Monday, March 28, 2011

Springy things Part 2

Changed the pilgrim road on the blog header.
(thanks for the subtle nudge Lilly!)
I like the new picture.  It appears more trail than road - and I like the blue whatcha-ma-callit stuff forcing its way up through the earth.  Our own woods along the south side of the house are very inviting too.  Soon I will see trilliums by the thousands dotting the forest floor.  
I had an awesome Sunday today.  After worship, we celebrated our baby's 21rst birthday en masse.  
I LOVE en masse occasions, full of fellowship, food, family and....
 Ah yes.  I had asked the peeps to come over after having tried the 3rd generation foam rollers and finish the balloons off.   Like.  Love.  Adore.  Even li'l leapster slept on those things!  *sigh*  
But now it's time for bed. The sun has gone to sleep 
and so must I.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Things of Spring *** Springy Things

My Aunt Ria lives down the road from me.  We have lived on this road together for more than ... for a very long time then.   She has come to be synonymous with Forsythia and our first sign of spring.  I cannot tell you how many times I would visit mom for her birthday on April 4th and find a spray of forsythia branches in the centre of her kitchen table ---
buds bursting forth with a brilliant yellow.  
A sunny B Complex capsule in it's most natural form  :) This year, I got to be the happy recipient of my aunt's thoughtful drop-in delivery and am showcasing it here in memory of Mom along with her favourite flower - the fragrant freesia in white and lavender.  On the 4th, her offspring hope to spend some time reminiscing in her cozy little sitting room.  I shall take a yellow sprig along for old times sake!    
A barrel chested pair of morning doves have returned to their favourite section of eavestrough right outside the patio doors.   I studied them for quite a while today as they set up their nest.  I like them well enough - I don't like their incessant 5 am calls - conversely, that just brings the image of a BB gun to mind. 

It was fun to see their frequent & fervent peering over the edge and imagine them tut-tutting over the shocking accumulation of snow on the back deck.  
Julsie had to content herself with a pile of books while the housecleaning was being done.
Bring on the spring thaw!
I think if you were born in the late 80's, you might have some trouble identifying this next picture.  I found them in the long neglected backspace of the bathroom closet.   
Strips of flannel for rag rolling and foam curlers.  
Yes sir-ree bob.  Saturday evenings, all us girls lined up after our bath for a head full of foam rollers.  Sometimes we even got to sit a spell under the oversized
helmut'ish'-looking Automatic hair dryer. 
I took a bunch from home when I married and subjected my own daughters to the same Saturday evening ritual.  I do believe those strands of blonde hair belong to our baby - who just turned 21 yesterday.
My kids can't quite believe ( or is it me?) that the curling iron only became a common household item in my teenage years.  And it too, is already nearing extinction.
Apparently our four year old grand-daughter arrived in ringlets at church last week.
To my way of reckoning, there's only ONE way to put ringlets on a little head of hair....
:)  some traditions never die.
Commencing May 3, Toronto's newly built Roundhouse Theatre is featuring a live performance of one of the most highly esteemed books ever read to my children as they were growing up.  This beautifully illustrated hardcover of The Railway Children by E. Nesbit was the story-hour couch companion for one whole  wintry month in 1990 - according to the inscription of the inside cover.   
 From the dustcover:  
Life changes for Roberta, Peter and Phyllis when their father has to go away, and they and their mother move to a little cottage in the country.  They become the 'railway children', making friends with Perks the Porter and with the Station Master, and waving each day to the 'Green Dragon' engine as it goes by.  Soon every element of the children's lives is involved with the railway, and it is through the railway that their sadness is turned to joy.  
One of the most moving of all children's novels, it is also full of fun and excitement.  
The characters are vividly portrayed, and the reader shares every detail of their daily life.
 I plan to see this play and thereby revisit a wonderful passage of time early in our married life - 
one I'd really like to introduce to the next generation. 
We'll simply have to take the Go Train!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Invaded * Loving it

They are coming soon
We are ready
They've arrived!
All five of them
For a one night sleepover                                                                                                                               


Afternoon snacks and Tinkerbell on the Big Screen

The pictures speak for themselves.
These little peeps totally turn my crank.  

The dirty little secret of loneliness

I get this inspirational stuff popping into my inbox periodically.  Almost daily in fact.  It's from Heart to Heart with Holly.  She's got the gift of encouragement in spades and thanks to God, she aces at the job.
I trust she will not mind me sharing it with you.
Once again, a perfectly timed piercing of perspective.
Be blessed and then...
Get out there and have a cracker-jack day!
                                Woman on Beach photo by Juliana Coutinho (flickr creative commons)
Posted: 17 Mar 2011 06:35 AM PDT

I pull my car into a spot, turn off the engine, and a feeling unexpectedly wraps itself around me.
I brush it off--who has thoughts like that in the parking lot of her favorite coffee shop?
I think of my family, friends, all of you and shake my head. What's the matter with me?
But from time to time, loneliness pays me a visit. I don't ever talk about it.
I really don't even want to talk about it now. Oh,yes...
God isn't a big fan of my comfort zone.
What am I learning about loneliness?
First, it's universal. We all feel lonely sometimes.
It's not a personal reflection on us but rather
"Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy" (Proverbs 14:10).
So don't let the enemy trick you into believing it's about you--that it's some sort of sign that you're not
good enough, loveable enough, worthy enough. No, ma'am.
You just put on some pointy-toed shoes and kick those lies to the curb.
Elijah was a prophet in the Old Testament who challenged the prophets of Baal in a serious showdown and God made an incredible victory happen.
So what does Elijah do?  
Hightails it to the wilderness and tells God he's done. He says, "I am the only one left..." (that's loneliness talking).
God's response is full of tenderness:
The LORD said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.
" Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 
After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.
When we're lonely, the first thing we need is to sense God's presence with us. Yet even after this, Elijah repeats to God, 
"I am the only one left...." Then God tells him that there are seven thousand others faithfully serving Him too.
Hmm, I'm thinking back to the coffee shop parking lot incident. Yep, loneliness distorts our perspective.
I'm learning sometimes we just need a little reminder of the truth--that God is with us, others are alongside us, and loneliness is just a feeling ---  
..... not a fact about who we are.
Yes, amen, and who wants to go to my favorite coffee shop with me next time?
p.s. I feel like there's someone reading with an ache in your heart and a lie running through your mind that says,
"But I'm not loved. I truly am alone." Whoever you are, wherever you are, I want you to hear this loud and clear--that is not true.
You are deeply loved, valued, irreplaceable in this world and the heart of the One who made you.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My Mom's story...

Catharina Verschoor was born April 4, 1939 - just when the dark clouds of another World War hung in hemisphere.  She was born in Rotterdam, one of Europe's busiest sea ports - the thus one of the first targets of the invading Nazi bombers.  

....In total, 1,150 x 50 kg (110 lb) and 158 x 250 kg (550 lb) bombs were dropped. Many of these hit and ignited homes, churches, stores, warehouses and schools resulting in uncontrollable fires in the city centre.  Hooton states that bombs ignited vegetable oil tanks on the dockside, which caused fires that spread into the city centre, causing massive devastation.  Although exact numbers are not known, nearly 1,000 people were killed and 85,000 made homeless.  Around 2.6 square kilometres (1 square mile) of the city was almost levelled. 24,978 homes, 24 churches, 2,320 stores, 775 warehouses and 62 schools were destroyed.
Mom had outgrown her shoes by at least two years before Liberation Day in May of '45.
Imagining the heart agony of having to raise little ones in such a terrifying time makes me especially respectful of my grandmother's memory.  All my photo's show a woman with a wide smile or full out in eye squinting laughter.  
A seemingly stoic strength --- unfettered by woes past or present.
.... like the way I remember Mom.
I hope to post My Mom's story incrementally - we are S.L.O.W.L.Y roaming through Mom's house, discovering, holding and savouring both the memory and the memorabilia.  

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sara Groves

You have to start listening to this gal.
You simply have to.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Be still my anxious heart....

Letting God into my broken-ness and thanking Him for loving me through the message brought by the rich, soothing voice of Fernando Ortega.
Thanks again Lisha for sending it my way!  I can naught but pay it forward....

The Law of the Garbage Truck

Live every day as a gift from the Lord.
... b'cuz it is ... plain and simple.
(Thanks Corinne:)

In loving memory of a great fellow pilgrim.  Experiencing a gnawing need right now for the inspiration she so freely and regularly dispensed among us, I've rifled thru my Keeper's File 
for a fitting forward sent long ago and stored 
for such a moment as this:

One day I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport.
We were driving in the right lane when suddenly, a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us.  My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded and missed the other car by inches!  The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us.  My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy.  And I mean, he was really friendly.  So I asked, "Why did you just do that?
This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!"
This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call,
"The Law of the Garbage Truck"
He explained that many people are like garbage trucks.
They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger,
.... full of disappointment.
As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it
and sometimes, they'll dump it on you.
Don't take it personally.
Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on.
Don't take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, home or on the street.
The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day.
Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets.
Love the people who treat you right,
Pray for those who don't.

Life is ten percent what you make it and ninety percent how you take it.
Go and have a garbage-free day!