The First Hundred the light of eternity. "Life's a tough proposition, and the first hundred years are the hardest." Wilson Mizner

Friday, July 29, 2005

Army Man

Go Army

I thought our youngest, Mark, might join the Army after high school. That was five years ago, and seemed like a relatively safe option. But life has its twists and turns. Sometimes you just stand by and crane your neck to watch the roller coaster as it loops, soars, dives and rolls. And sometimes you actually climb in, ride along, and hang on for dear life.

I've been known to be, at times, a "white knuckles" mom, especially with Mark. Who thought that launching child number three would become such an all-consuming, heart-rending process?

In my calm moments, I take God at His word: "Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." (Isaiah 41:10) So easy. Believe God. Trust God.

Then I look again at the careening roller coaster, expecting it to fly off the rails at any moment. I need to step in, suggest a tamer ride; something that moves slowly in a straight line...
Suggestions usually don't work. But God does. And He does things in His time.

And now is the time that Mark has chosen to enlist in the Army. A scarier time than five years ago, to be sure. He's stepped off the roller coaster onto another type of ride. Definitely not one that goes slowly in a straight line, but believe it or not, it's a ride I'm looking forward to watching. It's sure to have its share of loops and rolls, but I'm trusting God. And I need to keep remembering His promises.

Sunday, July 24, 2005


See what I mean?

Karina Beth

Everyone should have at least one daughter. I've been saying that for almost 27 years now. All my siblings have two or more, and I was blessed with just one; sandwiched in between her brothers.

As a baby and toddler, she didn't have time to cuddle and snuggle, she was too busy exploring her world: finding a juicy nightcrawler in the grass, mixing raw eggs and ketchup on the kitchen floor, carrying her blankie and Raggamuffin doll everywhere.

As a pre-schooler, she couldn't sit down to rest; she might miss something. She even stood while we read books together. I think she was about 5 years old when she discovered Dad's lap. She remarked, "You do make a pretty good chair."

The childhood, the school years, sports, college, dating.... eveything seems to have flown by in a whirlwind.

Now she's married (three years this week!) to a great guy, who matches and complements her determination and organization, and has enriched our lives with the gift of a grandson, and the hopeful prospect of another.

As I observe her in motherhood, I have to say I've been caught off-guard. Sure, there are times when she's ready for a time-out, but I am absolutely in admiration at her poise, gentleness, love, and pure joy as a mother.

We've grown closer, and I love that.
It's true. A daughter really is a little girl who grows up to be your friend.

P.S. Happy Birthday on Thursday, KB!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Tell the stories

I'm into chapter six of the latest novel I picked up over the weekend. Not exactly speed reading, to be sure. But, when there's a choice between playing with Reiley or reading a few pages, you can bet I'll play. It seems I've been doing a lot more playing than reading these days. Our son-in-law has job prospects in another city, and they may be moving soon, so I'm getting lots of "grandma time" while I can.

I found a neat quote from The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd.
"Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we can't remember who we are or why we're here."
The older I get the more I understand the importance of telling the stories. If you know things about your parents or grandparents: how they lived, what they dreamed; it gives you a connection to your place in the story. It can give you a better understanding of how you became

When I started thinking deeper about this quote, I realized that there needs to
be a story in the first place, and what we're doing today will become the stories that are told. So, while I plan to keep on telling what I've learned from the past, I also plan to keep on playing, and living the stories for the future.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Our Future is Secure

They say that if you give a baby plenty of healthy food choices he'll get the proper nutrients. Do you think they had in mind just opening the refrigerator door and letting a seven-month-old pick his dinner fixings?

It looks like Josiah has the right idea....

Just wait until he has more than one tooth!

Then there are the "problem solvers"; those who see what needs to be done, and take care of it.

If Reiley's already working things out at fifteen months old, what will he be doing after college?

There's hope for this old world, after all.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Back home

It was nice to get off the beaten path for a little while. We enjoyed the beauty of northwestern Pennsylvania's countryside, and the quaint, historic feel of its small towns. If you've ever lived in a small town, you'll remember greeting and being greeted by passersby. It still happens! It probably should have felt strange, after all these years in the hustle-bustle of big-city life. But it didn't. I guess I'm still a small town girl at heart.
vacation photos
more vacation photos

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Grandpa "D"

My grandpa's entry in the 1917 yearbook, Grove City (PA) College.

Pennsylvania roots

Grove City College was established only 35 years before my Grandfather enrolled there. The oldest buildings are gone, but a lot of history remains.

Monday, July 04, 2005


Tomorrow I'll be shutting off the computer for a few days of vacation. We'll see which way the car takes us....
Actually, we have a "loose" itinerary. We like to decide as we go: taking the less-traveled roads; visiting small towns; checking out their parks and quaint downtowns; wondering what it would be like to live there.
I hope to have some highlights to share when we return.

4th of July

This is my style of fireworks in Chicago. No crowds, and you can turn down the volume.

p.s. It looks like rain today. Happy 4th of July!

Sunday, July 03, 2005


A week ago, with temperatures in the 90's and wrapping up one of the driest Junes ever, we wondered when the relief would come. Well, when the thermometer dropped to 70 degrees I actually felt chilly and it took me a day or two to reacclimate. Now I think the weather is very pleasant; almost perfect.

Almost? Yes, there's always a caveat, isn't there? This time the "but" is: But it still hasn't rained! We've had promises. The weatherman is good at making promises. We've been teased. The dark skies in the west suddenly clear. We've had high hopes. Surely all that rumbling thunder will roll through here and bring along a good soaker.....

I'm not complaining; just looking forward to not having to water the lawn and garden every day. Lugging the hose around the yard is good physical exercise and I suppose remembering to change its location every half hour is good mental exercise, but (there's that "but" again) it's such a big responsibility. Think of all the blades of grass, tomato plants, flowers, beans, beets and peppers that our depending on us! Then there's the bird bath; if we don't keep it filled who will give the birds a place to refresh themselves?

Today, on an early morning walk, I noticed the birds flitting, hopping, flapping and soaring, and all the while they were busy doing what birds do: finding their sustenance, chirping and tweeting in praise to their Creator. They didn't look a bit worried.