Sunday, October 20, 2013


We are very much enjoying the cooler fall weather and beautiful foliage. With the days growing short and the nights longer, we really have to be creative to stay positive.  Neither of us are winter folks, but alas, such is life. Clearly winter is on her way.

With the fall come the leaf storms.  One thing I have put on our spring list is trimming the oak tree limbs that extend over our house. As much as we benefit from the summer shade, the onslaught of acorns rolling across our roof -- not so much.  At night it sounds like we are sleeping beneath a bowling alley.

One morning this week we spotted the deer twins feasting on the acorns in the front yard.  They looked like little lawn mowers as they made perfectly cleared lines back and forth across the yard. As they moved into the woods we could barely make them out.  They were only a few feet away but with their natural camouflage they blended right into the background.

A few weeks back I began a Bible study. It is the most unique one I have attended.  I recommend "No Other Gods" if you have the opportunity to experience it.  It is amazing how idols creep into our lives camouflaged in the world's wrappings. Each member of the Bible study group serves as hostess. The hostess for the week provides a meal for the group. Serving each other in this way is most rewarding. 

I can't see much physical change since I have taken up running.  It does do wonders for my mental health.  I pray and I worship as I enjoy the Father's handiwork.  Thursday, we were getting a little stir crazy.  As I ran I prayed, "Lord, give us some fun today." I had no sooner stepped inside when the phone rang.  Friends were calling wanting to take us out for lunch. Thank you Lord!

This same couple made another timely appearance while Dan was in the hospital.  Another friend wanted to take me down for a meal. I said I was not really hungry but would like a snack.  The elevator doors opened to find Mary and Shelvie standing with a snack basket for me!  

This particular couple is quiet and unassuming.  Since Dan's illness we have become aware of how much they do for others behind the scenes.  Their camouflage is simply the love and joy of serving with humility. They find accolades offensive.  They are beautiful angels serving others unaware.

When I begin to fret and worry I pray I will once again be reminded If He provides shelter, protection and food in abundance for His animals. Will He do any less for us?

He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble His way.
Psalm 25:9

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Drama Team

The Jacksons had a bit of drama this past Saturday. I wanted a Dogwood tree for my birthday. Forgetting how difficult it is to plant in rock, the project took me a while.  Swinging a pick ax is not one of my gifts.  It wasn't long before I needed a short break.  I plopped down in a chair and the next thing I know the sun was asleep and the rain was coming down.

Dan is very protective of his tools.  I was trying my best to retrieve the tools from the weather before he awakened.  No such luck.  I was caught in the act. After the tools were cleaned and stored away, I attempted to haul potting soil up from the basement. Not my best idea-climbing up a wet hill with a load. I ended up face down in the mud.  I looked like tar baby.  Mostly my pride was hurt and I did forget my faith for a few seconds.

My drama was minor.  Dan scared us to death when he passed out trying to shave.  His head ended up in the sink. I managed to get a chair under him when he came to. We understand it is common for blood pressure to drop as his did but his passing out is not common place for us! He has not felt well since.  Even with the surgeon's words to slow down and stop complaining the patient grows more impatient.

Even with the drama and my carelessness, we escaped with minor bumps.  We are thankful we are not the only guys with failing hearing and eye sight.   A friend approached me Sunday night to ask how Dan's gout was.  "Gout. What gout?"  On the way home it hit me.  I had been misunderstood.  My statement, "Dan has passed out" was heard as "Dan has gout."

My birthday has started out very well. Dan had a confession first thing.  He bought a birthday card for me before his surgery.  Unfortunately, he cannot remember where he hid it away.  When I happen upon it, it will be a nice surprise! We have a gentle rainfall which is perfect for resting.  After a breakfast of waffles, Dan is down for a rest.  Our friend Jerry plans to spend the afternoon with Dan and Pastor Jon. I have a date with the girls.

Our dear friends John and Nancy invited us to a lovely Sunday lunch in their home. Our new and much loved Pastor Jon and wife Jackie joined us making it a double blessing.  We so much appreciated and thoroughly enjoyed the much needed the break.  The table was beautifully set and Nancy prepared our favorite foods. Thank you for the many ways you spell love!

Feeling yucky and impatient as he is, Dan maintains his humor.  Like a baby, he looks so peaceful napping.  I said to him he must have been a really cute little kid. His response, "Well, I have always been little." 

...He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber not sleep. The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand.  Psalm 121:3-5

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Family of Friends

We have always felt blessed to have such a wonderful family of friends. During Dan's recent open heart surgery and recuperation, once again we are humbled at the outpouring of love and support.

Favorite mags

It will be three weeks Wednesday and Dan is really doing well.  We seem to have finally licked that nasty fever that kept plaguing him. He has been taking a few limited outings and brief walks. Although he wanted to drop a few pounds, he has lost 25 in two weeks.  We do not recommend this weight loss plan! 

I said to him today, I am very happy he has chosen a positive attitude towards his healing.  He happily announces to all he is doing great. All things considered, that is very true and we are thankful. He fails to mention that after minor exertion, he is down for the day. He still has trouble breathing and really has to limit his conversations.  That is perhaps the most difficult challenge for him. He does love to talk.

Favorite things....frappe

Today he took a walk up and down the flat part of the street. He napped until lunch.  It was such a beautiful day he had lunch on the deck then back to napping. He became very emotional hearing from one of his childhood friends. His goal today is to attend evening worship service. If we make it, it will be the first since his surgery.  We both look forward to it. 

I started displaying all his cards but ran out of room.  I took a notebook to the hospital with me and asked visitors to sign.  I was so glad.  The first thing he wanted to know when he could speak, "Who was here?"  I did. not have to worry about forgetting anyone. It was most encouraging to him as I read the notes left by friends and family.

Napping at home with his pillow and Razorback blanket

All of the email and face book messages have been saved for him to read when he feels well enough.  I have tried to keep him briefed on all well wishers.

I will not make an effort to list all of the many acts of kindness and support for fear of leaving one of you out.  The ole brain never had the brightest bulb but it is dimmer and flickers more often these days! I have to make one exception.  Those beautiful notes of crayon and knock knock jokes from the grandchildren did his body the most good!  I know all you grandparents get that!

Rest assured, each and every one of you have touched and blessed our lives for the better.  Keep praying! We feel them!

As he recovers I try to surround him with some of his other favorite things. Auto magazines, Razorback blanket, mocha frappe and a friend's fat free sugar free banana bread. Yummy!

Another friend has taken him to the local coffee shop for a mocha, of course.  He was a bit sheepish sharing his space with gals having their quiche lunches.  But then, he did have the "co-owner" to demonstrate how to chill. 
"Co-owner" of coffee shop demonstrating the art of chillin'

Lunch the vanity tag. Do you think?

For us family and friends are interchangeable.  Our friends are our family and our family friends. Thank you for the blessings you are.

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion.

Psalm 73:26