Where Antelope Roam

Working on Gratitude
February 4, 2017, 3:06 pm
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Hi there again!   I know it’s been a while since I wrote… I’ve been working on my gratitude attitude.

As I say that I realize today would have been my mother’s 84th birthday… it’s been a year… since I saw her.    We celebrated her birthday.   I think she was glad we were all there to celebrate with her.   So, today, I’m grateful.

Grateful for the gift of spending one more birthday with mom.   Grateful that all my siblings and I could be there.   Grateful for the memories of mom.

Memories such as:  watching with her and my younger siblings for the school bus that would spirit my two older sisters away for the day.   Of watching through the plate glass window in wonder as the sun crested grandpa’s dairy barn.   Of me and mom times even when that meant I had to go to the dentist… mom and I would go to Dart’s Restaurant as a special treat.

Summers with mom…often meant special lunch meat (not bologna) bought from the small downtown grocery, pop and chips for lunch.   VBS… mom director… Bible stories told with great creativity… though I daresay, she was more careful with her words after the story of Adam and Eve prompted an unhappy parent to call to find out why she was naked behind the piano.   (no… she really wasn’t naked… Adam and Eve were ….lol)..  vacations in the UP where we’d all go with her and Mr. Tuttle as they’d search the roadside grasses for new wildflowers to see and we’d enjoy the summer breezes coming off Lake Michigan.

Years of teaching piano to school children at home… where some of her own children learned more by listening to her teach them than actually doing the work ourselves… then the times when she taught at Grinnell’s in town…and we’d get to come in and wait in the mall for her to get off… of going to Coney Island and getting a coney dog… or  A& W for rootbeer…of overcoming shyness and anxiety by playing the piano at church while she played the organ loud enough to cover my mistakes…

Holiday memories were some of the best…  Easter dresses made each year… one year identical dresses and hats in different colors for each of us girls.   Memorial day when we’d watch and wait for the band to go by the house with all the living veterans of past wars…. mom coming out on the porch to watch… July 4th was the same.. as we watched the floats go by then go up to the school grounds for the carnival… mom made the best potato salad… mmmm… Thanksgiving and Christmas were always special as mom went all out for the meals.   We often had others who would join us for those meals… of course, one cannot forget the games mom would play with us all, particularly as we got older… Boggle… she could find more words and longer ones than most of the rest of us… Skipbo… Uno… then of course, Trivial pursuit… geographically, it seemed the answer was always East Yemen…. I didn’t even know where East Yemen was… let alone why it was an answer…

Christmas was always special in another way as well…. mom was in charge of the Christmas programs at church…. some years, there was an all out, all character Christmas story told… other years it was a musical concert…regardless of what genre it took, it was always special.

I have memories of coming downstairs in the morning finding mom at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee and her Bible open and trying to be as quiet as I could.  (one did not talk to mom first thing in the morning until she’d had at least one cup of coffee)….  of mom teaching Bible to teenage Sunday school classes as well as Bible studies many older women in the community attended.

These are just a few of my memories…lest you think I’ve chosen not to remember any bad memories… I have those as well… and am grateful even for those because those times taught me how to persevere even when life was not idyllic.

Until next time, love God, love others and … Happy Birthday, mom….. thanks for the memories..


Music and Mom
February 16, 2016, 7:56 am
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If you’ve read my previous posts, you know I was introduced (at least my earliest memory of it) to music through laying on the floor at the farmhouse with mom and dad and listening to Swan Lake and Scheherazade being played on the record player.   (that was way before cassette tapes, 8 tracks, CDs, MP3 Players.

Then about the time I was ready for kindergarten (and ready to ride the bus 😦 ), my parents decided to move into town.    So, we did.   It was a two story Victorian style house.   To my mom it was a beautiful home with lots of potential.   Anyway, about the same time, the little church we went to, was asked to no longer meet in the little schoolhouse we’d been previously meeting in.

Long story short, until we could get land and build a church house to meet in, the church met in our home in town.   We were pretty centrally located and we had a large living room.  It was perhaps then that we acquired a piano.   Mom loved to play the piano and she wanted to teach her children to play.

Almost as important to her as the study of the Word of God, music ranked right up there.  Now Mom had more success in teaching some of us than others.   At some point, she began teaching piano to many of our school friends and, as I’ve recently learned, half of my cousins who lived around town!

Eventually, when we did get into the small church building, Mom became the church organist and one of us kids whom she valiantly tried to teach piano, became the church pianist.   As one of us would leave home, the next child would take their place.

When it became my turn, I was awful and pretty intimidated by having to play the piano in front of people!   Mom taught us if we didn’t make faces when we made mistakes (which I did often) no one would ever notice that we made the mistake… well, long story short I tried it and by guppy it worked!   Thus, I learned to gain confidence in playing the piano.

It became somewhat of a passion.   Now, I would never be a concert pianist, though I have siblings who might have been had they chosen that path.   However, I liked to play the piano at night.   Mom would go to bed and sleep on her good ear (she was deaf in one).   Dad would sit and watch the late news and after he was done, he’d sit and listen as I played the piano.

Much to my mom’s chagrin, most of my piano playing was done by ear.   Reading music was laborious to me.   I never could quite get syncopation and different rhythm music.    However, if I could play by ear, I felt it was just me and the Lord and I could play whatever He put in my heart to play.

Well, needless to say, I owe my love of music to mom.

A couple of weeks ago, all six of her children were privileged to spend what would be mom’s last birthday on this earth with her.

When a couple of us went in to greet her the last morning of our stay, we asked how she was.   She stated she was fine but the neighbors were upset.    When we asked her why, she stated because of all those people standing around singing.    “What people?” we asked.    She said “all those white robed people”.    “Mom, what are they singing?”   Her reply, “Holy, holy, holy…. or something like that!”   We all left in awe that God had drawn back the curtain for Mom to see what awaited her.

Now, we believe Mom was seeing the choirs of heaven before the Throne of God and just a week and a day later, Mom joined that choir loving that God loves music!

Until next time, love God, love others and don’t miss an opportunity to tell them you love them…. you never know when you’ll get another chance this side of eternity!

Even Adults Have Snow Days
December 15, 2014, 1:34 pm
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Yes… it’s true.. .even adults have snow days and today is one for me.   Now, we only had between 9-13″ of snow and you may think that’s not a lot but here on the high plains, it’s not the amount of snow one gets that is a problem.  It’s what comes after the snow that is a problem  — the wind!   With nothing to stop the wind here it whips up drifts that even a 4-wheel vehicle can have trouble getting through.  Unless you own a snow plow, drifts are a problem.

Yesterday we were blessed with precipitation that started out as rain and quickly turned to snow.   We made it to church yesterday morning but the evening was a no go for us.    By the time we got out of church, we decided to forego some stops we had planned to make and made a beeline… albeit a slow beeline… for home.

Glad to make it home safely, we stayed there the rest of the night anticipating the morning.   Watching the forecasts has been rather hilarious.   Sometimes the forecasts said we were not receiving snow but all I had to do was look out my window to see that they were indeed wrong.

I had thought to get to work this morning as I was subbing for a friend who was gone on a long weekend.   However, when light arrived… hubby went out to inspect the situation.  When he came back in, his only comment was: “..and you think you’re going to work today?”   Hmmm… that was not encouraging.. and indeed with all 4-wheel vehicles down at the moment, getting to the highway was going to be a trick if not down right impossible.. so, sad to say I had to call in to my supervisor and let her know I wasn’t making it today.

So, what to do with a snow day?   Well….I spent some time on FB and did you know you can be on that for a few hours without realizing it????   No???  Me either.

However, I did find a site that I found quite educational and motivational.   Thanks to Ruth Soukoup, I found motivation to organize my pantry.   I can see the look on your face and hear a Tool-man .. huh? coming from you… now just listen.

The house I live in is the family homestead and I’ve been rather reticent to make it our own… hence, I’ve left a few things unorganized such as my food stuffs.   I’ve never really known what to do with them.


Exhibit A

One each side of my sink cabinets is a lazy Susan type cupboard and I have dutifully tried to use them, but they have been hard to access and have not readily shown their wares.   On top of that, being that we live in the country, rodents  {{{{shudder}}}} have been an issue in that particular cupboard. (Have I ever mentioned that I used to keep my olive oil down in this cupboard?  That was before I pulled the bottle out one day only to find a mouse had committed suicide in it!  Again… {{{{{Shudder}}}}} See exhibit A) Not to mention some of my canned goods were stashed downstairs in the freezer room where they weren’t handy either.

In reading Ruth’s blog, she suggested organizing one’s pantry.   So, today, I put on the Statler Brothers’ Christmas tape (yes, I actually do have the tape.. not CD or MP3 player..) and I pulled out all the stops and canned goods out of cupboard and shelves and reorganized them in different shelves that are eye-level and easier to see what’s on hand.  We’ll see how this works out… I’ll let you know.

This is just another one of my adventures in organizing, which probably was more motivated by my SIL than anything else.   Thanks, JB!

Until next time,

Love God, love others and think about what you can organize!

I have much for which
April 3, 2009, 7:27 pm
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to be grateful.   I just returned from town and in my wanderings I realized I have much for which to be grateful.  

In talking to my friend FM, I realized once again that God delights when we thank Him for the things we have.   We are progressively living in a world where things are not as they used to be.  Perhaps we’re unable to obtain the things we used to.  However, if we leave our focus on the things we don’t have or can’t get, we leave ourselves open for discouragement and depression. 

In meditating on this, I realize that often the difference in success or failure in two people with similar circumstances is that those who enjoy success focus on what they have and are grateful for that, while those who enjoy failure, focus on what they don’t have.   It’s all about choice.   We can choose how we look at things.  We choose to be grateful or we can choose to be less than grateful.

I realized then that I had not been focusing on the things I DO have.   The Lord has given me a blessed family and though sometimes I feel driven to distraction by them, yet… they are a blessing to me.   At a time when I thought I would be single all my life, He sent me a wonderfully compassionate man.   When I thought the wonder of having another human being grow inside me and ultimately be delivered through much pain would never be mine, He blessed me with a child whose smile and eyes have the ability to light up my world.

The Lord has given me a home with a rich heritage.  I live in a prairie puttogether home.   It grew from an existing homestead on the land my FIL purchased so many years ago into what it is today. 

It is a place in  which I can lay my head down at night out of the weather.   He has given dh and I both the ability and health to be able to work and try to maintain the blessings He has given us.  What a blessing!  

Before all this though, God has given me life.  He gives me the ability to breathe on my own each day.   My body though growing older is still in relatively good shape.   I still have the ability to see God’s sunrises and sunsets that are absolutely incredible!   Though I often frustrate dd with my inability to hear in one ear, I yet have the ability to hear. 

What a wondrous thing to walk outside and hear the meadowlarks trilling their song!   Or to see a red-tailed hawk soaring in the sky.   I still have the ability to smell and though at times I’m not real thrilled about the smell of a corral so close to my house, I still have the ability to smell a spring rain with it’s wonderful cleansing smell.

 My arms function fairly well still so that I have the ability to play the piano, organ and accordion or  throw a stick for Odie or hug dd or dh or anyone else who’s in for a hug.

God is working on giving me a compassionate and humble heart.   Sigh… it seems about the time I’m getting it, He shows me another area in which I need to work on this very thing.   Trying to be transparent is often a work in progress.   It’s hard sometimes to admit my flaws or to have someone else point them out yet, this is where humility and transparency must begin.

As I continue on my journey, I want to learn to be a joyful old lady… though I don’t consider myself in that season of my life by any means, I realize there are those who do.  Yet… I don’t want to look at the negative side of life… oh, I realize that sometimes life forces us to see some very negative things… yet, there can even be victory in the negative if we give it the Lord and allow Him to make it positive!

Well!  Those are my thoughts today!  Thank you for coming by and reading… until next time…. love God, love others and pursue those relationships!

November 28, 2008, 5:48 pm
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Well, I’ve been practicing Christmas carols on my accordion.  It sure has been fun and I’m learning a lot as many of the Carols use chords I’m not used to playing on the accordion.   Our church plans to go caroling before Christmas.  I’m not sure that I will play the accordion with them but I’m practicing on it anyway.  It is a great way to build upper body strength too… 😀