Monday, August 27, 2012

Mahoning River, 500 Miles to the Ozarks

I finished The Re-Creation of Brian Kent, by Harold Bell Wright. Turbulent twists (but then the book is a river metaphor for life) in the plot that brings the hero and the maiden together, with one that is so similar to many where the estranged spouse is lost to this world, to clear the path for the lovers. Like in Jane Eyre, the hidden wife has to go, but how?
The simple style of a hundred years ago composed a sweet story. A person can be born again. I read the biography of the author at the end of the book. Smaller print over several pages telling of the English and French in New York bringing the family to being. His mother died when he was ten, the alcoholic father abandoned the children, causing ten year old Harold to depend on love from distant family and fending for himself.
Mr. Wright attended college in our nearby Hiram, OH. James Garfield presided as president before his term as US president. Mr. Wright also painted (hmm, like the shepherd's son in The Shepherd of the Hills),as decorating and exterior house to make money. Being outside so much, he fell ill to pneumonia. The Ozarks promised improvement to his health, so he traveled the Mahoning River five hundred miles to the hills of Missouri. Laura Ingalls Wilder's husband also needed to migrate to this area for his health.
This morning I recited the way to Missouri by river- Mahoning into Pennsylvania to the Beaver into the Ohio (we've boated there, I canoed on the Beaver), then I guess to the Mississippi. Katie just stared at me, as I tried to imagine the trip. I examined the atlas map of Missiouri. I had a hard time finding Branson. I could see Table Rock Lake and River. Finally, I saw the town. Then as my eyes glided over the map, they stopped at Hermitage, the county seat of Hickory County. I think I want to tool around Missouri. Plenty of Mark Twain National Forest, too, would fill my eyes with beauty.
Mr. Wright spent years there with his talent of preaching in Kansas and Missouri. People convinced him, his writing could touch more people than just just a talking to a congregation once a week. He settled in Redlands, CA and the Imperial Valley, but also did much writing in Arizona. The desert, a quiet peaceful place to write, cabins there were lent to him.
I think I will attempt one more book of his that is to be the most like his thoughts, Their Yesterdays. He published forty years. Many critics spoke poorly of him, but he was the first author in America to write five best sellers. I find the style in his story of Brian Kent flowery, but without the television or radio, books were often read aloud as entertainment. As we sit here now with our devices and ear buds in the same room, but not in the same sounds, I wonder... maybe we need a little more morality books to which all can listen.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Last Day of Summer Vacation

My daughter starts her senior year tomorrow. I keep reminding myself that this is it. The last day of summer vacation and with that summer floats away as trees are turning orange red already. Is it me or has this year drifted into the past like a raft on the rapids? Being sick this last weekend has made it feel like a lost week-end and now the senior is at Starbucks working on the Constitution scavenger hunt with her friend. 
The twilight starts earlier now. That helps putting younger children to bed. But my school year started later when I was a child. End of summer memories from those years include Munich Olympics and the Jews killed, Watergate hearings, Nixon resigning. Since TV consisted of just three channels and occasionally, PBS, our end of summer TV watching became interrupted. So mesmerized by the box, we watched the drama in Munich, John Dean testifying and Nixon droll his farewell. We seemed to have a more informed opinion of events because being mad our TV shows were pre-empted, we complained about the reason. We all wanted to like Ford. He seemed a decent guy and his children were cute to the junior high class.
One evening in late August, a big event in town, we never had before. Advertised faster by telephone than by posters, everyone wanted to go. The movie, American Graffiti, would play in the high school auditorium. The opportunity to see a current movie in our home town we were not going to miss. It could happen again, if enough of us came and made it worth the while. I think Student Council sponsored this. I could walk to see a movie by myself, well, without parents. I know all my friends strolled with me. I think we also thought we may have a chance to sit with a boy and maybe neck a little. I didn't. We enjoyed the movie that paved the way for Happy Days. 
The town never again saw a movie like that on the auditorium screen. Probably never made enough money, not enough interest from the small town. My friends and I would have supported more movies.
Soon though, we would be dating or driving ourselves with no need to walk to the high school to see a movie.
Eight o'clock, the sun is set, the sky grey blue. Quiet now, as mothers tuck their children to bed. I'll still probably end up in bed before my daughter. Senior mothers need their sleep.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Feverish Dreams

I remain in the feverish haze. The two books I'm reading To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Re-Creation of Brian Kent, by Harold Bell Wright combined in a dream last night. Harold Bell Wright also wrote The Shepherd of the Hills, starting the Ozark, Branson, Missouri tourist industry. 
One day I glanced at our bookshelf and saw an old book with Wright on the spine. I pulled it out to see if it was by Harold Bell Wright. Sure was. But it was a regifting book as well. Tad gave it to Grandma Fisher, Hazel's maternal grandmother and she in turn gave it to Hazel. When I discovered it, I vowed to read it. Finally, I am. I don't know who Tad was. I know little about the Fishers.
Most are familiar with Harper Lee's classic. I'm thrilled at how much of it resonates with my mother's stories of the Depression. As with most books so much more detail than the movie, but I still hear the sound track as I read it.
Wright's story is about a man finding himself in the Ozarks. His theme for his books. Ministry being his profession, a spiritual tone in the archaic writing is more pronounced in this book. Yet the description of the mountain cabin and river running through the mountains takes me there every night as I read it.
The main character is returning to writing under the clean living of the hills after embezzling money to impress a sweetheart, who was not interested in his writing, since he made no money at it. He understands the river, desires and yet is repelled to write about it. He is fearful of rejection, again.
As I slept with my fever I had one of those clear, yet, I couldn't quite hang onto it, dreams with a message. Scout and Brian intertwined with a truth about writing. Something, like Scout is the story. I think I could have held it in my memory, if David hadn't let out a loud snort in his sleep that startled my twilight dream.
But story fills the page. The words support that alone. Whether it's Scout's story told fifty years later than Brian's, which, I'm guessing is Harold's story from the early 1900's. The author is part of the story in some way.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Ups...and Downs

Sorry, I haven't posted for a few days. Life is like that. We have such great blessings, then I woke the next morning shivering and not because it had chilled down over night. Yes, fall creeps to Hermitage but I started to run a fever.
Oh, how I hated to call off. I knew the girls were short staffed. Half the staff were working. One is basking away on her year anniversary. Another soaks up the last of her maternity leave and someone else like me was sick. Oh, brother.
So for two days, I crawled around. Did go to the doctor and of course when he checked it, I was normal-98.6. He felt it was a viral infection, since I didn't have other symptoms. I felt well enough to go back to work today and volunteer to see two clients tomorrow. I got home, exhausted, achy. Check the old thermometer- 99.8 and it has climbed to 101.1. Two extra strength non-aspirins, some throw-back Mt. Dew and bed soon.
Yes, I love throw back Mt. Dew, especially when I'm sick. Fortunately, I don't get sick often, as a can packs 170 empty calories. Why does water tastes so blah when I'm sick? I do drink the water, but that citrus, sugar, caffeine drink of neon green/yellow satisfies me. Yet, as my appetite decreases, I do need something.
So that is why I didn't write the last two days and after reading this in a day or two, I'll wonder why I bothered tonight.  But I did want my readers to know. I'm just having feverish dreams, now. Praying I feel better in the morning.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Unplanned Ways

I have felt the prayers and well wishes. I am blessed by the love I feel. And today, God orchestrated the "chance" meeting a writer. He shared his book with me and the publisher he used. I gave him my business card. He writes for a hobby. I write for love of writing and as a source of income, I pray.
I told him several times, he was a Godsend. Meeting him blessed me. We discussed writing ideas and forms. He feels he can only write short stories. But he has imagined a female hero, where before males were his main characters.
Later in the day, I shared with a couple my desire to publish my story. I told her about it. Even though, she was in her eighties, she uses the computer. I told her about my blog, giving her my card. As I gathered all my hopes into a ball of enthusiasm, she looked to her husband, "Let's pray for her right now." And she prayed a blessing and guidance on my life. Tears glistened in her eyes as she finished. They pooled in mine, as I hugged her. My life is blessed. How do I miss it sometimes?
I know I get blinded. My struggles pile in a heap (I love the Bible uses that expression so much). My head hangs. How can anyone know or care? Yet, as I share my troubles, love meets me at every corner. I feel love for people, but sometimes the return love startles me. I think human nature makes us see ourselves as unlovely. We don't even think God can see us as worth the effort. God does love us, more than we can know, more than we can love ourselves. Sometimes, He just has to show us in unplanned ways.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Personal Plea for Prayer

This will be more personal now than usual. I need to work on getting my novel, Main Street, published. The sense that now is the time to get moving on this is very strong. I'm thinking of self publishing, now exploring different possibilities. I just read a post by Mary DeMuth, an author I follow. She had an article today on using a program that seems simple and relatively inexpensive.
The traditional way of publishing which had been my dream includes finding an agent, pitching a
proposal and then hoping the pitch will be accepted. An agent is found at a writer's conference, usually. With this being my youngest daughter's senior year of high school and consequently, last year at home, a writer's conference seems to not be this year.
One contest fell through as I mentioned before, it was only for non-fiction. The next contest, I needed to become a member of the group's writer's guild. Not a bad idea, but the timing of paying for that membership, unfortunately, did not meet my paydays and budget. Then there was always the chance I would not win. I know there is always someone better, with more time, talent, energy.
I thought of a blogger friend who owns a publishing business. My book doesn't meet the criteria of an out of date book. That avenue dead ended.
My husband and I have decided that I need to take some time off near the end of this year. The girls are used to lean Christmases. Many times, I have had to take time off at this time of year. They have learned the real meaning of Christmas through these times. As I plan for just the living for this period, I thought, I have Main Street ready. I wrote it two years ago, had it proofread, I just revised it and the process moves along.
So in my personal part, I'm asking for prayers in this endeavor. That I will find the right publishing path. And that my book can sell enough to help while I take a leave of absence from my work. Plus, in my unbiased opinion, I love my story. I would read it. So I can sell it.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Miss Mollie's Musings: It's in the Face

Miss Mollie's Musings: It's in the Face: We had a meeting Friday at work.  Being home health nurses it may be awhile since we've seen each other, especially since my company covers ...

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Where's the Bride?

Planning the food, scurrying around, picking out the dress and flowers time has passed. Hair in curlers, the bride sits with a diligent worker painting her nails. Toes in foam spacers lifted in the air. Arm stretched out, a file flying over the cuticles. The make-up artist discussing the light and shade for the pictures. The bride will be perfect for the ceremony.
The gifts given to the attendants. Now, she is focused just on herself for her day. She busied herself preparing for the special day. Has she thought of life after the wedding? Has she thought of the Bridegroom? He is a shadowy figure as the fairy tale unfolds in her mind of pictures, music, dancing and candles, favors and decorations. He is far in the background as the Bride readies herself for the day.
The Bridegroom waits to enter the room. He expectantly anticipates their union. He, too, has been preparing, but not for the day, although, He looks forward to it. He has readied a home for the bride, a life of continuous joy for her. She has missed joy in working for this day, alone.
The time nears, but the bride still is getting her nails done. The audience sits, at first patiently, then  stirs quietly. Coughing self consciously raises from the pews. Then the murmuring at a low rumble, "What is the hold up? The groom isn't coming. The invitation had a mistake."
Then criticism of the bride, "She was lying. This is her imagination and she is deluded. She invited us to a fantasy. There is no groom, there is no wedding, there is no such thing as marriage. She is living in the past."
The Bride is not at the altar. Is she ready to meet the Bridegroom or is she still running around with no plan of a life together? Her intentions to please the Bridegroom fall short. She desires the fairy tale day and He desires a life of intimacy. He lingers as she comes to the realization that He is missing from her life. And what she longs for seems to be escaping, all the plans for the day tarnish, as she discovers she just wants the Bridegroom.
The guests leave slowly at first, some shaking their heads at the waste of time, the dressing up for nothing. Nothing is going to happen here, they think. The few who determine to see what will happen, who are not persuaded by the majority, remain in the pew. Time passes. Nothing seems as planned. The organist plays and the songs become rowdy. The Bridegroom hears from the hall, tears fall silently. He longs for His bride. Is she going to wake up and be ready? Will she notice that she needs the Bridegroom?
The Bridegroom decides He can wait no longer. He enters the front of the church. The bride is at the back of the sanctuary. She runs to the Bridegroom, no longer self conscious of her nails, her hair, her make-up. Her only desire now is her Bridegroom. She has wakened to His longing and love, seeing His presence in the world. He is everywhere for her. The long interlude has ended. The world now sees she didn't chase a fantasy. Her work had a purpose and she has glorified her Bridegroom.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

End of Summer Trip

As summer winds down, I think of another end of summer trip made. My girlfriend and her family invited me to go to Sea World with them. Mr. B. drove through the back roads of Ohio to Aurora. We sat in one of those old(not then) station wagons. I think Amy's little brother settled way in the back. We liked it that way. He was annoying to two junior high girls. The scenery fascinated me even then.
I wondered what towns Mr. B. took us through. My dad often took back roads, but to go to Sea World, he kept to the main highway. Amy and I speculated about what fun could be had in these towns, what the kids did.
In Sea World with a friend is a different adventure. We were allowed to roam on our own. We just had to meet back at certain times. Tad had to stay with his parents, which was great for us. I hadn't done this before, so I thrilled at this prospect.
I always looked across the lake to the amusement park, Geauga Lake. I had a few more years till I frequented there. After prom, Rainbow Girls adventures, and then with my friend, Linda, as an adult. We'd hear the screams of people on the roller coasters. I was content to be with my friend that day. But we both agreed the amusement park would have been a lot cooler.
We traveled back through those sleepy towns after dark. Tad probably drifted off stretching in the back of the station wagon. Amy and I chattered about the day and the school year coming soon. What clothes we would wear, what the teachers would be like, the dances we would go to that year.
I'm not sure if my dad gave Mr. B. money or if he paid for my trip. It may have been a company day. I'm not even sure where he worked.
I do know he died when we were in eighth grade of a brain tumor. But for that day, I was happy to be part of their family. He was generous to include another girl on the trip. People seemed to do that then.

Miss Mollie's Musings: Eat My Plaza Pizza, Too

Miss Mollie's Musings: Eat My Plaza Pizza, Too: Katie and I visited a "coffee house" in the basement of an old church in Sharon last evening, Bethlehem Presbyterian Church. I told her of t...
Keep praying for Bethlehem Presbyterian Church.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

All Ages Are the Church

Over the last few weeks, starting at Mission Conference, the second night I attended, I have heard about the whole church. Actually, the night before, at our Ladies Prayer for Revival night, one lady prayed for the older adults in the church to not sit back and feel they have served their time.
The fact is we all need each other. I need the older saints' wisdom, knowledge and input. I'm in the middle. I crave the enthusiasm of youth and younger kids. I'm saddened when I see them just stand in silence and boredom. They weren't that way at Mission Conference on teen night.
We are all important in the church. The old men when I first worshiped in First Assembly sat on the front row, glowing in their love for Jesus. Broken English in their verbal expression, but raising hands and glorifying God exploded from them in singing. Brother Joe smiling at the young children with his weathered wrinkled face and low vocal tones of encouragement. Feeble, until worship time and attentive during the sermons, every Sunday, front and center, Brother Joe anticipating church.
The youth have wealth to offer to the church, if given a chance. Prayer vigils with teens leading an hour, I learned from their praying. The devotion evident in their words.
Even seeing the kids at camp at the altar, worshiping their God. They have much to learn, but they can hear from the Holy Spirit at these extended times of listening to His voice. We need to encourage this more than once a year.
We are all the Church. We all help each other. We learn by teaching. We learn by listening. Don't judge by age what a member can bring to the table. Reach out and love each other. As Paul told Timothy, "Don't let anyone look down on you because of your age."
And never give up if you are old. Pray for the younger saints. Encourage the ones coming up. Be active in  your local church, as long as you can. And we should all visit the saints that are unable to come to church anymore; to be Barnabas to them.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Puttering Around

I roll around so many ideas, then when I sit here tonight, I have nothing. Maybe I should wait to write. I have a time crunch. I kicked the girls off the internet to help around the house, so I can write before I meet to pray at seven. I glance at the cursor, entertaining and rejecting ideas.
Our Sunday drive through New Jersey proved more pleasant than on the rush of Saturday to try to make it to the wedding. Soft rolling hills, names of my childhood and our country's as well dot the map and road. Hopewell where the Lindbergh's resided when their boy was kidnapped, in the crime of the century. That is the twentieth. Flemmington, where Dad bought Mom all her Phalzgraft dishes and serving pieces.  Colonial architecture and stone houses building small towns and gracing fields.
Some businesses seemed familiar along the Delaware River, like Johnny's Hot Dogs, but really can't say for sure. I know we want to go back. This could be a one tank trip from David's apartment. I felt so at home in those mountains around Wilkes Barre and Scanton. I gazed at houses, thinking I could write here. Each area has a flavor with interesting places to see and activities in which to engage. I want to hike the mountain again in the Delaware Water Gap.
Back a few posts about obligations, and I'm reminded why we don't travel to the Poconos much. I desire, but as an active teen keeps us busy here, I forgo these trips. And someone needs to mind the animals, bring in the mail, the paper. Let it be known, the house is monitored.
I always have dreams in David's bedroom. I think of it as the portal to dreams room. I'm not sure what it is about that room. I sleep well. I think I feel I'm back to when we were first married. Apartment living. I heard the little girl pattering around and know I have no idea what that apartment looks like or even the little girl. I only know because David has told me. That is a peculiar thing about living so close to people, you can hear noises, but have to use imagination as to what is happening.
I want to make the apartment a home when I'm there. I feel ownership. Amazing since I haven't even been there for I think three years. I guess that is a nesting trait I learned somewhere along the way.
I'm a bit all over and not sure where I'm going and when I'm landing the plane tonight. Tomorrow, I'll have a topic and be more concise. Just a tad tired from the riding and driving this weekend. The clouds are piling up in the sky. A grayish blue speckling bringing humid air. Monday evening. Back to work tomorrow.

Helping a Friend
Mary has a new book coming out. I hope you look at this and consider reading it.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Celebration of Marriage Continues

Phil and Katie tied the knot yesterday. We missed the actual ceremony- thank you Schuylkill traffic and not totally being prepared with driving instructions- so mostly my fault. They were even late for the wedding by fifteen minutes, so we heard.  A Lyon tradition. We got there thirty five minutes late, so were able to blow bubbles at them and get in the family picture.
The reception, elegant and fun, provided a long time to mingle. The shrimp cock tails offered in regular intervals delighted my husband. I love the fried ravioli and spring roll. The appetizers didn't run out and could have been the meal, but prime rib waited to be served. Ah, lovely with a broccoli and summer squash mix complementing the dish. Food intermixed with proceedings of the night. Andrew toasted first for his brother, wishing them many levels of happiness. Phil and Katie love computer games, they are admitted geeks, perfect for each other.
Next to our table a booth for crazy pictures was situated. We enjoyed all the hilarity of seeing the four pictures of the groups behind the black curtain with silly hats, poises and signs. Finally, my Katie, Mary Ellen and Hannah took their turn. Mike's five year old red haired girl begged to go in with anyone. Her younger brother joined her once and he picked up what to do right away, as he made a face, pointing at his sister.
Instead of throwing the bouquet, the couple dedicated it to Phil's grandparents, Kathy's parents, celebrating their sixty first anniversary the same day. So special to continue the tradition of marriage. Viva longevity. Yes, Ella Mae admits it is hard, but what were those vows they made so long ago? Oh, yes, in sickness and in health. And as you get older, more sickness than we can imagine starting out.
Or as I like to borrow, through sick and sin. We make it.
Along with the Mr. and Mrs. Pac Man wedding cake, an array of delectable cream puffs, cannolli, petet fores and two chocolate fountains topped the meal. Much dancing would be needed to work off the sampling here. I got my husband out on the dance floor as he not only won the toss the napkin game once, but twice.  The first time to win the centerpiece, which I had  Chris take to her mother, who was unable to attend. The second time he was to get all the table out on the dance floor. I jumped up, pulling him to Shout!
I told him no one was watching us, no one. He relaxed with the one dance. Then one more time for Wonderful Tonight.  I'm glad he danced. Thirty years, we celebrate, too, this year.
Viva Marriage!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Miss Mollie's Musings: Sweet Gabrielle

A post on why I believe in marriage. God bless Phil and Katie getting married tomorrow. My husband's  nephew. Miss Mollie's Musings: Sweet Gabrielle: We are celebrating another wedding in our family today of my niece, Gabrielle and her Brian.  Something that is different about our families...

Growing in Writing

I read last night about private writing in the book Sue gave me. Some writers keep a journal just for a journey, whether physical or emotional or spiritual. My life is a journey.
I think how my habits prevented me from writing about our trip to England and Scotland twenty six years ago. I wrote in seclusion. Hiding from the world my thoughts or that I even had any. If I didn't write first thing in the morning, writing for the day disappeared. How silly, but I was twenty five. A baby, really, despite being married and a registered nurse dealing with life and death in ICU's and telemetry floors for four years.
The pen may have met my notebook while we were doing laundry somewhere in Scotland. I think Edinboro. We spent more time in Dunoon, so that may have been it. Oh, how I wish I hadn't been so secretive.
Even when I started my novel three years ago, I woke at four in the morning so I could write huddled in the dark away from prying eyes. I couldn't admit I was a writer. I wanted to prove myself before I told my family, then the world. My writing had  to be in seclusion, like a fetus in the womb, until I could hide it no more.
I slowly started to write whenever I could. But still in covert situations. Mary Ellen away on Fine Arts trip. Then in evenings with her activities out of the home. On vacation after she went to school and before my sister woke, when she was staying with me. I didn't want to chance the ridicule that I couldn't succeed.
A few friends I invited to pray for me. They were supportive and excited. Writing excites people. Writing doesn't get done on its own, though. Many think it can. In any movie about writers, showing much of the writing process is, well, boring to actually watch.
As I dropped Mary Ellen off for band camp this morning, I thought how I'm putting writer's conferences on hold. Yet, her senior year can never be replaced. A writer must live as well, for how can she write if she has not a life.
Writing is now my life that is not hidden. My family knows. My husband asks how the blogging is going. Or have you blogged today? He may not read it. Too personal for him, I guess. Not sure why nor can he say. Yet, I know he believes in me and supports me. I try to encourage him to write, but he laughs that his handwriting and typing are too inferior. I'd love to edit what he wrote, as I think he has a wonderful voice. I love the love letters he wrote before we were married as he served the Navy in San Diego and Groton, CT. Doubt I'll ever share them, well, maybe censor them first.
The announcement to the world with this blog and then months later my business cards gives me confidence I'm a writer. Lovely unfolding of a beautiful life that gets better each day.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Skee Ball and Hoodies

I like the title. Catchy, yes? What is it about? How shall I write it?
The evenings cooler than a month ago in July. Days still hot for the shore, but the Atlantic off the shore is not like water in the Gulf. I can't see my toes. And it feels so much colder. But laying out on top of a boat to keep the Florida tan helps a little. The sun has lost its intensity and so has the summer.
I'm missing my new friends from church camp. I think of the boy, and his family. I'm ready to stay at home, been traveling too much this summer. Spend some time with my friends on summer nights before school starts. Watch some TV on our living room floor before I stop for the school year. Trek to the post office two or three times a day to check the mail from my friends, especially the boy.
Hooded sweatshirt jackets fit easily over the beach attire, warming the body in the fading sun and rising moonlight. The boardwalk shows off the hoodies of dark colors. The arcade flashes, before legalized gambling in this state. Quarters flow into machines.
I am taught the game of skee ball, not a game of chance, but skill. I practice and practice. Excited as the soft ball size, but hard ball makes the high score. The tickets stream out at the bottom, as I roll the wooden ball up the slope, aiming for the middle hole. I continue and continue. It is addicting, because unlike pin ball, I have sense of control. I don't even care what I can get with the tickets, I just love throwing that ball. I believe I had enough for a trinket or two, bracelet, necklace, maybe a ring.
When I get home, the stores are filled with hoods on all the tops, it seems. Short sleeve, long sleeve, light weight shirts have that extra material near the neck. I miss the jackets, the hoodies. They scream shore to me, with waves lapping in the darkness. Cooler end of summer nights holding enchantment that at the end of vacation, something great can still happen.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

World of Cyber

Aw, the world of cyber. If you were on my contact list, you got an e-mail that declared I was stranded in Turkey with my family, with no cell phone or credit card or cash and send 1400 dollars. My first clue that this had happened began when my mother-in-law called me, asking hesitantly where I was. This e-mail wriggled its way to the church e-mail in Emporium.
As I got home, I had messages on Face book, phone calls and vague, oh, yeah, I knew you couldn't be in Turkey. I can't receive any e-mails to my lyonmissmollie account. I can read my huge folder of things I want to read. I can send e-mail out.
I set up a new account. Seems very strange to have something without Miss Mollie, but I like the way it looks Welsh. In high school, I was sometimes called Mollie Lew. My sister got the nickname, Lewie. I find it cute that my niece got Slewie, because her first name is Sarah, and it looked like that on her name tag.
I wish I had an I.T. hero. Help me with this personal lap top, as well as, my work one. Although, most of my problems there are from the software, not a windows problem. How funny these words do not mean what they did twenty years ago.
Welcome to the World of Cyber!
So my new e-mail is mollielewlyon at aol dot com

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Miss Mollie's Musings: I Have a Picture

Miss Mollie's Musings: I Have a Picture: My picture for the year came to my mind this morning as I was reading Matthew 11:25-30, an old-fashioned yoke with the dawn's light filterin...

The Picture of Yielding

I've been thinking lately about my picture (that I never found, only in my mind) for the year. It is the wooden yoke with the winter morning sun blazing through it. The closest I found was the early summer morning photo in the Rose Garden at Buhl Park. I want to see the rising sun, more than the setting sun, although both are beautiful.
The yoke symbolized taking Jesus' yoke on me, allowing His plan to unfold. The rising sun proclaims an evident meaning of new beginnings.
So eight months into 2012, how do I think I'm doing with this image in my life? As with any journey, valleys and mountains, storms and detours distract the traveler. This has been of a bumpy year with health and family dips. Disappointments in my planning for my writing life piled up at times. Vacation time not approved for a writer's conference, money for conferences, a mistake published about a contest, ended up only being for non-fiction, not fiction as first advertized.
I patiently tell myself to wait till next year, when Mary Ellen finishes high school. I need and want to be available at every function I'm able to attend this senior year. I know this year can never be replaced.
The sponsors of the contest apologized for the misinformation. They direct the fiction writers to another contest that actually pays more than the false one. I feel God's hand. I take on the yoke.
Humans have such an independent bent. We want to do things our way. We want to be the self-made man(or woman). Taking on Jesus' yoke is surrender that changes life.
I'm learning. The picture grows into reality. Every day dawns with the hope and the proclamation of surrendering. The yoke is easy and light. The hard part is yielding.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Tale From the Road

I drove the two hours to Parker Dam yesterday in the mountains of the Allegheny. The foothills are rolling and mesmerizing. The hazy sun played no shadows on the wide expanse of my view on I-80. I played with the radio stations, just to hear what was out there. I find I appreciate the music of classic rock and roll, if not always the words. When the strongest narrowed down to country, I flipped onto a CD.
The long road to the park, after the climb up the mountain, past Rosebud Mining Company, sheltered on either side with tall trees, drew me nearer to the family and memories. We're the older generation now, three down the tree. I think of my first one thirty two years ago, Leon, Clark and Lyle were in their fifties. Twila, probably still in her forties or young fifties, like I am now. So this is what we look like to the kids running around, the children of the ones not even born, yet, then.
I walk Harrison around the camper's circle, now with electric and dogs, with five inch paw prints painted around the legal sites for dogs. I say, "There...there...there," as I pass each campsite that I stayed at with my in-laws. The old Airstream, where Katie spent her first camping and reunion trip fills my mind. I see the picture of my two month old laying on the back couch, in a pink outfit. I see the rocks where she played Little Mermaid when she was three, my blond head girl with the Little Mermaid shoes, pink, of course.
I spend most of my time visiting with Sue, a cousin's wife. We have clicked a few years back and she even saw a book that reminded her of me. I look forward to reading it, having finished Bonhoeffer and Wesley this week. The title, Write Your Heart Out, by Rebecca McClanahan, the introduction resonating with my soul.
I don't like driving in the dark, especially with the New Jersey barriers on all the bridges across the high valleys of the Clarion and Allegheny Rivers. That part unsettled me. I descend the mountain, deciding at Penfield to continue on that road instead of the grind of I-80. The clouds hold moisture, sometimes hiding the sun. The forests, deep and dark, surround the two lane road. I'm now listening to old Christian rock of Audio Adrenaline. What great songs to sing as roaring over these roads. Oh, hello, Mr. State Trooper. Thank you, for staying in your hiding spot on top of the mountain.
I soak in these little Pennsylvania towns. The old buildings crowded around their main street. Brockway, I stay on St. Rt. 28 and go past the Presbyterian church that held the funeral of two children and their dad killed in a fire on Palm Sunday in 1971, I think. The older son rented a room in our house while he taught at W. Middlesex. Funny, how I remember it being up on a hill and it really isn't. But it did have several steps to the front door of the old red brick church with the white wood door. I can see the little white casket of the girl, who was about my age at the time. The funerals were on Good Friday.
I continue on I-80 before Brookville, then retreat through the river town of Elmenton to avoid the barriers on the high bridge over the Allegheny. Oh, so many shops and interesting eateries. Why don't we explore this some time?
I pass through Scrubgrass township, glancing down the road to Westminster Highlands. Oh, if it were earlier, I'd make the detour and take a picture of the entrance. I see a road trip to Elmenton, soon!
I'm not far from Kenerdall, but I don't sidetrack that way, either. My niece is at birthday celebration there at someone's camp. My great grandparents, Peter and Rebecca Thompson, eked out a living there before settling in Shenango Valley.
After Clintonville(no, not named after our president as another niece's husband teased her a few years back), I finish on I-80, an unremarkable dusk journey. I do wonder if the Highland cattle are still on Scrubgrass road west of Barkeyville. But not this evening, I'm ready to be home. My faithful traveling companion, curls up on the front seat and I'm low on gas, but I make it home.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Miss Mollie's Musings: Lyon Family Reunion

Miss Mollie's Musings: Lyon Family Reunion: Yesterday Mary Ellen received her National Geographic. The cover story was "Can We Fly?" Right away, I said, "I wonder if Grandpa's cousin, ...

Friday, August 3, 2012

Fun Plays Hide and Seek

This evening I don't feel lazy, but my husband just called and he is in the city of Hermitage, two to three miles away. The traffic has been heavy today with slowing at all the bridges. One time when he called he said a butterfly was passing him. So now I watch for the bronze SUV and type quickly.
I saw a butterfly today as I waited on a patient's porch. It was black and purple, fluttering by. What a sign of summer. These days have been hot but humidity is starting to grow. I feel energized by the sun's rays. I want to bike. Sunbathing and cooling off with a swim also invites me. Mmm- maybe both?  How do we get to this point where fun plays hide and seek? Too many obligations grow like weeds and as we pull them, they grow more.
Still no SUV. Maybe more traffic on 18 or State Street. He is here!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Now from John Wesley

A little lazy again tonight. I'm reading The Holy Spirit and Power, by John Wesley. This last message I read "The Holy Spirit in God's Plan" again just seems to speak to today. Here are some excerpts from this chapter:
"The world was offended, because Christians testified that the works of it were evil. Pleasure-seekers were offended, because they were reproved by the Christians."
Mr. Wesley asks a series of questions about how the Christian was living, too, pages of how are you living the Spirit-filled life. The question, too, of can any country be a Christian country.
"What kind of Christian is it who is uncomfortable with the talk of Christianity? Oh, what a Christian nation this is. It is time for God to take us all into into His hand. ...
"Can Christianity be restored by our small, inconsiderable effort? We must put ourselves to the test, Iniquity has overspread us like a flood. If not us, what then shall God send? Must He send famine, plague, or war to reform us?"
A call for prayer for revival I'm putting before you. I'd rather see love. We have started a ladies prayer for revival on Monday evenings. I think of the old hymn, Sweet Hour of Prayer. This hour on Monday evenings is a sweet hour of prayer.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Some Excerpts

Forgive me today for being just a little lazy. I finished reading The Cost of Discipleship, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer yesterday and I would like to share these two excerpts:
"The older the world grows, the more heated becomes the conflict between Christ and antichrist, and more thorough the efforts of the world to get rid of the Christians. Until now the world had always granted them a lodging-place by allowing them to work for their own food and clothing. But a world that has become one hundred percent anti-Christian cannot allow them even this private sphere of work for their daily bread. The Christians are now forced to deny their Lord for every crumb of bread they need. Either they must flee from the world, or go to prison; there is no other alternative. When the Christian community has been deprived of its last inch of space on earth, the end will be near."
This was translated in 1937, in Nazi Germany. As much as today saddens me with the whole debate over food- now I know it is more than that- I do find it interesting Bonhoeffer speaks of food. I also was amazed at how volatile this whole debate over standing for traditional marriage grew quickly. A little spark from a chicken man speaking to his denomination's press set ablaze a country. I supposed we shouldn't be surprised or dismayed. Jesus, Himself, said if they persecuted Him, will they not also attack His followers?
So on the Christian life, Bonhoeffer had this to say at the end of the book:
"Indeed it is wrong to speak of the Christian life: we should rather speak of Christ living in us....
And where Christ lives, there the Father also lives, and both the Father and Son through the Holy Ghost. The Holy Trinity Himself has made His dwelling in the Christian heart, filling his whole being, and transforming him into the divine image."
It is John 15- "Abide in Me and I will abide in you." This is the Christian story. Jesus lives in me. I need to be transformed to His image. Yes, I have often fallen from that. It is a growing process. Learning to pray at all turns. Keeping Jesus ever in mind.
In this food controversy, I hope to stand for what is right. I hope to be Jesus to those who hurt. Jesus is for marriage. So in a way, He is saddened by premarital sex, adulterous sex, and gay sex because that mocks what He has made beautiful. But He calls each one of us to holy sexuality. That may sound hateful to some, but as far as I can tell from reading the Bible when marriage is done God's way, people are joyful.
I sat on the porch today with a couple married 73 years, 74 in October. Simple folk in a clean, neat little trailer, who still enjoy each other. She still wears a ring he bought her when she was sixteen. And yes, they are church goers and like Chik-fil-A.
I was going to just let Bonhoeffer speak, but I still had to get my words in here. I think we all need to have a voice and the voice needs to be respected. And always, let Jesus shine through you, if He lives in your heart.