Where Antelope Roam


Thanks for the Memories
August 31, 2016, 7:30 am
Filed under: Day-to-Day, From my childhood | Tags: , ,

I’ve just returned home from one of the most physically exhausting, emotionally draining, mentally and spiritually challenging weeks of my life.

It was time for us to clean out my childhood home.   Dad passed away two years ago, and Mom just 6 months ago.   While we were happy for them,  we, their children, were left to clean out over 50 years of collections and so it began last week.

Each of us started where we thought we could make the most progress.  I was working on Dave Ramsey’s snowball plan.   You know, where you start with the smallest, least complicated place to attack and build momentum from there.   For me that was the “orange room.”   For some reason, when we were kids mom decided to paint the bedrooms different colors and they thus became know as the orange room, the blue room, the yellow room, etc.

Well, it didn’t take me long to clean out the orange room.  Now the blue room held a lot of memories for me and as I cleaned, I thought of those memories.   Like the night my three younger siblings, climbed into bed with me because of  a thunderstorm that had shown it’s colors.  (I, for one, revel in thunderstorms…. ever since I was about 4 or 5 and my dad took me on his knee one night during a thunderstorm….I don’t remember what he said to me… but I remember the comfort being in his lap gave me.   Sweet memory.)

Then the blue room also had an ornate hole in the floor where at one time the stovepipe of the stove downstairs heated the upstairs.  Now that’s not the cool thing for me.   The downstairs has a bay window and every year at Christmas time, that’s where the Christmas tree went and if one angled themselves just right you could see the Christmas lights on Christmas Eve.    The doors to mom and dad’s room was also just below that hole and if one waited up long enough, one might see what “Santa” was bringing them.   😀

As we got older, we were allowed to stay up later at night on Christmas Eve… Mom had a penchant for decorative candles and my brother loved to light them all on Christmas Eve.   It made for an almost holy atmosphere to see the lights and remember that the “Light of the World” came down to earth one night and was born of a Virgin that we might have life eternal.

Then there was the old round oak table that stretched with several leaves so that we could all gather around to enjoy the Easter/Thanksgiving/Christmas feasts.   Mom was a great cook and there was always plenty for us as we shared the camaraderie of family and friends.  Joy and laughter were often present then.

After those meals were through, the table cleaned off and dishes washed, we’d sit around the table and play games like Boggle, Trivial Pursuit, Uno and Skip Bo.  There were still plenty of leftovers to munch on the whole day.   Not to mention Grandma Beemer’s Molasses Cookies…. mom always made sure there were plenty of those…. well almost.

The kitchen held memories too.   It is an old kitchen so there was not a lot of counter space to work on, so it was the table that my grandfather had made on which we worked before these meals to first the pies and cakes and cookies.  Then mashed potatoes, salad, and veggies as the turkey or ham.  During the year, house chores were given in teams (there were 6 of us).  While two of us did the dishes and cleaned the kitchen, two others were dispatched to clean the living room and dining room, the bathroom was also included.

We had many, many happy memories in that house.   We had some sad and hard ones as well but they are our memories.   Life was not always easy for us.  Yet there was a foundation for life that was given in that house to build on as we each left that house to build our own lives as adults.

Soon the house will be sold and memories will be all we have.   Yet I am so thankful for those memories.

Until next time, love God, love others, remember the good memories and make new ones for the future.

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You Old Hateful Thing and Soon Touchy
May 8, 2016, 5:59 am
Filed under: Day-to-Day | Tags: , ,

This is Mother’s Day… the first mother’s day since my mother joined that heavenly crowd.   It’s also Sunday.    As I’ve mentioned in other posts, mom taught Bible to anyone who would listen.   She taught Ladies’ Bible studies, she taught Sunday school classes and these were organized settings…  but for us, her kids, she often took opportunity to teach Bible truths in every day situations.

My mind and heart was recently reminded of such a situational teaching.   At the beginning of this year, I was challenged to memorize the book of Philippians… and I’ve now come to last chapter.   Verse two mentions two women, Euodias and Syntyche.

Now, looking at the Greek spelling of their names, most English-speaking people would have a hard time pronouncing them.   However, my mother called them You Old Hateful Thing and Soon Touchy… care to guess in what situation mom taught us their names?

It is felt by most Bible scholars that these two women had a hard time getting along with each other.  They were not of the same mind on most things.  Thus, the apostle Paul beseeches.. pleads with them to find harmony with each other.    Mom used these two women to teach us to work together in harmony… sometimes we remembered her teaching… sometimes we ignored it.

As one of six children, there was often dissension among the ranks with one or the other.   For me, that would have been with my next younger sister.   Born two years to the day after me, I could never get her to recognize my right of authority!   Ha!

We WERE You Old Hateful thing and Soon touchy.   Physical fights often broke out over … well, now these many years later, I can’t even remember what they were about.   The moral of this story is what seemed so important back then, can’t even be remembered now.   Soon Touchy is now one of my greatest allies… we’ve both become mothers and raised our children to the best of our ability…we’ve learned to become of the same mind.

Until next time,  Happy Mother’s Day, Soon Touchy (and to all my other mother siblings)

Love … You Old Hateful Thing

 



Four Part Harmony
February 23, 2016, 8:25 am
Filed under: Day-to-Day | Tags: , ,

One of the best things about a homegoing celebration is the good memories that are evoked.    It’s not that we don’t have some bad memories but at a time like this, we desire to remember the good.

A few posts ago, I shared with you how God drew back the curtain for mom to let her see the heavenly choir singing while waiting for her arrival to join them.

At my mom’s homegoing celebration, all of her children stood in the front row of the church in front of her earthly tabernacle while we sang, “I’ll fly Away!”   As we stood and sang, tears came to my eyes as my mind went back to the days when mom would play the piano and attempt to teach at least four of her children to sing harmony.

We would stand around the piano as mom played and helped us each to hear our part. I was never good at singing harmony and thus I was given the soprano part as it had the melody.   I could not hear the other parts well enough to stay on key but oh… my siblings could!   There was not only soprano but alto, tenor and bass.    It was a sweet sound.   We perhaps didn’t appreciate it as much as we should have at the time but I, for one, revel in the memory of the times mom taught us to sing.

As we sang “I’ll Fly Away” and then “In the Garden”, all of mom’s children were singing four-part harmony and it was a beautiful sound.   Perhaps not as beautiful as the heavenly choirs mom was now a part of, but as beautiful as it gets here on this earth.   We were singing one last time in the presence of mom’s earthly tabernacle.     I don’t know if she could hear us… I don’t know but perhaps the heavenly choirs were singing right along with us..

Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, said, “According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed but with all boldness as always so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body whether it be by life or by death.”  During her time here on earth, mom tried to magnify the Lord of her life.   The day of mom’s homegoing celebration was a time where Christ was magnified by her death.    We are separated from her for the time being but with life being the fleeting entity it is, it may be just a moment in time before we see her again.

Until next time, love God, love others, and remember you’re teaching those closest to you not only by what you verbally teach but by your actions as well.

 



Lord Willing and the Creek Don’t Rise
January 8, 2016, 8:34 am
Filed under: Day-to-Day, From my childhood | Tags: , , ,

The other day someone asked me if I would be attending a certain class.   My response was “Lord willing and the creek don’t rise”.   It was sort of an automatic response… one that took me back some years and made me think of my mom.

That was a saying I remember mom used to say a lot.   It was one of many I remember mom saying.  When mom would get angry or frustrated at something or a situation (not usually at people) she might be heard to say “Well, damn Sam and cooked cunchion!”   Well that was the closest I ever heard my mother get to swearing and it was a curious thing for her to say to us kids so as we grew older we questioned mom.

The story behind that was that when they lived in Kentucky, her brother Bill came home one day after having had a fight with his best friend Sam.  Grandma had cooked pumpkin for supper.   Uncle Bill hated cooked pumpkin as a kid and so he was heard to say that day, “well, damn Sam AND cooked cunchion.”   Uncle Bill couldn’t say pumpkin so his pronunciation of it came out as ‘cunchion’.   After that, it seems this became something that at least my mom used as a cuss phrase.

As many mothers and daughters, my mom and I had our differences, particularly in the preteen through young adult years.   You know, the years we daughters are trying to grow into our mothers shoes and want them to believe we can do it.   However, those years aside, I have many good memories of my mother.

For instance one of my first good memories is of when we lived on the farm in the hired hand’s house.   The house was  set on a hill and in that house there was an east-facing large plate glass window that overlooked Grandpa and Grandma’s house as well as the barn where the cows were fed and milked.,

One morning, as my older sisters were waiting for the school bus to pick them up, (I really wanted to ride the bus with them but I was not school age yet!), mom took us younger kids to the plate glass window to “help” watch for the bus.   As we sat there watching for the bus, the morning sun showed it’s face over top of the barn.    It was glorious and I was enthralled!

As we grew older, mornings with mom had rules.   For one, we were never to talk to mom before she’d had her first cup of coffee and had her time in the Word.

Another time I remember on the farm with my mom (and as it would have it, my dad) was when we all  laid on the living room floor with our eyes closed and listened to Scheherazade and Swan Lake being played on the record player.   We thought we were rich!

I have more memories I’ll share with you in the next few posts.

Until then, love God, love others and remember to cherish the good memories!



It’s a Wonderful Life
December 23, 2015, 12:57 pm
Filed under: Holidays | Tags: , , ,

It’s that time of year.   Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day there seems to be so many things happening.   This year, I’ve taken a step back and decided it wouldn’t be a sin to not be involved in every activity or social event I’m invited to.   However, this is the time when family traditions are born.   In my core family growing up…. Grandma’s Molasses Cookies were a tradition.   So, this year, as I usually do, I made my own batch of Grandma’s Molasses Cookies.. for those of you uninitiated to molasses cookies and can only think… ewwww… well, I’m sorry for you… They’re quite addictive.

As I made my batch some wonderfully warm memories came back in regard to Grandma’s at Christmas.  You see, Grandpa and Grandma were dairy farmers back before mega dairies became popular.  My own father helped with the milking of the cows each morning and evening when our small family lived in the Farm Hand’s house at Grandpa and Grandma’s.   One of my earliest memories was going down to the barn while dad was feeding/ milking the cows and feeling the warm comfort of the barn.   In one of the rooms close to where the cows were fed was a barrel full of a dark liquid (I bet you were wondering how I could get to the barn from baking molasses cookies, weren’t you?).   When I asked what was in the barrel, the answer was blackstrap molasses… I asked what for?   Well, from what I remember (I could be wrong as I was under the age of 6 then… so my memory could be a bit fuzzy) molasses was used as a feed additive.

The next memory I had was of grandma handing me one of her wonderful molasses cookies that she had gone to the trouble of cutting with a cookie cutter in the form of an angel.   Ahhh… it was such a comforting time in my life (and now I ask myself, why was I  in so much of a hurry to grow up?  It is one of life’s mysteries.   When we’re young, we wish to hurry and be adults so we can do what we want to do.   Then as we grow older, sometimes we pine for the simpler days of childhood. ).

As we grew older and going to Grandma and Grandpa’s for Christmas was not an option, my mom took over the tradition of baking molasses cookies (along with many, many other scrumptious delicacies).   During that time at our house at Christmas, at least for me, it was less about the presents wrapped under the Christmas tree than it was about the presence of those I loved around an expandable round oak table where we would not only eat  (or was that engorge ourselves?) the delicacies of Christmas dinner but after dinner and the dishes were done we’d sit and play games while eating those molasses cookies…  It is these memories… memories of time spend with loved ones, some of whom have already departed this life that make me know now better than ever, I have had and do have a wonderful life!

So what about you?   Do you have some wonderful memories of Christmases past?

Until next time, love God, love others and make memories this Christmas…Merry Christmas

P.S.  If you should find yourself in a game playing Trivial Pursuit with one of my family members .. beware… the answer may just be “South Yemen”!  Who knew???



Grandma Beemer’s Molasses Cookies…
November 26, 2014, 3:54 pm
Filed under: Cookies, Day-to-Day, My Grateful Page | Tags: , , , ,

a.k.a. Christmas cookies… Grandma Beemer was a farm wife…. she had 12 children, 11 of whom made it through infancy.   Grandma made molasses cookies every year at Christmas.   She made quite a few because there was a crowd to feed and seriously… who could resist her molasses cookies?

For us, her children’s children, going to grandma and grandpa’s at Christmas time meant being able to joy in the taste of fresh molasses cookies… mmmm…   I don’t know how many batches grandma would make up each year but if they went as fast at her house and they do at mine, she had to bake a lot!

Grandma’s been gone now for several years but thankfully, she passed the recipe down to my mother who in turn passed it down to those of her children who wanted the recipe.   It has become a tradition for me to bake a half batch of these wondrous delights at Christmas time for my family and to share with friends who enjoy them.   They’re wonderful with morning coffee or milk or just about anything (except liver…. lol) !

Well, a full batch is now mixed up waiting to be baked in the morning.    If you smell the wafting aroma of molasses cookies in the air, it may just be me baking ’em.

I know this is two posts in one day but… I am grateful for Grandma’s recipe but more for the memories those cookies bring back to me.   Of going to grandma’s house and then later sitting around my parents home, eating cookies and playing games at Christmas time when the whole gang was able to make it and dad sitting in the living room listening to his kids be roudy!   This year dad’s in heaven and we’ll make new memories with others to carry on the tradition of what family means to us.   Miss you, dad.

Until next time, love God, smell the baking of good things, and be sure to tell your loved ones you love them while you can.

 



Harvest has begun
July 26, 2014, 8:30 pm
Filed under: Day-to-Day | Tags: , ,

In many places harvest has begun.  How do I know?    The harvest crews are seen on the highways these days.   A harvest crews looks a little like a gypsy caravan.   While it’s not unusual to see farm machinery going down the road around here, a caravan usually has at least one large combine on a semi,  at least two pickups with travel trailers attached to them.    Several solo pickups and sometimes a large semi with a trailer attached to it that looks like it could be the “cook shack”.

What’s being harvested, you ask?   Wheat, barley and millet in many places.   Corn won’t be ready to harvest for at least another month or so.

Around our place the wheat has been harvested.   Alfalfa, used for hay is another thing we cut and bale for feed.   When haying goes on it always reminds me of being on grandpa’s farm when I was little.    My dad and some of his brothers would help get the hay in.  Back then, they only did the small bales and they always had to be put in a barn because back there  and then, there was a lot of moisture that came down and could ruin the nutrition of the bales.  (not that I understood all of that then).   I remember standing at the lower end of a conveyor belt and watching as either my dad or one of his brothers would throw bales on the conveyor belt that moved the bales of hay up toward the hay loft.    On the other end of the conveyor belt, one of the others would be there to take it off and stack it in the loft .

I remember the hay lofts with fond memories.    When all of my cousins and my siblings would gather at grandma and grandpas house, one of grandma’s first admonitions was.. “Don’t go down to the hay loft”   That hay loft was in the BIG barn.    The one where the cows would be milked on the ground level.    Of course, as obedient children we always minded grandma on that aspect…. NOT… it was the first place we went.   I remember spending hours playing in the loft, making tunnels and crawling through them.   Ahhh. I have fond memories of those days.

Smoothie Alert:

Okay, so yesterday I tried a green smoothie that I’m not sure I’ll fix again.   It had spring greens, 1/2 avocado, a whole tomato, 1/2 a lime’s juice and water…. it called for cilantro but I didn’t have any…doesn’t matter… it was on the bitter side and I felt like it needed salt.   Which since I’m trying to use these in controlling my BP, is not an option.   If I decide to fix this one again, I think I’ll throw in a stick of celery, which has saltiness to it and maybe an apple for a little sweetness….

Ah well, any way..

Until next time, love God, love others and remember some of the good times with fond memories attached.