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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)


“Never judge a book by its movie.” –J.W. Eagan*

Many, m-a-n-y, many years ago, I was visiting my sister while they were living in San Angelo, when their kids were all preschoolers. We’d left the kids, including my school-ager Jeremy, at home with my brother-in-law, and were out running errands. At one point, she was going to hurry into someplace, and asked if I wanted to come, too, or just stay in the car. I glanced around the car and saw a mom’s magazine that I could read while she popped in and out. “I’ll stay here,” I said, picking up the periodical.

When she came back, she said, “I always keep a couple of things in the car to read. In case I have to wait somewhere.”

“Me, too,” I agreed.

“So,” I went on, “apparently our greatest fear, based on our behavior, is being stuck somewhere, with nothing to read.”

“Oh, yes,” she said.

I appreciate the physicians’ offices with magazines. Well, interesting magazines, except I rarely make visits there without a book. At the retina place, for example: first, there’s the stay in the waiting room, until I go to get my eyes dilated and my vision and my eye pressure checked. Then, back to the waiting room. Then, into the little room for retina scans. Then, maybe back to the waiting room, or straight to an examining room. Then, waiting there for the retina specialist, who then, after looking at the scans, numbs my eye(s). More waiting, in the examining room. Then, eye procedure. Then, I’m done. I need something to read during all that.

I see lots of physicians. There’s quite a bit of waiting. And you just can’t guarantee what sorts of reading material are going to be there. And, really, if I start reading a magazine article, I could take it to the examining room, but I’m pretty sure they’d be unhappy with me if I took it home to finish what I was reading. Otherwise, I’d have to go to some store and try to purchase my own copy, but what if it was from three months ago? I could try the library. But really, it’s just easier if I take my own reading materials.

I do have a couple of books on my phone, but I don’t like that so much. The amount of words that appear on a phone screen is pretty limited, and it’s just swipe, swipe, swipe. Of course, there are Kindles and e-readers now, and tablets, which make things easier.

Still, I guess I’m just an old-fashioned reader. There’s something about the feel and smell of a book. The paper? The ink? The weight? Or the cute/attractive/interesting bookmark?

 

Everything on earth has its own time and its own season.
There is a time for birth and death, planting and reaping,
for killing and healing, destroying and building,
for crying and laughing, weeping and dancing,
 for throwing stones and gathering stones, embracing and parting.
There is a time for finding and losing, keeping and giving,
for tearing and sewing, listening and speaking.
There is also a time for love and hate, for war and peace.

 Ecclesiastes 3:1-18 (Contemporary English Version)

  

And, I suppose, a time for listening, for reading, for learning, for teaching, and all those things we do to become the people God has planned for us to be.
Meanwhile, in the planting and reaping area, look what I saw Wednesday, in the side yard.

*As far as I can tell, J. W. Eagan is famous for the quote, and nothing else.

Angels Unawares*

A stranger was kind to me a couple of days ago. I thought it might make a blog post, and I thought of the quote “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.”

I looked up that quote, to be able to attribute it correctly. I put “kindness quotes” in the search engine, and got a page of poster-like things containing various quotes written in cute scripts and fonts, all attractively portrayed. The quote I was searching for appeared several times. It’s by Tennessee Williams from the play A Streetcar Named Desire, spoken by the character Blanche DuBois. When I looked for the context of the comment, I decided it wasn’t what I was looking for.

I found this: “You cannot imagine the kindness I’ve received at the hands of perfect strangers.” Somerset Maugham. This quote is from the novel The Narrow Room, and I can only find the briefest blurb about it, so, with no real context, I’m not sure it’s what I’m wanting, either.

I kept on looking at the quotes, which seem to be basically screen shots of posters. I found a couple I liked:

“The unexpected kindness of strangers when you’re having a stressful day just makes everything easier.” Lacey Chabert (actress, voice actress)

“At this point, the only reliable resource is the kindness of friends and strangers.” Robert Hayes (actor in such productions as Airplane and Sharknado 2)

“If you rely on the kindness of strangers, be prepared one day to pay them back.” Linda Poindexter

I’m unfamiliar with Linda Poindexter, and when I searched for her, I found that there are several ladies who share that same name. I think she’s the one who was an Episcopal priest.

I also like this non-stranger-related quote from her:

“If one drop of rain can find its way to the ocean, then one prayer can find its way to God.” Linda Poindexter

But, on to the stranger issue. I’ve mentioned before about how I occasionally embarrass Jeremy in New York by trying to chat (in a friendly way) with people in the grocery store, the way I do in Waco, Texas. Earlier this week, I said, “Oh, excuse me” a couple of times, when I rounded a corner from one aisle to another, and came cart-to-cart with another shopper. We smiled at each other and went on. Someone barrelled out in front of me and said, “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t see you.” And we smiled at each other. We just interact more, and in friendly ways, here in the Lone Star State, even though we are pretty much strangers to each other.

Which brings me to the kind stranger I met earlier this week. I was heading into church Wednesday morning, to help clean out a supply room. The wind was howling and I was shivering as I walked across the parking lot. I did have on a dress and extra shirt, a sweater, and a jacket (all buttoned up to my chin). A few people were walking in, too–leaders for the community college-staffed English and GED classes that we provide space for, Monday-Thursday mornings.

My heavy knit jacket–
I replaced the buttons recently. The button holes had stretched a little bit, and the buttons kept popping out.

The back of my jacket–
This is how the tie belt was tied when I bought the jacket, and how it usually stays.

A woman was walking a few feet ahead of me, and as we walked into the building, we were commenting on the chilly, blustery day. There are two sets of doors at the entrance, and as I walked through the second one, I realized there was another lady behind me. “Oh, exucse me,” I said. “I didn’t see you there.” We smiled at each other and walked on in. A few feet further, there are a couple of steps up into the main hallway.

“Oh, wait! Wait!” She said. I stopped and turned around, but she went on toward my back. Her arms were full of her teaching supplies, but, one-handed, she untied the fabric belt at the back of my jacket. She reached around and pulled one end of the belt and the other around my waist.

“Tie it,” she said. And then smiled in satisfaction when I’d had it snugly around my waist. “It’s warmer now,” she said. And I said, “Thanks.”

She went happily along to her classroom, and for the rest of the day, I made sure my belt was tied when I was out in the wind.

Maybe in Brooklyn, or other places, someone might have said, “Mind your own business!” Maybe in Brooklyn, she’d never have been so bold. And while I was a little startled, I took it in what I’m imagining was a loving concern. A kindness from a stranger.

 

Don’t neglect to show hospitality, for by doing this some have welcomed angels as guests without knowing it.

Hebrews 13:2 (Christian Standard Bible)

One of the poster screen shots had the “I’ve always depended on the kindness of strangers” quote, but attributed it to W.E.B. Dubois. Hmmmm. No, I didn’t think so. I looked up Mr. Dubois and found several quotes (none, however, related to strangers). I liked these:

“Children learn more from what you are than what you teach.”

“The most important thing to remember is this: To be ready at any moment to give up what you are for what you might become.” W.E.B. Dubois, PhD.

* The King James Version translation of Hebrews 13:2 says: “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” When I was growing up, I always thought that “unawares” was a word that modified the noun “angels,” instead of the verb “entertained.” I didn’t really know what “angels unawares” were, but it sounded lovely.

 

Maybe Next Year I’ll Remember

I keep making the same mistake, every year, when the weather gets really cold. I sort of remembered a funny quote about that (the mistakes, not the cold), but when I tried to look up “funny quotes about mistakes,” I had a harder time than I thought I would, finding what I wanted. Most sites had two or three amusing quotes, followed by serious quotes about how “making a wrong decision the first time is a mistake, the second time, it’s a choice,” and that sort of thing. I found a few that resonate with me.

Never say, “oops.” Always say, “Ah, interesting.” –Anon

Experience enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.–Franklin P. Jones

To err is human, but when the eraser wears out ahead of the pencil, you’re overdoing it.–Josh Jenkins

These two are my favorites, and, sadly, are unattributed. Maybe they’re also by our friend “Anon.”

I never make the same mistake twice. I make it five or six times, you know, just to be sure.

I have been repeating the same mistakes in life for so long now I may as well call them traditions.

My most recent cold-weather “tradition” goes like this:

The first year, I really was surprised when it happened.

I worked quite a while, and perfected this arrangement after a few summers. I got this four-spigot faucet adapter. It screws onto the back-of-the-house outdoor faucet. Each little spigot has it’s own on/off switch: little black knob vertical means it’s open, little black knob horizontal means it’s closed. That round, yellow and green thing is a timer. That switch stays open all the time. When I turn the timer to a specific amount of time, the timer lets the water flow. The hose at the other side of the timer winds from the faucet to the top of the back steps, down across the back patio, and into a cute little ladybug sprinkler in the herb garden. The sprinkler system doesn’t hit there, so I can easily get those herbs watered during the hot summer months. The next little spigot used to have one of those coiled hoses, and I kept it open all the time, because it had a spray nozzle on the end. When I wasn’t spraying water on the patio plants, that nozzle kept water from leaking out. The next little spigot (with the orange-ended hose screwed on) stayed off most of the time. It has one of those expanding hoses that grows and grows and grows when the water’s turned on. When the water’s turned off, I spray the rest of the water out and the hose shrinks and shrinks to its original size, and I curl it up in a big basket by the faucet. So, I open and close that knob when I need it. The fourth spigot is empty; I don’t need it.

A few years ago, I went out to the back yard, after a little spell of really cold weather, and discovered water gushing from the back faucet. The freezing temperatures had caused the water, however small amount there was in those little spigot ends, to freeze and expand, and, ka-bam, it blew that faucet adapter right off. It also busted open the timer. And the sprayer on the coiled hose. So, hmm. Those things had to be replaced.

And the next year, I’d completely forgotten what had happened the previous winter, and everything blew apart again. The next year, I did remember, and turned all the little knobs, so there wasn’t any water in those hoses. But I neglected to turn off the water faucet itself. So, the four-spigot adapter again broke and popped off.

So this year, when the weather forecast said “BRRRRRRR. Really Cold!” I thought, “Oh, I need to go out and turn the water off. And maybe take the adapter off, too.”

You may have heard or read about The Doorway Effect, that when we walk through a doorway, we often forget what we’d been thinking about, as we enter a different room. Sad to say, after I thought about the freezing weather and the faucet, I walked through a door. Several doors, actually. So, a couple of days later, I was taking the trash out, and I walked around through the back yard instead of through the garage in the front, as I usually do. (It was still pretty cold, and that’s a little bit shorter walk.) I heard water gushing. The main faucet was blasting away, and the organized watering apparatus was, as you can see in the photo above, lying, broken, on the grass. I turned off the water and sighed. Oh, dear, not again.

I did unscrew the coiled hose a couple of days later, and screwed it onto the main faucet. When I turned the water on, about five spouts of water came springing out of the coils, to the degree that, when I squeezed the trigger of the sprayer, not one drop came out.

So, here we are again. I bought a new coiled hose. But, I’ll have to replace the four-spigot adapter and almost surely the timer. I guess I won’t positively know until I can get everything all put together again. But previous experience tells me that it’s not going to be working.

 My enemies, don’t be glad
    because of my troubles!
I may have fallen,
    but I will get up;
I may be sitting in the dark,
    but the Lord is my light.

Micah 7:8 (Contemporary English Version (CEV)

 

The challenge is that I really can’t shut everything down at the beginning of winter and wait until spring. Several of the patio plants don’t go dormant or die back. They still need to be watered; we’ve had some drizzly days, but not much really serious rainfall. Several things need to be watered. Regularly.

We’ve fallen, but we will get up! Even if it takes a little sitting in the dark. And, EEK (in a good way)!  In the side yard, I saw daffodil leaves, and stems with buds. It’s not that I want spring to hurry up. Spring is just followed by a beastly summer, which lasts until October. But it is hard to not feel a little anticipation when daffodils are about to make their move.

New Year’s Reflections

The new year (I know, I’m a little behind) is a time for looking back and seeing how things have gone (or, are going).

The fingernail report–

Back in the fall, I had a cyst removed from my nailbed. It took forever to grow all the way out. If you’re interested, you can read the story.

It seems I’m always loosing plants during cold weather because I’m not diligent about taking care of them. Here’s:

The plant report-

Another year older

The boy report–

Three years from “head all the way below the bar” to “head all the way above the bar.”

So, my health, my yard, my grandson. Things that preoccupy my thoughts and time and energy. I could place a lot of “happy face” emojis here, but … I guess I’m still more a word person.

 

 

Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle.

James 1:17 (The Message)

 

This is how I feel sometimes–like rivers of light are cascading down on me, in the things that give me such joy and delight.

So Long, Old Friend

This cookbook was a wedding gift to me from a couple of Baylor friends. Looking back, I wonder if they asked my mother what would be an appropriate gift, and Mother, a little afraid that David and I might starve to death or go bankrupt always eating out, suggested that a good cookbook would be useful. And it was.

 

Instead of sections of pages of recipes for Main Dishes, Vegetables, Salads, Desserts, etc., each page or two-page spread had a suggested menu and all the recipes for those foods. And there might be a cute little line drawing, or, like this, a nice full-color photo of the foods, which might or might not have been a good idea. Sometimes what I prepared looked similar to the pictured foods. Sometimes no one would have recognized what I cooked.

There were sections for casual meals and special meals, simple meals and when-guests-come-over meals. And, if a recipe made more than one meal’s worth of food, there were suggestions for how to use those leftovers. There was always a main dish, a vegetable, a salad, a bread, and a dessert. I certainly didn’t prepare all the foods. Sometimes the recipes were for things like seafood. And beets. And salads/desserts with coconut.

It’s where I learned about Snickerdoodle cookies.

The cover came off ages ago. And a few of the first pages (introduction, table of contents, etc.). But it’s been on the cookbook shelf, wherever that shelf happened to be, since 1971. I got it down a couple of days ago, needing that Snickerdoodle recipe, and discovered that the back cover has now disengaged. And I thought, maybe it’s time. I don’t think I ever get it out except for the cookies. I went and copied the recipe, trimmed it down, and glued it onto a page in the “Cookie” section of a three-ring binder where I put recipes that I’ve tried, with success, and written down or cut out and glued down. The homemade version of a Family Favorites cookbook.

I thought I should go through the Dinner for Two Cookbook and cut out recipes that we liked and I should keep. But frankly, the things that we liked are things that I made again and again, and I don’t really need those recipes any more. I’m going to look again, just to be sure. But I think that there won’t be many that I need to keep.

 

   … yet I will not forget you.
 See, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands;
    your walls are continually before me.

Isaiah 49: 15b-16

 

There are precious things we remember. There are many, many parts of our days and weeks that we consider once and never think about again. Sometimes, we remember the things that aren’t very significant and forget things that should have stayed with us. But no matter what, we never become insignificant and unimportant to our Heavenly Father.

When It Rains, It . . . Just Keeps on Raining

The latest hand-washed dishes, sitting on a towel on the counter, because I don’t have a dish drainer. And I’m not getting one; I don’t want the house to think, “Oh, it’s okay if the dishwasher doesn’t work, she has a dish drainer she can use.” Nope. Nope, nope, nope.

Two years ago, we got a new dishwasher. The old one had developed a leak in the door, and repairing it was a little iffy (expense-wise), so we opted for a new one. And, I made the decision in a hurry, because we’d been without one for almost a month, and I was growing weary with handwashing the dishes. I didn’t do any research, other than walking around the store and talking with an employee who might, or might not, have had all the information. Anyway, the thing isn’t working properly now. No water seems to be going in, and the dishes aren’t clean and the little soap packet is just sitting there, undissolved, in the bottom. The repairman is supposed to be here, right now, Thursday afternoon, as I write this. He called to say he’s beginning to feel sick and running a temperature, and didn’t think he should come. But, he’s planning to come tomorrow.

Maybe.

We’ll see.

 

Meantime, I was putting dinner together for David. I had a frozen vegetable thing to microwave and add to some fajita chicken meat that I had also pulled from the freezer. I sat it on a plate on the turntable in the microwave and set the timer to the appropriate length of time. It was supposed to sit for a minute, and then I should take it out and carefully open the package and pour out the nicely heated up corn and vegetables.

When I pulled the microwave door open, the handle came off in my hands. The microwave oven’s last hurrah.

You might notice that black X on one end of the handle. That’s the lower end of the handle, and, years ago, that part came loose. David put that X on it to remind people to not pull at the bottom. Even so, I guess the years of being the only part of the handle to take the pulling pressure finally became too much, and POP, it broke.

I’ve always been a little unhappy with myself for not doing better research on dishwashers. And I’m not making the same mistake, now. I went online to get information about microwaves, but all I found was lists of them, and prices, and features. The only place that had information about how they were rated was the Consumer Reports website, which is restricted to subscribers. I caved. For $6.95, I purchased a month’s subscription. In minutes, I found the information I needed. I checked online to see which ones were available, and, later this afternoon/evening, I’m planning to go get one.

The next problem is that Kevin and April installed the microwave for us, more than ten years ago. I’m guessing they’re not going to drive down here and put it in for us. And I’m quite confident that David and I are not at all in shape for that sort of thing. So, I’m getting Part One taken care of, we’ll have to see about Part Two.

 

God cares for you, so turn all your worries over to him.

1 Peter 5:7 (Contemporary English Version)

Later on Friday: We went to see about a new microwave. They have the one we want, but not in white (which I do want, so it will match the other appliances). It’s on back-order and won’t arrive until February 3. But they will deliver it and install it. And David says it is possible to pry open the microwave.

AND-the microwave salesman says I should check the dishwasher filter. Maybe the dishwasher problem is that easy to solve.

Some Glad Morning

We’ve lost a couple of friends in the past month. A good friend in California, earlier in December, and a kind woman, on New Year’s Eve.

It seems hard to have dark emotions at a time of year when we’re accustomed to feeling excited and happy. As those anniversaries come, year after year, facing them takes strength, a different understanding of the term “Missing Person.”

And this brings me, in a sort of convoluted way, to a conversation I had with a friend Thursday morning.

This friend is pretty good at dream interpretation. He doesn’t like to do it, though, because, as dreams are the way our brains work on problems and issues and knotty situations, the explanations can sometimes be sober and difficult. I haven’t asked for help with a dream in years, so I thought maybe I could get a response. He agreed, and I launched my story.

“I dreamed that Donald Trump had asked me to come and make a public service announcement. So, we all went: me and David and Kevin and April and Peter and Jeremy and Sarah … in our white station wagon. As we were driving down our street, we saw Sarah’s family, in their blue station wagon, and they had turned the corner and were going the wrong way, and we said, ‘This way! Follow us!’ When we arrived, the building was enormous, with huge rooms, and everything all gilded, the way you see in photos of Trump properties. The place was full of people, and Secret Service agents kept coming up to me with photographs and asking me to identify the people in the pictures, and were they were my friends. A bunch of preschoolers came by and I talked with them for a little while. Then, a church friend came and brought me a book, and we decided to go the to restroom, to see what the Trump restrooms looked like. They also were all golden and everything worked really well. Then we were in a banquet hall, all seated at tables, and a Secret Service man brought me a cardboard carton and put it in my lap. When I opened it up, I saw that it was full of toy plastic guns. And I said, ‘Ohhhhh. They want me to tell parents that children shouldn’t play with toy guns because they may find a real gun and not know that it’s dangerous and hurt themselves or other people.’ That was my dream. What do you think?”

And, an astonishing thing, I had remembered the dream. I don’t usually remember any of my dreams. And, I got up in the night for a restroom visit. When I went back to bed and fell asleep, I picked up the dream where I left off and it kept going.

The interpretation I got: “I don’t want you to feel anxious and worried, but this seems like you’re concerned about dying. There are streets and buildings made of gold and people that you know and love are there. And, it seems like, in heaven, you will be a teacher, like you are now. And the guns? I don’t know. You might be worried that people in your family are going to get shot. Maybe.” (Apparently, dream interpretation from a friend is not an exact science.)

“I’m not worried at all,” I said. I am pretty compromised, from a health standpoint. As far as I know, I’m not at death’s door just yet. But, I’m not really a candidate for becoming a centenarian.

 

Hear what God says!

    In the last days,
    I will offer My Spirit to humanity as a libation.
    Your children will boldly speak the word of the Lord.
    Young warriors will see visions,
        and your elders will dream dreams.

Acts 2: 17 (The Voice)

It sounds like a wonderful eternity–a beautiful place, people I love, a nice banquet hall, little kids. And, if there are some folks there that I don’t care for so much, that will be Someone Else’s responsibility.

Here’s a link to the song lyrics for Some Glad Morning.

 

Christmas Perfect, or Christmas Memorable

If all your Christmases run smoothly, and everything’s perfect–just like it was so carefully planned, how do you remember one Christmas from another? Do they just blur together, in one big holiday collage of red and green and a tree and lights?

Not at our house. We live in RealWorldLand, where the best laid plans stay lying around, being balky and uncooperative, which means that we are often, at holiday time, remembering previous disasters/missteps/etc. Like, “Remember the time Mom put Snickers bars in the toes of our Christmas stockings, and we had the fire going on Christmas Eve and on Christmas morning, and when we dug the candy bars out, they were all melted in their wrappers?” Stuff like that. Nothing particularly serious. Just memorable.

Jeremy and Sarah arrived the Friday before Christmas, from New York. They rented a car and drove to Waco from DFW airport. (Even though Jeremy really appreciates the public transportation in New York, he seems to have missed, a little bit, being able to drive.) We had a pretty relaxing time, doing some cooking (there were still some apples left over from Halloween, and they crafted some homemade applesauce, which was yummy, and for Christmas dessert, they made Apple Crisp). Memorable.

Jeremy dug through the game closet and pulled out games to play.

Jeremy and Sarah and I played a round of Ticket to Ride. Then we played again with David. I was in last place, seriously in last place, both times. Then, we played again with Kevin. I won. By a lot! Which proves that, while a little bit of skill is important, luck plays a significant part in this game. Memorable.

Also memorable this year, April wasn’t able to come. Peter had been sick, but was well enough to come (if you don’t count that fact that his ears were still stopped up and he often appeared to be ignoring us). April, however, was pretty sick, missed her own family’s celebration, and stayed in Fort Worth. We’ll remember that Christmas without April, but we hope it doesn’t happen again.

As I planned and prepared for Christmas dinner, I kept thinking, “Oh, I should have  . . . .” And I bought the ingredients. (And, I had actually baked and sliced two small turkey breasts for Christmas dinner ‘way back right after Thanksgiving, and put them in the freezer. Unusually ahead of time.) Quite memorable.

Kevin and Peter were arriving late afternoon on  Christmas, and we were cooking and getting ready for a good part of the day. The counter just kept getting more and more crowded. Just as I was putting some of the final dishes out, I suddenly felt really weak and shaky. I plopped into the rocking chair in the kitchen and said, “My blood sugar’s low.” “What do you need? What do you need!” “Juice,” I said. “There’s white grape juice in the fridge door.” They brought it over, and kept putting out food and arranging things. The turkey was heating up in the oven, and they kept asking what else was supposed to be out and where was it. Finally, it was just the turkey that needed to come out.

Some nice, sliced turkey pieces, lying artfully amid the glass pie plate shards.

 

Jeremy picked up the glass pie pan that was holding the turkey slices and carried it to the serving area. About three inches away, the pan slipped from the pot holder in his hand and crashed to the floor. Turkey and glass shards everywhere. Fortunately, some of the turkey was still in the oven. On another pie plate.

Jeremy looked down at the mess and said, “Was that plate special?” “Well,” I admitted. “It belonged to my mother … but I have the other one. There’s another one!” There was enough turkey for everyone (well, for the everyone who’s not vegetarian). Pretty memorable.

 

The kids worked on a desk/bookshelf for David’s office. Then they erected a small enclosed (plastic) greenhouse sort of thing, for me to use to keep my plants safe during the winter. Mem.Or.A.Ble!

And some things aren’t all that memorable; they’re just traditions that we like to keep up!

We went to the Christmas Eve service. Maybe we won’t remember the exact details a few months from now, but it was good to see family members who have come back for the holiday to visit. It was good to sit in the dark with my own family, and hear the songs and the story. It was good to see the candlelights all around the room. It was memorable.

 

Mary, too, pondered all of these events, treasuring each memory in her heart.

Luke 2:19 (The Voice)

Wishing you many memorable moments to treasure in your heart.

 

Growing My Own Christmas Dinner . . . Sort of

If you’d told me, years ago, that I would find plant nurseries to be places where I have no self control, I’ve have been skeptical. But you’d have been right.

am trying to be better about not looking at every cute plant and assuming, “I can grow that!” I’m getting more responsible about paying attention to light needs and water needs. And reality.

A while back, I found some seed packages at Calloway’s Nursery in Fort Worth. “I can do that,” I said to myself, and bought them. Microgreens. The idea is that they sprout and grow right inside your kitchen, and you just snip off the leaf tops and add them to your nice, green salad. And I thought that, yes, that would be a fun, interesting addition to Christmas dinner. One of the packages said, “14-20 days” until ready to harvest. I’d waited too late. The other one said “5-10 days.” Just right.

 

I planted them over the weekend.

I’m watering the pans with a spray bottle, to try to avoid completely drowning the little plants. The bottoms of the pans (which are cardboard) are slightly damp. I don’t want to get the soil all water-logged. But, I don’t really know how deep these roots go. So I’m keeping the surface damp, too.

The way things look now, there’s going to be a nice crop of MICRO-GREENS for our Christmas Day salad. Surely I can keep these things alive for three more days.

 

  Then he taught them many things by using stories. He said:

A farmer went out to scatter seed in a field. While the farmer was scattering the seed, some of it fell along the road and was eaten by birds.Other seeds fell on thin, rocky ground and quickly started growing because the soil wasn’t very deep. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched and dried up, because they did not have enough roots. Some other seeds fell where thornbushes grew up and choked the plants. But a few seeds did fall on good ground where the plants produced a hundred or sixty or thirty times as much as was scattered. If you have ears, pay attention!

Matthew 13:3-9 (Contemporary Version)

I have to figure out how to take care of my own seeds. I have to figure out how to take care of my own deeds.

Meantime, while I don’t have any holly, the halls are decked, food’s been purchased, some of it prepared, and some tiny sprouts are waiting to be harvested. Have the happiest Christmas!

 

That Problem Finger Nail

Back in September, I described the removal of wart from a fingernail. When I went back several days later, to have the stitches removed, they said that it was a cyst and the biopsy results said that everything was fine.

This week, I went for another checkup, and the dermatologist explained more about the cyst. “It’s a digital myxoid cyst,” she said.

It seems that some of the fluid that lubricates the finger joints can leak out, and when it does, it travels toward the nail and can cause a cyst. And it can keep happening. Sometimes it doesn’t, but sometimes it does.

If it happens again, then there should probably be some surgery to keep the fluid from leaking and traveling from the joint up to the nail. And that, says the dermatologist, requires a hand surgeon.

The hand surgeon goes in and finds the source of the leak and repairs it. It’s pretty significant surgery.

“We’ll find you an orthopedic surgeon,” she said. “And we’ll send your biopsy results to them, so they’ll know what the situation is. And I really like your jacket.”

I had really thought it was all over and done with. And, it may be. But it might come back.

“And if it comes back, what if I don’t have the surgery,” I asked.

“Then, you’ll have another cyst. And you can decide.”

The cyst never hurt. It didn’t impair my finger’s ability to bend and work. I guess we’ll see what happens. Meanwhile, the nail, which had been growing all lumpy and bumpy when the cyst was present, is now growing out all nice and smooth. It’s still got several more weeks of growing for all that bumpy growth to reach the end of my finger and to get trimmed off. It doesn’t hurt at all. It just looks a little bit, um, not quite right.

But really, I don’t think that all that many people are staring at my hands and saying to themselves, “Whatever happened to that fingernail.?!?!?

Meanwhile, if you’d like some more information about digital myxoid cysts, you can go here.

 

You are the one who put me together inside my mother’s body, and I praise you
    because of the wonderful way you created me.
Everything you do is marvelous! Of this I have no doubt.

Nothing about me is hidden from you!
I was secretly woven together deep in the earth below,
but with your own eyes you saw my body being formed.
Even before I was born, you had written in your book
    everything I would do.

Psalm 139:13-16 (Contemporary English Version)

 

This doesn’t mean that the way is always going to be smooth, never rocky, always easy. It means that we’re going to have the capacity to deal with what comes.