Fall Performance

Crepe myrtles dressed in their finest gold right outside my window. Not to be outdone, pecan trees got fancy in leaves of bright chartreuse. Like pretty lime green feathers they twirled gracefully on the breeze floating slowly to the ground. The fall performance continued as auburn oak danced a hearty dance. Red dogwoods were the last to let go as they gave the final presentation. What a show!

“Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!

Let the sea and everything in it shout His praise!

Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy!

Let the trees of the forest rustle with praise before the Lord,

For He is coming!   -Psalm 96: 11-15fall 14 002 fall 14 008 fall 14 003

Thank You Lord for not doing the world in black and white. I really love Your creative side!  We look forward to an encore performance next fall, because You dear Lord, are just that beautiful!

My Favorite Day

Originally posted on Lynna's Wonderful Life:

Thanksgiving! What a wonderful thought!

Family, friends, and FOOD! Enjoy the day.

Hug a loved one as if you won’t have them next year at this time.

Stop and tell the Lord what you like best about Him.

Look around and be amazed at the abundance in your life.

Stop by the bathroom and give thanks that the toilet still flushes… if it does.

You may have a house full of… guests.

Maybe enjoy a little football.

Walk outside and take a deep breath of fresh air.

Look up and know that you are not alone.

Eat one more piece of pie. Hey what’s another 500 calories between friends!

Say a prayer for the ones you miss.

If they are in heaven already, ask the Lord to pass your love on to them.

Read Psalm 100 before the day gets away.

Here you go. I’ll make it easier for you.

“Shout with joy to…

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Sweet Cora

Her name was Cora Hunt. We were complete opposites. She was a pleasantly plump black lady with graying hair who worked as a nurse in the hospital where I landed during Spring break in 1974. I was a boney redheaded white girl with a wedding to plan. I thought I had the whole God thing figured out. She actually did.

As a freshman in college a thousand miles from home, pain took over my body with such vengeance that I could no longer function. A doctor in south Florida prescribed enough pain killers to get me home. My fiancé and a friend loaded me into the backseat of a ’67 Camaro where I passed out for around sixteen hours. Finally the pain was relieved somewhat so it was a good trip…a very good trip indeed. Hurt

That’s how I met Cora. Admitted to her ward I was given the bad news that I would not be returning to Florida with my fiancé. At the end of Spring Break I watched him leave along with my hopes of finishing the second semester. Ordered to total bed rest, days were spent in drug induced sleep. Having run all the tests available at the time, the doctor would pronounce each morning, “…a couple more days of bed rest.” Though the pain was masked by drugs, depression began to take hold. It was definitely the greater of the two evils.

Folks were so good to me. My youth pastor brought me a Big Mac every day. Stacks of cards came in with encouraging words. It was the first time I had ever seen the verse Isaiah 40:31: “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

Hey, skip the soaring and running. I’ll be glad just to get out of this stupid bed. So where are You God?

Cora came in one Sunday morning with a wheel chair. The doctor had given her permission to take me to the chapel for services. I’d not been out of bed in forever and now suddenly it was okay?

“I’m not going.” I was determined to be left alone. She pushed for a bit but could tell I meant it. I had no use for some preacher giving me a pep talk. I was too sick to live and no longer cared.

Suddenly light flooded the room. Heavenly music filled the air and Cora’s face beamed with a glorious smile.

True story.

She had flung open the heavy drapes, turned the television to a black Gospel choir and cranked up the volume to a heavenly high. With hands in the air she danced and clapped, “It’s time to get some religion in this room!”

It makes me laugh and cry all at the same time just recalling that moment. This overworked, underpaid lady took an interest in a scrawny self-righteous white girl and pulled me from the darkness that stole my joy. Not long after that with her help, I began to walk and not faint. Though I was too weak and far too white to pull it off physically, sweet Cora taught at least my heart to dance again.

Now that my friend, is true religion indeed!

In honor of Cora, can we smile? She would have loved this song by Kirk Franklin!

What would you think if you were riding down the road and saw clothes hanging on a fence like this?

Any one of my daughters might hit the brakes and slow down to see if it’s a yard sale. My husband would gun the motor and say, “We have plenty of junk of our own.” I can hear myself think, “That’s not a yard sale! Buncha rednecks. No wonder southerners have the reputation we do! Who would hang their laundry on a chain link fence?”

Not that I’m judgmental. But I do remember being in Bible college in the early seventies when mini-skirts and hot pants were in style. I had nothing appropriate to wear, so my mom and a cousin, made me five decent length dresses. I was so proud and very spiritual. A fellow student came into the Soda Shoppe where I worked. Her dress was pretty short and I remember thinking to myself, “Good gracious! Does she not own a mirror? I wouldn’t be caught dead in something that short, especially here in a Bible college!”

A few days later, my boyfriend surprised me and did our laundry. The college dryers were the kind that got extra hot. He filled it up with quarters and went to play basketball. My only dresses were made of polyester, and well, even though I wasn’t caught dead out in a dress that short, I sure could’ve died at the wardrobe I had left. There wasn’t any choice but to wear my tiny polyester frocks since that was all I had and we were a thousand miles from home. So basically I wore the flattest shoes I owned, and scrunched down a lot. But I saw the looks. And I learned a lesson. God really does have a sense of humor.

Pete Wilson wrote about a “Prospective Bomb” he got while being frustrated with a lady with two huge carts of flowers. She was in line in front of him at Lowe’s and the process was taking forever. He was in a hurry and really needed to get moving. The prospective bomb dropped when he heard double-cart flower-lady saying to the cashier that she was planting a flower garden at the home of a friend who was dying of cancer.

Oh my goodness. Why do I judge so easily? Why do I get so ill with others? Someone is going through financial difficulties and we think, “Shoulda had a budget!” Someone needs prayer for healing and we think, “Shoulda took better care of herself.” I’ve noticed in the news there’s often the little add-ons like, “She was not wearing a seat belt.” Well MAYBE, her kid dropped his sippy-cup and mom turned around to get it so driver dad wouldn’t be distracted with all the screaming. We never know what someone is going through, or what led them to do what they did. So why don’t we cut each other a little slack?

By the way, the clothes on the chain link fence are mine. My dryer broke and my husband was almost out of shirts. I’m just thankful I didn’t run out of underwear yet. Yep. I’m a redneck and proud of it. And if anyone thinks I’m having a yard sale, well, pull in and make me an offer.

Voting Day

My beautiful mother-in-law Nina donned her voting clothes and matching lipstick. At eighty-nine, she voluntarily gave up driving last year. So we made a date to take her to the polls. Voting is very important to her. For as she often says, “If you don’t vote then you can’t complain.” Lord knows I don’t want to lose that privilege. So off we went.

It’s getting harder and harder for her to move about. But her mind is still very sharp. Sitting in the booth she studied and marked each side of the long ballot. David and I stood at a booth together next to her, helping each other and checking our notes. When we finished, he asked if she needed any help. A firm “No.” came her reply. Proudly she finished then placed her ballot into the machine that looked suspiciously like a shredder. She nodded and smiled at the elderly veteran who guarded the ballot box. From the same generation, these two shared the silent wisdom that comes only with decades of living. “Men and women fought and died for my privilege to vote. I can’t believe there are people who don’t bother going to the polls.” Her conviction rang true.photo 2 (1)

On the way home we took a little tour of Fulton Street with all its beautiful fall foliage. Down several side roads we drove slowly admiring the lovely view. “Go down Church Street” she requested. I’ll show you where we lived when your dad got home from the war. She recalled each neighbor and how hard it was to get a decent apartment back in the day. As we drove through Salisbury, candidates’ posters waved and beckoned from every corner. Though politics can be very divisive, this one thing I think everyone can agree on: Aren’t you glad the political ads are over for now? My mom-in-law offered this wisdom on that subject. “I wish it were against the law for candidates to say anything about their opponents. If they were only allowed to speak of what they personally plan to do if elected, things wouldn’t get so ugly.” Sounds like wisdom to me.

Recent reports indicate the campaign spending between Hagan and Tillis for NC Senate alone is the first to cross the $100 million dollar mark. That’s one hundred MILLION with like seven, no… eight zeros.

I have another idea. What if a candidate put that money to good use in the state, say perhaps the school system? What our teachers could do with just a portion of a hundred million dollars! They’re so used to pinching pennies, no telling what wonderful new things could be accomplished in their classrooms. I dare say the politician who pledged that donation in lieu of bombarding the airwaves and mailboxes would win hands down.

That’s my current soapbox. And according to my mom-in-law, since I voted I still have the right to complain. I hope you voted too. I’d sure hate for Nina to hear otherwise.

A Journey Home

Health issues and finances prevented us from making a big deal over our fortieth anniversary. It’s been a very rough couple years. Then out of the blue a few months later came a way for us to take a cross country trip to see our kids. We prayed and asked God if He was sure about this. So He sent us another blessing and said, “Don’t worry. I’ve got this! Y’all have a good time.” [I knew it was the Lord because He had a southern accent.]  So off we went as though we had good sense.

Our 3100 mile road trip took us through twelve states with cities like Saint Louis where the big arch is. Though we didn’t stop long enough to ride to the top, we were sufficiently impressed snapping pictures from Interstate 55.arch

We passed beautiful stadiums where the St. Louis Cardinals, the Houston Texans and the New Orleans Saints play. We did not go by the Cowboy’s stadium as we we’re busy trying to stay alive while navigating Dallas. On the last leg of the journey I was able to see the ports of Houston from high upon the bridge over Baytown. But once again David was busy with the pesky details of driving. Even though we checked Google Maps on our phones as well as the Atlas we found crammed under the seat, we still made one wrong lane change near Baton Rouge and ended up two hours off course. Who would think that I-10 would divide into both north and south of Lake Pontchartrain? So that’s how we saw the New Orleans Saints Superdome.

Before we left home I had the desire to veer off the path and tour the annual antique show and flea market in Round Top Texas. It’s said to stretch over three hundred acres with two thousand vendors, give or take. Dealers come from across the country bringing their treasure. Even the Junk Gypsies have a booth there each year. But by the time we’d traveled from Illinois, the home of our first daughter, all the way through Texas, I decided there was nothing I’d rather see than our second daughter Amanda and her sweet family.

Did we miss some stuff by taking the fastest routes? Yes we did. Did we see what we set out to see? Yes we did. We toured Ramsey Illinois sufficiently and got a good peace of mind about where Stephanie’s family has settled. We enjoyed Corpus Christi and gained assurance that as beautiful as it is, Amanda’s family will not call it home forever. We were able to hold our grandchildren in our arms instead of just our hearts. We saw a beautiful sunrise then outran pitch dark clouds as we left Oklahoma where the wind really does come sweepin’ down the plain. [You know you can’t go through Oklahoma without singing the song.]Then a glorious rainbow burst through the clouds assuring us of God’s great protection and love as we crossed into Texas.sunrise

Leaving Corpus Christi was bittersweet. After nearly two weeks on the road I longed for home. Our sweet two year old grandson waved good-bye as we blew kisses and smiled through the tears. We have no idea when we’ll see him again. As we headed out early that Wednesday morning, there was a beautiful lunar eclipse. I don’t recall ever seeing one. Topping the South Padre Island Bridge, there glistening over the water, the bright gorgeous moon appeared as if a cosmic cookie monster had taken a generous bite.

Now that our trip is over I’m reminded of some important things.

  1. The most amazing sights are not manmade.
  2. Loved ones are the best treasures.
  3. And home is with the man I’ve loved for over forty years, wherever that may be.

No matter how hard life gets, we’re on this crazy journey together. Hand in hand we travel as the Lord continues to assure us. “Don’t worry. I’ve got this. Y’all go and have a good time.”

That by itself is a pretty big deal.me beach

Funky Light

Originally posted on Lynna's Wonderful Life:

I’ve got this lamp we found in the basement of an old house we bought. In fact when we looked at that place, I pictured us on Antiques Roadshow. But mostly we made numerous trips to the dump. Anyway, we salvaged this lamp and I like it. David rewired and painted it and replaced the bulbs as well as the glass shade for the middle. We’ve used it long enough now that it’s getting kinda quirky. I can turn the little button thing on the side which is supposed to signal the bulbs to come on, but mostly, they just sit there til I spin the knob just right. Then one or more may pop on… or maybe not. But on this particular day, ALL THREE bulbs came on at once! Wow! It’s gonna be a three light day!

It reminded me of a time when I was sitting…

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