Sunday, May 27, 2012

Embrace the Clouds

I don't know about you, but I'm an on and off again person.

When the sun is shining for days on end, I ask for rain.

When the clouds hover over in hopes of rain, I long for the sun.

I think God must understand because he gives me enough of both.

It's been a little overcast this weekend with clouds you enjoy at the beach...the clouds that block the direct rays and usher in the wind...the kind that make you comfortable, so comfortable in fact that you remain too long and yearn for sweet relief from the burn.

Too much sun can burn.  Too much rain can flood.

My thoughts are swirling everywhere today.  I'm a bit melancholy over many things.

Do I need to hide myself from the storm and rest awhile or do I need a little more of the sun SON?

I'm glad my Father knows what I have need of before I ask Him. 

Looking for comfort today, I found these words...

"Moses said to the people, do not be afraid, God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.  The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was."  Exodus 20:21

"Embrace the cloud and thick darkness because that is where I am."

I read so much that I don't know where this came from (Either Beth Moore or Anne Graham Lotz), but I know that I need it today, "Look toward the desert of emptiness, dryness and weakness and glimpse His glory in the clouds."

Today I'll Choose to Embrace the Clouds.  I don't want to miss HIS GLORY! 


P.S.  Praying for a new laptop.  I have photos and projects to reveal!  ugh.....

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Second Row, Piano Side: Summer Camp, Part II

GA District Summer Camp

"The Bell"- wake-up calls, mealtimes, activities, and chapel.  Always stolen the last night of camp.

Cold Showers- no hot water until the 80's.

Learning to Swim- at the public pool in Adrian, Georgia-with the girls because we didn't believe in "Mixed Bathing" (I did wash my hair in the pool a couple of times).

Morning and Evening Chapel in an Open Tabernacle-swatting gnats and no AC.

Morning Hikes with Bro. Paul (children's camp)

"Little Tabernacle"-since torn down.

Ethel Anderson 1, 2, 3, 4.

The First Kiss (I was 13 and hated it!  Ran back to the dorm and cried)

Girls Dorm 1 and Falling in Love for the first time.

The Kiss (beyond the sign that read, "No PDA" and loved it:))  Getting caught for PDA and hated it:(

Fighting with girls who would later become some of my best summer friends.

Fighting with girls over boys who would disapper from my life like a vapor.

Making great friends and saying goodbye, to some I never saw again.

Getting saved at an altar, while kneeling on a sandy, concrete floor. 

Waves of revival lasting into the early morning.

Candlelight Communion.

Campfire services.

Prayer and Praise with hands uplifting high.

Total Surrender.

A HOLY place where I came to embrace a personal God, the place where mama and daddy's religion became faith to me.

I have since questioned, doubted, and often shaken my fists in the face of a good God...

but my mind often wanders back to the summer of '73 when I came to know Jesus, to '75 when I knew full-surrender, to '77 when I knew, that I knew, that I knew.

I no longer attend camp meetings...I no longer volunteer for service there...

 I no longer feel at home there...

 but when by choice I visit I am keenly aware of the presence of a Holy God,

and the mere sand that I stand upon is Holy Ground. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Book Review: Choosing to SEE by Mary Beth Chapman

In May 2008, Mary Beth Chapman, wife of recording artist, Steven Curtis Chapman and family experienced the most incredibly, devastating loss imagined-the loss of Maria, their bouncy, beautiful Asian butterfly.  The story is real and raw.

Mary Beth speaks with such candor and frankness that makes me feel like I know her.  I read with intensity and a heavy heart as she tells the story of the horrific pain of losing a child. It is the story of a family who fights to find light in the darkness, peace in the pain, and triumph over death.  I think I cried as much for Will who feels more pain and guilt than any young man should know.

As a parent, I can't imagine. 

As a sibling, a big sister, a little sister, stuck in the middle, the emotions of our own family tragedy, run deep.  I recall the sounds of the accident, the smells of the ER and the blood, the sight of a lifeless body.  I recall a home without laughter and noise. With each written page, my own pain is resurrected to grieve with this family in their loss.

I am inspired by the faith of this family who dared to embrace the pain with real emotions and honesty.  A Family Who Chose to SEE that God is present in the incredibly difficult places.  That he often reveals Himself through...
                         a single blue-colored petal....
                   a ladybug...
                               a butterfly...
                                                a little angel sent to remind them that the view is
                                           Better from the top.
 I can promise you that this read will leave you longing to reach out to those you love, to hold them a little tighter and cherish each moment.

Thank you Mary Beth for sharing your story with the world.  We are better for having known you!

(BTW, I am a Steven Curtis Chapman fan from the early days.  My daughter and I made memories singing along loudly to The Great Adventure!)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mad As a Wet Setting Hen

As my mama used to say, "I'm mad as a wet setting hen!"

I had a computer-crash and have been unable to blog for going on two weeks.

I look at all your fabulous finds and I want to scream!  Ugh!!!!

I don't know where I lived before finding a home in blogland. 

Please don't forget me!

I've borrowed my husband's work computer to see what everyone has been creating and Wow! 

I have been busy with a few projects myself. 

I'll give you a little hint...

It's red, white and blue of many colors:0

To be revealed...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Second Row, Piano Side: Summer, Part 1

Summer Camp as a PK was not just one week a summer. We owned a cabin on the campground.  Daddy was night watchman and counselor for the Boy's Dorm so we spent 3-4 weeks there each summer.

The first week of summer break was spent getting the cabin ready.
The doors of the cabin were screened doors with latch locks allowing every creature imaginable to enter.  I remember the musty smell of the cabin after months of abandonment, spiders, spanish moss, sand, and gnats. 

 The coverings were taken off of the beds and furniture.  The ceiling, walls, and floors were swept and cleaned.  The porch/living area was hosed down and scrubbed with a broom.  The water ran out from under the screened-in porch.  There was no hot water, so mama boiled water to wash all the open-faced cabinets and the dishes in the cabinet. 

During the week of clean-up, lunch consisted of tomato or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with sweet tea out of aluminum glasses.  Never was tea as sweet and cold as it was out of those glasses.  I found it fascinating that each glass was a different color.  All the dishes and furniture were rejects from Mama and Daddy's first years together.  I remember the red formica table with chrome legs and red vinyl chairs.  It was like a step back in time.  The tub was aluminum (cold to the buttocks and always sandy), the porch furniture was the vintage that I love so much today. The beds were iron.  The bedspreads were chenille. 

The kitchen/dining room included a sofa bed for Doll. When Doll wasn't there my big brother got the sofa and a room for himself since he was the oldest. The bedroom was large enough for two double beds and a baby bed.  The porch was in the middle of the two rooms. Curtains separted each room and bathroom.

Mama worked during the day and Doll stayed with us while Daddy attended the meetings.  Doll always had a full meal cooked so that we didn't have to eat in the dining hall. 

Our allowances allowed us to buy bottle cokes out of the machine and have spending money for candy or snowcones at the snack shack.  My favorite drinks were Tab and Fresca. Tab was replaced by Diet Rite Cola.  Whatever happened to Fresca???

There was always a boyfriend for a week or maybe two. There were always those boys who stole your heart from a distance and never gave you the time of day. When by chance you did find that special someone, you were broken hearted to find that in only a few months, you was forgotten.  The next year, he never knew you existed.

Those were the days, my friend.  I thought they'd never end.  We'd sing and dance for ever and a day....
da, da, da, da, da, da,....(I can't remember the rest!)  I listened to my brother's albums!

To be continued..

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Doors, Shutters, Jars, and Baskets

What's my new facination with old doors and shutters?

Is it the natural patina that I find on each one?

Is it the look of one side...

...and a completely different look on the other?

Is it the way the different colors bleed through?.

Is it the natural beauty of the worn?

I, too, am as captivated by old jars-canning... 
or candy...

Remember getting up before dawn to pick peas or butterbeans?

Not exactly the kind of pickin' I prefer, huh?

Mama didn't can.  She enjoyed filling the freezer full.  I recall they were measured in bushels.  This basket is not a bushel, I don't believe.  Maybe it's a half-a-bushel.

I like it.  I thought about using it as a planter.  Would that work?

 I'll have to search your blogs, my friends for some ideas on what to do with these fine items!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Second Row, Piano Side: Mama Taught Me To Enjoy A Good, Belly Laugh

During my early childhood years, I heard more about the "wrath" of God than I did the "love" of God.  Mama must have thought she was doing God a favor when she spanked me. 
She often quoted, "Spare the rod, spoil the child."
She often sent me "pickin'."  Not the kind I enjoy today, that's for sure!  Ever had to "pick your switch?"
It had to be just right-not too thick-not too thin.  But thin enough to sting.  We had a weeping willow tree in the front yard.  The limbs on that tree resembled a whip-no can do!  Even mama, knew that was corporal punishment!
No, there was the ever-loving "switch" tree that we knew was acceptable. 

Thank God for forgiveness.  My mama, who was my greatest adversary as a child, became my best adult friend.  Though the years of tears, she taught us laughter. 

Mama knew the importance of a good, belly laugh.  You know, the kind that makes your belly jiggle.  The shake-rattle-and-roll giggle.  Mama was mightily endowed if you know what I mean and everything jiggled when she wiggled.  We could laugh just by watching her laugh.

She always sang silly songs going to Granny's on Fridays.  

The Pelican Song went like this...

As I was walking through the zoo one day- HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA
I saw a great, big pelican-HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA
His feet were like a pancake and his mouth was like a trap,
And when he opened it to eat, there was an awful gap.

Oh, how I laughed-HA,HA,HA,HA, HA,

(The Ha-Has had a tune and before the song ended, we were all in stitches)

Froggy Went a Courntin and He Did Ride (with some kind of strange throat-scratching sound)
was another fun song.

We laughed during prayer time. Yes, we laughed in church.  We laughed before going to bed and we awoke to laughter as daddy sang, "Swing, low, sweet cherrioooooooo, coming for to carry me home." 

Summer of '68.

Missing you, Mama, this Mother's Day Week.  Thanks for the laughter.


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Family, Food, Fun and Fleas

Such a good weekend!

Family, food, fun, and fleas!

Good Will in Nasvhille is right down the road from my daughter's home.  It was 1/2 Price Saturday and I practically stole a mirror.  It is OLD and FAB!  The perfect FIND!  I plan to paint it WHITE, of course!  Will decide later if I want to sell!  You know I'm a nut about a mirror.  Photos to follow.

Three Yard Sales in the neighborhood.
While turning in, I spotted a garage sell and bought two chairs, $2 each, a heart shaped wire basket that I plan to paint white, a wooden letter sorter that will be perfect for any desk, and I spent less that $5!
Next stop, I didn't buy a thing!  She knew what she had and didn't mind holding on to it!
Next stop, Lebanon Road, more of a sidewalk sale!  I bought a tin sea gull, a lamp, a basket-$2.25!

All my finds were under $15 total!

The Fleas...

Giving my son's bedroom a facelift-going nautical!

An Old Country Living magazine-My Inspiration-white with blue and red accents.

With some clean up and rope, the lantern will be perfect!

I love the spool!  It will work nicely!

The Family, the Food, and the Fun...

We celebrated my son's birthday-the one on the right; he'll be 27 on May 11.  He was my Mother's Day gift in 1985.
The red velvet cake-divine!
The girls enjoyed catching up on the 2nd season of Downton Abbey while the boys watched the Food Channel. 

Our little man fell alseep in Grandy's arms.

A Perfect Weekend-What more can I say!

All That Glitters Ain't Gold-but it sure comes close

Mama always said, "All that Glitters Ain't Gold."  While although true, it sure comes close.

I bought this urn on ebay.  It was labeled "mercury glass." Although obviously an imitation probably fabricated with gold spray paint, I love it.  It is perfect with this Made in Italy gold tray.

I have a fetish for vanity mirrors.  This sweet little 3" oval mirror is perfect for those miniature perfume sets. Gold and white always make me think of weddings.  Weddings-always a reminder of promise.

"White Lace and Promises, a kiss for luck and we're on our way, we've only just begun..."

I grew up singing The Carpenters.  My best friend sang, "We've Only Just Begun" at my wedding.  After almost 34 years, it still seems we've only just begun.  The gold band symbolizes the circle of eternal love-yes, tried, it seems, by fire at times.

One of my favorite verses, "But He (my Heavenly Father) knows the way that I take and when he has tried me, I shall come forth as GOLD."  Job 23:10

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Sherman's Trail Yard Sale in Georgia

I just can't believe that I am missing the Trail.

I need to visit 200 plus sites, but I need even more to see my grandson and children. 

So I'll try to hit the high spots on the road to Tennessee, where my heart lives:)

Don't miss out on some of the best sales in the south! 

And nothing is better than good ole southern hospitality. 

A Dairy Lane burger and some sweet iced tea couldn't be better. Yes, I said Dairy "Lane" not Queen!  We have our very own best burger in the south, ice cream sundaes, and The Blast! 

Ya'll come now, ya hear?!?

Visit Tennille, Georgia and Cornerstone Treasures

Visit Dee at The Shed

Keith's Korner at The Shed is one of my favorite spots.

Enjoy the hometown feel of Cornerstone Treasures, "from our hearts to your home."  Many vendors will line the tracks including other local shops, Sharp Shoez, The Mouse House, and The Rusty Gate.

Don't forget Sandersville and The Country Buffet for some hometown good cooking-the best fried chicken in the south!

Finest in Antiques at  Halsey Dean's in Sandersville

I'm kinda glad Sherman marched through Washington County.  He still have the house that he slept in.  Don't miss the complete trail.  Check out locations on the web.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Life on the Second Row, Piano Side: The Games We Played

A child of the 60's, a teenager of the 70's-that's what I'd call myself.

We knew what it was like to play.  We played from sun-up to sun-down. 

Our summer day began in the corn field or the pea patch.  The congregation was willing to share if we'd come and pick. 

I don't remember pulling corn.  Daddy and my brother were up before dawn to do that.  I do remember shucking, silking, cutting and blanching.  The chore started with Daddy, Doll, and the three older children.  We knew what we had to do before we could play so within a few hours the neighborhood kids were helping.  Mama finished blanching and bagging at sometime around midnight.

Summer days were filled with riding our bikes to town to buy "penny" candy, playing backyard baseball, climbing trees, picking plums and blackberries, fishing, flying kites in the cotton field behind our house, running through the cotton field to meet our friends on the other side and more riding our bikes til supper.  (We called it supper in the south. Everyone else called it dinner.  Dinner was the noon meal.)
We played until every mom in the neighborhood was calling for her child to come home. 

 Oh, there were chores to do.  We had a chart and each chore had a dollar amount.  The bigger the chore, the bigger the buck.  The highest paying inside job was cleaning the toilet.  I didn't mind one bit and no one else wanted it!  The biggest outside job was cutting grass and I didn't want that one!

The games we played were different from the ones my parents played.   We didn't know anything about kick-the-can, marbles or jacks.  We played paper dolls bought from the store.  Mama played paper dolls that came from the Sears Roebuck Catalog.  There were many uses for that catalog.  With so many children, I wonder how it lasted an entire season.

Toys were handmade. Mama's favorite toy was a flying-jenny that her daddy made from the stump of a pine tree.  Thick axle grease made for a fast spin.

My mama and her brother, Robert.  Every home needs a puppy!

Mama worked in a neighboring county.  After school on Fridays, Daddy would pick us up from school and take us to the pants factory where we waited for mama's work day to end.  From there we followed country roads to our grandparents house.  There was always something to play at Granny's.  There was no grass, only dirt.  One of mama's chores was to sweep the yard with a straw broom.  I can remember playing house with that broom.  We loved playing in the dirt at Granny's.  I loved to make frog holes or homes for frogs.  We went fishing and swimming in the ponds.  I can still feel the slime between my toes.  Yuck!     

The younger cousins at Granny's.  I'm the one in the cool shades.  My brother is the brown head with the crew cut in the front.

We had TV, but who needed it when there were so many games to play.