Friday, May 31, 2013

The Big Yellow Mailbox and The Little Yellow Truck

Today started out so well--meeting our friends for a mini-brunch at the local fifties diner, enjoying good conversation and inviting them on our porch afterward.  Then Howard wanted to travel to a small adjoining town where a fellow chicken enthusiast told him of a good place to buy feed.

It was a pleasant diversion, driving into the rolling countryside, seeing cows grazing on grassland as far as the eye could see.  Then the quaint little town of Marland, named after our city's famed forebear and oil magnate, E.W. Marland, with its ancient concrete grain silos looking like castle turrets or fortresses with their notched tops.

"We might as well go feed the chickens now," my husband said after his purchase at a local co-op.  I agreed.  It was almost lunch time, but that could wait until we got home, I thought.  Since the abundant rains recently, tall grass, weeds and thickets of thistles had sprung up on the pasture slope that was so picturesque not long ago, making it difficult to walk down to the chicken houses. 

"Are you going to drive down?" I asked Howard, which he usually did, virtually turning our small car into a farm vehicle.  He answered that he didn't think it would be too wet, since the sun had shone all yesterday afternoon after that morning's rain and hail.  We hauled the feed from the trunk and fed the first two pens, then headed to the corral to check on the broody hen and her offspring we had put in a cage inside a shed, before feeding a cage of bantum chickens.

Uh-oh, the ground was wet and soggy.  Howard immediately began to back away, but our car slid sideways toward the ravine, and suddenly we were stuck!  No amount of gunning the engine helped.  Oh, no!  Lord, help us! I prayed.  It was hot and muggy and we were tired and hungry.  I found some planks and we wedged them under the tires.  The wheels still spun and slipped.  "Try these rocks," I said hopefully, as I gathered a couple and handed them to my husband.   

It was no use.  "Aren't we members of a roadside service?" I asked my rumpled and perspiring spouse.  "Yes," he said, "but I'm afraid they would get stuck, too."  I persuaded him to at least try, and he was so tired he agreed. 

"Tell them to look for the yellow mailbox," he instucted the representative after giving her directions to relay to the tow-truck driver.  "Forty minutes," he said to me, "I'm going out by the road to wait."  I asked him to wait awhile, but as soon as he got out there, I saw him wave to a bright yellow tow truck that was about to pass us up. 

I watched anxiously from a distance as, like angels of mercy, they placed a giant hook on our trailer hitch and had the car free in an instant!  Praise the Lord!  The truck backed up the hill with ease and Howard followed in our car.  We were able to laugh with relief over our lunch (it was close to three by this time) at a drive-in restaurant.  Home and a nap never looked so good! 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Come Rain or Come Shine

I had been so looking forward to finding out the results of a blood test which would let us know if our future grandchild our daughter-in-law is expecting would be a girl or a boy.  A few weeks ago I called Jamie, our son, and asked them if they knew yet.

"No, we told the doctor we didn't want to know...," he began, to which I interrupted and exclaimed, "What! Well tell him I want to know!"  "Let me finish," my son went on, "We were planning on having a gender-reveal party, so we told him to send us the results in a sealed envelope, then we would find out with everyone else at the party!"

I was relieved until he explained further, "We called to find out if they had sent the envelope, and it turns out the technician understood we didn't want to know, so they didn't do that part of the test!"  So now nobody knows, I thought!  I was hoping to find out it would be a boy, since they already have two darling daughters.  Besides, I wanted him to find out how it was to raise a boy, hopefully one just like him!

Then yesterday, I got a text on my phone from Jamie with the cryptic message, "It's a boy!"   Tammy must have had an ultra-sound!  I squealed with delight and lost no time in calling him. My spirits have been bouyed (no pun intended) ever since!

Not only that, I finally got to see pictures of the new house they are buying!  He had tried to send them once before of the outside of the house, but I wasn't able to retrieve them on my computer.  The link he sent yesterday was of a realtor's slide show, so I was able to see it all--the lovely interior, the backyard, the porches and the rest.  I can't wait to go for a visit! 

Despite the weather, it has been a blessed week!  I finally found a dress I like for our grandson's wedding next month, my daughter's birthday present I sent arrived on the day of her birthday, my hairdresser finally "got it," and our prayers were answered for our son Greg's family's safe trip to Louisiana and back.

The week-end promises to be fair weather, so maybe I can make inroads on getting my house company-ready for our daughter Amy and girls when they fly down for the wedding in just a few weeks.  What a lot to look forward to!  There is nothing to compare to the happy celebrations and reunion of families, and ours is about to increase by two--the new granddaughter-in-law, and the new grandbaby! (Make that three...we will also get a grandson-in-law in two weeks at our granddaughter Michaela's far-away wedding!)

Monday, May 27, 2013

The High Note

What an awesome service at church yesterday!  The song service was almost celestial as we were lifted on the wings of praise.  I sensed a rarified atomosphere of light and glory that brought tears to my eyes.

It was Memorial Day, and the pastor's message was not only geared to our country's sacrifice, but also to the memory of his dear wife, our friend, who passed to heaven's glory but three months ago.  His theme was "We have a right to remember," referencing many scriptures in the Bible where we are told to remember..."Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God," Psalm 20:7..."Thy name, O Lord, endureth forever; and thy memorial, O Lord, throughout all generations," Psalm 135:13, and others.

Last night was our Sunday Night Sing, when everyone who has a song is invited to participate.  Our pastor dedicated two songs to his late wife, one being a peppy, invigorating number entitled, "I Am Healed."   "Clara asked me to sing this to her when she was having her health stuggles," he shared.  "Now she has had the ultimate heaven!"  Then he sang the plaintive old hymn, "Farther Along,"  which tells us, "We'll understand it better bye and bye."

Howard and I sang "Sweet, Sweet, Anointing," and I was amazed at the effect it had on people.  It must have been meant that we would sing it, for when Howard selected it that afternoon, I at first thought it wouldn't do, but suddenly it seemed right and we barely practiced.

An eighty-something lady, a member of a "Sweet Adelines"-type group, who had recently been released from the hospital, blessed us with "Holy Ground," sung in her clear--even youthful--voice, perfectly modulated and rich with feeling.  Later, the other aged members of the trio joined her in voices that poured over the congregation like liquid honey, the golden notes amazing in their quality and sweetness.

After the service, the director made comments of appreciation that we were able to have this venue to let everyone sing a song from their heart.  She told of an older man that had come once and sang, saying later that although he had gone to church all his life, no one had ever asked him to sing. Then someone mentioned a relative newcomer to our church, also an older gentleman, who had remarked as he and his wife prepared to sing recently, "I've never sung with my wife before."  They were remarkable!

I reflected that Howard and I had only recently resumed singing together, not having sung in church since we were teenagers!   The theme of the service came back to me, and I realized that God remembers, too!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Young Life

Our baby banty chickens are hatching!  The one day I don't go with my husband to tend the chickens, he comes back with the news that there are four miniature black balls of fluff chirping beside the faithful mama banty hen!  Frankly, I had thought they weren't going to hatch, when 21 days had come and gone with no pipping of the tough little shells.  I urged the little black hen off the nest every day for a week with no news.  Just goes to show you the truth of the old saying, a watched pot never boils!

Howard has been wanting an incubator, but I prefer nature's way with a built-in caretaker of the "biddies," as my oldest grandson has always called them.  I wish he could see the chicks, but he and the rest of my daughter's family live in Tennessee. The distance kept us from attending our granddaughter's graduation there today, as well as the high school graduation of our youngest daughter's son in Georgia, also today.

We can't be everywhere at once, but at least we can see pictures of our grandchildren almost in real time on Facebook.  We have small grandchildren, too, and it is the highlight of my day when I get a message or post with something funny or brilliant they have said or done.  Maddie, our four-year-old granddaughter, keeps me in stitches.  The other day she said of avocados, "Daddy, these black things have guacamole inside them!"

I saw something from Facebook that a witty little girl somewhere put on her school paper.  It was a math test, and the third-grader solved the problem by writing 9x9=Hossa.  Her teacher was mystified, until it was pointed out to her that that was the name of the child's favorite hockey player in the Chicago Blackhawks, NHL, whose number was 81!

That sounds like something my granddaughter would do if she were older!  The other day she saw a monster insignia above a popular energy drink and asked, "If  you drink that, will it turn you into a monster?"  Our son reports that they saw a snake recently, and Maddie was full of questions about it.  I wonder what she would say if saw one of our baby chicks hatch?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Everyone is still reeling at the devastation and loss of life from the Moore tornado yesterday.  Especially painful is the loss of so many children.  I feel the same way I did when I heard about the Newtown tragedy in December.  Thankfully, the kids are happy in  God's presence now, but they will still be mourned and missed.

I can't think of a tornado happening when I was a child.  I have vague memories, though, of my teen-age sisters making us smaller children get under the bed when it was stormy.  They were in charge of us while our mother was working at a "Rosie-the-Riveter" type job at an aircraft factory in Tulsa during WWII. 

My only real memory of a tornado happened the summer I turned 16.  I recall how the wind blew like a gale that day and the day before.  I had persuaded my mother to let me go home with my sister and brother-in-law who had been visiting from their home about 50  miles away.  During the night, it stormed there, and we all went to a neighbor's cellar.

The next day we learned that an F-5 tornado had hit Blackwell, Oklahoma, with much damage and 20 fatalities.  My family lived about a dozen miles away out in the country and had no damage, but the home of my boyfriend (and future husband), who lived in Blackwell in the affected area, was twisted on the foundation and they lost their detached garage. 

A dozen or so years later, I was relieved that my husband and children and I were moving away from tornado alley to New Orleans, where there were no tornadoes (I thought).  Our first year there, we were introduced to Hurricane Camille. I was clueless about the severity of such a storm, and when people around the country called to see if we were okay, I reported that our trash cans were blown over.  A few days later, we toured the damage in Gulfport, Mississippi, and I realized what a hurricane can do.

As our family grew, we found a house in the Mississippi countryside where, over the next 20 years, we experienced many hurricanes (accompanied by tornadoes) of varying intensity.  We found them exciting with the holiday atmosphere of schools being closed and Howard home from work. It was a ritual to drive around town to see what was closed and feel the spray of horizontal rain on our faces.

It wasn't until 2005 that we were seriously affected by a hurricane, that being Hurricane Katrina, which struck the gulf coast where we lived by that time.  Our church which my husband pastored became a distribution center for goods and food that had been donated by people all across America.  Again, despite the devastation, it was an exciting time as we ministered to hurricane victims in their FEMA trailers and brought them supplies.

Disasters often bring out the best in people, making them realize their need for God and the desire to help their fellow man.  Many, many references to prayer are being made in the television coverage of the Moore tornado.  Maybe that's the silver lining in all of this, that, and a poignant sign spotted in a pile of tornado debris that reads, "The most important things in life aren't things."  Amen!    

Monday, May 20, 2013

Rural Treasures

"The address for the estate sale isn't showing up on the GPS," I told my husband, "maybe it's a new street. The directions said it was north of Ponca City, so maybe we can find it by looking for signs," I said hopefully.

We drove north of town, but we didn't see any of the familiar signs that always mark the location of our favorite estate sales. We were about to give up, until we tried a side road and spotted a sign.  This was in the country!  After another intersection and down a gravel road, we met a car and saw another one coming from a driveway.  "That's it!" I exclaimed.  

How picturesque, I thought, as an old-fashioned, white farmhouse came into view, nestled peacefully surrounded by trees and tall, green grass.  I couldn't wait to go inside.  First thing, I spotted a set of shiny copper pots and pans and accessories.  I already have a set at home that I use alongside my stainless steel set, but these would look so pretty beside them on the pot rack, even if I didn't use them much.  Besides, they were 25% off!

I tried to get my huband interested in a leather recliner, but being a furniture man, he said the price was too high and he didn't like the way it sat.  I wasn't tempted by much more, although it was fun to go up the handsome staircase and see the brightly painted and tastefully done bedrooms  with their slanted high ceilings.  I liked the hand-braided throw rugs, but I have lots of rugs. 

Then I noticed an unusual summer robe.  It was striped, like Joseph's coat of many colors, and I didn't know if it was for a man or woman, but the cut was nice with a yoke of horizonal stripes and with three-quarter sleeves.  It was marked $1 (well, 75 cents with the discount).  I couldn't wait to get home and wash it and put it on.

I snagged two floppy, straw sun hats (one for him and one for me) at $1.50 for both. Other than something Howard bought for the garage, and oh yes, a teflon baking pan,  we hadn't bought anything else, but touring the completely remodeled house was worth the visit.

"Has the house sold?" I wistfully asked  the cashier, when we were checking out.

"Oh, yes," she said, "to a young family with children.  They were just ecstatic about moving here."

I could see why.  Having those spacious bedrooms filled, children clambering down the stairs or sliding on the bannister, family gatherings in front of the huge, cast iron
heating stove in the den, enjoying the old-fashioned front porch or huge new wrap-around deck--these are things that make a home.

"It's just as well," I said to the cashier, "we probably would've only used two rooms if we  had bought it."  She laughed, but I felt a twinge of nostalgia for our own old country farmhouse where we had raised our children.  It didn't have an upstairs (we always talked about finishing the attic), but we made plenty of memories there.  May the new family be as blessed as we were!  (Oh yes, the robe is a Christian Dior and the copper is Benjamin & Medwin.)

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Lady and the Tramp

"The dog likes you better than it does me," my husband complained.  It was true, he was stuck to me like glue, it seemed.  Even when the grandchildren  played with him, he preferred me.

"What shall we name him, Mimi?" they asked.  I thought a minute, then noticing a white spot on his back near his tail, I suggested we name him "Spot."  They called him that all day, and the next time they were over they yelled, "Here, Spot!"

"I'm sorry, but his name has been changed to "Tramp," I told them.  Howard hadn't liked "Spot" for him.  He said it sounded like a first-grade reader  (from our generation.)

Later that afternoon when our daughter-in-law picked up the children, they told her about his new name. "Tramp," she said, "Lady and the Tramp.  Mimi is the lady and Tramp is the dog!"  We laughed, and I told her that had occurred to  me earlier when Howard had suggested it, since the dog was so possessive of me.

It soon became obvious that Tramp wasn't house trained, and after several accidents, I decreed he had to be an outside pet most of the time.  Howard checked the backyard fence and deemed it dog proof.  He kept getting out and my husband kept finding the escape route, declaring each time, "I found where he is getting out and I fixed it."  Secure at last, I thought, when a day had gone by with  no escape.

We found him running around outside the fence when we got home from town today, and when Howard headed to the garage and I went to put away purchases I reminded him to keep an eye on the dog.  Coming in later, he said he didn't know where he was. We called and called, but he has gone missing.

Well, we tried.  We even bought a dog collar and doggie shampoo, but a tramp is a tramp.  Maybe he's made his way to his former home.  At least I hope so.  After I reported finding him the other day, I saw the animal control truck in our neighborhood.

Like the old story of a snake who persuaded a boy to put him inside his shirt, promising not to bite him, then when it did, the serpent said, "You knew I was a snake when you picked me up."--an illustration of the  dangers of flirting with sin. 

Although the thought of Tramp gaily trotting around being fed by this one or that one is amusing, life isn't a Disney movie.  The man with the net stalks the streets.  Better to be safe than sorry, little Tramp.  Another spiritual lesson? 


Thursday, May 16, 2013

God's Gifts

"I saw a hummingbird awhile ago," my husband casually remarked as we sat at breakfast on our porch.

"You did?" I exclaimed.  "Why didn't you tell me?"  We had just been saying in a conversation the day before that the latest issue of his favorite  magazine, Birds and Blooms, was devoted almost exclusively to hummingbirds. "And we never even see them!" I had lamented.

A few minutes later, I caught a glimpse of an unfamiliar dog darting uncertainly toward the house, but I didn't mention it until I saw it again.  When I pointed it out to Howard, he went outside.  The small dog had no collar and seemed quite young.  A little skittish at first, soon it was tentatively allowing us to pet it.  "Do you think it's lost?" I wondered.

We let the little dog, a black-and-white terrier mix, come onto the porch.  I got it some water, which he lapped up in no time.  He looked thin, so later I fed him some dry dog food left by our "grand-dog" and he gobbled it up.  Today I called the animal shelter to see if a dog by that description had been reported missing.  I left my phone number just in case, although no one had inquired.

It looks like we've got that dog that Howard always wanted!  Two surprises in one day!  In a store later that morning, I saw some sidewalk chalk and decided to give it to our granddaughters as a surprise when we picked them up after school. I set it on the wicker table on the front porch so they would see it as soon as they came in. That surprise was usurped by the bigger surprise of the dog!  They were jubilant and unbelieving when they opened the screen door and he jumped out.

"CHALK!?!" my granddaughter cried out in joy when I handed the plastic carton to her. My front patio was shortly transformed into brilliant works of art by her and her six-year-old sister.  A multi-colored rainbow, a lopsided likeness of the dog, misspelled words and designs in vivid hues covered the concrete surface.  Oh well, it was supposed to rain, so it would probably not last long, I thought.

Sure enough, it came a gully-washer while we were at mid-week church, and the patio is clean as a whistle!  No trace of chalk remains, washed away by last night's rain.  Just like the  sins of the repentant sinner, I thought, for whom the sky is brighter and the colors more vivid, like the iridescent chalk or the brilliance of hummingbirds on the wing.  What a nice surprise!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Living the Life

"Today was the best day I ever had!" Howard announced at the Bible study last night.  Knowing that my husband speaks in superlatives, I wasn't too surprised, but only a little embarassed when he told about our having breakfast on the porch and a picnic for lunch.  "My wife has our porch fixed up like a little piece of heaven, and our picnic on the green grass by the pond watching the geese was wonderful!" he finished.  Well, the weather was gorgeous, so who could blame him for seeing everything in a favorable light.  I am blessed that he has the gift of appreciation.

Just as we had finished the worship songs and the leader was about to present his lesson, a man spoke up.  "Before you get started, I would like to tell you about a vision of the Lord I had," the normally non-talkative member said.  He went on to tell about how the Lord appeared to him in a church worship service.  "It was just his head and shoulders," explained, "but I could see Him so clearly!  He was an ordinary-looking man, but he was--beautiful!  He was so alive and full of life and love just brimming over in Him!"

When he had finished, another quiet-spoken man, who had uttered maybe two sentences over the several times he has been present, began to tell of a time he saw Jesus.  He had been alone with his wife away, lying on the bed counting how many times his heart had skipped.  Finally, he drifted off and saw Jesus in white, flowing garments, but his face was blurred. 

The next day he went to the doctor who told him if he didn't give up his 3-pack-a-day  cigarette habit, he would die.  The  man thought maybe he had a near-death experience when he saw Jesus and he never smoked again.  "Maybe that's how He would have looked if it had been clear," he said to the first speaker.

A talkative woman then told how the Lord was using her.  "I had planned a lesson the other day, but He changed it completely," she said. "I didn't say one thing I had planned to say, but only what  God told me to say.  That is the way I live my life, just doing what He tells me to do!"

The host concluded the remarks by telling how he saw a change in a man he was counselling.  "He came up to me and said he had gone to church Sunday and went forward at the altar call,"  he said.  "This is how we are to live our Christian life:  recognizing Jesus and letting Him shine forth in our lives, by giving of ourselves to others."

The testimony of the man who'd seen only the bust of Jesus reminded me that He was indeed full of life and vitality.  We had sung a song that had the words,  "Oh Lord God of Israel there is no god like you in the heavens...there is no god like you in the earth... which showeth mercy and keepeth covenant...unto the servants that walk before Him with all of their hearts."  Like the lady who said she only does what God tells her to do!  And Howard had previously said that the Lord had awakened in him a greater spirit of giving. 

Maybe it was the best day he had ever had!

Thursday, May 9, 2013


"Today Anne-Marie asked if we were having rats for dinner," my  son put on Facebook.  It turned out he had mentioned earlier that they might have "wraps" for supper.

Upon reading his post, a friend remarked that 6-year-old Anne-Marie had told her on a park outing that morning that they were having rats for supper!  She realized my granddaughter had misunderstood, of course, and joked with her about it.

It made me think of a story of an earlier day and time that my dad used to tell.  When he was only two years old, his father abandoned the family, leaving my grandmother with 5 children to raise alone.  Besides the economic struggle, she became seriously ill and had to resort to placing the three older children--my dad and his brother, who were probably 9 and 10 years old by this time, and a young teen sister--in an orphanage.

The teen-aged sister, a beautiful girl, was adopted by a wealthy couple.  (The man eventually divorced his wife and married her, although she was unhappy and the marriage didn't last.)  Meanwhile, my dad and his brother ran away from the orphanage and cooked a rat once and ate it!

He said one day they knocked on a door wanting food and pretended to be deaf and mute, rubbing their stomachs and motioning that they were hungry.  The housewife who answered the door turned to the younger boy and said, "What about you, honey? Are you deaf and dumb, too?"  to which he answered, "Yes, ma'am."  Shades of Tom Sawyer!

When I opened my Bible today, the selected reading was I Samuel 5:1-7:17, dealing with the ark of God being captured by the Philistines.  Everywhere the ark was placed in enemy territory, it brought destruction on the people.  At one point the people were plagued with rats and tumors.  In the notes in one of my Bibles, it said that the rats probably brought the bubonic plague, of which one of the symptoms is tumors in the lymph nodes.

Thankfully, due to the grace of God things have progressed beyond the hard times of the past, and knowledge prevents many diseases today.  Even the dreaded toxin that causes botulism is now used to take out wrinkles and beautify faces. Now if they would just find something good about rats!  But don't worry, sweet Anne-Marie, they won't be served for dinner!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Showers of Blessing

"Look at that!" I said to my husband as we passed a local plant nursery outlet.  "Did you see the flowers in the watering cans?"  They were so cute!  Brightly painted watering pots were filled with colorful plantings overflowing and  spilling blossoms over the sides.  Howard didn't see them, but promised we would stop on the way back.

Of course!  It was for Mother's Day!  When we stopped later, I pointed to a lovely pink watering can filled with purple flowers.  "You could get me that for Mother's Day," I hinted.  Then I asked the proprietor how much they were.  Wow!  $39.95!  We decided to think about it, and today Howard told me he was getting me one.

Meanwhile, the thought occurred to me that we have a beautiful watering can at home somewhere.  We could paint it, and make one for a fraction of the cost, I reasoned, but I didn't say anything to him, because I hadn't seen the pot for a long time.  This morning, after a trip to Lowe's for something for one of his backyard projects, Howard said, "You know we have a watering pot in the garage I could paint." 

Back to Lowe's for a can of pink spray paint! Then to the garden department for flowers.  I know that girl, I thought, as someone was coming in as we headed to the outdoor display.  "Hi," I  said, as recognition dawned on me.  She responded, and I said, "Delores?"  Then she recognized us and laughed, saying she had been to Lowe's the day before, and they had had plants at the back for half-price.  She was back to pick some up. 

Really?  We hurriedly turned our cart around and followed her and soon had our cart filled with amazing bargains, even a pot of flowing purple petunias that would be perfect in our can!  Those empty planters at home would look great with the marigolds, petunias and vincas I found.  And tiny pots of green and white coleus would be just right in a 4-pot holder I have on the porch.

My thoughtful husband called me into the back yard later, and I couldn't believe how pretty the watering pot turned out, looking sharp and sophisticated with its arched black handle and the coat of stylish pink paint.  Not only that, he had spray-painted a smaller water pot in the yellow-green of our wicker table that was absolutely adorable with a heart-shaped cut-out on either side.

I'm so glad I followed the impulse to speak to the girl!  (Impulse, or the guidance of the Holy Spirit?)  For less than the Mother's Day arrangement the nursery was selling, I will have two gorgeous watering pot planters, as well as a hanging basket I can do (we also got potting soil) and several other planters filled with flowers!  Thank you, Lord, who gives us the desires of heart and has a heart for mothers!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Picture Perfect

Now this is nice, I thought as I was browsing at Hobby Lobby a few weeks ago for a wedding shower gift.  It was a pre-made wedding scrapbook with lots of nicely framed photo insert spaces and tasteful captions.  I liked the black and white motif which added a formal, contemporary touch to the album. 

The only thing was, a couple of the plastic page protectors were rumpled and bent.  They didn't have any more, so I had the idea to go to the store in Stillwater.  They would have a much better selection,  I reasoned.

Stillwater's Hobby Lobby had none at all!  Back to square one for a gift idea.  Then I realized I could order the album online!  That would guarantee nobody had thumbed through it and spoiled it.  It arrived in plenty of time for the shower protected by bubble wrap in a sturdy mailing carton. 

The day I went to get gift wrapping paper, I found the perfect card, black and white also, with a couple holding an umbrella on the front and wishes for showers of good things for their future inside.

"This is from Mimi and Pa-Pa," our grandson announced, looking at the card  as he picked up the first present and handed it to his fiancee'.  They seemed intrigued by it, and several others exclaimed that they hadn't seen any like it before.  They passed it around and I was holding my breath that it wouldn't get smudged, since we'd just had food and cake.  I was so glad they liked my gift!  Thank you, Lord, for the idea!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Bluebird of Happiness

"Mimi, you have a rose on your bush!" my little granddaughter announced excitedly the other day.  And I was just as excited as she was!   This belated spring has had all of us guessing!  But today I saw a second rose, and many buds ready to pop open, so maybe we'll have roses after all. 

Another welcome sight that met my eyes today was a bluebird!  I had seen what I thought were bluebirds last week, but the birds were darkly silhouetted against the sky, and I couldn't be certain.  The first robin is a sure sign of spring, but a bluebird is especially cheering!  I guess that's where the phrase "bluebird of happiness" comes from.

"I want you to come and see something," my husband announced when I got into the car the other day.  He had been strolling the shops while he waited for me at the hair dresser.  "It's a rattan table and chairs!" he exclaimed.  He knew I'd been wanting one, having passed up an exorbitantly priced wicker set at an antiques store last fall.

He led me into a used furniture place next door, and I spotted it immediately.  Surprisingly, I liked it!  It was a small, oval, wicker-topped rattan table that would be perfect for our screened front porch, and at a fraction of the cost of the earlier table!  It was a little dull, but nothing a coat of paint wouldn't fix.  I found the perfect shade of paint, the yellow-green of new leaves, and the set looks amazing!

It has been too cold to enjoy our porch lately, but this morning when I awoke I could see by the light coming in the window that it was going to be a nice day.  I made breakfast and said wistfully, "I wish we could eat on the porch," then, on impulse, I opened the front door and found that, though cool, the temperature was bearable.  We had a wonderful breakfast watching the sun climb in the morning sky with a view of the dew-sparkled lawn out front and the green curtain of vines sheltering one end of our arbor.

We enjoyed our breakfast so much that, while Howard lingered over his Bible study out there most of the morning, I made a chicken salad to be eaten for lunch on the porch.  We were ravenous after some errands, and al fresco dining was the perfect setting for rest and relaxation, with our rosebush just outside the screen and the bluebird of happiness overhead!