Posts Categorized: Peace

A Time for Everything, A Season for Every Activity

Here it is … Thursday night again. Well, I don’t know, of course, when you’re reading this, but for me, at the computer, it’s Thursday night. Peter’s been here since Monday, and we’ve had Children’s Bible Club each evening at church. I taught in the Pre-K room, along with two other teachers. We had five or six kids each evening, and we all had a very good time.

It’s Vacation Bible School (or VBS), but we call it Children’s Bible Club (or CBC), and it’s a long story why, but it’s the same thing.

We’d discussed earlier in the week how the play dough (green) seemed to be getting smaller and smaller, and how, possibly, we should make some more. So this evening, when the kids had all arrived, and before dinner came (yes, all the kids get dinner each evening), I pulled out the play dough ingredients and the skillet, so we could cook up a fresh batch. We had already decided on the color choice. Pink. When I had asked about color, two girls voted for pink, two boys voted for two different colors. The third boy abstained. So, the pink won.

We put all the ingredients into the skillet, and each kid who wanted to stir, got a turn to stir the play dough batter. (Anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that that seems to make a nicer batch of homemade play dough.) When dinner came, I moved the skillet to a counter. I plugged it in, but it seemed to be wobbling. I looked, and one of the skillet’s feet was sitting on, oh, yes, my phone.

As an aside here, earlier, at the zoo, I sharply said to a mom whom we were walking with (and playing with her kids) that I was amazed by and disappointed in the women’s fashion industry. “Why, in this day and age, do clothing designers continue to put inadequate pockets in women’s clothes!?!” She agreed. My phone had fallen out of my pocket … not while I was sitting down (which does sometimes happen, when there’s an inadequate pocket), but while I was walking! That’s how shallow the pocket was. That is a BAD pocket. I have had that dress for a while, and I’m trying to be more careful and conscious when I buy clothes. But it’s REALLY frustrating. Anyway …

The reason my phone was on the counter was because it wouldn’t stay in my pocket. I had taken it out of my purse to have nearby, instead of being in my purse, hanging on a hook on the back of the door. So, I had put it on the counter. The skillet’s not that heavy and the phone certainly wasn’t damaged by having one of it’s feet on it for a few seconds. I lifted the skillet’s edge, by holding the handle, of course, because it was plugged in and beginning to heat up. I quickly picked up my phone.

And dropped it into the uncooked play dough batter.

And yelped.

Another teacher came to my rescue, and began to stir the play dough, so it would cook nice and evenly. I snatched up some paper towels, and began to frantically wipe off my phone. There are all those openings in the case, for me to be able to turn the phone on and off and the volume up and down and take photos. It took many seconds for me to pull the case off, but finally I could begin wiping the thing down. Both things down. I guess it only took a few seconds, because I was done and the case back on by time the play dough batter had become play dough.

 

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,

Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4 (New International Version)

It’s been a week of extended laughing and dancing.

And, in an interesting postscript, this evening as I was carefully inspecting the phone to be sure I’d removed all the pink, I discovered a little tiny switch on the side of my phone. “What’s that?” I wondered. It looked like it had some pink play dough batter in it, so I looked really carefully and moved it, and discovered that the pink was a reddish line when the switch was pushed down. When I did push the switch up and down, little pictures appeared on the phone’s screen, saying “Ringer” and “Silent.” Which explains why for ages I have not been able to hear the phone ring. I’ve complained to family members that I miss calls because the phone’s ringer isn’t working right! Sooooo, give me a call. I might be able to hear the ringer now.

growing

 

Sometimes, I sort of miss the baby. I miss being able to pick him up and nuzzle his cheeks and carry him around. I miss holding him while he slept. I miss being able to catch up to him, when he was toddling away and all I had to do was walk fast. Those days are long gone.

Instead, I get to listen to him read books. He can walk on the treadmill. I insist that I stand behind him, with my feet on the edges, while he walks, but he can hold on by himself. I get to paint with him, because he still would rather paint with company, instead of painting alone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Train children in the right way,
    and when old, they will not stray.

Proverbs 22:6 (New Revised Standard Version)

I once heard Charles Swindoll talk about this verse. He said that adults often approach these words as meaning that they are the ones who decide a child’s “way.” Instead, he said, our job is to be with our children, study our children, appreciate our children’s abilities, and help them become the people that God means them to be. If a parent has always dreamed of having physician in the family, then it might be hard to accept a teacher or writer or businessperson. Between home and school and church, children need to have all sorts of experiences to help them discover what interests them, what challenges them, what intrigues them. It’s a joint effort.

IMG_3864Meanwhile, if the thunderstorms forecast for Friday morning don’t materialize, Peter and I are going to put on our overalls and do a little yard work (in case Peter decides on horticulture).

 

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.

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——–>>>>>>>>>>>>

 

 

 

 

How’ve YOU Been Feeling?

Two weeks ago, last Wednesday, Kevin phoned and said could I please come and be with Peter. He’d been sick with something that had swept through Fort Worth, knocking over kids like bowling pins. He was better, but still running a little fever, which meant he could not go back to preschool on Thursday, and Kevin, who’d been at home for a couple of days, and April, a teacher at Peter’s preschool, really needed to get back to work. “And,” he said, “if you get here by 5:00, April and I can go to church and teach Mini Maestros (their little preschool music group).”

“Sure,” I said. And I went on up. Peter wasn’t all that sick, except for a rather epic sneeze situation, with adult-type output. There were tissue boxes in every room of the house, at kid level, and trash cans. We played and read books and had a very nice time. There was one instance when he wasn’t near a tissue box when the parent-of-all-sneezes occurred. He looked down at the catastrophic pool on his tummy, and said, “I need to change my shirt.” Which he did.

On Thursday, I got a concert:

When I woke up, I did find this pile of used tissues between us. While he was sleeping, I emptied the trash, and practically filled it up again.

When I woke up, I did find this pile of used tissues between us. While he was sleeping, I emptied the trash, and practically filled it up again.

After lunch, I was falling asleep while reading to him and finally said, “Peter, Mimi has got to have a little nap. You can play in your room and I’ll lie down on your bed and nap for a few minutes.” He ended up getting in bed, too, with a box of tissues. I had put his trash can next to the bed. Just as I was falling asleep, he whispered, “Mimi. My trash is overflowing.” “Well,” I whispered back, “I’ll empty it after I nap.” “Where can I put my tissues,” he asked. “Just put them here on the bed, and I’ll throw them away after I empty your trash can.”

 

Saturday, I got some writing work done. Sunday, as I was getting ready to go to church, I felt a little bit of a scratchy throat. Hmmmm. If thing was as contagious as they said, then I did NOT need to spend the morning with preschoolers at church. So hurried up to church to leave things, contacted other teachers, and stayed home. And did some writing work. On Monday, also. I walked on the treadmill, but at half my usual speed, went to bed early, and on Tuesday, could not get out of bed. I would think, “I must get up and do some work.” And I would roll over to get out of bed, and fall asleep before I’d gotten all the way over. Except for trips to the bathroom (to check my glucose level and take my temperature), I stayed in bed all day. ALL. DAY.

I was quite a bit better Wednesday, and was able to sit up for extended periods, finish up a bunch of writing and send it off to my editor. But I stayed really weak, and, on Sunday, I was too woozy to feel secure about being in a room with preschoolers, and missed another Sunday. Monday I was quite a bit better. Tuesday, I was in bed most of the day with some intestinal thing. Seriously. No Valentine’s Day dinner out. Wednesday, I actually left the house, for the first time in over a week. I went to Target.

I called Jeremy a few days ago, for a reason I don’t recall now, but I said, “There was something rolling through Fort Worth.” Jeremy said, “It’s rolling all over the country.” He and Sarah both had it. TWICE! And, as far as he was concerned, the absolute worst part was that it snowed in New York and he was unable to go out and play in it. I had lunch yesterday with a friend from Corpus Christi. Where it also rampaged through.

The annoying cough is back, after a brief hiatus. As is the intestinal thing. My wastebaskets are overflowing, and I am ready to feel better. Lots Better! Maybe I’ll phone the doctor.

I hope you are having sunny weather and sunny health.

 

Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.

3 John 2 (English Standard Version)

Amen

 

Ring! Ring!

(When I typed in the title of this, I made a typo, and put in “Ring! Rong!” instead of “Ring! Ring!” When, in truth, “Ring! WRONG!” was really more accurate.) Here’s what happened:

West Avenue School

West Avenue School

On December 15, I attended the Christmas program presented by students at West Avenue Elementary School, where I volunteer each Tuesday at lunchtime for Reading Club. I have three second graders this year. I asked them about the program, and two of them said they weren’t going to go. One said, oh, yes, he was going to be in the program. I like to support the school and the kids, and I said I was going to come.

Usually, the programs are on the school cafeteria stage, and the lunchroom is REALLY crowded! But, the younger kids sing first, and, as the Pre-K’s finish, their families get them and go on home. Then the Kindergartners sing. And leave. So, things thin out a little bit. But, it’s something of a fire hazard, I suppose, for a little while.

13631542_1062690100433815_5233553297212274195_nThis year, however, the event was at Waco High School’s Performing Arts Center. Big ol’ stage. LOTS of seats. Plenty of room. And lots of parking space.

The program was scheduled to begin at 5:30, and I arrived in plenty of time to park and get inside and settled in my comfy seat. Previously I would try to get to school to be able to park close, so I wouldn’t have to walk too far in the dark at the program’s end. But I would sit way at the back, so all those other parents and families could be close to watch their little kids perform.

I must admit that, in this larger venue, I chose an aisle seat, so I, too, could leave early. In previous years, I had fourth or fifth graders, so needed to stay until the very end, to watch my own kids and maybe get a chance to meet their families. This year, I looked forward to getting on home a little earlier.

The program was fun and the children were cute. I took several photos, to be able to print one out to give my Reading Club kid. I did stay all the way through the third grade group, but there was a lull while the stage was reset for the 4th and 5th grade play. I made my exit.

At home, I relaxed and did some work on the computer, and then looked for my phone to download the pictures. I patted my pockets. Not there. I looked around on my desk. Not in sight. And, instead of spending time searching the house, picking up ever single piece of paper and magazine and Christmas card, instead of going out and going through all the nooks and crannies of the car–I signed in to ICloud.

I’m sitting there, watching everything, waiting for the right screen to show up, and yes, here comes the map, and I’m ready to punch “Play Sound,” but THE PHONE IS NOT ON COLLINS DRIVE!!!! IT’S IN HEWITT!!!

OLLIE!!! MOLLIE!!! GOLLIE!!! WHAT’S MY PHONE DOING IN HEWITT?!?!?!!?

I then did the sensible thing–I called Kevin. In full panic mode. “MY PHONE’S IN HEWITT!!!” He was just about as alarmed as I was. But not screeching about it. I explained that I’d been to the Waco High Fine Arts Center, and that I was 100% positive that I had the phone there because I’d taken pictures with it. After that, I couldn’t remember anything I’d done with it. And, I’d seen the “Lost Mode” button, next to the “Play Sound” button, but I wasn’t exactly sure what that did. I was, however, pretty sure I didn’t want to select the “Erase Phone” button until I knew if I should.

We did discuss, briefly, the Worst Case Scenario version–that someone had found it and was, at that very moment, trying to sell it.

He signed onto my screen (because he knows how to do that) and activated the “Lost Mode” which puts a message on the phone that says, “I’m a lost phone. Please call this number . . .” and Kevin added my phone number. Then he said he would “Play Sound” every few minutes, to let whomever had the phone to know that we knew it was lost. After I’d calmed down a little (and handed over the phone-finding responsibilities), I said, “I suspect that that’s the principal’s house that’s showing up on the screen. I bet someone found it and gave it to him. Him or the music teacher.” That was really the most sensible scenario. Kevin and I hung up, to let someone who did have the phone call me. And, unbeknownst to us, the principal actually was at that very moment, frantically searching his house to try to find out what was making that HORRIBLE noise!!

Once he found the phone and saw the “lost” message, he called (and I said I would let Kevin know, quickly, so he would stop that awful pinging). I went to the school the next day to get it. And all was well.

 

Jesus told the people another story:

What will a woman do if she has ten silver coins and loses one of them? Won’t she light a lamp, sweep the floor, and look carefully until she finds it? Then she will call in her friends and neighbors and say, “Let’s celebrate! I’ve found the coin I lost.”

Jesus said, “In the same way God’s angels are happy when even one person turns to him.”

Luke 15:8-10 (Contemporary English Version)

 

Ah, yes. I do understand, a little, about lost things being found.

I really am trying to be a better phone-minder. I’m trying to always purchase clothing with good, deep pockets. I’m pretty good about plugging it in regularly. But every now and then I’m caught off-guard. A few days ago, I was at the computer when it pinged to let me know a text had come. I also heard, down at my left-hand side, a text message ping from my phone. I touched my skirt pockets. No phone was there. I looked down on my desk. No phone. I moved papers. No phone. I moved a little basket w/coupons in it. Nope. I leaned over to look behind the computer. Nothing there. And then I noticed:

My shirt pocket was all aglow.Okay. So I AM responsible, after all. Usually. Often. Sometimes.

My shirt pocket was all aglow.Okay. So I AM responsible, after all. Usually. Often. Sometimes.

 

 

 

I Had an epiphany

The capitalized, or upper-case, Epiphany, refers to Twelfth Night, or the end of the Christmas season, the last of the Twelve Days of Christmas (the one with the twelve drummers drumming), celebrated in some churches as the festival commemorating the visit of the three kings. The lower-case “epiphany” is defined as “an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure,” used in a sentence like, “One epiphany came when a dozen engineers in northern New Mexico saw a lone, fading Xerox paper carton bobbing in a swamp of old motor oil at the bottom of a pit.” —Michelle Conlin, Business Week, 1 Nov. 1999 (This quote is from dictionary.com. And, I don’t know about you, but I intend to track down that article and find out what that amazing epiphany was**. But that’s not what this post is about.)

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I’ve Noticed This Odd Thing

Years ago, when I was teaching at the community college, on mornings I didn’t have a class, I liked to watch the Today show (while I stayed in bed and read the paper, too). One morning, the show (and probably the other news shows) was preempted by National Security Advisor, Condoleeza Rice’s testimony before the 9/11 Commission. It was pretty interesting, and I watched it all.

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Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire! Pour on Water! Pour on Water!

When I was in elementary school, a lady at church had weekly choir rehearsals for children who sang in the kids’ choir in Children’s Church. I remember going, sometimes, and what I recall most is learning the round “Scotland’s Burning.”

“Scotland’s burning! Scotland’s burning! Look out! Look out! Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire! Pour on water! Pour on water!”

We were pretty good at it.

I had a “pour on water” experience last week. Involving fire ants.

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