Saturday, May 28, 2011

Quick -- Take a Deep Breath!

Memorial Day reminds me of how important it is to remember
Remembering helps us not to make the same mistakes and transports us back to sweet pockets of good times.
When my boys were young I wanted them to remember the good times of their childhood.  Those free and happy days of not being in charge and big exciting adventures.
I read an article back then that said  smell is the sense most closely associated with our memories.
Ahhhhh, the smell of a fresh Christmas tree, Krispy Kreme do-nuts rolling off the conveyor belt, the smell of walking into my grandparent's farm house.  To this day those smells can take me back to peace and love.
So when the boys and I were out and all of a sudden I would realize that this moment needed to be engraved in their hearts forever I would instruct; "Quick take a deep breath!  Now, remember this time forever."
It worked because my son has told me how many of those smells have become safe havens for him in his daily life.
The smell of a State Park.  The smell a glazed ham baking in the oven.
What are the "Smells" of your life?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Resting Well

My mother is resting well after her surgery.  Thank you for your prayers.  We could feel the support.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Come To Momma

When I was growing up if I was having a bad dream or a bad day my mother would come and hold me until it was better.
Now that I'm a grown up  I realize that there were many reasons my crisis' were not well timed for her life's demands.  But she came anyway.
Today I am a woman who feels worthwhile in spite of all indications otherwise due to the investments she made in my little tender soul.
Now I'm the one who has obstacles to being there when her life gets a little scary but it is my great honor to be there for her.
Tomorrow she is scheduled for a second hip replacement since January.  Same hip new replacement. 
I've spent six weeks gone from my home four states away since that fateful January morning when she first fell. 
I'm no saint but I know that as sands through the hour glass....
Would you pray for her as she faces this next hurdle?
She is in awful pain. 
Last night we shared prayers, dinner and that great medicine of Vanna White in her flowing gown flipping those letters. 
I kept thinking of a future  "Some day" when I would give anything to be back with her again in that happy home full of memories guessing "The Phrase". 
All of this time with her has been selfish on my part too.  I hope that her optimism, personal and abiding faith and spunk will somehow permeate my heart and I'll grow up to be just like her.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

All You Need Is Love And...

A perfect evening in the garden.

A beautiful bride.

Friends and loved ones.
A florist.

A game plan.
A big tent.

A color scheme.

Great music (Preferably oldies).

A fancy cake.

And the best invention of the last fifty years......................
A Porta-Pottie.
Did I mention  LOVE?

Friday, May 20, 2011


Papa Joe and I hit the road for a wedding in Bridgehampton New York this weekend.  But it turns out -- getting here is half the fun!
It was calling our name.  We just can't seem to get away from ducks.

The back door.

Picking out travel gifts for the neighborhood kids back home.

Then we passed this place on our way to ....

So let us just close and say.....

The wedding is tomorrow.  Tune in.......

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Party Girl

My Aunt Nanny knew how to throw a fete and she never let her lack of funds get in the way of a good time.
Her Baptist pastor had come to their church a wounded soldier.  If he hadn't been divorced he would have been snatched up by a much fancier congregation. 
Even though he was the bargain of the century you can know that tongues wagged and some of the not quite ready for prime time members treated him with suspicion. 
Aunt Nanny welcomed him enthusiastically and gave him the highest compliment --  she teased him. 
Her endorsement positioned him into the good graces of the holy-moley congregation of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church.
Upon the occasion of his five year anniversary at the church she called and informed him and his wife to be ready and dressed to the nines at 6:00 pm Friday night because a limousine would be picking them up and taking them to dinner.
It did.  He was. And off they went on a ride around the city.  After cruising past many fine dining establishments the driver finally pulled up to...............
White Castle.

Inside were most of the church members and dinner was on Aunt Nanny.  Sliders all around.
This same brother preached her funeral. (You know the one with the U. of K. fight song?)
He praised her faith but mostly he thanked her for the arm around his shoulder and the best party of his life.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Service With a Smile

Last week (did you notice I was gone?) I had the opportunity to treat some of the most giving women I know to a week at our  beach house.

It was a pleasure to shop, clean, cook and serve this select society of women who pour themselves into the lives of others -- so freely.
They are some of my girlfriends who serve as leaders in my Philadelphia Bible study.
Each has a story of sacrificial love.
  Kathy (Top left) was never able to have children but she has spent years teaching funny bible songs to others children. She is the spiritual version of Weird Al Yankovitch and has inspired legions of kids to trust God with their hearts
Me next. Just grateful to be hanging with these women.
Becki (Right of me) and her husband served with the Billy Graham Association and lived in 13 cities in 14 years. Tramping their 4 children all over the world. She has spent the last 20 years in her home office 40 hours a week preparing a weekly lecture for a sanctuary of women who are seeking to "Walk this Way" with Jesus.
Claire (Top row right) celebrated her 80th birthday this year. She is beautiful inside and out. She has schlepped her basket of hostess goodies and greeted the women who come to the Bible study with a warm welcome for as long as I have known her. She does it on Tuesdays and then repeats it again with another group on Thursdays. She tells them both "You are my favorite" and they all believe her. You would too.
Joyce (Bottom left) and her husband built a school for children in the projects of Philadelphia 25 years ago.
While Jim juggled being the managing partner of a high profile law firm they rehabbed, painted and staffed this oasis in the mean streets.
Gillian (Bottom right) Is a professional caterer and Bible study leader. She's even cooked for Oprah! "Gilly Bean" moved her mother in law into her home until she died this year at the age of 101. Currently she is caring for her former husband as he is dying.
A joy to serve a woman like that? You betcha.

We went out on the water...
Played Scrabble until the wee hours....
Ate at our favorite biker bar....
Enjoyed being girly-girls....
Soaked up the beauty of God's creation...
And told each other "You're lookin' good!"

These are women who  have given of them selves in service to the Lord and left many healed and restored people in their wake.

It was my pleasure to serve.