Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Pink Way of Delight

 In the movie 'Anne of Green Gables', Matthew Cuthbert drives Anne back to Green Gables Farm from the train station in the buggy above. I was always enchanted with this scene from Prince Edward Island, and Anne re-names this 'The White Way of Delight'.
 
About a week ago, I spent some time with my daughter Joy at the Scappoose Inn. On the property was this magnificent row of cherry trees all bloomed out. I immediately named it 'The Pink Way of Delight', and it's the closest I've ever come to one of the romantic scenes from Anne.
 
The darker pink buds were mostly fully in bloom into a light pink/white color. The sky was overcast when we walked through the Pink Way of Delight, which brought out the pink color even more.
 
The wind was beginning to bring down some blossom petals, which just made it all the more enchanting, as they swirled around us. There were a couple of silent llamas in the field next to us, probably wondering about these silly female humans as they munched.
 

A lovely bit of spring to enjoy and savor~ 



Thursday, March 19, 2015

For The Time Being...


 
The Ever Now
 

For the time being...this space between...he's old and he's in the hospital.
He's not the four year old, with a new baby sister on his knee, or the eight year old being carried on his dad's shoulders across the newly completed Longview Bridge. He's not the high school and college basketball star, or the 'shined up till it hurts' WWII soldier, with his back straight and head held high.
He's hurting so much he can't hold still.
He's not the young, handsome lover and groom with pride radiating as he gazes upon his bride. He's not the proud father of a brand new son.
But a man between hospital bed bars, watching others move about.
He's not the grief stricken father, burying his first born, and attempting to comfort that same bride beside him. He is no longer the dad, playing ball with his two sons, or teaching them to ride bikes or approach girls. He's not the man who could spot an arrowhead on the desert floor, or fly an airplane through a snow storm.
He is now the 93 year old, sick to his stomach, loopy from pain meds, and wanting that same bride of now 70 years to hold his hand.
For the time being, he's broken and hurting. But we see and know so much more.


Get well soon Dad!
March 19, 2015

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

And I nibble meagerly at life


There are seldom great mouthfuls of life and
when they come it's with chaos blended, so I
contemplate a peaceful corner and nibble
on a savory morsel, feeding meagerly
at the plate served by God, satisfied at
the small portion I call my life.
 
Jennie

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Family Time

 Last Thanksgiving our nephew Luke was with us from Seattle. He is a photographer there, and owns his own company 'By Luke'. We took advantage of his skills, and had several family photos taken. Since many of our family have not seen these yet, I am posting them to share. Above is our granddaughter Macy, age 7.
 
 This is us with our two daughters Joy and JoAnn and part of Joy's family.
 
 It has been many years since the two of us had a photo taken, so we indulged. Luke set up shop in our living room and these are the results.
 
 The insurance man and I (alias Papa and Grammie) with two of our 12 grandchildren, Kory age 21, and Macy.
 
 My mother and father-in-law, Larry and Bethel. SUCH a nice photo.
 
Another view of the two of us, plus a black and white that I edited.

Luke did such a nice job, and was kind and patient throughout.
Thanks Luke!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

West Coast and East Coast Perspectives

So much in life depends on our perspective. Is it winter or is it spring? February has brought winter finally to Julie in West Virginia. Frigidly cold temperatures and snow and ice.

Here is her shoveled walkway from the car to the house. The trees are barren and the ground crunchy.

And the car must be left at the top of the driveway to make sure they can get out.
 
But....February has brought an extraordinarily early spring to Oregon on the opposite Coast. All day people have been phoning to say that they have blooming flowers. In Washington State where Joy lives, she says the daffodils and daphne are blooming. I have rhubarb and tulips up, and flower buds on the quince. And as you can plainly see, pussy willows a-plenty. What a great armload we harvested last Saturday. So for today, here's to winter and to spring and all the in-between days.
 
Pussy Willows
 
"Close your eyes
and do not peek,
and I'll rub Spring
across your cheek"
 
by Aileen Fisher

Friday, February 20, 2015

Fighting Cultural Aesthetic Relativism


"The world may believe there’s no standard for beauty, but the Word says otherwise."

"My view is this, that there are, however difficult they might be to define and to wield, that there are objective standards for quality and beauty, including quality and beauty in music. I do not buy the lie that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But rather, there are standards of excellence, standards of beauty. That is why the Scripture calls us in the Psalms to play excellently, to play beautifully before the Lord. And I think that we have done the world a disservice when we have rolled over on this issue, when we have embraced aesthetic relativism.
Isn’t it odd that Christians are rightly, jealously fighting against epistemological relativism, the idea that there is no true or false, and fighting that same good fight against ethical relativism, arguing that there is no good and bad. We are arguing that in fact there is, and that God is the standard. And yet when it comes to beauty, the third great virtue, which is an end in and of itself along with goodness and truth, beauty we are willing to concede is in the eye of the beholder. Well, I am willing to concede that—as long as we understand that the beholder is God. When He says to bring our best, when he calls us to worship Him in the beauty of holiness, we had better not say “beautiful to whom?”
Friends, let’s be careful about the cultural bromides that we find ourselves swallowing. We Christians, of all people, who worship a God who is three-in-one, complexity harmonized in the ultimate beauty, should be defenders of the objectivity of beauty."
Dr. RC Sproul Jr

I receive a podcast most days from RC Sproul Jr, and since this blog is dedicated to God's beauty in the world around us I decided his quote this morning was worth a repeat here. As a piano teacher and lover of music, I have wrestled with this issue for several years in the field of music. However, it is repeated in all aspects of the Arts in our culture. Hope you will join me in the fight against cultural aesthetic relativism.

Monday, February 16, 2015

A New Kitchen Look

 At Christmas time my cousin Beckie wrote to tell me that she wanted to give me a table and chairs that my Aunt and Uncle had owned. The table came from my grandparents, Guy & Mabel Erskine, and the chairs my Aunt & Uncle purchased to go along with the table. Beckie knows my love of family history, and it fits perfectly with my taste and decorating style. (An extra plus is that I just love the set, and have many happy memories of meals around it. Doesn't the idea of many delicious meals served make a dinning table extra rich?). We made a quick trip to pick the set up this past week-end, and today on Presidents Day had our first breakfast together. I can't begin to express my delight.
 
 The table legs had been cut down at some point in its life, and the table was currently on casters, but the insurance man removed them as he didn't want me rolling it around and scratching the oak floor. He quickly made some temporary risers yesterday, to make it the right height, and will be working on a permanent fix.
 
 I love oak, and the chairs are so comfortable and the carving so pretty on the chair backs. This really is a perfect fit for our kitchen and needs.
 
A few years ago, Beckie also passed on to me this wonderful dresser used by the same grandparents at their Oregon farm, and then by her mother and father. Next to it is a small oil lamp that her father, my Uncle Roy, used as a child. I painted the lamp holder for him as a gift about 40 years ago. Beckie and her brother were kind enough to also pass this along to me, and I view it as a real treasure. Next to that is a bed that belonged to a great aunt in the same family. My house is full of family inherited things, and I admit my sentimentality and love of things old. I wonder in which home these pieces will next reside? I am blessed.