Tag Archives: thoughts

Fall Seems to be the Season for Change!

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Well, summer has been giving way to fall in fits and starts here.  It rained steadily from Tuesday night until this morning, then the clouds broke and the sun came out, and by all accounts it should be a beautiful weekend.  There is a festival in the town where I work (now much less… see following…) at an antique mall, annually our single biggest day of the year, and we sure do need the nice weather.

More than the weather has been changing!  About a month ago, in a dizzying combination of converging happenings, I quit my job, began homeschooling my brother, and got started in a new from-home job.  Talk about change.  I was apprehensive at first, but on the whole, it has turned out very well.  I am enjoying being at home, enjoying learning along with my brother, and spending lots of time hanging out with him; I am struggling with adjusting to having a lot of time to manage.  The home buisiness has taken longer to get going than I anticipated– technological issues!– but that has been blessing in disguise, because it has meant less stress and more free time as the Bro and I get started with what is a new schedule for both of us.

God always knows what He is doing!


Rainbow’s End

This is the title of the book I started yesterday.  And finished yesterday.  All 259 pages… which is a lot for me in one 24-hour period.  I just couldn’t stop.

I was hurriedly browsing through the shelf of new biographies at the library yesterday morning, knowing I was on the verge of being late for work already.  I added a book about three Iranian women to my already-grabbed Trollope novel, and then glanced at the brown cover of one subtitled, “A memoir of childhood, war, and an American Farm.”  I stuck it in my pile and headed for the counter.

Later I pulled it out again and realized, there beside the little crouching cowgirl with hat, gun, and dog in hand, the subtitle didn’t read “…American Farm,” but “African”.  Hmm.  I opened it up and began to read.

Now, let me disclaim here.  The preface is an account of the guerilla massacre of a Rhodesian family in the 1970’s.  It is a violent way to begin.  The attack occured in the home where the book’s author, Lauren St John, would later move in and grow up: the game reserve called Rainbow’s End.  Even though she was not there that night, the event had a great affect on the direction of Lauren’s family and her own life.  There are also a few scattered references to things better skipped over, and some language, although it’s not very liberaly sprinkled.  This lady did not grow up in a Christian home, and actually, the story is the story of her family slowly falling apart, and a young girl having to figure things out mostly on her own.  So be forewarned.

But.  It is also the story of the Rhodesian Bush War of the 1960’s-early 1980’s, from the perspective of a descendant of four generations of “European” Rhodesians.  It is living history, history of a place and time I knew very little about.  It is a compelling snapshot of the life of a child growing into an adult in an extraordinary, frightening, time and in a world that seems so strangely unlike what I thought Africa, or Zibabwe, is or ever was.  Yes, I know, I am showing my ignorance.

As the story comes to a close, Ms. St John speaks of the changing of names, beginning with the very name of the country, from Rhodesia to Zimbabwe.  The city where she attended school even gained a new name: Harare.  And I thought, I know that name!  That is one of the cities that our congregation sends Bible correspondence courses to.  I’ve graded many myself.  In fact, I have a letter, given to me by another “teacher”, from a 20-year-old student who is seeking a pen-pal.  I’ve had it for months, and somehow I just haven’t known what to say.  I went and dug it out of my desk today, and looked at the address, just to make sure: yes, Beaulah is from Zimbabwe.  In fact, she lives in the very town about which Lauren St John writes.  I’ve been reading about her own home, albeit 25-30 years ago, but what a nice surprise.  Maybe now I can find something to say!


A review, from someone obviously more practiced than I at writing them, is here.


I should have gone home.  You know, if you are sick and have worked all morning and waited around in town until time to drop your brother off at his Boy Scout event and have a couple hours to kill, you really should go home and take a nap and forget about the gas expense.

And I was going to.  But alas, I decided to stop at Chick-fil-A for a big sweet tea, which paused my homeward motion enough that I reconsidered.  Maybe I would go to the library instead, at least for a while, and use the computers.  So I turned away from the highway and started off through the residential streets of our quaint little Town toward the library.  I had almost made it… within a mile or so… when I was stopped, dead in my tracks, by some force eminating from a sign on the side of the road.

“Estate Sale”, it beckoned.

Never mind I am trying to save whatever cash has made it through the week still in my wallet.  I stopped and went in, and realized that some acquaintances were running the sale.  And that there was very little left.  I found a cute little americana-painting-style metal sign and had obtained a nicely discounted price when Mrs. Acquaintance said, “I want to talk to you about making me something.”  She had to run over and help some other customers first.

You see, several years ago this lady, who was running the cafe at the antique store I work at, found out that I crochet, and commissioned me to make a few name doilies for herself and as gifts.  She was my guinea pig, and I went on to make several more special orders for people until demand waned and I gladly stopped.  I was ready for a break.  In fact, over the last few years I have not crocheted all that much at all.  Then I started my current doily   (I decided I wanted to give this one as a gift), was spotted crocheting by a vendor at the antique shop, confessed that I also have made “those name doilies” (here’s what I get for bragging!), and was so overwhelmed by the lady’s delight that I agreed to make her one (or was it several?) when I finish my current doily.  So I have (at least) one in my queue.  It is not that I don’t enjoy making them; indeed, I make up and graph out my own patterns, which is fun, since I like playing around with alphabets.  I just have always gotten sick and tired somewhere in the middle of crocheting the body of the doily (you use two basic stitches, which make either empty or filled squares, on and on and on), and in the past it has always taken me quite a while to actually finish one.  I’m sure it is due to a lack of discipline.

But back to Mrs. Acquaintace.  It turns out she wants me to come over to her historic victorian home so she can show me a type of window covering she wants me to recreate, in a set of two.  Then, since her brother who recieved one of my creations years ago was so delighted with it, she also wants me to make name doilies for all of her homebuyers (she is a prominent realtor here).  I told her I had at least one on my waiting list, but I would get back with her.  She instructed me to take one of her cards and call her when I am available.

Hmm.  I suppose I shall just have to see how much my speed has improved since I finished my last one.  Do I really want to get myself into this again?  I could just point her to one of the many websites I’ve found that make doilies to order.  But then again….

Rejoice with me!

For I now not only have my car radio back, but also my power door locks, horn, and two complete functioning headlights!  Hooray!  My mechanic is wonderful.  He is constantly gluing my car back together the cheapest way and is very nice about it.  Today he told me, the ‘valance’ (which hold the whole headlight/grille assembly in place) is all busted up and it needs to go to a body shop, but he would try to at least get the new headlight in place so I could at least drive at night.  Not to mention pass inspection.  He also got my grille to stay in place, even though part of it is attatched to air where the valance is broken.

So I drove off gleefully, calling my mother and… two friends (I would have called more, but was afraid of waking someone) to share the good news.  Since, of course, I have been complaining to them all this time.  I played my favorite CD which had been held captive all this while in the bowels of my dashboard, and later as I sang along with my radio I was more aware of what I was singing.  In fact, I came across this yesterday and thought it was interesting, in light of our late discussion.

It has also been a wonderful two or three days, weather-wise.  After soooo muuuch hot weather, we have had highs in the 80’s (it might have gotten higher this afternoon, finally).  It is amazing how just a little change in the weather can make such a difference!  It has been re-energizing!


An embarasing number of months ago, I was in a minor fender-bender and smashed one of my headlights.  It is still a gaping hole (we are looking for the part for my old car, really we are) and finally a couple weeks ago, after a rain, apparently water found its way into my wiring and shorted out a circuit.  Or whatever you call it in a car.  Anyhow.  I figured out over the course of that day that I am without: a)power door locks; b) a horn; and c) a radio.  I wonder what else I am without and don’t know it.  At least, and this really is a big deal with no AC and 100 degree temps, at least my window button still works!

I don’t have a CD player at my disposal at home (generally with all of us in the small space it is loud anyway), so I get to listen to my music in the car.  It had a great sound system when my Memaw graciously handed it on to me four years ago (after my cousin had driven it to and from high school for several years, to whom I am sure I owe my gratitude for the aforementioned sound system), and even though I’m not the type that effuses over bass boost (etc.), I have really enjoyed it.  A drive with the windows down and an inspirational song playing is something I particularly enjoy.  Well, OK, who doesn’t?  Not to mention a good program or, yes, just something to create white noise for my mind.

Now I get in the car, and it is quiet.  I have the opportunity (read: “I have no choice but”) to think, to pray, and something I have been doing more and more, sing.  I’ve found out it’s a great spirit-lifter and also refocuses my distracted soul back around to God.  You know, there are some Christian songs that really encourage me when I listen to them.  But most often it is really a matter of entertainment.  Not that enjoying music for music’s sake is bad; but I wonder if, by constantly barraging my mind with “Christian” lyrics (profound and not-so) as a form of entertainment, without giving true thought to what is being said– I have inured my soul to the power of musical praise.  I will say, I have struggled with feeling disconnected from the spirit of the songs I’ve been singing in church lately.  I wonder if this isn’t part of the reason.

So, I’ve been singing.  Reminding myself of hymns I hadn’t thought about in a long time.  Pouring my heart out to God and just plain enjoying it.  Finding my heart lifted.

This whole discussion brings to mind scriptures such as Ephesians 5:16 and 1 Corinthian 10:31, about redeeming the time and doing everything for God’s glory.  I know this is stretching those particular verses a bit out of context, but I’m beginning to think that my “car time” should be viewed as an opportunity to minister to the Lord and fellowship with Him, rather than just  let my mind “vegetate”.  Whether I turn on the radio or not, I should be doing it for God’s glory.  And I should take more of the opportunities I do have to “do something”.

Perhaps this is totally not where any of you are.  That’s OK.  I like to talk to myself.  🙂

Sometimes having a short in your radio can be a good thing.  🙂