"In every walk with nature one receives more than he seeks."
John Muir

Tuesday, January 11, 2011



I really like dates like this one,
when writing out the numbers makes a simple pattern.
Ten months from now will be even better as another "1" completes the date.
But then I pause to think about those 10 months--300+ days.
So much will change in that time and we have no way of knowing what.
And that is good, really.
Unexpected changes can bring excitement and adventure,
even when the changes aren't always positive ones.
Change keeps us off balance and makes us work to maintain it
just as exercise on a rocking platform benefits our brain and muscles.
Do we like change? Not always. Not even occasionally, for some.

Whenever I come back from my Alaskan ventures
I view my house and its contents in a fresh light.
I'm ready for some changes, much to my husband's chagrin.
(Remember the blogpost from yesterday? The 15-year-old T shirt?)
Change makes him nervous, especially when it involves tools or heavy lifting.
So, I began with my own areas and filled the garbage can, rearranged garage shelves, and made numerous trips to the attic. Then I boldly approached my man that we were switching out couches in the living room and the office (his cave). The idea was not well received he but assisted me, nonetheless.
We pushed, shoved and wedged that large leather couch (with its 2 recliners) around corners and through doorways until it was in place. Whew! The futon moved more easily into its temporary location in the living room (on its way out is the plan...).
I stood back and realized I really LIKED the big couch in the little office. And its buttery soft leather is comfortable and cushy. Looks good. Feels good.
He can even recline his feet to watch TV or be on the computer.

A short while later I walked into the living room and was stunned to see my husband sitting on the old futon, reading the paper. An unusual sight as he always enjoys this in the quiet and isolation of the office. I didn't say a word as he was in no mood to talk. If he had been a cartoon character there would have been a black cloud scribbled over his head.
The next morning I again discovered him on the futon. in the same spot,
working on the computer.
I commented that the plan was to sell the old futon and would I be expecting him
to go with it to its new home?
"Probably" was his mumbled reply.


He has since ventured into the office for some evenings to watch TV. I sweetly serve him pie and coffee on a tray and even join him for a spell. But the jury is still out and the verdict awaits. There is no compromise here, folks.
This is all or nothing.
Some changes are reversible, unfortunately.
I'm certainly hoping THIS is not one of those...
Looking at this couch, doesn't it look soft and inviting?
Maybe we should take a vote? Comments welcome.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Value of a Faithful Husband

Having recovered from jet lag,
I've been sorting my memories of months in Alaska.
I'd like to take this time to recognize my faithful husband.
He willingly took over the daily responsibilities of life and "held down the fort"
so that I could have all those weeks of adventure up north.
He paid the bills, mowed the yard, and cared for Shoeless Joe.

Ever the teacher, he kept teaching--
loving that his students were now his granddaughter...

and grandson.

He's a character, and his willingness to wear this 15-year old T-shirt to his job at Apple Computer proves he doesn't like change much.
He's a constant, steadfast kind of guy.
He's also happy to umpire baseball games and run in 100 degree Texas heat.
I don't always understand him, I admit.

But I know he is faithful and trustworthy.
His shoulders hold up all of us, even when he gets tired.

And the same Popeye that promised to catch her

is ALWAYS true to his word.

It is a comfort to be gone for so long, pursuing my own interests,
knowing he is faithful back at home.
I'm grateful for a husband who is independent and agreeable to my being gone.
But especially I am grateful for a husband who is faithful.
His alone days are past.
Now we'll have some together time making our own new memories.
I wonder where they'll lead us...

Friday, January 7, 2011

I'm Leaving on a Jet Plane...

"Don't know when I'll be back again. Oh, I hate to go..."

We drove to the Fairbanks Airport for a 1 AM flight.
(What an awful time to have to get to the ariport--!)
Of course it was pitch black out so I just used this picture for effect.

My plane looked like this one (picture taken in Seattle due to availability of light).
After de-icing, the flight was uneventful--the way I like it, of course!
My mind was filled with thoughts and memories.

Seattle's weather obligingly and unexpectedly cleared so blue sky
and these snowcapped Cascade Mts appeared in the distance.

After a layover (with a fantastic brief visit with family--more on that later),
I boarded another jet to fly on to Austin.
I am pretty sure this is Mt Rainier in its glory above the clouds.

I was fascinated at the wind patterns around the mountain shown by cloud formations.
Notice the huge cloud swirling at the side of the mountain.
It reminded me of a cresting ocean wave.

Several hours later we touched down in Texas.
As is true here, I miss the mountains but the sunsets are great
since there is nothing to block them.
Amazingly, what took 7 long driving days to cover basically the same distance
of 4,000 miles was done in less than 8 flying hours. Remarkable.
But the old body is still on Alaska time and has lost a night's sleep.
And a bit overcome by sunshine and the 90 degree difference in temperature.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Saying goodbye

I knew it would have to happen, but rather dreaded the day.
I had a talk with my sweet granddaughter about my leaving.
She seemed a little puzzled about this.

You see, ever since she arrived into our world, I have been there.
Literally. I watched her little head emerge, I heard her cry, I gazed in wonder as she turned from dark purple to blush pink and then bright red.
She listened carefully as I told her of these wonderful things.

We even had a little chuckle over some parts of the story.
I know it's hard to believe that this little baby, not yet 3 weeks old, is
responding with smiles and laughs--but she really IS!!!

She got a bit worried, though, when I told her I had to go back to Texas.
Mommy soothed her and reminded her that she and Daddy were still staying.

And then I shared the best part--they were all coming to Texas for a visit later this winter.
She could wear sundresses and go out for long walks in a stroller, though I had to explain what walks and strollers and sunshine were to this little Alaskan baby. She loved the idea of long, warm, sunny Texas days and this is how she expressed her pleasure. Pretty clear, huh?
I just hope this dear little baby doesn't change too much before her visit.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

On Entering 2011

Today is the FIRST day of a new year.
I have no profound, original thoughts today, but will share
from a book by Oswald Chambers written in 1935.


Put God First in Trust.
Our Lord trusted no man; yet He was never suspicious, never bitter, never in despair about any man, because He put God first in trust...If I put my trust in human beings first, I will end in despairing of everyone; I will become bitter, because I have insisted on man being what no man ever can be--
absolutely right.

Put God's Needs First.
A man's obedience is to what he sees to be a need...we have to see first of all that God's needs in us personally are being met. When God's needs in us have been met, then He will open the way for us to realize His needs elsewhere.

Put God's Trust First.
God's trust is that he gives me Himself as a babe. God expects my personal life to be a 'Bethlehem'. Am I allowing my natural life to be slowly transfigured by the indwelling life of the Son of God?

A dear young pastor taught us this wisdom:
(with a southern accent so "thing" is pronounced "thang")
The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.

My prayer is to keep God First throughout 2011 and beyond.