Tuesday, June 29, 2010

All in the Family

I thought this picture was/is a classic. Like the title says (all in the family) it represents four generations of our family. It represent four generations as we share a lighter and very special moment.

On the right is Great Grandma Joyce. On the left is Grandma Amy. Next to Amy is
Amy's daughter Rebecca and between Rebecca and Joyce is Amy's daughter Elizabeth's Madison who is holding Rebecca's daughter Ella.

Times like this don't happen often -- our family is scattered all over the country and that is a real challenge. Once in a long while we see our children and their offspring's. When Iwas growing up the world seemed smaller - We remained close to grandparents on my mothers side but we were on oppositesides of the country from paternal grandparents. Welived on the East Coast - they lived in California and visits were few.so it is today with Daughter Linda in upper Minnesota, son Jeff and his children (and grand children)in Arlington, Washington (except Keith in the Armyin Hawaii). Amy has lived in Chicago for a while and will be living near Washington, DC within a month. Son Greg and family live in South Lake Tahoe, and youngest daughter Lisa lives in Indianapolis.

I have always envied some of the farm families we have known who continued to live close to each other. But the world is different nowadays. Families are fragmented and often disconnected. That's why moments like those shown in the photo above are moments we treasure. Maybe it's the aging process - the older we get the more we
cling to familiy memories and wish we had all been able to stay together. But life as it is means going our own ways - living our own lives - doing our own things.

At any rate, we treasure family and all the memories we have of times and things we have shared over the years.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

In the Eyes of the Beholder

Sometimes we seem only to focus on the obvious. On the things that stand out. Sometimes good things -- sometimes not so good.

Someone does something stupid and people remember that stupid move forever. For instance, I can think of some people who told me they would never go back to a specific church because an individual had hurt their feelings. It makes no difference that the insult or slight happened twenty years ago and the perpetrator
died fifteen years ago. To the person who suffered the hurt, it was the fault of the church or the pastor who is currently there and never had an inkling of what transpired twenty years ago. Call it the eternal grudge if you wish. Ot even may involve a person going across the street to avoid having to meet someone on the street. It involves people who have no intent or desire to forgive and forget.

Maybe we get so busy in life that we don't see things that are beautiful. Or we miss warning signs and walk into a challenging situation. Or we say we can handle a difficult situation on our own - "Don't bug me - I can handle the situation on my own". A little like the Sinatra song that says "I Did It My Way" when "my" way might not be the best way.

I often am reminded of the character in the "Little Abner" comic strip "Joe Brzdltec" or something like that. Wherever he went a dark cloud followed him and bad stuff happened. Nothing good happened around old Joe - but maybe that was because be built a reputation and people never looked for any good arould him. However, I venture to say there was SOMETHING good - It's just that no one looked for the good.

I think way back to days when someone in school was called the dumbest or ugliest student in town. Every person has a gift but you have to look for it and build on it. Every person has a beauty - not necessarily in appearance but they may have an inner beauty or kindness that is not obvious but is there just the same.

That's why I used the picture above. It looks like a pretty sunset. But if you
look to the right of the power pole and a little up you may see a face. At least I did, and I would like to think it represented God looking down at us and saying, "Love thy neighbor and forget about the negatives in life". There is a lot of beauty and goodness in life if you simply take the time to look for it.

I'm not always successful, but I try. How about you?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Real Men Don't Sew

That's what my Oscoda brother-in-law says. But I beg to differ. I enjoy doing crewel. It's not cross-stitch - I am incapable of clean x's - but I can sew a
reasonably straight line.

I start out with a photo. The attached illustration is of Yellowstone falls taken last July. The I transfered the picture to Aida cloth and then start doing the sewing. It took a while - four or five days, I guess - but it is fun to do. I have a zillion skeins of emroidery floss and I try to match colors with the picture.
As I say, it's challenging but a lot of fun.

Just goes to show that there are still a few things I can do and I like to think there is nothing wrong with men doing crewel or cross-stitch. If it was good enough for a football great like Rosie Greer it's good enough for me.

So, there Jim -- take that and chew on it for a while.