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Posts Tagged ‘joy’

Adventures at Sea

It’s been right at a year since the cancer diagnosis. Thankfully my strength has gradually returned. I decided to give it a try. We hadn’t been sailing since last June and the sparkling water beckoned. The Captain charted our course pulling out a map that made little sense to me. It hardly mattered. I was content with a comfortable place to rest where I could soak in the day. The first mate loaded all the gear. After tossing life jackets, fishing rods, extra towels and a picnic on board, she untied the boat and off we went.

The sun hit my face along with a stiff breeze and a gentle spray. I was glad to finally be over the sickness of chemo and able to enjoy one of my favorite pastimes. Just as I was beginning to relax the water became a little choppy. The first mate offered me a snack and looked at me with concern. I assured her I was fine. Nothing was going to spoil our day.

Suddenly the sky darkened and the seas became quite rough. The Captain assured me he knew a shortcut to our destination and took a hard right into the waves. I held on for dear life as the boat climbed each wave and landed with a monstrous splash. It seemed to me we were taking on an awful lot of water. The first mate advised me to put my life jacket on instead of just holding it in my lap. My heart pounded as I followed her instructions. Up and down we went over wave after wave. I tried not to think about it as my tummy reminded me of the omelet I had for breakfast.

Suddenly the Captain shouted, “There’s too much water coming in! I think we have a leak! I’m going to check it out!” Overboard he went.

“You stay here! I’m going to help!” With that the first mate abandoned ship as well. The two seasoned sailors disappeared under the boat.

Alone I waited.

There was no sign of either of them.

I closed my eyes trying not to panic as I wondered about the sharks they had spotted earlier.

A voice broke into my thoughts.

“Mom? Are you sick or just playing boat?” My daughter asked as she stood looking at my bed full of pillows and blankets and snacks. “Where are the kids?”

I clutched the pillow I was using as a flotation device and smiled. “They’re under the boat making repairs. But don’t worry. They can hold their breath a really long time. Besides, Jesse knows a shortcut to California and Marie brought lots of snacks.”

While my daughter peeked under the bed at her giggling four year olds, I rested against one of the extra life jackets. It felt so good to be back in the land of the living. After a year of cancer treatments, playing “boat on the bed” was way more fun than I remembered.

I’m just glad Jesse can read a map better than I can.

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Stop the presses! I did it! NO WAIT! Don’t stop the presses. Keep rolling because ALL my books are now in print! Check them out on Amazon. Search books by Lynna Clark. I am NOT that other Lynna with the big bosomed women on the covers… obviously. So be sure to look for the Blue Meadow Farm series of five. And if you like them, please spread the word for me. I do not have a marketing guru so I’m counting on you. Thank you my friends!

Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

To view the series click here. Blue Meadow Farm Series

The series starts and ends with a dogwood tree.

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Book Review

Typically when an author releases a new book they will ask a famous person to endorse it or write a nice review. The most famous person I know happens to be my daughter Stephanie. She speaks at women’s retreats all over the country; seriously cool places like Las Vegas Nevada, Nashville Tennessee, and Ramsey Illinois. She’s a little bit amazing so maybe it’s not too big a stretch to call her famous. Besides, she has to say nice things. I’m her mother.

Here’s what she thought of book two, Autumn on Blue Meadow Farm:

Enter Stephanie~steph

I am so excited to announce that Blue Meadow Farm Book #2 is now available for purchase on Amazon Kindle! The first Blue Meadow Farm book was a joy to read, so when I got the privilege of being the first to read the second book, I was thrilled! Autumn on Blue Meadow Farm picks up the story of Jack and Lydia without wasting any time, and you immediately remember why you loved that first book so much.

I don’t want to write any spoilers in this review, so I will just say this: everything you loved about Blue Meadow Farm in the summer is multiplied in the fall! You’ll laugh with Lydia as she watches her boys grow into their own unique persons, you’ll cry as she continues to struggle with the memory of the stranger’s attack, you’ll search for truth with her as she sits on the porch swing, and you’ll beg to know her recipe for those cookies she’s always baking for people.

There are a lot of Christian fiction books out there, and the Blue Meadow Farm series is at the top of my favorites list. They are full of all the things I love best: romance, real people, practical life, humor & truth. This book doesn’t leave you hanging, it leaves you wanting more! I can’t wait to read the future books to find out the rest of the story. But for now I think I will re-read the books I have just so I can spend time with my friends within the pages.

Get your copy of Blue Meadow Farm Books 1 & 2 here: Blue Meadow Farm Series

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She placed the fragile prize into her grandfather’s hand so he could see her beautiful treasure. The shell of a tiny bird was the source of her excitement. With so much amazement that she could barely form the words she explained to him how the baby bird hatched from the egg and flew away.fragiletreasure 2

“Yook Poppy Yook!” And look he did with oh such care! These precious little ones the Lord has trusted us with are also fragile treasures. I love how he is soaking up every minute. Something about having grandchildren around makes everything brand new.

Today is a milestone birthday for him, the big SIX-O. He is definitely better than ever. The past few years of transition have taught us both some very valuable lessons; stuff we knew but didn’t really KNOW firsthand until we had the privilege of experience. I think our top three would be:

  1. God shows His strength best in our weaknesses.
  2. God really will provide everything we need.
  3. God’s timing is perfect. Wait on Him & rest in His care.

When our talents and abilities are not enough, when we’ve exhausted all our resources, when we don’t have a clue what to do, that’s when the Lord shows us things we’ve never considered possible!

Happy Birthday David! Thank you for allowing God to use you, for resting in His care, and for leading our family well. I look forward to the next forty years with you, which hopefully will be a little more Promised Land than Wilderness. Either way, we’ll soak up every minute together. It’s all brand new!

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Christmas this year was, shall we say… interesting. My mama heart hurt since there was no money to buy gifts. None. But how could I complain since God had so sweetly taken care of us through the previous year of unemployment? Of course I found a way. [To complain that is.]

Annyyywayyy…  I tried to suck it up and count my blessings, but when you’ve got five grandchildren and such sweet friends and family, how can you celebrate Christmas without giving?

So we set about trying to make something out of nothing. If necessity is the mother of invention, then hold the phone Alexander. The world is about to see the brainchild we call Christmas in Clarkville.

My sister was in the midst of a move and asked one day last fall if I’d like a couple cans of white spray paint. I knew I did, though it wasn’t until December that I knew why. We had the other materials on hand so my best friend Ann received a Queen Ann’s Lace shed quilt. David and I had a lot of fun designing and painting this for our beloved friend. I’m just glad she’s not partial to color.photo 2

My sweet mom-in-law bought me pumpkin and cranberries back around Thanksgiving just because she’s nice like that. So we gave our Life Group Cranberry Pumpkin Bread. Here’s the recipe. You may have to hang on to that til next year since I think she bought all they had.

Our adult kids are so sweet and unspoiled that they understand the non-gifting. The hard part was coming up with something for the grands. I saw a pattern on Pinterest for an apron made of a pair of old blue jeans. Since our Texas daughter is always crafting with her almost three year old, I decided an apron would be perfect. I dusted off the old Sears sewing machine and got to work. How we’d mail it to him would have to be worked out later. The same morning, the local grands and their mom Hannah stopped by. Scissors and pins were just being gathered out of their reach when there was a knock at the door.

My cold heart grumbled, “Good grief. My house is such a wreck. I’m still in my pajamas with the bedspread pattern on my face. Who is knocking on my door?!” Then this happened. Click here to see my big Surprise!

Well, now I don’t have to worry about shipping costs. Holy cow! What a shock your socks off surprise! As you can tell from the video, I’m gasping for breath at the sight of my sweet Texas children. Good thing I am always Last Minute Lynna so the apron never got mailed. It was HUGE next to sweet baby Able. I hope he’s still into crafts when he’s thirteen. Maybe I’ll have it finished by then.

Then two days before Christmas, someone handed David fifty bucks and said “Merry Christmas.” The sweet man went on iTunes and scheduled $10 gift cards for our teen granddaughters in Illinois and handed the rest to me. On Christmas Eve, of all days, I took that and $10 Kohl’s cash and bought my mom-in-law a scarf, my hubby some Jelly Bellys, and the three grandbabies sticker books from the Dollar Tree. Heading to check-out with money to spare, when what to my wondering eyes did appear?

APRONS! Cute colorful toddler sized aprons! One dollar apiece!

I literally skipped out of the store right past my truck because I can never remember where I park. Happy Happy Joy Joy!!!

Christmas is never what I plan. Kinda like life. How boring would that be! Thank the good Lord He always keeps things interesting!

Yes. Thank the good Lord.

Able in his apron with his new sticker book

Able in his apron with his new sticker book

Marie & Poppy make the tree just right!

Marie & Poppy make the tree just right!

Jesse picking out his favorite animal sticker.

Jesse picking out his favorite animal sticker.

 

 

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Do you remember the first time you experienced a chili-willy? That luscious frozen wonder encased in plastic… mmm! We used to fight over the blue ones. As my palate matured I realized I loved the pineapple flavored more. So I hung back and pretended to be noble, giving up the much sought after blues in favor of the lesser desired pale yellow.

“It’s okay. I’ll be fine. Just give me one of those dull ones. They can have all the pretty chili-willies. I don’t mind.”

Sigh…

When eating a chili-willy, one must remember to squeeze from the bottom, but not too fast or one could lose half the treat to the neighbor’s dog. It’s also important to watch for excess juiceage lest one squirt one’s shirt with color. Once again, I came off looking noble as pineapple does not stain or even show up like the coveted blue or grape or especially cherry.

If one were especially fortunate, one’s mother would wrap the chili-willy in a paper towel so that one’s fingers didn’t freeze.

“I better not find that paper towel in the yard!” was the obligatory warning which came with the paper holster. Clear plastic might disappear in the grass, but not that half a paper towel. One could be banned from chili-willy pleasure for weeks for blatant disregard of proper holster disposal.

It is also important to treat the plastic edge of the chili-willy with a great deal of respect. One cannot glide the stiff frozen treat casually over one’s lips lest one incur a paper-like cut. That is an occasion when pineapple is not the flavor of choice.

Now that I am vying for position as favorite grandmother, I shall always keep a stockpile of chili-willies. [Don’t tell Nana Karen.] I cut them in half, wrap them in a paper holster and take them to the porch where chili-willy leakage does not matter. When they ask for more, I happily oblige with a second half and come off looking quite generous, even though they still haven’t spoiled their lunches. If they get colorful juice on their shirts, who cares! That’s what the pre-soak cycle is for. If juice runs down their legs, that’s what the kiddie pool is for. If they eat all the pretty ones and leave the dull pale yellows behind… well, that’s what the grandmother is for.

Ahhh the wonderful chili-willy! Tastes like summer, and childhood, and responsibility. For one should never eat a chili-willy all willy-nilly!

chili 1chili 2

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We have a grocery store in town that requires a $.25 deposit for the use of a shopping cart. Therefore we make sure to have an Aldi quarter in the truck at all times. If one were to get caught without a quarter, one would have to carry a shopping bag and that can get downright burdensome. I tried to beat the system by using an empty box from one of their shelves to gather the items on my list.

Okay. So the box was empty because I unloaded it.

Annyyywayyy… by the time I finished shopping, the jug of milk had rolled over two cartons of eggs.  I’ve learned the hard way. One does not go to Aldi without ones quarter.

A close friend who shall remain nameless confided that her husband freaks out if she uses his Aldi quarter. Actually he stashes away several in his vehicle. She tried to reason with him that it only takes one. He made it clear that she is not to spend his Aldi quarter[s.] I guess it’s a security thing… in case he has a buggy emergency. All I know is that this normally mild mannered man goes from zero to psycho over his Aldi quarter.

As a precaution, we stash only one Aldi quarter; for if we kept more, we’d surely go whipping into the Wendy’s drive-thru for a 99 cent Frosty and end up using all our Aldi quarters. No need tempting fate.

One day as I approached the line of buggies with quarter in hand, a lady walked toward me pushing a cart. Instead of retrieving her sacred quarter, she offered her buggy to me. I tried to give her my Aldi quarter. She smiled and shook her head no as she said, “Be blessed and pass it on.”

Whoa!!!

I think I heard angels singing! How does one nominate a fellow sojourner for sainthood anyway?

I pocketed my Aldi quarter and skipped jauntily inside with my free buggy. What a wonderful beautiful happy day!

As I unloaded the groceries into the truck, I noticed a young mother walking toward the entrance. Her frazzled appearance and two wild kids in tow qualified her as the perfect candidate.

“Would you like this buggy?” I asked.

“No… it’s okay. I don’t have a quarter.”

“Here you go. Someone did the same for me.”

Her face brightened and for a minute I thought we might share a hug. I should have given her my name in case she wanted to nominate me for sainthood. Who knew an Aldi quarter could bring such bliss!

It really IS going to be a wonderful day in the neighborhood! In fact, I think I might have enough nickels for a Frosty!

Aldi Buggies

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