Monday, June 30, 2008

Vote for a Lighthouse

This is the Old Mission Lighthouse on Lake Michigan. (I'm the one holding up the parallel--ha.) We got to see it on our 25th wedding anniversary two years ago. It was established in 1870.

I love lighthouses. I don't know when I fell in love with them, but I did and I like stories about them. Lighthouses just seem so symbolic, even spiritual, they are historical and I just love the architecture of them. If you know a good fiction story with lighthouses (besides Eugenia Price's! LOVE that one) then leave me a comment with the title and author.

Jeldwin Windows and Doors is offering to restore with free windows and doors some lighthouses, but they are taking votes on which ones they will do this year right now. You have until September 7, 2008 and you can only vote once. Tell everyone about it.

And if you can't decide, then think about helping my friends' (Jan and Ken) niece in her quest to get their lighthouse chosen. Here's her request with explanation, but you, of course, can vote for your favorite.

hey folks-

the lighthouse near our Maine cottage is a finalist in a restoration contest. If they win, they will receive new "historic" windows and doors. All you have to do is go onto the Jeldwen website and vote for PEMAQUID LIGHT, MAINE

You can only vote once...but each vote counts!

Thanks for voting!


Do you have a favorite lighthouse? It doesn't have to be one of the ones you voted for, any lighthouse will do.

Be sure to go vote--just takes a minute.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

1000 Words

I know that this looks like a painting, but no man created it--God did. It was the view we had this week out one of the windows of the log cabin we rented. No phones, no TV (but a DVD player for movies,) six warring hummingbirds over a feeder, a huge deer, and annoying little "bob white" quails who didn't let up their cry from sun up to sun down. It was perfect.

I could wake up to this every morning, but no, I live in a different area of Indiana. Just down the road from this cabin was a sawmill. That brought back memories of my Granddaddy in Tennessee who had owned a lumber mill. We have a lot of deer around where I live, but it seemed to me we saw more deer there. Maybe it was because they showed up alongside the road quite a lot.

What was a bit humorous were the six hummingbirds who fought over the tiny hummingbird feeder the owners had hung on the porch. They dove at and chased each other, zipping and buzzing with their distinctive tiny battle cry. It was a constant weave and bob, hit and miss. Occasionally one would sit at the top of the feeder, seemingly trying to "guard" the booty. I used to have a hummingbird feeder at my house and had forgotten how selfish and territorial these birds were. I remember saying to them, "Look, I've given you enough food, and there's plenty more where that came from, so you can share!" But they didn't listen. Not at all. Kind of reminds me of probably how God views us--seeing us impatient and selfish--and trying to tell us that not only does He give us plenty to share, but also gives us renewable resources.

I got tired of watching the hummingbirds. They seemed to be a violent sort of bird and wore me out. Thankfully, God doesn't give up watching over us.

I never got tired, however, of the changing skyline from the porch. The sky was always changing and it was so big. I itched to paint it as I saw it. I wanted to somehow capture the changing colors, the swirl of clouds, the wide open expanse, the changing landscape from season to season, and I longed to see it every day. That would require me to move, I suppose.

It was a view that reminded me of my previous home. It made me miss the big double rainbows off my back porch there, hanging in the sky over the horses grazing in the valley. I often wondered how such a view was still intact after so many had moved into Indiana and built so many houses, buildings, roads. Why didn't someone else settle in that spot? But there it was--pristine as back before people moved here and started settlements.

I had no fears as I looked off my 1863 log cabin porch safely tucked into and surrounded by modern civilization(somewhere out there,) but I know there were many fears for the pioneers before me who would've been living on that land back in the 1700-1800s. Weather, starvation,illnesses or accidents without Lifeline helicopters or drugs to prevent infection, hostile neighbors, and even wildlife would pose threats to life. I don't worry about those things too much, even though I suppose they still loom. I really don't worry too much about anything. There is a peace of mind that really passes understanding. I guess even the pioneers before us could've had my peace of mind since they had access to the Bible.

I'm so glad I was able to go this past week. I had a great time. Now I'm back in my own home, fussing and thinking about things that I really wish would go away. (My dog is at this moment begging to go out and it's raining out.)And my mind still wanders back to this scene-- I still want to capture it myself with paints or colored pencils, but maybe I'll just cherish it in my mind where it will remain as I saw it. For one thing, I have a lot to do (like take out my desperate dog Lizzie.)

Friday, June 13, 2008

One Fine Day

If you had a day to just do anything you wanted to, what would you do that day?

One of my friends had an opportunity to do that and we relished the day with her when she reported in by email, since none of us live close enough to share the time.

It made me think about how we spend a lot of our time--rushing around, doing chores, complaining, grousing, worrying and feeling stress about it all. We make choices everyday about what we will do. I've heard people gripe about their chosen profession--complaining about the very thing they chose to do. Have you ever worked with someone like that? If you have, you know it makes the workplace unpleasant.

One of my favorite movies is Groundhog Day with Bill Murray and Andy McDowell. A grouchy, ug of a weatherman, Phil, is a person no one likes. He is sent to cover Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney, PA , and when he wakes up the next morning, he finds that the day repeats itself over and over. In fact it goes on seemingly for years.

He starts off desperately hating the day, hateful to everyone, and then, moves to a self-indulgent phase where he steals, uses people and kicks the homeless beggar man to the curb. From there he plunges into depression, killing himself each day and waking up to start the day all over again. It's like God is telling him, "You're going to live this day until you get it right." All through it, he is in love with with Andy's character. She is a beautiful woman, his boss who has dreams and loves French poetry. At first he pursues her, tries to learn every single thing about her, and uses that info to try and seduce her. It turns out ugly and she hits him--a lot.

Finally, he starts to get it right. He takes piano lessons one day at a time. He saves a kid falling from the tree--every day, same time, same place. He buys insurance from the creepy guy from his high school. He changes the flat tire for the little old ladies. He saves the mayor from choking to death. He takes the old man in for a bowl of soup, takes him to the hospital. The old man dies, every single day. He desperately tries to save him, until finally a nurse says, "It's just his time." But he gives the old man one good day to die on. Reminds me of the Native American who said, "This is a good day to die," when fighting for his homeland.

He goes on to learn to do ice sculptures and finally is able to do an ice sculpture of the woman he loves. When she asks him how he did that, he just says that he has studied her inside and out and knows every curve of her face. It's a good day. A beautiful day.

Same day. Same things, same people, same storm comes, same ol' groundhog. But he learns to love the day and is satisfied with doing the same things over and over. It's a great movie with a wonderful lesson. He changes, not the day or the people. He learns to laugh and have fun, love everyone in town and enjoy the gifts he is given.

I was thinking about this a lot. What would be one fine day for you? I may have to come up with some things. Name some things that you would love to do in a day. Living as long as I have, I know the days I loved and the days I would rather forget.

But everyone would love to have one fine day.

(Hopefully, my days will be with electricity. We've been having a lot of storms and losing power a lot. Sigh.)

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

What Instrument Should You Play?

My friend, Nancy, who has these simply beautiful blog posts which just speak to my soul,(and I always want to write those things!) did this test to see what kind of an instrument she should play. She tested for a harp. It suits her and she has beautiful hands.

I decided to try it. Interestingly enough, I'm supposed to play a guitar. I started playing guitar at age 12 and still have three beautiful guitars--one electric and two accoustics.(one was my first guitar in the photo below) I can't play so well anymore due to my bum fingers, but all of my boys and husband play(and play many instruments.)

I did write songs, but my son, Jordan, writes fabulous songs and he is a natural musician who taught himself to play the guitar on my first guitar and looking through my music. (I was never that good.) But anyway, it was interesting. What instrument should you play?

You Should Play the Guitar

You're very independent - both in spirit and in the way you learn.

You can teach yourself almost anything, even if it makes your fingers bleed.

You're not really the type to sit patiently through a music lesson - or do things by the book.

It's more your style to master the fundamentals and see where they take you.

Highly creative and a bit eclectic, you need a wide range of music to play.

You could emerge as a sensitive songwriter... or a manic rock star.

Your dominant personality characteristic: being rebellious

Your secondary personality characteristic: tenacity

Here is my family and some of their performing moments:

(Above) All the boys, a few years back