Summer Evening at the Park


This is it, my favorite part of this day. Between work and a meeting with time to kill I choose the park, great idea. Outside with no deadlines I absorb, write, interpret, create. No one to judge it but me. I keep my hair over one shoulder so the sun’s rays touch my back where the neckline dips down. It is about 90 degrees and as the sun warms my skin I adjust my skirt carefully to cover my knees. Beneath the wooden bench sit my consignment find heels as I relax cross ankled at an angle facing the parking lot and grass. In my full skirted red floral dress I feel like a Spanish maiden, lacking only a red rose held between my teeth. The sky above is a pale baby blue with fluffy happy white clouds floating lazily along. As an airplane flies over, I wonder where its going. The bugs that unluckily land on me meet their end.

Everything changes. The cars come & go. The basketball game gains and loses players. People grow stronger and either win or lose. The wind tosses the leaves as the clouds shift and the sky brightens to a new hue of blue above the cloud line. The birds eat, fly and grow as the grass and trees reach toward heaven. Trees sometimes seem to grow in rows, like they are standing in line to get somewhere. Which one was the first tree? Is this one the leader?

People show up who just got off work, they are relieved to be here, maybe some are not. Either dreading or looking forward to some exercise. Grass crunches beneath a man’s tennis shoes as he carefully balances a box full of soccer balls. I hear car engines, voices, balls bouncing, hands clapping, children, swings and birds. A little girl is running past me now, she is smiling ear to ear and giggling because she is excited to get to play, she is alive, head to toe. Her dad follows behind her with a straight serious face. Play. When did you last play? Did you stop playing when you became an adult? How long since you laughed? Laughed from deep inside your soul til your cheeks ached…

Life is short. I made a good choice today, a choice for me. Was I productive at the park? Not really, but I am working on slowing my pace and living in the moment more. So this is a step in the right direction. When we are frantic and busy it is easy to miss the little things and not be grateful for all we have. Be sure to do something you enjoy every single day, just take a deep breath and look around you, who knows what you might notice.

Sunday Drive


As a little girl I would look forward to getting home after church. Mom would have us dinner on the table soon (lunch) then we would go for a drive. We would get in the brown Oldsmobile and it would carry us down some country road. As I sat in back unbuckled gazing out the window at corn, cows and barns,  Mamma and Daddy would chat about most every family’s house we passed, they seemed to know all of them. Their health, their children, their crops, I hardly listened as I bumped along in the back. Magically the ride would slow as we neared a friend’s house for an unannounced visit. Even so we were warmly welcomed and all good southern women feed you, so soon we’d have something homemade warm and yummy in our tummies. We were so excited to see each other again as we dashed off to play outside. Of course, we stayed for hours, us wildly roaming around, parents had no idea what we were into. Pots of coffee fuel multiple games of rook while they talk and laugh. The one and only TV set lacking a remote played in the background but no one noticed. Inevitably dark would overtake our sky which signaled the grown ups to talk about leaving. But wait! A genius plan we had to hide my shoes, surely Momma won’t make me leave without them…little voices begging to spend the night together so the fun won’t have to end. Then we would say goodnight a thousand times and begin playing again cause they changed their minds and started to talk once again. Why do they talk so much after they say we have to go? So I climb back into the back seat but not for long, my favorite thing is to lie in the back window. This is the perfect spot to see all the stars so now I imagine I am in my spaceship, destination: moon. As I fly through the heavens above I think of all the fun I had with my friends and drift off to peaceful dreams.


*I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” Isaiah 42:16

Many of the struggles described in the Bible are set in the desert, perhaps a valley. These are easy to relate to and fit the time and place.
Having just watched Life of Pi and Princess Bride… somehow I envision a different adventure. Behold blind and weak human me, walking a step behind Jesus, being obedient as He leads. He is powerful, big and strong, able to see ahead. We are in a dangerous thick jungle surrounded by wild animals. Colorful noisy birds fly above. I am basically defenseless other than my Savior who knows where the tigers crouch and watch us. He knows which path is best. With machete in hand He easily clears away tangled vines and limbs in the way so I can follow. All I have to do is follow. But wait, hold up! Oh, what if I head this way? Surely I know a better route. I may be blind but I do indeed have great ideas! Let’s take the short cut. And off I go again down the wrong path, following my own desires of course, attempting to plow through a jungle with only a butter knife..
Pray that God will help us to hear His voice, let go and follow without hesitation after Him.

*Then He said to them all:”Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”* Luke 9:23

The Legend of the Dogwood

Two thousand years ago, few trees in the Middle East were big enough to construct anything. However, one tree was valued above the others for its thick trunk and fine, strong wood.

When the Romans came to rule over Jerusalem, their government used this same timber to build the crosses for executing criminals. A group of workers were assigned to gather wood for the crosses. Before long, every Roman official knew the best wood came from these gatherers of execution wood, so those workers became popular.

One day, the wood gatherers received a special request. An officer of the Roman court came and said, “The King of Jews is to be put to death. Deliver an extra-large cross made from your finest wood.” So, a fresh tree was cut from the forest of the trees with thick trunks and fine, strong wood. An extra-tall (and extra-heavy) cross was quickly made and delivered.

Three days after the death of Jesus of Nazareth, the chief wood gatherer got alarming news. “All of our finest trees are withering!” the messenger whispered. The wood gatherer hurried to the forest and saw that it was true.

Several years later, the chief wood gatherer heard that, every spring, many people visited the old forest that had once made his job so easy. Despite his advancing years, he set out to discover why. He saw the remains of forest, now like a salty bottoms, with only a few trees still standing tall, bare, lifeless and rotting.

But what was this? As he drew closer, his feeble eyes could make out the people walking among thousands of beautiful, flowering bushes. Seeing one of his own workers there, the old man said, “No one could ever make a cross out of this twisted wood. Our finest tree has gone to the dogs!” He noticed the beautiful white flowers, each blossom looking as if it had been burned from the touch of a miniature cross.

As told to Ben Baston by his grandmother, Louise Brown.

There Is A Legend

At the time of Crucifixion the dogwood had been the size of the oak and other forest trees. So firm and strong was the tree that it was chosen as the timber for the cross. To be used thus for such a cruel purpose greatly distressed the tree, and Jesus nailed upon it, sensed this.
In His gentle pity for all sorrow and suffering Jesus said to the tree:
” Because of your regret and pity for My suffering, never again shall the dogwood tree grow large enough to be used as a cross. Henceforth it shall be slender and bent and twisted and its blossoms shall be in the form of a cross–two long and two short petals. And in the center of the outer edge of each petal there will be nail prints, brown with rust and stained with red, and in the center of the flower will be a crown of thorns, and all who see it will remember.”

The pink dogwood is said to be blushing
for shame because of the cruel purpose
which it served in the Crucifixion.
The weeping dogwood further symbolized the sorrow.
The red dogwood, called the Cherokee, bears
the color to remind us of the blood shed by our Savior.

* The house we lived in at Monticello just a few years ago had a pretty white dogwood tree in the front yard. The strangest thing would happen on a very moonlit night, the tree would actually glow. Something about the spot it sat at in the yard and the lack of shade directly above it made the light hit it perfectly so that it seemed to have a spotlight on it at times. This did somewhat remind me of the burning bush. There were some lonely difficult nights when sleep escaped me, I would stumble downstairs and look at my tree and be with Jesus. Reading my Bible and sitting there with Him, it was like He put that tree there just for me. Most often I was comforted enough to go back to bed and dream. I am definitely a believer in the legend of the dogwood. *

dogwood flowerThe Legend of the Dogwood;_ylt=A0oG7qZG4NlRXWUAd3kPxQt.?p=the+legend+of+the+dogwood+treee&fr=&fr2=piv-web&hspart=Babylon&hsimp=yhs-002&type=br112dm25

The Kiss

So this is my very first blog post and my thoughts are on kissing. Why? Well because it is International Kissing Day! Do you remember your very first kiss? Did it surprise you, ignite you? The first one I remember took place in our kindergarten classroom…In the back of the room were these panels with hooks behind them for our coats and book satchels as we called them. Chris Hays must have thought this an ideal spot to sneak a kiss. Sweet Innocence.
The last kiss. What about this one? Who will be your last kiss? My mom kissed my dad while he lay in a bed in a nursing home. I wondered at the time whether he was aware of this or if he even knew we were there at all. A different kind of kiss, selfless.
Love, hearts, adoration, joy, happiness, you must think of these words in relation to the word kiss. But what of betrayal?
Wounds from a friend can be trusted but an enemy multiplies kisses. Proverbs 27:6
A famous kiss. Jesus Christ was kissed by Judas to single Him out from the crowd to be carried off by the soldiers. But why kiss Him? Maybe I am a coward but I see myself quietly standing on the sidelines secretly pointing and whispering: “That’s Him, there.” But no, Judas was bold and walked straight up to Him, knowing Jesus was aware of what was happening and greeted Him and kissed Him. Not so sweet or innocent.
So think about it and make certain you kiss someone today, but only out of Love.

The Kiss By Gustav Klimt *in honor of International Kissing Day* img alt=”The Kiss” src=”” /> By Gustav Klimt *min hojjnor of International Kissing Day*