Sunday, February 17, 2008

Weekend with my Family!

Deb, my sister-in-law, came for a quick visit this weekend. Deb is Mike's younger sister, about my age, young 50's. Though we have many things in common, I believe it is our differences that often end up bringing us the most fun. For example- at Christmas Deb got Mike a couple of remote flying helicopters to fly around in the house and do battle with each other. Now that phrase in bold text is where I had the problem. I am way to "pent up" with things flying around in my house, hitting the walls, art-work, and decorations to really enjoy myself. Mike and Deb, on the other hand were in their element. It was a stretch for me, but once I relaxed I was laughing and having a good time watching them trying to control those minature helicopters. Biskit, Cookie and Katie were in heaven chasing them around the room whenever they crashed into the floor and furniture! Deb's sense of humor and quick wit always keeps me laughing and I look forward to our times together. Saturday afternoon we piled into Mike's dirty "dog car" and went to see the movie "There Will be Blood". We were in agreement that it missed the mark. Lots of interesting elements, but short on story line and too violent. Definitely NOT a funny movie. Aterwards we dragged Freddie (my father-in-law) out to dinner at Cheddar's where we stuffed our selves with tasty food and he picked up the tab!
The four of us layed around the rest of the evening attempting to stay conscious to watch some loser rented movies. We weren't successful and lots of snoring was had by all until we gave up and went to bed around midnight.
Sunday morning was beautiful and after loading up on coffee we went on a romp with the dogs to a park near Lake Arlington. I posted a couple photos on my website. It was late morning when Deb and Katie got in her new "Hot Red" car (very cool) and took off for their home in Austin. Can't wait for a repeat visit!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

An Amazing Woman-Inez Beck

Inez and I go back a long ways. Like most of my life. When I was about 4 years old and living in Wadsworth, Ohio she became my grandmother's neighbor. They developed a precioius friendship that lasted the lifetime of my grandmother who died at age 95. My first memory was when she and my grandma would babysit for my two sisters and me. We were afraid of her back then since she would not let us get a way with any of our "babysitter tricks". Very strict! I don't think she ever spanked us but only because my grandma was with her! Never having any children of her own and not being fond of them it was probably because of her love for my grandma that she put up with us. As I grew older and became a "real person" (vs. whining/demanding child) her heart softened and she became like a loving aunt and friend. Always learning and doing something interesting or adventuresome she loved to share her life with others. I remember some of the things she pursued. In the 60's she bought a little VW Van, fixed it up herself and dragged my grandparents on exciting trips around the country (which they TOTALLY enjoyed since they never went anywhere). She got into photography and took all sorts of videos and pictures of us as youngsters which we still love to check out. She learned to do woodworking and carving setting up a studio in her basement to make stuff. She won numerous awards for her counted cross-stich creations. She took up oil painting, ceramics, astronomy and telescopes, building birdhouses, making jewelry, doing computer stuff, camping, birdwatching, traveling, reading, caring for her elderly aunt, and making a ton of friends. (note-those are just a few of the things that come to mind, there are many more). She got into things DEEP- totally immersing herself in whatever she was studying until she acheived a level of excellence. These "hobbies" as she called them would take up years and then she would move onto another interest. Her memory continues to blow me away. At 85 she continues to remember the details and history of her travels, the books she has read, and movies seen. Though she has some hearing difficulties and arthritis, she continues to travel, birdwatch (her passion for the last 10 years or so) and maintain numerous friendships. Living so far away I rarely get to see her, but we keep each other up to date through email. In 2007 I got the special opportunity of visiting her when this picture was taken. I treasure the memories I have and still get to make with this AWESOME woman !

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Politics- where are the ambassadors for Christ?

I am not much of a political person. I probably have an unfair sterotype of politicians based on the CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC stuff I see on TV. In fact I have a rather negative attitude toward the news people too. As a Christian seeking truth, it is hard for me to find anyone in politics, in the news and even in discussions at my work place and often in church that reflects Christ. That is pitiful. There is so much noise and propaganda on all sides about the economy, the Iraq war, gas prices, education, national security, illegal immigration, and health care. There is so much dis-unity among everyone, so much mean spiritedness, name calling, and disrespect that I wonder what Jesus thinks of us when we claim our nation is under God. When Jesus calls us to be lights in an exceedingly dark world I don't think He had political debates and news rooms in mind. I think He had the hearts of those that treasure Him and desire to be His ambassadors for His Righteouness. It scares me when I look at the choices of candidates . I know God is in control even when the wicked appear to prosper. I know I must trust in Him. I pray that God will have mercy on our depraved country and lift up one that is unashamed to speak His name and proclaim His values publicly. I pray that God awaken the hearts of those that are His to turn to Him and pray for wisdom and transformed minds. As a nation we do not deserve anything but God's wrath for our ungodly behaviour. Just listening to the politicians and commentators for a few minutes on TV I realize it is only His lovingkindness that stays His judgement. But for how long?