I am retired after a career in electronics and in publishing. Today, my wife of 50+ years, Sylvia, and I live in a house on a hill beside a dirt road in rural west Michigan. We enjoy living in this country environment where livestock and wild life out number the human population.
At my age, winter is not as much fun as it was when I was a young ‘un. I’m just not up for sledding, ice skating . . . not even making snow persons.
These days (daze?), I just want to stay in where it’s warm. That’s okay, but when that happens, all I do is sit at the computer, sit in front of the TV, sit in the recliner with a book or sit at the table. Nothing wrong with sitting at the table, but what happens when that’s not the only place I eat? I find it easy to snack at the computer, in front of the TV and while reading a book.
Aye, there’s the rub. Snack, nibble, snack, eat. Soon one is carried away. And I look like this:
It has been over three weeks since Sylvia hosted a sledding day for her Sunday-school class, their siblings and friends. We enjoyed it a lot. The children had a lot of fun and ended their time outdoors by making snow sculptures. Their art works remain as they were that day. (Since then, air temperatures have not risen above freezing.)
Every time I look out the window, I see their handiwork on display. In seeing those objects, I am transported to other places. For instance:
This sculpture takes me to Egypt
Then it’s on to Europe
Next stop is France
Then I come back to this continent and country (USA)
This reminds me of George Washington
Now I have to wait another 49 weeks for the next sledding party. It’s going to be fun.
Wednesday, our friend, Shark of My Quality Day, stopped here on her trip east. The pic above is not from yesterday. It was taken on a warm autumn morning on one of Shark’s earlier visits to our Secondary Rds home. (Sylvia had just given her a cabbage from our garden. Shark was delighted.)
The three of us spent Wednesday evening in catching up on personal news. (One of the reasons I like our blogger bud so much is that she never engages in gossip or negative talk.) We also enjoyed some music making and conversation.
I wish you could have been here when we were talking about books and authors. It started with a question from Shark, “Which book (not Bible) has made the greatest impact on you and your life?” That conversation lasted past bed time, and, I hope, is to be continued.
A while back, I won a contest on My Quality Day. While Shark was willing to send that to me, I suggested that she wait until her next visit and bring it along with her on that trip. Okay, I knew that it would help assure another visit. I picked her book, Would You Dare? (3rd edition). The 137 pp book is, “Twelve compact biographies of Christians who have dared. Their lives challenge us . . . ‘Would You Dare?'” After the preface, there are four stanzas from Longfellow’s poem, “A Psalm of Life.” One of those stanzas is also printed on the rear cover,
“Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime . . .
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time.”
The other day, I noticed my shadow on the venetian blinds that cover my office window. Fascinated, I captured this image. That shadow resembles me, but only vaguely. (My head is not really that pointy, I don’t have offset Yoda-like ears and my neck is as long on one side as it is on the other.)
As I thought about this, I realized two factors were at play. The light source is diffuse (not focused). The individual blinds are set at an angle to that light.
Seems to me that this is a parable. I’ll let you draw you own conclusions, but you might consider illumination source, projection target and blinds (or blinders).
For my part, I think. I think I would like a wee nap.
As it is written, “Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land.”
We are happy and excited for her. In comment on this picture, her paternal grandfather wrote, “ I’d say, ‘Knock ‘em dead, but that probably wouldn’t be appropriate.’ Right?” He is such an old goof ball.
In, what appears to be thoughts of warmer days, our friend, Shark, posted a photo of a grasshopper and acknowledged the inspiration for it came from the Vanilla man. I’d like to think of warmer times as we are caught in the cold grasp of winter’s icy wrath.
Autumn grasshopper on my driveway.
Like my memories of warmer weather, this poor fellow is flawed. He’s not a very good hopper. Reminds me a bit of the blue jay of which Shark recently posted photos.
I think I’d rather see this:
Yes, I’m ready for this–but not in February. Not even in March. Let spring arrive in its proper season. Then we can see scenes like this one.
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”
(Eccl 3:1 – KJV)
Even as this cruel winter persists, life goes on. I see this in the myriad bunny tracks that surround me. Last week, I’m quite sure that I saw the golden eagle soaring through this neighborhood. What a beautiful sight to see as that mighty bird navigated through chill and heavy winds.
Computer guru and good friend, Robert, brought my computer back home on Sunday. He had found a number of serious problems and fixed each one. I’m grateful to have my new (Win 7) computer back online. The ancient (Win XP) laptop worked–just not as well.
Last Friday (the 13th), Briana took the RN licensing exam. Within six hours of finishing, she received a congratulatory e-mail from licensing authorities in Wisconsin.
She spent the weekend with the East Kentwood High women’s water polo team. Briana assumed assistant coach duties as the gals competed in their first (pre-season) tournament of the year. She has been assisting with this team and the swim team when she could. But now, it is over.
Bags are packed and ready to go.
Yesterday, Briana said goodbye to her parents and drove to her new home in Madison. Sylvia and I received a call in the evening to let us know that she was there and doing well.
Computers have been a pain. If the ground wasn’t frozen solid, I’d be sore tempted to dig a hole, throw in my computers, cover them up and pour a reinforced concrete slab over the whole shebang. I’ll spare you the details of my frustrations.
Today, we plan to meet our son and granddaughter for lunch. Now that’s pleasure! Briana is scheduled to take the NCLEX (National Council of State Boards of Nursing) exam tomorrow. The next day she’ll leave her parents’ home and drive to her new home and her first (she says “big girl”) job. It is bittersweet to see her go.
Some days I’d like to have some grizzly bear genes–just so I could hibernate through winter. Wouldn’t that be nice?
Saturday was Sylvia’s annual sledding party for Sunday School kids, their friends and siblings. As usual, it was a big hit.
What fun! How far can you go?
It’s hard to catch them sliding. It happens so fast. Coming back up takes longer.
But what fun going down!
See how far I can go!
All to soon, four hours had passed. The kids went home. The old folks were left all alone in the now silent house. We weren’t left without memories. The kids left a monument as a remembrance of our fun day.
It’s a snow person.
Only 363 to the next party. I’ll just have to be patient.