Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Morning Coffee

Comfort #2
One of the great comforts of morning for me is my coffee. IF I remember to get the coffee ready and set the timer the night before, I can wake up to the wonderful smell of fresh coffee filling the house. The insurance man says "how come something that smells so good, tastes so bad?" Needless to say, this is one of MY comforts...his is a hot cup of tea. I love to get up early and come down and fill up my coffee cup first thing.
I like to vary my mugs, depending on the season and my mood. Right now I have two favorites, both given to me by Julie. This one is just the right size, and so pretty. It is really a 'cup', not just a mug!

The other one was a gift a few years ago. We each have 'Papa' and 'Grammy' mugs, made at a local pottery close to Julie. This one is definitely a 'mug' and a hefty one at that. It is a favorite not just for obvious reasons, but because it holds a good big cup of my coffee.
Morning coffee is a comfortable blessing. Thank you Lord for coffee plants and beans, and people who are such good roasters. (For cream also!)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Happiness is a Monday in June..

Yesterday after Church and dinner, the insurance man, Doris and I, all got in the car for a Sunday afternoon drive. We drove to Prineville, and out through the hills of the Ochoco's. It was a gorgeous early summer day, and due to all our spring rain the meadows were alive with lush tall green grass and wildflowers. Doris got out and picked just a few, which we brought home rather wilted, but they perked right up in a vase of water. I took this photo of Doris holding them. The insurance man wanted to know how these beauties got started way out in the woods?? The meadows were full of them, as far as the eye could see. Ringed around by ponderosa pines and firs it was truly a sight. We ended up in Mitchell, a little town (almost a ghost town) at the foot of the Painted Hills. We poked around a little country store, and ate ice cream bars before heading back for home.

I didn't quite finish up Julie's trip to Bend, but she did an admirable job of it on her blog "The Jones Family Archive". Since most of you read her blog, you can see what we did here. We did have a wonderful time at our Brown Family Reunion in Burns, then a rather soggy, but fun time at the Coast before they flew home. The final thing I want to say about her and her family being here is this: I have nothing but admiration for Julie. She has so much work to do each and every hour of each and every day, and she does it with such love, devotion and patience. I stand in awe as I see her sacrifice so much of herself, and lay herself down for her family. We had great fun, but it was due to the hard work and consistency of parenting that Julie and Peter do all the time. It is such a blessing to my heart, to see God working through Julie as she becomes what He had in mind when He created and called her into His service.

After going to Seattle last week, then to Burns for Father's Day, I have been trying to catch up things after such a busy month. The garden work was beckoning, and since I love to garden, that's where I've been. Now that things are slowing down, and I am somewhat caught up, I will be back writing again. I found a quote that I love at another blog. I think it was written as an encouragement to those who mourn.
"Is there no blue sky? Have roses forgotten how to bloom? Have birds ceased to sing among the branches? Hast thou not the sweetness of the love of a single little child? Hast thou no pleasant food--not even a cup of tea? Gather up thy comforts, the greatest, the smallest and thou wilt be surprised that thou hast so many to gather."
I am not mourning anything, but I think there is a lesson here from God for me. In my next blogs, I will be sharing my 'comforts'...because there are many, because God has gifted them to me, and because I want to thank and always praise the giver.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Aunt Nuna

In Honor of: Nuna Grace Cornwall Erskine July 4, 1919-June 3, 2010
Nuna grew up in Seattle, and lived a majority of her life in the University District...the area of homes surrounding the University of Washington. She was the youngest of five daughters born to Earl and Myrtle Cornwall, and then they finally had a boy born after her. She met and married Austin Harold Erskine in Seattle on October 22 of 1938. Harold was one of my mother's six brothers, and so they became my Uncle Harold and Aunt Nuna. Harold worked at Todd's Shipyard in downtown Seattle, and Nuna became what we now call a stay-at-home mom (but what in those days was just the norm) to their two boys; Dale Harold and Larry Paul, born in 1943 and 1947.
My family lived just two blocks from Uncle Harold and Aunt Nuna, so we saw each other often during our growing up years. The Christmas I turned three, Uncle Harold made me a doll bed, and Aunt Nuna sewed a mattress, mattress pad, pillow and pillowslip, plus a wonderful little quilt for the bed.
There it is, complete with a handmade doll in 1953.

Here it is today, after three generations have played with and loved it. It still is painted the same green color, with two decals at foot and head, of Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater and Little Bo Peep. Isn't the quilt lovely? It hasn't even frayed one little bit.

After their boys grew up and left home, Harold and Nuna moved north to the Tulalip Indian Reservation, where they lived right on Puget Sound in a small beach cabin/home. It was a wonderful place to visit, with fresh barbecued salmon, or a barbecued goose for Thanksgiving, or yet homemade butterscotch fudge for Christmas.
Harold developed Mesotheleomia (hope I got the spelling right) from working with asbestos in the shipyard and died in 1980. Aunt Nuna continued on for 30 years as a widow, always a loving mother, grandmother and aunt.
She was a devoted follower of Jesus, and a charter member of the Berean Bible Church in Shoreline. She taught Good News Clubs for many years.

I am so thankful for a wonderfully good visit my brother and I had with her last summer. We spent several hours with her, and enjoyed reliving some of our old memories.

We are headed up to Seattle today for her memorial service tomorrow. It is a real joy to go and celebrate her good life, and to see my family. I'll be back with you next week.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Fun week at home continued...

We took one day and visited the mighty Melolius River. It is such a beautiful blue color where the lava bed has a crack running down it, and the water is deeper and reflects the light differently. We hiked a little trail down to the head of the river, where it comes bubbling up out of the ground. Such an amazing sight.
Millie wanted a little ride up with her Papa...

After viewing the head of the river, we drove on down to the fish hatchery. The boys were thrilled to see all the various size trout fingerling's in the holding tanks. They were feeding some of the fish which made it even more interesting. These boys are REALLY into fish! After finishing with the tanks, we went out to the viewing areas around a small pond, stocked with bigger fish.

They have dispensing machines there, where you get a handful of fish food for 25 cents. Such great entertainment! The fish are 'trained' and the water looks like a boiling cauldron as the fish vie for the food.

Everyone enjoyed feeding the fish. What a beautiful setting.

We enjoyed the woods along the river too, and found several little bridges like this one. Millie keeps up really well with her big brothers.

We brought along a picnic lunch, and enjoyed the grounds of the fish hatchery. There are people that live on the grounds year round, and keep everything looking nice, plus volunteers help out too. The weather was cool, but no raindrops fell on our heads.

The bigger boys found a good place of their own to eat.

A final photo of the boys, Papa and 'Miss Doris' on the bridge that spans the river. It was a really good place to go.

I have had a hard time getting back into blogging. I think in all honesty, I've been grieving a bit over the separation of Julie & family leaving again. It's always hard at first to let them go, knowing it will be six months before we see each other again. I would be the first to acknowledge God's faithfulness and great blessings on us as he brought them here for the visit. But saying good-bye always seems difficult. That being said, and a week has gone by, I am now going to enjoy looking at the photos of our time together and sharing them with you!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

This Year's Robins

Well, the Jones family is back in West Virginia. We had a marvelous visit to Oregon, of course. I forgot to share about our family of robins this year before I left, so here it is.Every year for the past 4 years, I think, we've had a family of robins nested somewhere close to us. This is the family from this year. There were three babies and in this picture they are nearly grown to the point of leaving the nest. They're just squished in there!
The day after I took that picture above, the first bird left the nest. He flew down to the hood of our Suburban. It's absolutely incredible how they go from tiny, featherless, naked little things to this almost-full-grown-looking bird in a matter of days! Good-bye babies.