Monday, April 29, 2013

It started out as an ordinary morning. I drove onto the interstate to make my hour commute to the church. After I accelerated to the usual 65 mph I felt a vibration in the steering wheel and an odd feel in the tires. I took the very next exit and pulled into a gas station to have a look at the tires. All seemed fine. There was a bit of a hot rubber smell but I could see nothing amiss. I drove back onto the expressway and accelerated up to 70 mph and again, the same odd vibration and feel. Fortunately, two exits later (only a couple miles away) and I slowed to 60 mph, there was a dealership. They are always very busy. And costly. The one gent took it for a test drive with me down the interstate to the next exit. He, too, felt the vibration. It would take quite awhile some expense to have it looked at. He thought it might be a wheel weight out of whack. I called LH and drove it back to our town and the tire store that does all our service. By then, the hot rubber smell was evident. After a bit of wait, the manager, who knows me by name, had it up on the rack and pointed out that the left back tire was frozen and couldn't move. It's now in the process of getting a new drum which had frozen up. An expense we didn't need at the moment, but then, when do we ever need such an expense?
LH came and picked me up and I've had a work day from home - working on a sermon and making phone calls. I feel bad that I wasn't able to go in today, but good, in that I am able to do some of my work from home. Mostly, I am thankful, that this didn't happen yesterday, on the way to worship or on the drive home, far from home in the pouring rain. Truly, I am grateful that the service station could take me right way and work on it, even it means that it blew any chance of my being in the office today.
So, a change of plans but it didn't upset me greatly or blow my gasket. Just one of those things that happen that are an inconvenience. The van wasn't damaged nor I. Just odd being home on Monday and will have to get some extra things done on Wednesday - like print out words for worship, and the next Sunday School lesson.
Although my plans were changed for the day, I am thankful. Sometimes, changes of plans, beyond our control, can be blessings in disguise!

Friday, April 19, 2013


So, with the events of the violence and tragedy from the Boston Marathon fresh in our memories, I thought it would be good for us to focus on where as RevGalBlogPals, we find healing, peace and strengthening. As a chaplain, there are days where I never seem to catch my breath, and invariably, those are the days that I need it the most! So with all this in mind, share with us these healing things

1. A piece of music -
Vivaldi is very healing for me.

2. A place -
Home, because it is most accessible. However, by a lake or ocean is the most healing spot for me. There is something so
soothing in the waves lapping against the shore.

3. A favorite food (they call it "comfort food" for a reason)-
That would be chocolate, Swiss Chocolate, the kind that simply melts in your mouth the moment you put it in your mouth,
full of richness and utter goodness.

4. A recreational pastime (that you watch or participate in)-
Reading, journaling or watching TV, preferable the Big Bang Theory for an erudite laugh! Oh, stroking and petting my
wonderful greys - Jazz and Renoir!!! They are the best therapy and always make me feel better.

5. A poem, Scripture passage or other literature that speaks to comfort you.
"And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:20)

BONUS: People, animals, friends, family - share a picture of one or many of these who warm your heart.
I knew it would come to this. Those with Obama phones are now able to send and receive 250 texts a month.
That may not seem like many, but they now have the capability to text on their free phones.
LH and I have worked all our lives, saved, lived simply, pay our bills on time, have had to pay for some of our
health insurance, home, life and car insurance, and have a mortgage. We are responsible, educated citizens trying to make our way in life. With LH between positions and I serving a part-time position we barely make ends meet. I have a flip phone and don't pay for the ability to text or receive texts.
And here, those who are on welfare, who might need a phone, not only receive a free phone but the ability to text! Something isn't right here. My phone and all of you, others, have been subsidizing Obama phones. I am paying for someone to text when even I don't have the money to pay for that luxury. But I am expected to pay for someone else to have that access and ability. It doesn't make sense to me at all. I have a cell phone, mainly for emergencies or when I am not at a landline. I never use all the minutes in my plan. But, I am paying for someone on welfare to text and talk. Yes, I am somewhat miffed and angry about this and everyone who pays for their phones should be as well.
Perhaps, LH and I should give up and go on welfare, at least that way, we can get free phones and not only talk but also text.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The grass is green as green can be! The meadow is carpeted in green. It is simply beautiful. I know that when summer comes, the grass will get brown and the weeds will be growing and green and the sparseness of our front lawn will have no curb appeal. But for now, I am content with how green it all looks at the moment. And I am savoring the greenness.
The first tulip has bloomed and the others are not far behind. The grape hyacinths are blooming as well. The bee balm is growing and spreading and the poppy bush is growing by leaps and bounds. The weeping cherries are blossoming and the Bradford Pear trees that line our street will be blooming in showy white before too long. I have already pulled weeds and there are more cropping up.
It all gladdens the heart and spirit.
The fact that we will have to purchase health insurance in July at more than 1/2 my monthly salary, which also must pay for mortgage, utilities, food and gas will not dampen me today. God is still holding up the hammock dangling over the abyss for us and I am grateful. Somehow, some way, God will guide us through this lean time of not enough.
All around me there will be an abundance of life and I struggle to trust that God will open a way for us.
It didn't help that a dress I was drawn to, was 20 percent off and the size I thought I needed had already sold out and only the larger size was available. I ordered it anyway and lo and behold, it fits perfectly. Turns out it runs a bit small and so, it was mean to be. I was hoping to be able to wear it for a birthday celebration for my godmother at a birthday gathering in Switzerland this August. I'm not sure that we will be going. Only if LH has a position by then. We will need to make flight arrangements next month.
For now, I am content and will not let anxiety or fear overrun my spirit.
My the greening of creation be something you savor today and give thanks to God.

Friday, April 12, 2013


Can you believe it is April 12???? Have you finished your taxes? Here in Boston, the city is abuzz with Boston Marathon anticipation. We are finally hearing birds chirp in the morning, and even though it was in the low thirties last night, many of us are bravely sporting open-toed sandals. None of this has anything to do Friday Five, except randomness. So, in that spirit.......

1. How are you doing? What's going on in your life?
LH finished his interim and we are down to one part-time income. Things will be pretty tight for a few weeks. The upside -
he will do the housework!!!! I hope he won't drive me crazy being around all time! Sigh. Just not quite ready for that!

2. Have you ever resigned from a position? What was the good-bye like?
Yes. It was very difficult to leave folks I had grown to love.

3. So, we are still resurrecting...still getting used to New Life!! What is a source of new life for you?
Watching the garden awaken from its winter slumber. Slowly, bit by bit, things are greening, growing, flowering.

4. My friend is running the marathon on Friday, because it is on her bucket list. What is something on your bucket list?
Going to Alaska, seeing the Northern Lights, and revisiting Greece.

5. Tell us about one precious thing (tangible) you keep around your house, your altar, your pocket, and what is its story?
My garden inukshuk that I built from stones ( a couple imported from Lake Michigan in Wisconsin!!). I had a wooden inukshuk
but it disappeared at the last church I served. I have yet to find it and think that someone took it.

As always, tell us you played in the comments so we can come over and visit!
Happy Friday, every one?

Monday, April 08, 2013

This morning I saw the first squirrel in our neighborhood. Perhaps, that's not earthshattering news to most folks, but here, in this newer subdivision we have been squirrel-free for 10 years. The trees are still fairly young, but getting established. I have often wondered how long it would take for squirrels to arrive. Apparently, ten years to migrate either from the street across the meadow or from the woods adjacent to our subdivision just down the street.
Jazz saw the scoundrel first and because he became alert looking out the sliding glass doors to the backyard, I looked out the kitchen window to see what he noticed. The squirrel was running along the top of the fence and then down the fence into the neighbor's yard and into the meadow.
This squirrel will drive our greys crazy if it decides to make its home nearby. There are also three cats that wander around our street and plenty of dogs reside in our neighborhood.
So, it appears that we are pretty much an established neighborhood that has finally attracted the attention of the squirrel population.

Monday, April 01, 2013

It was just a quick glimpse on Easter Sunday morning while I was preaching at the early service about the idle tale of the women witnesses to the Resurrection. It took my breath away, shook me to the core of my being, stunned and amazed me, made me look again, and all within a second of time - or a brief eternity of a moment that grabs hold of you and shouts, "notice!"
It was the appearance of the risen Christ sitting in a pew! Or so it looked like, and that's what took my breath away, stunned me for an instant, without losing my place in my sermon or preaching. I moved my eyes again to that side of the sanctuary, and this is what I saw that explained it all.
A mother with brown shoulder length hair sitting in the pew with her son on her lap. His thick curly dark brown head bowed and covering the lower portion of her face. What I initially saw was an image of Jesus - ok so it was typical depiction - long hair to the shoulder, and a beard. It looked like the risen Christ in that instant. I looked again to see if it was a visitor who had snuck in and slipped into the pew. But it was this mom and her son who at that precise moment when my eyes made contact with that
side of sanctuary, caught them just as her head was up and her son's was bowed - creating a blending of the two - into a man with a beard.
Of course, I had to look again and then, realized it was the two of them and their head positions by then had moved.
But for an instant, the risen Christ was sitting in the pew with us this Easter morning. The risen Christ and ever-living Lord among us and with us!What a marvelous image! It took my very breath away and yet, stayed with me all day.
Had I not prayed on the night drives home on Thursday and Friday that I missed my Lord, that if he would, remember me.
And there he appeared, Easter Sunday morning, sitting in the pew, with us and among us if just for the briefest of instances and the blending of a mother and her son.
Ahh, the images and symbolism are rife with meaning and glory, hope and joy, love and grace, death and life! And I was there to witness this, the only one in the crowd from my vantage point. I can't share it, people will think I'm weird, a bit off my rocker. But oh, how much it meant, how it grabbed me, scared me, delighted me, and gave me so much to ponder this Easter morning.
I finished preaching my sermon, served communion with a smile for this was the feast of victory, taught Sunday School class and lead another worship service preaching the same sermon without the added bonus of a glimpse of the risen Lord. But I knew he was there, with us and among us, sharing his life with us.