Thursday, September 26, 2013

Basket Case

Krysta is driving at least once a day, usually home from school in the afternoons.  That way there is no pressure to get somewhere on time.  Her mother is a basket case. 

It should be quite easy this time after going through the drivers training thing four time before. 
By this time you would think I should be the model parent.  No more gasps or clutching the handle of the door or stomping my foot on the imaginary brake on my side of the car. 

I have to keep remembering the advice my friend gave her young son who was being a back seat driver - shouting out advice to his sister when she was a new driver. 

"Be quiet and pray." 

I am dragging up all kinds of memories of days gone by to encourage Krysta.  Like this one . . . The other day we went to the library.  Krysta pulled up to the curb and thought she was stepping on the brake to stop.  Instead the car bumped up over the curb, wildly startling both of us.  Krysta managed to get her feet untangled and step on the brake instead of the gas and we stopped before any damage was done. 

That's when I remembered my friend who must have done that exact same maneuver only she was in the garage and the car didn't stop until she ran into the wall and rearranged the cement blocks.  So everything is okay I told Krysta.  You got stopped and didn't run into anything or anyone.

Krysta is filling out a log book before and after each trip.  This will greatly reduce our bill at the insurance office after she gets her license.  Here is one of the questions she had to answer the other day. "What would you do differently on this trip?"

I suggested an answer for her to write down . . .  ask Dad to ride with me instead of Mom.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Fruits and Veggies

the fruits of our labor . . .

Four jars of elderberry juice, a bucket of green beans and some pears to make a fruit torte . . . 

I fixed supper at Hogslat --
hot dogs
baked beans in tortillas

Ellis and Jorgan continued on with their job of blowing insulation in the attic of this gigantic building.  They got a good start on Saturday afternoon. 

Krysta and I drove over to Dad and Mom's place and caught up on their trip to North Dakota. 
That's where we got the beans and pears.

Now we are on our way home to get Krysta to bed.  =)

Did I tell you about the experiment our school is doing?  The four day school week . . .
so far it is working quite nicely.  We are still getting used to it. 

School starts at 8:00 a.m.
Students get done at 3:15 p.m.

I am getting into the swing of driving bus again. I rode with Dad a couple days to learn his route, then I could fill in for him when he went to ND on Friday.*  Ellis and I are supposed to get our permits for air brakes and then schedule practice time and get licensed.  Bus 7 is going to have air brakes. 

Good night!  Sleep tight!   Don't let the bed bugs bite!

*Dad and Mom went to the funeral of an old family friend.  They left Friday and came home Sunday.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Authors and Aunts

"Look what I found?"  Ellis had his hands behind his back at the local goodwill store.  He started that extremely annoying trick of "which hand do you want?"  No amount of guessing did any good until Krysta twirled around behind him to peek at the prize he was hiding . . .  an almost brand new game of  Authors.  No more bent cards or ratty, chewed up edges like the old set at home that has seen many a crowd of players.  The design on the back of each card is whole, not faded out from sweaty fingers.  Each set of four is complete, all the way from Louisa May Alcott with her wavy, brown hair  to  Mark Twain with bristling white eyebrows and droopy mustache.  All 44 cards were inside a plastic case with a 55c sticker on it.  There was another sticker scribbled out with magic marker, but I could see through the blue ink that at one time it was marked 39c. 

Where else could you buy a box of memories for so little?  

We used to play this game by the hour with Leah -- my aunt going on a sister.  I can picture us (Ladina, Trenda, Leah and I) strategically seated all around a teensie tiny bedroom in the trailer house near Roosevelt.  We couldn't be too close to each other or we'd accidently see cards we were not supposed to see.  I don't remember why? we always ended up howling with laughter . . .   I just remember laughing our heads off.  Of course this is my aunt Leah I am talking about.  The one who could make up verse after verse of the poem beginning with these words: 

Help! Murder! Police!
My wife fell in the grease!
We laughed so hard
We fell in the lard!
Help! Murder! Police!

I thought at the time we should write them down but we were sure we'd remember them all. 
They are forever gone.

I'm sure sometimes she wished to ship her nieces off to Siberia or deepest, darkest Peru.  Especially when we filled the canisters in her play house with flour and sugar and stirred up cakes and cookies then left sticky paste for her to clean up after we went home.  We raided sugar lumps from Grandma's cupboard - sugar lumps that were meant for the horses.  We begged for gum.  We coaxed her to play her guitar and we listened to her sing all of Dottie Rambo's songs. 

Ellis remembers playing the game of Authors with his mom - and much later - with his students at school recess.  They taught him the nasty trick of asking for a card currently in your own hand.  That puts a whole new twist on the game. 

I think this game helps a person learn to concentrate and listen and memorize.  I love memories that get stirred up of long ago days and love to think about the little people we used to be and the fun days we had together.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Story Behind the Song

It Is Well With My Soul

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
Horatio G. Spafford

Monday morning September 2, 2013   Our group filed on to the platform at Pacific Garden Mission.  We sang this song.  The whole time I was thinking about the story behind the song. 

. . . the happy life of Horatio and his wife, Anna, and their five children -- four girls and one boy.  Everything seemed to be perfect for them in their Chicago home until their only son died of scarlet fever at the age of four.  Soon after that they lost most of the property they owned in the Chicago fire.   They helped the homeless and comforted the grieving people during that time.  They had planned a trip to Europe, but at the last minute Horatio had to stay behind to take care of unfinished business.  Anna and four daughters started out by ship.  In the middle of the journey their ship was struck by another ship and sank within twelve minutes.  Anna alone was rescued.  The four girls perished in the sea. 

When Horatio was on his way by ship to join his wife the captain called him on deck when they passed the approximate place where the girls drowned.  Later that evening Horatio wrote the words to this song. 

Now here we were more than a hundred years later singing this same song.  We sang it several times on the streets of Chicago.  Only the evening before a woman stopped and listened to the singing.  She stared at us with such concentration - when anyone blocked her view she moved to a new spot where she could see us and hear us.  When anyone approached her to talk to her or tried to give her a cd she stepped away as if mesmerized and kept on staring.

I hope she heard the words.  She is on our prayer list.  She is the one I see in my dreams and wake up to pray for in the middle of the night.

When I got home from Chicago I determined to read Run Baby Run by Nicky Cruz and look up the story about the Spaffords.  I've finished those two goals. 

When everything is peachy perfect will I remember to sing this song?  When life is full of chaos and seems out of control will I keep on singing, "It is well with my soul"?

Friday, September 6, 2013

Our Anniversary

Our wedding day - 33 years ago.  Time flies when you're having fun the old cliché says.  Not long  after our wedding we were asked to go to New York for street work . . . singing, tract distribution, etc.  We looked at each other in disbelief and, I am sorry to say, chuckled a bit at the absurdity of it all.  There was no way we could be a part of that work.  We had no money to begin with and all the other excuses showered around us as we momentarily thought about the prospect.  I don't know if we even prayed about it.  We said, "No, we can't swing it." 

I'm glad God gives us time to get used to new ideas.  He brings people and circumstances into our lives to help us move toward the work He has for us.  Back then we almost flippantly said, "No."  Even then He was at work to bring us to a place where we could say, "Yes." 

In the late '80s we began to hear of a work in Chicago.  Every Labor Day week end a group of young folks went to Chicago and sang on the streets.  They distributed tracts.  They gave a message at Pacific Garden Mission.  We listened to the stories.  We were interested but we still didn't have any money.  Finally in the fall of 1993 Ellis and I went along with this group to find out more. 
I remember seeing signs that told us Nicky Cruz was scheduled to be in town for evangelistic meetings.  We toured "The Old Lighthouse"  as Pacific Garden Mission is sometimes called.

This year Ellis went to Chicago again -- 20 years in a row.  The first few years I wasn't able to go along as often as we would have liked.  More recently when I say maybe this year I should stay home my crew looks at me as if I am hallucinating and tell me quite firmly, "You're not getting out of it that easily."  Often our anniversary ends up during Labor Day week end.  We have learned to be very flexible about celebrating our special day. If you want to find out more about this work you can check here:   

God is faithful.  He is good.  We are praising His name.  His work continues on and we are grateful.