Juliette Marie Bell is eight years old today. Her Grandpa liked to call her Julie.
I’m thankful for the years he had with her. The snuggles, the jokes, the laughs, the sweet times. Last year on her birthday her dad sent Chuck a picture of Julie via text. Chuck’s response was: “Time is flying by. Bee-U-ti-ful”.
We never dreamed this would be his last year with her.
““Misfortunes will happen to the wisest and best of men. Death will come, always out of season.” -Big Elk, Omaha Chief
“The minor characters in your life will step into the foreground and shine.” – Sheryl Sandberg
There have been some women who have stepped into the foreground for me. They are not minor characters, but they have been in the background of my life for a while.
Like Lee, my sorority Big Sister in college, who I had not seen for over 40 years. She stepped right back into my life by coming to Chuck’s funeral, all the way from Georgia. We’ve met for lunch and spent the day together catching up on all the years gone by.
Like Jeannie, who I also met over 40 years ago when Chuck and I were dating. She has been so very kind to me, meeting for lunch and giving me books and gifts to show her love and sympathy.
Like Judy, who calls and writes and lets me know I am always in her prayers. Our friendship doesn’t go back so far, but she is a Christian sister who cares. She doesn’t just post “praying” on social media, but when she says she’s praying I know she really is.
Like Crystal, another newer friend, who writes nice chatty letters to let me know all the big and little things going on with her family. She shares her life with me and shows her concern for me.
Like Peggy, who lives in Auburndale but stays connected and checks on me. She sometimes brings along her husband, Tom, who is also a dear friend. They were great friends to Chuck and I and I’m so thankful for them still.
Like Debbie, who was in my Brownie troop when we were in 2nd/3rd grades. We went to church together through our teens and were in each others weddings. Then, time and miles kept us apart. But, we have reconnected, from Ohio to Florida, and had supper after 20 years and fell right into our friendship again.
Like Darla, who I bonded with when we taught school together. She has made it a point to keep in touch. Her life is full to the brim with grandchildren, but she has made time for me.
That’s the thing – time. It’s not always easy or convenient, but it’s important to make time for the ones we love. For the ones who need our love.
“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.” – Romans 1:8
Everyone’s heard the cliche about taking time to smell the roses. After reading this glimpse of a pub in Ireland, I think “take time for the stout to settle” is better.
“He poured half my pint of Guinness, then let it stand for three minutes, in the time-honored way. This lets the stout settle. It also allows the barman to ask you who you are, where you’re from, and why you’re here. The other customers listen and nod. Then, he fills the pint, smooths off the head with a table knife with a parchment-coloured handle, and waits for you to take the first sip. And then the conversation continues.” – from McCarthy’s Bar by Pete McCarthy
Most of the details from childhood are hazy and jumbled. Many are gone completely. I try to recall specific Christmas and birthday gifts. Other than the Kodak camera and a red baseball glove, I just come up with vague memories of sweaters, model rockets. And vinyl albums. – Lassoing the Sun by Mark Woods
It’s because of those Kodak moments that some memories have stayed with me. I’ve been able to look back at old photographs and remember things about the day they were taken. When I read Mark’s book, I dug out the few photos I had of our family vacation out west, then I had my brother email me some he had. I remember the dry heat of Arizona and the puppy-love longing I was experiencing that summer. I also have vague memories of drinking a lot of Sprite from hotel vending machines and my first experience with authentic Mexican food.
I get sad sometimes that so many of my memories are gone completely. I wish I had a time machine to go back and just enjoy some moments. I’d go back to when my grandma was alive and have some real conversations with her. I’d go back to high school and just be myself without all the self-conscious hindrances. I’d play sports and eat better, too. I’d relive that July Fourth of 1985 when everything just seemed perfect.
Alas, there is no time machine for me except the one going too fast into the future. So, I take photos of big and little moments as I hope to preserve a few memories for my grandkids.
“It is our way of looking at life, our interpretation of the universe, our orientation to reality. “ – from Christian Worldview – A Student’s Guide by Philip Graham Ryken
Whenever we bump into the world, our worldview has a way of spilling out. It comes out in what we think and love, say and do, praise and choose. – from Christian Worldview – A Student’s Guide by Philip Graham Ryken
Read that again and let it sink in. … what we think and love….praise and choose… . Much of what I think no one will ever know. But I will, and I must live with it. What I love? I’m afraid what I really love shows in what I write about and talk about. My love for Christ often fades into the background, and that is truly telling. And shaming. My worldview shows in what I choose to do with my time.
I’m beginning to think my worldview needs a little adjustment.
Today is my husband’s 60th birthday; the 39th we’ve spent together. I saved this poem for today.
The prompt for PAD Day 26 (April 26th/2016) was love or anti-love. I went with love. That day I spent a lot of time cleaning my back porch while listening to a country music station. It was clearly an influence – lol.
The Lemon to My Lime
You are the lemon to my lime A delicious tangy treat Memories of past springtimes Dawn to dark both tart and sweet
You are the coffee to my cream So hearty, rich and warm You rise up in the steam Protecting me from harm
You are the ceiling to my floor There to keep me grounded More than I could ever ask for With your love I’m surrounded
You are the window to my door Fresh eyes upon the world You show me love and so much more New wonders are unfurled
You are the yellow to my blue Together we grow as green So many colors we’ve been through The lovely shades and hues we’ve seen
You are the country to my blues Sentimental and woebegone You make me laugh and you amuse You help me always to hold on
…those six days which were to have run out so slowly, had run out fast and were gone, and tomorrow looked me in the face more steadily than I could look at it. (Pip) – Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Life seems like this so often – the days run out fast and are gone. People are always saying “I can’t believe it’s fall.. almost Christmas… a new year already… spring again… another birthday… school is out… time for school to start…”
Some days we want to run out so slowly. Like the days spent with grandkids, or the afternoons on the beach, or the long awaited vacation. Is there a way to slow them down? Not literally, of course, only God controls that. But, maybe they would last longer if we savored them the way we savor a lollipop or peppermint stick. If we truly tasted the good.
Then there is tomorrow. Looking us steadily in the face as we try not to look back. The way my dog looks at me while I’m eating supper. I try not to look at her. But, it never makes her go away. She might lie down at my feet for a while, but she’s still there. So it is with time.
“Christianity is more than a moral code, more than a philosophy, more than a system of rites… It is more than a belief; it is a life.” – Thomas Merton
The prompt for PAD on April fourteenth was “Time out”. This is what came to mind…
Time Out If I am being told to Take time out to smell the roses Then more than likely I need to take more time And take more than a whiff Perhaps I need to remember Who Put the roses there And not just who planted them But Who created roses And tulips and clouds And me Maybe I need to Take time out To say a prayer of thanksgiving And to give someone a rose Or a hug or a meal Maybe I need to Take a time out From myself
Different authors write in disparate ways, and I don’t think a good author would tell you to do it exactly like they do. Many write in the morning, so some of the following advice may be something you might want to try if you are a morning person.
Hemingway: “When I am working on a book or a story I write every morning as soon after first light as possible. There is no one to disturb you and it is cool or cold and you come to your work and warm as you write.”
Ray Bradbury: “My passions drive me to the typewriter every day of my life, and they have driven me there since I was twelve. So I never have to worry about schedules. Some new thing is always exploding in me, and it schedules me, I don’t schedule it. It says: Get to the typewriter right now and finish this.”
Stephen King: ““There are certain things I do if I sit down to write,” he said. “I have a glass of water or a cup of tea. There’s a certain time I sit down, from 8:00 to 8:30, somewhere within that half hour every morning,” he explained. “I have my vitamin pill and my music, sit in the same seat, and the papers are all arranged in the same places. The cumulative purpose of doing these things the same way every day seems to be a way of saying to the mind, you’re going to be dreaming soon.”
C.S. Lewis: “ I would choose always to breakfast at exactly eight and to be at my desk by nine, there to read or write till one.”