Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Coffee Comfort

Our daughter in law says we have an addiction. She and my son are not coffee drinkers yet they continue to receive an assortment of fancy schmancy coffee makers. They do entertain a lot and use them on those occasions. It has become a bit of a joke to dig out coffee out of the freezer and dust off the coffee pot when we are visiting

Their best friends gave them a Keurig coffee maker for Christmas. Even the grandchildren have gotten in on the addiction. They race to brew a cup for Nana and Papa Dan when they hear the first signs of life from us. They are the cutest little baristas ever! Our youngest (so far) Lily will be three in August. I cracked up when she invited me to have our drinks outside on the patio. So I with my cup of coffee and she with her sippy cup had a special coffee break outside.

It is a rare occasion that we get to visit with my daughter’s family for breakfast. It is unspoken, I will stop on my way for fresh donuts and there will be a strong pot of coffee freshly brewed. We had a great laugh one morning. Grandson Riley decided he wanted a cup. Mom poured him a small amount thinking one taste would discourage him. He took a sip, gasped and said, “Sugar please.”

We too have acquired an array of coffee makers. They too are, for the most part, from our children. There are small pots, larger party size pots and iced coffee pots. For Mother’s Day, Dan gave me our own Keurig coffee maker. We are running over with coffee and pots. I joked we may have to expand our kitchen to accommodate our collection.

We Americans have a strange love affair with coffee. Coffee shops are a booming business. We gather with loved ones, visit and sip from our particular caffeine drug of choice.

That warm cup of coffee is a comfort. Just this morning I was remembering Daddy and our coffee breaks. When we were still on the bottle, he would give us a drop of coffee. I can still remember his giggle when we had our secret coffee cocktails together. I have written about the peace between my parents and me before their deaths. That is huge comfort particularly in my struggles with personal demons.

As is most things we are attached to, it is not necessarily the physical but the emotional attachment. I still have my Daddy’s coffee cup. It is too precious to drink from anymore, but it has a special place in our home. I hope and pray that our children and grandchildren will have many memories from our times together that will bring them comfort and a smile.

The Lord directs the steps of the Godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand. Psalm 37:23-24

Sunday, May 8, 2011


Today was another cause for family celebration. Our niece Abigail graduated cum laude from UCA with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Abigail has always been a ray of sunshine. Her friends shared with us today that she is always smiling and full of joy. They said, “That’s why she is everyone’s friend.”

Abigail with brother Caleb, Dad Alan and Mom Dawn

She is a Godly young woman; wise beyond her years in her faith. She plans to attend two years in seminary preparing for a career in missions. Already she has spent much of her time on the mission field including a journey to the other side of the world to Papua New Guinea.

Abigal in Papua New Guinea

Not only does she have a smile that brightens your spirit, she has faith and conviction to carry His light to a world of darkness. She has attracted and bonded with many young people who share her faith and conviction. We had the opportunity to visit with several of her friends at lunch today. They too are a joy and an encouragement. (They love chocolate too!)

Friends rocking a decedant desert!  My kind of gals!

We were hesitant about the trip. There were many detours along the way because of flooding and tornado damage. We left early before sunrise to make it on time. All things considered, the trip was not too difficult; at least for me who slept most of the way.  Dan may tell a different story.

No. We were not at the lake. These are flood waters on one of our detour routes.

The sights on the way back were difficult. We passed through the town of Vilonia where several homes and lives were destroyed by a tornado. The mood was somber but determined as we watched neighbors helping each other along. While their commencement is different, they too are an example of hope of the human spirit.They are missionaries within their own neighborhood. They too show promise of a new beginning.

Home damaged by tornado and what use to be a home.

Again, we are thankful for our blessings oh Lord.

Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord.

Psalm 31:24

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Dear Mother and Daddy

I first must clarify. My family had eight girls and two boys. I was born next to the last child. I make this declaration because of a comment that was made to me years ago. A co-worker, thinking I was always referring to a singular sister, was led to wonder whether I had a very gifted and versatile sister or that I had a creative imagination! While my siblings do have a variety of special gifts and talents, I could not even begin to create some of our life adventures. Our family, like all, has its issues. It has its times of joys, sorrows and even moments on the crazy train.

Patsy's letter with my two year old post script!
 I received a precious gift in the mail this week. One of my sisters, Jean was going through her family photos and uncovered a note written by another sister, Patsy and me in 1953. It was a very difficult time in the lives of our family. Since I was just a toddler, I have little recollection of that season except the feeling of sadness and confusion.

Our parents were at a hospital miles away with my critically ill sister Nellie. She was born with a heart condition and was given a very short life expectancy. The fact that she lived to be sixteen was viewed as a miracle. Sadly she passed away after a surgical procedure at that tender age.

Mom and Me Mothers Day 1995
 Our sister Patsy was just barely seven and I two years of age. She was obviously homesick for Mom, Dad and older sister. Possibly she was growing tired of wrestling with entertaining her younger siblings. Even in her sadness, she was trying to put on a brave front and comfort those she loved. To have the gift to comfort others when we ourselves are mourning is a beautiful gift.

How timely that this precious treasure find it’s way back into our hearts this week. Mothers Day weekend is approaching. It brings a mixed bag for many of us. I have received a great Mothers Day gift through this letter. It is a reminder, even through the most difficult and darkest times, Love shines triumphantly.

I pray that you all find Comfort and Love this Mothers Day weekend!

As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you.” Isaiah 66:13

Monday, May 2, 2011

Easter, L’Phants and Camels – Oh My!

Megan, Haley, Connor and Baby Lily

Easter "Safari"


Dan and I were blessed to spend several days with children and grandchildren over the Easter weekend. It had been a very long time since we have worshiped together on an Easter Sunday.

Papa Dan and Baby Lily
(Unknow passengers)
Nana, Connor and Haley Camel Ride
 Our daughter in law is super organized. She has every moment scheduled and planned to the minutest detail. We spent one day at a Medieval Fair. We rode elephants (or L’Phant according to our two year old) and camels with the grandchildren. There were live chess games, archery lessons and joisting matches among the many five hour events.

Becky giving Dan driving directions.  Note the pink purse.  Only a grandfather!

Connor and Haley sharing a drink.

Archery lesson 1.

After Easter morning worship, neighbors gathered at the house for food, fellowship and of course, an egg hunt. Their neighbors are very sweet. The ones that came were from different countries or different areas of this country. Their neighbors were their family.

Easter Sunday Neighborhood Brunch

We would love to be a part of every single moment of our children and grandchildren’s lives. Unfortunately, that so far has not been possible. The many miles that separate us do not separate our hearts. We try to make every moment we spend together count. Maybe if we were closer together we may take those precious moments for granted.

Easter Sunday before Mass.  Guess which two are NOT morning people?~

And the great hunt begins!

Lily more interested in squashing bugs than huting eggs!

As we watched the neighborhood laugh and share about their families, it really struck us, how gracious God is. Even though they too are separated by miles from their loved ones, God has provided family to share their lives. Our children’s home was a banqueting house of love.

Joshua standing by Connor's "Blue thingy
which is a mover arounder" he used to help
Mom with landscaping!

The "Car Guys" Papa Dan and Joshua

In this day and age of high technology, one can virtually do everything from home. They can shop, work and worship. The world is becoming more and more impersonal. Instead of voice messages, we receive texted messages. It is indeed special to see personal interaction and sharing each others lives.

At the end of five hours, some of us are still managing a smile, others crashed and burned.....

Mom and "Dr. Son"

Megan taking a snooze on the way home.

Dan and I

Many of our Scarf Sisters share love for the same scripture. I smiled as I read the scripture below that Terry had marked in our traveling Bible.

He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.

Song of Solomon 2:4