A Welcome Visitor

Sunday evening, our friend Sharkey arrived on schedule.  She did an overnight stay with us and left mid-day headed for base camp.  She and her friend, Marie, will be hiking on the Buckeye Trail.

160606eSharkey & Sylvia love the outdoors.

I think we were all tired.  While we enjoyed excellent conversation, it was a bit more subdued that normal.

Sylvia and I always look forward to Sharkey’s visits.  In the [relatively] few years that we have known her, she has become a  very special friend.  We have discovered many things that we share in common.

We particularly appreciated her willing and able hands on Monday morning.  Before breakfast, Sylvia and Sharkey did some weeding in the vegetable garden.  Afterward, she helped us as we secured the fence–making it bunny proof.  We are both very grateful for her helping hands and especially for her great sense of humor.

Joan’s Giveaway

Joan H Young at book signing

I met Joan several years ago online, mostly because we are both bloggers from Michigan.  I’ve enjoyed reading her posts on My Quality Day as they contain a lot of outdoor pix and, sometimes, some scientific info about the featured plant or animal.

Joan, aka Shark or Sharkey, is giving away this beautiful window pane afghan:

You can read more about the giveaway here: Shark Bytes and Tales.  While you are there you can read more about Joan and her published works.

The first book by Joan that I read was North Country Cache.  This is her story of hiking the entire North Country Trail.  Would You Dare? is a devotional that comprises twelve compact biographies of Christians who have dared.  I found that very inspirational.

My favorite is the Dead Mule Swamp Mysteries this series is available at Smashwords, or Amazon. You can also find it and more at Barnes and Noble.

Joan writes in an easy-to-read style.  I find her books tend to draw me in and I lose myself in the tale.  I urge you to check it out.  If you have a Nook or Kindle, The Hollow Tree at Dead Mule Swamp is available for free download.

It is not to late to win that afghan for your very own.  Check it out.

Promises, Promises

With this ring . . .

With this ring . . .

I renew vows every. single. day. It’s taking in the garbage cans or cutting the lawn. It’s small kindnesses and  forgiveness that show your commitment.

It started when our friend, Vanilla, posted Wedding Bands and Homemade Noodles on his blog.  He talks about coming home from a stay in the hospital.  His lovely wife brought him his wedding ring and said, “Let me put this ring on your finger again.”  There’s more to the story.  Click on the link to read it.

In response, our friend Lin said, “Sweet post today. I have never understood renewing your vows with a grand party and guests and fancy clothes and a big ballyhoo. I think you renew your vows every. single. day. I do. It’s taking the garbage cans in so he doesn’t have to…or cutting the lawn after work to make more relaxing time on the weekend. It’s small kindnesses and lots of forgiveness and letting things go that show your commitment.

Five years ago, as our 50th wedding anniversary was approaching, Sylvia and I began to talk about how we would celebrate the joyous occasion.  Our son said, “Why renew vows if you never broke them?”  I can’t disagree with that.  We weren’t going to do that anyway.  We did take a trip to Michigan’s upper peninsula.  We saw a couple of places we had never seen but had wanted to for a long time.

A couple of years ago, I began to pray something like this, “Dear Lord, you know how much I love my wife.  I tell her that several times each day.  Now, Lord, I ask you to help me show through my deeds how much I love her.”  After a couple of days (He waited to see if I was serious?), my answer came. “Keep your eyes open and you will see.”

I kept my eyes open and within an hour I saw what I could do.  (Why didn’t I see it years before?)

What I’m saying is that if marriage is an institution, I don’t mind being institutionalized.


Al to the Rescue

Last week we got hit with the second major winter storm in less than a week.


I needed help on this one.  So I called Al.  A couple of hours later, he showed up as he had promised.


That four-wheel drive truck will push a lot of snow.  And it did!

I’m grateful for a reliable backup at times like this.  Also grateful for good friends.

This Morning

I slept through sunrise, but our neighbors (Curt and Meghan) were up and at ’em.

Their picture.  Their house.

Their picture. Their house.

Meghan posted this today.  It is so strikingly beautiful that I had to share it with you.  In our neighborhood, this day is filled with sunshine and blue skies.  I hope yours is too.

Sunny Daze

She makes me smile.

She makes me smile.

This is the second day of sunny skies.  After an extended period of drab gray days.  It sure feels good.  And much good comes with it.

Yesterday, I received a call from the podiatrist’s office.  The recent blood test showed a very high white blood cell count.  They wanted me to come in right away.  I did.  I’m recovering well from the gout attack.  He ordered another blood test.

I saw the results (online) today.  White cell levels are back in the normal range.

Our friend, Vanilla, posted today.  Looks like he’ll be released from confinement next week.  I was feeling very good at this point.

A few minutes later, I was on my granddaughter’s FaceBook page.  She had posted a short video or her dancing with her father.  My spirits soared.  What a great day!

Good News


Our friend, Vanilla, is on the mend.  I’m glad to see that and continue to wish (and pray for) him a speedy recovery.  Take a moment, visit his blog and leave a word of encouragement in a comment.  Thanks.

Monday Rewind

Why do I review old posts?   I want to remember what was on my mind a couple of years ago.  How about three or even five years?  This is from about five years ago.  The question was, “What does it look like to be a Christian?


The Question

I stood the midnight watch atop the rampart
Sleep who wrapped me in her arms had fled
And loving mercy withheld slumber

The year was not yet three weeks old
In the frosty silence above the sleeping world
The hunter made his nightly circuit of the sky

The gibbous moon veiled the scene in ghostly light
And that weak light diminished the stars’ shine
Though its glory is but a poor reflection of the greater

A friend had shared from sincere heart
The thought with which he wrestled
The burning question in his mind

What does it look like to be a Christian
How do you know, how can you spot
That which is real from what is not

As I pondered on the thought and on my friend
My thoughts were bent toward persistent grace
And along side is untiring love

The fruit is borne on the inside
Outwardly, the form and fashion vary
Each of us a Work in Progress

What would your answer have been?

The original post went up in January 2011, part one and part two.

Fun With Friends

I’m feeling a little bit sad this morning.  Our friend, Vanilla, went back to the ICU yesterday.  We continue to pray for him and his lovely wife as he recovers from his recent surgery.  Also Sharkey will wrap her visit and head back home after lunch.

We’ve had a lot of fun, laughs and serious discussion.  Last night was our big music fest.  Sharkey with her accordion and Sylvia with her guitar.


I don’t think you’ll find any of our music on a top-40 list from recent decades.  That doesn’t matter.  We love it and that’s good enough reason to play and enjoy it.

Looks like the rain forecast for this afternoon will come to pass.

Good News Day

Tuesday just after noon, Sylvia took me to the podiatrist.  (I still am not allowed to drive.)  They took X-rays of my foot and it looks good and seems to be doing well.  I was able to trade the heavy boot for a light-weight surgical shoe.  As the doctor said, it’s not as comfortable as the boot, but it’s easier to deal with.

After that, we stopped at the steak house and had a nice lunch.  I’d call it dinner.  Grilled prime rib is not on our normal luncheon menu.  That was in celebration of our wedding anniversary, which is today.

That evening, a friend dropped in for an overnight visit.  We always look forward to seeing Sharkey.

Sharkey and Sylvia

Sharkey and Sylvia

This morning started with breakfast with Sharkey.  Then she was on her way east to be with friends.  Later we’ll travel to be with Sylvia’s family as we celebrate her dad’s 98th birthday.

Today is our special day as we celebrate another year of togetherness.


Happy anniversary my love.  I’m looking forward to many more years together with you.