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The Bible Tells Me

I’m not the Bible scholar I should be. I know some verses; not as many as I ought. Still, I find most of my experiences can be framed or underscored, explained or illuminated, by Scripture. Or maybe a hymn or a worship song, a devotional or a testimony. Frequently, I have those “Oh, yeah” moments when I see God clearly in an event. Or realized that I should have seen Him.

These are the moments of “The Bible tells me.”

These essays reflect that. Do know that I can proof-text as well as anyone. I have a concordance, and I know how to use it. Well, truthfully, I do all of that online now, where I can quickly find a passage, see it in many versions, and choose the one I like best. I try not to be narrow, but instead broad, as I apply Bible words to my experiences. I know that your interpretations and understanding may be different than mine. But I also know that our God is big enough for all of us.

I have a friend who, in her prayer time, likes to tell jokes to God. “I know He knows the punch line,” she says. “But I tell them anyway. He likes it when I laugh.”

He likes it when I laugh. I’m going to hang on to that. It’s Biblical. The Bible tells me.

Our mouths were filled with laughter then,
and our tongues with shouts of joy.
Then they said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord had done great things for us;
we were joyful.

Psalm 126: 2,3 (HCSB)


So Long, Old Friend

I’m about to have to say goodbye to an old and dear resident of my closet. (No, not some living thing. Some fabric thing.)

The McCart Family Thrift Store. It's amazing.

The McCart Family Thrift Store. It’s amazing.

Several years ago, I was in Fort Worth, visiting Kevin and April, along with my sister and niece. JoAnne and Natalie were wanting to do some shopping for Patrick’s (the middle child) wedding. JoAnne didn’t find anything (despite April’s strong encouragement to purchase a pair of bright pink cowgirl boots). Natalie did find a nice sundress with a pink and peach floral pattern on it, in the colors of the wedding. The place April had taken us to was a huge, well-organized, clean, and well-stocked consignment store. McCart’s Family Thrift Store. We all did a bit of shopping, and, as I looked through clothing, I made a wonderful find! Denim overall shorts! Giant-sized! They looked perfect for working in the yard and around the house when I was doing messy things, like painting. It was in good shape; I don’t recall what I paid for it, but whatever it was, I’ve gotten great wear from it.

Recently, though, it’s begun to show just how much work it’s done over the past few years. And, it’s beginning to have holes so large that it might be becoming inappropriate for me to wear in public (even if that “public” is in my backyard.

So, I went to the place where I do most of my where-can-I-find-that shopping. Amazon. I asked for “Cherokee (the brand of my old overalls) short denim overalls.” Looks like the Cherokee people do not make short denim overalls any more; nothing matching what I had been wearing for several years came up. So, I tried asking for “denim overall shorts.”

 

I ordered them. Not the largest size, which was 4X. That seemed overzealous. But I did order the 2X. I’m not going for looks. I’m going for comfort, and plenty of space so that I can put my gardening gloves in a pocket and a pair of small pruners in another pocket, and my phone in a pocket and my glasses in a pocket. And a couple of shirts underneath the overalls, if it’s a little chilly out. I just want lots of room.

And, news from the front yard …

 

She considers a field and buys it;
    with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
She girds herself with strength,
    and makes her arms strong.

Proverbs 31:15-17 (New Revised Standard Version)

Okay. It’s not quite a vineyard. It’s an herb garden. And a thyme garden. And a shady place with a garden bench. But my arms are strong enough to transfer a big bag of mulch or topsoil from the car’s trunk to a wheelbarrow, and to cart that bag to the backyard. And spread that mulch or topsoil where it needs to be. While wearing my overalls.

It Was a Dark and Stormy Afternoon

I was returning Peter home last Monday. Rain was forecast for Fort Worth most of the day, but we pioneered on with our plan, which was to visit a nursery first, then go to Central Market grocery store and have some lunch and play on the nice playground they have there. (I know, most grocery stores don’t have playgrounds, but this one does.) We did go to the nursery, and I bought some thyme and Peter gave me some germander to buy. Then, on to Central Market.

 

They have lots of prepacked foods, for people who come in and want to get something quick to eat. For the vegetarian boy,it was pretty much a peanut butter sandwich. He lunched in the race car cart while I did a little shopping. (The race car cart is oversized and a challenge to navigate up and down the aisles. But, very cool for a 4-year-old.) We took our groceries to the car and then I moved the car closer to the playground. To our (well, maybe just my own) disappointment, they have redone the playground, removing the very interesting play structures, one that had a suspended plank bridge connecting two platforms (with sides, for safety), and another that had a curved tunnel-type slide, and a third, which I cannot recall very well, but there were three of them that could accommodate lots of kids. Now, there’s a play structure that does have several manipulative sorts of gadgets, like steering wheels, and a double slide, and steps. And a few kids can play and work there without feeling crowded. Then, there’s a slide. Yes, just a slide. And, between those two things, there are two kid-sized (man-made, which is fine) boulders, for climbing on. I suppose that the other play equipment was getting old, and, for safety’s sake, and lawsuit protection, it might have been time for replacements. Sigh. But, there were kids there and Peter had a good time.

Meanwhile, the weather. Things were good, nice temperature, cloudy enough to not be too hot. Good. Until, abruptly, a big gust of chilly wind blew through. I called Peter over and said he could play for five more minutes; feel the wind, see the sky, it’s going to rain.

About a minute later, the two moms called their kids and said they needed to leave. We all raced to our cars. Peter’s house is very near. By time we got his stuff into the house, and, well, chatted a few minutes, it was raining so much that April took me out to the car with an umbrella.

On I30, on my way to I35 (we were stopped for a moment, so I could safely shoot a photo)

On I30, on my way to I35 (we were stopped for a moment, so I could safely shoot a photo)

 

By time I got to the highway, there was LOTS of rain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was pretty much the situation until I was quite a ways out of Fort Worth, then, no rain, and we could clip along at regular speed. A little north of Grandview, we had to all move into the right-hand lane. There had been an enormous wreck. I could only see one car. I didn’t know if there had been others involved and they’d been removed, but the car there was terribly damaged. It was up against a barrier in the center median, smashed on the back and sides and front. Whomever was in the car had been removed, and there wasn’t any debris left on the road (and there surely would have been debris). I’d have taken a photo, but, seriously, I was driving!

The skies cleared and the temperature went up, the further south I went.

For you non-Texans--You can see where Fort Worth, and Hillsboro, and Waco are. Grandview is right about where that 35W sign is, south of Fort Worth. And West is about where that highway 77 is, between Hillsboro and Waco.

For you non-Texans–You can see where Fort Worth, and Hillsboro, and Waco are. Grandview is right about where that 35W sign is, south of Fort Worth. And West is about where that highway 77 sign is, between Hillsboro and Waco.

On the way up to Fort Worth, I had realized I hadn’t filled up the gas tank before I left Waco. It was about 3/4 full when I noticed it, so I knew I had plenty to get there. I’d planned to fill up before I left Fort Worth, but by then, it was pouring rain. As I was entering Hillsboro, the tank was 1/4 full, but I thought maybe I should go ahead and fill up, so I wouldn’t be anxious as I drove on.

And this is actually, truly, I’m-not-making-this-up what happened:

The car said the outdoor temperature was 76°. The skies were clear. The air was still. I pulled into a gas station/convenience store on the north side of town. I turned off the car. I got my credit card out of my purse. I got out of the car and walked around the front of it, to the gas pumps. I swiped my card. As I picked up the nozzle, kabam! A giant, chilled wind smacked into me. I had started the gassing-up process, so I filled up the car, struggling to hang onto the gas pump and stay upright myself. The tank wasn’t empty, so it didn’t take quite so long to be full. I replaced the nozzle, and, no thanks, no receipt, and struggled to the other side of the car to get in. E-GAD!!

I checked the temperature as I left Hillsboro, and it had already dropped four degrees. I often stop in West, a few miles down the road, to get fruit kolaches for breakfasts and sausage and ham ones for lunches. Not that day. I was a little afraid of the vicious wind that was chasing me. But, it was slower than I, and when I got to Waco, the car’s thermometer said 81° and things were still. The storm made it to Waco in the night.

Springtime in Texas. Sometimes there’s a nice gentle rainshower, and I can sit on the porch and read and enjoy it. More often than not, it just roars through.

 

But they were no sooner out to sea than a gale-force wind, the infamous nor’easter, struck.

Acts 27:14 (The Message)

When I was a teen-ager, a friend and I had back to back piano lessons, the idea being that we could (and we did) learn two-piano duets by overlapping our lesson times. One springtime afternoon, I was in my teacher’s den, waiting for my turn. The teacher’s mother had come for a visit, and she was sitting in the den with me. As we sat, the light began to fade. The backyard got dark, and a newly arrived wind was whipping the trees’ and hedge’s limbs and leaves in a frenzy. I was pretty much in a “whatever” mode, but the teacher’s mother was beginning to seem panicky. She looked at me, wide-eyed, and said, “Is this a Blue Norther?!?!?!” “Well,” I said, looking outside, “I guess so.” I don’t know what she’d heard about “Blue Northers,” but it must have been pretty scary. Maybe they were infamous. But, she seemed to become a little calmer. I guess my complete lack of interest made her think we were going to be all right. Good thing I didn’t say, “Oh, it could be a Blue Norther. Let’s just hope there’s not a big ol’ TORNADO on the way!”

Anyway, I have lots to be grateful for these days–lovely new plants for my yard, good springtime rains so we don’t have to turn on the sprinklers yet (I love it when God waters my yard for me), safe travel without any sort of collision, and a grandson who lives close enough for us to enjoy frequently.

 

What Definition of “Great” Are You Using?

Earlier this week, I watched three episodes of American Experience on PBS, about America’s involvement in World War I. I never knew much about the war; I guess we never got that far in World History (in something the same way that we never got much beyond the Civil War in American History, or much beyond the Alamo in Texas History). Starting in 2014, as the centennial mark of the beginning of the war meant that there was more attention to it, I tried to become more informed, which just lead to lots of weeping. But, I started with:

Also, I knew that my paternal grandfather served in France in WWI. My maternal grandfather, by time America got involved and established a draft, had four daughters, including a young infant, so most likely draft-exempt.

 

Leroy Goodwin began his service on October 2, 1917, and was part of the American Expeditionary Forces, from June 1918 ’til January 1919, with an Honorable Discharge on February 15, 1919. Armistice Day for WWI was November 11, 1918. I know absolutely nothing else about his military service.

Except that he had some time to shop, probably in those weeks between Armistice Day and when he came back home.

My grandmother in the center. From the left: her brother, Frank, her Army son (Ozero, my Dad), Grandma, her Navy sons (C.L. and Joe)--they all came home alive

My grandmother in the center. From the left: her brother, Frank, her Army son (Ozero, my Dad), Grandma, her Navy sons (C.L. and Joe)–they all came home alive

 

My dad’s older brother C. L. enlisted in the Navy right after the Pearl Harbor attack. Their younger brother, Joe, wanted to, but had to wait until he was a little bit older. My Dad was in college at Ohio State, and wanted to finish school. But, he got drafted into the Army. He ended up stationed in Texas, where he met my mother. He was part of the occupation army in Japan, after the war ended. He did finish school, but instead of Ohio State, it was at Baylor in Waco, where he and my mother lived happily ever after.

David’s dad was a medic in WWII, in Belgium and Luxembourg. His brother was an army man, too.

 

 

 

 

 

I looked at maps, to try to see how WWI affected Europe.

Also, I found this: 40 maps that explain WWI. When I have some time, I think it will help explain things, too. But, I will not have time now. Peter’s coming!

 

After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying,

“Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power to our God, (New Revised Standard Version)

και μετα ταυτα ηκουσα φωνην οχλου πολλου μεγαλην εν τω ουρανω λεγοντος αλληλουια η σωτηρια και η δοξα και η τιμη και η δυναμις κυριω τω θεω ημων (1550 Stephanus New Testament [Greek])

יט לאחר מכן שמעתי קול אדיר שנשמע כקול המוני אנשים בשמים: “הללויה! הודו לה’! הישועה, הכבוד (Hebrew)

Afta da big angel guy wen talk, jalike one dream, I wen hear one big noise dat wen sound like get plenny peopo inside da sky. Dey singing,

“God, he da greates! Hallelujah! He take us outa da bad kine stuff we stay in! He da awesome One! An he da One dat get plenny power! (Hawai’i Pidgin)

  После этого я услышал голос, звучащий, как голос огромного множества людей. Они восклицали в небесах:

– Аллилуйя!
    Спасение, слава и сила у нашего Бога (Russian)

Revelation 19:1

No matter how you say it, it’s Hallelujah! Our God reigns.

The Fauna and Me

David’s been gone all week to a museum meeting in Abilene. Museum meeting weeks (twice a year) mean “household work” weeks for me. Sometimes I paint a wall. Sometimes I clean out a closet or two. (Museum meeting weeks sometimes generate lots of bags for Goodwill). I might strip furniture. I might work on photograph albums. This week, I worked outside in the yard.

The weather was great. I got lots and lots of work done. I have this great pair of overall shorts that I bought in a resale place that April likes. They’re a size 26, I think. So, they’re huge and really comfortable. There are pockets for my phone, my glasses, my keys, my pruning shears, and two or three more, just in case.

It’s springtime for sure! In addition to time spent with the flora in my yard, some fauna showed up.

And the flora part:

I pulled weeds and did some edging and planted some things, but mostly (at least it seems that way) I picked up sticks. There was a storm Saturday night and the pecan tree dropped a few boughs. I trimmed some hedges. And, I haven’t been keeping up with the number of twigs and branches that die off in the back hedge and get blown and broken off. I took three bags of hedge pieces to the city’s recycle place on Thursday. (City residents are allowed to drop off yard waste two times each month.) And Friday …

 

A nap here, a nap there, a day off here, a day off there,
    sit back, take it easy—do you know what comes next?
Just this: You can look forward to a dirt-poor life,
    poverty your permanent houseguest

Proverbs 6:10-11 (The Voice)

 

Or, for me, too much napping means I can expect weeds where I want grass to be, grass where I want flowers to be, and sticks all over the place!

Meanwhile, I went to the library last Saturday and checked out several audio books to listen to while I worked. I recommend My Happy Days in Hollywood by Garry Marshall, who directed and produced television programs like Happy Days and Mork and Mindy and movies, such as Beaches and Princess Diaries. It was fun for me to hear the stories of the programs I’ve enjoyed watching over the years.

Hmmm. What’s in YOUR Back Yard?

I actually wrote this a few years ago, and submitted it to a take-home church magazine published by the Mennonites. They have a theme list, and I proposed it for their “Traditions” issue. I e-mailed it off and heard really quickly from the editor, who said, “I love this story. It’s a great fit for our issue on Humor … Thanks so much….it’s wonderful!” Personally, I thought it was more poignant than humorous, but a sale is a sale, and I made $75.00. The photo wasn’t part of the story, but I thought you might want to see the back yard for yourself, and how it really is pretty spacious.

 

There apparently aren't any really good photos of my early elementary years' backyard. They all have swing sets and/or birthday parties in them. But you can see how roomy it is.

There apparently aren’t any really good photos of my early elementary years’ backyard. They all have swing sets and/or birthday parties in them. But, in this one, you can see how roomy the space is. (in the rocker: neighbor Mary, Gayle, JoAnne, neighbor Cindy)

I fell for it every year. While I was getting dressed before breakfast, my dad would yell,“Oh look! Come quick! There’s an elephant in the back yard.” I would run to the back door, astonished at the idea that I might actually see a real, live elephant out there. And, of course, there was no elephant.
“April Fool!” my dad would laugh. Ohhhh. I’d get the joke and roll my eyes and laugh with him.
A year is a long time for a little kid, and every year, I’d rush to look, not remembering the joke until I peered out the back door. As I grew older, though, I was part of the ruse, going outside with my little sister, looking around for the missing elephants, threatening not to come in for breakfast until we’d located the elusive beast.
When my sons came along, they would get the early morning phone calls. “It’s for you,” I’d shout. “Granddad needs to talk to you.” The first time, they listened to him for a few seconds, looked at me in great surprise, then headed for the back door. In moments they returned, confused.
“There’s no elephant out there,” they said to me.
“Granddad wants to clear that up for you,” I said, handing back the phone. And I watched their smiles as they listened and understood the joke.
As soon as my sister’s kids were old enough to answer the phone, she would also roust them out of bed on April Fool’s morning, to answer the insistently ringing telephone.
After my sons went off to college, my dad would phone me on March 31, to be sure he had their campus phone numbers and schedules correct. He didn’t want to call too early, but he didn’t want to take a chance on missing them before they went to class, either.
“Be sure you walk around carefully today,” he would say. “I think there have been elephants on campus.”
By then, naturally, everyone knew the gag. It became a way my dad kept in touch with his grandkids. One of the many ways he said, “You are important to me.”
In the fall, a few years ago, my dad got really sick, really fast. He passed away early that November. One Sunday morning, the following spring, I was getting ready for church when the phone rang. The caller ID showed that it was my younger son, who lives with his wife in Brooklyn. I thought it odd that they would phone me on a Sunday morning, when, due to the time difference, they should already be at church.
“Hello” I answered, with a bit of a question in my voice.
“Mom,” he said. “We were just a little worried about you and Dad.”
“Why?” I asked.
“We heard about a big accident there. It’s on the news.” (I hadn’t thought to look at the calendar and was not at all suspicious.)
“Whatever happened?”
“There was a train collision and it seems to be near you,” he explained. (We don’t live anywhere near a train track, but still I was oblivious.)
“It was a circus train,” he went on, and the confusing pieces fell into place.
“A circus train?”
“Yes,” he went on. “And there are animals everywhere. It looks like your neighborhood, and we think there might be an elephant in your back yard. Go check.”
“I will,” I said. And I went to the back windows and looked out.
“No,” I said quietly, through sudden tears. “I’m safe here. No elephants in the back yard. But thanks for letting me know.”
“Well,” he said. “Somebody had to do it.”

 

 A simple meal with love
is better than a feast
    where there is hatred.

Proverbs 15:17 (Contemporary English Version)

I have a friend who says I grew up in a fairy tale. She’s rather right. It might have been a little more like a 50’s family sitcom. We had enough, and I always felt loved. Even when I kept on going to look out the back door on April 1.

“Your Mailbox is Full”

IMG_3339Sometimes, when I look out the little window in the front door, to see if the mail has come, there are a couple of pieces, so small that the mailbox lid is down, and I can’t tell if there’s actually any mail in it. Other days, there’s a catalog and a magazine and several bills, and pieces of all sorts of ads and circulars, and sometimes even some actual mail. And I’m glad I’m not a mail carrier, because if everyone gets the amount of mail I do on those busy days, then I’d be too worn out to deliver mail. (Maybe it evens out over the course of several days.) Plus, I’d probably end up sitting in my freezing mail carrier truck in the winter, and setting fire to pieces of mail that I think not one really wants anyway, just to try to stay warm.

 

Screen Shot 2017-03-23 at 4.48.02 PMThese days, some of my mail is electronic. Two or three days a week, coupons appear in my inbox, and I can scroll through them and choose which ones I’d like to print out, to take to the grocery store. I get offers, almost daily, it seems, from the Groupon people and the Living Social people. Amazon.com reminds me periodically that I bought some vitamins from them a while back, and would I like to order some more? And, yes, thank you, I’m almost out and would like to order some more.

Grande Communications is our e-mail provider. When I’m away from home and need to check my mail, I go to the Grande site. When I’m at home, I use the mail app on my computer. (This will be important later.)

Wednesday morning, when I went to check my mail, I saw that nothing had come in since afternoon the day before. That seemed odd. I tried clicking on the “Get Mail” icon, without success. I tried sending a message to Kevin, to ask if there was something amiss and how could I remedy it, but I couldn’t send anything out, either. So, I called him. Wednesday is a work from home day for him, but he had a knotty work issue to sort out, and couldn’t get back to me for a while.

So, I did the sensible thing and called Grande. After listening to several recorded options, I finally got a human. I explained the problem to him, and very quickly he was able to identify the glitch. “Your mailbox is full,” he said.

Hmmm. While I do indeed delete some of my e-mail messages, I’m bad, I admit, about thinking, “Oh, I’ll go back later and read that ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ piece …” but I rarely do. So there are several of those lying around in my mailbox. And some devotionals. And some other stuff, like coupon offers, and things I needed to save, like the worship service volunteers in preschool, for this quarter, but then I didn’t go back and delete the one for the quarter before that, and the quarter before that, and well, you know.

mailSo I said to the nice young man from Grande, “Hmm. So I need to go back and delete stuff. Lots of stuff?” And he said, and I’m including the print out from the Grande web site, so you’ll believe me, “You have seven thousand, one hundred, ninety e-mails in your inbox. That’s 99.97 per cent of your capacity.”

“So, it seems I need to do some deleting, then,” I said. And he agreed. I also asked him, just out of curiosity, if this was the largest email box percentage he ever seen. “Yes,” he said. Up til now, the highest one he’d seen was 96% full. “You should get a plaque,” he said. “Or maybe a trophy.”

I called Kevin, and got him (knotty work problem was resolved, which is pretty much Kevin’s job description–solve those knotty problems). I laughed and explained the Grande situation: full mailbox, 99.97% full, time to delete. And Kevin was astonished and began to look into things. And, to shorten a very tedious, hour-long story, Kevin ultimately discovered the trouble.

Because I have a Mac and use the computer’s e-mail program, when I delete an e-mail, or a hundred e-mails, they disappear from my computer, but they do not disappear from my Grande account. When we looked at my Grande mail page, it showed (after you scrolled and scrolled and scrolled) every e-mail I’d ever gotten, except for a few that I’d deleted after reading them when I was someplace else besides at home, and deleted a message from the Grande page when I was working on some other computer.

Kevin discovered that, if he deleted a message from my Grande account on the Grande page, it did not disappear from my computer’s e-mail. There was a button, on the Grande page, that said, “Delete All.” And, since we’d learned that the computer email and Grande’s email aren’t on speaking terms, he tested out his theory, by deleting some messages from my Grande website e-mail list. They disappeared from my Grande account. But, they did not disappear from the computer e-mail application that I use regularly. He was able, then, to go to the Grande site and hit “Delete All.” They all disappeared. From the Grande page. But, on the Mac mail application, they were there. Well, a sensible number of e-mails were there. Not seven thousand, one hundred, ninety of them.

 

Christ gives me the strength to face anything.

Philippians 4:13 (Contemporary English Version)

 

I understand that this verse really refers to spiritual matters, but I think it also applies to all day, everyday challenges–the things that trip me up and frustrate me and make me lose time and energy and patience. Modern life keeps on slapping me in the face; every time I think I’ve gotten a handle on something, someone pops up and says, “No, you can’t go that way. That’s a one way street;” “Hey, that’s not the right way to do that! You have to go through this door first, then that door!” “Of course you can’t access your e-mail. YOUR MAILBOX IS FULL!!!!!!******” (Insert appropriate emojis here.)

 

 

 

We Took a Little Trip, Part 2

As we were traveling back home from Tulsa, Sunday before last, we stopped at a Cracker Barrel, somewhere in Texas, after we left Oklahoma. When we got out of the car, it was breezy and a little chilly. And I recalled the conversation I had with myself, several times that Sunday morning, in the hotel, as I was packing. “Oh, there’s my jacket. I must remember that my jacket is on the chair. And I’ll need to get it when we leave.” When we left the room, to go down for breakfast in the hotel, um, snack room, I reminded myself about my jacket. “There’s my jacket on the chair. I must remember to get it when we leave.”

After breakfast, when we got back to the room, there was my jacket on the chair. “Oh, yes,” I said to  myself. “I must remember to get my jacket.”

I carefully packed up all my things, and we went down the elevator and checked out and took our things to the car (where the weather was still) and drove away, off to the Chickasaw Nation Visitor Center, where the weather was also still. At the Cracker Barrel, however, it was not still, and as we walked toward the Cracker Barrel door, I was chilly, and I thought, “Oh, yes, I need my jacket, which is … on the chair in our hotel room.”

At the door of the Cracker Barrel, I told David I didn’t have my jacket. And, he knew where it was. On the chair. In our hotel room. In Tulsa. He went back to the car and got the hotel receipt and, from the door of the Cracker Barrel, I phoned the hotel and gave them my name and our room number and a description of the jacket. “It’s sort of a sweater-jacket,” I said. “A knitted thing. It’s sort of a pinkish/lavender jacket, with a hood. And it’s on the chair, in room 212.” She explained that the housecleaning crew had just begun to work, and that they waited until they were completely done cleaning, before they brought things down (apparently, I’m not the only guest who leaves things behind). We went over our home address and phone number (just in case), and, of course, the credit card number, which they would need to pay for the postage for sending the jacket to me. And I thanked her, and we went and had our lunch.

When we got back to Waco, I unpacked and put things away. But it wasn’t until I was getting ready for bed that I began to look around, check my suitcase, look in my smaller bag, and finally accepted the fact that my nightgown had not made the trip back to Waco. I’ve had this “white nightgown” problem before, last May. I had left it at David’s mom’s house, when I went to Baltimore for a family wedding. It had gotten mixed in with some white towels, and I didn’t see it. Same thing in the hotel. White nightgown, hanging on bathroom hook, along with a white towel.

Monday morning, I called the hotel. AGAIN. I gave the lady my name and room number and, oh, yes, they had the white nightgown. “Oh, thank you,” I said. And, they had a white shirt. “WHAT!” I should not be allowed to travel. It was an extra knit shirt I had taken along, in case I got cold and needed to wear it underneath something else (like a jacket, for example). And, same, problem. It was folded up, in the suitcase, and I think that, when I was repacking everything, I may have taken it out of the suitcase, rearranged things, and didn’t notice it on the white sheets of the bed, and just packed everything else up. So, yes, they would pack up ALL my left-behind clothing, and send it along to me.

My missing things: jacket, white nightgown, white knit shirt, all safe and sound back in Texas

My missing things: jacket, white nightgown, white knit shirt, all safe and sound back in Texas

I had hoped the package would arrive by Thursday, so I could take a photo, to put in last week’s post. But, it didn’t come until Saturday. I thought that, after all their traveling, maybe I should just go ahead and toss them in the laundry, to clean them up. And I did that. I’d done laundry all day Friday, so these things just went into the washer all together. The white nightgown. The white knit shirt. And the lavender/pinkish sort of colored jacket. Regular cycle. Warm wash, and cold rinse.

 

 

 

 

 

Right out of the washer

Right out of the washer

Looking closely at the jacket, you probably notice that it’s covered with little white detritus. Apparently, I’d left a tissue in a pocket. Or maybe a tissue in each pocket. Or multiple tissues. There were a lot of little pieces. And I thought I’d just go ahead and put it in the dryer and let the dryer get all that stuff off the jacket. And, then I noticed the white nightgown and the white shirt. Maybe it wouldn’t have been so obvious, if they hadn’t been sitting on top of the white dryer. But, they were sitting on the white dryer. And they were pink. Not really, REALLY pink. But, most certainly–pink.

 

Every laundry room should have Color Catchers. And every launderer should figure out when to use them.

Every laundry room should have Color Catchers. And every launderer should figure out when to use them.

I tried washing the gown and shirt again, by themselves, with a Color Catcher, hoping that, maybe, if they went right back into the water, the pink would just wander right out of the gown and shirt and be corralled by the Color Catcher. Nope. They are still pink.

I was talking with a friend about this and we agreed that having a box of Color Catchers is a good idea. Knowing when to use a Color Catcher doesn’t always kick in.

I checked the tag on the jacket. It says “Wash with like colors,” which means: launder this thing with other purpley, pinkish, and red things, or even blue things. Not white.

 

 

 

 

True, the grass withers and the wildflowers fade,
    but our God’s Word stands firm and forever.”

Isaiah 40:8 (The Message)

THE FIRST DAISY!!

THE FIRST DAISY!!

Small mistakes are nothing. They are gnats. So many more things are more important. And, seriously, I have a nightgown. I have several nightgowns. I have shirts that I wear under other shirts, to stay warm. And if I’m still cold, I have jackets and coats. And socks and shoes. And enough to eat and a safe place to live.

And CHECK THIS OUT——–>>>>>>>>>>>>

 

 

 

 

We Took a Little Trip

There was a family wedding in Tulsa last weekend, and we went. I did have to have a small conversation with David about travel. The wedding was at 1:00 in the afternoon, and the reception was at 3:00. Travel time from Waco to Tulsa is about 7 hours, which meant we really could not leave Waco on Saturday morning and get there in time for the wedding. And, we would not be able to enjoy the reception and visit with relatives and be able to leave and drive home on Saturday night. I reminded David that he is, um, well, a senior adult now, and cannot safely drive that distance in the middle of the night. We would have to leave home on Friday afternoon and return on Sunday, and spend both Friday and Saturday nights at a hotel. That’s what we did, and it had a deep Jacuzzi tub in the bathroom! Quite enjoyable.

On Saturday morning, David suggested that we visit the Oral Roberts campus. The campus is a walking only place, but there were generous parking lots. As we walked onto the campus, we stopped at a campus map to look for a geology museum that David thought was there. As we studied the map, a nice young woman stopped to ask if she could help us find something. We said we were looking for the museum. She said, “Um. I didn’t know we had a museum.” We waited for a second or two, and she said, “Oh, is it where the rocks are?” “Yes,” we said. And she was able to point out the building where “the rocks were.”

David said we really should go up in the prayer tower. But it didn’t open until noon, so, no prayer tower visit. We walked to the building where “the rocks were.” We went up the outside steps and into the only part of the building that was open. The only thing that was open up there was the campus book store. We went and asked an employee there about the museum, and yes, she did know where it was, and there was a way to get there from where we were, but she didn’t really know exactly how to do that. The best way, she thought, was to go back out the door, down those steps, and down some other steps, and go in the door down there. Which we did. And, sure enough, right there when we went in, there was a sign that said, “Elsing Museum,” and it opened at 1:30.

So much for “where the rocks” were.

As we walked around the campus, which is pretty, the horticulture was, um, unusual.

IMG_3122IMG_3120David said he thought that some of the plants were those that had biblical references. We saw a couple of trees that were new and interesting to us. I cannot find information on the ORU website. But maybe these plants are biblical.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But other plants on campus were more intriguing.

I wondered if there was a horticulture degree at Oral Roberts, but I looked and, no, there’s not. Just some gifted groundskeepers, I guess. Maybe there’s a campus-wide contest each year, and they’re just getting ready.

This was on the grounds of the Chickasaw Nation Visitor's Center. Maybe interestingly trimmed hedges is just an Oklahoma-type thing.

This was on the grounds of the Chickasaw Nation Visitor’s Center. Maybe interestingly trimmed hedges is just an Oklahoma-type thing.

 

 

 

Anyway, the wedding was very sweet, and we got an opportunity to see some family that we don’t get to visit with very often. I got to chat with some preschoolers and hold a baby. And, on the way back to Waco on Sunday afternoon, we stopped in Fort Worth and visited with Peter (and his parents), read him some books, and got to see some amazing magic tricks!

 

Three days later Mary, the mother of Jesus, was at a wedding feast in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited and were there.

John 2:1-2 (Contemporary English Version)

 

The wedding we went to? Jesus was invited and was there, too.

I Was Lulled into Inaction . . .

. . . by the previous two winters. They were mild. And, whenever there was a threat of freezing temperatures, all the plants were just fine. It’s always warmer in my backyard than it is at the airport, ‘way out of town. So, this past December (I think it was), when low temps were forecast, I was an unbeliever. Oh, they’ll be fine I said to myself. And, the big cold front that was supposed to blow in after sundown, blew in a few hours earlier, and I went out and got a cute bougainvillea that I really liked. And I moved other stuff closer to the house, which has worked in the past. Then I came in, too chilled by the earlier-than-expected temperature drop to do much else.

And I lost most everything.

But, there’s some good news!

 

 The flowers are unfolding in the fields;
        the birds are warming up their songs,
 The cooing of the turtledove
        is heard throughout the land.

Song of Solomon 2:12 (The Voice)

 

 

IMG_3068This photo, and I am so not making it up, is a picture that my phone took of the inside of my overalls’ bib pocket. Really. I was working outside and heard the click of a photo being taken. I looked down and saw that the smooth side of a snap, on the inside of the pocket, was right in line with the shutter button on the phone (which was facing forward but upside down). So, there you go. The machines are beginning to take over. I hope they can live peacefully with the plants and flowers.