Friday, April 29, 2011

Christian Royalty

Well, who would have thought I would set my alarm for 4:54 on April 29, 2011.  Yesterday I was looking forward to sleeping late today.  However, last night there was so much talk about the royal wedding today, I decided I wanted to be a part of this history...even if only by television.  I had seen an itinerary yesterday which was down to the minute about everything.  It included who left where when; who arrived where when; what they would be riding in and what time the actual wedding started...after everyone arrived of course.  I don't now much about the Royals, but I suspected that the times would follow exactly as they had stated.  So I set my alarm for just a few minutes before 5am.  Sure enough, at that point Cate had just gotten into her car and was riding to the church.  She got there at 5am (our time) on the dot!  When everything was ready she and her dad strolled down the aisle.  She looked very happy.  She smiled all the way to the end.  William and Harry were waiting at the front of the church for her.  There was some whispering that went on, some more smiling and then the service.  The ceremony was very traditional.  The vows were sweet.  The priest started the ceremony with "every wedding is a royal wedding.  We are all children of the "King".  Wow, knocked me over.  After the traditional vows and William put the ring on her finger they sat down.  A service was held and he spoke about faithfulness, commitment, love, and forever.  He spoke of Jesus throughout the ceremony.  It was truly fabulous.  There was no mass, no communion, no big Catholic hurrah.  It was simple, sweet and beautiful.  At the end of the service the priest said a blessing for everyone watching.  I felt a blessing in my heart.  That was cool.  When they walked out of the church they both looked happy.  He looked a little more nervous than her.  They boarded an incredible open horse drawn carriage and rode to Buckingham Palace...still smiling.  After they went inside the palace it was going to be awhile before they were to kiss on the balcony.   So I set the alarm again for 7:20am this time and took a little nap.  Sure enough, right after I woke up again, they walked out onto the balcony and shortly thereafter, William kissed Cate.  It was short but sweet.  They waved, talked, smiled and took it all in.  In a few more minutes William kissed her again, creating history.  No prince had kissed the princess twice on the balcony after they were married.  I was so glad I had witnessed history first hand.  I'm sure the wedding has been played a zillion times on YouTube today.  I didn't see William drive Cate off in their sports car in real time.  But what a way to their own vehicle, and not telling anyone that they planned to do that.  They are going off someplace secret on their honeymoon, then going home to a 5 room home where she will cook dinner daily and William may even mow the yard.  They just want to be normal for a while...until they become the King and Queen.  I suspect that will be years from now.  In the meantime, the prince and princess hopefully and prayerfully will live happily ever after.

Encourage one another

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

So What's With the Pink Bed

OK, about 4 years ago I purchased a pink fuzzy dog bed.  I know I know, I have a male dog, but the bed was so soft I could not resist.  He loves it.  Always has.  Problem is, so does his cousin, Annie.  I don't know who loves it most.  And when the other one is around, the other one HAS to have it.  Last night Annie was having a sleep over with us.  I'm off doing my thing and next thing I know i hear this terrible wailing.  I'm thinking someone is hurt.  One of the dogs is hurt.  I find them.  Ikey is in the pink bed.  Annie is in the red bed wailing, shaking almost like she is having a seizure.  I touch her and she looks up at me like "what".  I say "what are you doing".  She looks over at that pink bed and actually thinks I'm going to run Ikey out of it and let her in it....uh no!  I have seen her stand over Ikey while he's in the pink bed.  She cries and cries and then she lumbers into the pink bed WITH Ikey.  I have seen him just let her and he stays put and I've seen him get up and just give it up to her.  But truthfully, I've never seen anything like it. They quite making those beds years ago.  Sad, but may the best dog win.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Gravel Roads of Texas

Have you ever driven down the gravel roads of Texas ?  You can truly see some of the beautiful back country.  You never really know where you might end up.  Last weekend we decided to take a drive in the Jeep and just cruise the back roads again.  Some of the cemeteries on those back roads are really pretty, peaceful and quiet.  Whole families end up there, back together again.  Well I hope they don't end up there, but their gravestones comment that they were once here and maybe a hint about their personality; like "beloved mother" or "faithful father", "hero" or "sister and friend".  Even though it's been dry as a bone most everywhere in Texas , these pastures down south are still green.  One we saw was laden with tall flowing green grass and huge beautiful big oak trees.  The kind you see with horses or cattle standing under them or one that someone had taken a picture of.  Truly it was a glorious site.  The cattle grazing in that pasture thought so too.  They were fat and lazy looking.  Many were just lying in the shade they were so full.  We saw lots of windmills and water troughs, old barns and tree swings.  There is a ton of oil drilling going on in that area and pipelines are being put in everywhere.  Lots of land has been cleared and ditches have been dug.  One day lots of oil and gas will be flowing under that country.  We saw where folks lived that we knew lived in "the boon docks" but never really knew where that was.  Names on mail boxes gave us some clues.  You can't travel that country without seeing a few jack rabbits, wild hogs and an armadillo or two.  They just make that country what it is.  We headed back to the ranch with the sun setting in front of us.  Once we got back we spent the rest of the evening just resting and feeling the breeze blow and listening to the coyotes howl. 

Encourage One Another

Happy Trails

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Unexpected Agony

Several months ago on the list of activities coming up for my Sunday School class was "Hike the Guadalupe Peak".  I had been wanting to do this ever since I moved out to west Texas.  I thought this would be a good opportunity, going with friends and I wouldn't even have to pay for gas.  I had read about this hike but really had absolutely NO idea of the type of hike it was.  i really thought it was somewhat like any other hike I had been on...not much too it.  The fact that I have been walking about 15 miles a week made me think not necessarily that it would be a cake but that I would have no trouble making it to the top. Boy was I wrong.  I knew by the first several hundred yards I was in trouble.  It was steep and it was rocky, big rocks, unstable rocks.  They told me on the way to the peak that the first miles and a third were the hardest...then it go easier.  By the first half mile I was ready to turn around.  If I had been by myself I probably would have.  But I was hiking at the BACK of the pack with a 70 year old man.  He had hiked this peak 4 times already.  I thought surely if he can I can.  He went slow and sure and I tell you it was all I could do to keep up with him.  We caught up with some other folks that I knew.  We traversed with them a while and then it was the older guy, a guy a bit younger than I and me.  We went all the way to the bridge together, some 3 1/2 miles straight as far as I could tell.  I was exhausted and fatigued.  I was hungry and near dehydration.  I did not have one of those camel back water carriers which made getting water out of my pack very difficult.  That and having some real hiking or trail shoes would be something I'd change in the future.  At that point I said "I can't go any further.  I'm afraid if I go any further I won't be able to make it down."  I knew since it had taken me 3 1/2 hours to go 3 1/2 miles it would take me a couple of hours to get down.  Also the group was going to turn around at 2p.m and start heading down.  It was already after 1:30.  By the time I would make it to the top, they would start heading down and not only would I not have time to rest, I would not be able to eat and by this time I was starving.  So I turned around.  It took me two hours to get to the bottom.  My legs were tremoring.  I finally made it town and said "I'll never do this again.  Nothing about it was pleasant.  It's too hard".  What a let down though.  I was very disappointed that I did not get to sign my name in the special ledger at the top of the peak.
By the next morning I was sore, but I was more convinced that I would have to try to climb that mountain again.  By day three I was so sore I could barely walk.  The difficulty of that hike was unexpected.  The soreness of my muscles was unexpected as well.  I believed I was more fit than that.  I was wrong.  Next trip I'll be a bit more fit.  I'll try to do some stair climbing or hill climbing to train before hand.  I'll have some trail or hiking shoes to wear to manage those rocks.  I'll try it in a little cooler weather.  I'll have a way to carry my water that I can drink easily as I go up.  I'll go with no pressure of time to get to the top or specific time I'll have to head down.  I'll go with someone who will be encouraging but not pressuring.  It'll be a challenge because truly it was so hard, there was nothing enjoyable about it.  Maybe it will be different when I make it to the top.

Encourage one another!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

When We Were Young

My sister and me…when we were young we didn't get along at all.  I mean, we fought like cats and dogs.  All through elementary, junior high and high school we had little to do with each other!  She eventually got out of school and so did I.  We went off to different colleges and then both married. She moved to northern west Texas and me to south central Texas , miles apart.  We used to meet in the middle at our parents for holidays.  Somehow in our 20s we began to see the importance of ourselves as sisters.  Since then we have always been close.  She was there for me through two divorces.  In fact, the second one I moved to west Texas and moved in with her and her husband for a time, until I found a place to buy.  That's been over 4 years ago.  She, her husband and I have grown very close since then.  He is more like a brother than a brother in law.  They have been very supportive, helpful, and encouraging over that time.  Our relationship really changed again when I moved out here.  I had an opportunity to see how she lives day to day; how she is as a person to others; I saw her as others see her, not just as my sister.  She is a very giving special person.  She has lifetime friends.  She is loyal and trustworthy and I love her for all those things.  She is a lot like our mother.  If I was going to desire to be like someone, it would be my mother…and my sister. 
When our dad died in July (2010), our lives changed forever.  In the blink of an eye, or literally just hours after we saw him and hugged him good-bye he was gone.  Immortality was foremost in our minds.  The shortness of a lifetime was all I could think of for a while.  It put an urgency in everything I did or wanted to do.  Both our parents were gone.  She and I became the older generation.  We were in this alone now.  Since she is older than me, I'm sure she even had different feelings. 
We are still dealing with our father's death, when 7 months later, my sister has been diagnosed with breast cancer.  She has already had surgery and the cancer is gone from her body. We thank God for that.  We know for sure life is unpredictable.  Just when you think your catching your breath, life tosses you another curve. 
However, I have learned something else about my sister.  She is brave.  She is courageous.  She is faithful.  She is confident.  She is determined to do everything possible to be here for a long time.  She is pressing positively forward with the shadow of chemotherapy ahead of her.  She is moving forward with strength and determination.  She is going in with full armor and persistence like none I've seen before.  She gives me strength through her strength.  She said yesterday "I think I'm gonna be ok".  I believe her.  I'm counting on it. 

Encourage One Another