Category Archives: God

WOW 2017

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     I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  I tell you 2016 flew by so fast I was surprised it was that time again.  But we had a wonderful time.  My family was together and that always makes me happy.  Both of my sons and daughters-in-law are Christians and they are teaching my six-year-old grandson to serve God.  I know we can’t make that decision for him but at least we can give him the foundation.

     With that said I must talk about one of my pet peeves.  I hate it when I hear someone say ‘Christmas is all about the kids.’  No it isn’t!  Christmas is about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!  We are celebrating His birth.  Yes, I get the gift giving concept because God gave us His Only Son as a gift that we can accept and have eternal life.  I guess you could say Jesus was the First Christmas Gift.  And listen, I love giving at Christmas and I love getting gifts also but please let’s remember the real reason for the celebration.

     Don’t get me wrong I love children…well most of them anyway.  I have been around a few I found hard to tolerate but that is not the child’s fault.  There are no bad children just terrible parents who fail to teach what they should.  But that’s a subject for another post.

     Thank you for stopping by and come back whenever you want; you are always welcome.  And please when you hear someone say ‘Christmas is all about the kids’ explain to them what Christmas is really about.

God bless.

LOOK UP

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The last few weeks our country has seen some unhappy times.  But just as we share our joys and successes we share our heartbreak and sorrows.  Yes, we’ve had different opinions on some things that happened here but thank God we are still free to voice those opinions.  The citizens, both men and women, who gave their lives so we can live free would not be proud of how we have abused what they paid the ultimate price for us to enjoy.  Yes my heart grieves for those Officers in Dallas and I pray for those families.  I pray for all our officers and first responders everywhere.  I invite you to pray with me.  And while we are at it  look up; our flag still waves and we can choose how and where we worship. This is still the best country in the world to live in. Let’s honor our fallen heroes by treating each other with respect no matter what color our skin.  Though we may not agree with their opinions we should respect their rights to voice those opinions but absolutely without violence.  If we all stand together and do what 2 Chronicles 7:14 tells us to do God will hear our cries and heal our land.  Don’t say “Well that’s Old Testament stuff.”  God never changes He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.  What He promised in the Old Testament He will do today.  No politician can straighten out this country.  What we need is for Christians to stand up for God’s principles and virtues. If we do God will stand beside us and the United States will once again be the great country it once was.  Look up!  GOD BLESS AMERICA!

HONEYCOMB

hundreds     We went shopping Wednesday and had dinner out at my favorite Asian Restaurant. While we were out we were hit by a bad thunderstorm; lightning lite up the sky.
That is one thing I have never been able to catch with my camera (lightning) even though Tampa is the Lightning Capital of the World (so they say.)  Anyway we had a wonderful afternoon of shopping and eating; two of my favorite things to do.

When we got home this is what we found in out backyard.

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And from a different angle.

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It sort of crushed our picnic table but not completely.  Thank God my husband is a great carpenter and can absolutely make or repair anything made of wood.  We were not so lucky with some of my flowers but thankfully they were mostly annuals.  But what do they say about every cloud has a silver lining; and you should always look for the good in everything? Wellll… while the limb was dangling I found this.  Yeah…yeah I know I should never have gotten that close.

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Layers of honeycomb.  Of course there was no honey because the bees left weeks ago.  Thank God or there would have be hundreds swarming.  But I was excited to see this.

layers of honeycomb

My husband is working on clearing everything up today and he is trying to

save the part with the comb.  I can’t wait to show it to my grandson.

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But just in case it falls apart I was able to rescue these.

chunk of honeycomb

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I had to have one for my sister-in-law because she loves nature as much as I do (or more.)  I’m going to check at Lowe’s and see if I can find something to spray them with that will preserve them.  Any ideas?

Thank you for stopping by, please come back soon.  Have a blessed day and always look for God’s blessings they’re there if you only look.  God bless.

 

PROVIDENCE CANYON GEORGIA

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A few years back my husband and I visited this canyon in North Georgia.  It is a perfect example of the beauty of God’s work.  It has great hiking trails and was not crowded.  As a matter of fact we only saw two other people the whole time we were there.  It isn’t highly advertised so few people know about it, I guess.

Our word today is Admiration and I have to say I admire our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ more than anything or anybody.  Man can never compare to the work of His hands from the tiniest flower to the huge mountains and deep valleys.  He was total Man and total God and though he was tempted far beyond what we will ever be He never sinned.  He Who knew no sins took on all sins so we can be saved.  When I see the gorgeous work He does here it makes me wonder how beautiful Heaven must be.

So when you see a pretty flower or magnificent sunset please stop and realize you are looking at God’s work and take a minute to thank Him for it and all He does.  Don’t let His love and beauty pass you by without acknowledging it.

Thank you for stopping by and please come back soon.  In the meantime enjoy what God has given us to enjoy.

Admiration

Admiration

I WEAR A CROSS

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I wear a cross on a chain around my neck.  It isn’t meant to bring me good luck or protect me from anything. It is there as a reminder of the price my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ paid for my salvation.  It reminds me of the footsteps He took  on His was to be crucified.  He knew the pain He would suffer and worse than physical pain the anguish He would suffer from being separated from our Father for even a second.  He took that walk and the Cross as a substitute for me.  He paid my sin debt in full.  But not only mine but all sins past, present and future.  He knew no sin yet He became sin so I would not have to.  Now sin is not the issue; faith is the issue “Faith alone in our Lord Jesus Christ alone.”

Yes, I wear a cross on a chain around my neck but not for luck.  Every time I touch that cross I think of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and His free gift of salvation.  He gave His all so we will not have to.  When you see a cross please remember the price He paid.  If you have not accepted His free gift please think about it, pray and ask God to accept you as a member of His family.

Thank you for stopping by I hope you come back soon.  Have a Happy Easter and remember it is not about the Easter Bunny hiding eggs, please remember the real reason for the celebration.

PATRIOTIC OR SENTIMENTAL

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Whenever I hear The Star Spangled Banner it brings tears to my eyes.  Am I being sentimental or patriotic?

We are so blessed to live in The United States of America.  Our freedom did not come free.  No… our fathers, brothers, husbands, sisters and even mothers paid the highest price for the rights we enjoy in this country and to stand and sing that song. They paid and are still paying so we can post how we feel about our country or anything else we so choose.  We can open our Bibles and read them in public without the fear of being punished or killed or have our families tortured because we follow Jesus.  As far as that goes we have a freedom to choose any religion we care to believe in.  I hate to hear someone run down our country.  If they don’t like it they have the freedom to leave any time they want.  It is true there are faults in The United States but I will take it over any other place on earth.  I am so thankful that God let me be born and live in such a beautiful and wonderful place.

When we hear The Star Spangled Banner lets all stand and be thankful for our military and the rights they provide for us every day.  So…am I sentimental or patriotic?  I like to think I am a little of both.

 

SEASONS

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When I work up day before yesterday the far back of my yard looked like this; fog!  Yes, it is that season of the year here; we get thick fog.  Oh we will probably have a few more what we call cold days but it is nothing compared to what some of you in the northern states are getting.  It is still winter but I’m getting spring fever.  For the last three or four days it weather has been in the 70s; just perfect for working in the yard.

My five year old grandson calls the extreme back piece of my property “the jungle” because I have banana, avocado, papaya, loquat, fig, olive and guava trees back there.  I also have my vegetables garden and several kinds of flowers. I suppose it might look like a jungle to him.

FOGGY MORNING

Yes, we do have seasons in Florida and there is something in every one of them that I love.  I like to sit on my back-porch and watch it rain and when it is foggy and chilly I pull on sweats and sat in my glider with my hands wrapped around a steaming cup of coffee.  The sun breaking through the clouds is a beautiful sight to behold.  Because I put out food  I have so many wild birds that come to visit.  I try to catch photos of them.  I’ll share some in another post.

The first of the week my son was here from Texas and we built a big fire in our large pit.  While we were enjoying it a flock of wild geese flew over; heading back north.  And yesterday my yard was full of red-breast robins.  I do believe those are sure signs that our winter cold is almost gone; or will be in the next couple of weeks.  I’m always excited for the spring season because that is when I get the soil ready and plant my spring and summer gardens.DSC_0079

Like I said there is something special in every season and I thank God that I am able to see and enjoy them.  Living in Florida was one of the goals I set for myself when I was just a child and I’m thankful I fulfilled it.  I love my little piece of Florida.

Thank you for stopping by and I hope to see you again soon.  Until then keep enjoying all the blessings God gives you, trust me they are too many to count.  God Bless

 

LORD YOU’VE BEEN GOOD TO ME

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There are so many songs that I like but the one that most represents me has a line that says “Lord you’ve been mighty good to me.”  That is so true of my life, of course I’ve seen bad times and had heartache and sorrow just like anyone else.  The thing is I’ve learned to count my blessings instead of dwelling on the bad.  If we look around and see all the good that God has and does still give us.

     I was blessed to have my sister, Betty Jean.  She has gone home to be with Jesus and I know she is waiting for me.  She and I shared so many things and music was a strong bond between us.  She would hear a song she liked or buy a new CD then call me on the phone and play it so I could hear and vice versa.

     Even though we lived in different states we talked at least once a week.  Thank God for Alexander Graham Bell. We laughed and talked a lot; sometimes we’d be on the phone for over an hour.  Our husbands asked “How can you find so much to talk about?”  But unless you’ve been that close to someone you just plain can not understand.  We shared everything good or bad; we could tell each other anything.  I know she carried some of my secrets to her grave and I will do the same.

      Yes Betty Jean was my sister but she was also my best friend.  There are times I miss her almost more than I can bear; I’ll hear a song and think “I want Betty Jean to hear that.”  I was so blessed to have her and I know we will be together again.  I hope you have someone like this in your life.  If so tell them how much they mean to you and always tell them you love them; God did not promise us tomorrow so you might not get another chance.

     Thank you for stopping by. Please come back soon.  God bless.

Song

MISSING RED

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Now you might think I’m crazy but I missed Old Red screeching out a crow saying it was time to get up when it was still dark outside.  I missed him escaping through a hole in the wire of the chicken pen and scratching in the leaves looking for bugs; and Momma chasing him out of her flower beds and garden.  I didn’t miss Pearl as much because mostly she just clucked and stayed in the pen.  It seemed we were slowly erasing everything from the farm except our memories.  Now our life was the Creek just like all the neighbors.  We all struggled to get by but shared what we had and were happy to help anyone in need. Everyone had memories they liked to talk about.  When the weather got warmer they would stop by and sit on the edge of the porch dangling their feet and legs over the side and recall better times.  Sometimes if Momma was caught up with the laundry she did for the fancy ladies in town we would walk to where people were gathered at someone else’s front porch and listen to the stories.  While the grown ups talked the kids played chase or baseball in the street. It had not rained in weeks so the red Georgia clay had been ground by vehicles and feet to a soft, orange powder.  Our bases were smashed cans and nobody had gloves. We used a short weathered-gray board for the bat.  When someone would slide for a base the dust would swirl and settle over all of us.

As the days grew longer and warmer Momma dug a five gallon bucket of chicken poop from the pen.  Then with Daddy’s old push plow she tilted the compost into the soil and made a garden.  She planted rows of peas, beans, squash, potatoes and tomatoes.  If everything came up and did well we would can them and have vegetables for this coming winter.

Now we slept with our windows open and listened to the crickets and the low hooting of an owl hunting in the woods behind our house.  I would look out the window and watch the fireflies darting about in the darkness.  A soft breeze slipped in and cooled the room.  I was getting to know the survival techniques of the Creek and had come to love the life I now lived.  I thanked God for not punishing me for my mean thoughts and selfish actions and promised to try and do better.  Then with a heavy sigh I rolled over onto my side and fell asleep.

Thank you for stopping by.  I hope you come back soon for more tales.  God bless.

CHRISTMAS ON THE CREEK

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The first Christmas on the Creek I didn’t know what to expect. I wasn’t a baby and I knew there was no money for pretty gifts or even the fancy red apples and oranges so juicy the juice ran down your hands when you divided it into sections.  Those luxuries were things of the past.

Our fireplace was black as pitch inside and large enough I could almost stand in it with the tips of my fingers barely touching the sides when I tried to stretch the width.  We only had a small stack of split logs on the back porch so Momma kept only one piece nestled in red hot coals in the fireplace.  It was just enough to keep the chill off the living room if you stood almost or on the hearth. The rest of the house was like a freezer. We wore heavy sweaters and slept together to try and keep warm.  Momma piled the bed high with her beautiful hand-made quilts; so many it was hard to turn over. It was like sleeping under a thin mattress.  Wind whipped around the corners of the house and howled low and mournful. Frigid air whistled through the cracks in the floor. When we woke in the mornings we could see our breath when we exhaled. I was glad to go to school where at least it was warm then I felt guilty because Momma was home in the cold. She stood for hours ironing for the ladies who arrived in shiny new cars and left the baskets, filled to overflowing with clothes. They spoke just enough to give Momma orders about how they wanted their laundry done. When they picked them up and handed over the meager pay they didn’t even say “thank you.” Momma said she did not mind because it helped keep food on the table.

Christmas Eve we went to bed early, as usual, to save our firewood. I lay there with a big ache in my stomach and wondered if Daddy was warm in Heaven. Did he know me and Momma were almost out of food? I thought not because Heaven is a happy place and Daddy wouldn’t be happy if he knew our situation. Then I felt hot anger boil through my body like melted lava. How could he leave us like this? I balled my hands in to fists under the cover and clenched my jaws. I wanted to hit something… anything. Then my face burned with shame. Of course Daddy would not leave us if he had a choice. If I wanted to blame anyone I should get mad at myself for running my big mouth about sharing our food when we had plenty. I took a deep breath and silently asked God to please forgive me for being so selfish and now having mean thoughts. I sure didn’t want more bad times to come our way. What if Momma died too because of my mean spirit? Her back was toward me so I rolled over and snaked my arm around her middle. She smelled like Ivory soap.

“I love you, Momma” I whispered because I thought she was asleep. “Don’t worry ‘bout no presents, long as I have you that’s all I need.”

She patted my hand and her voice sounded choked when she said “Oh sweet girl, you are a blessing.”

She wouldn’t think I was a blessing if she knew my evil thoughts so I never told her about them.

Later, I guess she thought I was asleep, I felt her shoulders quiver and she stifled a sob. Momma was crying. Momma never cried except when Daddy died.

The next morning the smell of coffee perking tickled my nose and woke me. I smelled something else too but I couldn’t figure out what it was. Coffee was good enough! We hadn’t had coffee in over a week. I eased from the warm bed and the room didn’t feel as cold as usual as I stuffed my feet into my old black Converse tennis shoes with holes in the toes.

I found Momma in the kitchen frying eggs. A pan of biscuits was on the cooling rack and soft Christmas music oozed from the old radio on the windowsill. It set there because that was the only place it would get reception.

She turned and smiled “Merry Christmas! ‘Bout time you got up I thought you had decided to skip today.”

I headed to the coffee pot. “Where did we get coffee?” I reached in the cabinet for a mug “and biscuits?”

“I saved the coffee as a treat for today and you know we always have flour.”

“But what about the lard and buttermilk?”

“We got lard and I reckon water is gonna have to do instead of milk.”

She flipped two eggs on both of our plate then started making gravy.

The lid of her big canning pot, setting on the back burner of the stove, clattered softly as the steam hissed out forcing it up then down. The smell escaping with each bounce made my mouth water. “What’s in the pot?” I sneaked a pinch of a biscuit.

“Old Red.” She poured the gravy in a bowl and carried it to the table. I noticed she had covered it with her best white tablecloth.

“You killed our rooster?” I cried not believing what I had just heard.

“Yep, but he ain’t lonely in that pot ‘cause Pearl’s in there with’im.” She motioned for me to bring our plates to the table as she carried the platter of biscuits.

“You killed our hen too! Now what are we gonna do for eggs?” I could not believe she would do something I considered plain dumb.

“Sit down Caroline and let’s thank the Good Lord for this here breakfast we ‘bout to receive.”

I knew better than to disobey her even if I did think she had somehow lost her mind. I sank onto the chair and bowed my head. I kept thinking about those two chickens in the pot as she said a humble prayer.

When she said “Amen” she took two biscuits and put them on my plate beside the eggs and smothered them with brown gravy then she did the same with her own. “Eat ‘fore yore food gets cold.”

“Momma…”

“Caroline, you worry too much. The Good Lord always takes care of us. Ain’t you got food to eat this morning?”

“But what about tomorrow?”

“Tomorrow has got enough worry of its own so don’t borrow it for today. It’s Christmas, relax and enjoy what we got. Them two old chickens cost more to feed than buying eggs, now eat.”

We had just finished our breakfast when a man knocked on the door and asked Momma for our chairs. When she carried two and had me drag the other two to the door I knew for sure she had lost her mind. Maybe the cold done froze her brain.

I helped her make the chicken and dumplings without asking any more questions. She had already killed the hen and rooster and gave away our chairs so I might as well enjoy what we had left.

I heard people laughing and talking outside and Momma looked at me. She nodded, “It’s time” she said as she lifted the big pot from the stove and carried it to the door.

Once outside I saw that the men had made long tables by balancing them on sawhorses with chairs crowded around both and the women had covered the tables with sheets. Every family on the Creek had brought something to share for our Christmas dinner. The huge bowls of collards had steam wafting from them. We had black-eyed peas from one garden, lima beans from another, squash, fried okra and any vegetable or whatever someone had to share. There were huge platters of fried chicken, biscuits and cornbread. Someone had even brought two chocolate cakes and pecan pies. I held my breath unable to believe my eyes. The men had dragged logs and huge limbs from the woods behind our homes and had a huge bonfire snapping and crackling not far from the tables. It was against the fire department rules to have a bonfire inside the city limits but no one bothered to check on the Creek.

We all ate our fill and afterwards, the adults relaxed and drank coffee as they visited; telling stories of past years and swearing this was the best party yet. The children played Keep-Away with a bright red ball that someone probably got from Santa. We played chase and hide-and-seek; everyone was laughing and happy.

The sun was sliding behind the trees and the sky was light gray streaked with rose and yellow when Pastor Jones took out his guitar and began to strum the strings. Hot tears filled my eyes and I quickly turned my back and stepped into the shadows so no one could see me cry. Momma seemed to always know what I was thinking and how I was feeling she came up behind be quietly and patted my back. “Don’t be sad Caroline, he’s here. He’s right here with us in spirit.”

The men played their instruments and we sang Christmas carols and hymns late into the night as the fire hissed and popped and slowed burned itself out.

That was the best Christmas I can remember. Even though there were no fancy gifts wrapped in pretty paper we all had the best gift of all, the gift God gave us, the gift of love. This was the true meaning of Christmas; it should be sharing what you have and laughing and enjoying being with family and friends.

 

Thank you for stopping by, I hope your Christmas is filled with love and happiness and we all remember the real reason we are celebrating. God gave us His Son so we can be part of His family and share His love with all.

Please stop back soon. God bless.

Gathering

Christmas on the Creek