching (or millemetering ) its way across the street. And this woman obviously felt it her duty to stop traffic in order for her little friend to cross safely to the other side.

Did she apologize to drivers as they slowly veered around the couple? Not at all. Instead her smug expression seemed to say, "Look at me and the extent I will go to, to protect another living being."

Hmmm. I wonder what she thinks about abortion.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Horse Sense

I hadn't been on a horse in years. But here I was, on a mountain trail in Colorado, following the lead of my cowboy brother-in-law, and feeling quite pleased with myself. My horse was very nice to me; she even made me believe I was doing the leading.

The sky was so big and so blue that it took your breath away. The mountain air was fresh and clean. The trail was winding and sometimes steep and rocky, which made me cling a little tighter and trust a little deeper. Every turn we took was sermon material, for sure.

Up, up, up we climbed until we finally reached our destination. The scene before me was spectacular. We were at the edge of a grassy meadow that stretched for miles and miles, with mountain ridges surrounding us. Earl and Gary took advantage of the wide open space to gallop their horses. I chose to sit and watch. It truly was an awesome, panoramic picture of God's majesty.

As Earl trotted back to the group, he rode a little behind me and said, "Just look at that view!" I turned my neck to look, and said, "I can't see it, my neck is too stiff to turn that far."

"Marla..." Earl said, not quite believing I could be that dim witted, "Just turn your horse around!" must have been the altitude.