Thursday, January 23, 2014

Ice or Fire? No Contest.

Crystal formations on the flagstone hint at the frigid temperatures. 

For those of us in the mid-Atlantic region, it has been a snowy winter.

Favorite resting spots of summer hold no allure as an icy perch.

Instead on such an arctic day, a fire beckons one to pull up a chair and cozy up in an afghan.   

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

But For the Birds

Charles Earl Piepgrass, my father-in-law was a folk artist. I say was, because he is in full health care resting away the last of his days. His abilities to speak several languages, administrate hundreds of people, and insightfully outline the Old and New Testaments are in hibernation. Thankfully, his hand- whittled and hand-painted birds will always remind us of him.

In the last forty or so years, our Renaissance patriarch carved dozens upon dozens of feathered fellows. Last summer when we moved my husband's mother to an apartment, we divvied up the birds. Each of my husband's sisters and my husband got several boxes full.

So, this Christmas I filled our children's and grandchildren's stockings with birds. Now each child will have several of their great grandfather's creations. The birds sing songs from his heart. Their quirky personalities remind me of his quick whit.

 Usually, he painted his feathered friends.

However, if he had a particularly fine piece of wood like walnut or cherry, he would leave the wood polished.

Each bird is initialed and dated.

The first dated bird we have is 1973, the last 2013.  What treasures. I wish he could know how we all appreciate his handiwork, but mostly I trust he knows how much we value his faithfulness to his wife, his children, and his Lord.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Turning Over the New Leaf

What do you want to do differently in the next twelve months?  I want to eat more vegetables and fruits, fewer sweets and meats. I purpose to exercise more and "veg" less. I want to listen more patiently and retort less often. I want to be more productive and waste less time.

I want to maximize this kind of moment,
A grandson's spontaneous hug as he thanks his "sista" for the Ninja toy she gave him.

and minimize discord.

I genuinely mean to do better. I pray about doing better. I really try to do better. But, way too often my commitments are pie-crust promises, easily broken. How discouraging.

Yet, how comforting, each evening we can confess our faults,
and walk into a new day on the morrow.

Better to have tried to correct twisted thinking, wrangling words, and hurtful habits and have failed, than to persist and become hardened in arthritic thinking.

So, in the spirit of renewed commitments, here's to new beginnings.