Bring Me That Horizon

Welcome to jennyweber dot com

........................................

Home of Jenny the Pirate

........................................

 ........................................

This will go better if you

check your expectations at the door.

.........................................

We're not big on logic

but there's no shortage of irony.

.........................................

 Nice is different than good.

.........................................

Oh and ...

I flunked charm school.

So what.

Can't write anything.

= Jennifer =

Causing considerable consternation
to many fine folk since 1957

Pepper and me ... Seattle 1962

  

Instagram

Belay That!

This blog does not contain and its author will not condone profanity, crude language, or verbal abuse. Commenters, you are welcome to speak your mind but do not cuss or I will delete either the word or your entire comment, depending on my mood. Continued use of bad words or inappropriate sentiments will result in the offending individual being banned, after which they'll be obliged to walk the plank. Thankee for your understanding and compliance.

= Jenny the Pirate =

Hoist The Colors

=0=0=0=

I am a Blue Star Mother

=0=0=0=

=0=0=0=

=0=0=0=

Insist on yourself; never imitate.

Your own gift you can present

every moment

with the cumulative force

of a whole life’s cultivation;

but of the adopted talent of another

you have only an extemporaneous

half possession.

That which each can do best,

none but his Maker can teach him.

= Ralph Waldo Emerson =

=0=0=0=

Represent:

The Black Velvet Coat

In The Market, As It Were

 

 

=0=0=0=

 

=0=0=0=

Contributor to

American Cemetery

published by Kates-Boylston

A Pistol With One Shot

Ecstatically shooting everything in sight using my beloved Nikon D3100 with AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6G VR kit lens and AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 G prime lens.

Also capturing outrageous beauty left and right with my Nikon D7000 blissfully married to my Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D AF prime glass. Don't be jeal.

And then there was the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm f:3.5-5.6G ED VR II zoom. We're done here.

Dying Is A Day Worth Living For

I am a taphophile

Word. Photo Jennifer Weber 2010

Great things are happening at

Find A Grave

If you don't believe me, click the pics.

=0=0=0=

Dying is a wild night

and a new road.

Emily Dickinson

=0=0=0=

REMEMBRANCE

When I am gone

Please remember me

 As a heartfelt laugh,

 As a tenderness.

 Hold fast to the image of me

When my soul was on fire,

The light of love shining

Through my eyes.

Remember me when I was singing

And seemed to know my way.

Remember always

When we were together

And time stood still.

Remember most not what I did,

Or who I was;

Oh please remember me

For what I always desired to be:

A smile on the face of God.

David Robert Brooks
=0=0=0=

 

 

 Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.

=0=0=0=

Keep To The Code

receipt.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

You Want To Find This
The Promise Of Redemption

Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;

But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.

But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.

For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;

Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

So then death worketh in us, but life in you.

We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I BELIEVED, AND THEREFORE HAVE I SPOKEN; we also believe, and therefore speak;

Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.

For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.

For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

II Corinthians 4

Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom and then lost it, have never known it again.

~ Ronald Reagan

Photo Jennifer Weber 2010

Not Without My Effects

My Compass Works Fine

The Courage Of Our Hearts

gbotlogo.jpg

 

onestarflag_thumb.jpg

Daft Like Jack

 "I can name fingers and point names ..."

And We'll Sing It All The Time
  • Elements Series: Fire
    Elements Series: Fire
    by Peter Kater
  • Danny Wright Healer of Hearts
    Danny Wright Healer of Hearts
    by Danny Wright
  • Grace
    Grace
    Old World Records
  • The Hymns Collection (2 Disc Set)
    The Hymns Collection (2 Disc Set)
    Stone Angel Music, Inc.
  • Always Near - A Romantic Collection
    Always Near - A Romantic Collection
    Real Music
  • Copia
    Copia
    Temporary Residence Ltd.
  • The Poet: Romances for Cello
    The Poet: Romances for Cello
    Spring Hill Music
  • Nightfall
    Nightfall
    Narada Productions, Inc.
  • Rachmaninoff plays Rachmaninoff
    Rachmaninoff plays Rachmaninoff
    RCA
  • The Pity Party: A Mean-Spirited Diatribe Against Liberal Compassion
    The Pity Party: A Mean-Spirited Diatribe Against Liberal Compassion
    by William Voegeli
  • The Art of Memoir
    The Art of Memoir
    by Mary Karr
  • The Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson's Envelope Poems
    The Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson's Envelope Poems
    by Emily Dickinson
  • Among The Dead: My Years in The Port Mortuary
    Among The Dead: My Years in The Port Mortuary
    by John W. Harper
  • On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction
    On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction
    by William Zinsser
  • Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them
    Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them
    by Steven Milloy
  • The Amateur
    The Amateur
    by Edward Klein
  • Hating Jesus: The American Left's War on Christianity
    Hating Jesus: The American Left's War on Christianity
    by Matt Barber, Paul Hair
  • In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms
    In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms
    by Dr. Laura Schlessinger
  • Where Are They Buried (Revised and Updated): How Did They Die? Fitting Ends and Final Resting Places of the Famous, Infamous, and Noteworthy
    Where Are They Buried (Revised and Updated): How Did They Die? Fitting Ends and Final Resting Places of the Famous, Infamous, and Noteworthy
    by Tod Benoit
  • Bird Brains: The Intelligence of Crows, Ravens, Magpies, and Jays
    Bird Brains: The Intelligence of Crows, Ravens, Magpies, and Jays
    by Candace Savage
  • Gifts of the Crow: How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans
    Gifts of the Crow: How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans
    by John Marzluff Ph.D., Tony Angell
  • Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World!
    Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World!
    by Andrew Breitbart
  • 11 Principles of a Reagan Conservative
    11 Principles of a Reagan Conservative
    by Paul Kengor
  • Mind of the Raven: Investigations and Adventures with Wolf-Birds
    Mind of the Raven: Investigations and Adventures with Wolf-Birds
    by Bernd Heinrich
  • Talking Heads: The Vent Haven Portraits
    Talking Heads: The Vent Haven Portraits
    by Matthew Rolston
  • Mortuary Confidential: Undertakers Spill the Dirt
    Mortuary Confidential: Undertakers Spill the Dirt
    by Todd Harra, Ken McKenzie
  • America's Steadfast Dream
    America's Steadfast Dream
    by E. Merrill Root
  • Good Dog, Carl : A Classic Board Book
    Good Dog, Carl : A Classic Board Book
    by Alexandra Day
  • Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
    Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
    by Lynne Truss
  • The American Way of Death Revisited
    The American Way of Death Revisited
    by Jessica Mitford
  • In Six Days : Why Fifty Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation
    In Six Days : Why Fifty Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation
    Master Books
  • Architects of Ruin: How big government liberals wrecked the global economy---and how they will do it again if no one stops them
    Architects of Ruin: How big government liberals wrecked the global economy---and how they will do it again if no one stops them
    by Peter Schweizer
  • Grave Influence: 21 Radicals and Their Worldviews That Rule America From the Grave
    Grave Influence: 21 Radicals and Their Worldviews That Rule America From the Grave
    by Brannon Howse
  • Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadow: The Tragic Courtship and Marriage of Paul Laurence Dunbar and Alice Ruth Moore
    Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadow: The Tragic Courtship and Marriage of Paul Laurence Dunbar and Alice Ruth Moore
    by Eleanor Alexander
Easy On The Goods
  • Waiting for
    Waiting for "Superman"
    starring Geoffrey Canada, Michelle Rhee
  • The Catered Affair (Remastered)
    The Catered Affair (Remastered)
    starring Bette Davis, Ernest Borgnine, Debbie Reynolds, Barry Fitzgerald, Rod Taylor
  • Bernie
    Bernie
    starring Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine, Matthew McConaughey
  • Remember the Night
    Remember the Night
    starring Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray, Beulah Bondi, Elizabeth Patterson, Sterling Holloway
  • The Ox-Bow Incident
    The Ox-Bow Incident
    starring Henry Fonda, Dana Andrews, Mary Beth Hughes, Anthony Quinn, William Eythe
  • The Bad Seed
    The Bad Seed
    starring Nancy Kelly, Patty McCormack, Henry Jones, Eileen Heckart, Evelyn Varden
  • Shadow of a Doubt
    Shadow of a Doubt
    starring Teresa Wright, Joseph Cotten, Macdonald Carey, Patricia Collinge, Henry Travers
  • The More The Merrier
    The More The Merrier
    starring Jean Arthur, Joel McCrea, Charles Coburn, Bruce Bennett, Ann Savage
  • Act of Valor
    Act of Valor
    starring Alex Veadov, Roselyn Sanchez, Nestor Serrano
  • Deep Water
    Deep Water
    starring Tilda Swinton, Donald Crowhurst, Jean Badin, Clare Crowhurst, Simon Crowhurst
  • Sunset Boulevard
    Sunset Boulevard
    starring William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich Von Stroheim, Nancy Olson, Fred Clark
  • Penny Serenade
    Penny Serenade
    starring Cary Grant, Irene Dunne, Edgar Buchanan, Beulah Bondi
  • Double Indemnity
    Double Indemnity
    starring Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson, Porter Hall, Jean Heather
  • Ayn Rand and the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged
    Ayn Rand and the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged
    starring Gary Anthony Williams
  • Fat Sick & Nearly Dead
    Fat Sick & Nearly Dead
    Passion River
  • It Happened One Night (Remastered Black & White)
    It Happened One Night (Remastered Black & White)
    starring Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert
  • Stella Dallas
    Stella Dallas
    starring Barbara Stanwyck, John Boles, Anne Shirley, Barbara O'Neil, Alan Hale
  • The Iron Lady
    The Iron Lady
    starring Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Harry Lloyd, Anthony Head, Alexandra Roach
  • Wallace & Gromit: The Complete Collection (4 Disc Set)
    Wallace & Gromit: The Complete Collection (4 Disc Set)
    starring Peter Sallis, Anne Reid, Sally Lindsay, Melissa Collier, Sarah Laborde
  • The Red Balloon (Released by Janus Films, in association with the Criterion Collection)
    The Red Balloon (Released by Janus Films, in association with the Criterion Collection)
    starring Red Balloon
  • Stalag 17 (Special Collector's Edition)
    Stalag 17 (Special Collector's Edition)
    starring William Holden, Don Taylor, Otto Preminger, Robert Strauss, Harvey Lembeck
  • The Major and the Minor (Universal Cinema Classics)
    The Major and the Minor (Universal Cinema Classics)
    starring Ginger Rogers, Ray Milland
  • My Dog Skip
    My Dog Skip
    starring Frankie Muniz, Diane Lane, Luke Wilson, Kevin Bacon
  • Sabrina
    Sabrina
    starring Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, William Holden, Walter Hampden, John Williams
  • The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer
    The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer
    starring Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, Shirley Temple, Rudy Vallee, Ray Collins
  • Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)
    Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)
    starring Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Jack Davenport
  • Now, Voyager (Keepcase)
    Now, Voyager (Keepcase)
    starring Bette Davis, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, Gladys Cooper, John Loder
  • The Trip To Bountiful
    The Trip To Bountiful
  • Hold Back the Dawn [DVD] Charles Boyer; Olivia de Havilland; Paulette Goddard
    Hold Back the Dawn [DVD] Charles Boyer; Olivia de Havilland; Paulette Goddard
That Dog Is Never Going To Move

~ RIP JAVIER ~

1999-2016

Columbia's Finest Chihuahua

Simple. Easy To Remember.

Blog Post Archives
We're Square
Powered by Squarespace

Tuesday
Oct082019

A degree of reminiscing

I put him on the spot

The next leg of our trip to Chicago involved not the Second City, but the city where, more than forty-three years ago, TG and I met.

I refer to Hammond, Indiana -- the 46320 -- a classic rust-belt town situated a stone's throw from the Illinois state line and so close to Chicago that it is part of the Chicago metropolitan area.

A garden spot it is not, and has never been.

I'm sure it was a bustling place mid-century but these days, with the exception of Sundays, downtown Hammond is all but deserted.

The reason it's busy on Sundays is because of First Baptist Church of Hammond -- the "old church on the corner" of Sibley and Oakley Streets, founded in 1887. Controversial since 1959 (when Jack Hyles became its pastor) and blighted by scandal in recent years, First Baptist is still the largest church in Indiana.

It was on church property that I first laid eyes on TG, in February of 1976. He did not immediately see me but it didn't matter. The damage was done.

Looking northwest on Sibley Street, from the old church building to the new

At the time, I was a few weeks shy of nineteen and a sophomore at Hyles-Anderson College, a ministry of the church. TG, a 1974 graduate of The Citadel, taught biology and coached basketball at Hammond Baptist High School -- also a ministry of the church.

In the picture at the top of this post, TG is standing on the spot where, on Sunday, August 20, 1978, after evening services, our romance officially began. As in, I was purposely lingering on that corner -- yes; I was lying in wait for him -- when my peripheral vision informed me that my love interest was approaching from just behind where he is standing in the photo.

At the opportune moment, I whirled around and got TG's attention, and subsequently let him know that for the first time in the two and a half years we'd known one another, I was not a dorm student.

Three days later, he called to ask me out on a date. That date took place the next evening -- Thursday, August 24, 1978 -- at old (now non-existent) Comiskey Park, where the Chicago White Sox beat the Kansas City Royals 4-0.

We were engaged the following March and married on June 16, 1979, at Forrest Hills Baptist Church in Decatur, Georgia (my home church). I shared pictures of that life landmark last year, after we took Dagny to the Georgia Aquarium for her fourth birthday.

Since I last visited First Baptist Church -- that was in 2002, for a wedding -- a new, even larger, church auditorium has been built. So this time, I was looking forward to seeing it.

The sign, for as long as I can remember

So on that Sunday evening a few weeks ago, when TG dropped me off at the curb of the new church building and went to park, although the newer building was technically unfamiliar to me, the surroundings weren't.

We had a nice time seeing dozens of friends from the old days, and getting reacquainted.

The next morning, we went back to the church property to walk around and take a few pictures. It was a cool and misty day with gray skies, but that's pretty standard for Hammond. So it seemed right.

Former Federal building, now FBC offices

The church owns two entire blocks of downtown Hammond; buildings and storefronts that once housed thriving businesses are now Sunday School departments.

The church also owns the old Federal Courthouse and Post Office, which it spent $1.2 million renovating several years ago, into office space for the pastor and church employees. Adult Sunday School classes convene in old courtrooms there as well. But no judging, haaahaa.

This aged but still beautiful building was where, as a college student working early mornings on a north Chicago bus route, I spent many Sunday afternoons waiting until time for Sunday evening church to start:

Seifer Furniture Company building, c. 1925

The campus of Hyles-Anderson College is seventeen miles away in Crown Point, Indiana -- and as we weren't allowed to drive around on our own (and I didn't have a car anyway, or even a driver's license, haahaha, long story) -- it wasn't feasible to return to the dorms between the conclusion of bus route duties and Sunday night church.

It sounds draconian now -- and it was, especially in the winter, which was most of the school year -- but we thought nothing of it. Or almost nothing.

Times were different. 

Here's a building directly across the street from the old auditorium; it's an educational facility built sometime in the eighties. In my college days there was a ramshackle building there, and it housed the bus offices -- meaning, it was the nerve center for the hundreds of Sunday School bus routes that ran each week all over the greater Chicagoland area.

The Walker Building

We brought all four of our newborn babies to church for the first time at First Baptist, placing them in the care of nursery workers during services.

Because we moved to Knoxville in 1991, only our two older children have substantial memories of when we lived in Indiana and attended First Baptist. 

The old church on the corner

When we left Hammond that day, we drove south on Route 41 towards Schererville, where we lived for the first twelve years of our marriage, and where we had an appointment to meet an old friend for pie and coffee.

On the way, we drove through Munster, Indiana, the home of Community Hospital, where all four of our children were born, all delivered by the same doctor.

We stopped to take a picture.

This entrance looked different in the eightees

The hospital started in 1973 with 104 beds, and is now a 458-bed acute-care facility. I looked it up.

During the decade when I was a patient there once every three years to have yet another baby, the hospital consisted of one smallish building:

My babies were born here

It's a much larger complex now. My doctor's office was in a medical park across the street. Those were the days when lots of obstetricians were in solo practice. That meant that often when you showed up for your routine appointment, you'd learn that the doctor was over at the hospital delivering a baby.

You waited patiently (haaahaha) with the other mothers, knowing that eventually, someone else would be waiting while Dr. Chung delivered your baby.

Except, none of my children were born during office hours. They were cooperative that way.

Good times.

He was a groomsman at our wedding

So then we drove on to Schererville, where we met our good friend Jim at Baker's Square.

Jim is a busy lawyer whose late father, James Clement, was a criminal court judge. TG once served on one of his juries and counted him a friend.

Jim was a point guard on the first basketball team -- JV -- that TG coached at Hammond Baptist High School.

The passage of time, and age, being the strange things that they are, although Jim was a former student of TG's, he's one of our best friends and has been for all of these years. Even as a high schooler, he was a groomsman for TG at our wedding.

TG and Jim, along with other guys from "back in the day," still play golf together in the spring, in Nashville.

After catching up with Jim, we drove out to Crown Point and Hyles-Anderson College.

I did not have a tassel to turn

And while there, I became a college graduate.

See, I can explain. 

When I walked across the platform at First Baptist Church on graduation night in 1978, I received an empty diploma case.

That's because, for reasons I cannot remember, I still required one class to graduate: American Literature.

Now, I was a pretty good student. If I'd taken American Lit, I would've gotten an A. I love American authors and poets; ask anybody. I'm all about Henry David Thoreau, Edgar Allan Poe, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, William Faulkner, Thomas Wolfe ... I could go on. You might say I'm self-taught in that subject.

But I didn't take the class.

And of course I intended to take it in summer school, and to trot by the Academic Dean's office when I'd passed it, to collect my missing diploma.

And I do not remember why I didn't do that either, except I was by that point pretty distracted by TG and fairly determined to get him into my life. I didn't even go home that summer; I stayed on campus, lived in the dorm, and worked.

I toyed with the idea (for five or six minutes) of starting a master's degree, once I'd gotten that American Lit class.

At any rate, life overtook me and then it was romance and then engagement and a wedding to plan, and then marriage, and pretty soon there was a baby on the way, and then another, and then another, and then another.

And then we moved away and I never took American Lit.

In recent months, however, I became aware of an opportunity that I wanted to take advantage of. And it required a four-year degree. No exceptions.

I called the gentleman you see in the picture above, standing with me as he gave me my diploma a few weeks ago. His name is David and he's now the Academic Dean.

David was actually in my graduating class. I'm sure he received his diploma on the night in May of 1978 when we marched to Pomp and Circumstance. He's worked for Hyles-Anderson College ever since.

When I talked to David on the phone in early May, he told me that I needed only one and a half credits to get my hands on that diploma.

A real-deal diploma is finally mine

(American Lit is a three-credit class but he'd give me one and a half credits for life experience.)

I pleaded suggested, surely I can write a paper or take a test for that one and a half credits?

No. I could not. I had to take a class.

So I took a class. From the University of Oxford in Oxford, England -- the oldest university in the English speaking world. My college was Trinity (there are thirty-nine of them at Oxford).

No; I did not go to Oxford, England. I wish. I took my course online.

It was a course on the writings of Jane Austen. I know; she's Brit lit and not American lit. But David kindly agreed to accept the transcript from Oxford indicating that I'd completed and passed the course.

And so I spent much of the summer reading Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Emma, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, and Mansfield Park.

I did a fair amount of required reading aside from the six novels. I interacted with my classmates and our tutor in online discussion forums. I wrote two papers. 

I enjoyed it a great deal, and I learned a lot, and I passed with what can only be described as flying colors.

And in due time, I received a piece of Royal Mail from Oxford, indicating that I had earned transferable credits for taking the course. I forwarded that document to David so that he could apply the credits to the ones I already had.

And now, forty-one years later than originally planned, I am a college graduate.

David also gifted me with an annual from our graduation year, which I did not have.

And he even found my picture within its pages.

Senior picture ... age twenty-one

I should have taken more pictures while I was there; the campus, which long ago was a monastery (First Baptist Church of Hammond and Hyles-Anderson College bought it from the monks) has changed a lot but most of it remains as I remember it.

The old chapel with its stained glass windows is now a mixed-use facility, as a new chapel was built while I was still a student there.

Old-school stained glass

After saying farewell to my alma mater -- for real this time -- we drove back west on Route 30 towards Schererville to see Jess and Kathy, two of our dearest friends in the whole world.

But first we stopped at Memory Lane Cemetery, where many folks from our past are buried or installed in mausoleum walls. The cemetery and full-service funeral home are owned by First Baptist Church of Hammond.

TG and I actually own grave plots there. They are for sale, as we plan to be interred here in Columbia and thus have acquired two more grave plots. That's two more than we require. Call me if you're interested.

But I wanted to pay my respects to certain people beloved to me, such as Linda Clement Richards, one of my best friends ever in my lifetime.

Remembering my friend Linda

Linda died of cancer at the age of forty-six. She was the big sister of our friend Jim (the one we met for pie), and the eldest daughter of Judge Clement and his wife.

Linda and I had lots of adventures packed into a short time. She was special. We loved to go shopping and often did. With little encouragement we'd be on our way to Chicago, to enjoy its shops and restaurants.

Judi is still missed

I also paid my respects at the grave of my friend Judi, who died too young in an automobile accident. She was special too. One of her daughters still keeps in touch with us.

We paused a moment to remember the judge:

He was a good and fair man

Then it was time to hang out with Jess and Kathy for a few minutes before meeting some more friends for dinner at Teibel's, a restaurant that is no less than an institution in Northwest Indiana.

They're famous for their Canadian Yellow Lake Perch, boned and buttered. You should go there sometime.

I didn't get any pictures at Jess and Kathy's house. He was not feeling well and she had had an extremely busy day. We sat in the yard and chatted for a while, then kissed them goodbye. We stay in touch.

At Teibel's we met our old friend Gail and her daughter Abbey.

Me and Gail, my teacher and friend

Gail was a colleague of TG's and my student teacher advisor during my senior year, and a friend to both of us. She was so proud of me for finally getting my diploma.

I took it with me into the restaurant, so that she could admire it.

(Gail was probably incredulous that I didn't finish my degree in 1978 when I was supposed to. But she was too nice to say so.)

We had a delicious dinner and stood gabbing in the parking lot long after it was over. It was a beautiful night.

And then we returned to the home of one of TG's oldest and best friends -- Jerry, who is a widower -- where we were staying for a few nights before going to Chicago.

I think you'll like what we did in Chicago. It has more to do with my education, and with many degrees of reminiscing. And city sights and excellent food, and of course, baseball.

And that is all for now.

=0=0=0=

Happy Tuesday

Friday
Oct042019

There's more than corn in Indiana

Oh hi. Again I feel that apologies are in order, for my delay in posting. But seriously: today is the first day I could attempt to write this post for you.

On account of, my aforementioned computer problems -- which were already verging on dire -- escalated in recent days to the equivalent of a four-alarm fire consuming the house next door, with a stiff wind blowing from that direction.

I'll be honest: I am not tech-savvy enough to know whether my computer problem could have been solved in any other way besides the way we chose to deal with it. 

My needs are simple: I just want it to work. And by that I mean, work in such a way that I don't have to think about it.

So I bought a new latest-model MacBook Pro.

click to embiggen

I'm not bragging here; it's merely a tool and not a status symbol. In my world, a good computer is essential. And it was time. TG bought me my first MBP in July of 2012.

When it began slowing to near-unbearable levels approximately eighteen months ago, I limped along for a while, dreading the inevitable.

Then last July, I took it in for an assessment. It's too old, the techs told me, to do the things you're asking it to do. And there's nothing that can be done about it. Buy a new one.

But I balked. It wasn't just the expense; it was the principle. I was only asking the machine -- which I babied -- to do the things a computer is made and designed to do.

Nothing exotic, I can assure you.

But whatever. I suppose my device was rather long in the tooth. One must be realistic. In the computer world, seven years is a century. I may as well have been chiseling blog posts in stone.

Moving on. I have a new computer now. And all is well -- well. Wait. After a disturbing hiccup on DAY ONE, all is, I assume, actually well.

Let me unpack it for you.

After a bad day with my computer on Monday, and again on Tuesday -- to the point that my frustration level was fixing to go off the charts, TG told me on Tuesday night, go tomorrow and get what you need.

Magic words. So I did as instructed, and by two o'clock -- having done all of the necessary research online (using my phone) -- I was back home with my new whiz-bang MacBook Pro.

I unboxed it, followed the prompts to set it up, and everything was peachy and I was basking in the glow of the experience of having a new computer with the latest of everything.

Smooth and intuitive, just the way I like it. Shiny and fast, like a sports car. Very cool.

Then the screen went black.

For no reason and with no warning. And I had been in the middle of editing a photo.

The machine had indicated that it came out of the box fully charged. But just in case it was confused, I hooked it up to the power source.

It then indicated that the battery percentage was in fact zero. Mmmmmkay. That would explain a black screen, all right.

Five or six minutes later, the screen having reappeared as abruptly as it had taken its bad self away, the battery percentage again read one hundred percent. Happy happy happy.

So I unplugged the power cord and continued working.

Twenty minutes after that, the screen went black again. After a contemplative interlude on my part, during which I stared in unbelieving dismay at the blackness of the screen on my brand new laptop, it woke itself up and once again gave me my screen back.

I called the store where less than three hours before, I'd bought my new MacBook Pro with touch bar and generation eight Intel core.

Sounds like you got a bad one, the person on the other end of the line said with what can only be described as a studied nonchalance. How 'bout you bring it back and we'll switch it out for another one.

? ? ? ? ?

Mmmmmkay. I refreshed me red pirate lippy and marched back over there in the sweltering ninety-eight-degree early October afternoon.

I relayed to the person behind the counter in the computer department how I'd been told on the phone that I'd inadvertently purchased a "bad Apple."

Haaaahaha. Oopsie! So very amusing.

I didn't even know you sold bad ones, I said. And for the same price as good ones!

(Yes; I said it quasi-sarcastically. Sue me or, in the alternative, step off.)

Well, not intentionally, the worker amended with a slightly defensive air and the identical brand of studied nonchalance I'd encountered in her colleague on the phone a half hour earlier. She had something metal protruding from her left nostril so I did not argue.

(People: they don't care. Best Buy doesn’t care. Apple Computer doesn't care. Silicon Valley doesn’t care. Just open your wallet, pull out the card, and refrain from sniveling. There's a good little consumer.)

Turns out that the box I'd been handed by a courteous young male employee earlier that day, contained a computer with a bad battery.

It must've fallen through a crack in Apple's quality control, is how it was explained away to me.

? ? ? ? ?

All I can say is that I'm glad the problem manifested itself immediately rather than later, when returning the defective machine for one with a good battery may have presented more of a problem. 

I shudder to think.

And that brings me to our trip -- a story that I am now able to tell you.

On the day we departed, we were on the road before ten in the morning. We drove about nine hours, to Indianapolis, Indiana. The trip was uneventful.

After a relatively restful night, we checked out of our hotel and entered the late-late-summer atmosphere of the Hoosier state's capital city.

Little-known fact: I was born, not in the South like both of my parents, but in Indiana -- Kokomo (because my USAF pilot father was stationed there at the time of my miraculous appearance) -- but if I'd ever been to Indianapolis before a few weeks ago, I do not remember it.

It's pretty great. Everyone should visit at least once.

When we take a long trip, my primary goal is to visit cities that are new to me, and in those cities, to see and photograph as many historic cemeteries as possible. 

Thus, on the way to Chicago in August of 2018, we stopped for the night in Louisville, Kentucky, so that I could walk Cave Hill Cemetery in that city. Eastern Cemetery -- a most poignant place -- was thrown in as a bonus.

Once in our destination city of Chicago last summer, we did a half-day of graving at Graceland Cemetery -- that's one I wish you all could see, in person -- just a few miles north of Wrigley Field.

When we traveled to Baltimore for my birthday last March, we broke our journey in Richmond, Virginia, so that I could see Hollywood Cemetery, perched scenically along the James River. I'd wanted to walk that cemetery for years.

I realize now that, due to the awful performance of my old computer, I have never showed you most of those pictures (editing photos had become a grueling chore).

We'll get caught up; I promise.

But en route to the Windy City this year, I wanted to see Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis. It is the third-largest cemetery in America that is not government owned. 

There are over two hundred thousand interments, including the resting place of Depression-era criminal John Dillinger, who was gunned down by the law in Chicago in July of 1934, when he was only thirty-one years old.

Another visitor to Dillinger's grave that day told us that his tombstone is the third one placed since Mr. Dillinger's death. Do you see the pieces hacked off the sides of the granite stone? That's what people do. Eventually the stone has to be replaced because there's not much left of it.

(Not to seem sanctimonious and I hope you don't take it that way, but I do not touch tombstones or grave monuments of any kind, in any way. Never ever. The pictures I show you are of these things exactly as I find them.)

That's not to say that I've never taken anything out of a cemetery; I have.

But I digress.

Also, Richard Gatling, inventor of the Gatling gun, is buried at Crown Hill. It's a beautiful place.

We arrived at the soaring gothic gates of Crown Hill Cemetery early on that morning, even before breakfast (and before too much in the way of heat and humidity).

I knew we'd be able to visit a second time later in the week, because we'd arranged to spend the night in Indianapolis again on our way home. So I wandered with my camera, enjoying the weather and the sights.

Crown Hill actually has an area called the Crown Hill, featuring swankier graves -- such as the Greek-temple style tomb (not pictured above) of James Whitcomb Riley, the "Hoosier Poet", who wrote the poem Little Orphant Annie upon which the famous cartoon character was later based -- and boasting a view of downtown Indianapolis.

And while I did not find Fame, I did locate Fortune.

Of the two, I'd definitely rather have fortune.

The fall season was only just beginning to show out in Indianapolis; I imagine that now, it's much more colorful. And cooler. I wish I were there to see and feel it.

I love it when stone figures seem to fuse with the scenery, as this one with leaves in her folded hands. No; I did not put the leaves there.

Every fall, in whatever cemetery I happen to be, I take the obligatory heart-wrenching close-up of fallen leaves on the pathway, with tombstones stacked in the distance.

I never get tired of that shot.

There is a grave marker similar to this one in Elmwood, the historic cemetery here in Columbia where TG and I own plots (one for him and one for me). This young man died at the age of twelve. According to Find A Grave, he perished of diphtheria. 

The "steps" he's leaning on are likenesses of twelve stone books -- one for each year of his life. The spine of the bottom book is inscribed with the year 1877, the year he was born. The top book is inscribed with 1889, the year he died. 

The book held in the hands is, in such cases, generally thought to be the Bible.

Another monument, in this case erected by a family in memory of several deceased children, was remarkable for the amount of time- and weather erosion the kneeling figure exhibits.

It appeared to be melting. And even in that condition, poised high on its ornate plinth, one could sense the pleading and the pain of the children's devastated parents, represented by that lonely angel.

And then there were the deer.

Deer -- and other wildlife, but mostly birds -- love living in large park-like cemeteries. I suppose it's the calm, the trees, the absence of human threat.

But I'm always surprised when I see deer. This was my first time to spot a stag. I'm glad I was using my long lens; he was at least thirty yards away.

After an hour or so spent strolling and shooting in the cemetery, we were ready for breakfast.

We went to Yolk City Way in downtown Indianapolis. Chad and Erica ate at a Yolk (it's a chain) in Chicago when they visited there over the Labor Day weekend, and she'd told me it was very good.

And it is. If you get an opportunity to eat breakfast at Yolk, don't pass it up.

Then I was ready to walk around some more -- this time in downtown Indianapolis. We were expected at a friend's house where we'd be staying a little over two hours' drive away, in Hammond, but not until later in the afternoon.

Plus, you gain an hour when you travel that far west.

First TG drove around for a while, until I was sure I wanted to get out and take pictures. It was overcast and even sprinkling at times, but that wasn't the only issue.

The main problem was a dearth of parking.

So TG let me out at Lucas Oil Stadium -- home of the Indianapolis Colts -- and went to find a spot, then came back and joined me.

Until that day, I was unaware of the existence of Lucas Oil Stadium -- where they play football games indoors (and if you've ever been to Indiana in the wintertime, you'd understand why) -- and barely aware of the Indianapolis Colts.

(Long ago I said no to football and yes to black lace.)

But I enjoy architecture and sports venues are interesting, and as the Colts were on the road that day, there was no traffic to contend with and -- this is the best part -- no people.

The horseshoe motif is everywhere in Indianapolis. Remember Crown Hill, in Crown Hill Cemetery? The tombstone of Robert Irsay -- longtime owner of the Colts -- is there, and guess what's engraved in stone upon it?

That horseshoe.

There's also a pretty impressive statue to Peyton Manning -- "The Sheriff" -- the Colts' famous quarterback, in front of the stadium..

I knew who Peyton Manning was but, until I saw the statue, would not have known which team he played for.

This will date me seriously but I know more about Peyton's father, Archie Manning, than about Peyton or his brothers.

When I briefly lived in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with my family in the early 1970s, Ole Miss was in the grip of Archie fever. I remember hearing the chant of Archie who, Archie who drifting through the night air when LSU played Ole Miss at Tiger Stadium, loudly enough that it was audible at our house if we stepped out onto the porch.

Anyway.

I didn't get a picture of this but as we walked around outside Lucas Oil Stadium, someone, somewhere, was operating a drone in the area. That in itself is no big deal, but they were making it swoop and dive a lot lower than made me comfortable.

I mean, what if someone came up behind the person holding the remote control, and tickled them? That drone could hit an innocent lady out on the street. Like me. With not-so-favorable results.

But that did not happen.

As I walked around the statue honoring Peyton Manning, admiring it and photographing it from many different angles, I thought about something I heard when I watched a TV movie about the Joe Paterno scandal.

When Joe Pa's statue and monument was being torn down and removed from the campus of Penn State University in 2012, some wise person opined that we should never erect statues to living people.

I hope Peyton Manning is never found to have done something -- like, eaten at Chick-fil-A or voted for the "wrong" presidential candidate -- oh wait! He's an establishment Republican, so he's okay -- so heinous that his statue is made to disappear.

Because it's nice.

Nunber Eighteen: Always a Colt.

Here's an interesting shot with the Perry K Generating Station visible in the distance.

The smokestacks are painted Colts colors.

I had to get away from that still-buzzing, still-swooping drone at that point, so I told TG I was going to walk in the direction of a building I'd seen, that I wanted to get a picture of to show you.

He said OK and trotted off to retrieve the car, and said he'd meet me there. It was just down the street.

This was it:

I know; right?

More Rolls-Royce products are made in Indianapolis than anywhere else in the world.

We're not talking about the luxury automobiles, though; those are made in England. It's more their fabled aircraft engines.

According to the Rolls-Royce web site: Approximately 4,000 employees work in Indianapolis in manufacturing, assembly, test, engineering and a variety of staff support roles.

This building is known as the Rolls-Royce Meridian Center. It's mostly offices, and the building is newer than it looks. I think it was designed to resemble a 1930s art-deco style edifice.

I like it.

Then we walked some more and I saw the butterfly wall, which I showed you last week with me in the picture.

Just past the wall was an underpass -- you can see it at the bottom left of the photo -- and beneath it were many homeless people. Indianapolis is very clean and tidy, and the folks appeared to be trying to hold everything together. I hope they find better shelter before the snow flies.

Around the corner from the butterfly wall was another butterfly wall.

Such beauty and talent.

These butterflies were painted on the outside walls of a CVS drugstore.

So special.

In due time we boarded our vehicle once again and headed for Hammond, in extreme Northwest Indiana, where TG and I met.

I think you'll like what I share with you next. It will be early in the new week.

And that is all for now.

=0=0=0=

Happy Friday :: Happy Weekend

Tuesday
Oct012019

It gives me butterflies


I have not forgotten you.

However.

No sooner had I returned home from Chicago and turned around twice,
than it was time to go to the beach.

Believe it or not, there was no WiFi at the beach.

I know; right?

I've been back from the beach for a few days,
but now I'm experiencing computer issues
that have nothing to do with WiFi.

Said issues are hindering my efforts to spend the necessary time
on a quality post with all those pirate pictures
you've come to expect.

But I'll have everything resolved soon.

So hang in there.

And that is all for now.

=0=0=0=

Happy October
Tuesday
Sep242019

Try to remember

Me and/in/at the Cloud Gate :: Millennium ParkI'm trying to remember everything I need to tell you about TG's and my recent trip to Chicago.

Stay tuned.

It won't be long.

But that is all for now.

=0=0=0=

Happy Tuesday :: Happy Autumn

Wednesday
Sep112019

We are standing


=0=0=0=

Never Ever Forget
Monday
Sep092019

Sweet things. And firemen too.

On Sunday in the early afternoon, after church and before going home for lunch, TG and I stopped at the grocery store.

It was a hot day. In a string of hot days. And getting hotter; today was one of the hottest days of the entire summer.

Most places, you have Indian summer in, like, September. Here, it occurs in October. Sometimes November. September is full-out summertime. Every time.

It's warmer than May and June. July and August you expect to be unbearable and are never disappointed. But come September? One begins to hallucinate that there's a mere eighty-degree day at the end of the tunnel.

(Even given the fact that it's technically still summer until the twenty-third of September, I often fantasize that with the advent of the B-E-R months, a cooling trend will develop.)

(But no.)

So I wasn't all that surprised to see a fire engine parked at the back of the parking lot, pulled over parallel to the shopping center since (duh) it wouldn't exactly fit into any available parking spaces.

Three local American heroes, having disembarked from said engine, were making their way towards the store.

They weren't going to put out a fire. Like us, they were fixing to do some shopping.

The trio of firefighters walked into the store just before we did, stopping to appropriate a cart immediately inside the first set of doors before proceeding into the actual grocery area.

But they hadn't gotten any farther than that because right there -- RIGHT there -- inside the automatically sliding doors ushering customers into a cool world of endless vittles, was a table laden with dozens of transparent clamshells full of cookies.

There were chocolate chip cookies and sugar cookies and peanut butter cookies and cookies sprinkled with nonpareils.

In addition, one of my favorite employees at the store -- her name is Dee and we often visit for a few minutes, usually to talk about low-carb cooking -- was manning the table so as to offer free samples of the cookies to anyone who wanted a taste.

I know that ploy. They're pretty sure that, after tasting, you'll buy. And the cookies were BOGO*! So pick yours up because YOLO**! If you leave without cookies, you'll experience the dreaded FOMO***!

And we wouldn't want that.

(We already had our cookie stash at home. The night before, TG had made a red-grape run for me. Sometimes I am caught up short without red grapes and I pretty much have to have them. I guess I'm sort of addicted. So he'd gone to get some, and had come home with two transparent clamshells full of cookies in addition to five pounds of red grapes.)

I am not allowed to eat cookies so I ate grapes while he ate cookies.

Anyway. The aforementioned firemen had (naturally) stopped to sample the free samples. And they seemed to be really enjoying themselves.

Liking the look of them lined up thusly, gobbling complimentary cookie pieces, I asked if it was okay to take their picture and of course they gladly complied.

There's just something about a fireman. Sort of like a baseball player. 'Murca.

Before we let the firefighters alone and moved along to get our groceries and go to the house for lunch, TG had to tell one of the firemen the short version of our house-burning-down story.

It happened on Christmas Eve Eve (that would be the twenty-third of December) in 2005. The house that burned was empty and all but sold (closing was one week away); we'd moved out on Labor Day weekend.

Our buyer stuck with us and insurance paid our mortgage while the house was repaired, and in due time we closed on the sale and all's well that ends well and any other stock cliché you can think of, put it there.

I did not have an opportunity to tell the firemen about the time I burned the chicken, setting off the smoke alarm, and because I turned it off (the alarm; I'd already killed the fire under the chicken) within a few seconds, and I never heard the phone when they called me because I was too far from it (this was before we all had phones attached to our hands), and so I didn't answer, and the fire department came.

I heard the engine idling outside and, wearing a housecoat, opened the door. A fireman was making his way to the side of my house carrying a huge spiky hook-like thing that I was certain he was about to use to start breaking windows and rescuing anyone trapped inside.

But he spotted me just in time and could tell right away that I did not require rescuing -- on account of, this time where there was smoke there was no fire -- and, grinning, he walked up onto the porch and remarked that the chicken smelled real good, burned and all.

No harm, no fowl foul.

(Turns out that when a smoke alarm is activated, they have to come even if you pick up the phone and assure them there's no fire to put out. At least that's what they told me.)

And that, folks, is the extent of my personal fire-and-firefighter stories.

Except to say, here's hoping it cools down soon.

And that is all for now.

*Buy One Get One

**You Only Live Once

***Fear Of Missing Out

=0=0=0=

Happy Monday :: Happy New Week

Tuesday
Sep032019

Scene and heard at church :: 9/1/19

Our Brittany ... Dagny ... and baby Ember Rae

You know don't you, that every time the first of the month falls on a Sunday, there are five Sundays in that month?

Yep.

Well. Except in February, unless it's a leap year and February has twenty-nine days.

And did you know that every election year (presidential) is a leap year?

Yep.

Well. I read that the year 2100 will be an election year and not a leap year. But I figure so what. We will all (or most of us) have flown away by then.

And will not have to concern ourselves any longer with politics.

Not that I worry unduly about politics now.

Let's move along because that's not where this whole thing was supposed to go at all.

Family festivities and fare

Normally I'd have done this post on a Monday but yesterday being Labor Day, we had a large family party which left no time for blogging.

Starting on Sunday evening after church, while waiting for Stephanie and her family to arrive from North Carolina, I listened to the rain and watched TV on my small kitchen flat screen while putting together several dishes for the next day.

I took not one single picture of the prepared food but here's what we had:

Crack chicken ... hot dogs ... baked macaroni and cheese ... barbecue baked beans ... watergate salad ... cucumber, grape tomato, and onion salad dressed with homemade balsamic vinaigrette ... pickle buffet of original Wickles, Wickle relish, Mount Olive bread and butter chips, and Sam's Choice Hot Spicy Fresh Pack Maple Bourbon chips ... three varieties of Clancy's potato chips ... soda pop ... cold brew with heavy cream ... freshly brewed Dunkin' Donuts decaf ... strawberry cream pie ... lemon meringue pie.

It was epic. The pies were by Edwards, right out of the freezer case. I highly recommend those. Just between you and me, the lemon meringue could easily pass for old fashioned southern lemon icebox pie.

There were twelve of us (thirteen if you count baby Ember, which I do) for lunch -- even though we were missing Cherica, who were holidaying in Chicago, and Andrew, who as you know is in Afghanistan until the end of the month.

Erica's crepes this morning at Yolk Chicago

Over dessert we celebrated our Stephanie's birthday, which will take place on September ninth just like it does every year.

But let's back this party train up a bit because the end is in danger of preceding the beginning. And we cannot have that.

Thy will be done

We had a truly wonderful Sunday morning service at church. Any time our pastor preaches (often we have guest preachers and I'm sorry but I'd rather hear our pastor, and he knows how I feel because I've told him so) is a most profitable time, and this day was no exception.

The Scripture verse for the sermon was John 4:34:

Jesus saith unto them, my meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

And Pastor reminded us that for the Christian, there is but that one task as well.

One of the things the pastor used to illustrate his point was this quote by Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain):

The two most important days of your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.

I've always liked that. Although I am dubious that Mark Twain -- dubbed the Father of American Literature -- was a follower of Christ, I do love his writing and in this case, what he said was certainly true and therefore has a worthy spiritual application.

(Folks, we are not here to endlessly angle for effusive fawning praise of our face, our figure, our fashion choices, and further fleshly things, on Fakebook and in the squares. There's more to it than that.)

We girls ... between morning church and Cracker Barrel

But although I digress, I will not ask for forgiveness. People need to get a grip.

At any rate, before the sermon got underway, our pastor recognized a couple in the church who have recently become engaged to be married.

It was particularly noteworthy because the couple are senior citizens. (We have a widow-widower luncheon every month and I suspect that a fair amount of matrimonial progress is made there.)

So a few minutes later, Brittany's phone, resting on the pew beside her, lit up (she was sitting next to me because Audrey was taking her turn working in the nursery).

My daughter-in-law looked at her phone and then handed it to me. It was a screen shot of the couple who had gotten engaged, as they sat together on the opposite side of the auditorium from us.

Apparently the live-stream camera operator had trained the lens in their direction while Pastor congratulated them.

Andrew had sent it to her. From the other side of the world, he was watching the service in real time on our church's web site. He wanted to let his wife know both that he was with her in church, and that he was on board with love and marriage at any age.

And that's how he chose to do it. Our Andrew has a unique and endearing sense of humor. As in, if you are in his presence for very long, you're going to be cracking up. He's a nut.

So we were still chuckling about that when it was time to stand and sing the first verse of Amazing Grace (the Baptist national anthem) and shake hands with the folks around us.

TG took advantage of that time to tell the pastor that Andrew was watching from Afghanistan and that he'd sent the screen shot of the newly betrothed to Brittany.

So after hand shaking time, the pastor shared with the whole church that Andrew was watching, and everyone faced the camera and waved to our American hero.

Another Brittany

After church, TG, I, Brittany, Audrey, and Dagny decided to go to Cracker Barrel for lunch.

Before leaving the parking lot, however, we posed for a few photos because I knew it had been a while since you saw our Brittany.

Later, as we were being led to our table at Cracker Barrel, I was first behind the young lady escorting us.

She could not have been nicer. She asked what kind of a day I was having, and I told her it had been a great day so far, because it had.

Then she politely inquired as to whether we had plans for later, and I told her that we planned to go back to church for evening services, as we always do.

Me. And another Brittany.

The young lady -- turns out her name is Brittany too -- asked several questions about that, and TG trotted back out to the car to fetch some literature for her, and to make a long story short, she showed up at church that night and sat beside me, and we had a long talk during and after the invitation time.

Brittany is a seeker after truth and she has a sweet attitude, and I know that she would appreciate your prayers.

I made a new friend and I consider that a gift directly from God, and I hope that if I can be of help or service to Brittany, that she will allow me that privilege.

Like our new friend Lonnie from last week, Brittany agreed to have her picture made with me, and to be featured on the blog.

We hope to see her again soon.

That afternoon, during the short interval between Cracker Barrel and meeting another Brittany and having a good time getting to know our server (whose name was Summer and who is expecting a baby in December just like our Brittany), and evening service, Brittany -- Brittany Weber, that is; please do keep up -- sent me a sneak peek of baby Ember's nursery, which is a work in progress much like Ember herself:

This nursery is money honey

Is that not charming? I love it. Her daddy finished painting it just before he deployed.

Her crib will someday convert into a twin bed that she can use until she's grown.

Her mother texted me that her only wish for Ember is that she will grow up to be a strong woman who loves the Lord.

And I texted back that I have no doubt that she will. And I haven't. Any doubt, that is.

Dress for success

One last story because I know you'll like it.

On Sunday evening our church had one of those guest preachers I mentioned before. The message was good. Not as good as hearing our pastor, but still good.

This particular servant of God brought a message from Ephesians chapter six, where Christians are commanded:

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

And I was reminded, as I always am when I hear or read those verses, of what my Great Aunt Jenny (her name was actually Genevieve but nobody ever called her anything but Aunt Jenny, not in my hearing at least, and no, I was not named after her) said to TG, the last time we saw her before she was called home to heaven.

The time was July of 1995 and the mise en scène is a funeral home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where we were attending a visitation on the evening before the funeral of Terri Kay, the stepdaughter of Aunt Jenny's only child, my mother's first cousin Darlene.

Again -- do keep up.

Anyway, if you can produce a more vibrant, joy-filled, faith-fuelled Christian than Genevieve Harvey, I 'd like to meet that saint of God. To be honest, Aunt Jenny could be annoying but to me she never was. Not even once.

She continually had the praise of Jesus in her mouth. She often preached, to whomever would listen. And that was the case on this occasion. 

TG was occupying a wingback chair provided by the funeral parlor for the rest and comfort of mourners. Aunt Jenny stood directly in front of him -- and they were eye to eye.

See, TG is six foot four and Aunt Jenny was five foot nothing. In heels.

At any rate there she stood, age seventy-five, white hair simply and elegantly styled, wearing a fetching aqua pant suit purchased for the occasion, and sporting her signature bright red lipstick.

She was holding forth about what she had perceived to be lacking in the spiritual condition of her late husband, Harold, at the time of his death in 1977 at the age of sixty.

Aunt Jenny's conviction was that although her husband had professed faith in Christ and trusted Him for salvation, he had either never had time, or had not sought, to grow and mature as a Christian.

I can still see her as she told TG:

I believe that Harold is even now standing before the throne of God stark naked (she said it nekkid) except for the helmet of salvation.

Let that sink in.

She may have been right -- I mean, who else would know -- but it's a visual I've never been able to reconcile with my memories of Uncle Harold.

He who, when I was very small, according to my mother, would gently rock me to sleep and refuse to move out of the chair until I woke up all on my own.

I have seen a picture of my baby self sleeping soundly on his shoulder.

As long as he's in heaven, where, due to the grace of God, I myself am bound? I need no other argument.

And that is all for now.

=0=0=0=

Happy Tuesday :: Happy September

Friday
Aug302019

Draw your own conclusions

Since my blogging buddy and dear friend Mari is always bragging about showing us how talented her granddaughter is (actually the entire family are staggeringly gifted in art -- Mari's husband, Bob, made the pirate statue you see to the right of where you're reading), I thought I'd share a grandkid drawing.

Hence the picture of me, above. Created by Dagny.

Did you recognize me? I mean, I know I wear my hair longer than that but I think you'll agree that the black outfit, big mouth, and long spiky eyelashes are, as they say, on point.

Some may even say a dead giveaway.

My ears, however, do not stick out parallel to the floor. No matter what anyone says.

Illustrating (see what I did there) that Dagny does not have to be prodded to produce masterpieces, this artistic offering came completely unsolicited.

She made it during church last Sunday night.

This second portrait is of Dagny herself -- and Peppa Pig, is my guess -- complete with her name written by both me and her.

Can you tell which one she wrote?

This was done several weeks ago, at my house.

Her mouth is also drawn large and open wide, which -- trust me -- is an accurate rendering of the subject.

Although I'm overwhelmed by my genius grandchild's mad skillz, I have only one wish in this regard:

That she never goes up against Alaina in an art contest.

And that is all for now.

=0=0=0=

Happy Friday :: Happy Labor Day Weekend