This morning while Jerry and I were enjoying our first cup of coffee in our sun room we watched two deer wander past! They are so camouflaged it's hard to see them! We kept watching and soon they came to an open spot so we could see them really well. I feel like I need to respond to the latest comment to my blogs, written by my brother, Bill. The flowers bloom in spite of my lack of a green thumb! I love them and all nature. We also battle bulbs being eaten by moles and flowers being eaten by rabbits, deer, etc. I guess that's part of living in the country! But, thanks, Bill, for thinking I'm doing good with my flowers. All the credit goes to God, our Creator.
Despite my excitement over seeing first signs of spring this isn't my favorite season of the year! It would be if it wouldn't be so changeable from one day to the next. We've got little crocus flowers blooming and daffodils will soon. We had temperatures in the 70's this week but now today it's in the 40's, cloudy and windy. We can't walk in this or work outside. Mother Nature just needs to make up her mind. Spring always reminds me of a young teenager! They have a hard time making up their minds if they want to become an adult or remain a child. When I was teaching 5th/6th graders I would often take my kids out for an afternoon, one at a time. One girl, Lisa, is a good example of what I'm talking about. We had gone to a park, walked the river trail, talked about life, hers in particular, her likes and dislikes, school, boys, God, etc. Near the end of our walk we came to a playground. "Oh, could we stop and play?" she asked, and ran to the swings. "Would you push me?" She was right at that age where she wanted to grow up but yet, she loved being a child! Spring is like that! It wants to change and be beautiful but it just can't quite let go of winter.
The time has come. Jerry started it today, although I don't think he realized it. It's spring house cleaning time!
Here Jerry is blowing pine needles away from our sky lights on the sun room roof. While he was up there he also washed the sky lights for me. That's a job that gets done only once a year and not always that often! Washing the windows is what has started my spring house cleaning. He probably doesn't want it known that he did that for me today. But he won't let me up on the roof to do it. It sure looks a whole lot better and now I'll get the rest of the windows washed. Spring house cleaning is another sign of, you know what, spring!
Another day and more tree trimming! Can you see the man in the second picture? I wrote tree trimmer around him but it's hard to see. I couldn't believe how high up he climbed! Well, they're gone now and what a mess they left! I sure hope they come back tomorrow to clean it up.
The utilities company is trimming trees where branches interfer with lines. They are working on Rob's and our lines today. I took some pictures because they are up some quite thin trees and quite high up! It looks scary to me. They'll do more tomorrow and more on our land. Isn't the sky beautiful? It's a lovely, warm day, in the 70's!
Happy Anniversary, Richard & Cookie! Wow...thirty years already! Where has the time gone? I wish you a very happy day. Richard, I hope you take Cookie out for supper at her favorite restaurant or a bed & breakfast would be fun! Just ideas...sometimes brothers need a little help from younger sisters! Just kidding, I know you'll do what's right for you two. Have a great day!
This morning at 1:42 AM Aunt Gertie went to be with the Lord. She was a wonderful person and it's sad to lose her but yet it's exciting to know she's rejoicing with her Lord! Aunt Gertie was a missionary in Africa for many years and has been retired now for quite a few years. She was a great lady!
Here is a sure sign of spring! Granddaughters riding their bikes in our driveway! We have a long cement driveway so there is no traffic to worry about. It was warm enough for sweat shirts! I also saw a red-winged blackbird today, another sign of spring! Today was a good day for seeing nature. This morning on our walk we saw a muskrat in a creek we go by, this afternoon we saw some deer and we even had to stop in order to let 4 turkeys cross the road right in front of us! The next sign of spring should be the gold finches turning yellow. I love it!
I keep forgetting to write about an accident Jerry watched happen just down the road from our corner. A van was coming toward him and suddenly began to swerve. It went across the road and into the ditch, hit a culvert, rolled completely over and landed on its wheels! Jerry was in a car with his friend, Bernie, so he jumped out to see if anyone was hurt, while Bernie called 911. The windows on one side were all broken out. A woman was driving and in the back seat was a little girl in a car seat! They were shaken up and had cuts from the glass but seemed okay except for shock. Jerry said it was like watching slow motion when the car hit the culvert and rolled over. Reminds me of when we saw a garbage truck roll over right in front of us a couple of years ago! It was like watching slow motion... Back to this accident. Thank goodness for seat belts and car seats for little kids. They would have been thrown out the windows! Jerry said the little girl was just sitting there looking around and suddenly began crying. A reminder to drive carefully and buckle up!!!
Today it feels like spring! This morning Jerry and I walked our 2 mile walk down our road, it seemed so good. This afternoon we worked outside in the flower beds in our shirt sleeves. We've got lots of flowers coming up. I saw my first robin in our back yard today. I haven't seen any red-winged blackbirds yet though, they are another sure sign of spring. I saw robins in Washington last week...that doesn't count. So...another season to enjoy God's creation.
According to the calendar spring is here! It's 30 degrees F this morning and supposed to warm up a little and also rain this afternoon. I need to get out and rake my flower beds. I've got daffodills coming up and crocus. The lilacs are covered with buds, so spring will be a reality soon. Of course, I just came back from Washington where everything is already blooming! Oh oh, Jerry just returned from walking at the mall and I'm still sitting at the computer! I was sitting here when he left! Well, thank you, Lord, for another day. Help us to rejoice and be glad in it.
My mom and I were invited to a birthday tea while I was with her. Mother was able to go in her electric wheel chair. I'm posting some pictures from that afternoon, it was very enjoyable. #1 birthday girl! #2 My mom, Delores, Marilyn, Mary, myself, Lenore. #3 My mother, Corina. #4 Lexie - so homely she's cute! This tea was in the home of Harold & Marilyn, our good friends, whom we met in Mexico! There were two more dogs but I only got a picture of this one who tried to join us for dessert!
Birthday cards mean a lot no matter what your age. I've got to get better at sending them out. My mom got quite a few cards, although not too many from grandchildren! One did come all the way from Malaysia! That was special! She got one that I'm going to try to post here and I hope it'll be clear enough for you to see. A friend made it and taped it to her door! At the top it says, "How can we wish you a good, long life when you've already had one?" At the bottom she wrote a verse from the Psalms but I can't remember which one it is. Beth is a retired missionary to Africa and she's very artistic! Picture #2 shows her entrance with a few of her balloons. She has a Norwegian greeting on her door which says: Welcome to my home. It's a bit far for most of us to just pop in for a quick visit but we're all welcome. Phone calls are nice!!! If anyone would like her number just send me an e-mail and I'll send it to you! Is that a subtle hint or what?
While I was in Washington we had very strong winds one day which caused a tree to blow down. I took pictures which I'm posting here. It took out the transformer. We were without power for 22 hours. Luckily, part of the senior community had a generator: the nursing home, assisted living, and part of independent living. My mom's wing in independent living had power from the generator so she hardly knew what some folks were going through! Like me!!! Even my flashlight gave up! #2 shows that this tree had practically no root system! A necessity in this saga called life!
I'm posting some pictures I took of the train room out where my mother is in a senior community. In picture #2 you can see through a window to a dining room of the nursing home wing. The people can watch the trains run as they eat! The trains are of all sizes. #3 the mountain is snow covered but they'll soon be painting it to go along with the seasons. I suggested they leave the top snow covered. #4 shows the controls. It's all quite amazing!
I'll post a few pictures from Mother's surprise celebration. 93 helium balloons plus Bill, not knowing what Lorraine and I were doing, sent her 5 helium balloons in a beautiful tulip centerpiece, so there were actually 98 balloons! No one knew what kind of a celebration we were planning except I told them not to expect cake and ice cream! # 1 shows Lorraine, Mother, and me. #2 is Marge, myself, Mother, Grace, and Lorraine. Marge and Grace eat with Mother every day and Marge is a real help to Mother in so many ways. #3 shows part of the balloons up on the ceiling. #4 shows balloons with streamers hanging down over the people. It was a real celebration!
Here I am back home! I arrived last night about 11:30 EDT. I had been up and traveling since 6:30 AM PDT! I traveled by car, bus, train, and airplane...all in one day! I was so exhausted I couldn't go to sleep until early this morning. It's great to be with Jerry again! It was cloudy when I arrived and this morning when we got up everything is covered with snow! It's wet snow and clinging to the trees and everything else. It makes a very beautiful picture post card! I'm just glad it hadn't started yet when we landed and then drove home! There was a bad accident just down the road from our corner this morning. Jerry saw it happen and called 911. He had taken our car down to Fisher to be repaired and was on his way home when the accident occurred. More on that subject later. It's good to be home!!!
Today is my last day here in the western part of Washington! I've had a good week and a half. It'll be soooo good to get home to Jerry but I'll miss being here too. I'll miss the beautiful snow capped mountains(on clear days), Puget Sound, Eagles, snow geese, swans, flowers(lots of flowers), friends, and most of all family! Yesterday was Mother's 93rd birthday. Lorraine and I surprised Mother and everyone by ordering 93 helium filled balloons and having them delivered to the Garden Room where all the Beachwood residents eat dinner. They were delivered during dinner. I invited as many friends and staff as I could think of to go to the Garden Room for the surprise celebration and to wish Mother a Happy Birthday. I have to say it was a successful celebration! Mother was so happy and just couldn't believe it was all for her!Everyone received a present to take home with them...a balloon, of course! People are still talking about it today, including Mother! So I guess we can say Lorraine and I did good! It was lots of fun and we kept it a total surprise! I'll post some pictures when I get home. I wish you all could have been here! I told her if she gets to be 100 we'll do it again with 100 balloons! I think you should all come to celebrate that birthday with us!
Happy Birthday, Mother! 93 years today! You don't look 93! You're very pretty and I'm proud of you! You've been a good mom to me and the party we had today was very deserving! We'll do it again on your 100th! I'm so glad you liked it today! You looked very happy! I love you, Mother!
I'm listening to the Sand Pipers practice as I write this. This is a choir made up of senior citizens, living here at this senior community, and directed by a retired choir director. There are so many very talented people living here but when a person gets old they aren't asked to sing any more or play an instrument. But here it's different! I love to hear them perform! Now, all are not good but most of them are! My favorite pianist is Dr. Al, a retired missionary surgeon. The first time I heard him play I was shocked and thrilled! Here was this little man all bent over and walking with a walker from the front row to the piano-only a few steps-but I wondered if he'd make it! When his fingers hit the key board he came alive!!! Oh, can he play the piano! I'm his #1 fan after his wife, well, maybe his children too! Now this time I'm here and he's in a wheel chair so when it was time to play the piano he just wheeled himself up to the piano, the bench had been removed, and he came alive again! Physically, he's failing but musically he's wonderful.
This morning some friends took me out for breakfast! We drove into town to a restaurant which was a nice change from eating here in Cedar Court. The air was cool and brisk as I stood outside waiting for them to pick me up. It felt so good. I wish you could have seen the view of the mountains this morning! There was a layer of clouds below and blue sky and clouds above and in the middle were the most beautiful snow covered mountain peaks! So picturesque! There were also lots of swans out in a field, some flying over. This is such a beautiful part of the country. But of course the best part was the fellowship with these good friends. I've known them for many years and they were good friends of my dad and still are of my mom. Good friends are a blessing from God!
Good morning! Friday is my mother's 93rd birthday! Lorraine and I are planning something very special, and it'll be a big surprise! I'm not going to tell you on this blog until after the fact... But Lorraine and I are very excited! I'll take lots of pictures to post after I go home. Aren't birthdays special? I wish you could all be here this Friday at 11:30!
Yesterday was a very windy day. Last evening about 6:30 a tree blew down and we lost all power and phones. The senior complex has a generator so they have lights but the apartments where I'm staying aren't connected to that generator. I had no power. The man upstairs brought me a flash light to use and I stood it up on end beside my bed so I could find it easily. In the night I reached for the flashlight and knocked it over! That was the end of my light! This morning I went to see the problem...a tree had blown down across the street from The Thrift Store. I took pictures and hope to post them on here when I get home next week. Be watching!
When I come out to visit my mom I have a couple different places where I stay. Sometimes it's in a cabin on the camp ground within walking distance of my mom's apartment. I like to stay there the best. Sometimes I stay down the hill from my mom's apartment in the downstairs of some friends apartment. This is where I'm staying this time. I climb a fairly steep hill every morning to go to breakfast which is in Cedar Court. Cedar Court is the assisted living wing of this senior complex and I can pay for my breakfast there and eat with friends and make new friends. I eat dinner and supper with my mom in the Garden Room. I have a bedroom with a nice window looking out in some woods. I have a living room and a private bath with a shower. I have an outside entrance opening out to the woods! It's very nice but I do hear the sounds from upstairs. I'm very fortunate to have these places to stay when I come out here. I praise you, Lord, because you are Omnipresent!
Oh boy, was I frustrated this morning! I hardly slept all night but early this morning I finally fell asleep. I woke up when I heard movement upstairs above me. My watch has died. The only time I have is on my cell phone. It said it was 7:10 which meant because of the DST it must be 8:10. Oh boy, did I rush. I took a fast shower and dressed. On my way up the hill I called Jerry and left a message: "I need to know what time it is! I don't know what time it is! Bye." I went over to Cedar Court where I usually eat breakfast but I thought today I could only have a cup of coffee because I'm too late for breakfast. Well, it was only 7:50! That's the same time my cell phone said! So my cell phone changed time! I didn't expect it to because of who ever got this bright idea to change DST to two weeks early. But my cell phone is so intelligent it changed the time now! So I've had breakfast and coffee (3 cups). I'm very happy and ready to face the day! "Oh, what a beautiful morning! Oh, what a beautiful day!" "I praise you, Lord, because You are WORTHY TO BE PRAISED!"
Today I took some pictures in the train room. When I get home I'll post them. I wish you could all see the train room here in person. Some of these old people have donated their childhood trains to this room and it's amazing.
Spring is in the air! At least here in Washington it is. The grass is green, I've seen several different kinds of small flowers blooming, including crocus. They are really beautiful, the crocus I've seen here are dark purple. Yesterday I spent most of the day with my sister, Lorraine. We saw two bald eagles near a huge eagles nest on our way to Mt Vernon. That was so neat. This morning the air is so fresh and it's just a beautiful day. I wonder what the day will hold for my mom and me. What will the day hold for Jerry back in Michigan? What will the day hold for our children and grandchildren in Michigan, Illinois, Georgia, and Malaysia? "This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!"
Happy Birthday, Pam! You were my first born baby and you were so beautiful! You were born two weeks early and my labor was only 2 hours and 20 minutes! You weighed 7 pounds, 7 ounces! Oh, I remember the day so well! You had more black hair than any other baby and you were more beautiful than any other baby in the nursery! What's more...you're still beautiful today! I love you! Mom. I'll also say, we love you! Mom and Dad
The other day I wrote about how things have changed every time I come out here to this senior community. I wrote about a man who took such good loving care of his wife and then died suddenly. Well, the first news I heard when I got here was that his wife who had been moved to assisted living was found dead in her bed just a few mornings ago! Another change: former missionaries in Asia have lived here in an apartment for several years. John and Ruby were in our town once years ago and he walked from the parsonage to the church just for the exercise. That was when our parsonage was down on State St. It was a long walk! Today he is in nursing! His wife still lives in their apartment. It's just so sad. Well, life goes on and these folks are well taken care of. Some day I'll see them again and we'll all be praising God!!!
Well, here I am in the beautiful state of Washington! I had good flights out yesterday. My Mom is doing well. It's really good to be with her. Last evening when I went to my room I heard an eagle right close to my door! I looked and looked but didn't see him. I'll keep my eyes posted, there are many out here. Hopefully I'll get a picture so I will be believed! They are one of the most elegant of God's creations!
Tomorrow I leave on a trip to visit my Mother. She lives in a senior community in 'independant living'. It's a wonderful place, but not perfect...no place on earth is perfect! Every time I go, which is several times a year, things have changed, mostly people. Some have moved from 'independent living' to 'assisted living', some to 'nursing', and some have passed away. One couple I was really looking forward to visiting with have moved to a different senior community closer to their daughter. One man, who took such good care of his wife because she had a stroke a few years ago, suddenly died! His wife has been moved to 'assisted living'. Another good friend has moved to 'assisted living'. It's hard to go and see all the changes. But, wait a minute, that's what a senior community is for: to assist folks in their senior years and help them to have a good life until the end of their time comes. Yes, changes come, but actually changes come from the very moment of our birth. Life is full of changes. Thank you, Lord, for senior communities where folks can live the good life and we can know they are safe and well taken care of.
Last night our small group met. This is a group of 10-12 people who meet regularly (every other week) to share our lives, discuss the last two sermons and how they apply to our lives, and pray together. It's really beneficial to each one who is there because it's a safe place, where we can talk about our joys, sorrows, frustrations, concerns, etc. Last night it was a smaller group, we really missed the ones who weren't there that usually come. With the changes the 'church' has gone through the last few years we need a way to have a closeness with people, otherwise, I'm afraid we would grow stagnant in our spiritual lives. This gives us a close network of friends that is ever changing as new folks join and some leave, perhaps to begin another small group. There are all kinds of small groups: Bibly study, social, activities, prayer, etc. Thank you, Lord, for our small group.
Today I became very frustrated with my computer! No, not with my computer, with my HP Printer. It wouldn't even turn on. In the past when we've lost power sometimes my scanner or my printer refuse to turn on when we get our power back. Well, this time it was my printer and it was very trying, humiliating, confusing, frustrating, maddening, need I go on? It's working now! Don't ask me what I did to fix it, I don't know...but it is fixed. Oh yes, I prayed...
I was asked, recently, to write about some of my memories of my dad. So, I've been thinking and deciding what to write about. One of my fondest memories is when Dad came home after being gone for several weeks. It was so exciting. He had a big black suitcase and he always brought each of us a present. My fourth grade year Dad didn't travel but one day I remember he said, "My feet are itching. We need to go somewhere!" We were living in East Peoria, Illinois that year. He made a phone call to a friend in Chicago and the next thing I knew we were piling into the old car and heading for Chicago! What a great time we had! We went to the Museum of Science and Industry, Brookfield Zoo, The Aquarium, The Planetarium, and more. We even missed school for this. Another detail I remember about this trip was that on the way Dad was stopped for speeding! I can still hear him saying to the patrolman, "You're right, I was speeding. I should not have been." He was simply given a warning! I also remember the patrolman asking why the kids in the back weren't in school! I don't remember my dad's answer to that. I'm sure I was holding my breath! When we were at home he was on call 24/7 so my best memories are of when we went away or when he returned home from a trip for a few days of relaxation before leaving again. He was a servant of God and therefore a servant of all. There was never any doubt about his personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. He was human, so of course, he had some faults, don't we all! But I think today he has many stars in his crown! There's so much more I could write, like going to camps in the summer, visiting family, etc. I miss him very much!
Jerry is getting his fill of plowing snow this year! There is a hard crust on the top this time that's hard to break through. Yesterday was quite the day! We had snow, rain, sleet, lightning, thunder, and wind! We lost power twice in the night and we lost atleast two trees. But even so, this is nothing compared to what some parts of the country are experiencing. So I'm not complaining, just reporting! It's snowing hard right now. Today is another school snow day. I must say I'm getting tired of writing about the weather! So this is the last weather report from me! Thanks for reading!