Monday, February 15, 2021

Love and Laughter


After a year and on into the next with the covid pandemic testing each and everyone. 

In 2021, may we regain hope and learn from it all in a good way as we go forward.

Couple of thoughts. So...I’ve been telling Chuck this week that I’m taking up a new profession as a comedian, after my sister and father. They were both so great at telling a good joke. Laughter was really their medicine. As the oldest child I had too many responsibilities to find time to tell a funny joke. However after mom passed I made it a habit to have a funny story to share with my father when I visited. Knowing his history and what hardships he overcame, I learned to realize why humor was so necessary for him. Laughter and Love, two gifts from my parents. May we each carry a joyful story to share in these difficult times. I hope to share at least one story each month or so....

Here in our backyard is Grandson Rowan and Grandad lovingly playing a game that went on for quite some time, where as you can see, love and laughter were going full force. Grand kids River and Jenna in the back ground playing Uno. We have missed these visits over the last year with needing to be separate for our health ad safety. This photo gives joyful hope of renewed opportunities for love and laughter to continue. Over the last many months we have been separated because of covid safety protocol we have chosen to follow, we have been able to support each other in very creative ways that meant using our computers and phones as well as meeting for short periods of time wearing masks and staying at a distance. Chuck and I have had both or our moderna vaccines now. We look forward to having renewed visits with our grandchildren and to nurture opportunities for continued experiences of love and laughter together.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

"Come Sunday": A song brings reflection and gratitude.

                                         Posted January 31, 2021. My mother's birthday.

My mother did not go to church on a regular basis, weddings, funerals, invitations. She did not take her children to church. My mother said "you live your heaven and hell right here on earth, it's "how" you live your life that matters." She was a testimony to her statement and I love her dearly for what she taught me. She was always kind to others, always making sure she called the person she was talking to by their name and offered laughter and kind words to each person she came into contact with, always. She loved people. When my grandmother, Dee Dee Mom, my fathers mother, was in recovery in a nursing home mom took me and my two young daughters to visit her. My mother greeted each and every person with such joyful attention, including staff. She would ask questions, remembering conversations and respectfully attentive. It was one of my greatest moments to witness my mother living her daily life as if she were in a House of God. She was straight forward, told you like it is and never held back what needed to be said if it meant protecting you or advising you. Never punishing, often way too liberal for many. She did not let others attitudes get in her way however. I am ever grateful for what I am still learning from my mother. Her wisdom comes to me daily in all I do. 

Thank you my mother.

 My DeeDee Mom on the other hand, took her grandchildren to church. She took us to the United Methodist Church in Sunnyvale, California where we lived at the time. I was about nine years old the first time she took me to church. I had already been going to Catholic church with my best friend down the street. The day my grandmother took me to church was the first time I heard my grandmother sing. My brother and sisters went directly to Sunday school class when we got there. Because of my age I went to the main service with the adults before going on to class. After my grandmother got them settled she came into the main service and sat about five seats down from me. That’s when we all stood to sing a hymn and I watched her very intently. She was strong, proud, standing with the others singing so beautifully in my eyes. What I witnessed transformed me in how I understood my grandmother. I received my bible that day in Sunday school. I still have it of course, along with the memory of DeeDee Mom and her tall, heavy set body standing out in the congregation. She signed my bible for me filling out my name where I received it and when.

 As a child I spent a great deal of time with her learning to cook, sew my own clothes, make quilt tops and blankets, as well as my own pajamas. She taught me most of what I know regarding domestic care of the home, self care and care of others. When my first child was born my mother apologized when she came to be with me to help with her first grandchild. She said, "I'm sorry Connie there is not much I know to help you because Dee Dee Mom always took care of me and my babies. I said, "just do what she did mom, and we will be fine." The last time I was with my grandmother was when I stayed with her for about a month with my two little daughters, who were nine months and three years old. Dee Dee Mom was just home from the hospital recovering from treatment for cancer. Before we left she needed to make me a flannel nightgown. Just as when I was a child visiting her for the weekend, she would often made me a pair of pajamas, she sat at her sewing machine and made me a full length flannel nightgown because she wanted to make sure I was warm heading up to Washington. Dee Dee Mom passed away several months later. I’m so blessed to have had that very special time with her. Going through her treasures and photo albums with her, learning so much of her life as she shared her stories and wisdom with me. I thank God for my grandmother and for all of her many gifts.

Referring to the song  “Come Sunday” written by Duke Ellington, which is now in the hymn book of the United Methodist Church, the author of the article below states: “The song is ultimately about the providence of God in all our lives. The refrain addresses God directly, “Lord, dear Lord above, God Almighty, God of love,” and then makes a petition, “please look down and see my people through.” The stanzas point to hope and heaven, concluding that “With God’s blessing we can make it through eternity.”

Dr. Hawn is professor of sacred music at Perkins School of Theology.

https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/history-of-hymns-come-sunday-reflects?fbclid=IwAR2IRx9ekydF3ROlxhzW8ecN-aLCKRjc8sxyqremhSvTBikPn8wzRRXveLE

The Pilgrim House

 

I’m moving my writings and photos from Facebook over to my blog. This is the second one thus far.


 January 2021

Chuck and I were blessed to travel to Haifa, Israel for a nine day Bahai pilgrimage in the early summer of 2003. More photos to follow as I begin to unpack and organize albums. In November of 1998 my daughter Emily and I visited my daughter Jenni in Haifa where she served at the Universal House of Justice for five years. From 1996 until 2001. I’m looking forward to giving time to writing and sharing memories of these precious days together in the Holy land. At that time we were able to take day trips and travel to Jerusalem, Galilee, and Akka. I learned all about riding the taxi vans of the area from my daughter, called sheruts. We used these often to get around the area, to shop for groceries, and visit the downtown markets and sites of interest. We traveled by bus to Jerusalem and extravagantly rented a car for the day to travel to Galilee. In the evenings we would walk to the Pilgrim House from my daughters apartment where we were staying to attend wonderful talks on the history and current affairs of the Bahai Faith. They were given by members of the Universal House of Justice serving at that time. Tea and special desserts were always served afterward with lovely opportunities for meeting and socializing with the friends on pilgrimage from many other parts of the world.

Little Danelion

Posted on Facebook February 14, 2019.


Watching over you, watching over me, parents watching over. Watching over and holding onto my children, watching over and holding onto my grandchildren, watching over and holding onto my parents as they so graciously let go of this life to walk on to the next. Not able to call them today, sorrow shadows the heart. I talk to them in prayer and with gratitude for the gifts of love and lessons learned, directing me now.  New life continues as our journeys continue, step by step, day by day, and yet and still, watching over you, watching over and ever holding onto each other. 

Thank you little dandelion. Happy Valentines Day.