Sunday, July 15, 2018

Better Days Are Coming

Then David and all Israel played music before God with all their might, with singing, on harps, on stringed instruments, on tambourines, on cymbals, and with trumpets.
1 Chronicles 13:8 (New King James Version)

 Sitting here looking over my pictures and my notes from yet another Lifest, that Christian music festival in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, which I have been to eleven times since the first year in 2002, I’m trying to come up with the big “ah-ha” moment to share with you. But there is so much, as usual.

 I’m also so tired. Not only was the weather hot and humid all weekend and rainy on Friday, I woke up Thursday morning with a cold, which has left me exhausted and spacy, unable to focus on much at times except my cough and running nose. Needless to say, I didn’t do much singing and dancing, no matter how much Hubby encouraged me.

 I can’t say that I even did much singing and dancing in my soul, which leaves me somewhat disheartened. But I will bounce back. My Father in heaven will wait for me, always with open arms.

Thank You, Lord Father, for giving me this weekend, for my cold and the stormy weather. I know You are with me in all things and that better days are coming. Amen  

Sunday, July 8, 2018

The Good Land

Psalm 37 
 25 I was young, and now I am old.
    But I have never seen the Lord leave good people helpless.
    I have never seen their children begging for food.
26 Good people always lend freely to others.
    And their children are a blessing.
27 Stop doing evil and do good.
    Then you will live forever.
28 The Lord loves justice.
    He will not leave those who worship him.
He will always protect them.
    But the children of the wicked will die.
29 Good people will inherit the land.
    They will live in it forever.
30 A good person speaks with wisdom.
    He says what is fair.
31 The teachings of his God are in his heart.
    He does not fail to keep them.
32 The wicked watch for good people.
    They want to kill them.
33 The Lord will not take away his protection.
    He will not judge good people guilty.

It’s been a month since I shared the previous eight verses from Psalm 37. Lately, I’ve been feeling a lot of that first line – “I was young, and now I am old”. I keep feeling older every day, especially when I see the sadness in this world, the evil, the lack of doing what is right.

Then I turn my eyes to the Word of God, to the Holy Bible and find words like these, and I know that there is hope for better things.  

Good people will inherit the land. They will live in it forever.

Friday, July 6, 2018

My Train Ride

 On Sunday, I shared a random picture of me on a train, with the promise that I would get around to sharing the rest of the story. So here it is.

 Last Friday, Hubby and I went down to East Troy to visit our son. Saturday morning, while the son was volunteering at a car show, Hubby and I headed over to the East Troy Train Museum and Depot. The East Troy Railroad Museum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational corporation with a mission to preserve the rail heritage of Wisconsin and America. Its rail line runs between Mukwonago and East Troy and is the last remnant of The Milwaukee Electric Railway & Light interurban rail system.
 In the early nineteen-hundreds, The Milwaukee Electric Railway & Light Company operated over 200 miles of track in Southeastern Wisconsin, providing freight and mail service as well as public transportation. By the 1930s, highways throughout the country were improving and more people were driving their own vehicles, which meant a decrease in passenger service on the railroad. Eventually, the need for freight service also waned. All the other lines were eventually abandoned, but the people of the city of East Troy fought to keep the segment from Mukwonago to their town. Over the years all service ended, except for the passenger cars which carry tourist and train enthusiasts along this track.
 Hubby and I jumped on one such rail car for the short journey to the Elegant Farmer store in Mukwonago. The train would be back to pick us up in half hour. As we were entering the store, the son called and asked where we were. I obliged and, within what seemed like only a few minutes, the boy showed up, having driven the six miles from East Troy. Hubby and I took our few purchases to the checkout, where he thought I should check on the status of our train. It was in the station, boarding.

I told the son to let his step-dad know that I was jumping on the train and heading back. I felt bad that Hubby missed the train, but at least the son was there to give him a ride back to the depot in East Troy. I figure that gave them some male-bonding time and I got some me-time.

Back at the Depot with the son. All is good. 
You can read more about the East Troy train by clicking here. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Happy Independence Day

Good morning and Happy Fourth of July to everyone. I am sure that you have things to do today – hopefully fun stuff such as cooking out, setting off safe fireworks, watching parades or chilling by some sort of body of water. So I will make this short.

Looking back, I see that I have mentioned Independence Day in various posts, but never wrote about the history of the holiday. Of course, you all learned that in school and committed it to memory, right? Ok, maybe not all of it, but I am sure most remember hearing that Thomas Jefferson, for the most part, wrote the Declaration of Independence and that the colonies signed it on July 4, 1776. 

Well, it went something like that, depending on what you read, but as already mentioned, I am going to make this short. Here is what I really want you to remember today.

The preamble which begins with these famous lines, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

I’d like to reprint the rest of that preamble here, or a paraphrase of it. I actually found a version of the Declaration of Independence online in “modern day language”. I’ll leave it to you to look it up and read it. As with anything that is paraphrased, there is a certain amount of interpretation, which veers from the original sentiments, which is why I won’t post it here. (I need to stop writing, don’t I? So much for keeping this short.)

What I really want to say is that if you are a citizen of these United States of America, your government was formed to allow you to have these rights and freedoms, along with all of your friends, neighbors and enemies. You may not agree with these people on everything, but you have to agree that they have the same rights and freedoms as you do. And we need to be respectful of that in what we say and do. That’s all folks. 
Hubby and I went to southeast Wisconsin this past weekend. We weren’t planning on driving through the state capital on the way home, but I see now why we did. As many times as I go past the state capitol, I never tire of it. To me, it is a symbol of Freedom.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

A Bit Quirky

 The Lord is righteous in all He does. 
 The Lord is loving and right. Yes, our God is full of loving-kindness.
 The Lord takes care of the child-like. I was brought down, and He saved me.
(Psalm 116:5-6 New Life Version)

There are some things which I will never master, here is one of them. What is with this younger generation that they feel the need to not only take “selfies”, but then to post them on their social media? Me? Not so much . . .

The circumstances under which I took this horrible picture (and four that are even worse) are a story I will share another time. I will admit to you, however, that over the last few months I’ve been feeling down for no reason I can put my finger on. If you read my last post, you know how busy I have been, which I am sure contributes to my downheartedness. I also have been feeling just plain old.

So yesterday, riding alone on this train, I was hit with the child-like wonder I used to possess, that yearning to explore and discover, to find everything novel and fascinating, to see through eyes of someone who is innocent. I was also hit with desire to return to writing in general and blogging in particular, to share even the most mundane events of my life and let you, my readers, experience them with that same curiosity.   

It was a moment of epiphany, of realization that it was time to return to my roots, to who I really am. Not some old lady on a train, but a child at heart. And a child of God.

Thank You, God, for making me who I am, a bit quirky at times, but still always a child belonging to You. Amen.     

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Where Have I Been?

 It feels like more than ten days since I’ve posted a blog here. Twenty days ago, I said I was going to cut back on my blogging, but did I really mean that much? What have I been doing? Have I been off on some exotic, fun-filled vacation? Or have I been sick in bed? Or taking care of a loved one? Maybe I have just been sooo busy with all the things that I am always so busy with?

Nope, really nothing like that. First of all, I’ve been healthy (as much as usual, anyway), and no one else has been sick or in crisis that I have put my life on hold for. I surely have not been on vacation somewhere. I certainly would have found the time to sneak in some pictures of it if I had been. How about that too busy excuse? Well, maybe.

So far this month I’ve been to a wedding for one friend, started helping plan another wedding, gone to two graduation parties, had a reunion with seven others who I lived in a dorm with while in college too many years ago to count. Umm, I’m looking at my calendar. Boy, June is almost over, isn’t?

I took one day off work early in the month to take a ride with some old girlfriends. I had two appointments at the lawyer’s office, I worked a Saturday, had a meeting of our nonprofit, made it to church only twice. Worked some late nights and early mornings at the day job. Worked on my veges and my flowers out in the yard. And on top of all that, the highway that takes us into town has been torn up, so sometimes, I go around the long way to town and sometimes I take a chance on the gravel, but either way, it takes longer to drive those five miles.

Oh, and started the month off with my husband's retirement party!

I’m not complaining, or I better not, coz guess what? My July calendar is just about as full. I have a short reprieve for a few weeks in August and then almost every weekend in September and October I have something going on already.

Hubby and I were talking the other night about starting to think about vacation for next year. We’ve been wanting to take a big trip somewhere. I’m kinda thinkin’ no. Thinkin’ finding a cabin in the woods somewhere. But next summer is like eleven months away. Maybe I need to find that cabin sooner than that.

Well, wish me luck with that. But don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine. Gonna just power through it like I always do. Hope you are having a relaxing summer. Soak up some of that for me. 
 But I am blessed to be surrounded by friends. 
The girls I haven't seen hardly at all in more than thirty years. 
And the girls I already got together with twice this month.
And family and friends who joined us in wishing Hubby well in retirement. 

Sunday, June 17, 2018

A Memory for Father's Day

 “The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the wilderness. There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.” Deuteronomy 1:30-31 (New International Version)

I already had a Bible verse picked out for today, I was all ready to go with it. Then I remembered it was Father’s Day. What can I say about that?

When I first started this blog eight years ago, I wrote about the story of my life and how I got where I am today. One of those journeys which shaped me was how I moved to Colorado and how I came home again. I won’t reshare that now, just one glimpse of those days.

My friend Brenda and I moved to Colorado in the fall of 1984. The following spring, Mom and Dad came out to visit, or more like to check up on us. They called one night from Sterling to say that just couldn’t make it the last 150 miles, that they were going to camp there and see us the next morning. When I got off the phone, I looked at Brenda and my soon-to-be first husband and said we should drive out to meet them. That night, in the dark, over two hours away.

I can’t remember what time we left, but I think we got to the campground after midnight. All was quiet, and I didn’t want to wake them up, or anyone else in their tents and campers fast asleep. Brenda, Dan, and I tried to get as comfortable as we could in his Datsun and sleep until dawn.

As the sun was coming up, I peeked out the steamed up windows of the compact car and saw Dad walking around the camp. I flew open the door and ran to him. He was so surprised to see me when I threw myself into his arms. He laughed and hugged me back.

My dad, as most fathers of his generation, was not demonstrative. That was the first time I remember hugging him. I’m sure there were other times, and I do remember a few after that. But there was something about that morning, the cool stillness, surrounded by people sleeping in their own campsites. Mom inside their fifth wheel trailer probably just starting to wake up. Me, 1,200 hundred miles away from home for the past nine months. But there was Dad that morning, in that moment, no one else in the world.

Backing up a bit, when I left for that adventure to Colorado, Dad had given me something. So simple and almost silly, but I still carry it with me today.

Thank You, God, Heavenly Father, for sending fathers to their children. Guide them and guard them in the vital task they have been given. Amen.