Monday, June 16, 2008

Newly Weds and Curly Heads

This past weekend we drove to soggy Terre Haute, Indiana to attend the celebration of my nephew's wedding (My brother, Lowell's son). Dan and Bethany met at a church that they both attended in Terre Haute. Dan is a wholesome Christian young man; Bethany seems very sweet and fun-loving and seems to be a great choice for Dan. They really seemed have a genuinely good time at the reception.
It was fun spending time visiting with family. It was especially special to be able to visit with Dan's brother, Steve, who has spent almost 2 years serving in the peace corp in Equador. He came home especially for the wedding; he won't be finished till the end of August. He is a really neat young man and a good conversationalist. Steve has very curly hair, as you can see in the picture, as do Brenda and I. So we thought we should take advantage of this "photo op" to get the three curly heads in one picture.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

God's Promise

Genesis 9: 13-16 "I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. ...Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth."

We had another little thunderstorm tonight. It was almost over, when I noticed that the sun was setting and it was really bright. But I was pretty sure it was still raining a little, so I started looking for the rainbow. And this is what I saw right outside my back door. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to capture it on my camara, and indeed, it was much more beautiful than what I caught on film. It was a complete, double rainbow! I think I have only seen one like this once before, and I didn't have a camara with me at the time.

As I looked at the rainbow, and watched it fade away, I couldn't help thinking once again about what an awesome God we have. He has certainly kept his promise that He gave in regards to the rainbow--that there would never again be a flood covering the entire earth. (although we have certainly had some terribe floods in the past week!) But I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that not only did He keep this promise, but we can trust Him to keep all of the promises He has made to us. What a mighty, awesome, wonderful God we have!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Man's Best Friend

My husband, Lynn, and his daughter Janelle have had their dog, Allie, for 11 years. She has been a really good dog with a sweet personality. In the last few months she has shown signs of aging. Then for the last 2 weeks she has had a hard time walking and walks with a limp. She also hasn't wanted to eat very much. They took her to the Vet and he said she has some little masses that could be bone cancer.

Allie has been a real friend and companion for Lynn, especially in the 2 years that he was alone after his first wife died. I do not consider myself an animal lover, but I have really enjoyed having Allie around. When my first husband died I decided I needed to find a good home for our dalmatian, Oreo. John was the one that took care of her and played with her most of the time. After he died, we were not around much during the day and I felt it would be better to find her a good home. We found her a really good home to go to, but my daughter Sara was devastated. She, too, was an animal lover and grieved when Oreo left.

So today is a really sad day, as they are going to take Allie to the Vet tonight to be put to sleep. For Janelle and Lynn it is like losing a member of the family. They will really miss her, and it will seem lonely around here without her.

Monday, June 9, 2008

A 100-year-old Smile and A 90th Birthday

I went to see my dad at the rehab center/nursing home on Sunday. While I was there I stopped to visit with my Aunt Mable Stuckey. She turned 100 years old in March. Her eye sight is very poor, and she has a little trouble remembering who people are, but she still has her sense of humor, and I always enjoy visiting with her. She has such a great smile, but when I tried to get her to smile for the picture, she just couldn't do it. It was like she was posing for the picture. I thought it was humorous.

She was concerned or possibly embarrassed (I couldn't tell which) because she went to church at the chapel in the nursing home. She said at the end of the message the pastor was talking about her. He was saying nice things, but she thought it sounded like bragging. I asked my step mother, who was also at the service, if he talked about Aunt Mable. She said, no, but he was talking about another lady named Mable. I can see how she might have gotten confused!

It is sad to see my Dad in such a weakened state. He is such a sweetheart. He wanted to go for a walk with his walker. We almost went too far, as he got really worn out and short of breath. When we got back to the room he asked to have his Oxygen and bi-pap mask put on. I felt bad that we had gone so far. He wanted to show me the physical therapy area.

Dad will be 90 on July 5th. my sister Brenda has posted his address on her blog, and is asking for people to send him birthday cards to encourage him. You can read more about it on her blog
dad's birthday and get the address if you could send a card. I agree with Brenda, I think it would be a great encouragement to him.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Best Friends Forever

My mother-in-law from my previous marriage (she's on the right) continues to live by herself in
a little house in OK. City. She has some health issues (she can't hear very well or see very well
any more. She's very weak, but can still walk without too much difficulty. Her husband died
many years ago; in the last 6 years both of her children have died. She doesn't have very much
family living in OKC, really only a niece and her husband and their daughter's family. However,
she has enjoyed a wonderful friendship with a lady who lives across the street from her. Her
name is Naomi. She is a retired nurse, and has written some poems and articles for magazines.

She is a delightful person, a very positive thinker, and has been a wonderful friend and support
for Gloria. However, Naomi is severely handicapped physically, and is now pretty much confined
to a wheelchair. She has been living alone also, but now she is going to go live with her daughter
in Indiana. This has been devastating to my mother-in-law. She really feels like she is about
her only friend in the world. She and I have a good relationship, but I live in Indiana, so I can't
be there for her on a regular basis. When Naomi realized she would be moving, she wrote a
tribute to her friend Gloria. I would like to include a little of it on this blog.

"It's often difficult to define what actually makes up a friendship. It means different things to different people. For me it can be summed up in one word--Gloria.
Gloria was born August 3, 1922 in a small farming community. At the age of 9 her father died and her life took on a big change. By age 11 Gloria was boarded out to work with other families. They moved often, and because of that she missed out on a lot of formal schooling.
At a day out at Riverview Park, Gloria met a young soldier, Frank Lavin. They were married in 1942. They had 2 children.
During the years Frank served overseas, Gloria continued to work. She was an excellent seamstress and cook; she often worked as a waitress, and managed a school cafeteria. Her husband died at age 45, so Gloria spent most of her life working and managing alone. She came to OKC to care for her daughter when she became ill. I met Gloria when her daughter passed away. Her son also passed away during this time.
Goria's family and friends mean a lot to her. She continues to communicate with those back in Illinois. When she speaks of them or has a phone call or letter, her face lights up and her eyes sparkle.
Who do you know who bakes the best rolls or makes the best chicken and noodles? What friend do you have that makes potato salad, and takes out a bowl for you before adding onions, because she know you don't like them? There is never a need to ask 'what would Jesus do'--Gloria just does it!
We shared many many hours of talking and laughing, watching the clouds, drinking coffee, and playing with our kittens and waiting for Jesus to come. We took art classes together and found pieces of wood to paint on.
When I no longer could go out or walk, Gloria came to my house almost every day. During the worst ice storm she risked walking over to bring me a bowl of warm beans because she knew I hadn't gone to the store. When I'm sick, she brings me chicken soup.
My sister and mother passed away just 3 months apart. The day of the funeral, Gloria cooked me lunch and sat with me all morning. I could never pick a better friend. She cheers me up when I'm sad, listens to my problems and is never critical or judgmental.
I'm leaving soon to move back north. There is no one I will miss more than Gloria. No one has been a better friend. We won't get to wait for Jesus together on our porch, but no matter which of us goes first, remember this: { Beyond the shadows of time, There's a celebration of life. Wait for me there.}

I couldn't decide what to leave out, so I included all of it. I was recently in OKC and had awonderful visit with Gloria. She is such a great lady and we shared memories. Her friend,Naomi will be sorely missed.