See Grandma, my eyes are really dark blue....not big brown ones like daddy

See Grandma, my eyes are really dark blue....not big brown ones like daddy

Ryan and friend

Ryan and friend
Mommy, Daddy, I'm saying Hi to Grandma?

This one is for you, Grandma!


soccer with determination and no airplane distractions

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

In The Twinkling of an Eye

In the Twinkling of an eye you will be changed is a phrase that I've heard somewhere, and at the moment, I'm at a loss to remember where. This rings true in our back yard today. I have never seen long-dead plants come back to life as fast as this year. What appears to be budding in the early morning is in fact fully grown by evening, like my weeping cherry tree.

Instead of nice spring weather, we got a very humid ninety degree day, with pollen all over, making it miserable for many hay fever suffers. It happens so fast, that you do not have time to adjust to the temperature change of instant summer. Even the snow disappeared quickly leaving the ground very dry, and in some communities red flagged. 

Needless to say, we wanted to drag out the pool already, but settled for just getting wet with water cans and the like. Some potted plants are just now starting to develop tiny baby leaves as most perennials return. They are growing quite fast even before we can finish putting down our mulch in the back.

Mother's day was great. The lilacs were already in bloom, and it brought back many happy childhood memories and I remember I used to bring some to my mom every mother's day. We bought my mother-in-law a cute ceramic birdhouse planter, which has a straw nest and ivy growing from the top. On the house sits a lovely yellow ceramic bird on a stick, making it the ideal choice for her.

While in her room, a young woman from Kenya, told us that she cannot stand this heat which was far worse than anything experienced in Africa, much to my surprise. Once she finishes her education, she is planning to return to her homeland. I was surprised to hear that as I always thought nothing was hotter than Africa and some of the desert parts of the world. She claimed that the heat was very different.

It's been getting hotter in the sun, like the sun has grown in intensity, causing burns. And, it feels more like summertime than spring. What is really odd is that the butterfly's are out before the butterfly bush. Yet, the pesky May bugs are out right on time. It may all be in the twinkling of an eye, but it certainly is not paradise.

Not sure what is going on, but I feel things are very different here in New England.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all of you who are privileged to bear the title of motherhood. As well, it is a special day to remember also those who are no longer with us, who devoted their lives to having raised children, and in some cases grandchildren. They deserve our gratitude, loving memories and prayers. Let us not forget those in waiting, for the anticipated blessing of their lifetime, with the hope, joy and honor bestowed upon them and their new arrival. Your life is about to dramatically change--forever. You have our best wishes.

Today, I got a special surprise when my nephew came over with a card and gift. He has been like a son to me, and is one of my many godchildren. Now grown up and towering over me, he makes all mother's and godmothers proud. What was so unique about the present, was not the cost but the thought. I have wanted for many years, a replacement of the cherished plant called the umbrella, which produces lovely little white flowers in the spring. It resembles a clover plant, and was part of a collection that my mother cultivated, giving starter plants to friends and family. I had received a piece of her plant, which I lost and hoped one day to replace.

I have memories of my first born son, born in April, having the flowered plant on his dresser. It has special significance to me and is greatly appreciated. I know that Matt potted the plant himself, and came with directions on how to care for it. How did he know?

It's the little things in life that mean a lot to mothers. The first time you look into your baby's eyes, their first little laugh--when you know that they are truly happy. Their first step and everything new that they accomplish from day one to full grown adults.

Once your a mother, your given a sixth sense, becoming like a mom to all, and nurturing is what you can't help but be to everything and everyone you put your hands on.  And, as if that isn't enough, you sometimes get the chance to do it all over again with the grand kids. There is no greater joy!

My sister, who has gone to her eternal rest and who I miss so much, was a mother of four children. One mother's day she presented me with a heart-shaped pink box which has been one of my favorite keepsakes throughout the years. It reads: "A mother's love is the fairest flower that grows in God's garden."

Well said...We will get together to share dinner and it will be divine. And yes, Ryan grandma made the chocolate cupcakes with green frosting and jimmies, and Nate you'll have your chocolate-chip cookies with vanilla ice cream. Family means the world to me and I'm lucky to be so loved.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Be Still Oh My Soul

Looking out of the window, I thought of these words, Be Still Oh My Soul. How often do we want to just be doing nothing --with a list a mile long, yet the wisdom in it.

I was born in a small town, which is more like a small city now, and live on the outskirts.  City-like with it's traffic lights and structural development, it even has it's own hospital, cancer center, YMCA, fire and police, fully staffed, large library, and an abundance of churches. I guess you could say we have it all in many ways. It is not like the neighboring towns that surround us, in fact they have been utilizing our commodities for as long as I can remember. We have a beautiful golf course, and our own airport.

One might think this the ideal place to live, not like in a smaller town, where many have to rely on their own septic systems and wells for water. Luckily, in this area, we have an abundance of resources. What's lacking here, is employment, like many towns established in the early 1800's.

Having been exposed to the mid-west with the threat of tornadoes constantly, and the east and west coast cities, I find where I am to be a blessing. I didn't feel that way when I was younger. Then, I thought that there was nothing for us to do, except chores. Coming back this way, I fell in love with the environment, clean and green, and grew a new appreciation for my birthplace. A place of hills and valleys, just like life. We are surrounded by lakes,  and water resources in natural settings having many varieties of birds, and wildlife.

It is so quiet here right now that one would have to invent noise, which is not the case in most cities. Yet, people get used to their surrounding sounds and accept the punishing pace as natural and unassuming. They probably do not know what it means to be "still" and just quiet, the way a baby looks when it sleeps. It's crazy to live life on a rail. And sadly, most people do not even realize their pace.

Today I've taken the time to observe stillness. The stillness outside the darkened sky, where nothing absolutely nothing is moving, because there is no wind. Nature has taken the time to take it all in. Perhaps, waiting for the nourishing rainfall, we all need to be refreshed, in a like manner. There is a time for resting, even though for many, life goes on by the calendar of scheduled events. We become frazzled and anxious--and as well, sick. Realization for some, comes too late.

Let us take a lesson from nature, and in our stillness just breathe. Be showered with the luxury of rest. Chew your food before you swallow it, and open your eyes to the beauty in your midst. Finally, Spring is here, and in this valley, beauty everywhere has begun. Drink in the stillness--it won't always be this way, for nothing lasts forever.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Stirring Up The Water

The Pool of Bethesda becomes a place of miracles at a certain time of year, having an angel stirring up the water for a blessing for the first recipient to step forth after the stirring. That person, would receive  a healing of whatever disease he had. According to John 5:3-4. Many sick people, waited for the water's movement, the blind, lame, paralyzed--a great multitude of hope-filled people came. John reveals in the next verse that a man had been there, who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. Jesus knows that he had been in that condition a long time and poses this question to him "Do You Want To Be Made Well."

Several times, it is made mention that it was the Sabbath, a day which is unlawful to carry his bed. Yet, this man, who was a Jewish paralytic man, is not only healed, but does in fact, carry his bed. The Jews seemed less interested in the miracle, but in seeking the one who healed him, saying in verse (12) "Who is the man who said to you "Take up your bed and walk'?"

The infirm man in verse (7) said to Jesus, "Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me."

After 38 years, this man still had a shade of hope, even though he may have believed that he wouldn't have been fast enough to be the first one in the stirred water, he still was there, he came, wanting to be made well. Even so, Jesus stimulated the sick man's faith. 

A common belief was that illness and misfortune were divine retribution for sin. Jesus tells him in the temple, (14) "See you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you."

It has been made clear that you must step forward in faith to receive healing, if healing is what your heart desires.

Healing requires patience and the willingness to keep on trying. This says to the reader, never give up no matter how long it takes. Jesus loves you and desires all to be saved. Believe it and your life will be changed forever.

Scripture reference is taken from the Orthodox Study Bible, John 5:3-15