Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Gravel, Gravel Everwhere

It seems work on our farm place is never done. The driveway has needed to be graded and needed some more gravel. The gravel pit is finally open, so last Saturday Lynn took his trusty wagon and went to get several loads of gravel, for our driveway and for his daughter's. He ran the bobcat, and she used a rake to help level it off. She claimed he had the "sit-down" job and she did all the work!
I am very thankful for a hard-working husband, who keeps things in running order here at our farm house and property. The next time he may have me out there helping. I may have to fake a headache!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Tribute To My Dad

After our day at the barn with Dad, I began thinking of what a wonderful privilege it's been to have him for my dad. He is a sweet christian man who has lived his life and taught his family to live according to Biblical principles. He has a gentle spirit and is so very kind. He looks for the good in everyone, even those who are so very hard to like or love. I received this story from someone, and I want to share it, as I think in many ways it reflects the character and spirit that is demonstrated by my Dad.

A man of 92 years, short, very well presented, who takes care in his appearance, is moving into an old people's home today. His wife of 70 has recently died and he is obliged to leave his home.

After waiting several hours in the retirement home lobby, he gently smiles as he is told his room is ready. As he slowly walks to the elevator, using his cane, I describe his small room to him, including the sheet hung at the window for a curtain.

"I like it very much" he says, with the enthusiasm of an 8 year old boy who has just been given a new puppy. "Mr Gagne, you haven't even seen the room yet; hang on a moment, we are almost there".

"That has nothing to do with it" he replies. "Happiness is something I choose in advance. Whether or not I like the room does not depend on the furniture or the decor--rather it depends on how I decide to see it".

"It is already decided in my mind that I like my room. It is a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I can choose. I can spend my day in bed enumerating all the difficulities that I have with the parts of my body that no longer work well, or I can get up and give thanks to Heaven for those parts that are still in working order."

"Every day is a gift and as long as I can open my eyes, I will focus on the new day, and all the happy memories that I have built up during my life."

"Old age is like a bank account. You withdraw in later life what you have deposited along the way. So my advice to you is, deposit all the happiness you can in your bank account of memories."

This is a great way to live, not just for the older folks, but for all of us. We can choose how we will respond to whatever circumstances come our way. It's a matter of choice.


Last night we went to the wedding of Lynn's nephew Brandon. He got married to Abby, a girl he has dated for quite a long time. (They seem really young, but I think he is 23). It was really a beautiful ceremony and the message was good, emphasizing the only way to have a long happy marriage is to make sure they put God first in their marriage. He used the illustration of a rope of 3 strands; If they only have 2 strands (Abby and Brandon) it will not be strong. But a rope of 3 strands, with God as the 3rd strand, cannot be broken.

They had a small band, and a male soloist, and they played all of the "oldie-but-goody" songs, so that was kind of nice. I was surprised that they didn't have more contemporary music, but I think some of the old love songs never get out-dated.

When I'm at a wedding, I always tend to reminisce about my wedding. It's sort of a time to kind of renew our vows, and think back about our journey together so far. (I know, I know, I'm getting all sentimental!) I feel so fortunate to have a really wonderful second marriage and a great husband. Some people never have a good first marriage, and I've been blessed to have two really good marriages. I am still very much in love, after 2 1/2 years. Some people at church call us the "love birds", I guess because we always hold hands, or maybe they can just see the glow on our faces. (Ok, now I've really gone off the deep end! Forgive me)
The mother of the bride seemed so happy for them. I couldn't help thinking that it is very likely that I will never see my son get married. It is kind of a sad thought. I've always been told how wonderful it is to have grandchildren, and I feel like I will probably miss out on that pleasure.

My prayer for Brandon and Abby is that they will have a wonderful relationship, and always be best friends, as well as lovers.

The "Old" Farm Place--Barn Day Fun

This past Wednesday, all of us siblings, plus 2 spouses and a niece gathered at Dad's farm to have a work day in the barn. Dad had some old scrap metal that he wanted to sell. There is also, as we discovered, many other treasures (or junk?) that will need to be disposed of later. We knew we would need some help for this, so we had enlisted the services of Dean Short, a very spry 80-year old friend of Dad's. He brought a truck, trailer and a bobcat to assist with this rather daunting task.

My sister, Brenda, has written a really great description of our day Brenda's blog We really had fun working together to get this accomplished. I think Dad was really excited to be out there with all of us, and supervising the work. I'm sure he was exhausted at the end of the day, but it was probably a good kind of tired.
I haven't been in the house on the farm for many years. Dad is currently renting the house, and the lady told me that she had done some fixing up in the kitchen. I would love to see the inside again, for old times sake; but sometimes a trip down memory lane isn't always what you expect it to be. Still, it's great to have our memories.


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Memories of Mother

Holidays and special days always cause us to go back in time to some of the wonderful memories that have made these times special for us. This is especially true of Mother's Day. For many of us our mothers are no longer with us. It somehow brings them back for a moment of time, as we remember some of the things that we most loved about them.

My sister, Brenda, asked me today what were some of my special memories of our mom. She had some specific incidents that she related. At first I couldn't think of a specific story. I remember things like the fact that in the winter she would always have hot oatmeal for breakfast before we left for school. ( She also watched faithfully for the bus, and let us know exactly when we had to get out the door in order to meet the bus.)

I also remember after my daughter was born, when she was 3 weeks old, I flew home to spend a couple weeks with mom and dad. I had an almost 3-yr. old son and my baby girl. It was a really stressful trip, as my planes had delays, and we got to Toledo airport much later than we expected to. She was there waiting for us, and very worried about us, and very glad to have her daughter and grandkids safely home with her.

At mom's funeral, so many people came up to me and told me stories about how my mom had helped them in so many ways, and how she was such an encouragement to them. I felt I learned things about her that I never really knew, and it was great to hear their memories.

It's been said that a mother will love you even if you feel like no one else in the world loves you. I think I've felt that way a few times in my life; and yes, I always knew that my mom (and dad, too) really loved me.

I found this poem, that I really liked, and decided to share it here.

A mother's love is something that no one can explain
It is made of deep devotion and of sacrifice and pain.

It is endless and unselfish and enduring come what may
For nothing can destroy it or take that love away.

It is patient and forgiving when all others are forsaking
And it never fails or falters even thought the heart is breaking.

It believes beyond believing when the world around condemns
And it glows with all the beauty of the rarest, brightest gems.

It is far beyond defining, it defies all explanation
And it still remains a secret like the mysteries of creation.

A many splendored miracle man cannot understand
And another wondrous evidence of God's tender, guiding hand.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

A Birthday Celebration

My precious hubby had his 63rd birthday on April 28th. I am not usually one to plan a big celebration, and I thought we would probably just go out to eat with his daughter. However, when we were in Archbold on Sunday (the 27th!) Bob told me that Lynn had made a comment about hoping that 'his girls' were planning something for his birthday. So when I got home Sunday I called Janelle and left a voice mail, saying I thought we could take her Dad out to dinner Monday evening and that I was going to plan a little party at the house. I proceeded to ask some friends at church Sunday night if they could come for cake and ice cream Monday, and several of them said yes.
When I got home from church, Janelle called. She wasn't really at all happy that I had planned a party. (she and her Dad are restoring a '51 truck and they usually work on the truck on Monday nights). She asked who was baking the cake, and I told her Judy Steinman had offered. She said she would have liked to bake the cake, as lemon is her dad's favorite (I already knew that). But basically I thought she decided she wouldn't have time to bake it as she was working Monday.
I stayed home on Monday, as I needed to see the eye doctor about a reaction in my right eye. So besides cleaning, and getting some drinks, etc. ready I decided I would bake a lemon cake so that he would have his favorite. (Judy was going to make a white cake, and I thought it would be good to have both, as some people might not like lemon). So! Everything seemed to be working out.
While we were out for supper Monday, Janelle said, "I called Judy and found out she was making a white cake, so I went ahead and made a lemon cake for Dad" I couldn't believe it! (She called Judy Sunday nite, but didn't call me back and tell me what she was doing). The bottom line--we had 3 cakes for 11 people. However, the evening turned out great. We have a small house, but the men sat in the dining room and the women in the living room and both groups were engaged in lively conversation. Everyone said they really enjoyed it, and I was glad I made the effort. It was a spur-of-the-moment plan which actually worked out well. But since both Lynn and his daughter are definitely 'plan-ahead' type of people, maybe I should start to make plans a little earlier next year!. It is now Saturday, and we are STILL eating cake--but it's absolutely delicious.

An Un"B"elievable Day at Dad's

Last Sunday Lynn and I and Bob and Brenda went to Dad and Kay's. We had a nice lunch with them and then Bob and Lynn headed out to Dad's farm and Brenda and I took Dad and Kay back to the house. (It was kind of a sad day for Kay,as her nephew had died; her daughter Linda was coming up and they would be spending the rest of the afternoon at the funeral home). The main purpose of the trip for Bob and Brenda was to open up the Bee hives on the farm. We thought it would be interesting for Lynn to put on a Bee suit and be able to watch the process. Brenda and I also went out and watched. We didn't have bee suits, but the bees were pretty calm. It did make me a little nervous, but my interest and curiosity over-ruled my nerves. It was really fun to watch, and Bob & Brenda were really excited, because one of the hives still had bees and the queen bee was there. Brenda actually has some video on her blog of Bob opening up some hives (Benda-beesnest). (Sorry, I haven't learned how to put an actual link to her blog)
As it turned out, Lynn actually helped with some of the preparation work, and I think he enjoyed it and thought it was really interesting. It was very educational, and fortunately, we are never too old to learn new things and broaden our horizons.