Monday, August 30, 2010

A Martyr's Worldview

"This is a cheerful world as I see it from my garden under the shadows of my vines.

But if I were to ascend some high mountain and look out over the wide lands, you know very well what I should see: brigands on the highways, pirates on the sea, armies fighting, cities burning;

in the amphitheaters men murdered to please applauding crowds; selfishness and cruelty and misery and despair under all roofs.

(ruins of amphitheater at Ephesus)

It is a bad world, Donatus, an incredibly bad world. But I have discovered in the midst of it a quiet and holy people who have learned a great secret. They have found a joy which is a thousand times better than any pleasure of our sinful life. They are despised and persecuted, but they care not. They are masters of their souls. They have overcome the world. These people, Donatus, are the Christians - and I am one of them."

-Saint Cyprian
(third-century martyr)

(all pictures from Google Images)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Episode 3 - Family Firsts

Thanks for tuning in to Episode 3 of The Continuing Saga of OUR NEW LIFE. Let's call this one "Family Firsts"...


Benjamin is now married! He called us last Thursday evening to say, "Mom, Diana and I decided to go ahead and get married Tomorrow! Can y'all come?" He had given a little hint sometime before that they might do this...all his Marine buddies are on deployment and her parents are in Peru right now, so instead of waiting to get everyone together, they wanted to get married NOW and have a reception/celebration later when all the important people in their lives can come together. "We're not going to change our minds, so... why not go ahead?" I had to SCRAMBLE to get suitable clothes together! Fortunately, all of us here in my house had dressy things on hand! Diana dragged Alison to the mall (two malls!) to help her find a white dress that pleased her to wear; she chose an eyelet sundress. Benjamin was going to wear his dress Bravo Blues but HE COULD NOT FIT INTO THEM! He was texting me as he was getting ready...(These are tight...I can't fit into these anymore...) I found that very funny and had to laugh at him. He was still able to fit into the suit I bought him when he graduated from high school. (But he managed to almost rip out one of the underarm seams) We had to make the trip back to the city in the pickup with no Air Conditioning, so I left my hair in curlers for the trip as it would have blown to pieces otherwise...we arrived at the courthouse in Norman with very little time to spare before we were supposed to meet them. Of course all the curler pins in my head set off the security alert...we all ran downstairs to change our clothes in the restrooms...after rushing to get dolled up it turned out that Ben, Diana and Alison were almost 30 minutes late! (They all came together) So we would not have had to hurry so much...It was not a sure thing that a judge would be available to do the honors, and we had to wait some more for one to be able to perform the ceremony. But it all came together, and the judge "tied the knot" very tight! I had not known what to expect, but was very happy myself for everything she said to Ben and Diana. Benjamin said later he was so nervous when repeating the vows that his hands were sweating and he had to call upon his Marine training to hold up! LOL
Besides our little family, there was just one friend of Diana's present, whom she had asked to be a witness. Alison was the other witness that got to sign the marriage license- I'm sure that made her excited. After it was officially over and done, we took the newly wedded couple out to eat at Johnny Carino's in Norman, a nice little Italian restaurant that Ben had never been to before. We asked the waitress to do a little special dessert for them since we were celebrating their marriage, and B and D entwined their arms to eat the first bite, like couples usually do for the wedding cake. Now for some pictures!
taking the plunge!
Diana going downstairs at the courthouse-
no looking back now!

Waiting on the judge...
(Alison took this picture)

last few minutes as single girlfriends!

exchanging vows...

carrying the bride down the courthouse steps...

Now there is 7 in our family circle!

Alison took this picture- wish she could have been in it


Alison "decorating" the truck...
the bridal couple
Ben seems to be thinking,
"I can't believe I'm actually MARRIED!"
fixing to enjoy the "marriage supper"

Our new Daughter-in-law
All this happened on Friday...back to the non-air-conditioned pickup...we loaded up yet another trailer of our things to cart back to our new home. Saturday afternoon Ben and Diana drove up to see us, the first time Ben has seen our new place, and celebrated my birthday! (Alison also came, and spent the night with us) I made homemade vanilla ice cream for our dessert- Diana had never seen ice cream made at home! We gave her the dasher to "lick" (she is a dainty eater and used a spoon instead)...
David doesn't mind getting messy!

Then Sunday morning Alison went to church with us in Enid, and afterwards we ate at El Chico for my birthday again, accompanied by my nephew Austin. We have lots of memories of this particular El Chico- when we lived in Ringwood (so long ago!) it was Alison's favorite place to go. On Wednesdays we went a lot for the enchilada special- Alison celebrated her birthday there at least once, if not more than that...

Me with my nephew Austin

The Family Firsts have been:
The First Wedding in our family...
Ben's First visit to our new home...
Diana's First homemade ice cream ...
Our First Birthday celebration since moving to our new home!

Join us next time for another exciting episode of The Continuing Saga of OUR NEW LIFE! (although I fail to see how the next one can be any more exciting than this one.....)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Back To School

Twas the night before school started,
When all through the town,
The parents were cheering.
It was a riotous sound!
By eight, kids were washed
And tucked into bed...
When memories of homework...filled them with dread!
New pencils, new folders, new notebooks, too!
New teachers, new friends...their anxiety grew!
The parents just giggled when they learned of this fright
And shouted upstairs-...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Prayer for Every Day

God of Strength,
arm me for this day's conflict.
Keep me from fainting in the first encounter.
Grant me victory over every tempter.
May I be more than conqueror in Christ.


(from A Little Treasury of Daily Prayers, 1949)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Episode 2

Welcome to Episode 2 in The Continuing Saga of OUR NEW LIFE.

We had our first real visitors to our new home this past Friday...Stephen and Monica flew up from Tulsa in a little rented plane and met us at the Ponca City Airport for supper at Enrique's Mexican Restaurant, which is famous for their homemade chips. (These chips are puffy and quite different from regular tortilla chips)  Click on this link for an interesting article about Enrique's.

Stephen is amassing hours for flight time and we enjoyed getting to go up with him! He was in a little two-seater so he got to make many landings and takeoffs as we all had to go up one at a time!
Julia's looking forward to going up!
Galen is looking inside the plane...
He hasn't flown himself for years

David got to go up first with Stephen.
He looks a little nervous!

Let's get ready for takeoff!

Landing just at was actually a lot darker
than this picture appears to be.

David is watching the plane land for the last time.
Galen got the last ride.

I even went up! The last time I flew in a little aircraft, I was so nervous I didn't know if I could do it again, but I had no problem whatsoever this time! Before I got married, I used to go up with my brother some, but the last time somehow I changed and didn't enjoy it. Maybe now I'm over all that...

Thanks, Stephen and Monica, for going to all the trouble and expense to come see us! But I know it was fun for you, too...We did fly over our property so got to see it from the air after dark. After everyone had their turn at a flight, we brought S and M over to our house...we're only a few miles from the airport, and I dug out my guestbook for M to sign. The last time I had it out was in 2000!!!! Wow...

Fast Forward...
Then that next day, Saturday, was the 50th Wedding Anniversary celebration for my uncle and aunt in Shawnee. Julia and David went home with Galen's folks for their last visit to the farm before school starts, and Galen and I loaded up another trailer of his outside things to haul to our new place. We are renting some property to a christian organization that helps men and women just getting out of prison to get on their feet, and we had to go to their main location to pick up the rental check. There is an interesting sign on the fenced gate at this place! Thought you'd like to see it...I'd never seen anything like this before.
This happened to be the location for the men...

On a totally other note -
Our son Ben announced his engagement to Diana Saturday. He popped the question Friday night...

This picture was taken at the 50th anniversary party- me and my son's intended... She said she had no clue what was coming when he asked her! I figured she would have had SOME inkling...

And on that romantic note, this ends the second episode in The Continuing Saga of OUR NEW LIFE. Stay tuned for more...

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Continuing Saga

It's been an eventful week or two! Some of the hottest days of the year, breaking heat records all around the country, and time for us to move! At least, it wasn't raining. I think every other time we had a major move, it rained... This time it was one of the hottest days of the year! My brother-in-law Brent had to change his shirt 2 times he was sweating so much! (Everyone else was sweating 'bout the same, but nobody else changed!) What would we do without our dear family helping us?! Last Saturday several of Galen's kin came to load us up and head us out...

This is my sister-in-law Angela, with my little boy David,
scooting aroundon a moving trolley...
the house is virtually empty at this point...

Finally made of Galen's new business acquaintences here in Ponca
graciously allowed us to use his moving trailer- a very nice one.
We brought 3 trailers up this night!
(this covered one, plus a horse trailer and a cattle trailer)

Got my work cut out for me! Lotsa boxes crammed in
our great room, or den, or game room-
whatever we decide to call it!

After finally getting our riding lawn mower up here, David took his maiden voyage around our front lawn! Trust me to be nervous about it, but Galen thought he was old enough.

He looked pretty cute...he was only in first gear so it was a very slow cutting process!

I got on the mower a couple days later, for the first time in probably 10 years!!

So now for the next episode... Tuesday we went back to OKC to fill up another flatbed trailer, and this time the thermometer was over the 100 mark again! After loading up and leaving later than we had planned- ain't this always the case?- we had just passed Guthrie when a tire on the trailer lost its life. Galen pulled the truck way over in the ditch away from the traffic on I-35 since the flat was on the driver's side.

After successfully changing the tire, by the way for a jack he used a heavy rim to drive up on, the truck would not start! We have not been having trouble with the battery but seems like that was the problem.

Galen draped the jumper cables over the side mirror hoping to get the attention of some compassionate motorist. But no one wanted to pull over in this heat, I guess...
We telephoned over the cell for help from a friend that lives close, and his car was going out on him on his way home from work! Eventually we reached another friend who just happened to be at his parents' home not too far from where we were stranded. Doug and his father came to the rescue! (Doug brought us some strawberry ice cream in a plastic cup also!)

 Got underway again... the next day when Galen tried to start the pickup, No Success again, so we must obtain a new battery posthaste!

Stay tuned for another exciting episode of...The Continuing Saga of OUR NEW LIFE!