Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Wonderful World

For my birthday, Michael made dinner reservations at the Mercury Cafe. I've never been there before. My only connection to this place are memories of my oldest daughter Christina, going there in high school for Swing Dancing. I was quite certain Michael had not planned for us to take swing dance lessons. We didn't. The reason for choosing the Mercury Cafe was the band. Michael knows how much I enjoy live music. A few years back he met this guy Steve playing golf. Steve plays mostly Irish music, but occasionally performs with other bands. The day before my birthday, we were notified that because of health issues, Steve would not be playing. I wasn't sure what to expect, but we went anyway.

The food was delicious, organic and gluten free. And then the music began.

The very first song tugged at my heart. When the chorus hit, tears trickled down my face.

"Good morning, America, How are you? Say don't you know me? I'm your native son I'm the train they call the city of New Orleans..."

I was enjoying the music immensely but had a sudden, deep yearning for New Orleans,
and to see my son, Christopher, his wife Lauren, and their girls Ivydee and Jolie. New Orleans has a rich music history and the daily offerings of live music is plenteous.

The first three songs I could not stop the tears. I felt joy, sadness, love, and longing. The forth was an upbeat song. I was smiling again.  In the middle of the song, the lead singer remarked that this is where the saxophone solo should be. The mandolin player picked his best sax solo. Instantly I was transported back to junior high school. I didn't play saxophone, but I did play alto clarinet which is very similar. Seventh grade band was when I became friends with Kathleen. She sat in front of me in the clarinet section. She was quite friendly, I think because she had a crush on my brother. Thirty years later, she became my sister--in-law. Tears.

After a few lively Irish songs my tears were gone and I was tapping along to the music. Then the mandolin player performed a few impressive solos. The water works flowed again. I imagined my dad playing the mandolin or his steel guitar. He would  have enjoyed this performance by Mark, and his picking of the 12 string guitar and mandolin. I wish I could share moments like this with my dad.

Some songs were fun to hear, others stirred intense emotions. I missed Sarabeth, Travis and my newest grandbaby Aspen.

I thought about the upcoming wedding of Hilary and Ryan, and I wondered what song they would use for their first dance. I imagined Michael dancing with his youngest for the father daughter dance. Would it be Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World?" Ah, New Orleans memories again.

Thank-you Michael for a lovely evening. It was perfect, except the music made me miss family. I love spending time with you and I love you more than ever!


"Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music;" (Ps. 98:4)

(I found this draft from March 14th so decided to post it.)

Friday, August 19, 2016

Another One

For anyone still out there, I apologize for not posting. I'm hesitant on many accounts to jump back into the rivers of writing, but I couldn't let the day pass without saying a very Happy Birthday to someone very near and dear to me.
Happy Birthday to the best daughter-in-law ever! Lauren is a precious member of our family, who keeps us organized, creates joy and beauty in every gathering, loves unconditionally, is energetic, creative and a wonderful wife, mother, sister, and daughter.

Did I mention fun and adventurous? Happy Birthday Sweet Lauren!


For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

Monday, July 18, 2016

Our World

It's simple really. When asked what was the greatest commandment, Jesus answered.

If only we could all live by the simple truth of the gospel, we wouldn't have the chaos we live in today. Sure, we would still have problems. None of us is perfect. But if we followed love instead of giving in to hate, our world could look much different.

Thursday, July 14, 2016



When did you get so big? 

You are taller than I am, and Aunt Hilary.
You are so smart. I just wish I could convince you that it's okay to ask for something new without destroying the old. You can have a new backpack and the old backpack too. But I suppose when you ask, and I tell you you already have lots of backpacks, it makes sense to you to take the scissors to them and cut them up so they are no longer functional.
Your Ipad and computer skills are impressive. So are your online ordering skills. It's always fun to open up Walmart online and find transformers in my cart.
You are a great big brother and cousin. You try so hard to be helpful and can't seem to understand when Josiah doesn't really want your help. You have to remember he is two and wants to do things himself.
You still love transformers and baseball, but you've added Star Wars, Ninja Turtles, Batman, and Superman to the list.

You love riding your bike, playing police officer and taking people to jail. You are fast on your bike.
I enjoy Face Timing with you, but if I don't answer, try not to call repeatedly over and over. Sometimes Gramma is busy.
You have a heart of gold. I love to hear you sing to Jesus in worship, playing your guitar, the keyboard or any instrument.

You are a very special, one-of-a-kind, handsome, loving young man. I love you Ethan. Happy 14th Birthday!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Many Hats

He wears many hats.
He's a coach,

A loving Father,

Devoted husband,

Caring, conscientious son,

Expert camper,

And backpacker,

A man of courage,

who's not afraid to uproot,


Go where he feels called.

A man of integrity,

An honorable attorney,

A humble husband,

An encourager,

A man who knows how to have fun.

He multitasks,

Can face time while doing pajama time,

Play Cinderella over and over,

And stay true to His God.

I love you Christopher. You make this mom proud. Happy 32nd Birthday.

Thursday, July 07, 2016


Once upon a time, there was a Gramma and Grandpa who only had a grandson.  The grandparents waited and waited a long time to have a granddaughter. One day, in the magical city of New Orleans, their waiting ended. A beautiful baby girl was born. Her parents named her Ivydee Harper.

Ivydee was a sweet baby, with soft hair and beautiful brown eyes. Everyone loved her so very much.

When she was 9 months old, her mama took a trip, and her gramma came to visit. Ivydee was curious. She enjoyed pulling books from the bookshelf. She crawled around the room, even climbing over her big dog Daphne. She was happy until it was night time. Then she wanted her mama.

Ivydee cried and cried. She loved her daddy and gramma, but wanted her mama. Daddy walked her back and forth, back and forth while playing a small and simple song for her. She fell asleep in his arms and would only sleep if laying on his chest. Ivydee was very happy when mama came home.

Ivydee grew and grew.

She became a big sister to Jolie.

Ivydee loves to read books and hear stories. Often, she goes to the library and listens to more stories with her friends.  Ivydee likes to hear stories about herself from mama or daddy. Then she retells their stories over and over.

Ivydee has a great imagination. 

One minute she is a bride, getting married to her daddy. The next minute, she is a princess in a faraway land.  Sometimes she pretends to be Cinderella with her fairy godmother.

Sometimes she is just Ivydee, somersaulting in the grass, playing with her cousins.

Today, Ivydee is three. She has grown into a lovely, talkative, funny, imaginative, adventurous three year old princess. She gets cuter and cuter every day.
I love you Ivydee, Happy Birthday sweet girl.


Jesus called them to Him and said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” Luke 18:16-17

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Abstract Saturday

Here you go, this week's tile:

What do you see? For fun, I'll post tomorrow what I see.

Update: Do you see him?

Jesse Jackson?