Saturday, September 26, 2009
It's raining outside - the kind of hard, yet soft, rain which invites one to sit on the porch. I would, with my coffee, but I am doing final clothes folding. Laura Beth, Scott and Ada are on their way here from Crossville - they've been with Scott's family. We are all so excited to see Ada - oh, and Laura Beth and Scott, too. :-)
Hopefully, with Ann coming by, we'll probably have pictures.
I cleaned my house yesterday - well - not the baseboards. I had planned to go back after the vacumming and mopping and bedmaking(clean sheets) and bathroom cleaning - go back and sit on the floor and go all around cleaning my baseboards. Didn't get to that - but I have the solution ready. I'm gonna do it maybe on Monday. Who hates that layer of dust that settles on the baseboards? Also, about carpet - very deceptive. Hardwood floors tell it like it is. One knows for sure if the dust is out of hand. Gotta clean those floors. But it's easier to deny the dust if there's carpet. I have way too much carpet and look forward to the day when I can have hardwood floors. My vacuum is a dinosaur - an antique - a very old electrolux. I need a new one - but that's not happening soon, either.
Just checking in so there'll be a new post and wanting anyone who reads this to know how excited I am to see Ada.
I wish Sarah and Kate could be here.
More later on this rainy, indoor Saturday.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Peeling, Peeling, Peeling.....and in between all of these stages getting phone calls and making them to Sarah. She has had a relapse with her flu and suspects a sinus infection. I connected with my Tallassee friend and her family doctor. So - a lot of back and forth calls regarding directions and appointment and insurance, etc.
So now it's the end of the day. There's been a lot happening today - not just the apple project - Ann has gone home with her camera so I can't take pictures of the finished product - but I have the apple butter in the jars and I've heard that pleasing "pop", knowing they've sealed. Ann made her own recipe and it is in the crockpot. Still has to be put in jars. That's for tomorrow.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
This week has been very different for me.
If you're reading this, I know you've seen Ann's blog and know they are at the beach - and you've seen the pictures that she posted. I've talked to them a few times. Once Luke got on the phone and I was asking him questions which he only answered with Yes. Questions like: Are you having fun?, Do you like the water and sand? I told him I missed him, but I have to ask questions that require an answer or it'll just be silent on the other end, unless he has something to tell me. So, knowing he did not want to leave the beach and the vacation I asked, "Luke do you want to come home or do you want to stay there?" He responded, "I want to come home." At that point he dropped the phone and I heard him say, "Mom, I want to go home to Near's house." Ann grabbed the phone and we got so tickled. That doesn't mean he really would rather be with me than there and all that they are doing. He just has no concept that he can't make a quick run to my house and then return quickly to SeaGrove. Awww.
Guess if you're reading this you've also read Laura Beth's blog and all of Ada's antics. Also seen the picture of the lipstick on her face. So funny and the fact that she says "Aw Mam!" for "Aw Man!". So funny.
I also recommend Sarah and Kate's blog and how they share their heart.
So - this week has been different without the Barbers here, plus Charlie is practically absent. So I feel like a single lady living in this town and in this house. Charlie has Grand Jury this week and is also preparing for an upcoming trial - so he goes to work early and comes home late and is rather distracted and tired - but we do enjoy our evenings watching our TV programs. That relaxes us.
Another unusual thing about this week. It's been a week of old and present friends and time spent with them. Mary Bratton and I got together on Tuesday morning. We seldom get to do that anymore - and that afternoon Steve and Yonea Chunn stopped by on their way home from Chattanooga to Mississippi. I'll tell about them further down in this post. Then, responding to an invitation from my "cousin-in-law" Martha Robinson(also friend from high school up to present day), I said yes to her invite to join her, Sarah Dodd(friend from college up until present day) and Val Carrier(friend from high school up until present day) at Martha's condo in Florida. I was a bit reluctant because I have so much to do here at home, but I hate to pass up the good fellowship - so I'm driving tomorrow to B'ham and am riding down with Val. Martha and Sarah left yesterday to go down.
Yesterday, I also had a visit with a friend in our church who fell and broke her ankle. Ouch! She normally works during the day, but is off her feet for 6-8 weeks! Can't imagine. It was one of those freak accidents - just going to pick a weed and a slippery spot and bam! She is down and has a nasty break.
So - it's been a week of visits with ladies in my age bracket. I usually only run into them in Wal-Mart - I think we are all on our "treadmill of life" and those slow easy visits - well - we just don't take the time for them. Sad.
Plus I've been on the phone quite a bit with a friend who used to live here, Corny Rose. Her husband, also a close friend to Charlie and me, had a terrible medical freaky thing involving colon/bloodvessel/something perforating and boom - he was in terrible shape in icu - had to have surgery - but thanks to his good health and good doctors under God's sovereignty, what could have been fatal ended up in his returning home yesterday from the hospital. So grateful. So glad. But again, little contact with them except a few times during the year.
This week has been a chain of events and phone calls putting me in contact with friends from past and present, in a concentrated way. It feels like God's hand is all over it and I have to wonder and ask the whys and why now? Is something about to happen? What is God teaching me and telling me? Is it just one huge blessing and gift - because I love fellowship with friends. I really do. I also love time alone. I am energized by time alone and also often hate to invade someone's space - so I tend to retreat - but at the same time really really really enjoy good conversation - Well - I'll just enjoy it all and keep my heart open to what He is teaching me.
Who are Yonea and Steve? They used to live here in Scottsboro and moved to Mississippi after their 2nd child was born. Yonea is 13 years younger than I, so she has always felt like a younger sister. Steve is 8 years younger than Charlie and I. They now have 9 children! Can anyone imagine that? other than the Duggars on TV who are expecting their 19th. My youngest, Kate, was 2 when their first was born - so their oldest is 19 and their youngest is 5. Ellie, my granddaughter is 4. Weird that Ann has a child only 1 year younger than Yonea's youngest. Their children are delightful and balanced and get into their normal amount of trouble and maintain their normal amount of obedience. They are homeschooled with a small dose of public school. Steve and Yonea look healthy and still young at 50 and 45. Yonea is training for a half marathon and Steve has returned to his former swimming skills. He was a swimmer in high school and a swim team coach - he's back at it along with his children, some of them - others run track. An active family! They have a zeal and passion for the Lord, and love His word and we enjoy talking about all of that and sharing our hearts. We talked too long the other day and had lots of laughs. They stayed beyond what they intended to be a brief bathroom break. I was so glad but knew they had 9 children to get back to - Well - they aren't all children 19,17,15 and so on, down to 5. Anyway - that's Yonea and Steve and their visit was a big treat for me. Poor Charlie had to miss it. He worked until 6:30.
Another friend who lives out of town, Beth Baldwin - well I had spent Saturday conversing with her. I thought of this. I could honestly say to someone that Beth and I travel together, only we're never in the same car or at the same end of the state. I have family in South Alabama(Evergreen and Auburn) and Beth has Joy living in Athens, TN, just above C'nooga - well - if we're on the road one of us will call the other and discover that she's headed north and I'm headed south - and we'll talk a bit. Sometimes we'll discover we're about to pass each other and we'll stop at the same location for a bathroom break. So funny.
It's been a great week with friends. And then I have my regular emails with Mary Ann and an occasion phone call to her or from her but we do regular emailing. I'll see her on my way to the beach on Friday. Val's making a quick stop in Evergreen to see her mom and a mutual friend of ours who's going through chemo to kill breast cancer. Brave girl, Connie K.
So - that's been my week and today is Thursday. I need to get up and get things done.
Monday, September 14, 2009
The day was wet, this morning, looking through the kitchen windows enroute to the coffeemaker. Assuming there would be no grass cutting, my mind thought of other ways to spend this Monday - so many projects - which did cross my mind in the night when suffering a bit of insomnia. That kind of thinking only led to stress - better spend those insomia minutes, sometimes hours, praying for people who need prayer - especially the persecuted believers throughout parts of Europe and Asia - that's another post - perhaps its own blog.
So - Charlie reminded me that Kate needed money in her account - also asked me to google a shoe repair place in Huntsville - there's got to be someone who still repairs shoes. Another task - to take care of the 50.00 rebate card sent to us by Verizon - there were a few gliches surrounding the cashing of it. Charlie was off to Grand Jury and I was left to be a good steward of my Monday. Yipes.
Rain, more rain - not wanting to leave the house - but finally I dressed and did a bit of makeup and I actually drove off to assume the responsibilites which might seem trivial to most adult females.
This post is about September. The sky quit pouring rain on Scottsbor0 - the ground became reasonably dry - the lawn mower had plenty of gasoline - so at 6:25 - the grass is cut - and memories and smells and feelings ran through my mind as I cut around the trees whose leaves are falling, leaving those leafy patches to cut through - The air smells dry and fallish. My dear hydrangea bushes are making their best effort to show me a few more blooms - here in September. Bless them. I appreciate the effort, but in a whisper let me say that those September blooms are no comparison to the early summer blooms - still - I love the pinks and lavenders of the petals belonging to the midseason mopheads which are drying up - and their late new and fresh blooms are a grand last hurrah - such a noble effort to remind me that summer 2010 will be here - the seasons, at least, they continue.
My thoughts, of course, went to childhood and Williams Avenue. The smell of burning leaves. That is how many dealt with those piles of pecan leaves - but not until November, actually. November is the ripe month for pecans. The rains and the shaking of the limbs and the pecans fall and we gathered them for Christmas money. Loved it. Still, September. School beginning - homework - playing outside with friends after school. Days getting shorter. Changes. But...Mother and Daddy ever there - always there - no change in that - and Mary Ann by my side, always at home in the evening when I was - sharing the room - and the TV and our side of the family table. Probably she'd be playing the piano before dinner or after. And Daddy tweaking any wrong note or questions regarding rhythm.
It's mid September now. Elizabeth must get things in order for Fall and Thanksgiving, to be followed by Christmas. All the holidays - and family coming in - clean sheets - surfaces dusted - good food -
and must close - Charlie is coming in the back door.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Now there's something I like to remember. I don't know where everybody got it but I distinctly remember the adults in my life having sugar cane - I know Ella had it and would carve me a "chew". I loved chewing on the fibers and getting that sweet juice out of it. yum.
I really do miss Mom - I wish she could see my grandchildren and how cute they are. She really loved babies and was so good with them. She also liked Fall and afternoon coffee. I've been using my stove top percolator and having afternoon coffee by myself and thinking it would be nice to hand her a cup and hear her say, "ooohh, this coffee's so good!". She often said that. She was a great nest builder. Her home. She wasn't a big spender - nothing was designer stuff and matchy match - but it was in good taste and a nice look - comfortable and tastefully done. I really liked her style. Mother was a stickler for detail. I learned that from her. Clutter happened in her home, but then she would attack it and be so pleased once it was dealt with.
Well, I could go on and on......
Tomorrow is Luke's birthday and he'll be 3. I know Ann will write all about it on her blog - but I'm playing a grandmother role in all of it today. Ann's so busy "doing" the birthday thing today plus having to be packed for the big beach trip which really begins tomorrow. I'm helping her get as far as Evergreen - then I'll return on Saturday. Steve will join them on Saturday and they'll all go to their destination spot.
I've acted as her "assistant" of sorts today - just whatever she needs me to do - Presents will be opened here this afternoon and then the birthday meal and cake will be at the "Wednesday Night Youth and Children's meal" at church. Right now Andrew is sleeping upstairs. I've wrapped what I can and have a minute to post this before the hoopla begins. Then all the traveling tomorrow.
I'll close this post with a little poem that is copied down in Mother's handwriting. She must have found it and liked it. It's on some cutsey notepaper that has little drawings at the bottom and a printed quote at that top which reads - The Most Precious Things in Life Aren't Things. On the back of the small little notepad paper is a todo list and a bill paying list, in her handwriting. Because of the items on the list I can tell this was scribbled down while she was living in Scottsboro during those last 2 years of Daddy's life - when they moved here for me to help Mother with Daddy due to his Alzheimer's disease. Anyway - what a lonely time for Mother and such a dying to self and dying to the demanding of her own way - She lived yielded to HIM, her Redeemer, Savior, Lord - and as usual I didn't get it - what she was living out - the extent of it - until much later - I mean...I thought I did .... I wasn't super young - I was 40 when they moved up here and I had my own "yielding and dying to self" to do... but hers was harder and I didn't get that fully - anyway - during that time the following is the little poem she copied down on this notepad piece of paper.
"There's a house whose rooms I know by heart - Where dreams were dreamed and memories made - Where children grew up, Where life was lived - A house where I belong."
But the reality is that Mother is truly home now, where she belongs.
In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.
Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?"
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:1-6
Mom knew the way and that's how she was able to get to her true home -
Saturday, September 5, 2009
and on this computer.
I have had two recipes out which I've wanted to prepare.
Fresh Pesto and Hummus.
That's what is going on in my kitchen - preparation of those two recipes.
Sarah arrived home last night and Kate is driving to Scottsboro right now.
Today begins football season - well - in this family. Auburn's first game - Georgia's first game - that's all I know about.
I'll just mind my own business, stay out of everyone's way - and do what I want to do. Auburn will be watched out at Steve and Ann's house - not here - something about being able to see it on his TV - So - that is how it is on this September Labor Day weekend.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Tuberculosis is something we don't often think about anymore. But 19th century Concordians were frighteningly aware of the symptoms: the flushed cheeks, the bright eyes, fever, loss of appetite, and most of all, the cough. It was feared, but regarded with a peculiar resignation because it was so unavoidable. It was dreaded, but at the same time romanticized. It was a disease that reflected the culture of its time: the victim slowly, gracefully fading away, transcending their corporeal body, their immortal soul shining through.
In reality, tuberculosis, commonly called consumption in the 19th century, killed more people in New England, particularly in the Boston area, than any other disease. It affected the poor more often than the wealthy, females more than males, and people of all ages. Anyone could be a victim, but it was especially prevalent among young adults, cruelly striking down those in the prime of their lives
And then another article:
In 1882, Robert Koch discovered a staining technique that enabled him to see Mycobacterium tuberculosis. What excited the world was not so much the scientific brilliance of Koch's discovery, but the accompanying certainty that now the fight against humanity's deadliest enemy could really begin.
The measures available to doctors were still modest. Improving social and sanitary conditions, and ensuring adequate nutrition were all that could be done to strengthen the body's defenses against the TB bacillus. Sanatoria, now to be found throughout Europe and the United States, provided a dual function: they isolated the sick, the source of infection, from the general population, while the enforced rest, together with a proper diet and the well-regulated hospital life assisted the healing processes.
Here's what I got from Mary Ann - Most I knew but I wanted dates and just how many children she lost to TB - what were the years? Wanted a recap of her age when certain things happened. - trying to get a mental picture - making her real and feeling the grief she had to experience - and others. and then the understanding of how she lived above the tragedies and hard times - because I've heard the stories - her unique personality - Ella(her youngest and my grandmother), told me about a friend who would come to visit Granny and Ella could remember hearing them laughing so hard - that laughing gene goes WAAAAYYYY back in our family.
I know she must have had a hard edge - because my sweet, soft, gentle mother absolutely adored her - but my aunt who had a bit more - hmmmm - not really rebel - perhaps a good bit more spirited than mom - well she didn't speak as endearingly of Granny as the others did. I think Granny challenged Florence and Florence must have crossed Granny. Or vice versa - We have heard so many Granny stories over the years - I want to meet her.
So this is the truth about what happened.
She was 19 when she married Joel Henderson in 1882. They had 8 children.
Probably first pregnancy(twins) was in 1883 and I know she had her youngest in 1897. That was my grandmother, Ella.
Granny was 34 when she had her 8th child. and then 7 1/2 years later her husband died of TB. That was October 7, 1904. He was 46. Ada was 41 when her husband died. Her oldest sons were probably 21. Ella was 7 1/2 when her daddy died. I don't know the ages of the others, in between - anywhere from 10 to 19, I suppose.
10 years later her son, John, died - we think of TB.
In 1923, 9 years later, her daughter, Francis(Fanny), died of TB.
And in 1945 her son, Joel, (always called "Honey") died with TB.
We always heard about "Honey" and his death because the fam built a small dwelling in the back of Ella's house - way in the back - to isolate him from the rest of the family - to nurse him and treat him - but he didn't survive. He died March of 1945 and 3 years later Granny died at the end of 1948.
Mary Ann told me something else. Mary Ann plays the piano at church and our aunt, Mary, plays the organ. That's the same church which Granny attended, and Ella and Elbert - Mary Ann said that according to Mary, Granny's favorite hymn was "Jesus Savior, Pilot Me". Recently the two of them played an arrangement of that hymn for the offertory.
During my college years when I was so involved in Campus Crusade and that whole thing about sharing the gospel, using the 4 Spiritual Laws developed by Bill Bright - (I never did get the hang of that - not ever - with much unnecessary guilt to carry around) Mother and I had a conversation regarding Granny - Mom said, "she didn't have the 4 spiritual laws or any of that Campus Crusade Material - but she had a faith that was strong and real - she knew what it was about." That's how Mom told me.
Jesus, Savior, pilot me,
Over life’s tempestuous sea;
Unknown waves before me roll,
Hiding rock and treach’rous shoal;
Chart and compass came from Thee:
Jesus, Savior, pilot me.
As a mother stills her child,
Thou canst hush the ocean wild;
Boist’rous waves obey Thy will
When Thou say’st to them, “Be still!”
Wondrous Sov’reign of the sea,
Jesus, Savior, pilot me.
When at last I near the shore,
And the fearful breakers roar
’Twixt me and the peaceful rest,
Then, while leaning on Thy breast,
May I hear Thee say to me,
“Fear not, I will pilot thee.”
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
(okay - edit to this post - I didn't like my idea of last year's September Songs - so I've spent some time just finding songs which are about September - Some I've known, others I haven't - there are a few which have nothing to do with September - it's such a transitional month - back to school - my mother's birthday is September 6 which makes me think of her - Leaves are beginning to fall - not the true "fall leaves" month - clothing styles are changing - away from the pastels of summer - school supplies are in the stores - back to school signs - I hear the school buses running - memories of when Ann and Laura Beth chose to ride the bus to Caldwell School - wouldn't miss that social time with the other girls on the street - all those secular "love" songs which really have nothing to do with romance the way God planned it - but still - reminders of high school days and the way our minds and hearts "thought about everything" - we didn't have a clue - but it was fun - dances - I loved those - memories - for me it was band practice every afternoon at 6th period - Friday night games - Friday afternoon parades for the home games - usually chili dogs for supper - really quick before we had to be at the bandroom early to line up - the drum beat resonating between the buildings as the band snaked it's way to the stadium - or as a child before hormones interfered with anything sane - riding to the games with Mother and Florence and Rachel - new school shoes bought at Suddith and Bethune Shoe Store which later became Lambert's Shoe Store - buying our school books before the State paid for them - cigar boxes for our school crayons and pencils - the fat kind - and paste - who can't list a million September thoughts?)
Today is September 2. I am still listening to Tim Keller in 1 Peter. I still have clothes to fold. With just 2 of us it doesn't seem like we'd have so much laundry, but we wear clean clothes each day, and there's other stuff. Anyway, I'm not going to post much here.
Here's what I do. I type out the Chapter in 1 Peter that he's on. I type it in large print for two reasons. One, so that I can see it and go to it while I'm folding - without holding it so close with my reading glasses - and also someday I think my eyesight will be even worse and I want scripture in really large print. The older I get that's all I want. I want access to God's word. Don't want to be cut off from it. Does anyone think like that? For instance, as liberal as our culture is - what if at some point we don't have access to the word? Scary. That's worse than no food.
Another thing about preparing for the future. Well, our offspring - praying praying that their hearts love God more than anything else - that He is first - that He turns their hearts in such a way to love Him completely. That's more important than their happiness, than their comfort, than their success, than their health - It's more important than anything - even than their good reputation or standing within their little social structure in which they move. And of course as we pray for them, praying for my own heart that He is above all else in my heart and that I live with no other idols above him - no other idols - but of course that takes a lifetime. No idols. We have them - we move them out, we move them back in - whatever causes me to come unglued - well, my idol just got disturbed - or have I lost my peace of mind and heart for a moment - my idol was just tampered with - As many people as there are, there are that many different things to "set our heart on", instead of on the creator Father who loves us above all else. Anyway - that's me going on and on - it's something to think about.
I'm going to type 1 Peter 4 and listen to T.K.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
I'm good with it and ready for fall. My birch trees are losing their leaves and I'm liking the feeling - the dry feeling in the yard, even though we've had lots of rain. I just miss summer and was especially glad to see it this year - looked forward to it more than usual. End of 2009 and beginning of 2010 will hold a lot. Well, there's Thanksgiving followed by Christmas. Buckle up for that anyway. Throw in the fact that Andrew will have to have a little surgery either before Christmas or following Christmas, Sarah graduates at the end of this semester and we'll have to move her out of Auburn into somewhere, and Laura Beth is expecting her little one at the beginning of February. Lot of big stuff - but such is life and I don't mean to sound like a wimp. I am a bit wimpy, in anticipation. In the actual doing of the thing I've been raised by Edith and Frank to "get the thing done". Also, I am in the process of being "sanctified" to do all things "in Christ". There.
That's all for this post.
Just wanted to greet September.
Well, I'll say this. What I've done yesterday and today. I don't enjoy folding clothes and I don't enjoy ironing. Both build up - the piles of clean clothes and the piles of unironed clothes. Charlie irons his own and he also is good to fold. Well, yesterday and today, I wanted to listen to Tim Keller - pastor at Redeemer Pres. in New York. I have a whole series he did on 1 Peter. It just so happens that Steve(my pastor and son-in-law) is teaching out of 1 Peter right now. Yay! At this stage of my adult life, Steve and Tim Keller are my two favorite bible teachers. That's the truth. So - each Sunday I get the cd from the previous Sunday - so I'll have a Steve Barber series on 1 Peter and a Tim Keller series on 1 Peter. Both men crack open God's word for me in such a way - it just goes way down into my soul and spirit.
As I'm listening and ironing or folding and thinking and getting the word in a profound way - I think of things I want to share on my blog - so maybe I will in a bit, but not right now.
Diana Ross is singing "I Hear a Symphony" and it's a bit distracting. :-)