Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Something You Won't Read in the Press

The Ben Stein movie, "EXPELLED" has now grossed 7,586,866. Seven and a half million dollars. I still wonder how much it cost to make. The press won't tell us that, either. Go Ben Stein ! And congratulations.

The Story of the Jameses





Over twenty-two years ago, my sister, who was pregnant with her firstborn flew into DFW to visit us. I was due with my second baby three months ahead of her, and as we stood in the luggage claim area, I asked what names she had picked out. She said that if he is a boy, then they had picked out the name, "James" and I told that we had picked out the name, James, too. She suggested that we pick out another name, because they had gotten permission. The name, James, is actually a last name on my mother's side of the family. We had decided to pair my mother's maiden name with Bob's mother's maiden name as they sounded good together. I guess my sister had called all known living relatives in Illinois with the last name, James, and gotten permission. I never asked her how she got permission. Probably just from Grandma and Grandpa James. Since my sister and her family live in another state, the odds of both Jameses being together would be a once or twice-a-year affair, so we have called the cousins by their first with middle names whenever we are together, or referring to the other in front of grandparents who might wonder which James we are referring to. Now the cousins are all grown up into men. One a senior in college, and one recently commissioned into the Army. Next year, the other James will commission, too. So, next year, it will be my sister's turn to pin gold bars onto her James' shoulders. Thanks to my folks, we have CDs of the Jameses as babies and as toddlers. Two little blonde guys playing with cars and trucks and miniature tractors. I wonder if their paths will cross in their careers. It has been fun watching them grow into two very smart, handsome men. (and note to James G---you'll be glad to know we finally went shopping and replaced that old recliner. Come visit again, and try them out--we bought two !!!)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day 2008

We drove to the DFW National Cemetery. The weather this morning was beautiful, nice breeze, and went by Bob's aunt's grave. Aunt Mary actually served as a civilian in WW2 and that is where she met her future husband and they corresponded by what we now call snail mail for years. I have heard the story many times. It is not particularly pretty. Because Bob's uncle had to wait until the coast was clear. After D-day, he ran into the fellow who had been dating Mary, as they were moving a body out of a tank. But, if Uncle Bill had not married Mary, then Mary's sister, Clara would probably never had met Uncle Bill's brother, Joe, which means there never would have been the family I married into.

And Bob ordered a new washer and dryer online. They were delivered today. The money we saved for the free tax weekend about covered the delivery. My old washer was putting holes in our clothes and towels. And the dryer squeaked so badly that you could hear it from the street. I did not trust it, as the temperature thingy was going out, too, and it superheated the clothes. I was afraid it was going to burn down the house one of these days.

Talking to our sons in the military was the highlight of our day. And Bob installed a shelf to hold his laptop and the printer next to his rocker/recliner. And I forgot to mention that Bob mowed front yard and backyard today. The coastal dandelions were about done blooming.

President Bush's speech at Arlington National Cemetery was good today. His last one. And I played it again for Bob once C-span had it up again. Didn't quite catch all the NASA Mars press conference, but they are pretty pleased about their disk making it onto the surface of the planet. We watched the touchdown coverage last night online. Seems like they should have had polo shirts in the burnt orange color of Mars instead of blue.

And Bob beat me at Scrabble. Again. I was using fifteen letters/tiles, and he still beat me without bingo-ing. It was super hot and humid this afternoon, so we generated plenty of dirty laundry. And the new washer took all the tiny pills of Bob's new dress shirt. Yippeee!!!!!! This washer and dryer set are too fancy for my garage. Now we are gonna have to fix up the garage. Ha. I sat in the old, discarded recliner in the garage with the fan blowing on me, and the doors open, and just watched the washer and dryer run. Very relaxing. No screeching or squeaking bearings. No unbalanced loads. No noise. Bob was impressed with our Bosch dishwasher, so he wanted to stick with them. Our cars are from Japan, and our washer and dryer and dishwasher are from Germany. In fifty years, will we be buying computers and appliances from Iraq and Afghanistan?? What a country.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Grandpa Max is 73





Grandpa Max is 73 years old now. Look out !

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU,
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU,
HAPPY BIRTHDAY FROM ALL OF US
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(today isn't actually his birthday but Bob says not to give out too much specific information, so instead of saying his birthday is the 27th, let's just say his age and his actual birthdate add up to 100.)

Another Picture from James' Commissioning









Can you tell which one is the Aggie?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Friday, May 23, 2008

One Week Ago Today

One week ago today, our newly minted second lieutenant drove away to his new career, his new life in the United States Army. We marked the event by taking pictures. Pictures of him loading his truck, pictures of his last breakfast, pictures of the laughter and smiles, and hugs. And pictures of the receding truck. He planned on signing papers at the ROTC department and heading out, but the ROTC department had him run all over campus getting things signed. And that took until noon. By then, I had found a few items he might need, and had called him back, so he came by the house one more time to retrieve stuff. So, I have pictures of his truck exiting our street both directions. He headed north, and stayed overnight with relatives near Kansas City, and the weekend with his brother and family in Dayton. He reported to Fort Knox for "gold bar duty" on Tuesday, May 20th. And finally got his military ID changed from "cadet" to second lieutenant on May 22nd. We have enjoyed hearing from him each night as he goes through orientation, and learns what his duties will entail. He found out today that he has been assigned to "repelling" and the jobs that go with it, and their first class arrives June 2nd. He said they are waiting for more second lieutenants to arrive, too.

As parents of sons in this modern military, we are spoiled by cell phones and email and text messages. Years ago, a letter or phone call was a precious thing. I still have the letters my soon-to-be husband wrote to me from the laundry mat in Savannah, Georgia. His letters were witty and funny, and made me love him all the more.

How have we survived this first week with an empty nest? Well, one week ago, I kept busy by dusting, and boxing up old toys and talking on the phone to my women friends. I have been to the grocery store a few times. And have done the laundry and the two-of-everything dishes. Two spoons, two bowls, two mugs, two plates. And we saw the new Narnia movie, "Prince Caspian" twice. It made me want to go back and re-read the series. So, I re-read books 2-7.

Bob loves to play Scrabble. He beat me two nights in a row, but tonight, victory. If he bingo-s twice, I am left behind in the dust. Tonight, I was able to place the "J" on a triple letter score---eight times three is 24 points just for the J. And since the JEERS crossed a double word score square, too, I think it totalled 60 points.

Two weeks ago today, we hosted a huge crowd of relatives at a local steakhouse. Friends and relatives attended James' commissioning that Saturday, and some even stayed for the graduation ceremonies on Sunday, Mother's Day. Now, here we are at Memorial Day weekend, and a three day weekend of haircuts, Scrabble, shopping, and a trip to the DFW National Cemetery on Monday, as I see they are having a 3pm service.

Three years ago this month, our firstborn graduated, commissioned, and got married.

Thirty years ago, I was a newlywed of two months, and learning all about Savannah.

Next week, we will be back in Georgia for another wedding. A nephew's this time. Then Bob will be busy studying for his Sunday School lessons. He has committed to teach our gray-haired class almost all the Sundays in June.

A new stage in our lives. The house is too quiet. I set talk radio going for the extra noise. There was another good pass tonight. Wednesday night and tonight, the space station passed overhead from the WSW straight up to zenith, and in that steady path to the ENE--pointing to Kentucky and Ohio where our treasure now resides.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Happy Third Anniversary to A and L !!!!!!!

Happy Anniversary to A and L !!! The big THREE !!! I hope you get a night out, and a movie, and I hope you do something memorable so you will remember next year, too !!

My Favorite Picture


What picture is on your wallpaper on your computer?? This is the one I like to see every day. It captures so much--the glee and arms up and out of the granddaughter, and James' great smile. Taken back at Christmas time, everyone still in their jammies. I love how the granddaughter crosses her little ankles. And to the right is where I sit and read stuff on the computer. And blog. And talk on the phone. Glass bowl of yarn for knitting dishrags, and address book at my fingertips.

I miss you James. Thanks for calling and telling us about your first full day in the Army. I am so thankful Dad bought us a new phone so that we can both talk to you at the same time.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Showing Poppy a doll

I was blessed with two sets of grandparents. Poppy and Nannie on my Dad's side. Here I am showing Poppy a doll we got for Christmas.






And earlier, sitting on my Poppy's lap eating a sucker. My Dad and my Poppy both worked/owned a Culligan dealership in Springfield, Illinois at the time. I don't remember this doll, nor the little quilted jacket. But, I do have lots of proof from pictures that my mom loved to cut our bangs super short. Maybe we did not hold still very well, and I can still hear her say, she did not want hair in our pretty faces. Those scuffed shoes tell a tale. I was not the most ladylike of little girls. As the firstborn, I knew I was loved on both sides of the family. And Poppy and Grandpa also tried to teach me to be nice to my sister. That did not come naturally.

Grandpa and Grandma and Aunt Dorothy from my Mom's side of the family





My Mother


Hey, Mom. Found this picture of you. I really like your hair this way. No wings. But, probably way too short for Dad's tastes.

Camera At Arms Length

I just think this picture of us is funny with a crane coming out of my head. Bob took this on our Red-Neck Thirtieth Anniversary Quest to find Thirties. We took our pictures by signs with thirties on them. Here we are at the new Cowboy Stadium which we did NOT vote for. But, Bob thought taking our picture there would make it memorable and date it and us.

Some Suck Their Thumb, Some Their Index Finger

The New Narnia Movie: Prince Caspian

It is wonderful. Go see it, if you haven't already.

We have seen it twice. We enjoy supporting good, wholesome movies, and this one is beautifully done. It made me want to go home and re-read the books. It is a good thing they changed it for the screen. The book was has too many twists and turns, and too many more confusing characters, like Bacchus. Yikes. That would never do for a kids movie. Hope they are working on the Dawn Treader next. What fun that will be to see it on the screen.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Olive Oil

Our Pastor Dennis taught from Psalm 23 during Sunday School. One dear lady asked about the anointing the head with oil---was it an honor? Or, was it for medicinal purposes?

This afternoon, my ear was itching, and I remembered what the lady at the health food store said about olive oil in the ears for ear infections. I put a few drops in my ear, and drifted off to sleep for a nice Sunday afternoon nap.

I still had about a tablespoon left in the tiny cup I used to facilitate the glass dropper, so I put some on my scalp. It made me wonder, that to anoint someone on the head with oil, it would drip down and stain your clothing. You’d be a walking billboard for either being a sloppy eater, or having recently received an honor.

It feels good on the scalp, and awakens curls. So how about my dry hands and callouses? Sure enough—seems to smooth those, too. I had switched to cooking with only olive oil years ago. And one of my favorite restaurants serves fresh crusty bread with fresh herbs in olive oil.

But, what does the Bible say about oil? Quickverse denotes that the word oil appears 214 times in 199 verses. Lets look at a few.

Genesis 28:18 We find Jacob pouring oil on a rock he had just used as a pillow. We need to back up a few verses and see that Jacob is on a quest to get a wife from his mother’s relatives. Jacob has a dream where he sees a ladder with angels ascending and descending on it. And the Lord promises to give him the land on which you lie. God says He will give Jacob and his numerous descendants the land He promised Abraham and Isaac. “…And in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And behold I am with you, and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land, for I will not leave you until I have done what I promised you.” Jacob gets up and proclaims, “How awesome is this place!” And he pours oil on the rock that was his pillow, and makes a vow. So, he must have been carrying oil with him. Oil to make bread?

Exodus 25:6 Talks about oil for lighting, spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense in the making of the tabernacle.

Exodus 27:20 They were to bring clear oil of beaten olives for the light in a lamp that was to burn continually in the tabernacle.

Exodus 29:2 oil for one of the ingredients in unleavened cakes and unleavened bread and unleavened wafers spread with oil and verse 7, anointing oil to be poured on Aaron’s head. And in verse 21, anointing oil and blood from the altar consecrates Aaron and his sons’ and their garments.

Exodus 30:25, 31 Talk about a holy anointing oil that was not to be used except for tabernacle worship.

Lev. 10:7 Aaron was warned about what he could and could not do when the Lord’s anointing oil was upon him.

Moses gave specific instructions about eating and drinking, and activities verses ten and eleven says, “and so as to make a distinction between the holy and the profane, and between the unclean and the clean, and so as to teach the sons of Israel all the statutes which the Lord has spoken to them through Moses.”

Even in Moses’ dying words, he mentions oil. And then Moses says: “Blessed are you, O Israel, who is like you, a people saved by the Lord, who is the shield of your help, and the sword of your majesty!” (Deuteronomy 33)

Samuel took a flask of oil, and poured it on Saul’s head in 1 Samuel 10 but on David’s head in 1 Samuel 16 as the Lord commanded him in Bethlehem.

“Fill your horn with oil, and go…” “…now he was ruddy, with beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance. And the Lord said: arise, anoint him, for this is he. Then Samuel too the horn of oil and anointed him…and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward…”

1 Kings 17:12 But she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I have not bread, only a handful of flour in the bowl and a little oil in the jar…” But Elijah promises her that her bowl of flour and jar of oil shall not be exhausted. A miracle which kept them alive.

2 Kings 4:2 Elisha turns one jar of oil into many vessels of oil so that a widow could sell the oil to pay her debts.

Two different stories of widows, but oil permeates both.

Psalm 45:7 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated wickedness, therefore God, Thy God has anointed Thee with the oil of joy above Thy fellows.

Isaiah 61:3 …the oil of gladness instead of mourning…

Matthew 25 oil for lamps for light for foolish and prudent.

Luke 7:46 Jesus says: You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume…

What does an olive oil lamp smell like?

Random Thoughts for a Sunday Morning

If the music person has us sing, "Fairest Lord Jesus" again this morning, I think I will scream. Better pray for God to give me self-control, and love and peace even though that is the song that makes Jesus look wimpy.

Bob had this housing cover break off and flop in the wind off the windshield wipers on the ten year old Plymouth van. It cost over two hundred dollars to replace. The new ones look nice and brand new and shiny, and Bob installed them himself saving us lots of money. The clear plastic was not the blades but the blades cover.

We saw the new Narnia movie, Prince Caspian again. I still teared up, but at a different place. I like to go back and enjoy the movie the second time. I was too tense and jumpy during the first showing. And I heard the music this time, and the crowd reaction. It has funny breaks in it. More noticeable the second time around. We like to support good, Christian movies. Lots of allegories in this one. Lots of food for thought. Susan has a huge role and I lost count of how many enemy soldiers she takes out with her bow and arrow. Wow. A Warrior Woman.

Our new second lieutenant left on Friday. We are into day two of him being gone, but have spoken with him on the phone a lot as he safely traversed Oklahoma, Missouri, and Ohio. The first pain was a gut blow, but I am embarrassed to admit it, as our son is fine, graduated, excited about the next phase in his life, and in his mind, had put up with us way too long. I am glad he was here for all four years of college. Our Firstborn enjoyed college away, and he called that his home after a while.

I love having the windows open to hear the birdies sing. We made it yesterday, but it is suppose to get up to ninety today, so we may need to turn on the AC.

Looking at attending a nephew's wedding in Georgia the end of May, and Bob said we'd only be eight hours from James. I wonder if James wants to see us that soon. Maybe he will need something from home, and that can be our excuse?

The Narnia song is stuck in my head, and my humming of it is driving Bob nuts already. People with perfect pitch find the rest of us painful.

The Mother's Day Flowers survived a whole week !!! Can't believe one week ago today we were headed to our new second lieutenant's graduation. What a week!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Our new second lieutenant is driving north. He called at 3pm from Howe, Texas. He left a message on our call notes saying he just had to call--and how it was not a very big town. He is having fun with a navigational device he received from his big brother and his wife for graduation. Thanks to having a big, spread out family, he should be at relatives' house before 10pm. He was concerned he would not be able got get an hotel room because of his age. So, he chose a route to his first fort by way of relatives.

Tonight, my dear husband is taking me to a movie--the new Narnia movie is out, Prince Caspian.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Less Than Fifteen Hours

He is packing.

I have provided two self-addressed, stamped envelopes. And maps of route choices in case its cloudy. He does not think his graduation present gorman works if it is cloudy. Ha.

Laundry is done up. Folded even.

Quarters for toll roads.

Goodbyes said to Great Uncle Bill. Pictures given and war stories exchanged.

The closet empties of ACUs. And camelback. And combat boots.

I wonder if they let second lieutenants take multi-vitamins? They did not at LDAC.

Gotta learn to speak in acronyms now. Say it with me---sounds like L-dack.

My nephew goes to LDAC one this summer. James goes to LDAC two later this summer.

LDAC one is in the beautiful, cool state of Washington complete with majestic mountains.

LDAC two is held at Fort Sill. Whoops. James said its called BOLC (pronouned bullock).

Say it with me Grandmother: L-dack is near Seattle, at Fort Lewis where you need a sweatshirt in August. And bullock is at Fort Sill, where only something as thick as a sweatshirt will keep you from burning your boo-hiney on the bleachers.

Shiloh

Noah waited yet another seven days, and again he sent out the dove from the ark. And the dove came to him toward evening, and behold, in her beak was a freshly picked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the water was abated from the earth. Then he waited yet another seven days, and sent out the dove, but she did not return to him again.

For Thy salvation I wait, O Lord. (Jacob’s dying words in Genesis 48 and 49) “Please swear to me, Joseph, my son, please do not bury me in Egypt, but when I lie down with my father, you shall carry me out of Egypt and bury me in their burial place.” Jacob recalls and reminds everyone that Rachel is buried in Bethlehem.

Genesis 49:15 And he blessed Joseph, and said, “The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, The God who has been my SHEPHERD all my life to this day, the angel who has redeemed me form all evil, bless the lads, and may my name live on in them, and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac, and may they grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.” (vs 21) “Behold, I am about to die, but God will be with you, and bring you back to the land of your fathers. And I give you one portion more than your brothers, which I took from the hand of the Amorite with my sword and my bow.”

I don’t think Jacob is talking about Judah so much in Genesis 49:8-12 “Judah, your brothers shall praise you, your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies, your father’s sons shall bow down to you. Judah is a lion’s whelp, (cub) from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He crouches, he lies down as a lion, and as a lion, who dares rouse him up? The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until Shiloh comes, and to Him shall be the obedience of the peoples. He ties his foal to the vine, and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine; He washes His garments in wine, and His robes in the blood of grapes. His eyes are dull from wine, and His teeth white from milk. (Judah in the Hebrew sounds like the word for Praise—says the Net Bible notes) (Shiloh—the place where the ark resided in the future, or does Shiloh mean the Messiah?, or does it mean just ‘tribute comes’?) (obedience of the peoples means the nations)

Right before Jesus went to the cross, He asked his disciples to fetch a colt that had never been ridden, and He rode it into Jerusalem during His first advent. Then He went to the cross. When He comes back, at the second advent, also called, His Second coming, He will defeat all the armies arrayed against Israel, and set everything right, and rule for one thousand years. So, back in Genesis 49, Jacob is dying, and God the Holy Spirit is prophesying about the coming Messiah. These words probably did not make much sense to their ears, but to us, looking back, the Promise of a Messiah continued with each generation. Jacob believed in that Messiah. And Jacob knew he was going to die and be gathered to his fathers. Jacob believed in resurrection. Jacob knew this was not the end. Joseph honored his father’s wishes, and carried his father’s bones back to Israel. And then Joseph gave instructions that his bones, too, be carried back and four hundred years later, as Israel became a nation, they carried Joseph’s bones with them back to the Promised Land.

Shiloh is in Psalm 78. Wow. Whoever wrote Psalm 78 also must have read Jacob’s dying words in David’s time when so much of what Jacob said had come true. Again, that theme of Shepherd.

(Psa 78:1 NASB) (A Maskil of Asaph.) Listen, O my people, to my instruction; Incline your ears to the words of my mouth.

(Psa 78:2 NASB) I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old,

(Psa 78:3 NASB) Which we have heard and known, And our fathers have told us.

(Psa 78:4 NASB) We will not conceal them from their children, But tell to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, And His strength and His wondrous works that He has done.

(Psa 78:5 NASB) For He established a testimony in Jacob, And appointed a law in Israel, Which He commanded our fathers, That they should teach them to their children,

(Psa 78:6 NASB) That the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, That they may arise and tell them to their children,

(Psa 78:7 NASB) That they should put their confidence in God, And not forget the works of God, But keep His commandments,

(Psa 78:8 NASB) And not be like their fathers, A stubborn and rebellious generation, A generation that did not prepare its heart, And whose spirit was not faithful to God.

(Psa 78:9 NASB) The sons of Ephraim were archers equipped with bows, Yet they turned back in the day of battle.

(Psa 78:10 NASB) They did not keep the covenant of God, And refused to walk in His law;

(Psa 78:11 NASB) And they forgot His deeds, And His miracles that He had shown them.

(Psa 78:12 NASB) He wrought wonders before their fathers, In the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.

(Psa 78:13 NASB) He divided the sea, and caused them to pass through; And He made the waters stand up like a heap.

(Psa 78:14 NASB) Then He led them with the cloud by day, And all the night with a light of fire.

(Psa 78:15 NASB) He split the rocks in the wilderness, And gave them abundant drink like the ocean depths.

(Psa 78:16 NASB) He brought forth streams also from the rock, And caused waters to run down like rivers.

(Psa 78:17 NASB) Yet they still continued to sin against Him, To rebel against the Most High in the desert.

(Psa 78:18 NASB) And in their heart they put God to the test By asking food according to their desire.

(Psa 78:19 NASB) Then they spoke against God; They said, "Can God prepare a table in the wilderness?

(Psa 78:20 NASB) "Behold, He struck the rock, so that waters gushed out, And streams were overflowing; Can He give bread also? Will He provide meat for His people?"

(Psa 78:21 NASB) Therefore the LORD heard and was full of wrath, And a fire was kindled against Jacob, And anger also mounted against Israel;

(Psa 78:22 NASB) Because they did not believe in God, And did not trust in His salvation.

(Psa 78:23 NASB) Yet He commanded the clouds above, And opened the doors of heaven;

(Psa 78:24 NASB) And He rained down manna upon them to eat, And gave them food from heaven.

(Psa 78:25 NASB) Man did eat the bread of angels; He sent them food in abundance.

(Psa 78:26 NASB) He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens; And by His power He directed the south wind.

(Psa 78:27 NASB) When He rained meat upon them like the dust, Even winged fowl like the sand of the seas,

(Psa 78:28 NASB) Then He let them fall in the midst of their camp, Round about their dwellings.

(Psa 78:29 NASB) So they ate and were well filled; And their desire He gave to them.

(Psa 78:30 NASB) Before they had satisfied their desire, While their food was in their mouths,

(Psa 78:31 NASB) The anger of God rose against them, And killed some of their stoutest ones, And subdued the choice men of Israel.

(Psa 78:32 NASB) In spite of all this they still sinned, And did not believe in His wonderful works.

(Psa 78:33 NASB) So He brought their days to an end in futility, And their years in sudden terror.

(Psa 78:34 NASB) When He killed them, then they sought Him, And returned and searched diligently for God;

(Psa 78:35 NASB) And they remembered that God was their rock, And the Most High God their Redeemer.

(Psa 78:36 NASB) But they deceived Him with their mouth, And lied to Him with their tongue.

(Psa 78:37 NASB) For their heart was not steadfast toward Him, Nor were they faithful in His covenant.

(Psa 78:38 NASB) But He, being compassionate, forgave their iniquity, and did not destroy them; And often He restrained His anger, And did not arouse all His wrath.

(Psa 78:39 NASB) Thus He remembered that they were but flesh, A wind that passes and does not return.

(Psa 78:40 NASB) How often they rebelled against Him in the wilderness, And grieved Him in the desert!

(Psa 78:41 NASB) And again and again they tempted God, And pained the Holy One of Israel.

(Psa 78:42 NASB) They did not remember His power, The day when He redeemed them from the adversary,

(Psa 78:43 NASB) When He performed His signs in Egypt, And His marvels in the field of Zoan,

(Psa 78:44 NASB) And turned their rivers to blood, And their streams, they could not drink.

(Psa 78:45 NASB) He sent among them swarms of flies, which devoured them, And frogs which destroyed them.

(Psa 78:46 NASB) He gave also their crops to the grasshopper, And the product of their labor to the locust.

(Psa 78:47 NASB) He destroyed their vines with hailstones, And their sycamore trees with frost.

(Psa 78:48 NASB) He gave over their cattle also to the hailstones, And their herds to bolts of lightning.

(Psa 78:49 NASB) He sent upon them His burning anger, Fury, and indignation, and trouble, A band of destroying angels.

(Psa 78:50 NASB) He leveled a path for His anger; He did not spare their soul from death, But gave over their life to the plague,

(Psa 78:51 NASB) And smote all the first-born in Egypt, The first issue of their virility in the tents of Ham.

(Psa 78:52 NASB) But He led forth His own people like sheep, And guided them in the wilderness like a flock;

(Psa 78:53 NASB) And He led them safely, so that they did not fear; But the sea engulfed their enemies.

(Psa 78:54 NASB) So He brought them to His holy land, To this hill country which His right hand had gained.

(Psa 78:55 NASB) He also drove out the nations before them, And He apportioned them for an inheritance by measurement, And made the tribes of Israel dwell in their tents.

(Psa 78:56 NASB) Yet they tempted and rebelled against the Most High God, And did not keep His testimonies,

(Psa 78:57 NASB) But turned back and acted treacherously like their fathers; They turned aside like a treacherous bow.

(Psa 78:58 NASB) For they provoked Him with their high places, And aroused His jealousy with their graven images.

(Psa 78:59 NASB) When God heard, He was filled with wrath, And greatly abhorred Israel;

(Psa 78:60 NASB) So that He abandoned the dwelling place at Shiloh, The tent which He had pitched among men,

(Psa 78:61 NASB) And gave up His strength to captivity, And His glory into the hand of the adversary.

(Psa 78:62 NASB) He also delivered His people to the sword, And was filled with wrath at His inheritance.

(Psa 78:63 NASB) Fire devoured His young men; And His virgins had no wedding songs.

(Psa 78:64 NASB) His priests fell by the sword; And His widows could not weep.

(Psa 78:65 NASB) Then the Lord awoke as if from sleep, Like a warrior overcome by wine.

(Psa 78:66 NASB) And He drove His adversaries backward; He put on them an everlasting reproach.

(Psa 78:67 NASB) He also rejected the tent of Joseph, And did not choose the tribe of Ephraim,

(Psa 78:68 NASB) But chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion which He loved.

(Psa 78:69 NASB) And He built His sanctuary like the heights, Like the earth which He has founded forever.

(Psa 78:70 NASB) He also chose David His servant, And took him from the sheepfolds;

(Psa 78:71 NASB) From the care of the ewes with suckling lambs He brought him, To shepherd Jacob His people, And Israel His inheritance.

(Psa 78:72 NASB) So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, And guided them with his skillful hands.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Waiting

We wait. James is waiting to sign official papers with the Army tomorrow after the official grades are “in”.

I rode with James today as he tried to exchange uniform (ACUs) pants that were too big. But the old Carlswell AFB now called Joint Something, did not have the mediums. Nice clerk allowed us to buy $45 worth in underware and socks. And special, yet cheap, cold water detergent for the ACUs. Getting on the base/fort is a hoot. First you go to a visitor’s center. And there you get on a list. They only have so many clerks and so many retired folks wanting at the commissary. You have to show your ID and drivers license. And proof of registration/insurance and then show them to the uniformed gal at the gate.

One last visit to Angelos for ribs. Hitting them at 2pm is the way to go. NO line. Whoop. The best ribs. No more coolers. They have a drink machine now. Modernizing after fifty years.

The stacks begin for packing. Washer and dryer are humming/squeaking as I get the last of his underware and clothing done up. He likes the navy colored towels, too. So, soon as they are dry, I will add them to the stacks.

James purchased a three-piece hinged top for his pickup. Now he can haul more stuff, and use it as storage wherever he goes. It is not one hundred percent water/rain proof. The salesman said more like 80 per cent. A “coffin” top might have been cooler, but more expensive. I have some bins he can use to keep stuff dry, and I also bought him some extra big zip lock baggies. The Fort Knox and the Fort Sill packing lists are similar, he says, but most stuff will wait in his bedroom at home for the longer stays at Fort Leonard Wood, and the final destination of Fort Sill. Hopefully, then, he can take it all, or store it in our little house shed out back if/when he is deployed.

So, we wait. We wait for grades. And as soon as the ROTC department has said grades, and says he has passed everything, then, he will sign papers, pack the truck, and head north. He hopes to stay with big brother over the weekend before reporting to Fort Knox.

Worst case scenario---if the grades indicate he needs three more hours of something, then all this changes, and he will enroll in the class he needs and study some more. And the stacks will be put in the closet for an August departure.

So we wait. Bob will be home soon. In thirty minutes or so. The clothes in the dryer will need folding, and the ones in the washer transferred to the dryer but then hung up so they don’t wrinkle. And we will go to church. And James will go to his dance class in Fort Worth one last time or one more time?

What does James watch while he waits? Some Monty Python. And now, GONE WITH THE WIND. I kid you not.

We wait. And go to church, Wednesday night Bible Study. And after, get an ice cream cone. What will tomorrow bring?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Remnants

A tired, sad pink balloon hangs in the hall.

The toddler book that chirps sits all alone on the desk.

The sippy cups are clean, dry and stacked in the cupboard.

We so enjoyed our little sixteen month old granddaughter last weekend.

I want to remember her babbling. And her shoulder dance.

And I want to remember how she imitates us. When we were talking through the door to her Daddy as he packed, she, too babbled to the door. Too funny.

And what a trooper. The loud whistles, hoots, yelling and air horns at uncle's graduation did not scare her. She so got into the clapping. And while other babies howled during the abysmal speeches, she was entertained by the contents of my niece's purse and antics of animated cousins.

I want to remember a little girl falling asleep in my arms. A little girl with wispy hair and fingers entwined in her favorite pink crocheted blanket.

When this little girl's Daddy was graduating from high school, my sister's little blonde daughter toddled around. Now that very same girl is almost ten years old, and hauled around our granddaughter or my brother's youngest little boy.

Four generations attended. Twenty of us? Wall to wall relatives, and stories, and laughter. And amazing growth and changes at our last hurrah. Some I had not seen since our 99 year old grandpa's funeral last August. And I doubt we will all be together again until the next graduation and commissioning...next May and June and August !

I think I will leave the little handprint on the mirror and where she gave the baby in the mirror a kiss...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Just Wondering

Do moms of just daughters ever have black pens left in pockets?

Since bathroom humor is the highest form for boys, what do moms of girls enjoy?

Boys decorate gingerbread men with matchbox car tire tracks, what do girls decorate cookies with?

Now I know why my Dad’s mom (a mom of just boys) was so excited to get granddaughters. What are moms of at least one each, a boy and girl, excited to get?

Where is a mom of boys suppose to learn about jock straps, athletes foot, pilonidal sinus, and whiskers?

And for old moms of just boys now men, what do we do with this hard won information??

Happy Mother’s Day to all you Moms of Just Girls. Mother’s Day was invented by a DAUGHTER.

The Big Day

The jacket is hung with its patches and bars
In hopes that St. Nicholas... no, wrong holiday.

We did cut it close, however with the removing of the rotc patches and the discovery of gooey glue melted to the fabric. The soon-to-be second lieutenant was able to exchange the jacket, get the black cording removed from the old and transferred to the new, and pick it up at the cleaners just in the nick of time after commissioning practice and before dinner-with-the relatives who had traveled from afar. Wisemen from the east...

Our last hurrah. For we have not a daughter, thus, even when our sons marry, the focus will be on their bride, and our role will be to smile and proclaim everything wonderful and marvelous in our eyes.

Today we get to pin the golden butter bars upon his shoulder. Today we, thankfully, have no speaking role. And as much as I have asked about it, he has not previewed the paragraph he will speak. And being the last of the fourteen or fifteen, last alphabetically, we get to wait. I hope I don't trip, and I hope I don't irritate my sons too much asking them to smile for the camera.

Moms of sons have it easy compared to moms of daughters. I'd better go pack the extra kleenex packets in my purse before I forget.

Friday, May 9, 2008

More on the Different Ways God deals with enemy armies

Warfare in Isaiah

Unnerving verse of the day: Isaiah 33:18 Your heart will meditate on terror: “Where is he who counts? Where is he who weighs? Where is he who counts the towers?”

33:22 For the Lord is our judge, The Lord is our lawgiver, The Lord is our king, He will save us—

34:4 …and the sky will be rolled up like a scroll…

Better minds than mine can explain the dire situation Jerusalem is in when Hezekiah prays for deliverance:

Isaiah 37:15- And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord saying, “O Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, who art enthroned above the cherubim, Thou art the God, Thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. Thou hast made heaven and earth. Incline Thine ear, O Lord, and hear, open Thine eyes, O Lord, and see, and listen to the words of Sennacherib, who sent them to reproach the living God. Truly, O Lord, the kings of Assyria have devastated all the countries and their lands, and have cast their gods into the fire, for they were not gods but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone. So they have destroyed them. And now, O Lord our God, deliver us from his hand that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that Thou alone, Lord, art God.”

Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent word to Hezekiah, saying, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Because you have prayed to Me about Sennacherib king of Assyria, this is the word that the Lord has spoken against him: “She has despised you and mocked you, the virgin daughter of Zion, she has shaken her head behind you, the daughter of Jerusalem! Whom have you reproached and blasphemed? And against whom have you raised your voice, and haughtily lifted up your eyes? Against the Holy One of Israel! Through your servants you hve reproached the Lord, and you have said, “With my chariots I came up to the heights of the mountains, to the remotest parts of Lebanon, and I cut down its tall cedars and its choice cypresses. And I will go to its highest peak, its thickest forest. I dug wells and drank water, and with the sole of my feet I dried up all the rivers of Egypt.’ “Have you not heard? Long ago I did it, from ancient times I planned it. Now I have brought it to pass, that you should turn fortified cities into ruinous heaps. Therefore their inhabitants were short of strength, they were dismayed and put to shame, they were as the begetation of the field and as the green herb, as the grass on the houstops is scorched before it is grown up. BUT I KNOW YOUR SITTING DOWN, AND YOUR GOING OUT AND YOUR COMING IN, AND YOUR RAGING AGAINST ME.” (emphasis mine) “Because of your raging against Me, and because your arrogance has come up to My ears, therefore I will put My hook in your nose, and My bridle in your lips, and I will turn you back by the way which you came. Then this shall be the sign for you: you shall eat this year what grows of itself; in the second year what springs from the same, and in the third year sow, reap, plant vineyards, and eat their fruit. “And the surviving remnant of the house of Judah shall again take root downward and bear fruit upward. For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and out of Mount Zion survivors. The zeal of the Lord of hosts shall perform this.” Therefore, thus says the Lord concerning the king of Assyria, “He shall not come to this city, or shoot an arrow there, neither shall he come before it with a shield, nor throw up a mount against it. By the way that he came, by the same he shall return, and he shall not come to this city,” declares the Lord. “For I will defend this city to save it for My own sake and for My servant David’s sake.” THEN AN ANGEL OF THE LORD WENT OUT, AND STRUCK 185,000 IN THE CAMP OF THE ASSYRIANS, AND WHEN MEN AROSE EARLY IN THE MORNING, BEHOLD, ALL OF THESE WERE DEAD.

So Sennacherib, king of Assyria, departed and returned home and lived at Nineveh. (present day Iraq)

Neat, huh?? God warns, answers King Hezekiah’s prayer, and wipes out King Sennacherib’s army.

The difference in this story with the one I blogged about yesterday was that in this story we have dead bodies. How long did it take to bury 185,000??? The Bible says they were dead. Not just gone, as in left in haste when the lepers found tents full of food and clothing in 2 Kings 7:3. I had never pondered the difference in these two ways God dwelt with protecting Israel.

Our dear soldiers fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, and I want to repeat parts of this prayer for them:

Dear Heavenly Father, As Hezekiah prayed many years ago, You are the Lord of the Heavenly Armies, and You alone are THE GOD, and You alone, are enthroned above the cherubim, and You made heaven and earth. The Arab nations surrounding Israel still lob bombs into Israel, and send terrorists to murder people in Israel. You know and have known from eternity past what all the arabs are saying against Israel, and against the USA. Please deliver our soldiers from the terrorists so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You alone, Lord, are God. Show the falseness of Islam, and reveal for all the world to see the evil in that religion. Destroy those who have hard hearts because they blaspheme You. And please destroy those in our country who would seek to undercut what our troops are trying to do in Iraq and Afghanistan. Please give our troops the equipment, funding, clarity, leadership, wisdom to bring peace to Iraq and Afghanistan by wiping out the terrorists. Please reveal where osoma is hiding and allow our troops to take him and his terrorists out. And what would You have our troops do about Iran? And Syria? Please keep us a friend and protector of Israel. Only You, Lord, can reveal to the arab peoples that Islam is a lie, and turn them from abusing their women and children. Your Will be done. In Jesus Name I pray. Amen.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Studying God's View of Warfare

The different ways God deals with enemy armies

2 Kings 6 The king Aram got tired of the prophet Elisha knowing what he spoke secretly, and tried to capture Elisha. The king of Aram sent his army to surround Dothan and when Elisha’s attendant got up early and saw an army with horses and chariots circling the city, he cried out to Elisha, “alas, my master! What shall we do?” So Elisha answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” And the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he saw, and behold, THE MOUNTAIN WAS FULL OF HORSES AND CHARIOTS OF FIRE ALL AROUND ELISHA. And when they came down to him, Elisha prayed to the Lord and said, “Strike this people with blindness, I pray.” So He struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha. Then Elisha said to them, “This is not the way, nor is this the city, follow me and I will bring you to the man you seek.” And he brought them to Samaria. And it came about when they had come into Smaria, that Elisha said, “O Lord, open the eyes of these men, that they may see.” So the Lord opened their eyes, and they saw, and behold, they were in the midst of Samaria. Then the king of Israel when he saw them, said to Elisha, “Shall I kill them?? Shall I kill them?” Elisaha answered, “You shall not kill them. Would you kill those you have taken captive with your sword and with your bow? Set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink and go to their master.” So he prepared a great feast for them, and when they had eaten and drunk he sent them away, and they went to their master. And the marauding bands of Arameans did not come again into the land of Israel.

Now wouldn’t you like to see this depicted in a movie?? And throw in the floating ax in the special effects that comes in the story just one section before this narrative.

Another army came and besieged Samaria and caused a famine, and they had started eating their children, and the king got mad and sent a messenger to behead Elisha, but Elisha knew he was coming, and forewarned and then proclaimed what was going to happen. His followers probably thought he was talking in parables. Lets skip to 2 Kings 7:3 and meet four leprous men. Outcasts, unclean, living separately, we find them at the entrance of the gate of the city. They said to one another: “Why do we sit here until we die?” “If we say, ‘we will enter the city,’ then the famine is in the city and we shall die there, and if we sit here, we die also. Now therefore, come, and let us go over to the camp of the Arameans. If they spare us, we shall live, and if they kill us, we shall but die.” And they arose at twilight to go to the camp and when they came to the outskirts of the camp, behold, there was no one there. For the Lord had caused the army of the Arameans to hear a sound of chariots and a sound of horses, even the sound of a great army, so that they said to one another, “Behold, the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of the Egyptians, to come upon us.” Therefore, they arose and fled in the twilight, and left their tents and their horses and donkeys, even the camp just as it was, and fled for their lives. So when these lepers came to the outskirts of the camp, they entered one tent and ate and drank, and carried from there silver and gold and clothes, and went and hid them, and they returned and entered another tent and carried from there also, and hid them. Verse 9: Then they said to one another, “We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, but we are keeping silent, if we wait until morning light, punishment will overtake us. Now therefore, let us go and tell the king’s household.” When the lepers came to the gatekeepers of the city, and told of the empty camp, the king did not believe it. The king’s servants had to convince him to send a band to investigate. Then the people were able to go out and plunder the camp. Other prophecies came true that day. But I will let you read it for yourself. 2 Kings 7

Deut. 20: When you go out to battle against your enemies and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them, for the Lord your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt, is with you…Do not be fainthearted. Do not be afraid, or panic, or tremble before them, for the Lord your God is the One who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.

Another chapter for soldiers—for very specific examples are given on how to deal with situations.

Joshua 24:6,7 Israel is never to forget how God dwelt with the army of chariots of Pharoah.

1 Samuel 13 tells the story of King Saul and consequences of not obeying God’s instructions.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Studying God's View of Army and Warfare

“…But there was no sword in David’s hand. Then David ran and stood over the Philistine and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled.” 1 Samuel 17:50

At first glance, it looks like David is unprepared. But the verse actually starts with: “Thus David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and he struck the Philistine and killed him,…”

It is just that a sling and stone did the job, but using the Philistine’s own sword was very effective in causing the enemy to flee. Goliath’s sword was probably very heavy and over-sided for Goliath’s nine feet. David rejected the heavy, too-big-for-him armor that King Saul provided. I love this concept that David, though young, ran toward the enemy, was a dead aim, and used weapons at hand---or in this case, a sword still sheathed.

1 Samuel 18:29 “then Saul was even more afraid of David. Thus Saul was David’s enemy continually.”

Another study to contemplate---this time of David rising and Saul living out a mean, hateful, disobedient life. David was anointed, but not crowned for some time. And David’s worst enemy sometimes was King Saul. David continued to be respectful of King Saul, and let his Heavenly Father decide the timing of Saul’s end. What a neat picture of Christ, our anointed King, but allowing history to play out. There is a lot to ponder in this relationship where King Saul is a type or picture of Satan.

And what do we make of King Saul’s own children helping David escape at different times? Michal, David’s first wife, and Jonathan, David’s best friend: see 1 Sam. 19:11 and 1 Sam. 20:16

1 Samuel 23:3 “But David’s men said to him, ‘Behold, we are afraid…’ verse 4 “Then David inquired of the Lord once more. And the Lord answered him and said, ‘Arise, go down…for I will give the Philistines into your hand.”

I love this verse because David’s men were not afraid to tell him what they thought. And David was not afraid to seek confirmation from his Heavenly Boss. Someday, our Heavenly Boss will speak directly to us and we won’t faint.

1 Samuel 24:5-7 “And it came about afterward that David’s conscience bothered him because he had cut off the edge of Saul’s robe. So he said to his men, ‘Far be it from me because of the Lord that I should do this thing to my lord, for the Lord’s anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, since he is the Lord’s anointed.’ And David persuaded his men with these words and did not allow them to rise up against Saul…”

David is a true leader. He has a conscience. He taught by example and words. Keep in mind that these men, these strong and valiant warriors will be honored at the end of his life, and honored for their brains, not just their skill.

1 Chronicles 27 speaks of the “men of outstanding capability” and “mighty men” and “counselors” and “commanders” and 2 Samuel 23:8 talks of what these mighty men did.

1 Chronicles 29 (from the middle of King David’s wonderful prayer) “…But who am I and who are my people that we should be able to offer as generously as this? For all things come from Thee, and from Thy Hand we have given Thee. For we are sojourners before Thee, and tenants, as all our fathers were, our days on the earth are like a shadow…”

1 Chronicles 7 “mighty men of valor” “ready to go out with the army to war” “choice” “archers”

1 Chronicles 12 “mighty men” “equipped with bows, using both the right hand and the left to sling stones and to shoot arrows from the bow…” “mighty men of valor, men trained for war, who could handle shield and spear, and WHOSE FACES WERE LIKE THE FACES OF LIONS, and they were as swift as the gazelles on the mountains.”

“famous in their fathers’ households” “who could draw up in battle formation with all kinds of weapons of war and helped David with an undivided heart.” “came with a perfect heart” “were of one mind” “like the Army of God”

The first Biblical army is found in Genesis 21 where Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, spoke to Abraham, saying, “God is with you in all that you do..”

Abraham trained and lead his servants in an army to rescue Lot and the captured ones.

The Bible says a lot about Pharoah’s army. And as Israel begins as a nation, the book of Numbers lists their army as an intrinsic part of order and security and obeying God’s commands.

Deut. 23:9 “When you go out as an army against your enemies, then you shall keep yourself from every evil thing.” And verse 14: “Since the Lord your God walks in the midst of your camp to deliver you and to defeat your enemies before you, therefore your camp must be holy, and He must not see anything indecent among you lest He turn away from you.”

And lest you ladies think your are exempt from preparedness and using what is at hand, see Judges 4:21. “But Jael, Heber’s wife, took a tent peg and seized a hammer in her hand, and went secretly to (Sisera hiding under her rug) and drove the tent peg into his temple...”

I like that gal. Put him to sleep with a bottle of milk, and used weapons at hand.

If you word search “army” in Quickverse, you will see that it occurs 207 times.

Some are given a glimpse of God’s Army. 2 Kings 6:17

2 Chronicles 16:8,9 “Were not the Ethiopians and the Lubim an immense army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet, because you relied on the Lord, He delivered them into your hand. For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. You have acted foolishly in this. Indeed, from now on you will surely have wars.”

God delivers with small against great numbers again in 2 Chronicles 24:24 “because they had forsaken the Lord, the God of their fathers.”

And for you romantics---amazing how many army references in the Song of Solomon. Banners, as in an army with banners.

Armies of the future: Ezekiel 1:24, Ezekiel 37:10

Ezekiel 38, Daniel 11, Joel 2, and Revelation 19

One of my favorite army stories is when an enemy has come to destroy Israel, and God just takes them out, but leaves their stuff to feed and arm the city, and how God used lepers to alert the city that they were safe. But, I will save that story for another day.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Badmouthing Ruth Chris To Everyone I Know

Ruth Chris oughta be Ruth Crisp

We were very excited to see a Ruth Chris steakhouse open downtown Fort Worth right across the street from my husband’s old building. We dropped in on them one day for lunch after they opened, but found out they are only open for supper. And they recommend getting a reservation. So, we took a card, and waited for a better time.

Even though we had a reservation, we were sent to wait in the bar, and it was very crowded, and by the time the one bar-waiter got to us, we were tired of waiting. The bar chairs were none too comfortable.

They tried shoveling us into a teeny booth, but I did not fit. I was amused to see that they usually shovel six people into this booth. The manager sensed my discomfort and gave us a table. I have never had a manager rub me on the shoulders like that. It was creepy. The light was better at the table. We could actually read the menu and were shocked to see that some items did not even have a price. Buffalo, for example, was open-ended as far as what it was going to cost. Buffalo are migratory creatures, so I guess, it depends on how far and wide they had to go to procure said buffalo.

We were provided with one sad French roll and a tiny bit of butter to keep us occupied until the food arrived. It bothered me and I realized later that we could have eaten at Carrabbas THREE times for what this ended up costing us. And the Carrabbas bread is heavenly, and they keep it coming, fresh and hot.

I ordered medium well, which promised some pink. Good thing I did not order well done. Our steak-loving son does not like broccoli so he chose the broiled tomato. I don’t think I have ever paid seven dollars for a broiled tomato. No bread crumbs, no cheese, no nothing. Just a broiled tomato. My grandpa, who was a farmer, would find high humor in the city slickers being so dumb.

Disappointed with Ruth Crisp? That would be an understatement. We have listened to Sean Hannity brag about them for YEARS on the radio. I realize this Ruth Chris had only been open a few weeks, but the service was agonizingly slow, the manager too touchy-feely, they ran out of cheesecake, and the prices way too high. Give me Carrabbas any day. And what is with this serving wine in a huge glass that they don’t even fill half-way? Precise measuring must be saving them some pennies somewhere, I guess. And they gouge the silly rich folks selling bottled water, too. Please.

A Runaway Pushing a Walker

Bob spotted her first. He said later that he saw her goofy grin, her arms gripping her walker and knew she was an escapee as she headed across the busy four lanes of traffic away from the nursing home. "Go back," I said as I dug my cell phone out of my purse and flipped it open to turn it on. Bob circled back through the neighborhood and we both thought, surely, someone from the nursing home can see her, or surely, someone in the traffic closer to her will stop and guide her back before we can turn around. But, no. As we approached from the south, we could see a line of stopped traffic. At least they stopped. And she had made it across the four lanes, but was looking around wildly like she might try to recross by herself again. I jumped out to block her from stepping out in front of the cars now whizzing by, and Bob used our car to block traffic. As I coaxed her back from the street, Bob eased into the parking lot and opened the back van door. He wanted to put her in the van for safety, and if she let us, haul her back. I was surprised she obeyed and he helped her climb in and stow the walker. I noticed a painted, flat heart shaped wooden name tag dangling from the walker, and called 911. I told the operator what we were doing, taking an elderly escape artist back to her facility as she was outside the gates and had just crossed four lanes of heavy traffic. I don’t know how coherent I sounded, as the operator wanted to know if we wanted an officer sent. “Yes,” “but this is not an emergency…” We had her in our minivan, and were going to give her a ride back, and the operator wanted us to stay put. We did not want to cause this lady any more distress than was necessary, neither did we want to get in trouble for kidnapping, so I insisted, “no, we are taking her back.” The operator said to call back if we wanted an officer sent. After safely driving across the street and back into the gated community of nursing home buildings, we pulling into the first building that looked like it had an office. I hopped out to find someone who knew where this lady belonged. The lobby area was empty of people. A desk, unoccupied. I ventured further into the halls and a dining area, but one lone man sat eating his supper. So, I went back outside, and called 911 again, asking for an officer to come help us find where this lady belongs. This time a different operator was able to call the facility and get ahold of someone. Mrs. L_________ wanted out of the car, and we walked beside her into this building. She seemed to know where to go, and was pushing her walker down the hall when we finally spotted a polo-shirted employee on her cell phone. I think she was talking to the 911 operator, and assuring them that Mrs. L__________ was back, safe and sound. When the 911 operator came back on the line, I assured him that everything seemed back to normal. The employee claimed the elderly woman.

Happy Mother’s Day to the family of Mrs. L. I wonder if she will admit to her adventure. I wonder if the facility will admit to losing your dear mother for an hour? We talked to Mrs. L about what a beautiful evening for a walk, and she had said something about her failed runaway. Why did she want to runaway? Was the food not good? Her name sounds vaguely familiar, and I wonder if she used to live on our street. Seven years ago, we watched them build those fancy nursing home facilities on the old farm property across from the elementary school where our boys attended. As we drove out of the facilities and by the school, we wondered what we were suppose to do now. It was resolved before the police came. But, do we need to report the facility to protective services? If my mother was living there and had escaped, wouldn’t I want to know why their procedures broke down and why they did not miss her? Shouldn’t the facilities have a security camera on the busy street? If we had not gone back, would she have made it back on her own? Did anyone else call or care? What if we had taken the other route home or stopped to buy milk at Braum’s? Would we be reading about an elderly lady who wandered from her keepers, and was hit by cars? Sleep well, Mrs. L________. Today was not your day to go.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Sweet Memories

I want to remember last Sunday. James’ last Sunday. Pastor asked James to come to the podium and explain where he was going, so James gave his list of places he goes this summer. Sounds like the Army is jerking him around, but he has it down pat. And yet, he is torn as to how much detail folks want.


James was not much ready to say good-bye because he knows he’ll be back for visits. He does not realize it, but folks will want a report then. And he may get tired of telling things, but we cannot depend on our press to get military stuff correct. And folks are grateful that men like James are purchasing our freedom on a daily basis. Soldiers in training don’t always feel like they are making a sacrifice having not seen battle nor the monotony of the in-between times. But, the training is what soldiers do 90 percent of the time. It gets them ready and keeps them sharp.


I think it kind of hit James that he was looking at a big change coming in his life. We have been counting down at home for months. Ever since last year’s commissioning ceremony, we have seen this day coming. And what with finals, and plans to accommodate friends and relatives for commissioning, we are sighing to the last time we ……………. This time next week, commissioning and graduation will be over, and James will be waiting for official grades and final paperwork and then he is off.


Little things occupy our time, like getting the correct patches on the uniform. Turning in old rotc uniforms. My little sewing ripper has gotten quite a workout. One patch came off okay, but we found a glue mess under another, so we took it by the cleaners for them to solve or dissolve. The Army green formal uniform is just for parties, dances, commissioning ceremonies, and reporting in. Camo is worn for everyday. And the camo diggies (ACUs) have myriads of pockets on the arms so that things can be stashed and accessed while wearing armor. Mr. Soon-to-be 2LT left a black pen in his brand new diggies. I bought the special “all” detergent without brighteners but no amount of detergent conquers black pens. I turned to my trusty JOY and got most of it out. Yikes. Our youngest used to leave black pens in his pockets all the time. These Army uniforms are not cheap. $85 for one piece. I don’t know if I even own an $85 pair of pants. I don’t think I own an $85 blouse, either!

One final down. Two to go. Then commissioning practice, and relatives start arriving. But, I want to remember Sunday, when Pastor asked Brother Ivan to come forward and pray for this man headed off to war. This man. Brother Ivan lost his wife of sixty years not too long ago. Brother Ivan included the family, and our firstborn in the Airforce. We will miss next Sunday, the Mother’s Day carnations and exhortations because UTA scheduled James’ graduation for noon.

And maybe the necessary patch James ordered will make it before Saturday so I can sew on one more ...one last time.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Review of Carrier

One of the military blogs linked to the PBS series, "CARRIER" and online you can watch the full length videos of episodes 1-8 . That is what I have been doing for the past few days. Riveting. I can usually knit and watch videos on the computer at the same time. But, during the chapters on jets landing on the carrier in high seas, while the deck is "pitchoing," I could not knit. Too intense. Wow.

I can't believe the NAVY let it all hang out in this series. The liberal slant of the PBS folks love showing the young sailor that has no clue as to why we are at war. And to spend a whole episode on "religion" but I have not seen hide nor hair of a hospital nor medical doctor so I guess Navy sailors are one hundred percent healthy all the time.

And they "ground" a pilot for running out of gas and landing at the airport in Bagdad?? Dang. What if he had crashed? Would his career be over? It is not like he lost the plane.

The funniest spot was a sailor visiting a camel park petting the camel on the head saying he had finally found someone in the middle east that liked Americans.

So sad when the pilot learned his wife had miscarried. And what is with the jerk sailor who keeps calling and emailing his knocked up girlfriend. Why won't he marry her? Wouldn't that be the responsible and honorable thing?? He gets so irritated when she does not email him every week. As if she is running around on him pregnant.

Did the Navy think they were getting free recruiting?? PBS loves to point out over and over how all the recruits are poor and middle class.