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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Happy Robert Burns' Day

Morning Snowdrops in January

Back again to the islands after continual cleanup of clutter from three or four places. We took a day off to rest today. Doning tartan vest and scarf along with other warm clothes in the 32 degree day I met two friends to walk by the water and drink a wee dram of single malt scotch in celebration of bonnie bard of Scotland, Robert Burns' 250th birthday. The scotch was to keep us warm. ;-)
I read a few of his poems:
To A Louse -on seeing one on a lady's bonnet at church (remembering one long ago Sunday we sat behind a lady with lice crawling in her hair.)

"Oh wad some power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us! And foolish notion:
What airs in dress and gait wad lea'e us, and even devotion! " (sic)

Also appropriatly humbling, seeing that I got up in church today to lead some singing (since the pianist was not there) and I couldn't follow the tune!

The First Six Verses of the Ninetieth Psalm
O Thou, the first, the greatest friend
of all the human race!
Whose strong right hand has ever been
their stay and dwelling-place.

Before the mountains heaved their heads
Beneath Thy forming hand,
Before this ponderous globe itself,
Arose at Thy command;

That Power which raised and still upholds
This universal frame,
From countless, unbeginning time
Was ever still the same.

Those mighty periods of years
Which seem to us so vast,
Appear no more before Thy sight
Than yesterday that's past.

Thou givest the word: Thy creature, man,
Is to existence brought;
Again Thou say'st, "Ye sons of men,
Return ye into nought!"

Thou layest them with all their cares,
In everlasting sleep;
As with a flood Thou takest them off
With overwhelming sweep.

They flourish like the morning flower,
In beauty's pride array'd;
But long ere night cut down, it lies
All wither'd and decay'd.

We are still grieving the losses of mother-in-law, brother, cousins and all that have gone before. Did Robert Burns know the hope given by the one who set us free from our past? To those of us who choose to take Jesus, God incarnate, into our hearts, His gift work on the cross setting us free, there is victory not  "nought".
Romans 5:12; I Corinthians 15:51-57

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A new generation

Dylan leaving Nan's apartment with his choice:
Minimuffin tins, measuring cup and containers to keep muffins fresh
I didn't have a camera when we left Nan's apartment after clearing it out, but this image kept returning to my brain, so I drew it from memory. Dylan helped me clear out the kitchen cabinets, choosing only to take the things that had meaning to him, putting them in a basket he also chose.
Nan, a great cook, inspired Dylan's Dad, a present corporate chef. She left him her bean pot which we also found in her apartment with the recipe in her handwriting with ingredients, sans measurements, inside the pot. So Saturday night after her memorial service, continuing her memory, we ate Boston baked beans in her old bean pot, the New England Saturday night tradition. Instead of hot dogs, we had breaded pork chops with rice, rolls, salad and apple pie and ice cream. She will be missed very much; but one thing we know, her cooking will go on. Dylan's Dad took his bean pot home to be the next keeper of the generational tradition. Maybe Dylan next?
(see August 25, 2007 blog Saturday night beans)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Press on

Race Horse Refreshment

Race horses' refreshment (click on blue  link for video)
Heading back to Garrison Savannah

When we were in the Barbados, early every morning the trainers brought their thoroughbred race horses from the barns at Garrison Savannah past our hotel for cleaning and refreshment in the warm Carlisle Bay of the Caribbean. There they exercised their legs and welcomed the salt water over their bodies before the heat and business of the day. This early morning refreshment kept them going throughout the day so they could press on and win the race set before them.

We've had too much racing and not enough refreshing upon return from summer weather in West Indies. We arrived home during a snow blizzard in Seattle and Neil's mom not doing well. She died Monday this week, January 5 the day after we prayed with her, and read her scripture. assuring her of her salvation. She had run the race well, praying every morning for refreshment and in the end surrendered herself to her Lord, arms out, palms up.

Oh Lord help us surrender to your will. Help us to increase our time of refreshment with you. I know we have too much stuff, grief included, dragging us down, holding us back, like weights entangling and causing us to trip not run. Yet here we acquire even more as we clean out Mom's apartment. Set us free from the burdens and material goods pulling us down. Free us from our hold on this life on earth.

"Bretheren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."(NKJV) Philippians 3:13-14
"Stand firm therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free and don't be entangled again with a yoke of bondage." Galatians 5:1