Thursday, March 31, 2011

ABC of Friends

To all of my friends, wherever you are:

Friends are:

Always there for you
Blessing in your life
Care about you
Dedicated to making a friendship work
Empathetic to your tough times
Fun to have around
Goofy when needed!
Helpful always
Inquisitive about your life and what’s important to you
Jumping in the middle of things with you
Keep your spirits up!
Love you despite your idiosyncrasies
Make you feel good
Never leave you stranded
Open doors always
Pray for you
Quell your fears
Revel in your victories
Stand the test of time
Take nothing for granted
Understand you
Vital to my sanity!
Watch out for you
Xerxes the Great (will fight the good fight with you)
Ya ya sisterhood
Zany when they need to be

Saturday, March 26, 2011


As raindrops cast into the sea,
So like them are you and me
Each and every move we make
Causes a ripple, splash or wake

Those around us can't help but 'get wet'
By things we say and do, don't forget.
Life is like that, I have found
So watch yourself, and look around.

We touch more lives than we'll ever know
So as through this wide world you go.....
Be a gentle drop of rain,
Cause no sorrow, and no pain....
        ~Angel, 11/27/02

Monday, March 21, 2011

Creations Chorus

I wrote this one day when I worked at Rolling Hills Zoo back in the early 90's. I was checking the pastures at sunrise this day:

In Genesis we read the account of the Creation of our world; and I think "Wow! What it would have been like to have been there"  and then I have a day like today, and I realize I AM there!  Each day is a new creation with it's new light and new life.

It's a spring day, around 9:00 a.m.  and I begin my check of the pasture.  The air is crisp after a cool night and the morning sunrise is just beginning to warm the earth.

Two camels come to greet me (actually to feast on the alfalfa I bring them), but there should be a third~ Jasmine ~a pregnant female, is missing.  Across  the pasture I zigzag, and then, on the crest of a small knoll-there she is, lying down.  Next to her is her new baby-only minutes old-still unable to  stand, kissed by the morning dew.

I approach as near as I dare, then kneel down in the field of prairie grasses and take in the sights and sounds of this new day. 

The sun warms my back and catches the dewdrops clinging to each blade of grass, sparkling like diamonds scattered upon the earth.  A light breeze brings the faint honking of geese on the pond, and I am at once surrounded by a chorus as bullfrogs croak and the trees fill with the songs of meadowlarks, robins and cardinals.

Gently Jasmine nuzzles her babe and he softly bawls a response ~ a new voice has joined the Creation Chorus.

                            ~Angel, April 1994

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Sunday, March 6, 2011

More Time....


  Through the rows of stones he walks, stopping now and then to read more closely the inscriptions memorializing the lives of those buried in the rich dark Kansas soil. Some are long, some are short, both the inscriptions and the lives. He ponders this as he passes by row upon row, till at last he reaches his destination.
    His mind runs back through his life, growing up in a close family in a small town, marrying the girl of his dreams, who bore them a son and a daughter. He recalled the joy he felt at their births, the happy times they spent as a family~birthday parties, Christmases, holidays and vacations, and the love that had filled their lives these many years.
    As he reminisced, a chill came over him and set in his bones, and it wasn't just the crisp fall air. He thought about how precious life is and how swiftly the years had passed, and didn't understand how it could come to an end so soon. He began to feel bitter and angry with God for not granting him more time. More birthdays, Christmases, more hunts in the woods beyond the house. More time to live, laugh, and love.
    Angry tears began coursing down his now red cheeks and he strode down the hill towards home. As he reached the lane, his daughter met him, and silently reached for his hand. Holding her hand, he felt the warmth of their love as they walked. Her questioning eyes could not grasp his sadness, and words would not come to explain. For how do you explain dying to one who is just learning to live?
    Again the anger came. He reached for the bottle on the shelf, but instead let his hand come to rest upon a book. A Bible. His mother's Bible. How often had he watched her silently reading, searching for words of comfort in times of loss. He sat at the table and began poring over the Scriptures, looking for answers, finding peace. And he knew then that he would not travel this road of pain and grief alone.
    Once more he walked the path to the rows of stones, to that one special place under a stately oak and sat upon the limestone rock overlooking this final resting place. And finally, he let his gaze fall upon the stone before him, and read once more the inscription, still fresh and new, and short:

       Beloved son, brother and friend   
     For you our love will never end
       Sixteen short years you had with us
      Eternity now to spend with Jesus

As the fiery sunset blazed across the Kansas sky, he whispered to his young son a final good-bye.
                                                                                          ~Angel Andrewson 10-30-2002


In memory of Justin Barenberg   8/1986-10/2002

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Help Me, Lord, I’m an idiot!

    Ok, so I have your attention now! This tale is a reminder that even when we are demonstrating no use of the brains the good Lord gave us, He is there to help us in our idiocy.
    It was a SNOWY day in mid-March in Kansas.  Blizzards had been predicted all over the state, so I went to bed a bit before my usual midnight, knowing I would have to get up and be at work at 5am to shovel the white stuff.  Our home is 17 miles away from town, so I knew that getting to work might be a challenge in the morning if we got much snow.  So, at 3:30am, I crawled out of a nice warm bed and dressed in layers from head to toe, topping it all of with my insulated overalls, a stocking hat and gloves.  I open the front door and was glad I had the foresight to find the snow shovel and put it inside the door the evening prior, as the snow had all but enveloped the entry way to our home.

    I shoveled a path through 10“-30”  of wet and heavy snow, cleared my car windows, bumpers, headlights, etc., and started it up to get warm.  It is now 4am and I duck back in the house for a cup of coffee for the road.  Turns out there would be no ‘for the road’, but, I am ahead of myself.
      Bambi (our little Honda which had won a battle with a deer on the road last fall) crawled down the driveway and into the road heading North to the highway.  For about 1/3 of a mile, anyway.  At the first low spot in the road, the snow had drifted to a height deeper than the hood of the car, and Bambi slowly ground to a halt.  I backed up, then gave it some gas and tried to bust through the drift, but was met with total resistance. After the third try, I gave up and then realized that not only was I not going forward, but there was no way to go back either.  I could not back up that far in that deep snow, as the wind had already blown the snow till my tracks were no more.   So, I did the only thing I could think of; I drove Bambi off the road into the ditch, turned on the emergency flashers, and began trudging home.  Why didn’t I just leave it on the road you might ask?  Well, Bambi just happens to be white, and in a snowstorm, if someone else came along. . . Well it might not be good!
    Reaching home, I decided to get Moses (my 1977 Chevy C10 pickup) out and give him a try at the snow.  Yeah, right!  The snow had drifted completely over the tires, and being a two wheel drive, poor Moses was not moving.  I realized then that I was not going anywhere and called the boss.  Turns out he couldn’t get out, either, as he lives 10 miles on the other side of town from me.  I went back in, grabbed a cup of coffee and a book and several of our dogs (who were wondering why on earth I had gone out there in the first place) and curled up on the couch.  That lasted a couple of hours, and I couldn’t take it any longer.  I had to get to work, knowing that everyone else was breaking their backs to clear snow and I was home where I was warm and dry just didn’t set well with me. 
    I bundled up again, and, having daylight to help, dug Moses out as best I could, and rejoiced that someone had actually gone down our road since 4am, and their tracks were still there!  So, I took off, thinking that I would stop and turn off the flashers on the Honda to save the battery, then go on in to work.  By the time I reached Bambi, I realized that there was no way I was stopping if I wanted to get started again, so on I went.  As I got to the highway, my heart dropped when I realized that it had not been bladed and I could not see tracks or even the guardrails on the bridge 50 feet away, so I kept going straight praying for a place to turn around.  I kept going, and going, and going, kind of like the energizer bunny stuck on slow motion.  Under the snow was a layer of ice, just enough to make driving tricky, and all I could see was white from horizon to horizon; blinding white with black silhouettes of trees here and there. I continued on and realized that if anyone came the other direction, one of us was in trouble but good!! The snow on either side of me on the road was at least 18” and way deeper where it had drifted.  And so I continued. . . Driving and praying, Lord, please hold the wheel steady, don’t let me slide into the drifts, keep it steady, Lord, Thank You, Lord, for keeping me safe, Lord, I’ve got to find a place to turn around soon.  I’m getting close to the station, Lord, so perhaps I can turn around there.  Again, my heart sank.  Not a soul had stirred there and the parking lot was two to three feet deep in snow. NOT going in there!! Next thing I know, I am at the dam going over the lake. NOW I’m nervous!  There is only the path I have been following along the west lane of the dam road, and the snow is piled up till it obliterates the guardrail on the east lane.  I look over at the lake and it is a steel gray ocean of frozen white caps, dark and foreboding.  I begin praying in more earnest Lord, PLEASE get me across here.  Lord, I know I’m an idiot for getting out in this, and I know you have better things to do than watch out for me in my stupidity, but if you would, please, keep my wheels in the path and give me a gentle push now and then if I begin to get stuck.  Please let there be a place to turn around up ahead somewhere, Please, Lord, forgive me for being so dumb, but thank you for getting me out of this ! 
    And so it went, till I had successfully crossed the dam, and, miracle, (or just a fluke some would say) there, at the north end of the dam, was a spot on the road where there was absolutely no snow whatsoever! It looked like a giant (God?) had blown all the snow and ice from the road right at the end of the dam.  I was able to turn Moses around with no problem at all, and that’s when I realized I had to go back across the dam to get home!!! More prayers and pleading, and thank God, literally, I made it home without ever slipping or sliding or loss of traction whatsoever.  I said a great prayer of thanksgiving to God and proceeded into the house. 
    I spent the rest of the day reading 3 books while curled up on our loveseat in front of a fire and vowed never to repeat this experience again.  Thank the Lord for being a good driver!!!  If we but ask, He will help keep us on the straight and narrow!

Ask and Ye Shall Receive

Ask and Ye Shall Receive
     Just recently, we were visiting with a friend about God in his life and in ours.  The talk turned to miracles and the things that have happened to him since he came to know Christ.  From where he came from and where he is going, it is truly a series of miracles in his life.
    Often we think that miracles only took place in the days of old-like God appearing to Moses in the burning bush.  Truly, miracles happen every day, we just maybe aren't aware of them, or are leery to call them miracles for fear of being rebuffed by friends and family.  I don't believe that for a minute!  There have been so many 'coincidences' in our life that have saved us from one thing or another, that they cannot be anything but miracles; maybe not a burning bush, or a voice from the clouds, but miracles nonetheless.   I would like to share with you some of these stories and thoughts from my life.
    This first from a trip to Lake Wilson one summer.  We followed friends out and spent the afternoon and evening together, swimming, barbequing, sharing laughter and friendship.  When at last we decided to leave, it was after midnight; early Sunday morning.  Now, on the way to the lake, we had noticed our car said only 12 miles till empty, but figured that when we left the stations would be open, so we went on.  Well, we had planned on leaving  in the early evening, not early  morning!
    So, I drove, praying for a station to be open on the way out, then proceeded to take a wrong turn which took us up and down hills, and west rather than east.  Finally, we found the interstate and headed east.  The whole time, I am watching the dash light as it drops to 8 miles left, then 7,6, 5,etc. and finally, 2 miles left till empty.  I began to pray, asking God to lead me to a small town somewhere, where maybe there would be a policeman, as often they have keys to the local gas stations, and maybe, just maybe there would be one to help us out.  (as a kid, my dad had service stations and the local police always had a key to the pump)
    I spotted and exit,  turned south at the end of the off ramp, where I saw a few lights of a very small town, (don’t’ ask me what the name was, I have no idea) and followed the street to the first corner, heading towards the grain elevator, which usually means a coop and a gas pump.  Sure enough there was a gas pump, and right across the street in a vacant lot sat a police officer, leaning against the hood of his car as if he was waiting for us to show up.  And-HE HAD THE KEY TO THE PUMPS!   He pumped $5.00 worth of gas, told us that would get us to the next town, which was considerably larger and more 'alive' this time of day, and sent us on our way!    Ask and ye shall be given….