Wednesday, September 24, 2014


On Saturday morning, well by then, it was nearly lunchtime, I brought home the newest member of our family - Charis - my new van. After 8 years and 141,000 miles, I traded in Mystic, for a downgraded but new van.
  It was hard to let go of Mystic. We drove a lot of miles together through glaring sun, downpours of rain, and snow and ice. She was responsive and dependable. A sturdy, hard working old gal. And I felt bad letting her go. I miss her.
  But there were all the miles, new tires needed and one by one things that would begin to go and cost too much.
  These past few days, I have been trying to bond to this new van. It is not easy. I am nervous every time I drive her. She isn't as responsive. There are fewer creature comforts with her, but a bit more room for the greys. The middle seats are Stow n Go, which makes it easy not to have to drag seats or bench down into the basement for the life of the vehicle and then haul it back upstairs when it comes time to trade her in.
   I am not use to her nor she with me. I hope we can settle in together. I begrudge her downgraded status. Maybe she begrudges me. But she sat on that lot for a time plastered in stickers because she didn't have all the bells and whistles everyone was looking for. She had the basics I was looking for.
   We're already putting on miles together. But it is an uneasy relationship. Some things have changed in 8 years and that too, takes some getting used to. I wonder how many miles and how long it will take before we settle in together and respond together as one. We're stuck with each other for next several years and the sooner we get use to each other the better.
  Oh, but in my heart, I really, really miss Mystic. This new one, she drives like a truck and not as smooth in transitions.
   How does one get so connected with a vehicle when it is just a "thing"? Mystic was comfortable, like a well-worn shoe or slipper; comfortable, conformed fit, moving as one without even having to
think about it.
   Now I am constantly thinking about it, complaining over the thickness of the steering wheel, and having to press on the accelerator more from a full stop. Things I don't know I can get use to.
   I suppose as with any relationship, it takes time to get know one another better, to squabble a little, to appreciate each other. It's only been 4 days. I need to give it time.
   I hope that she will serve me as well and faithfully as Mystic. I'll take care of her as I did Mystic.
Although, I named her Charis, grace, I'm thinking it should be, peace. That we need to make peace with each other. We'll see.
   In the meanwhile, I will work on my patience and not dwell on what I miss, but on what I have.

Sunday, September 14, 2014


at least for the most part. Working these two positions has left me in a perpetual state of lack of time and being tired.
  Perhaps, I feel it more this week with a full week - including church council, spending my Friday off going to the Vet with the one greyhound for shots, stopping to pick up a bag spinach at the store, getting the greyhound out of the van and in the house, cleaning house, making my spinach salad for
lunch, cleaning house, changing from cleaning clothes to better casual clothes, calling my cousin who was indisposed and using that 1/2 hour to run to get my hair cut. When I got home 30 mins. later, I called my cousin and had a good talk. But my Swiss is getting worse. Have to stop and think of the word or it doesn't come and I use the English one!!! Did some laundry and started dinner. Cleaned up from dinner and packed the box for my sister's birthday so I could take it to the post office the next morning.
  On Saturday, I got up early, fed and let the dogs out (aye, 'twas me who let the dogs out!!!),
had breakfast and went to the post office. On the way there, the engine light came on because the gascap light was on the day before. So, at the post office, I opened the gas lid, unscrewed the cap and screwed it back on, as I drove toward either the car repair place or home, I kept checking to see if the
light would come back on. Nope. It did the trick. So, I drove, to the shopping area and found a couple pieces and a b-day card for LH. I got home in time to make my lunch only the phone rang and it was the council president in tears, her grandma had taken a turn for the worse (who I saw on Wed. and had communion in the hospital with her) and of course, I changed my clothes, ate a few raspberries, packed a water bottle, stopped at a fast food place for an unhealthy lunch, and drove 75 mph all the way (one hour plus) to the hospital. The whole family (minus the matriarch's one daughter who lives out of state) were there. She had the pallor of death and totally changed from Wed. Had prayer with the family, went back in and read scripture and had prayer with matriarch. Rest of family eventually headed downstairs while daughter and I stayed with matriarch. It had been about an hour and I was
thinking I could leave, when there was that gurgle, and I stayed and she peacefully passed away.
The family was texted and up they came and we had prayer all together.
   I managed to leave at 3:45 pm and get home by 5 pm even stopping to get yet another $20.00 of gas, twice in one day!!!
   It was a grace and blessing that I made it there in time and stayed as long as I did. I am thankful to God.
  But after making dinner and doing dishes, I had to still prepare for today, go over things, and my Sunday School lesson (again). I had to make a salad for today, pack up folders for the confirmation students, and my change of clothes and shoes for confirmation.
   And here it is Sunday, I have preached, taught, worked on the wedding service(in Oct.) and ate my healthy salad for lunch. I should work on the wedding sermon. I will get a short nap in before heading out to confirmation at 4:45 pm and when I get home tonight - make another salad for tomorrow, clean out the coffee pot and maybe talk to my sister and put my feet up.
   Tomorrow I meet with the family to plan the funeral service.
   On Tues, I'm at M church all day. On Wednesday I am here because I do have work up a sermon for the service. On Thurs. is the service (so no M church) and Friday, if I am so blessed, I will have the day off (which will be spent looking for a new van.).
   I suppose its no wonder I am tired and have no time.
  But I am alive and still kickin' - thanks be to God!

Friday, September 05, 2014


An unexpected road trip last weekend made me aware that there are places along the route traveled where, had there been time, I would love to have stopped to visit and explore. That (missed) opportunity, coupled with a recent article in our local newspaper about things to see and do locally inspired today’s Friday Five.
If someone told you they were coming to your city/state/country for the first time, what five things would you recommend that they be sure to see or do?

  1. The Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame Museum
  2. Cedar Point
  3. Put in Bay - is it South Bass or Middle Bass Island in Lake Erie, I forget!
  4. Amish Country - and Lehman's Hardware store in Kidron, OH
  5. Cleveland Museum of Art
  6. The West Side Market - for produce and meats of kinds (even goat heads) and pastry
  7. The Football Hall of Fame - if one is into football
  8. The First Ladies Museum - for those not into football
  9. The Dietrich Medical History Museum on the Case Western Reserve Campus
10. Lakeview Cemetary - Garfield Memorial and the chapel which has Tiffany Windows

There is more - Cuyahoga Valley National Park
                          bike the Tow Path from Cleveland to Akron for cyclists
                          Coschocton's old village (well there used to be more there)
                          Smucker's Company Store - but you can find the items less expensively
                                                                        at your grocery store, most likely