Thank you for stopping by my blog.

I write day after day because I discover extraordinary lessons from ordinary life experiences. I record my visual portraits of everyday life filled with something sacred in hopes that my reflections might bring an insight that blesses my readers.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sad walks with happy talks.

Sad Walks/ Happy Talks

I have walked the streets of Country Village for forty years.  I know every elm, sycamore, and linden tree.  I know when pumpkin d├ęcor becomes the norm and to which house each autumn display belongs. Each time I walked in a gentle snowfall, I marveled  at the Christmas trees in windows with sparkling white lights.  I knew which neighbors would adorn their yards with manger scenes declaring the real purpose of the season.  I looked forward to the wild light displays of some enthusiastic home owners. 
I have walked my dogs Penelope, Ezra,Malcolm Forbs, Fergus, and Dobie Gillis.  Dobie and I have walked these streets together for ten years.  We seldom miss a day.  Dobie knows where each dog lives and the trees that hold his hunted treasure.  His prey flees at his presence.  Their shaggy tails and beady eyes gawk at his awkward attempts to catch them as they quickly climb a tree.   Clutching a nut,they watched him with little interest as he smelled around and around the tree.  He was never a threat to them ,  and they knew they could torment him with their chatter and scolding.
Suddenly, these daily walks are more important.  In fact, I have cried on each of the walks for the last couple of weeks.  On each walk, no matter what time, someone comes out to greet me or a fellow walker stops to tell me they will be sad not seeing Dobie and I on our walks.  Today, an old friend with her walking stick stopped to chat.  I told her we would be leaving in a week.  She teared up and said she understood why, but I would be missed.  We have been friends a long time and had history together.  Thirty-five years ago her husband flew her , Denny , John Foster, and me to Naples , Fla. to spend spring break with  my parents.  It was a chiller trek of near misses.  The plane was so small that John sat amidst the luggage.  We were such responsible parents in 1975. Even with our poor judgement, God saw us through fog, we missed a tower by few feet, and dodged an unexpected plane in our course, or were we in its path?  We just trusted God would protect and He did.
Once again I am trusting God to protect and guide us on our new move.  He has gone ahead of us every step of the way.  Selling and buying a house in less than a month seemed a simple task with Him in charge.  Now, Dobie and I will walk new streets alone.  No former students will wave hello.  Walkers won’t stop to ask for prayer requests for their family.  Neighbors won’t wander to the curb to tell me their latest story about their child’s success.  I won’t know who decorates until I see the orange pumpkins and lighted Christmas trees.  Dobie must discover  where the Fort Wayne squirrels hang out.  Our walks may be a bit lonely at first.  I will have ample time to pray and seek, but I will miss my morning and evening greetings from my long time neighbors, friends, and former students. 
I realize in one week this chapter ends.  These streets will be exchanged for new streets.  However, I know these neighbors can never be replaced.  The Bozes, Hills, Calverts, and Headricks have been my neighbors for forty years. We reared our children together and watched over them as if each were our own. They are my family and will be sorely missed. Newer neighbors that have occupied our block for the last twenty years include Davises , Hartsocks,  Ringos and Barb Norrick.  They too have fit into our Yosemite family and become wonderful friends .  This Yosemite  community has proven true  the proverb, " Love your neighbors like yourself."  When someone needed  laughter, consoling, help, prayer, a fresh tomato or a simple cup of sugar, these people provided those needs.  Thank you, Country Village, for giving so much love and support through our  forty years.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Words of Importance

Words : Reading, Recording, and Writing

As I have touched, read, felt, and sorted through the tokens of my past, I have discovered some consistencies.  I always kept kind and loving written words from those I honor and love.  I have discovered sweet messages from friends on birthday greetings, wonderful messages from our sons on holiday cards, and Denny’s and my love letters of forty-five years ago tied with a satin red ribbon.
            I packed boxes filled with journals, which reveal my activities, ponderings, faith messages, the prayers prayed over family and friends, and joys and sorrows on Yosemite Drive.  These journals recorded over forty years in Muncie with our crazy weather patterns included.  I kept them and it will be our sons’ decision what to do with them when I am gone.  They are me and I am them.  I cannot part with them any more than I can part with the endless scrapbooks recording our sons' life patterns.  Parties, games, trophies, friends, and family gatherings are all documented in these albums.  Hundreds of photographs show how our lives developed with the blessing of our children.  They created new paths, friends, and goals.  John and Adam shaped us while we shaped them.  Someday they can read the stories and see the photos and know that their mother savored each day of their childhood.
            As I cleared over fifty boxes of books from my library shelves, my search for deeper truths and an understanding of the character of God was obvious.  I could part with most of these books because I had perused and read them enough that they were within.  They could leave my shelves now and serve their truth to someone else. 
            Many of the ousted books held novels that I was “going to read”, when I retired and had long days to fill.  Having been retired over twelve years, I am still looking for those long days. I have chosen to use the Fort Wayne library for my fiction reading. Some of my" how to write" books were packed carefully, and others were distributed to writing friends.  I kept almost all of my art books because I am still on an uphill learning curve.  I kept a giant box of poetry books because their words pluck the cords of my heart.  
            I gave the Mission a large box of new Bibles.  Why new?  Denny and I had almost every new Bible that came out the last twenty-five years.  Some I marked up and wore out the pages.  Others have countless tabs and reference tags.  My favorite is held together by duck tape.  The newer ones were given away, so others could read through the precious words recorded so many years ago.  Those words are truth for a lifetime.  Those are words we will hear in eternity. 
This is what I have discovered in my purging and sorting.  I can part with almost everything except words.  Words create my hope, my visions, my oasis for my spirit, and my life’s landscape.  Because I have taken time to write descriptions of each day, each year, each adventure and trip, I can reread many of my memories. My journals hold the fragrance of happiness of our days past. I can leave my house, but I will take my precious memories in words recorded through the years.  Words have given me life and meaning.  I am so grateful for the Word of God that has read me as I read it.  I never tire of Biblical metaphors, mysteries, and messages. I have experienced wonderful seasons in Muncie and now will continue a new season in my spirit, a new season of listening and learning what God has purposed me to be, to do, and to learn.
Yes, I am sure I will record my emotions and my epiphanies in this next step of life. Journaling is a morning opportunity that keeps me grounded.  It is my time to smell the roses and dry them on the pages.