Monday, September 23, 2013

A Time For Everything

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time to war, and a time for peace. 
-Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8

This is the time of year that change seems everywhere. The beginning of a new school year; church activities begin anew; meetings which were idled during the summer are held again. The warmth of summer lingers, and yet there is a chill to the breeze, even in sunshine.

Earlier this month, there seemed to be a swirl of news, both personal and public and both good and bad, that all seemed to be happening at once. I finished editing my book, and sent it to a friend to critique (three years' work, moving forward); A friend of a friend suffered a miscarriage; a coworker's daughter, diagnosed with cancer two years ago, went to the doctor and found her scans were clear; war/not war/diplomatic confusion regarding Syria; my mother had surgery (she's doing well, for those of you who wonder); CJ and I continue to wait for the safe arrival of Nephew #3; Miley Cyrus and the seemingly never-ending downward scraping of the barrel that is our popular culture; and the expected, but still sad death of an old friend from Ohio - she really was old, in human years - 105.

Change is coming.

We don't always know, or are prepared for it, when it does come. Sometimes it is welcome and sometimes it is resented with such ferocity, more damage is done than if the person (or group, etc.) had simply moved with it, as with a tide. This is not to say that all change is good. But overall, as human beings living in a fallen world, we must accept that change will happen.

"A window down the street flew open.
'We've surrendered!"
The procession in the street stopped short. Each told his neighbor what we had all heard for ourselves. A boy of maybe fifteen turned to us with tears rolling down his cheeks. 'I would have fought! I wouldn't ever have given up!' Father stooped down to pick up a small bruised petal from the brick pavement; tenderly he inserted it in his buttonhole.
'That is good, my son,' he told the youngster. 'For Holland's battle has just begun.'"
-The Hiding Place, page 64

May the changes of this world neither overwhelm you nor slip by you unnoticed.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Music Monday - This One's For Aunt Becky!

And for the rest of our church choir, that is. We're singing a John Rutter piece next month so this song has been on my mind.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Music Monday

For those of you who watched the Video Music Awards last night, a palate cleanser. I'd rather hear Edith singing any day over Miley.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Miss this blog post? Are you kidding?

CJ and I have had an eventful few weeks - a memorable trip to a minor league game on the Glorious Fourth; a road trip to North Carolina to visit my family; celebrating our youngest niece's first birthday (We love you, little lady A! Missing you, your smile and your enjoyment of the cupcake terribly...); CJ teaching us all a game that ended with my brother Bud being The Head Honcho-no, The Big Cheese-no, that's my brother-in-law, sorry- oh wait! He's....THE GREAT DELMUTI!!; enjoying time with our nephews P and S and watching them grow more loveable (they were good MOST of the time :)); our other niece C "talking", singing and melting our hearts with her smile and breaking our eardrums with her shrieks (sorry, Sis, I couldn't resist...she's adorable but you have to admit your little girl has BIG lungs :)); visiting with Mom and Dad on the upper porch of their new, beautiful home, and just enjoying much needed time off. (Me mostly. CJ will begin school meetings next week.)

Just blogging about the family makes me miss them. :(

Last Thursday, it wasn't fun. And it definitely wasn't relaxing. CJ's car died while he was driving home from the local grocery store. He called me at work, I drove over there to jump his car, and...well, my husband was hot (it was extremely hot that day) and impatient to get home so he could make lunch, and crossed the wires when he was connecting the cables from my car to his. I started my car, and smoke and sparks erupted. I immediately turned off the car, and the real fun began. We watched the smoking-hot plastic melt onto the pavement and over one of my headlights. It was so hot it actually burned through the cover over my headlight. It looked like a dragon eye - red and black around it, with a gash through the middle.

Long story short (too late), we called AAA, the guy came and towed away both of our cars, and CJ used language that sounded remarkably similar to when my dad spilled paint onto brand-new carpet.

I really could not be mad at him. We got my car back Friday afternoon, none the worse for wear. We're still waiting on the verdict for his car. We're hoping for an acquittal.

To make the weekend much better, we met M, the newest daughter of our good friends, on Sunday. She was born July 13th (A's birthday!) and is settling into life with her mom, dad, and big sister J. No doubt she will have many adventures come her way in the years ahead. She looks a lot like her sister. It will be fun to watch the two of them grow up. :)

Speaking of watching children grow up, a boy was born today. Whereas M has the whole world to choose from in terms of what she wants to be, this young man has no choice. Unless his country decides monarchy is outdated, or he dies before his father (God forbid), he will be King of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, Duke of Cornwall, etc., etc. etc. For now, until his name is known, he is HRH Prince of Cambridge. The whole world will watch him grow up. I hope he gets the space to grow, and learn.

The title of this post is a reference to two posts I wrote back in 2011 for the wedding of Baby Cambridge's parents. Although British royalty fascinates me, "all of the romance in the world, can't make up for the lack", as Marilla would say, of love. The love of family and friends.

Here's a song (it is, after all, a Monday) for the young folks. Take it away, Mr. Armstrong:

Monday, July 1, 2013

Music Monday - Mournful Friend at Gettysburg

Whether General Armistead actual said any of this is doubtful. What is true is that it was agony for him to face his old, dear friend Hancock at Gettysburg.

I could blog about this movie and the book where it came from, The Killer Angels, for weeks. Today is the 150th anniversary of the first day of the battle.

Here is a rendition of a true favorite tune from those days, "Kathleen Mavourneen".

Rest in peace, Richard Anderson, who played Armistead, and rest in peace to the boys in blue and gray. They all rest together as brothers and friends.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Music Monday - "Have you ever been to Indiana?..."

If a criss-crossing the state innumerable times in the car counts, then yes. But the lyrics to this song makes me think I had my eyes closed.

This country is so big, and has more places to visit than an average person could hope to see in a lifetime. Sometimes after I've been away somewhere, someplace more "exotic" (California, which has more temperate weather) or "foreign" (anyplace outside the borders), coming home to the "boring ol' Midwest just seems so...bleh.

Way back in the olden days (2000), my family took a weekend vacation to Cincinnati. We went to a water park, went on a dinner cruise on the Ohio River, saw a baseball game (the Cardinals weren't playing, so the quality was lower), and went to President Taft's house. We also saw the movie The Patriot. During the scene when Lord Cornwallis is telling Colonel Tavington about all the land he could get, a map is shown on the table. The Colonel looks at it, then says "Tell me about...Ohio."

What I remember is the entire audience in the theater roared with laughter. Including us.

Ha ha! Boring old Ohio (or the Midwest), with its wonderful allergies and mundane suburbia! Who would ever WANT to live here?! Ha ha ha!!

No one said this out loud, of course. But the gist is what we all were thinking. Why else would we laugh?

This is not to say that everyone in that theater hated Ohio, or the Midwest, and would argue against anyone moving there. I think it was more of a general "grass is greener" mentality, and the influence of our culture at large. Really - how often in popular culture is the midsection of this country portrayed in an inherently positive light? Rather, it is the cities, those cosmopolitan beacons, that are held up as the standard of living an "experienced" life. It leaves the assumption that to live in the vast swaths of map is somehow to be confined to a narrow, provincial existence.

I now live with my wonderful husband in a large (suburban) college town, close to a city. Culture and experience, as our general culture describe it, is at our fingertips. And yet, and yet, when I hear the plaintive voice of a country singer asking if I've "been to Indiana", I remember to thank God for this place where we live.

And it makes me want to take a ride.

Monday, June 3, 2013

You should see some of the trees on our street.

After the weekend we had, it doesn't feel like Monday. A bad storm roared through on Friday night and knocked out the power from around 8:30 until 6:30 pm...Sunday. To put it mildly, we are happy to have our electronic devices charged again. And for not showering in the dark. And for our next-door neighbors having no use for their generator.

And I'm watching the Cardinals while I blog, so yes, I'm happy right now. :)

This is not on our street, but it is in our town. No one was hurt, thankfully.