Wednesday, December 26, 2012


What a difference a day makes! After our sunny Christmas Eve weather, Christmas morning brought rain, sleet, and then snow.  It was either a triple decker Christmas gift or a sock of coal depending upon your point of view. Against my better judgment, we slipped and slid by auto to a friend's house for Christmas dinner.  I reasoned if her family could make it from Springfield, MO and Little Rock, surely we could make it a mile.

Taking photos on our blizzard walk.

We had a wonderful dinner and fun with our village friends and their extended family.  Thrown into the mix were two Asian exchange students.  They were loving experiencing an American Christmas. As our friend Joyce read the traditional, "T'was the Night Before Christmas" they listened intently.  It was first explained to them the REAL meaning of Christmas was the birth of Christ.

Dan measuring 8 inches....
 As the snow kept pelting down and the sun setting I grew more and more anxious.  The guys laughed off the gals' apprehension. Finally we departed for home.  As feared, the icy hill to the main street was not to be breached.  After three men strategized to no avail, (I will leave that to your imagination) I decided we should walk home.  I was so annoyed at that point I was sure my frustration would fuel any needed body heat on the cold walk home.

Our little snow covered cottage
 I fumed up the first hill.  Upon reaching the main street, my humor kicked in and giggles started.  I suggested we were making a Lifetime movie event.  Dan, I am sure, was just happy not hear an ear full of, "I told you so!"  Several folks offered us a ride but we (I) were still  more comfortable walking than riding. I was confident with the knowledge emergency rescue was just a few minutes away.

Taking a break from shoveling snow to visit with neighbors
 We made it fine and actually got too warm. It was a beautiful night. And yes, this excursion should be subtitled, "Do not attempt this at home."  We are accustomed to walking long distances.  However, a forty minute walk in a blizzard was surely the makings of a Christmas memory to recount for years to come. 

The first hill at our friend's and the one on our street were the only true trouble spots.  Much to Danno's surprise and maybe slight aggravation, I asked him to fish out his cell phone. "Why, what's wrong?" I wanted to take a picture.  Really? And with that, the score was even. The tie may have been broken when I asked, "Do 'ya wann walk around the lake this morning?" Dan;  "Ummm.....NO!"

 Praise the Lord from the earth,

you great sea creatures and all ocean depths,
 lightning and hail, snow and clouds,

stormy winds that do his bidding,
you mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars,
 wild animals and all cattle,
small creatures and flying birds,
kings of the earth and all nations,
you princes and all rulers on earth,
young men and women,
old men and children.
Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for his name alone is exalted;
his splendor is above the earth and the heavens.
And he has raised up for his people a horn,[b]
the praise of all his faithful servants,
of Israel, the people close to his heart.
Praise the Lord.
Psalm 148:7-14


Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve Hike

We tried a new trail today.  It was awesome. It may have bumped the former favorite Cedar Creek, back to second place. It will be a close tie.  The only thing that threatens this new Desoto Spillway trail is that is is very steep and a bit treacherous in contrast to the relatively flat but equally beautiful Cedar Creek. 
Oh dear...Considering who goes down the mountain must go back up the mountain.

We discovered a new path that was not on the map.  As we rushed against the setting sun, we figured out why.  It is tricky but has great mountain and water views.

Beautiful waterfall trail between lake Desoto and Cortez

Sun is getting sleepy...walk faster!

Dan holding onto a tree to brace himself....looong way down.
  Winding up, down and around between two lakes today, we reminded ourselves to take a hiking back pack--safety first and all.  We realized how easily we could get caught up in the beauty and lose track of time and direction.

Silly me and my "wimpy weights"

We paused at the trail sign pointing up and down.  We decided to venture off the mapped trail and take the high road; just this once. 

Just in life, when the trail gets a bit rough and confusing, there is the One who always guides our way.
Christmas blessings with love!
Happy and safe trails always!

Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.  Matthew 2:2

Friday, December 21, 2012

Making Room for Daddy

It’s official. Danno is home full time. He is both excited and anxious about the future. Once he has his project list done, he is not sure what he will do with himself. Since I have been a full time resident for a few months now, I have no doubt there will be plenty to keep him busy.

Last night we went out to celebrate his homecoming. There is much to celebrate. Living apart for even a couple of days of the week is no fun. Today I am busy making room for all his “stuff” from his part time residence.

A happy Danno!

Today he is running his own errands. The first stop was the health food store to pick up his vitamins. The fun couple that owns it makes an awesome rum cake. I must learn to overcome the temptation to stop in every time I am in the shopping center. Last time I succumbed to the temptation, she greeted me with a sly smile. As she hands me my cake she says, “I must make a disclaimer, the healthy ends here and by popular demand, there is extra rum!” Now that I have let Danno in on my little secret, we will see how often he makes a run.

I think pounds are adding just by looking!

He promises to have a “Man Cave Sale” but now is wavering on that a bit. Again, we will see when we tackle that project. Regardless, we will be doing it together. That is why we are celebrating!

This weekend we look forward to the Jackson clan gathering at our home. We will have Christmas dinner with lovely friends and village family. Then we get to visit with grandchildren. Yippeee!

And as we speak (type), Danno just popped in to kiss me goodbye. He is making a second run to the health food store. Well okay---we are celebrating life together aren’t we?

Enjoy life with the wife you love all the days of your fleeting life, which has been given to you under the sun, all your fleeting days. For that is your portion in life and in your struggle under the sun. Ecclesiates 9:9

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Joys

Gere's table

There are many things to love about the Christmas season.  One of our neighbors has a Christmas tree forest glowing in their yard.  It is a beautiful sight.  If that doesn't get you into the Christmas spirit, your string is broke!

Family:  Celeste, Rema, Cheryl, Patsy, Melinda
Ruth, Gere, Me

Ship table

My sister Gere's Corinth, MS church hosted a woman's night out.  The ladies decorated their "Tables of Testimonies" for the occasion.  As our table host, Gere chose "He calms the storm so that the waves are still." (Psalm 107.29) as her ship inspired decor. It was a wonderful time of fellowship with our family of natural and spiritual sisters. We were all impressed with the creativity and hard work put into each table. Each was truly a labor of love.

Friday night our church choir presented Joel Raney's "A Thrill of Hope" to a standing room only crowd.  It is a Christmas miracle and fire marshal secret as to how 400 people were seated in an auditorium that doesn't seat that many! Sunday morning we celebrated the lighting of the advent candle of peace.

Last night, perhaps our favorite, the children's interpretation of Christmas.  They selected "Show & Tell" as their worship.  Adults were included in show and tell.  One adult shared her favorite Christmas ornament. Her family's original Christmas star was broken the first Christmas.  A star was made from cardboard and aluminum foil.  It has been a family tradition to place this special star on top of the tree since the sixties.

The children performed with all of their hearts.  Simply, pure and sincere as only a child can be.  As the unexpected is expected with children; the chicken had to make an emergency bathroom break.  Love, love, love these precious little ones!

Children worship Jesus -- including little chicken!
 Christmas simple as a child born in a manger; complicated and heart breaking as the baby growing up to die on the cross as our Redeemer.
It is our church's practice to have the youth pastor dismiss in prayer.  At the end of the children's performance he chose to read a scripture in lieu of prayer.  Our hearts were filled and broken.

Jesus Blesses the Children

 One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him. When Jesus saw what was happening, he was angry with his disciples. He said to them, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children.  I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”  Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them.  Mark 10:13-16

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Ducks to Water

Last week Dan and I traveled to Mississippi and Tennessee to visit with friends and family. It was a fun but whirlwind trip. A friend asked if I didn’t write anymore. Not purposely. Life has been well—life lately consuming too many things I enjoy.

With Dan gone during the week and work on and around the house in his absence has been very time consuming. That along with my full time part time job has been keeping me busy. The largest project and concern has been completed which takes a big load off.

Yesterday was a sunny but very windy day. Our plans to take the boat out on choppy water turned sour. This morning on the way to church the sky was gray but the lake was smooth as glass. Several small wakes began developing over the water. Several ducks were busily cruising for food leaving a pattern of wakes behind them. Nothing seemed to be of concern to them as they followed their natural instincts.

On our walk around the lake this afternoon we sat watching the ducks for a long while. We marveled at no matter what their environment, they kept doing what came natural to them.

Christmas is here and the New Year is rapidly approaching. Dan and I have discussed our plans for the coming year. Number one on the agenda is healthier living. Sadly we find ourselves getting caught up in busyness and overlook the important things in life.

We will slow down and take time to reevaluate. We will find the time to spend with friends and family. We will make exercise a daily priority. We will not be too busy to pray together several times a day regardless of the tasks before us. We will laugh at our human frailties. We will endeavor every day to forgive and let go.

Now that we are Village People, we have the best place in the world to enjoy God’s creations as we exercise our bodies and spirits. We will remember to be thankful every day. You will remind us won’t you Lord?

Humor does seem to find its way into our lives everyday. Yesterday I told Dan I wanted a face lift from Santa this year. “That’s no problem at all. Let me help Santa along.” He steps behind me and gives me one of his best wedgies. Funny. Very funny. That’s not the end I wanted lifted but I suppose it is a start.

We will pray for love, compassion and genuine concern for others. We pray all of these things will become as second nature to us as the proverbial duck to water whether smooth or rough waters, sunny or gray skies.

 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things,  but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her

Luke  10:38-42

Friday, December 14, 2012

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!