Sunday, September 30, 2007

In the Bag

its in the bag ...
Originally uploaded by podso
Whenever I hear the words "orange creamsicle," I think of my grandfather, who I knew only the first 6 1/2 years of my life. But if I actually bite into a creamsicle, I'm immediately transported back to my childhood summers when we'd visit my grandparents. A big treat for us was to hop into our grandfather's Ford pick up after he got home from work, and ride with him down to the local shop to pick up some orange creamsicles. Other times he would just bring some home from work with him. I'm sure that's what the bag in this photo contains! Even though it's been years since I've had one, I can close my eyes and taste one now.

What color would life be without a memory?

Friday, September 28, 2007

The Good Writer's Club

original from gradeschool
Originally uploaded by podso
We printed until second grade, and then began the practice of cursive writing. Back in those days we were taught the "Palmer Method," which had a few frills to it. I can remember starting with circles and loops in my practice book. This was also the year of the fountain pen for us second-graders. Before that, we wrote with pencils (I guess there were no ball point pens!). I can't remember how I got the pen--I assume my parents bought it for me. It might be worth something today, though the "nib" is needing replacement. It's a Sheaffer, and still fills up with ink via a "pneumatic down-stroke filler." I'm not sure why I always pull that little lever three times, seems that's overkill.

Anyway, by fourth grade we were writing pretty well, and always used script or cursive in our assignments. If our handwriting was sloppy, we were told about it! That year we had a "Good Writer's Club." This had nothing to do with content, only our penmanship. I love to write, and part of that is the actual art of writing, especially when there is a decent pen to write with (not including a ball-point!) There is nothing like a fountain pen for beautifully flowing hand writing, and I suppose the blobs and smudges just go along with the romance of the whole thing. I was honored by being a member in good standing of that "Good Writer's Club." But as far as today, I will say there is nothing like being a nurse to destroy one's handwriting (back before charting was done on computers.)

I enjoy writing a nice note to someone if the ink is flowing well! And it's interesting to see a letter arrive from one of my sisters or my mother--or even some cousins...amazing the similarities in our handwriting! That could be a whole study in itself! By the way, this photo is of my original fountain pen, ready to write in a lovely journal Boniface gifted me with!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Simply Put

Originally uploaded by podso
It was a very busy day today ... no time to stop and catch my breath. Ten wee ones to care for, mothers to teach, blood tests, admissions, etc. Midst it all I lost my notes, which is always my worst fear. I lost them for a long time and was totally helpless without them. I looked and looked and looked again and got into a near panic. I'd been praying, but I really stopped and prayed hard. "Lord show me." Very slowly, as if in time lapse, a picture came out of darkness into a clear focus, and I knew to look a certain place. There they were. Tucked under a baby's crib.

For the rest of the day it didn't matter how pressed I was, for I sailed around as if the best thing had just happened to (for) me. God heard and answered my prayer. He rescued me. Simply put.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Dab Painting

Originally uploaded by podso
A somber mother watches as her son hops on a canal boat headed down to the bustling capital of Amsterdam. Once he reaches America, will she ever see him again? Tears spill down her cheeks as she goes back into the tavern and picks up her dish towel and continues to shine the glasses she has washed.

Over in the new world, a young man weary from his carpentry work, picks up his worn lunch pail and heads for home across a bridge over the Penny Pack Canal. When he opens the door of his modest home, he is bombarded with the rich aroma of a casserole coming out of the oven. The house is very small, but his wife keeps it spotlessly clean. A bit of lace and some fresh garden flowers in a juice glass adorn the worn table where the dinnerware lies ready for their meal.

Today I took a plastic cup with a small bit of paint and went up the ladder to do some touch up painting. Every time I dipped the brush into the paint I thought of my dad. I realized how many times I'd seen him do some dab painting with a similar small cup.

Then I began to marvel at how much of what I do everyday is similar to how someone else did it in my past. The blood of the generations before me courses through my veins, and with it genes that play a part in who I am. And its not just the blood connection--a lot of it stems from living with someone. So much of what I do is because of how my parents did things ... and they like their parents ... and eventually we get back to the little house on the creek in Pennsylvania, and the tavern in the small Holland town.

It's fascinating when you think about it. I guess sometimes we just can't help but be who we are. How fun it would be to really get a glimpse into my ancestors' lives. But I guess I have to look no further than at myself.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Originally uploaded by podso

The phone rang and I recognized the voice of spouse's "twin" calling from Canada (two big guys with gray beards ... some refer to them as twins). I handed the phone to spouse and left the room. Suddenly I heard a loud "arrh" followed by a lot of pirate talk. Duh...I had forgotten. It's "national talk like a pirate day." Comes around every September 19th and spouse is one who celebrates it. For real. Google it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


hearken; listen attentively
Originally uploaded by podso

En route to my Tuesday office this morning, a car in front of me sharply turned into a side street. I was startled to realize that I had turned into that same street a year ago this very day at the very same hour. A year ago my husband, on a cell phone from a city four hours away, had asked me to pull over for some news. He told me that he was sure he had another PE but felt he could drive home and did not want to go to the emergency room when he got here. A rather eventful day followed, not without extreme stress, and it's been a bit of a rollarcoaster ever since. But hark! Pause, listen attentively to what God has done in our lives over this year. God has sustained spouse; he is feeling better than he has in a long time; and we need to rejoice over God's abundant grace in our lives. And just some icing on the cake––the weather is cool, cool, cool today! Fall has come!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Back Again

not just another green
Originally uploaded by podso

They say that history repeats itself, and so it does. I find myself painting old wooden chairs, found at Good Will, just like I did as a newlywed 35 years ago. This time, again, I wanted green, but just the right green. When we visited our son and daughter-in-law when they were house-sitting here in town, I loved the green in the kitchen there. Son's wife kindly researched the color. Maybe I would want it in a slightly lighter shade. Boston Fern it was called--I liked the name. But when I went to see the paint chip at Home Depot, to my surprise it was the same color I painted the chairs of long ago (where are they now, by the way?)

The color is what I would call a 70s "avocado," or so it looked to me. But history can only repeat itself to a certain extent when you've been there before. I realized I couldn't use the same color, having begun my married life surrounded by avocado green. So I moved to the paint strip next door to Boston Fern and found what I was looking for. Similar, but a bit more yellow in it I think. Love it! Let the painting begin!

But I do thank Lindsay for researching and sending along the info via E. It got me where I wanted to be.

Monday, September 10, 2007

A Clean Breeze

as clean as she'll get
Originally uploaded by podso

There is the slightest hint of fall in the air and a warm breeze is kicking up. The lack of rain has caused leaves to fall prematurely and they crunch under my feet on top of the cracked ground and dry, lifeless grass. There also is promise of cooler temperatures by week's end, though the thermometer is rapidly pushing up past 90 today.

It's a wonderful day. Spouse is out of town for the first time in a long while. Not that I don't miss him tremendously, for I have been accustomed to him being around for many months now, and we enjoy each other's company. But since he works from a home office, a day at home to myself is rare. The house has needed a good cleaning for months, and today that cleaning occurred. I've enjoyed the time (only a workaholic would say that maybe?). The music is turned up, and I've found all kinds of little places and things that needed cleaning out. Tossed some things, rearranged some things, and put on an autumn-looking, fresh tablecloth in the dining room.

The best part comes after the cleaning. Peace! I enjoy a few hours of absolute stillness, freshness, and "clean," before members of the household re-enter (dog included), bringing the outside in with them! Since I am "home alone" today, that feeling will last at least until the dinner hour! Ahhhh!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Island Talk

Originally uploaded by podso

There's something about weddings ... and funerals ...and family reunions. They are like islands of suspended time. For an intense day or two, family and friends gather ... and get to catch up with each another. We don't see relatives for years---sometimes not since childhood. Suddenly we see each other constantly for a weekend. It doesn't take long to be comfortable, for we share the same roots and similar upbringings. There is much in common, and sometimes there's a lifetime to catch up on. It's all a bit surreal. And then, we go our separate ways, maybe not to see each other again for years, or possibly ever ... but, left with a whole new collection of memories.

We just watched a fun montage of wedding photos from my niece's wedding. When I looked at some of the pictures of people goofing off, laughing, and having fun, it made me think about this. My brother-in-law's brothers were there who we hadn't seen since he married my sister 34 years ago. Yet, with shared history, we took up easily. And that is how it is with family, especially when we share a bond in Christ. Even if we don't see each other again, we have the assurance of meeting again one day "up yonder." A glorious, joyful hope about these "island" reunions.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

the formative years

the formative years
Originally uploaded by podso
This is a favorite photo of mine and good to post on a hot day like this. It was probably as hot in this photo as it is today, except there was no air conditioning escape. Ghanaian children are always happy to pose for a photo, so rounding them up for a group picture is effortless. Youngest son is about 2 1/2 or three here. Nothing made him happier than carrying around a stick and getting as dirty as possible. From infancy he showed a tenacity that stands him in good stead today.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


Originally uploaded by podso
Yesterday we saw God's grace and mercy all around. Little things. Nothing that we specifically prayed about other than a usual request for help along the way. Things that often go awry went smoothly. When days fall together like that, it's nothing that we deserve. I'm glad we took note at the end of the day, and thanked God.
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