Brrrrrrr,It is cold outside.

Blog #2                                  Brrrrrrr, It is cold outside.

 

In the Midwest we have been experiencing extremely cold temperatures. We are in a 72 hour weather warning which started on Saturday, January 16, 2016. It will continue into Monday. Forecasters warned of being in the temperatures for extended periods of time. Our rural church was cancelled last evening in anticipation for today’s Sunday worship. With many elderly folks we do not want them to be out in minus -40 degree weather. With social media I hope all got the message to stay home and be safe. Our church prayer chain was also activated last evening to get the message to as many as possible.

Winter is a time to slow down and stay inside. For me, a time to get things accomplished that get overlooked during the rest of the year. The only occupation that does not feel this slower pace would be a dairy, cattle farmer or rancher. With the extra work that comes their way with caring for their cattle it can require a lot more time and energy.

My father’s occupation was a dairy farmer. He loved those cows. Hard work, yes, but he did it his whole life until retirement. Tomorrow will mark the third anniversary of his death. After years of his battle with cancer his journey ended on January 18, 2013. The weather was much as it now. We looked at the upcoming weather and decided that we should have his funeral service on January 22, 2013 because the weather should have been not so cold. That plan did not work out so well because when we arrived at the church and started getting things ready for the service we discovered that the water was frozen. We could not begin to start making coffee and then realized that we also could not flush the stools. With 150-200 people going to be arriving soon that was not a good thing. The local well digger came, thawed out the pump and things would be just fine.

My father-in-law had his wake on the eve of the Midwest Hall-o-ween storm of 1991. Another Midwest winter snow storm. His service was postponed for five days and moved to a church in town from the same rural church because of no electricity.

Tomorrow schools, in our area, will be starting 2 hours late as the –temperatures continue into Monday. A break will follow the next day. Our 72 hours will be over.

A time in my past was shared with a very good friend as we enjoyed some time in the snow on the farm. Lots of fun things do take place in the winter with snowmobiling, skating, sledding and hockey. When our children were small a horse pulling a sleigh through the woods made a wonderful Sunday afternoon activity. With 63 days until spring we will need to find beauty in the snow covered trees, hoarfrost, sundogs and enjoy the beauty of winter. It will soon be over.

Spring is just 63 days (March 20, 2016) away. Camping season is just around the corner. Really—Camping is just around the corner. Stay warm.

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“Star of Hope, A Season of Waiting”

Christmas from Stock exchange

Christmas from Stock exchange

Star of Hope, A Season of waiting.

Prepare, Watch, Behold and Rejoice.  These are the words on our banner at our local country church. Each week a new strip has be added and hung each Sunday through the season of Advent.  Tonight is when we celebrate our Saviors birth. Have you been preparing? It seems we have for the entire month with decorating, shopping, baking, gift wrapping and card sending to our loved ones. It’s done. It is now time to watch, behold and rejoice. A time to celebrate the Prince of Peace who has come gently into the “far-from-peaceful” world.  What a gift it is to rest in the joy of his coming to bring Hope to every soul who seeks Him.

”Star of Hope” was a service held for a local Hospice House. A time for families to come together to remember and reminisce about the loved ones they have lost this year. A time to remember when families spent time together with their loved one caring for them. A time to share the life they led and thank them for all they did for each one of us.  A sad time but a time when we could reassure them that we loved them and were grateful for them. The service gave those present the feeling of hope.

Life is a Journey.  It is about everyday struggles of lives and how people can move on stronger than ever after a conflict has happened to them. My father was in this “Star of Hope” Season this year. We siblings cared for him, in his home. With the help of a local Hospice Care unit we managed to keep dad’s wishes and cared for him. What a Blessing it was for me. Tough days mixed with rewarding days. The journey ended January 18, 2012 after many years of battling cancer.

It is time to behold and rejoice. As you celebrate this Christmas Season with your family remember the “Reason for this Season”.  Jesus came that we may have everlasting life.  We need to rest in the assurance that we will rejoice at the end of our earthly life. Today I am wondering what Christmas will be like in Heaven for my dad this year. He will be rejoicing with other loved ones, celebrating the Christmas Season with the heavenly angels for the first time.

Be prepared, keep watching, behold our Savior, and rejoice with your families with Christmas Joy.

“It is in darkness that one finds the Light….”   Keep looking. Merry Christmas and remember Jesus is the Reason for the Season. Merry Christmas Dad and all my loved ones.

 

 

Community – Ties That Bind us together

We all belong to a community. It can be a family unit, co-workers, service organization, Church, Political parties, sports teams, volunteer groups, and many more ways of tying together. Some of these you joined to be an active supportive member.  Your family unit you became a part just by being born.  Whatever community you are a part of you have something in common and it binds you together. Lots of glue holds people together. That Glue is Love, Respect and caring.

I am going to pick just a few of these communities to share with you.  Family, especially our siblings, is our first and oldest community. They knew us as we grew into who we are now. Family communities might be delightful or difficult or both. Family builds deep and complex bonds.  Grandmas and Grandpas, Aunts and uncles, as well as cousins, become part of this community. It will last a lifetime. My heart swells as I think of all my siblings and I have been through as a family.  Some delightful days, and some that we might struggle with.  However, the bond that ties will always be there to hold us together.

The Church is a distinctive community, unlike any other. It is not based on us at all. It is the stirring of the Holy Spirit, who calls us, gathers us and enlightens us. Our little country church, Red Oak Grove, has a mission statement that says, “Gathering in Grace, Growing in Faith and going forth to Service.”  What a blessing it is for me to be part of this family. For me being part of my church enables me to be quilting with the ladies for local and world missions, being apart of the Women’s organization that does so much for the church and allows me to grow my faith. We recently celebrated our 150th Anniversary of “Celebrating God…Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”. May it continue to grow for another 150 years in God’s Grace.

Next,  I will pick two, as they fit together, Service Organizations and Sports Team.  Our little town just won the Boys Basketball Sub-Section Seat and will play for the section title this Thursday. This has not happened in over 40 years.  This draws a community together to support the team. Our  school is one of 80 schools in the United States with a one-of-a-kind nickname “Awesome Blossoms“. Our name was just in “most unusual mascot competition sponsored by USA Today. Unfortunately we lost to a much larger community by votes. Lots of votes were cast and we tried very hard but still came up short.  I live in a small community that cares about the people who live here.  While the Boys Basketball team brings lots of excitement and joy to our community a house fire, one day ago, brought sadness to a family and the entire community will rally around them to pray, support, comfort and help them anyway that

Boys Basket Ball "Blossoms" Team

Boys Basket Ball “Blossoms” Team

we can.  When you live in a small town people truly care about one another and show it. This small community supports a Chamber, Education Foundation, Volunteer Fire Department and Ambulance, Cancer Group, Lions, PTO,  Semcac,  Scouts, Knights of Columbus, VFW-Legion and Auxiliary, Women of Today, Ministerial Assoc. and Local Boys and Girls Club that all work together to make this a wonderful community. Which organization are you a part of?  I am so proud to be a “Blossom” and live where I can count on my neighbors if and when I should need their leaning hand.

Whether you like it or not you are part of a community.  Being a part of a community has been God’s design for human life. Our lives will be better for being a part of a community and it will give us purpose.  Communities help us enjoy life, contribute to the well-being of our neighbors.  It helps us to learn new things and maybe we will live longer.  Let’s celebrate Community.

All The Steps I Have Taken

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Inspiring, polioAll the Steps I Have Taken,” is a non-fiction novel that has been something I have had on my mind for several years.  When you live your entire life with poliomyelitis (polio), you have a somewhat different way of looking at the perspectives in your life. When I retired from a successful career as a dental assistant, I had time to finally put that dream into reality and begin writing my book.

My thought was that there are thousands of people out there that are the same age as me and I needed to get these words of encouragement completed for them. I also realize that a lot of people have challenges caused by other factors than polio.  These same words, in my book, can give them encouragement. I realized that I’m not getting any younger and neither are the thousands of people that lived with polio before a vaccine was available. I needed to get my words of inspiration in my book out for people to enjoy and be encouraged by.

My entire life has been made different due to contracting polio at the young age of six months. I never knew any other way of navigating my day. As a young child I was a “happy-go-lucky” kind of child. I always had a smile on my face. I never really noticed that I had to wear braces on my legs to walk and use crutches to help me get around. It was just the way I needed to get where I wanted to be.

As the years went on and my life was enjoyable, I realized that I had done a very good job of piecing a wonderful life together. I have a lot of color in my life just as I do with the quilts that I make.  All of the things I was able to accomplish made me realize that I have made a fulfilling life for myself. I have no regrets with anything that I have done. When I see someone else who is struggling with their day to get around it always makes me so grateful that I can do all the things I want to do, it just takes me twice as long to do it.

My journey begins everyday with the same thought; how I can better my life or the life of someone else .It’s a wonderful way to begin each day. My motto is live life to the fullest!

My father found it difficult to read my memoir. He said “he couldn’t complete that task”.  It brought too many memories to surface that he didn’t want to remember. He passed away January 18, 2013 and I can only hope that he read some of those pages.  I told him “he needed to see from where I had come to get to where I am now”.  He said “I see that everyday, I don’t have to read it”.  God Bless his memory.

Christmas Time

Evening of Christmas Day - Sky Lantern

Evening of Christmas Day – Sky Lantern

                                                                               Christmas Time

 It seems Christmas comes more rapidly ever year.  Why is that? Because things are more essential to me as I get older? Do I find more happiness in everything I do? My family is so important to me? Could it be all of the above? The answer is, yes, yes and yes.

 Getting older makes me recognize that I may not have the time to make a difference in someone else’s life. I gave each of my Grandchildren an item with this saying on it: “I can’t promise that I will be here for the rest of your life, but I can promise I will Love you for the rest of mine”. The days turn into years so rapidly. My Grandchildren are becoming their own unique person, each of them.  I love who they are becoming.

 It is not hard for me to have a good day.  I can usually come up with a way to try and make my day very pleasant.  It can be spending time with Grandchildren, family, friends, doing something at church or doing something for someone. The schedule can hold wrestling matches, basketball games, dance recitals, school programs.

 At the present time I am spending some time with my siblings.  Our father is in hospice care at his home and we are doing our very best to make each day as pleasant as we can for him.   As we each have our own families, it is harder to spend time together. We are getting some reminiscing done and it is fun to talk about some remembered events. We recently had our family Christmas and our dad couldn’t be with us.  Each member of the family makes visits to his home when they can.

 For our Christmas Eve, I and my husband enjoyed the most wonderful time.  It started with evening Church, supper with those available to join us at our daughters’ home, Christmas light viewing and games. It was a magnificent time and elegantly completed. Christmas day our entire family joined us, at our home, for food, games and gifts. The night ended with a sky lantern being lifted off in honor of dad. Now our concerns turn to 2013.  May you each find Joy and Peace in the New Year.

 We want to Wish Blessings to you all.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year

The first snow has arrived and the beauty of winter was evident this moring in Minnesota. It will get us all in the Spirit of Christmas. Remember that Jesus is the true reason for this blessed

Christmas from Stock exchange

Christmas from Stock exchange

season. God provides HOPE and PROMISE in the gift of his only Son, Jesus, who comes to us at Christmastime offering eternal life to all who believe.

This past week-end my husbnad and I enjoyed a “Candlelight Christmas Festival” at the North Iowa Area Community College in Mason City, Iowa. It consisted of the Area Children’s Choir, River City Chorus, North Iowa Choral Society, Jubilee Bell Ringers, NIACC Choir and all Choirs conbined. It was an amazing show of talent and very enjoyable. It was an extrordinary way to start our Christmas Season.

The evening was shared with two couple that have been very dear friends for many years. The kind of friends you don’t want to be without. They are the kind of friends that will always be there for you when you need them most. They are the kinds of friends that you Thank God for everyday.

We have enjoyed breakfast with Santa, supporting our local Boys and Girls Club. A safe place for the children in our small community. Grnadchildrens programs that we have enjoyed so far are “The Gift of the Season”, “Holiday Concert”, “Jesus, God’s Son”, “Christmas Magic. We have a couple more to enjoy.

I am so proud of our two daughters and daughter-in-law for all their time and talents in helping the children prepare for their church Christmas Programs. It takes a lot of time and patience helping the children prepare for these.

As you continue celebrating the birth of our Savior, we want to wish youall a very Merry Christmas, We hope you enjoy all the time your can with family and friends this season.