Friday, July 22, 2011

Around the Fire Pit

Here on the hill there is a campfire every night over the weekend and sometimes right in the middle of the week. It gives a quiet, calming feeling as the crackling sticks and scent of smoke mix with the hushed (and sometimes LOUD) conversation. As the evening wears on, talk is less and the night birds begin to lend a voice. An owl can be heard at the edge of the woods. The frogs and peepers chime in. When the red moon peeks over the eastern horizon everyone stops to watch its full ascent.

Our fire pit has been in use since before I can ever remember. My father purchased the land from my grandfather when I was ten years old but we had been coming here always. I know that it was a cow pasture when my mother was small, so there was probably no campfire ring then, but for at least 50 years people have been camping and warming their hands around this very fire pit.

This picture was taken last year and we loved the effect of the flames- and with the moon behind, perfect!

There is a book, out of print now, called "By the Light of a Thousand Campfires", which I would love to find. Last time we priced one it was way out of our range. To the best of my knowledge, it is a compilation of stories written by a game warden (I think, though I may be wrong) over a period of years. I have not read excerpts from it, but just the name alone has captured me!

It has been HOT here for the last two or three days. Last night I didn't even want to start a fire, though we do have family on the hill. Tonight, however, it will be unavoidable, as it is Friday night and that is just tradition. I am looking forward to it really. Food just tastes better when cooked over an open fire. Besides, how will I toast my marshmallow if there are no coals? over a Coleman stove - never!

The heat has zapped me of my creativity also, I suppose. I am hoping that with cooler weather I will get my brain back. Sorry the blogs have been so sparse. I look forward to diving into a cooling pond after work this evening. That will wash away the heat and prepare me for a busy weekend.

Hope you all can find a retreat of your own. Keep cool in the heat of this beautiful Summer.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Place to Bark in Peace

Visitors are coming! We look forward to visitors on the Hill. Family just called and are on their way, early, for an end of week/weekend stay. They say that they need a place where the dogs can bark in peace, without anyone on the street calling the police. I know the feeling. Our neighbors would never call the law, but I don't feel comfortable letting Ruger bark for very long, down here where I have another house nearby. Once he's up on the Hill he can let loose, and he does from time to time.

As Syd was leaving for work this morning I did a walk-thru on the garden. I noticed that the weeds are growing very nicely and the tomatoes, squash & beans are trying their best to keep up. We should be eating a squash within the next few days. Those tall, stalky, unknown-plants are tasseling and have tiny pink blossoms at the top. The flocks are getting ready to flower. My hydrangea bush is lush with leaves. This is its second full year. No sign of buds yet, it's late! That's the news from my garden.

I wish I had more to say but I'm not feeling overly creative this morning, possibly later. I'm off to check a few of your blogs and perhaps will get some inspiration there. I so enjoy reading them, as each of the different writers have a wonderful way of expressing themselves.

I hope that you have a productive day and that some little surprises pop up along your way!

I leave you with a poem about "you-know-who":

Enter black pistol, covered in hair.
A shadow, a leader;
a whisper.

Boom! as he bounds
and leaps through the air;
dust falls, and fur,

"No nose, no licking, no jumping,"
he hears
as he retreats
to his ball.

Then up the stairs
as darkness descends;
Black shadow, retiring
till dawn.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Clean Floors and Forgotten Things

What is it about clean dishes, a clean counter, stovetop and swept floors that feels so good?! As you may have read, I thoroughly cleaned my car a few weeks ago, with an extractor -- that super-clean feeling has gone away, but I did follow up with a vacuumming the other day and it still feels pretty good.

I recently swept beside the stove and found a clove of garlic which had been forgotten down there. How long the little guy had been imprisoned there, I do not know. When I was a child, my grandparents had pulled their old range out (for some reason, perhaps they were actually getting a new one, I don't recall) and there behind the stove was an orange!! The Lord only knows how long it had been back there but it had dried, perfectly intact. Its seeds rattled loosely inside when you shook it. From that time forward, I always remember it being in the toy box which we kept in the hall closet. It was "the orange" which we used as a rattle and generally, as a ball.

On our first anniversary, Syd and I were looking through our wedding cards, rereading them and remembering that precious day. Upon opening one card, a 20 dollar bill fluttered out. That was a wonderful, forgotten thing, especially in those days!

During the extracting of the car, Ruger's old bone surfaced. When I presented it to him, it was as if it was brand new. He was so happy! I wonder how long he has puzzled over where that bone went, probably not long, as he is a dog.

I imagine that all of us have found things, forgotten things. Mine are usually found when I finally get to a project that I had been meaning to tackle for quite a while. I would have found the item long ago if I had been more diligent in my duties.

The most precious forgotten thing that I have found was a letter. It was in with items of my grandmother's which we were looking through after her death. The letter was from my mother, written on the day after my birth. She was in the hospital and the letter told some about what Mom had remembered about the actual birth, but was mostly exclaiming their happiness upon learning that they had finally had a little girl! (of course!). It was a wonderful surprise to find this letter and I love reading through it from time to time.

What a relief it is to get through a job that you've "been meaning to do for so long". Just keeping up with the surface things brings me an uplifting feeling. I exclaimed to Syd the other night, "I don't know what it is about putting one single cup into a clean sink or not feeling grit while walking across the floor barefooted." I don't think he got it, actually. I can see what all "my ladies" felt on the day after I had been at their house, cleaning. They always said to me, "I just LOVE walking into my house on the afternoon that you have been there to clean!" Having never had a housekeeper, I wouldn't know that feeling.

I remember the day that my father asked my mom if she would like him to hire a housekeeper. I was so excited, as the Brady Bunch was one of my favorite shows on TV and I so would have loved to have an "Alice" to come and live with us. My hopes were dashed when Mom exclaimed, "I wouldn't have another woman cleaning my house!" Looking back, I know it was probably the right answer, but at the time I truly thought she had made a mistake.

My lilies are blooming! I had seen them getting ready to pop yesterday but this morning three of them are fully open. I thought I'd share them with you.

Well, I hope you can tackle a job today that lifts your spirits, if you care to that is!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Do The First Works

Am I serving God, but missing Jesus? I was reading today in John 20. It is the account of Jesus meeting with his disciples after his resurrection. It says in verse 24 that "Thomas was not among them". When he was told that they had seen the resurrected Christ, he said that he would not believe unless he saw the nail prints and was able to thrust his hand into the Lord's side. For eight days Thomas lived in unbelief. It did not take pressing his finger into the nail prints, once he did see the Lord. He recognized Him immediately.

Jesus reveals Himself through the Word of God and through prayer. Without all outside pressures and interferences, am I present THERE, with him? The church of Ephesus (from Revelation 2) was doing everything right. They were laboring, patient, could not bear those who were evil, even tried the false apostles. But the Lord said that He had "somewhat against thee; for thou hast left thy first love." All they had to do was to "remember from whence thou art fallen; and repent and do the first works".

How easy it is for the believer to leave Jesus out of daily travels. We get up and do our duty toward our family, perhaps even read a daily devotional, keep our house clean, go out to work for a living, stop by to give comfort to an ailing friend or loved one. On our way we listen to christian music, scoff at the radical-liberal political view, even take great care in discerning between doctrinal issues. Upon returning to our homes to finish out our day with loved ones, a quiet dinner beginning with prayer, reading a Bible story to our children, kissing our sweetheart goodnight; how much time was spent with the Lord Jesus Christ who shed His blood and carried all our sin upon Himself while on the cross 2000 years ago?

My Lord wants my heart, not only my hands and feet. True christianity starts with Jesus Christ then flows out from there.

He does not want my "sacrifice" unless He has my fellowship first. I pray that every time that I recognize my leaving Christ out; even if it is for one or two days; that I will remember where I left Him, repent (have a change of mind) and "do the first works".

Back to Work

Well, it is another Monday and it's back to work; not that I didn't work Saturday morning, but I've been doing that for so many years I sometimes forget to view it as a work day. It is just a normal Saturday at this point. It was wonderful to have Friday off. Mom, Anna and I went shopping at thrift stores. None of us bought much, but lunch out was nice, then ice cream in the late afternoon was good too.

We did have a wonderful Lord's Day also. There were visitors at church. Two families of old friends made their annual visit and there was another couple there, one of whom lives just down the road. I've known her from working at post offices for years, now she's living in town. It was nice to see her and to meet her friend.

My mind is a bit foggy this morning and it makes me want to say, "Well, it's just another day." Today is the only day we can be sure of. There will never be another day like it. I have to remember to make it count for God. Only the Lord knows what today holds for me. I go back to the devotional I read by Vance Havner two weeks ago. "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, AND TODAY, and forever." (Heb. 13:8) "We may not see him in the flesh as they saw Him yesterday, and we see not yet all things put under Him as one day we shall, but He said He would be with us 'all the days', an that includes today." -Havner.

Perhaps after I return from my morning job, then late a.m. job, my mind will be more ready to write something in my own words, but for now I leave you with the above.

As you can see, Ruger's ready to play. This is the picture I get when I finish fixing Syd's lunch, or when I put down my Bible. How can one resist that face!