Archive for January 2016

A PAIR OF H-WORDS

January 30, 2016

 

Yes, times are . . .  complex.  

Rube

 

Figure it out.

All the instructions are there.

And it makes about as much sense as what we get from our culture — with “instructions”  from the entertainment-news-media.

The only thing is,  this is the only life we get.     How we figure things out is a matter of life and death –  eternal heavenly life,   eternal hellish death.     And if you haven’t noticed yet,  you really won’t get answers from the world around us.

Meanwhile,  I can highly recommend a little humorous take on the world around us from this interesting Website:   http://moonbattery.com/              I’m pretty sure he won’t mind if I link you to him.       He has short, to-the-point,  hard-to-argue-with frequent little postings.    Like  little vitamin pills  for the mind.

So, yes,  Humor clears the mind.

And then you’ll know where to find an answer.

The Answer hasn’t changed in almost 2,000 years.    We just have to be open-minded —  but being open-minded isn’t going to be very helpful if we’re not Humble.

Because when a person is open-minded without humility,  all that happens is the person steps onto his own stage – front and center!

If that’s good enough,  then you’d be able to figure out the diagram above!

It’s Sunday tomorrow.   Sunday presented to you for a reason.

 

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HOCKEY, WOLVES, AND HELP FROM ABOVE

January 26, 2016

Well, the last posting about “a walk in the park” was very nice —  well,  a reversal —  But — a private matter.  Private,  I guess, until God reveals all things on Judgment Day   —  but  perhaps things will “fixed”  by then. . . .

But let’s stay with the cold outdoors here in the Far North.   Another outdoors story.

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January 26th, last night or early this morning,  was the full moon,  the one that is called the Wolf Moon.   The  wolves are heard, ever closer to human habitation as they search for food that is getting scarcer in the deep winter.

If you’ve ever been outside, out in the open,  in the dark,  and have heard wolves howling,  you will have experienced some kind of primeval sense of fear and mortal danger.  Even if you know their cries can be heard from miles away,  you still have that sense of vulnerability.

On this planet,  humans are not so high up on the food chain.   There are far more skillful and efficient predators out there, looking for dinner.

My goodness.  What can I write next?   Where do I go from here?

This weekend, after I came home from that walk in the Spruce Tunnel,  feeling pretty happy, I  did my work,  did my duties,   then came to the family room in the evening to relax.

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This was the almost-full moon I saw out my window.   Not quite “wolfy,” I guess.   Just rather lovely.

20 degrees for five days:

Well, that’s the rule for forming strong ice.   I was heading for the fireplace,  but outside in my backyard —  the “klieg” lights came on!

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Time for a little hockey!

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Bang!   Slam!   S l i  i  i  d e !   Crack !!!       Ahhhh, the sounds of civilization!

You might notice that blue blur near one of the players feet.

Here it is again:

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That’s the new high-tech LED hockey puck – made for playing in the dark!   Hard to track with a camera, though.

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This was a multi-sensory experience.  Not only were there the loud sharp sudden sounds of a normal hockey game,  and the clean, crisp, cold air of the night,  there was the colorful blur going back and forth across the ice rink.

I love seeing my pond in use.   I love having my neighbor pop in with news and updates.  I love seeing that there is a good world out there, outside my window.

Because.    Wolves are real.   (I’m still unsettled from this weekend.)    Usually  it’s Bear that is my metaphor for the sudden unexpected attack of evil things in  life.   Once it really happened to me in the woods;  and from then on — it   c o u l d happen again;  maybe not with real bear,  but with something just as bad.

It can come all of a sudden, right while you’re feeling safe and okay.

We’re only humans.   We’re vulnerable.   We’re very weak.   We can’t make it alone without Supernatural help from above.

God is stronger.   If we are humble,  He’ll get us through.

Deo gratias.

 

 

WALK WITH ME

January 23, 2016

 

I don’t know what made me visit The Spruce Tunnel this day.  It had been a nice but challenging class this morning, but I was tired now  and very hungry,  and it was a cold, crisp day in the Far North.   But I found myself making the stop, thinking the  fresh air would feel good.

So unexpectedly I stopped the car and started off  down the familiar entrance pathway to the Tunnel.

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No skis this time, even though it was winter.   And there were plenty of other  footprints to show others had  left their skis at home too.

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I once did a photo-study of all the patterns made by boot footprints in The Spruce Tunnel.  Fascinating.   Sometimes you find interesting things when you look down, when you stop and focus on what’s very close to you.

I was wearing my warm fur-lined “short boots.”    But my friends say they look like bedroom slippers.

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Well, hmmmph!   I bought them from the Boot section of the shoe store.   They’re boots!   They keep my feet warm!

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I took a deep breath, feeling the (cold) oxygen fill my lungs.  It felt good all over.   I thought:  I could have been driving the car right now –  breathing stuffy, heated air.  I could have been home by now:  breathing dry air.   This was nicer.

I looked way up at some of the deciduous trees, bare now in midwinter.   Kept my eyes up there,  just like a kid would do,   until I was done looking.

It was peaceful, but it wasn’t quiet.     There were many interesting sounds:    little peeps, squeaks,  creaks,   lots of bird sounds.   “Someone”  was scolding me  as I walked through.  Maybe my peace was  disturbing his peace;  maybe a bird, maybe an irritated  squirrel.    Sorry, little critter –  I wasn’t intimidated;  you just sounded funny.

But I share this park with other living things.   I know.

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I saw an interesting log.

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Nobody’s home, I guess.

Questions, questions, questions.   What was I doing here?   What made me come?

And then another unexpected, decision:   of all the pathways I could have chosen to enter the Tunnel,  I chose this one, rather than my usual eastern approach.

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I was entering now a deeper stillness,  when the “peaceful feeling”  becomes a little eerie.    A  peaceful feeling becomes a spiritual feeling.   The many duties and concerns that had kept my mind so busy fell completely away, and my mind seemed to become clear and open.  I thanked God for . . .   I don’t know.  I just felt thankful.

Whatever impulse had driven me here was a good one.

And then I discovered “why”  I had come.   An unexpected purpose.   And just
as I was wondering about the wisdom of being here, alone, in a great big park
with no other person in sight,  and with no protection (whatever that would
be),   I heard  two people up ahead.

It was a man and a woman.  They were enjoying the park together.  They seemed happy, although they looked cold.    When I got closer, and smiled to them,  they asked me if I knew how much further they had to go to get to the end of the trail.   “Not far at all.”

If I had entered the Tunnel from the other way,  I wouldn’t have seen them.  So . . .  glad I could help.

8.5 two eaglesBut then our conversation began.   The lady,  the wife as it turned out,  came over to me to show me the beautiful pictures of a pair of eagles that she had recently taken.  And nearby!    The eagles were obviously a happy couple too, impersonating a pair of lovebirds.  How interesting.  I was impressed.  Such an image of majestic strength –  and yet —  life, love, bonding, babies;  just like all life on this earth.    “Abundant life!”   “Be fruitful and multiply.”

The lady went on about  her pursuit of certain birds for further picture taking, an obviously well-liked hobby of hers;  and how often she just seemed to be “led”  to the location of certain interesting or rare birds.

I learned about their motorcycle riding and an accident, one of seven, was it?   And how they were so protected that they each had only bumps and bruises,  even though their motorcycles were trashed.  And how the accident led to the fortuitous discovery of impending blindness.

They both shared many other things, all the while expressing their thanksgiving to God.  It was evident that they lived their Christian faith daily,  at every moment.

I felt a little shy, and I shyly asked them if I could take their picture.

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I wanted to remember them, to remember that this delightful encounter had really  happened.

Then it was time to go.   Just standing there had made us all feel the cold.   We said our good-byes and “God bless you”s.

There was the end of the Tunnel waiting for me, and I took one last look at the tall black spruces:

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And further way up high:

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The Spruce Tunnel is indeed a place of great beauty, deep feeling, and lofty thoughts.     I’m so glad I had made my unplanned stop here.    I felt different – and better – after the chance encounter with that happy couple.  Their bright happy spirits lifted me up and made a happy walk in the park even happier!

I’ll never see them again,  but I’ll always remember their effect on me.  And I hope I’ll try to have the same positive, unselfconscious faith-filled effect on others.

We who are believers  manifest Christ for the world around us.  We are witnesses to His love and to His Resurrection.   We show the world what Jesus is like.

Or so we should.

Leaving the Tunnel,  walking out into the wide world  —

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Finding my way back into the “normal” world —   where I hope I’ll take this experience with me and I hope it will change me, just a little.

 

 

ELIMINATING EVIDENCE

January 22, 2016

(“Imagine”  this):

What if all of your history has been deleted?

I mean,  what if all the evidence of the history of your own nation has been deleted?  No journals, diaries, or other original writings.  No books.  No documents.   Also no paintings,  sculptures,  carvings, statues – no images of any kind to illustrate anything from your history.

What if all the buildings,  synagogues,  churches, and temples were destroyed and reduced to unrecognizable rubble?

How would you prove what you know to be your history?

How would you prove what you think you know about your history?    About world history?

How long would it take before someone else with a purpose begins confusing you about what you thought you knew.

And how long would it take for that someone to tell you what you OUGHT to know?

And you have no visual aids, no objects, no books to prove them wrong.

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Here is an ancient building, a monastery really.   It’s about 1,500 years old, and is a treasure from the past.

But don’t think it’s an unused “relic.”  It’s a monastery in the Middle East dedicated to St. Elijah and it has been in continual use — Well,  here is a Christmas service from a year or two ago:

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Fairly well-attended for a war-torn area.    If you love your history,  if you love your religion,   you don’t mind not having a roof over your head.

It has just been intentionally reduced to unrecognizable rubble.   And it’s happening to ancient monuments, buildings,  temples,  synagogues, and churches throughout the Middle East.

And when they are done there . . . .where next?

 

empty man

Mr. Nobody

 

When you have no evidence of your history, you are “nobody” — a man without an identity,  because even if you can’t find your own history, you can’t see where you’ve come from,   you won’t be able to find any other history either, so you can’t choose much of a new identity.

Oh, maybe not you, you have a memory.   But those younger than you.   Teach them their identity without any visual aids?    Their history becomes just legends.   If they’re allowed to be told.

Changing the stories of history, erasing the evidence of history is happening now, around the world, to every culture.  An enormous attempt at cultural Identity Theft.

How soon will the Push-Back begin?

 

GOOD OMENS

January 20, 2016

With the loss of my mother-in-law last week,  death on my mind,  grieving,  missing out on the funeral,  issues of past family history,  I needed to take a few days off to get some perspective.   I was open.   And the “perspective”  came.

On Monday morning,   I made eggs for breakfast.   Morning:  “sleepytime”  for me.   I clumsily turned the eggs over in the frying pan and stared down at this, staring back up at me:

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I could have chosen to say,  “Well, hmm,  look at that!  I couldn’t have done that if I tried!”   But instead I chose to take it as a good sign,  a good omen for the time ahead.    My choice;   a Rohrschach pan.  My choice to be reminded of love — God’s love!

A step forward this week with a new understanding of Life and Death and the Meaning of Being Alive, and being loved.   Going forth in a world so full of love and caring from God,  that it can manifest in a pan of eggs!

Sometimes “signs” are repeated, as if to say you’re on the right track.

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I cleaned the kitchen after breakfast,  dusted the shelves… and there I discovered two little coins that Cooper had given me.   Cooper is my five-year-old grandson,  rather remarkable for maturity and spiritual insight.  (His early birth and his presence had brought an aura of peace into  Hubbie’s hospital room during his final days.)

Cooper was visiting here at Christmastime.   We enjoyed each other’s company.   But one day,  in the kitchen,  he stopped and reached into his pants pocket and said,  “Here, Grandma,  because you’ve been very good.”   And he handed me the contents of his pants pocket —  30 cents.

My first thought of course was to say, Oh no, that’s your money,  you keep it!   But he was very solemn.  He was serious.  He knows how things work.  In his mind, I had deserved his coins.  This was not the time to contradict what was going on in his mind and in his heart.  It was his gift to me.

I will never forget the eggs, which my clumsiness had formed into a heart, a message of love.  And I’ll never forget the burst of love that came out of my grandson that day.

I will pay him back manifold, someday, somehow.   And for the rest of my life I will try to live up to his opinion of me that day.

Those two little coins will never be spent at  a store.

 

A PRAYER

January 14, 2016

The death in our family;  the funeral;  the lingering duty to pray for mercy for the soul just departed — and for all souls in their many needs.

A prayer, well-thought, gives comfort when emotions intervene, and lends words for a heart touched by mankind’s situation:. 

 .

Watch, O Lord,  with those who wake,
or watch, or weep tonight,
and give your saints and angels charge
over those who sleep.
Tend your sick ones, O Lord Christ.
Rest your weary ones;
bless your dying ones;
soothe your suffering ones,
pity your afflicted ones,
shield your joyous ones,
And all for your Love’s sake.

.

 

Bar Cross in middle

A DEATH

January 13, 2016

(a political post)

So,  I’ve been gone a few days,  a lot on my mind.  A death in the family.

a coffin

To talk to you about “who” died, would reveal too much about me personally, and would expose struggles with all the variegated and complex memories that were stirred up.  Suffice it to say that I did love her.

And she was nearly a hundred years old.

She was born in a different world, a different age,  a different culture.     She was born shortly after Civilization had taken a tumble down a few stairs, finding itself on a lower level in new circumstances.     The  Titanic,  that crown jewel of human defiance against Nature, had just sunk.    The Great War had just ended,  further proving that we were not only not invincible through our scientific and technological achievements,  but showing us that  our science and technology had given us the ability to be savagely and horrifically murderous against our fellow human beings.

This was such a huge psychic blow  that it can be said the Twentieth Century started around this time.   No more wide-eyed innocent “progress.”

The Twentieth Century began as a decadent and degrading mish-mash of sexual immorality,  political brutality,  and the institutionalized economic  oppression of citizens to a scale never seen before in (recorded)  history.

This is not a symbol of “evil” —

a a highclere

It’s actually a symbol of achievement, and of a society in which the various social classes  had a working relationship – employer and employees.    Some of you will recognize this structure as Highclere Castle,   the home of George Herbert,  Lord Carnarvon,  who discovered King Tut’s tomb, so to speak,  and which was also the setting for Downton Abbey.

And so  we learned there were more issues that went on above and beyond the employment of 60 or 80 or 100 people who would otherwise be destitute.    There were issues of social change.

There is a connection between the death of my particular family member and the residents of this castle during the time of Downton Abbey.    The connection is all the social changes that  both  a real person  and fictional characters experienced.

As it turns out,  the social changes in this clueless, soul-less century did not come about naturally,  but were imposed from outside each society by those looking for power.   I like to read about this post WWI era because the radical social changes then were every bit as shocking and unnatural as the social changes imposed upon the world I grew up in, social changes which plummeted Civilization the rest of the way down those stairs.

As a young teenager I asked the same questions as the fictional servants asked of their world.     “Why is this happening?”    “It makes no common sense.”    “People are getting hurt.”   “Why is there so much social unrest?”

So let me quote Daisy,  the young kitchen helper at Downton Abbey:   She said:  “It’s the way of the modern world.   If more and more of us protest,  then things will change, won’t they.”   

Protest for the sake of change.   Change for the sake of change.

It’s what my almost-hundred year old family member saw in its first stages.   It’s what I saw in the ending stage.

a power fight

Although good social changes were already occurring naturally,  certain elements saw their opportunity and imposed their slogans and their methods onto some people, and produced revolutionary changes to their own liking.

“Power to the People!”

And when it was done,   Power was exerted in the name of the People:

a army

Once the people were stirred up with slogans,  and marched to create a new social order,   that’s exactly what they got.   A new social order of imposed social changes.

A new social order, a People’s government;  a People’s republic –

a chinese army

Those “useful idiots,”  as Lenin called them had served their purpose  —

a rev dead

Today,  social order is not  often imposed through rioting and revolution,  but gradually, slowly, softly through the means of programming,  conformity, political correctness, authoritative watchfulness of ubiquitous surveillance,  fear,   quietly herded into the proper direction through unlimited rules and  regulations.

The servants tried to make sense of why the majority of people were allowing this to happen.   I wondered why my parents’ generation were allowing this to happen.

It looked like everything had come apart.   Society had lost its mooring and didn’t know where to turn for answers.   People were conveniently  told there were no answers,  no objective truth that applied to all mankind, no natural law, no divine law that made us all equals.     An immoral,  uneducated self-referencing populace is so easy to control.  Convenient, and oh, so clever.

Behind the changes was not the guidance of a loving Creator,  but the subtle hand of imposed social and political changes.    A “hand”  that killed more than a hundred million of its own citizens worldwide in the process of “social change.”

In that coffin,  almost a hundred years of life that witnessed  almost a hundred years of godless change.

Many complex and variegated memories.

There is a lot to mourn for today, as we attempt to rebuild . . . .

ZERO AND THE UNKNOWN FUR

January 8, 2016

This will be about fur — in a minute.

But first . . .      Remember Zero, in Beetle Bailey’s unit?

Zero's smart

So . . . ?

Is he not correct?    Zero can read the same words as the rest of us and come to a conclusion that makes sense to him.    How long would it take for his friends to explain . . .   oh, never mind.

It would take lots of effort!  And a lot of words!

And words can be a problem too!

Why-English-is-fun

 

I suspect every language has its funny moments.    And sometimes we enjoy the fun:

Duck-duck-goose

(This is a common American children’s game.  The children sit in a circle while another child,   let’s say it’s you,   walks around the outside of the circle, patting each child on the head, while saying “Duck.”        “Duck, duck, duck, duck duck …”  until you decide  to pat someone on the head,  saying “GOOSE!”  and that someone has to get up a chase you around the circle and you LOSE unless you get back to that recently vacated space in the circle…..      My children in class  used to love this game!)

But  had had had had duck duck goose are words in our language and words are just about all we have to communicate with each other.

And even, in Zero’s case,  when we hear the same words,  we may not be seeing the whole picture  — or the complete story.

Words fail us.  Words escape us.  Last Sunday a friend of mine absolutely ruined the first quarter of the Bears game for me.

I had worn this scarf to church:

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I wore it with a black coat,  but she saw it and liked it — and then asked the “fatal”  question:  “What kind of fur is that?”

Uh. . . .  I know what store I bought it from.   I liked the feel of it.   It felt very warm.   It was pretty.   It was affordable.    It seems uncharacteristic of me,  but all those little details were enough for me at the time.   I bought it!    I still enjoy it.

I stumbled around for an answer for my friend, and all I could come up with is:   It’s not  … rabbit.    It’s not …ocelot.   Its . .   It’s ….   It’s like that fur trim around the robe of Ol’ King Cole ….   That mystified her.    She probably didn’t even have the same storybook that I had had as a child!     I told her I’d find out.

an ermine weasel

Half way home in the car I blurted out to myself:  “It’s ermine!”

So when I got home and right on through some of the Game,  I was at the Internet trying to find out what kind of fur this was.   The only thing I found out is that it’s unlikely it’s ermine.

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Rabbit?    Wrong feel to it.   Snow Leopard?   Well, I bought it from a Scandinavian store, and as far as I know,  there are no snow leopards in Scandinavia.

Well, I know it’s faux fur, of course.  All the good furs come from endangered species.    I just can’t get the right “word.”

So maybe,   like Zero in the cartoon,  I can make up a story that makes sense to me.

bar dissolve er

There’s a serious point to all this mildly humorous stuff.

Zero liked his own answer, and his friends would have had to work hard to give him a whole new understanding, a whole new paradigm of his world.  And I could explain to myself that since my scarf really is only fake fur,   they could make it look like anything they wanted to and even if it had been sold at a genuine Scandinavian store,  that doesn’t mean it has to be from a genuine Scandinavian animal.   Scandinavian fake animal.    But I don’t want to think that.

I read a serious essay today about Liberalism.   It’s hard for me to figure out why all their good words and good intentions lead to such disastrous results for human beings.     Freedom?    Inclusiveness?   Tolerance?   Ecumenism?  Equality?   Sustainability?   Affordable?   Fair?   Unity?    Mercy?    Safety?   Collegiality?   Democracy?

All those good words that are used as cudgels against us.     Why do they always turn out to mean the opposite of the plain meaning of those words?

The essay I read explained.    “The Girondins always prepare the way for the Jacobins.”   (Has the knowledge of history been withheld from you in government schools?)    Try this, then:   “And the Mensheviks prepare the way for the Bolsheviks.”       (Same thing, but much closer to our experience.)

If you don’t know what these words reference,  then you stand a near 100% chance of being victimized in the near future . . .   and because you are victimized,  so I will be too, even though I know our history.

The Jacobins and the Bolsheviks and the Progressives and the Gramschi-ites and the Liberals and the Socialists and the Democrats (so-called in America)  all have one method in common:     They all use words and slogans  that mean one thing to us but quite another thing to them.    And they ALL have to violate the meaning of their words by doing the opposite of their stated values,  because that’s the only way they can make events work for them.

And “them”  –  they — are now our Rulers.

If we don’t know our history and we are not wise,  then we are no smarter than Zero.   If we know our history and understand but we do nothing,  we are no more effective than Zero’s good friends.

We can tell ourselves whatever story makes sense to us — while the robbers go on and do their work.

Races have to be treated unequally in the name of equality.    Affordable healthcare is highly unaffordable to  everyone who needs a doctor.   People are taught to  be intolerant in the name of tolerance.   Our Rulers have to force us  to do things or not do things   to produce their version of freedom.

And now we must hide Truth and Danger in the name of “mercy.”

And we must destroy ourselves to be fair to others . . .

Sustainable sustains nothing and nobody.

Et cetera.

 

THE BEGINNING BEGUN – 2016

January 6, 2016

As I said in last night’s posting,  most of my Christmas decorations get packed away on Epiphany (today).   Looks funny around here.   Feels funny around here – so bare and plain and . . .   wide  open now.

Feels funny with those reindeer gone tonight, the reindeer I showed you yesterday.    Here’s where they were:

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Oh, well maybe I’m the only one who rakes her snow . . .  but, you know,  the snow was hard and icy and —

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—  I was cleaning up and cutting back the rose bushes too.  I had to rake up the mess of old leaves and little branches.

So there are wide open spaces now, inside and outside, spaces ready for whatever the new year will bring.

The Wise Men have presented their gifts to the Christ Child, and as I mused yesterday,  our best gift to give Him is — ourselves.   Our whole self.   A long time ago a man composed a prayer in which he acknowledged that everything he had,  he had received from God, so it’s only right that, now that he is a mature man and understands things,   that he give all those things back to God, to use however God wants to use them.

He returns all his personal gifts   so that they could be used by the Giver,  through him.    (id tibi totum restituo, ac tuae prorsus, voluntate trado  gubernandum  . . . . )

So I wondered about that today.   I wondered how to work all these thoughts into my new year as well as into my soon-to-be-restarted classes.   Why were we made like we were made?  Why are we like we are? Why do we have the characteristics that we do?  Why were we given so many gifts, so much potential?

What were we supposed to do with these gifts during this new year’s worth of time?   (Besides give them back to God to be used through us as He wishes.)

And then, via email, came the answer, from an email newsletter that miraculously appeared in my cell phone’s email when I was away, in the hospital with Hubbie,  during the worst month.  I don’t know how it got started, but the email newsletter, called Wisdom Hunter,  has often been right there, appropriately, when I needed it.

Here’s what came today:

Good Works

We have an assignment in 2016!     Specific good works that were assigned by God.    And though it was my desire (inspired by St Ignatius of Loyola’s prayer) to return all good gifts to God’s disposal,  I’m not just handing over a package of “stuff” — and He’s not just telling me to use these “things.”

There is power being exchanged.  One small life’s will power in exchange for all the Power of God, channeled back  through that small life.    Power that will see us through the completion of His good will, and all His assignments for us.

Whew!  Glad I cleaned up and made spaces for a whole new year!

 

JANUARY 6 – BEGINNING THE END

January 6, 2016

The “end of Christmas,”  that is.

Good-bye reindeer in my front yard.  Hope you haven’t kept too many neighbors up in the night with your bright lights.

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I woke up sometime in the middle of the night last night;  opened my eyes;  and my vision was filled with  Christmas tree lights.  I don’t know where my “consciousness” was as I was sleeping there near the tree,  but when I opened my eyes,  it was as though I was coming into this world and seeing these lights for the very first time.   They were utterly beautiful!  Each little light bulb was a separate brightly colored gem.

(No photo would do justice to the deepness of the more-than-beautiful lights….)

I think I told myself,  “Oh,  it’s so pretty!”    Like I had never seen them before.   The sensation of delight lasted for a very long time (until I fell asleep again.)   How lucky to have been sleeping just about ten feet away from the lighted Christmas tree!

I was aware that I must take it all down, now, on January 6th.   Epiphany.   the Wise Men have arrived.

I took a walk last night too –  freezing cold.   Our winter weather is here.  I saw the same neighborhood Christmas lights as before,  but this time the snow surface was frozen hard and shiny.

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Looked like Santa was on a lake.   Last chance to see him.

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My hands were getting numb from the cold,  but it was worth it —  kind of sad to think the season is over;  last chance to see the snowmen until next year — at least I hope this family decorates so well again.

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Time to put away nearly all of my own Christmas decorations.   It is the “twelfth day of Christmas”  now.

Twelve official days to think about the Incarnation of the Son of God.   (He made the Light.   He turned the Light into physical, material atoms.  Could He not visit us by making use of His own physical world?  Sure He could.)

Incarnation –   In-carnated.     Enfleshed.    With a fleshly, carnal body, like we have.   So we could see with our own eyes what God is like;  what He says;  what he does;   what He wants Love to be;  and coming with a job to do for us.    Hope!     And a smile on our faces.

With the One God like that,  with so much effort to show Himself to us,  wise people respond with gratitude and gift-giving.

Giving gifts

But I’m not that wise;  not wise enough to “make a list”  of things that I could give to show my dim understanding of the Incarnation . . .    That’s why we’re told the only thing we can do is to give Him our “all” — give to Him all that we are.

I don’t even quite know how to bring that about,  but I know He is pleased with our efforts.   Twelve Days of Christmas?     That’s hardly enough time for a proper show of joy and gratitude!

And now it’s over.

The Church doesn’t end the season completely until February 2nd, of course,  but this first phase is ending.

It’s the beginning of the end of this year’s Christmas.   Time to look forward,now, into this unknown New Year.

 

LIVING WELL IN 2016

January 4, 2016

(Just a very short note;  still “recovering” from the holidays.)

I forgot who wrote this, but I come across it once in a while:

“HE LIVES WELL WHO ALWAYS HAS OWN DEATH BEFORE HIM.”

I could elaborate on that.
But so can you.

 

AT THE ENDING OF A YEAR

January 1, 2016

You know,  a lot of things don’t end at the end of the year.   No serious issues in the world got “fixed”;  none of them ended.     No use to write about those.   We’ll see the same things again.

But closer to home, there were a few “endings.”  Holiday visits ended and the “last day” arrived:

Last chance to play with the new drone:

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Uh, the bright green thing floating in the air.

Last hours in Grandma’s state, ending at the airport.  He’s California-bound:

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Last happy moments with “uncle” –

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The airport walk puts a final end to the visit:

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Last glimpse of our little family,  Daughter in red amidst the Green of the Marching Band :

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Our  Marching Band,  heading to the Cotton Bowl.

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So . . .it’s the end of this year’s football season too.

Kind of wish we had seen more of this:

NYE didn't get there much

38 – 0

Sheeesh.

sad football   Kind of wish we had played while we were out there on the field.  It wasn’t that Alabama was so good  (ahem);    it’s just that we were so . . . not good.     Season’s ended.    Good.

But the game gave us an opportunity for a little New Year’s Eve party.

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(Sorry for the blur, guys — just preserving a bit of your privacy.  )

It was fun being with friends as the year ended.  We watched the painful ending  of our football season together,   along with the ending of the year,  and the ending of any attempts at dieting for a while.   That’s what parties are for ??  !!

And then the little party ended, and all I have is the aftermath at the end of the night:

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Not much food left, pizzas are gone,  glasses are empty, “Sparty”  blanket is empty and alone, and the fireplace is on its last log.

The Old Year is Ending:

old year new year

Time to let go and get on with a whole New Year!

And I’d better stop writing now and bring in the extra drinks that were cooling on the back deck;  our “warm spell” is ending too and winter weather has finally arrived.

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