Sunday, July 25, 2010

Corn Field Calamity

     On weekends Dan turns from the tool man into Dan the farmer man. He was cautioned more than once by seasoned gardeners his corn crop would more than likely become raccoon feed. Well, he has proven them wrong. Cross winds came through eliminating the corn from both human and animal consumption.

 We do have squash and peas and a glimmer of hope for more tomatoes. Dan wasn’t sure what kind of peas he had planted so I called my sister Jean for advice. She and her family garden for fun and relaxation. (I am sure it must be form of mental illness.) She told me when they turned purple it was harvest time. I was excited when their color began to change. Success! The excitement waned when I actually had to harvest and preserve them. Nature’s harvest time does not wait for cooler temperatures. “It’s only 89 today” Dan says. Only! Oh boy a cold front!

     Dan has also planted what he thinks are Jackson Bush Beans. I am thinking they are Mr. Jackson’s.

     Our friend Kathy says there are city, county and country folk. “Perhaps, she says, you may be a little more county than country.”

"As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease." Genesis 8:22

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Different Walk

     A young man approached me last week and asked if I would mind a very personal question. Of course curious, I gave him permission. He asked if I’d had breast cancer. Surprised I asked how he knew. His reply, “Most people don’t realize you develop a different walk. My mom died 15 years ago from breast cancer. I thought your walk was familiar, but when I saw your scars, I was sure.”

     He went on to say how treatments and surgery disrupt the body’s natural core resulting in impaired balance, coordination and stride. I was really impressed with his keen observation. Most medical professionals discount or simply do not address the long term effect on the body and soul.

     The conversation evolved into a much too common voice of regret. Too many of us regret not treasuring each moment with our loved ones. There seems to always be words unspoken and deeds undone. The Great News is they too have a different walk.

      Even after our parents leave this earth, they are still with us. They are never far away when we need reassurance and guidance. The Word planted within us is still very much alive. They remind of us of how precious and beautiful life is; no doubt walking along side Jesus as He hand picks generations of children to send down to us. No wonder we are getting the cream of the heavenly crop!

      A realization of their quality of life above can be a salve to our wounded hearts. We mourn and grieve for our loved ones. That is a natural process. They do not mourn. They see all things as Christ. A day is like a thousand years to them. They do not grieve for any suffering we may
be enduring. You see, they are expecting us to join them sometime today.

      Now, some folks that didn’t know my Momma may feel the need to challenge the theology of my thoughts. That’s all well and good as far as I am concerned. I’ll just let my Momma have the usual last word!

Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.  1st Corintians 13:12


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Half Shoes

     The Jacksons have been super busy lately. We have in times past saved to have our flooring replaced but each time was called to spend the money elsewhere. I prayed that God would place a love for our carpet in my heart if we were not to replace it. Never happened!

      The replacement has been completed and the house is gradually being put back together. We spent the last couple of weeks packing and unpacking. A number of things did not find the way back into the house; items that should have been a blessing to another household years ago. Numerous others just needed to be sent to the round file.

      We have done rather well with not overflowing into the attic. It mostly contains things that we actually do use seasonally and of course, is home to the original boxes for Dan’s prized cars.  Most of the cars are still "parked" in the garage. New shelving has been ordered to make better use of their office space.

      I decided to store some of our boxed belongings in the attic during the remodel. As I struggled up the stairs with a load my husband’s voice of reason sounded in my head. I was wearing my flip flops. They are a far cry from safety shoes.

     My husband dislikes flip flops, thongs wedges or any version of shoes that do not cover the foot. He refers to them as half shoes. On many occasion he has wisely cautioned me about wearing them. It is not that it offends his sense of style. He doesn’t want to make another emergency room trip with me after falling off my half shoe. I have had a broken foot and a sprained ankle and I can say the latter was more painful and took longer to heal. No, my Momma did not name me Grace; but if the half shoe fits—

      I don’t know how or when we all began our attachment to half shoes. I can personally remember a time when they were just shower shoes. Do you remember checking them off your list of supplies for summer camp? I recall a warning to always wear them in the shower area in order not to contract a disease that could make your toes fall off. And yet, with these delightful memories, we are still attached to them.

      I have never once heard, “I told you so.” In response to a reckless shoe purchase Dan did ask, “Honey, could you not afford to buy the whole shoe?”

The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.” - Habakkuk 3:19

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Lots and Locks of Love

      I remember when I received the phone call that we were expecting our first grandchild. I was absolutely moved to tears. As excited as I was at the news, I had no idea just how grand being a grandmother would be.

     We now have three grand girls. Grand they are each in their own unique way. Haley is now twelve, Megan nine and Lily almost two,

      Haley is very quite, private an avid book reader, musician, and dancer. Every year she grows her thick hair long and donates it to Locks of Love. (Locks of Love is an organization that provides wigs for children in need under the age of 21 years.) It is a wonderful and loving gesture for such a young one.

     My most favorite picture is that of the “Hat Girls.” Haley and Megan were visiting just as I began my chemo treatments. They were “helping” me get dressed and spontaneously popped hats on their heads. It was a very encouraging moment for me.

      Megan is outgoing, strong willed, loves chess, singing, martial arts and being the center of attention. She as older sister has set a goal to contribute to Locks of Love.

      Always the helpers, they eagerly joined Papa Dan and Nana in painting their backyard fence. They did a great job with those little hands. Of course, we were just thrilled to spend time with them.

      Then there is Lily. It is a perfect name for her meaning; innocence, purity and beauty. Even at her young age, her strong personality shines throw. She is also strong willed and quick witted. She is equally adored by her two brothers and two sisters.

      Although they are so different they shine in their own ways. Their commonality is love and compassion for others. They quarrel as all siblings do, but woe to anyone that appears threatening! Without a spoken word, they immediately band together.

      Along with the grand girls we are blessed with four grand boys who show promise of great men. As grandparents do, I often wonder just how they will impact the world individually and corporately. No doubt they will make it a better place!

     As grandparents do, I often wonder just how they will impact the world individually and corporately. No doubt they will make it a better place! A biased proud grandmother you say? Yep!
Working Girls!

     The righteous who walks in His integrity blessed are his children after him!
Proverbs 20:7

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Fourth Thoughts

Like most Americans we spent the Fourth of July with friends and fireworks. As holidays are, feelings were ambivalent.

As we drove past a cemetery a row of tiny American flags caught my eye. A young woman apparently had decorated the grave of a loved one with them. She sat quietly and lost in her thoughts.

Around the corner we saw another American flag. This flag was flying proudly at a home flanked by large “Welcome Home Soldier” posters.

My thoughts wandered to several loved ones; Nephew Caleb on his second tour of combat duty, the life of Great Nephew Barry taken in Iraq. I thought of son in law Neil who still struggles with physical and emotional trauma from his tour of duty in Iraq. He grieves the loss of his fellow soldiers. The thought that we Americans forget or do not grieve for those who sacrificed so greatly for us, deepens his sense of loss.

I have made several attempts to discard mother in law Mary’s make up case. She carried it for years. It still smells of her Jean Nate; a sweet fragrance of her and the precious lady she was. Maybe when the fragrance fades I will let it go. I thought of father in law Neil’s Army uniform. He wore it proudly while serving his country in Europe. It was many years later that we discovered he had served with General Patton. Like many, he served his country with honor, quietly and bravely.

As we lay watching the thousands of lights from fireworks bursting through the sky, my thoughts again drifted to the countless, nameless and faceless many who sacrificed so greatly to give us nights like this. Like Mary’s fragrance, memories invoke varying emotions. Some memories bring tears of joy, some of pain, loss and sorrow.

Whenever we spot a service uniform, we make every effort to stop them, say thank you and shake their hands. The reactions touch your heart. Sadly, many are surprised, but always very thankful for expressions of appreciation. Lord help us to always remember, however bittersweet, the sweet fragrance of our country’s freedom.

      Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 
 II Corinthians 3:17

      If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land 
II Chronicles 7:14

Monday, July 5, 2010

Tomato-Tomato, Potato-Potato

She says tomato, he says tomato, she says potato, and he says potato.
She wear flip flops, he wears boots.

She shops Kroger for produce at $1.59 per pound; he grows it at $50.00 per pound.

She delights in HGTV, he in innovative irrigation systems.

A man of simple pleasures and a tender heart for God;

it's a good life with farmer Dan!

      He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. Isaiah 40:11

Thursday, July 1, 2010


    It seems  "BFF" or "Best Friends Forever" has become a shallow expression.  As a matter of reference I looked up their definition.

        Best: most excellent; surpassing all others.
        Friend: a person on the same side in a struggle.
        Forever: for eternity, for always; endlessly.

      Without question, Webster has nailed the description of our very best friend forever Becky! She surpasses all as a friend, mother (to only child Shadow), wife, daughter, aunt, niece, cousin or sister.

     I inherited Becky’s friendship with my marriage to Dan. At first she was closed and distant. Upon discovering we had much in common, we became fast friends. She is by far the best wedding present ever!

       Today is her birthday. God sent this world a big smile and a hug on this date. We begrudgingly must share Becky. She is not only our best friend forever but is to all her friends.

       The following poem is for you on this very special day of celebrating you!

Best Friends Forever                                                           

I’ll stand by your side
Help fight all your fight
And never leave you alone
And when you cry
I’ll get a cup and let you fill it up
And dump it in the ocean
And we can sit and watch as your pain floats away
And when you are happy I’ll capture it in a glass
And when you are blue I’ll pull it out and show you
And when you are old and dying I’ll be by your side crying
And when you're gone
I’ll close your eyes
And whisper to you
See you on the other side

© Rachelle Cox

       Happy Birthday Becky!

      After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. 2 From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return to his father’s house. 3 And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. 
1 Samuel 18:1–4 (NIV)