Monday, June 13, 2011

First Date

Right about now, 45 years ago I was bringing Deanna home from our first date. We went to a church baseball game. I played, she watched. Not much has changed about that. I still play, she still watches. It works for us. I imagine a lot of folks never thought we'd make it throught the summer much less 45 more. We were pretty young. I was 16, she was 17. I was going into my senior year of high school. She was leaving home for find a preacher to marry....Dee's mom was not real big on the idea of us dating, my folks LOVED it. In retrospect, they were both right. Dee's father never made me feel like the kid he obviously knew I was. Words will never express my deep respect and love for him, he was the best. Dad was an invalid, had been since I was 11, but he really loved Dee. Mom made sure I had whatever I needed to date Dee. I'm sure dad knew and approved. Of course, I always knew it would work out. I may have been young, but I knew, I really did. Funny, I set here in my recliner, next to Dee in her recliner beside me. I often reach out my hand, she touches it and I know anew what I always knew from the first time our hands touched 45 years ago tonight...she is the only one for me, always was, always will be.

For the record we currently have 5 married children and 13 grand children with one more on the way...soon we hope. It just keeps getting better and better!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

End of an Era

I have known this day would come since 1996 when they declared my back yard a future mountain preserve. That day came and went with just the posting of a sign, but NOW they are putting in a hiking trail. Let me be clear. I hate the idea of a trail of any kind in MY backyard. It is mine, just ask Graham. While my sister was visiting last week she mentioned they had a 300+ acre horse ranch in California. Graham insisted Papa's back yard was much bigger. Noah corrected him with NO, Papa only has 2.5 acres. Graham rejected the math and explained he could walk behind the house as far as he wanted to! Until now it did not matter. I claimed all 55k acres that are directly accessible from my back door. It has been paradise. We could hunt, shoot, hike or just enjoy the silence and scenery. Now they are putting in a mountain bike / hiking trail only 200 yrds from my back door! Life is over as we have known it and we don't really like it. I could complain a bunch more but you get the point. In all fairness I will admit that the trail is really NICE, well planned and will be a real asset for bikers and hikers. My grand kids will love to run it's paths and ride their bikes on and over the hill. Becasue "Crystal Mountain" (an old gold panning site 100 yrds behind the house and named by Graham) is a historic trail, they really can't tell my grand kids they can't play there. (Off trail travel on the preserve is prohibited) I guess at this point the best choice for me is to embrace the trail and go for a walk with my grand kids...or maybe I'll get a mountain bike!

Friday, January 7, 2011

By Faith through Grace

Deanna sat on the side of the bed wondering aloud when life would return to "normal". DIL Michelle just left with husband Dusty for a day after eye surgery check up. She is miserable but doing the best she can...Doni is recovering from her surgery last week and at this moment Dee and Becky are with mom and her occupational therapist learning how to help mom (if necessary) take a safe shower. I offered to help out but the girls did not think that was such a good idea! We have known this time would come eventually and we are as prepared as we can be, but the experience is different in ways I could not have predicted. I'm kind of thinking this IS the new normal....whatever "normal" is.

It is similar to my head knowledge of Father and the experience of a growing relationship. I guess I have always known that my relationship with the Father was based on salvation by faith through grace... Martin Luther made that REALLY CLEAR nearly 500 years ago. Problem is most people don't know the reality of that faith and grace because they don't really know the FATHER. Sure, they spend a lot of time talking about Him or listing to others talk about him, but not all that much time actually LIVING IN RELATIONSHIP with Him. The last few years I have concentrated more on the relationship and less on the knowledge and I am finding a deepening sense of relationship, confidence and trust and I am living free in Him and loving it....and I do LESS religious stuff than I ever have in all my life...but there is a joy in my heart that wasn't always there either. For me the turning point has been learning to trust
God to free me by love, not merit. Since I quit trying to earn His love and accept the fact that HE does love me in spite of what I do or don't do, I have a growing sense of his presence and relationship.