Archive for the ‘Seasons changing’ category


December 17, 2019

TWO PHOTOS for you:

I hope this isn’t too melodramatic.

Rose Winter 400

Every beautiful rose will come to the “winter” of its existence.    I do love roses of every color.  This was my red  one.   I don’t know what makes roses so perfect,  but a fully developed blossom .  .  .  really  is.

If you only knew and believed that your Creator sees you as the beautiful, perfectly formed rose that He made you to be!   (Remembering, most horticulturalists are men; most gardeners,  most developers of fine strains of the rose;   flowers are not just for women – except maybe if we don’t see beyond  our Hallmark card culture.)

Of course we all mess up, injure, wound, and muddy up the rose that we are,  but God provides for a way in the Church to be cleansed and healed so at the end of our lives,  we can be  ready to be called back to him when our winter comes.

Oh, this isn’t supposed to be about “flowers,”  but about reaching our end and about my apology for leaving long gaps between postings –  during which I’m reaching my end, apparently, barring Divine intervention.    Sometimes the pain is just too great and too distracting to make a blog posting.

And then,  while I can, I’ll flood you with postings.  Sorry about that.

So that’s the “ENDINGS”  part.


Here is the BEGINNINGS:

JOSEPH 400cr

Pardon a grandma’s pride,  but that’s Cooper, right in the middle in the red and white robe.   A perfect  Joseph.   And that’s a cherub of a “Mary”  to his right.  They make a nice couple!

He is near the beginning of understanding who Mary and Joseph are and of the significance of the coming of the Holy Infant,  Christ our Lord.   Cooper is one-half Jewish, as my friends know.   Coopers Daddy is Jewish.   A “secular Jew, as they say. A cultural Jew.    In a way,  he is at the beginning of his understanding of the promise of the coming Jewish Messiah too.

The Jewish Messiah was foretold in Genesis 3,  and later by Moses where you will find in your Bibles the promise and hope for the “Prophet” with a capital P in the book of Deuteronomy;  and elsewhere in the Old Testament.      We know that in the first century the Messiah was recognized by many,   and –  since humans are slow to understand and implement God’s intentions,  the entire first generation of Christians were Jewish.    They had to hold a special convention (Acts 15)   in order to agree to allow non-Jewish people into the Church.

And then the injunction to preach the Gospel to “every nation”  really took off.

So I thanked Cooper’s Daddy for the photo and said Cooper made a wonderful Joseph, “the foster-father of Jesus.”

Beginnings.    No matter where you are in your life cycle,  you can “begin”  to understand more this Christmas season.





May 2, 2019


Yesterday was May 1st.   May Day.   (I seem to be running a day behind,  but nevertheless, May Day happened . . . )

Certainly, the origins of  May Day celebrations can be traced back to our pagan and agricultural past.   The signs of Spring is a joyous thing.  It signifies ongoing fertility and it was celebrated with all the pagan “fertility”  actions, if you know what I mean – including also a dance around the Maypole that was generously decorated with flowers, the sure sign of Spring.

Even after Christianity came to Europe, it was proper that we took note of “May Day,” in honor of God’s providential care of us.     Spring again!    New life again!

may girls

We can honestly welcome signs of a new generation of “flora and fauna” – that keeps us fed and keeps the human race going.   It is an act of humility to truly acknowledge our dependence upon Him. *

Flowers also appear in our joyful thanksgiving in our churches called the May Crowning.

may giving

By our faith in Jesus,  we  acknowledge Him as the source of our new and everlasting life — our second birth.     Through him we are “born from above,”  as it says in John, chapter 3.   Young girls, all dressed up in their Sunday best,  bring flowers to some representation of Mary, the Mother of  Jesus.

The month of May is a beautiful time to honor the Incarnation of Christ through His Mother with flowers.    mary crowned


One time here in The Spruce Tunnel I presented the traditional flower of each day in May.    I would like to do that this year . . .   (I doubt my health and stamina — please continue your prayers for me —  but I remember it made the month of May so happy!)

God the Creator:   “In Him we live and move and have our being….”   — and that’s a joyful thing!

DIY:    You, personally,  can take part in the acknowledgment of  “May” and all it brings,  even if your church or your group of friends or your workplace – or whatever –  doesn’t.    Joy and celebrations and meanings come from within you.

I hope May Day doesn’t pass you by.   I wish you all joy!   Or at least a smile!!



  .   *  (The Puritans — and Puritan-minded people — could not “baptize” this pagan holiday into a Christian testimony to the wonders of God through nature;  they could not lay aside in their minds the pagan origins of the ceremonies.  Today’s modern  “wiccans”  and other pagan wannabes,  modern druids, etc., who have recreated what they think was our pagan past,  also use the Maypole as a witness to their beliefs.)

Two pathways that branch off from Christianity:    Puritans and Modern Pagans.


March 27, 2019


Kind of an explanation;  kind of a diary entry record for the Spruce Tunnel.


“Into each life some rain must fall . . .”   Remember that old saying?     It’s true, of course,  but , oh, such a gentle picture compared to the deluge that real life can give us sometimes.


It became a song, too, in the 20th century.  Actually, the Inkspots did the nicest rendition,  to my ear.  Here’s their three-minute song, if you have the time.   (Bonus:  the wonderful voice of Ella Fitzgerald!)


Yes,  “Too much Has fallen in mine….”

So:     Sorry I’ve been gone so long.

Old Hag JPEG 90There’s been  a lot for a “old lady” to cope with.     Pain:  lots and lots and lots and lots of pain (self-inflicted; my fault)   and  breakdowns and home repairs and new studies to prepare for and . . .

Um . . .  that picture is not me, exactly, but here’s what I’ve been up to.

And here’s what started it:

branch cutters

They’re heavy!

Especially when you have to hold them up above your head,  arms extended:

branch cutting thick

And especially when you want to cut thick branches, way  high over your head…it’s already hurting me. . .  and then I really wanted to push those blades together and cut that thick branch….

And . . .  blam!

branch cutting up

Pushed those things together with all my might and ripped and tore things inside my chest, which is already home to a pretty bad disease.  Who knows what happened in that moment,  but the result, the pain, was with me for weeks.   I think those branch cutters severed nerves and tendons and ligaments and bones . .  .

But I really love to work in my back yard.

You wouldn’t think there was much to do in the early Spring, here in the Far North,  but the snow is gone . . .  only ice:

Deck Right Mid-March 2019

It’s not very pretty, lookinginto my back yard.  Old wrinkled ice,  brown grass, and bare trees,  but it’s a sign of Spring — and a sign that there will be a lot of outside work to do in the coming days.

Going to be pretty in places, though.


Crocuses arrived.     How are YOUR daffodils doing?

While I was moving about the house, trying hard not to move my sore arms and shoulders and chest, my garbage disposal failed.   Had to get a new one.

Then the furnace failed.

furnace repari

Didn’t have to get a new one . . .  thought I would have to.  So that was good news.
Double good news – the furnace repair man repaired my hot water heater.  Didn’t know it was broken!

Very nice furnace repair man who went over and above his call of duty.    Of course his extra time and parts were on the bill — but it was worth more than that.  An act of kindness.    I need to Pay It Forward.

spigot   Speaking of “water,”  I made the pretty big decision to have a reverse osmosis system put into my house.   For health.   Or at least for the hope of healing.     It’s not the purity of the water I was after,  but the alkaline.  The installer has it set at 8.8 pH —  quite alkaline.    I’d been buying alkaline water anyway at the price of $2 or more per 1 1/2 liters  and drinking about two a day.

I never did want to add that up per month.      That little spigot will save me lots of money.

The sweater is done and sent on to the High Sierras.

Sweater Sent


Next big (complicated) endeavor –  Our Bible study classes came to an end of one project, and we are turning now to a new one, a study of Calvary.

Bible Rosary and Glasses 270

I thought I knew most everything that happened there,  but I chanced upon a small book called The Six Miracles of Calvary.     My goodness!    What a reward for dusting off my bookshelves!    I thought I’d get it read in an hour or two and then pass it on,  but it was such a treasure trove of insight that I knew I must share it with my classes.

So I’m creating “Lesson Plans.”    Old teacher-habits die hard.      It’s keeping me away from the computer (and from blogging)  but this is a welcome task.     I feel sorry for my classes:  I won’t be able to bring to them half as much as I’m learning from this little book.  Deus vult.

Perhaps during Holy Week I can summarize it for you.

We’ve all endured a “terrible’  funeral.  The loss of a good friend from our class.   I don’t have the words to describe him;  good man;  gentle with us;  smart,  full of faith in God his Savior;  loved the Church;  loved and honored and served at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass;   knowledgeable and generous with his knowledge;  and funny!    The sense of humor that hits you a few seconds later with a big impact and makes you see things through his funny lens.      Sorely  missed.   (Oh, I guess tghose are a few words to describe him….)

We’ve managed to have some recorder practice sessions, my musical friend and I.   Sometimes at her house, sometimes at mine.   And then comes the dessert.   She always, always sets such a lovely table;  seasonal and pretty.

Vicki good centerpiece

This was Winter berries and cardinal.

The “dessert” is superb.

Vicki's Spring Table 370

We always try to please each other with special food.    This was a lemon cake with raspberry sherbet –  Spring tastes!     Do try it sometime.  It’s one of those combinations that is better than the sum of its parts.

My turn today.  I served a homemade almond  cheesecake,  thick and rich and pretty good tasting, along with homemade peanutbutter cookies — well, that’s not a usual combination but it worked —  and some Fair Trade Organic Guatemalan  coffee.    The coffee was excellent.


How can I bake with wounded shoulders and chest?   Well,  thanks to God, the Great Physician, and with appreciation to St. Jude,  the pain has subsided.  So much of it has subsided that I’m beginning to think more is healing up in there than just the  injury.

I’ll let you know.


Meanwhile,  I’m back in business . . .   Ordinary life:

I have my Brackets completed and well on their way to . ..   well, pretty good success.   I’m not a basketball fan, but much to my surprise, I’m enjoying the NCAA Playoffs this year!

BRACKET Mueller Madness

Not those brackets!   I’ve been listening to the news too much — comments later.

Back to ordinary life in the Spruce Tunnel too.

“Random thoughts,”  as it says.






March 16, 2019


It will be Spring in less than a week.

This week we’ve seen a couple of major blizzards in the Rockies and in the Northern Plains.  Whiteouts.  Thousands of cars stranded in the snow on the Interstates.

Yesterday while driving I was caught in an interesting storm:


We had strong winds,  stronger gusts,  four tornadoes,  heavy rain, occasional snowflakes  and an extremely heavy hailstorm.    My car rumbled across the hail stones on the street and I had no traction on the slippery marble-size balls.   I do not understand why the thousands of  hard sharp “cracks”  on the windshield didn’t result in actual cracks and chips in the glass.  My car seems to be all right.

We saw a few snowflakes today;  more promised for tomorrow.

Out West in the High Sierras,  my grandson is still dealing with snow.  I mean  SNOW.  I saw a photo of a mountain road near him,  familiar to me because it’s the route I take on my way to church when I’m out there:

Tahoe bank


Here’s an aerial view of the road, further on, that leads to Squaw Valley.

Tahoe rd to skiing


What it probably looks like from in your car:

Tahoe road 1


Just in time, I guess,  I finished  Cooper’s winter sweater:

Sweater Sent

The cardinal sits on the pocket.   Cooper can put his hands into either side, and I lined it with red fuzzy yarn to keep his fingers warm,  just in case he steps outside.   The little cardinal is chirping out the word  “Joie!”     After Cooper’s stay in France last Fall, he loves to say French words.

Sweater Label

He is a special little boy, full of inner “Joy.”

And he doesn’t seem to mind  the snow all around him.   I’ll be losing my back yard snow cover pretty soon, by Spring, I’m sure.      But he’ll have his snow cover long,  long after Spring arrives.

Spring.  Is.  Coming.   .  .  .  Probably.


November 18, 2018

(Sorry for the absence;  “body” failure again.   I’m getting better, I think . . .)




For my “record,”   that is.    We  have about one more month of official Fall on the calendar, but around here in the Far North I was reminded how wintry and short Fall can be.   Just a little while ago  I was washing my windows at a gas station  and having a little trouble . . .  the window washing fluid was freezing on the windshield!

(I thought they made that washing fluid with anti-freeze or alcohol or something,  something that doesn’t freeze.)

So with time passing so quickly,  I wanted to make a record of Fall things here on the Spruce Tunnel so I can remember what this year was like.

Here was one hint of the presence of Fall:

Fall Geese in sky

The geese are overhead practicing their V formations,  above  our local Big Ten university crop fields.   (This university started out as an agricultural college.)    I was in my car when the sky filled with V’s .   By the time I got my camera going this was all I could capture,  but believe me,  it’s an impressive sight.  A force of nature, replayed twice a year, for ages and ages.

(I know;    I’m not supposed to take pictures when I’m driving but . . .  I think I was stopped at a stop sign on those country roads for this picture. )

My own wild “bird” in the back yard:

Fall Blue Heron in b yard 370


A few weeks ago it was Harvest Time on the old back deck:

Parsley Picking

I grow my herbs out there where they’re handy to add to my salad bowls (or sieves, sometimes.)

I looked down and was surprised to see a  beautiful  “modern art” type view of the parsley:

Parsley dots

You must take beauty where you can find it.    Fortunately,  beauty is all around us,.

I cannot forget this Fall  harvest activity:

Pumpkin The apple orchard apples.jpg 370

My Recorder-Friend (see next paragraph)  told me about an apple orchard just a couple miles from my house.    My little family drove over there and picked galas,  honey crisps, and a new honey crisp hybrid developed by the orchard owner, who just happens to be an agricultural professor at out “local Big Ten” university.    The most delicious apples!   guess a doctorate in “apple growing”  produces good results!!

SAMSUNG     Because of kitchen work  and my own not-feeling-too-well this Fall,  my friend and I had to miss a few of our recorder practice sessions.  We tried to have as many outdoors in her gazebo as possible,  knowing full well the weather was going to “turn” —  “permanently”  for the late Fall and winter.

But we managed a few practice sessions, and as usual, my friend set a beautiful table for our après music tea time.

Fall Recorder Table

Simple, elegant, and oh-so-apple-y delicious!

There is much to do outdoors to get ready for our Winter freeze.    I tried this summer to Do As The Romans Do:


That is,  spread salt over vegetation (crops and fields) of their enemies so that nothing will ever grow there again.     Like moss.

Salted  bricks.  We’ll see next Spring if that worked.

Then there was Fall weather for sure:

FALL Day.jpg 370

Snow on fallen leaves.   It’s not neat.  It looks messy.   And it reminds me that I cannot (must not)  rake leaves right now.

(I will remember this Fall as a frustrating time of not being able to do one of my favorite activities: raking leaves.   It was not “advisable.”   Not yet.  Not this year.)

With snowfall one day and “warmer” weather the next,  the little forest behind my yard was strewn with “white logs.”

White logs 350

Now the serious holidays are coming:    Fall to Winter –  Thanksgiving to Christmas .   Football to football playoffs!

Fall to Winter;  days of darkness —   but here’s where I  live,  this is what I see when I take my long walks and I’m just about to return home:

Home and Heart Trees.jpg 380

See the heart?     The almost heart that the trees make?    That’s where I live,  for all the seasons.

Deo gratias.











September 10, 2018


New beginnings for me – and for you!

I was reminded of the “glories of September” by a recent news article reporting a “study” that found that – in general – people  are intellectually brighter in the month of September.  It was one of those click-bait articles, I think, because it didn’t have much substance in it, nor did it tell exactly how the study was done to reach such a conclusion.

Nevertheless,    September has always been a time of New Beginnings for me.   I thought I’d just re-post most of what I had written a couple years ago – because it’s still all true!



bar blue flowers


September !    September is a reward for being alive!!!     (Around this household.)

We made it through the worst of summer!    The annoying heat and humidity is lifting,  promising the cool, crisp air soon to come;  the skies are blue,  the stars in the night are easily visible again now that the veil of humidity  is thinning.  Some of us become more active in this clean, cooler air!

Here in the Far North we begin once again to share our little city with its Big Ten university with 40,000 “foreigners” – students from every part of this country and others.    Once you’re resigned to the influx of students,  you can accept their  arrival  and all that it brings;  and their attempts to navigate our traffic patterns, lanes, and signals, frequently    passing from the far right lanes diagonally across traffic to make a suddenly necessary left-hand turn.

driver bang

As long as you’re not in their pathway,   you can just smile fondly at the newcomers.       “Here they are again.”

You remember that you must suddenly share stores and restaurants with 40,000 more people,  many of which cannot speak English.    It’s kind of interesting to hear a small, polite, and rather timid voice coming from somewhere beneath shoulder level, asking you to reach something from a top shelf,  or to find some item on their list – which seems to mystify them anyway.   And the request mystifies you too,  because they may or may not be speaking English.

So:  new weather patterns. more easily endured;  new students arriving;   and, of course –  a new football season!       I’ve seen our Spartans back-to-back with da Bears — what a glorious weekend on television!       A new season with the promise of many more games to come.

(Update from this past weekend:  BOTH my teams lost in the last moments of their games.   Sheeeesh.)

It’s a whole new year!

Anyone who has ever gone to school feels the promise of a whole new school year coming up.    We advance one new higher grade in school.    In the university we advance one year closer to our professional goal.

For Hubbie and me who were teachers,    our professional careers wouldn’t let us forget that  “this is another brand-new year.”       There is an eagerness and a thrill upon seeing your new students in September.    (No mistakes yet!  No frustrations yet!   It’s good.    I’m good.  Everyone’s good!)

As a matter of fact,  although contemporary calendars  tell us that the new year begins in January,  “September”  reminds us that other civilizations begin their year at other times:  the Romans, for instance began their year in March, giving the seventh month its name:  Sept-ember.

poms  And in the Jewish calendar  THIS month,  September,  contains the beginning of a whole new year before God,  Rosh Hashanah.      Of course,  they begin it a little more seriously than we begin our new calendar year soon-to-be seven days of solemn soul-searching,  forgiveness, and restitution where possible.   A whole new year’s worth of time is, after all,  a gift from God.     And then they’re ready!

I have plans for my own personal new year too.  I’m a little shy about telling them to you,  but I can just say that it involves increasing my intellectual and artistic skills.    Some very serious self-discipline involved here.   But it IS    “my new year.”   My birthday is sometime this month.

Morning Glory

I enter a whole new decade of uncharted territory with this birthday.       “I’ve never been this old before!!!!”

But someone reminded me that right now today I’m still as young as I’m ever going to be. (I hope that helps)      And I can say that on  each day of my life, as long as God gives me heartbeats for my body to use.


Stay tuned.     There are a lot of other wonderful things in September!


I heard recently that of the trillions of cells we have in our body,  all of them die off and replace themselves in the space of a hundred days.    Three months – and you have  a new body ( depending on what you’ve been putting into your body for those hundred days).   I’ll let you know more about this in  November!


December 6, 2017

We all experience it –  at least up here in the Far North –  that transition from Fall to Winter.  From morning to night – So beautiful!

I woke up one morning . . .  opened my eyes . . . and this is what I saw out of my window:

Morning Leaves

I wanted to close my eyes again  (as usual)  but the trees were so pretty, I had to get up to get my camera  just to hold on to what I was seeing.

Well, it was nice,  but “nice” comes with a price.  As always.

When I finally did get up, I confronted my front window and  realized there were more leaves.   I must unconsciously like leaves.

Leaves on curtains

Later in the day,  outside:

Daytime leaves

More leaves.  It’s  a problem this year.    We’re all trying to keep our lawns raked, but the leaves are stubbornly staying up on the trees this December, coming down a few at a time, enough to keep our lawns . . .  unraked.

Lawn and Leaves

It looked nice like that for one day.   Then it looked like under the rake, as though no one even owned a rake.

A lot of time spent on hard work,  only to have your work “disappear.”     You have to keep doing it!

Clip Advent 1     Advent:   Christ is coming – Winter is coming.    Work and preparation  for both.    Spiritual and physical preparation.

Son has helped to get me ready for the coming of winter,  here –

Woodpile 1

Handy right outside my front door;  and plenty of back-up –

Woodpile 2

Looks neat and ready,  right?    But it got that way with hard, physical work:  chainsaw; wedge and sledge hammer;  splitter thing; saw, maybe;  lots of lifting, dragging, carrying, hauling, and stacking.

(Gee –  do you think “feeding him”  was thanks enough?)

I want to make this about having an Advent Attitude,  but all I can show you is that preparation is worth it:

Woodpile burning

Chilly nights;  cozy fire.

One more set  of preparations.   Here’s that front window again.

Front window leaves

Advent becomes Christmas.     We’re slowly getting ready.     The manger scene is mostly empty,  but the blue-green light shows the way.

It’s there, a light in all of us,  waiting.

He comes.





September 23, 2016

Well, I had a camera fail –  a Samsung 7 camera fail, just so that’s out there.    For the past five days,  all the photos I’ve taken come out . . .   gray.   And even the ones I can see on my camera won’t “send.”    

It’s righted itself now,  apparently,  but you don’t want to see a Test Shot of my kitchen table.

But I didn’t want to miss the passing from Summer to Fall.     That’s always a Big Marker for me because I have a birthday coming up in a few days –  just a little into Fall.   But this birthday is a new kind of a one for me –  I’ve never been THIS old before!  I think I’m feeling a little shaky.

And I’m thinking of all the things I’m leaving behind at this stage of my life.

But I’ll talk about seasons of the year instead.   Here’s one of the nicest things that I will be saying good-bye to — our recorder music in the summer outdoors:


Well,  we think we make lovely music.  Angelic music!    Beautiful baroque.

Our music setting was certainly beautiful –


Greens and greens and greens,  lawns, shadows, and forest.    I walk across that little area and on into my friend’s lovely gazebo –


That little   white roundish (octagonal?)  structure is where we play our music.

 A light summer refreshment after we’ve tired ourselves out  –


I think my friend won’t mind if I place her on this page.   She’s pretty,   the gazebo is pretty,   the forest outside is pretty,   the summer days were pretty –


Our music in the gazebo was the “prettiest” memory of this whole summer – passing now.   I’m sure I’ll be remembering the tranquility our summer music at times during the coming ice and snow and freezing winds.


   Early signs.     Many of our trees now are part yellow and part green;  part orange and part green;   part red and part green.

  We’ve got some beauty of a different kind coming.



May 23, 2016

Spring might be nice where you are,  but here in The Spruce Tunnel,  it is proceeding with much difficulty and many demands.   Only a few more weeks of Spring left.   

What I’m doing here tonight is “backing up” into my own domestic affairs before I take on some  horrendous current issues.   I’m  pausing to take a deep breath, so to speak.  One last look at the home front before I do some serious Reporting Duty.

It’s beautiful, of course;   Spring things:


It’s just another . . .  tree.  Or maybe bush.    In full spring bloom.  I walk by  it three times a week on my way into the church office.   It reminds me to be aware of all the other trees and bushes that are flowering now,  each in its own time.  One week the whites;  next few days the pinks come out;  then those bright yellow bushes;  then the purples and the deep purples.  Lilacs are in bloom now too.

I’m not much of a botanist.

But this year –  in  addition to the “spring”  garage sale which took so much effort and strength these last two weeks;  in addition to all the repairmen who’ve had to come to the house (four? in the last week?);  in addition to “spring weather”  toppling trees onto our power lines, so that we’ve had three power outages in the last eight days;  in addition to mowing a thick, enthusiastic lawn – frequently ! – making the lawn mower seem extra heavy;   in addition to an abundance of hearty weeds that are on the attack;  and in addition to my bi-annual spring septic tank maintenance which requires shovel and muscles (only one of which I have enough of) . .  .  in addition to all that,  I get THIS:

Yellow rain

Yellow Rain!     It’s coming from the trees above and landing on my cars that have to be parked out in the driveway, temporarily.   I’m not even going to flatter those overhanging trees with their dainty spring-green leaves  looking so pretty by posting a photo of them.  You’d think they were, oh, so nice with fresh young leaves. . . .

But during these two weeks they’ve been dripping yellowish something on every object down below.

Yellow side view

Can’t see out of that windshield unless I scrub it first.

Yellow blue car top

That’s the roof of the blue car, also thickly coated.

So to weeding and shoveling and mowing,  add washing two cars.

Only a few more weeks of Spring left.   

Then comes my least favorite season of the year.


May 4, 2016

….  and other May Timing.

(May the Fourth be with you;    and of course, a greeting like that from me would mean the Force that is that inexorable and constant force of Grace from your Creator,  calling us all back to Him, and to a life lived well, in His will, and with the help of His Grace.)

But I like Star Was too.

May is a month of many significant occurrences.    Let’s see if I can do them in order.

May First is the day Christendom remembers St. Joseph,  the foster father of Jesus,  spouse of Mary, who watched over the Holy Family,  guiding them through danger  and   providing for them.   It is necessary for a (Jewish) father to train his sons in some skill so that they can make a living and in turn provide for their own families.

Hence, we can say that Jesus, too, was a carpenter,  as St. Joseph was.   (a  “technon”  in Greek:  a builder, a general contractor, perhaps, as well as carpentry skills.)   Joseph’s trade skills and his labors are part and parcel of his dignity.   Our work, our labors, our jobs,  give us pride and dignity.   ( If you have a job,  you are not being “oppressed.”)

And so on May First we honor the dignity of workers through the example of St. Joseph.  It is said of Joseph that he was a Just man.   Learn from him,  learn fatherly skills from him; learn to respect the man in your house,  the father of your children, the head of your household.

May the First is also the world’s celebration of  burdensome and murderous  forms of governments that oppress “Workers”   by using and ruling over the Working Class.  A celebration that is sometimes called “May Day,”   and ironic cry for help.

May 2nd is the day we celebrate the life of St. Athanasius,  who fought tirelessly for the Truth of Church teachings,   in spite of almost universal opposition, several exiles,  excommunications from weak Church leaders. . .  and still he persisted –for the sake of succeeding generations.

May 3rd we celebrate the Finding of the True Cross – an interesting event, but hardly recognized as significant in today’s busy, distracted, and skeptical  world. (and, no,  the Emperor Constantine was not quite a Christian at this time, and he did NOT force the Roman world to become Christian, nor did he change Church teachings by mixing them with pagan religions.  If you want to refute “history,”   start there.)

May the Fourth . . .  is fun.   But it is also deadly serious for me, personally.   Today is the day we remember St. Monica.    Mother of unceasing prayers and tears.   Mother of Augustine,  saint eventually.    For those of you who know me,  enough said.

Yes, each day in May has some significance.   The whole month is the Month of Mary.    Dedicated to her and her attractive attributes.     Last year I did a series of  flowers, one for each day for her,  each one exemplifying a lovely attribute of the Mother of Jesus.   When the series was over,  I discovered a month was not long enough.   If you’d like to be charmed by some loveliness,  you can check out the archives:  2015, May.

We have Mother’s Day this month.   I hope some sentimental tears are shed by sons and daughters.

There are several birthdays in my  immediate family.

May 13th will be the next really huge Remembrance.    It may have utmost significance for our world.   This year is the 99th anniversary of a strange and important visitation from Heavenly beings to the three children in Fatima, Portugal.   These “beings”  were St. Michael,  the head of the Armies of Heaven who fight against the enemies of God;  Mary,  herself, with most important information;  and then a glimpse of Jesus and of St. Joseph.

99 years ago.    Next year will be 100, a significant and common grouping of years marked out by humans to signify a discreet and identifiable period of time.    Instructions were given 99 years ago.  Prophecies were made.   Proofs were given, witnessed in the end by 70,000 people,  photographed, and not all in the immediate vicinity.   And then Warnings were given if instructions weren’t carried out, individually and by the Church.

As far as I can see, in these past 99 years,   few have heeded the Instructions . .  . and warnings.

So what comes next year when the 100-year period has ended?

Finally, and appropriately,  the month ends with Memorial Day, where we remember those who have died defending our country in times of War.  Most likely we will not be in a world war in this year’s May.

I hope this won’t be the last peacetime Memorial Day.

Just . . . plant some flowers and vegetables somewhere on your property.    It’s time for that here in the Far North.      Plant some Beauty and Joy and Peace and, above all:   Hope in God, that He is in charge of things.



April 21, 2016

Springtime in the Far North – finally –  and with it comes some annual chores:


Kind of a messy overview of my annual spring task,  which is to add some kind of blue dye to the water to prevent an overgrowth of algae —  which uses up the oxygen that the fish need.   The dye prevents some of the  sunlight from penetrating the water, thus preventing the overgrowth growth of plants that shouldn’t be there.

I always worry about putting the dye into the home of the goldfish.   I know it mixes in after a while, and dilutes itself,   but I didn’t want to dump the dye onto the goldfish.       Little critters saw me at the edge of the pond and kept following me,  though.

It takes a while for the dye to spread out into the pond.    That’s not “sky,”  that’s just the reflection of the trees in the different colors.


But then the pond becomes a beautiful blue in the sunlight:



Blotchy blue at first,  then a nice Caribbean blue:



Blue  +  gold = green?    Every year I fear I’m going to change the color of the goldfish.   But it never happens.   They just swim around looking like exotic tropical fish in their  newly “decorated”  habitat:


They’re doing fine.

Deo gratias.

And thanks also for  this backyard pond which produces a sense of natural serenity for us here.

I’m the caretaker; the pond can be a lot of work,  but I don’t mind.


April 6, 2016

Weather humor:  as in “this must be a joke.”


Every Spring  the ducks come back and  bring such  a sense of serenity to my back yard.     When they’re swimming in the pond or resting on the bank it seems that everything must be all right;  no problems;   peace and safety.  Nature  at its nicest.

But . . .   they’re usually not resting on snow.   Sometimes they are.     I’ve seen snow on their backs as they swim in a surprise spring snowstorm.    But not usually.

The weatherman has a big job here in the Far North at this time of the year:


He’s got to be prepared for everything.   It’s kind of fun.

We had sunshine yesterday,  and it rained too;  and snowed;  and I think there was a little ice storm or sleet after midnight.    Same thing a couple of other days last week:  rain, snow, sleety stuff,  sunshine for a while …  and the weatherman threw some hail in there too on one of those days.      The days are windy – and not windy.

No,  it’s not “climate change.”  It’s not “extreme” weather.   It’s just typical.

And it’s fun.    You might as well give up planning what to wear.   If you go outside you’re going to get rained on, then you’ll get hot;  and you’ll have to hold your winter scarf around your neck when the wind blows the snow around.

If you don’t mind all that,   it really is a funny sort of weather joke.

Seasons changing;   the world is fully alive.   And fun!



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.



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.


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


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.


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.



November 18, 2015

Now comes a period of some heavy introspection.

Seen through the eyes of autumn duties of a homeowner —

This is the story of my home:

Sandstone house

Home:     A man.   Or a woman.  Or a man and a woman.   Man and woman and children.    Later,  man and woman, children moved out.   Then . . .  woman.


One day this summer Son “gifted me” with this beautiful lawn — or rather the nice, even stripes on the lawn.   I was having trouble doing the whole yard by myself (for a while this summer)  and he took over the hard outdoor work, setting up a nice lawn for me to enjoy.

I’ve learned that,  for anything valuable,  there is a lot of work to do, not just to set it up,  but to maintain . . .


I like using this kind.   It’s quieter and the lawn seems to like it,  if you’re sensitive to “outcomes.”     Our marriage was rather easy to “set up” but required constant, sometimes costly maintenance,  and you had to always be sensitive to the results of what you were doing.

Eventually,  sunset comes.


And the leaves fall off the trees.



And it’s time to pick up the pieces.    You know?




One of my favorite photos of Hubbie is of him, several  years ago,  raking leaves.   He shouldn’t have been doing it because he was already struggling with his heart condition,  but I think he was enjoying a beautiful Fall day as much as I enjoy this season too.  Besides,  he was wearing my favorite shirt that I liked to see him in:  a soft, light tan and brown flannel shirt.  I could hardly keep my hands off of it!      He liked it too, probably because of all the hugs he got!  But I ran in and got my camera because I wanted to remember him like that,  that day,  raking leaves.

Last night’s work was just the light “cleaning up.”  I had done a lot of the more serious, heavy leaf-raking in the weeks before.    I enjoyed working in the evening.  It was somewhat warm, a little windy.  Good surroundings to do some thinking and sorting things out while I raked the leaves.

If felt like “clearing away” the last debris lying on the lawn,  also lying around in my mind.



But I never rake leaves, now, without thinking of Hubbie, and the last Fall season of his life.

I had made an enormous leaf pile as things were getting darker.    I love to rake leaves.   Strange, huh?  Good honest exercise, fresh air,  and the repetitive work that is so good for thinking.

But Hubbie had a different idea.   For some reason,  he liked to use the very loud,  very heavy . .  . leaf blower!     He bought it.  He liked it.  And that was okay until five years plus two weeks ago.

Beginning of November, 2010.    His heart was so weak.  He had so little strength yet, and he knew something that none of us knew, or wanted to know.     I had become very protective of him, or of his heart.   I told him that at this stage, “exercising your heart”  doesn’t make it stronger, like other muscles;  it makes it weaker,  using up what function is left there.

And so that day, five years and two weeks ago,  I went  outside and  got him to stop using that heavy, noisy,  irritating thing;  and he agreed to come in and “take a rest.”

I fed him —  my “secret weapon”  to make him sleep for a while.   Oh, yes, I was all crafty ulterior motives back then,  anything to protect that heart of his.

And a couple hours later, while I was busy somewhere else in the house,  I heard a familiar sound.

The leaf blower again.

This time I rushed outside and actually grabbed the leaf blower out of his hands.  I had never done anything so bold before;  so decisive;  so certain.   I didn’t act that way around him.    (Sensitive to the outcomes,  remember? I know what my “lawn” likes.)

We had a talk.   We were inexperienced and innocent about things like “terminal health.”

We decided to call his doctor the next day and ask for “a prescription for oxygen,”  like the oxygen which saved his life a few years before when we were up on a mountaintop, attending our daughter’s wedding.


That’s us.  8,300 feet up, wedding site accessible only by ski lift.    It suited the young couple’s lifestyle.    But not Hubbie’s struggling heart.   He needed an oxygen tank.

It worked then . .  . .









March 28, 2015

This really is just a personal note — for future reference.  

One of the “random thoughts”  that arises in The Spruce Tunnel is that springtime is not all bunnies and daffodils.   There is a lot of outdoor  work coming up and I need to start thinking about what has to be done.    I’ll refer back to these photos to help with the “central planning.”

It all looks good, at a quick glance.   The snow is gone here in the Far North.    The house survived.


But this is the pretty little flower garden right out my front door:

SAMSUNGPretty little flower garden not.    Many trees were taken down last Fall,  right before the snow came.   Lots of debris revealed after the snow goes.

And all those tree-cutting trucks left their mark:


Some of the tracks are six inches deep.     Near the top of our To Do List is smoothing out the surface . . .  somehow.

And those big machines left big holes:


Those can be filled in and reseeded.

But what to do about the ground that is covered in wood chips? Finely chopped wood chips spread  all over:

SAMSUNGThat’s what it looked like after I raked today.     Outdoor vacuum cleaner?

So — I’ll have to come back to these pictures to remind myself that the work out there is really real.       I’ll have to study all those home improvement store catalogs.     I’m going to have a long To Do List.

And plenty of exercise.   Won’t have to join a gym this year again.

Spring flower banner


March 21, 2015

(Post 2 of 3 for my new Reader who likes the “Food Part.”)

Come with me to a Maple Syrup Festival today!!     This will be a photographic tour,  so not too many words from me.

From the Website of  our local nature center:

SAMSUNG The trail map:

SAMSUNGI didn’t think I would need this map.   It had too many miles on it!!      But the parking lots were full to overflowing, and I found a place to park very far away from the syrup festival.

I walked through many parking lots but didn’t mind very much.   Good exercise,  good weather,  and interesting things to look at:

SAMSUNGThis looks like fun for some other day.

Walking on and on and on,  I finally came to a Do Not Enter road:

SAMSUNGSo of course I headed that way.

At last I saw a tent –  seemed like a good sign.

SAMSUNGIt turned out to be a place to eat —  What else?

SAMSUNGAnd what  do you eat at a  Maple Syrup Festival?     Flap jacks, sausage, and maple syrup.

Outdoor dining:

SAMSUNGOutdoor dining in winter jackets.   This is the Far  North, after all.    It smelled good, but I didn’t come to eat,  so I went on in search of those who were making the syrup.

SAMSUNGThe pathways through the woods were rather nice,   nice and long,  so you had to keep looking for the little yellow signs near the ground.

Ever watch that television series called “Grimm”  ?

SAMSUNGNever mind.

It wasn’t really that scary.    . . . In the daylight.

SAMSUNGThat red “house” up ahead was the educational headquarters for maple syrup making.     Earnest volunteers presented good information.

SAMSUNGWe were given the opportunity to try our hand at drilling tap holes.

Which is why there were many trees like this:

SAMSUNGYou make a hole (somehow)  and then choose a tap:


Here’s a cross section of what happens when you insert a tap into a tree trunk:

SAMSUNGThose dark gray rectangles are the taps.  How do you know how many taps to use on a tree?

SAMSUNGThere are measurements and formulas based on those measurements…   Unfortunately, the young volunteer was not very good at math.    He was college-aged, I’d guess,  but he couldn’t explain to someone what  diameter or  radius meant, but he offered to the person that orange tape measure.  That’s okay.  He did clarify for me that the taps break into the phloem, which results in the “leakage” of the sap into the tap and out into the attached bucket.

SAMSUNGThese buckets are covered so no one has to stay there for a few days shooing away the bugs and flies.

SAMSUNGBuckets on many of the trees.

And here’s what you do with all the sap that you’ve collected:

SAMSUNGIf you don’t have fancy equipment or a big enough kitchen,  you boil the sap over a wood fire.

SAMSUNGOr you can use a modern “evaporator.”   Either way there is the wonderful smell of wood smoke and maple syrup in the air.

Although,  we were told,  one can tap into other kinds of trees,  even walnut,  the maples have the most sugar in their sap.   So here’s a good look at a maple stand in case you’d like to recognize when you’re in one:

SAMSUNG(I’m told it’s easier to recognize when the leaves are out!)

So – let’s eat!

SAMSUNG(Or let’s buy!)

Lots of maple products for sale.    Candy, syrup,  maple butter,  and even maple granulated sugar – with recipes for its use.

This table had maple syrup root beer:

SAMSUNGSomehow I came out with two bags full of maple stuff.      (This comes only once a year, right?)

Then it was time to find my way back to the car.


It really was a lovely walk.


It would have been so easy to have stayed home,  but it was very worthwhile to go to the Festival.

Sometimes I like the way our tax dollars are spent.

(Next time I’ll tell you why we have to work so hard to get our maple syrup from the trees.)


March 20, 2015

Just as yesterday was a special day in Christendom,   today is a special day for the astronomical world.

When we survey our world, we talk of beautiful things in the “heavens above and the earth  beneath.”    It’s poetic.     The “heavens above”  are filled with things we can see, like the birds (and the airplanes) and the clouds and the moon and the sun….

geese blueThe “highest heavens”  often refer to that region in space where there are things we can’t rightly see without the help of powerful telescopes and charts and diagrams, and it reaches way out to the edge of known space at the borders of the next dimension,  far beyond where this quarantined Earth exists.    It’s the realm that angels transverse — or maybe other unknown beings —  and is more a concept than a geographical “space.”

And Heaven . . .  that is a term used to describe where God is, and where we cannot be — in this life.    It is Other and Eternal and All-Good.

Today our triple treat comes from the nearest heavens, that which we can see.   This is where the moon revolves around the earth and the earth-moon system revolves around the sun.  Sometimes all three heavenly bodies line up in a straight line, and that’s called syzygy.   Cool word!

Here is a New Moon syszygy.    We would see a very dark moon in the sky.

syszygy today

During some times of syzygy,  the moon is directly in the way of our sun, we get a Full Moon,  and being the same apparent size as the sun,  the moon blocks our view.

eclipseThat happened today and could be seen in full in northern Europe, especially towards the Arctic Circle.    (Europe’s electrical grid relies on solar power for as much as 20% in some places.   Did the grid hold?    Did it flicker?)

So the first “treat” is this is the day of a total eclipse.

The second treat happens because the moon revolves around the earth, but not in a perfect circle.   It is  slightly off, a slightly flattened circle.    So sometimes the moon is just a little closer to the earth than at other times.   When the moon is as close to the earth as it can be, following its pathway,  we call that  perigee.

The second treat?      When syzygy and perigee happen on the same day  we have a Supermoon!


A syzygy can give us either a new moon (very dark)  or a full moon (the very brightest.     Unfortunately,  this unusually large, bright moon, called a Supermoon,  is best detected by astronomical instruments,  not our naked eye.     (Camera shots and atmospheric magnification notwithstanding.)

The third treat  is also best understood with instruments and maps and charts – that is,  it’s intellectually known.  Today is the day of the Vernal Equinox,  when the direct rays of the sun fall  on our equator.     There,  daytime and nighttime should be an equal amount of hours.   The equinox is a kind of astronomical halfway point between deepest winter and highest summer.

Well, here’s an uninspiring chart of the rays of the sun hitting directly perpendicular at various points on the earth.   Try to imagine that the earth is in motion, and the sun, relatively speaking, is not.   Because our planet is tilted at about a 23 1/2 degree angle,  the direct rays of the sun land perpendicularly in different places each day.

earth equinoxesSo there’s our Triple Treat for today,  March 20, 2015:

1.  Total Eclipse of the sun  

2.  A Supermoon

3.  The Vernal-Spring Equinox

Spring flower banner

Happy Spring!   


February 1, 2015

I threw away a book today.  It looked good, promising.  a historical saga interweaving a tale of the early settlers right off the Mayflower with a contemporary account of how the direct descendants of those first arrivals are doing now.    I tried hard to enjoy the historical details, but in the end the trashy mind of a 20th century author overcame the enjoyment.     Disappointing.

And so today, also,  it seems like we’re closing the book on this year’s football season.   I’m going to enjoy this last “super”  game,  but … Uh . . .

Bear down

You know.    The season was a little disappointing.

It’s a good day for football, though.    Big snowstorm to keep us in by the fireplace;  and some pretty good food:


Although I’m getting a little BBQ’d out —  ribs and wings.    More south-of-the-border type meat coming later too.     (That avocado didn’t quite make it to the guacamole.)

I won’t tell you who I’m rooting for.   It won’t be the QB who purportedly makes mindless PSA’s on behalf of the man they put into our Wh*   it e Ho  use.     There’s the other QB.     I think his coach has the right idea:

belichick yeah

He’s going to be interesting to watch.    (“Don’t tread on me” on the back of his t-shirt.)

But all this will be Yesterday’s News, tomorrow.    Days pass, pages turn,  some pages get tossed out in the trash, never to be remembered again.

Some things have a short life cycle, and then it ends.

Some things come to us in cycles, over and over,  like an ever-deepening spiral,  and although it’s time to close some books,   all over Christendom today a new one is opening,   a new part of the cycle that will last as long as this world lasts.

We close the season of Christmastide today and open the penitential season.     Lent-Lite today.    Septuagesima.

More on that soon — after the football season finally comes to an end.




January 5, 2015

What time moon is it?    Well, it’s a Full Moon tonight.   Did you know each full moon has a name?    People before us who lived closer to nature often gave the full moon of each month a name appropriate to the season’s activities.

moon tonight

There are several traditions of naming,  but the most common and the one I like the most are the names that were used by the North American Indians, for a long, long time, before the Europeans  wrote about them in the 16th century.     I also have a great respect for and devotion to St. Isaac Jogues, who was martyred by some in the Huron Nation in the 17th century, and so these Indian names keep their memory and St. Isaac Jogues faith alive in my mind.  ( Hmmmm.  I thought I wrote more about him.   I plan a summer trip to the site of his martyrdom this year. . . .)

It’s extremely cold outside my house tonight,  and we’re having intermittent clouds;  Lake Effect snow from a Lake that is over a hundred miles away.    Most often I look out my window and see only this:


Not much through a lens but it’s . . . nice.  Nice to see a full moon.    Tonight’s extreme cold reminds me why January’s full moon is called the Wolf Moon — everyone was hungry by now, so far from harvest, so deep into winter, so cold that game was scarce and even the wolves were hungry.    The howling packs of hungry wolves name this month’s full moon.

Here are all the traditional names, for the use of your imagination:

January:  Wolf Moon,  for the common sound of howling, hungry wolves

February:  Full Snow Moon, named for the often heavy snowfalls experienced in the northern United States.

March:   Full Crow Moon,  because as the winter weather moderated a little bit,  crows were heard

April:  Full Pink Moon,  because in April the  herb moss pink ( wild ground phlox)  began to be seen as the snow melted

May:  Full Flower Moon  for the abundant Spring flowers.  What a happy sight that must have been!

June:  Full Rose Moon,  named after the color of the strawberries that grew during their short but important season

July:  Full Buck Moon   This is the month that antlers grew out from the heads of the bucks, soft and velvety,  itchy and irritating!

August:   Full Sturgeon Moon     The sturgeon became easier to catch during August in all the Great Lakes

September:   Full Harvest Moon,  because this is when the corn can be harvested, and the moon late at night extended the light for longer harvesting times.

October:    Full Hunter Moon  (also a European name) because now is the time to store up food for the coming winter

November:   Full Beaver Moon.  Time to set your beaver traps!   The beaver get busier now too to prepare for winter

December:   Full Long Nights Moon.      This is the Cold Moon or the Long Nights moon,  both describing the moon’s trajectory during undeniably winter nights

Usually there is one full moon for each month, but sometimes February doesn’t have time to have a full moon, and sometimes the dates fall just right so that there are two full moons in one month.  The second moon in the month is called the Blue Moon.    And because the Harvest Moon is tied to the autumnal equinox,  sometimes it has to occur in the month of October.

God grant that knowing the names of the full moons is just an interesting option for us and never becomes a helpful necessity.




December 1, 2014

And the second holiday in my foggy brain over this last week:  Thanksgiving . . .  and now Advent.    The Season of Advent began this Sunday; it is the First Sunday of Advent.   One candle lit.

Clip Advent 1


Advent means coming.   Coming of what?  to whom?   to where?    Coming of whom?  to what?

The answer is threefold.   

The coming of God into the world,   His birth at Bethlehem.   It is impossible for a man to be God;  but would you limit the power of God and say He could not take on our human nature and become a man . .  .  if He wanted to?     So during Advent, we in this part of the world, scurry around cleaning our homes, decorating,  writing out Christmas cards,  making lists,  shopping, baking.    Advent is preparation for our Christmas Day.

God is not satisfied with merely coming into this world, this dimension,  leaving Heaven to come to our world.    He comes to be able to dwell within us.    He comes to do the work He has to do, as a human,  to die as a human, in order to come in actuality and in reality into our hearts.   Deep inside us is where He wants to come to, as our Savior.      Deep inside us,  if we make room for Him.  And so there is inner preparation to do too.  That is private, individual, quiet, and profound.      It is like an inner housecleaning, making ourselves fit for our Creator’s notice.

And there will be one more coming of God to our world:  Advent tells us to remember that God will someday, probably soon,  come to us as our Judge, because He won’t have patience with us forever and ever.   As long as we’re alive,  the clock ticks.   The time that is ticking is very precious because it gives us the opportunity to prepare for our own judgment.     But the clock will be out of ticks someday.    Just as we all have so many heartbeats allotted to us,  so this world has so many “tick-tocks”  allotted to it.


Advent is a Coming.  

The Coming of Whom . . . to what?       Of the Son of God to His world.

The Coming of Whom . . . to whom?      Of the Savior to us humans.

The Coming of What . . . to what?      The Coming of Judgment to this World.