Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Carlton the Camper Comes Home


    As you may already know, on Saturday, we brought Carlton the camper home. We had bought the used travel trailer the first of December but had left it in storage at the dealership until the snow melted and the yard was dry. I’ve spent the last four months planning a myriad of camping trips and picturing how to make all the new gadgets work. Our pop-up camper only had the basics, and we never even used the heater or the water in it.

Of course, the biggest worry I had was just getting it home and backed into its spot in the yard. Hubby parked it like a champ. Helpful hint – instead of shouting at him and using all sorts of hand motions which he probably couldn’t see anyway, I called him from my cellphone to his speakerphone in his truck and very quietly and calmly told him which was to go and when to stop.

Though the weather the last few weeks has been unseasonably warm and sunny, it is springtime in Wisconsin. Shortly after we got Carlton set up in his new home, it started raining. And has been cold and rainy ever since. We had a layer of fresh snow on the ground this morning! Typical.

It will eventually warm up, and the sun will return. And the open road will call, and we’ll be ready.

Just getting it on the road. 
Backed into place. And it doesn't take up as much room in the yard as I had thought it would. 
Time to unhook it from the new hitch assembly. 
Looking good. What does Dino think? 
I wasn't sure if Dino would find a bed for himself. 
But he did. 
And didn't want to leave. He's ready for camping too. 

We'll figure out all of Carlton's bells and whistles in due time. 

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Repeat the Story

    Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29, New King James Version)

 A couple of weeks ago, I had a dream where a former co-worker called me up out of the blue. She was doing a radio show and wanted to interview me about my faith. In my dream, I was driving in my car and told her that sure, I had the time and would love to tell her about why I believed that Jesus Christ was my Savior.

I thought she meant she wanted to interview me on the phone right then, so I went into my spiel about having been born and raised in the Christian faith, going to church and Sunday School every week, praying at every meal, getting confirmed.

Then I told her about the time, back in 2005, when I was feeling sorry for myself and feeling very distant from God. Suddenly I felt a warm, strong hand under my chin, turning my face to the heavens, and heard a voice, rich and loving, tell me that I was His precious child. When I opened my eyes, there was no one there, well, no one that I could see. But I knew how real He was.

And then, in my dream, after sharing all of that with this woman on the phone, she said, “oh, that’s great, but I wasn’t recording it, so can you repeat all of that?”

I was like, “no, I’m not going to repeat all of that!”

And that’s when I woke up, wondering what that dream could possibly mean. All I know is that I hope when given the chance, I’ll joyfully repeat my faith story as many times as I need to.

Lord, Jesus Christ, thank You for coming into my life and for always being with me, for holding me when I am lonely, for lifting me up when I am falling. For being my eternal Savior. Amen

No, my daffodils aren't up yet; this picture was taken April 20, 2012. If you read my post on Friday, you realize that some years the flowers are farther behind than others. But we keep the faith. 

Friday, April 9, 2021

The Bipolar Months of the Year

 I have a friend who says that April is her least favorite month, that the weather all month is like a bipolar woman with PMS – cold and snowy one day, sunny and warm the next, and then a whole week of nothing but clouds and rain. I know we are only a week into the month, but we sure can’t complain this year. 

April 1, 2021

Other years? Oh, yes we can complain. Or maybe I just need to stop planning for vacations this time of year. 

April 4, 2014, getting ready to drive to Missouri on vacation.

Back home again on April 11, 2014. Lost a lot of snow that week. 

March 9, 2018, leaving for another trip to Missouri, this time we met up with the kids along the way. Not quite as much snow, for March anyway. Didn't get a picture when we got home though. Darn. 

April 11, 2019, when we left for Virginia that morning, it wasn't too bad around our house. Yet. But we ran into blizzard conditions just down the road. It was memorable enough to get its own blog post.

April 19, 2019, again pretty surprised by how much snow melted in a week while we were gone. Unfortunately, that year, it flooded our basement. 
April 11, 2020, thanks to the pandemic we canceled our spring vacation last year. And look how nice the April weather was! Until two days later. 

April 13, 2020. Oh, well. That's spring weather in Wisconsin. 

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Jesus on Easter Morning

 Matthew 28, Good News Translation of the Bible

 The Resurrection

 After the Sabbath, as Sunday morning was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. 2 Suddenly there was a violent earthquake; an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled the stone away, and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid that they trembled and became like dead men.

5 The angel spoke to the women. “You must not be afraid,” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has been raised, just as he said. Come here and see the place where he was lying. 7 Go quickly now, and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from death, and now he is going to Galilee ahead of you; there you will see him!’ Remember what I have told you.”

8 So they left the tomb in a hurry, afraid and yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.

9 Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Peace be with you.” They came up to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. 10 “Do not be afraid,” Jesus said to them. “Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”

 Jesus Appears to His Disciples

16 The eleven disciples went to the hill in Galilee where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him, even though some of them doubted. 18 Jesus drew near and said to them, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Go, then, to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples: baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, 20 and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And I will be with you always, to the end of the age.”

At the Mirador Turistico at Ayacucho, Peru, when I was there the week after Easter in 2009.

Friday, April 2, 2021

Jesus on Good Friday

 From Luke 23:32-49, Good News Translation of the Bible

 32 Two other men, both of them criminals, were also led out to be put to death with Jesus. 33 When they came to the place called “The Skull,” they crucified Jesus there, and the two criminals, one on his right and the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Forgive them, Father! They don't know what they are doing.”

They divided his clothes among themselves by throwing dice. 35 The people stood there watching while the Jewish leaders made fun of him: “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah whom God has chosen!”

36 The soldiers also made fun of him: they came up to him and offered him cheap wine, 37 and said, “Save yourself if you are the king of the Jews!”

38 Above him were written these words: “This is the King of the Jews.”

39 One of the criminals hanging there hurled insults at him: “Aren't you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”

40 The other one, however, rebuked him, saying, “Don't you fear God? You received the same sentence he did. 41 Ours, however, is only right, because we are getting what we deserve for what we did; but he has done no wrong.” 42 And he said to Jesus, “Remember me, Jesus, when you come as King!”

43 Jesus said to him, “I promise you that today you will be in Paradise with me.”

44-45 It was about twelve o'clock when the sun stopped shining and darkness covered the whole country until three o'clock; and the curtain hanging in the Temple was torn in two. 46 Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Father! In your hands I place my spirit!” He said this and died.

47 The army officer saw what had happened, and he praised God, saying, “Certainly he was a good man!”

48 When the people who had gathered there to watch the spectacle saw what happened, they all went back home, beating their breasts in sorrow. 49 All those who knew Jesus personally, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance to watch.

 Scene from the Mirador Turistico at Ayacucho, Peru, when I was there the week after Easter in 2009.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Jesus as our Savior - Lenten Blog Post #6

 And it will be for a sign and for a witness to the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt; for they will cry to the Lord because of the oppressors, and He will send them a Savior and a Mighty One, and He will deliver them. (Isaiah 19:20, New King James Version)

    On Sundays during Lent this year, I’ve been writing about the different roles Jesus played, including son, brother, friend, and teacher. Today, as we celebrate Palm Sunday and Jesus’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem, I’m sharing verses about Jesus, the Savior. The time had come for Jesus to finish his work and complete his ultimate goal – to save us all from our sins.  

 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:11, New King James Version)

 Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.” (John 4:42, New King James Version)

 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. (1 John 4:14, New King James Version)

 Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault. All glory to him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen. (Jude 24-25, New Living Translation) 

This year’s theme for pictures to accompany my Lenten posts is churches I have seen in my travels around the country. Today’s is Bruton Parish Episcopal Church, in historic Williamsburg, Virginia. When we toured Williamsburg two years ago, we arrived at the church in time for the noon prayer service, which was short – ten minutes – but long enough to move me to tears.

Yes, all glory be to God.


Friday, March 26, 2021

A Simple Sunset

   Last night, I worked another COVID vaccine clinic, so I didn’t head home until after seven. As I was crossing the bridge, going through town, I was stunned by the remarkably beautiful sunset. Many evenings I am privileged to see the sunset from that bridge, just as I witness the sunrise there in the mornings.

As it often does, it crossed my mind to stop and take a picture, but it was late, and I just wanted to get home. Then as I was half-way through town, I decided, no, I wanted to capture this sunset. What if it were the last I would ever see? That sounds somewhat depressing.

But the truth is that it would be the last sunset that I would see on March 25, 2021.

So, I snaked back through town, following the river, to try to get the same view as when I was on the bridge.

Didn’t quite get there.

I headed south out of town, remembering one last place where I could get to the river.

Aww, perfect.  

That’s our paper mill on the left, which means almost as much to me as the sunset does. Childhood memories of the air in town smelling of rotten eggs from whatever was being dispelled from the mill’s smokestacks and Dad coming home with a different smell clinging to his clothes. The nights the phone would ring at one am, and he’d get called in because the number 2 machine was down.

See what it means to watch one simple sunset?