Friday, May 13, 2011

Soaking up the Son

    For some reason, this never published; and, because today it was 45* and wayy windy, and I was frozen while watching a parade with my granddaughter, I am going to publish it anyway!

            It was a blustery winter day; the kind that makes you wish you could just   curl up before a
        roaring fire with a good book, a cup of tea and a good dog at your feet. Instead, I was at   
        work, outdoors, freezing.  Now, I love what I do,  but there are times that I have to think I 
        must be mad to be working outdoors on days like this. Nonetheless, here I was, cutting through
        a courtyard to the other side of the nursing home, shoveling the icy snow/sleet that had 
        accumulated on the sidewalks
.            Because I love the outdoors, I enjoy taking in my surroundings all the sights and sounds of 
        nature, and this day was no different, other than the terrible cold wind.
              As I came closer to the building, where the chapel is, the sun came bursting through the dark 
       gray clouds, and shone upon the cross atop the chapel steeple.  There, sitting one on either side of 
       the cross on this wicked winter day, was a pair of doves and then it hit me-they were soaking up     
       the sun!     
              Their sitting there on this cloudy, dreary day reminded me that even in our darkest hour, when     
       we can't seem to see daylight or remember what it feels like, that is when  we need to turn to the                Son,  our light and our salvation, our warmth on cold blustery days, our light unto our path, 
the One who 
       will lead us Home.
  So, when times are dark, remember the doves  in the courtyard-turn to the Father, and soak up the Son!!!

Things I am Thankful For


   Pre script: Something I started doing many years ago was writing down the simple things I was thankful for that day; it was during a rather rough time in my life and I needed that every night reminder of all the things that were good in my life. I kept doing this for years, why I quit I don’t know; I believe I will begin again.  Anyway, I ran across this ‘list’ this week from Oct. of 2002 and thought I would share it.  On this particular night, they came out in a poem; that happens often with me, even when I speak; some weird quirk in my brain loves to rhyme. (reminds me of a bit from Princess Bride-for all of you who know that movie!)  So, without further adieu:

Nice wood pen my ‘honey’ gave me
Electric blankets and flannel sheets
Someone to snuggle with when it’s cold
A love so true it will never grow old

For family and friends, and a roof o’er our head
Food on the table and nice soft beds
Each evening I jot down a list to remind me
Of the blessings I have but don’t always see

I put them on paper; they’re in black and white
So this is my list on this Monday night.
Why this started rhyming I don’t rightly know
But I’ll just keep writing and let the words flow

For “Jack the Wonder Dog’ for herding pigs,
And Max, who’s learning, tho he’s not very big.
For ‘Tommy kisses’ and Tigger at play
And the other cats who have come to stay

For the Rooster crowing before sunrise
And for the hens laying eggs-extra large size!
For our children four and the love they give
For their Grandma who teaches us all how to live

For freedoms we sometimes take for granted
And heeding Mom’s words “bloom where you’re planted”
For Kansas sunsets here at Sunset Acres
And for all the blessings bestowed by our Maker,
………..Thank You, Lord, Amen.

Post Scripts: Tommy was our 23 lb tom cat I rescued in the middle of a snowstorm after he had been hit on I-70. He loved to come up to you and ‘kiss’ your nose. What a great cat he was! Jack was my awesome Austrailian Shepherd, and Max was his ‘understudy’-a beautiful tri colored Corgi.  Sunset Acres is where I grew up N. of Salina. The house flooded and was bulldozed in 2007; broke all of our hearts, especially Moms-she really loved that place!


Monday, April 25, 2011

Live, Laugh and Love

Live, Laugh and love. Great advice on how to live a great life I would say.

To live-not just exist day to day, but to live each day to it’s fullest, no matter what it brings. To look for those small things each day that bring us joy and for ways to bring joy to others, through works or words.

To love, God, and family and friends. To give love and to know love in return, for love is the greatest gift.

Ahh, but to laugh-that is what makes the heart merry and the soul light! Laughter makes living and loving so much more enjoyable every day!  The laughter of a child is music to the ears and food for the soul; and our house has never been void of that for long!

Some of my favorite sounds that I remember include hearing my dad’s loud laugh and seeing the twinkle in his eye at a joke he heard, or a trick he pulled on someone, or something one of ‘the kids’ had done. Our house always had laughter and song. Dad used to wake me up singing ‘Lazy Mary won’t you get up, won't you get up, Lazy Mary won't you get up, we need the sheets for the table” or Oh, what a beautiful morning…. Each of these would start my day with a smile on my face.

Through the years there have been some good, funny happenings and pranks at our house, and funny stories from just about everyone.

Dinner time was always interesting at our house. With 5 boys, my parents and I, things were never normal, and seldom quiet at the table. (my two older sisters were grown and married by the time I was five) But that’s the way we were-we enjoyed our time together. 

My dad (you’ll hear bout him a lot, he was a pretty big presence!!) had this thing about bread and butter. He liked it. A lot. He just didn’t want to mess around buttering his own. So, when someone wasn’t looking, he’d swipe theirs off the plate and quickly take a bite so you wouldn’t want it back! One time I decided to get him back, as I always sat to his right hand, and so often was the one who lost the bread! Before dinner, I fixed bread and butter, but then on the back side, I smeared peanut butter so when he picked it up, he’d get a handful! Well, he did swipe it, he did get a handful of peanut butter, looked at me with his crooked grin and said “you snot!” and went on eating it anyway!!! And it didn’t break him of swiping bread!!

Well, my kids were raised around their grandparents and so have inherited or by osmosis gained the sense of humor that carried my family through everything growing up, and my husband's sense of humor is also over-developed, so they really had no chance of being quiet, serious people!

One morning we were getting ready for church, and had realized the time had changed, so were in a bit of a hurry to get all four children dressed and ready to go. We arrived at Mass just in time, knelt to pray, then waited, and waited, and waited. Finally, the little tiny Monsignor came out and announced that Mass would begin soon; the priest who was saying this Mass had forgotten he was to do so; he thought he had the next Mass, and also missed the time change and so was a bit behind! TC turned to me and asked “ Is that what you call Mass confusion?”

Another story which occurred at church was when our then four year old Jimmy (now James) was sitting between us at Christmas Eve Mass. After Jimmy was about 2, we began sitting in the front row, thinking that perhaps seeing what was going on would cause him to be more quiet in Mass. Well, it looked good on paper! (We still sit in the front row, by the way) Jimmy didn’t talk till he was 4, and not well until he was 9, so this was a surprise to us this night. We had just come back from communion and were kneeling, and Jimmy was quietly watching everyone as they went by to receive the Body of Christ. Remember, it’s Christmas, and a small child is thinking about Santa Claus. He could hear the priest saying over and over “The Body of Christ” as each person came to receive communion. Finally, Jimmy leaned to me and asked “Why he keep saying “Naughty or Nice?”

Well, it was bout all we could do to not burst out laughing, but we told him what was being said. Later, as I thought about it, I realized that really, that’s what it comes down to: Naughty? Nope, no Body of Christ for you...repent and come back...

We have a big family, so, at Easter, all of my Aunt Fern’s family would come to our house along with all of our gang. We would set up outside for as many as wanted to eat out there, and there were games of baseball, volleyball, and horseshoes involving family of all ages. One year it was unusually warm, and someone decided to help cool off a complainer with a glass of water. Well, that, of course, led to a full-blown water fight involving anyone who was outdoors. Except one brother in law whose sense of humor did not stretch that far...He stood over away from the fray up against the house to stay dry, watching with dismay the ‘childlike’ behavior of the rest of us. Well, he picked the wrong place to stand. My brother Jim decided that this guy was NOT immune to our good-natured games, and went upstairs to the shower, which happened to be right above the afore-mentioned in-law. Jim turned on the water, turned it to shower and put the hand-held shower head out the window and let it ‘rain’ on the other Jim!!! The look on his face was priceless!! He had been had!! He wasn’t very happy bout it, but decided I guess it was better to join them than be beat, so he joined in the ruckus too!

About a year ago, my brother Bill had a serious accident which caused him to be air-lifted to Stormont-Vail in Topeka. Bill works for a pig farmer and rancher, and he was loading round bales when one rolled off the forks TOWARDS him instead of the other way. When Bill tried to get out of the way, the bale landed on his back and pinned him to the tractor.
Well, we arrived in the ER just a half hour after the copter and were directed to where he was. He was in a drug induced coma because of the pain and also to keep him still because of his back injury, but we were told he could hear us, he just couldn't respond. So, because we are the way we are, we began talking to him about how they will have to fumigate the helicopter to get the pig smell out, and he would have to come down and clean the ER because there was hay everywhere, and just joking around with him. We also told him we loved him and we needed him to get better because he is our only official clown in the family and none of the rest of us knows how to make balloon animals!

Well, he was transferred to the Critical Care unit for 4 days and we stayed with him the whole time. My brother from St. Louis and his son and kids also came up, and hung out at his bedside till he was taken off life support and moved to another room. During this time, we often had him laughing, which of course caused ‘bells and whistles’ to go off, but the nurses said don’t worry, laughter is the best medicine!!! They knew what we do, that even in life’s difficulties, prayer and laughter are what will see you through!!!

Live, Laugh and Love. Life’s too short to be taken too seriously!!!


Saturday, April 16, 2011

As You Are Wed


It's a very special feeling
When you find that one true love
You walk on air and whistle,
And thank the Lord above

For He knows what He's doing
and it's not just 'happenstance'
When you fall in love and stay in love,
and share a lifelong dance.

You were created for each other
To complete and not compete
You can feel it in a touch
And whenever your eyes meet

So as you're wed one to another,
we ask the Lord above
to fill your hearts, your home,
your lives,
With everlasting love.
~Angel Andrewson

Monday, April 11, 2011

Morning Prayer



Help me today, Lord, in all that I do,
To let your love in me shine through

Let me not give in to gossip,
or let others bring me down,
but let me show them, by example,
the way to your shining crown.

Give me strength in all my struggles
that I not give in to strife,
but remind me of your gift to us,
with you, eternal life.
Amen.

Country Girls

We can throw hay bales
and put up fence
We were raised on love
and common sense

We love to play football,
baseball, too
not too many things
that we can't do

You can find us outside
most all day
turnin' greasy wrenches
or balin hay

that don't mean
we don't like dancin'
flowers in vases
and moonlight romancin'

We're self-reliant
sometimes defiant
but we still need someone strong and silent
to hold us tight at the end of the day
when nothin' but nothin's been goin our way.

We shoot rifles, shotguns
and clean the game,
We enjoy trout fishin
just the same


We rise at dawn,  
throw on a jacket
head outside
without much racket

the guys are sleepin
just a snorin'
they don't know
there's a "5 in the mornin''

We head outdoors
to water and feed
check for eggs
throw chicken seed

we ride our horses
herdin' cattle
checkin' fence,  
a losing battle

yes, we're self-reliant
sometimes defiant
but we still need someone
strong and silent
to hold us tight at the end of the day
when nothin' but nothin has gone our way

We're country girls,
we've grown up strong
we'll keep keepin' on
while singin' our song

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Golden Anniversary

 Through 50 years of 'wedded bliss'
You've learned the value of a tender kiss;
The unspoken love in a tender touch
When words alone wouldn't mean as much

You've no doubt had your share of tears,
of sorrows, losses, and of fears.
Yet through the years you've come to know
That true love never fails to grow.

Then, too there were the happy times
of children playing and nursery rhymes.
Now they have children of their own
It's hard to believe how fast they've grown.

So as you celebrate these special years
With friends and family ever near
We send to you sincere congrats
and blessings from above
May your forever-after be filled
With everlasting peace and love.


                ~Angel Andrewson