Monday, May 31, 2010

Does anyone else have a life like this?

I couldn't find my checkbook. I didn't really worry about it because from past experience I knew it would turn up. And it did. When I was changing purses, there was the checkbook just waiting to be found.

I put it in my church bag so I could write a check on Sunday. In the meantime I lost track of my credit card. The last time I remembered having it was when I took it to the post office to pay for sending some packages. But then what? No idea. It didn't show up so I enlisted God's help. He can see where my lost stuff is and has an amazing way of leading me to it. An idea flew in my funnel (Thomas the Tank Engine), maybe it was cold that day and I wore a jacket. What if I put the card in a pocket. A favorite jacket is my pink hoodie from Venice Beach, CA. It's one of the few I hadn't put up with the winter clothes. I got kind of tingly walking to the closet, thinking, "This'll be a miracle if it's in that pocket." Oh yes it was. I reached in the pocket and felt a square piece of plastic. Hello VISA! Thank you God!

So happy to have my credit card back, I decided to sit down and pay my WalMart bill. But I couldn't find it or my checkbook. Remember I put it in my church bag? Well, it wasn't there. I looked three times. Maybe I'd already gotten it out to pay my WalMart bill. I looked in all the likely places. It was gone for over two weeks. I paid my WalMart bill on-line and started to worry that I might have accidentally thrown my checkbook away with a bunch of poop sheets (newspaper ads) that had been on the coffee table. I asked God to assist me in finding my checkbook if it were still in the house. I walked through the kitchen and picked up some magaziness that were on a side table to see how old they were. To myself, "Wouldn't it be funny and miraculous if the checkbook was under there." You guessed it! There it was. The checkbook, the WalMart bill and my professional organization membership renewal. God delivers!

A friend jokingly told me that I'd better be careful and not wear out God's patience. Fortunately that's not possible. And our little lost and found adventures are a source of conversation, time spent together and in the end a miracle seen and appreciated. I think if God didn't enjoy his part, then he would help me find my mind. Maybe that's up next.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Birthday Beemer

This was Arts For All weekend in Lawton. I wanted Beemer to see this Wine Glass Carousel, Patent Pending, 2008, so I bought one. The creators name is Carrie Torres from Lubbock, TX, no website. She calls it Cabos Pottery.

I bought this bottle of wine at Target in Texas. I wanted to show it to Mari before I opened it. So here's killing two birds with one stone.

There's a good picture of these on the arts for all website:


Friday, May 7, 2010

Phyllis LaRae McKinney Minyard

A Service of Witness to the Resurrection
and a Celebration of Life
May 6, 2010 at Fain Presbyterian Church in Wichita Falls, Texas
Phyllis Minyard
May 4, 1928-May 3, 2010

We drove to Texas in Gran's car, Daryl and Gran in the front, Lee Ann and I in the back. As is always the case when I'm not in charge, we got to the church 30 minutes early and were the first ones to arrive. Cousin Doug from Stillwater arrived 15 minutes later and the rest of the family was there 15 minutes after that.

It was a small gathering of family:
Phyllis's son, Don, and his wife, Donna, and their daughter, Avery
Phyllis's daughter, LaRae, and her husband George
Phyllis's granddaughter, Kelli, and her husband, Wade, and their son, Noah (see yesterday's post---2 week old Noah was the hit of the gathering)
Phyllis's grandson, Christopher (He was the last one there, so like me in that way)
Phyllis's sister, Virginia (Gran)
Phyllis's nephews, Doug and Daryl
Phyllis's nieces, Lee Ann and me (I'm actually a niece-in-law)

The tables in Celebration Hall were decorated like a lovely cafe. The church ladies served a delicious and healthy buffet of foods with several drink choices. There was a piece of cake by each plate. When Gran ate her first bite she said, "This cake is pretty, but it tastes three times better than it looks." It must've been good. With my sugar addiction, I didn't taste it.
It was evident that the church loves Phyllis and her family. The love of God flowed through them and all over us.

The service started at 1:00. I was seated in the front row of the sanctuary. The first thing I noticed was the high ceiling behind the pulpit. It went up, up, up with two small stained glass windows at the top. My first thought was the nablopomo theme, "Look Up." I prayed for the opportunity to take a picture of it. I wasn't sure if it would be appropriate to take pictures at a funeral. As we were about to leave the sanctuary, Gran asked me to take a picture of the flowers that she'd sent. I did, and then snapped a quick one of the high ceiling and windows.

The service took me back to my days as a Presbyterian in California, especially the music. Gran commented on how the organ covers up any mistakes you might make singing. I had LaRae's beautiful voice behind me, Daryl's beside me, and mine combining with the 100 or so others who filled the church as we lifted our voices to the Lord.

Everything was uplifting---the flowers at the front, the pastor's voice and his words, a special piano piece, a vocal solo, celebrating Phyllis's life, hearing that death came peacefully as a friend transforming Phyllis from an 82-year-old woman in a nursing home to a vibrant saint in heaven, and experiencing all this with other people who loved Phyllis.

It was so good to see and be with Phyllis's family. I love to laugh and they love to tell funny stories, a winning combination. It makes me glad I married into this bunch.

Monday, May 3, 2010

This is My Father's World

Hymn #144 in the Methodist Hymnal, our song of praise at yesterday's worship service, always makes me think of specific people from a specific event in my life so long ago.

The Hockenberry family, Mom and Dad and two sons, offered to take the youth group on a camping trip. They invited me to dinner for a planning meeting. They drank wine with their dinner. The dad had double vision and a bony butt. I didn't notice that about him, he told us. He couldn't sit on stone walls or logs because he didn't have any padding on his rear end.

Mr. Hockenberry (I don't remember any of their first names) asked me to pick a song we could sing on our trip. The first thing that came to my mind was, "This is My Father's World." It's not really a camping song so I kept looking and thinking for something more appropriate. Nothing measured up to my first inspiration so we went with that.

This is my Father's world,
and to my listening ears
all nature sings and around me rings
the music of the spheres.
This is my Father's world,
I rest me in the thought
of rocks and trees, of skies and seas,
his hand the wonders wrought.

When I told my parents about the camping trip---a two day hike up a mountain in Yosemite National Park, staying one day at the lake and then two days back down the mountain---they advised me not to go. They knew I was not an athlete, that I'd never done anything like that before and that I wasn't used to "roughing it." But I was up for the challenge and besides, I'd never listened to my parents before, why start now?

I already had a backpack and a down sleeping bag, standard issue for hippies back then. I practiced for the hike one day by filling my backpack with dirty laundry and walking to my parents' house. We lived 7 miles apart. I did my laundry and walked back home. It was kind of a boring walk, but I made it.

It's a 6 1/2 hour drive to Yosemite from Orange, California. I have no recollection of the drive there or back, what vehicles we were in, who drive, nothing. But somehow we got there.

My first memory of the trip is hiking up the mountain the first day. I was near the end, lots of people were ahead of me. We each had a buddy who we shared a tent with and shared carrying the tent as well as our food. My buddy was Betty. I can't remember her last name. She lived across the street from me with her parents on Orange Street in Orange. She was a PE teacher with a great sense of humor and a gorgeous Himalayan cat. It's funny the things you remember about a person.

Betty was in far better shape than I was and chose to carry the heavier part of our load. It's a good thing for me that she did. We were told to bring a little extra food, something we did't like to eat, in case of emergency. If you don't like it, you won't be tempted to eat it before the emergency. One guy brought dog food. He said he likes to eat everything else. I wonder who that was.

It was beautiful at the lake. What a great feeling to be at a place that not everyone has seen.

This is my Father's world,
He shines in all that's fair,
in the rustling grass I hear him pass,
He speaks to me everywhere.

When it was time to head back down the mountain, I was ready. No proper bathroom, sleeping in dirty clothes, Betty as my only protection against wild animals in the night...I was ready for the comforts of home.

I thought the hike down would be easier but actually it wasn't. The constant weight pounding down on my knees was worse than the muscle strain trying to go up. I blame my knee problems on that trip. It's not so bad, whenever my knees hurt I remember Yosemite and it makes me glad.

This is my Father's world,
Why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King, let the heavens ring!
God reigns, let the earth be glad!