Take it in stride!


Today I had the honor of speaking to some of the most wonderful women in my life. Women who have, in just a few short years have taught me so much about the Lord. I have been encouraged and blessed by by their tireless ability to serve and love unconditionally. So when I am able to speak to them something the Lord  has told me, I know is like “speaking to the choir” of sorts…most of them have survived more than I will ever know. But this is what the Lord gave me to say… maybe it helps someone besides me…

Just for a minute I thought about the past year and what would someone describe me to be like … angelic.. maybe? Or was I a shining star amongst my peers? Or maybe I was more loving this year? I think about what I want to be more like? What would be more helpful in my life to serve and give of my time the way the Lord would see fit.

The other day I was asking the Lord what he would have me to talk speak about… and the words… “Take it in stride” came to my mind…..Hmmm …Take it in stride…uh oh!

I looked the phrase up and the dictionary tells me…

To cope with something unfortunate without much effort; to accept or manage difficulties well.

Ok….good joke God!

Thanks …like I didn’t know already that I don’t exactly excel at this particular thing..I’m not so good just going with the flow every time life gets tough!

There are some days that I could use a big ole’ Angel, to intervene, to get me out of the jams I get myself into………….Notice I said… “ I get myself into!” and other days I feel myself needing to show a little more love to those around me especially those closest .. not take them for granted so much.. show kindness where I pretty much want to grrrrr! (Take it in stride Rosemary!) I hear ya Lord! But then I look around and wonder .. how it all gets so crazy.. why didn’t I listen to Jesus and mind him? ( the words of my preacherman in my head!)

How did I get myself out here all alone… the only women unable to get it right, just me alone in the cold cruel world! But then… I look up ..and I see a star, a bright and shiny beacon of light that leads me home…or maybe it was a street light!

Taking our lives in stride should be technically easy….. just make up my mind right! ….but, in the day to day of it all is where it gets muddled. But I think that’s exactly where it’s supposed to be helpful, to take all those “little foxes” in stride and manage the difficult parts of our lives. We all live in the same time and space and young or old there is a new aggravation just waiting to attack….yep, today will be the day I will rise above… today’s the day I’m just gonna chill and go with the flow… TODAYS THE DAY IM STARTING MY DIET!! Oh boy! The struggle is real.

Exactly how many do overs do we get? Well, as always I start off strong and sassy and BOOM! Zzzzzzzzzzip I died! just like the end of Super Mario……video game.

But really the facts are this… there are angels watching over me…I do not have to be one! Now they may be a little scruffy, they may be like It’s a Wonderful Life Angel—Clarence Oddbody, but we have one or a thousand!…. Ready to be dispatched at the very voice of God to help me out.

I don’t have to wonder if I am loved, GOD is love.. He loves so much he sent his only Son to save ME! especially me. How cool is that! I have a husband who has been there 36 yrs, who has not just “stuck it out” but comforts me and loves me, unconditionally every day…bless his heart. I have children who would fight off  hell for me and the eyes of a four year old that grows my heart three times larger ( the Grinch reference duly noted, I tend to be like him some days)!

And when I’m searching for help, I can look up and see the star that leads me home… I dont have to attempt to be the brightest and most shiny.. it’s not even possible!

This Christmas, like me.. attempt to take life in stride (I said attempt, all Grace accepted, please) and realize the important stuff is what’s going on in between the big stuff. So what if it all doesn’t get done, so what … unless somethings on fire, is it really that big of a deal..??. nope.. it will be there later.

Visit people, especially the elderly and even the young, those children who may need a special treat…look at a fancy magazine.. dream for a minute, take a drive, whatever nourishes your soul!!

Every time I drive out to the Amish countryside I am reminded of being a girl.. running thru fields, collecting daisies.. it strengthens me somehow. This time allows me to breathe a minute… until I haul it all home and remember all the work involved… to put it up for winter. (ok just breathe Rosemary!!)

Maybe this will help you remember to take it all in stride ..Remember this….

YOU ARE PROTECTED YOU ARE LOVED AND LOOK UP HE WILL GUIDE YOU BACK HOME.

I love you all so much thank you for reading and I pray blessings to you all!

The common Cold


Let me preference this post by saying that I, in no way shape or form, am trying to compare my sad little life to those that have real sickness and life altering diseases, so let’s be perfectly clear on that! So when I say I have been slammed with a cold for the past week (yes I am whinny) and I have about had enough of it, I mean WHAT THE HECK IS THE DEAL WITH THE COMMON COLD!

I am sick and tired of this annoying thing called the cold, you feel it coming, hoping against hope that it will pass on by, then before you know it…you just get all the life slapped out of you… coughing, sneezing, headache, stuffy nose, runny nose, light hurts the eyes, weak as a kitten, can’t eat, starving all the time, sleep for days, try to shower and nearly puke & pass out, so hot nearly sweating, Lordy it’s so cold! Kind of sickness that they call common.

You wake up to all of it at one time…days pass and you finally go to the doctor, she smiles and says here’s a antibiotic and you will just have the ride it out! Thanks Doc for nothing! It’s not that I want a dreaded disease… of course not but geeeeez can I not have a antidote, some kind of magic potion? We can surf the Internet and communicate to people within a split second but yet the super awful, just waiting to capture one of us when we least expect it common cold just slithers around us picking us off like sitting ducks… and this has been my week. Not cool! I got too much to do, I have a life y’all!

I’m pushing myself to feel better faster besides the obvious reasons, I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired… but I also have a family reunion this weekend, my cousins are meeting and I want to go! Some have traveled a long way, they are my connection to my Mom and Dad..they are the first friends, they are the people who are knew me when…and I am going to be so sad if I can’t go… and now my little gidget, Ellie is trying to get it… I wanted to take her to meet them all, her family, her cousins, for a day to enjoy that time of running and playing with her people; so praying she doesn’t get sick and praying mine leaves fast and praying that someone smart will figure out the whole mystery about the common cold….Lord help us all!

Sweet little Hamlets


Today I was reminded of a special place. My preacherman was on the way back from doing preacherman stuff in Chattanooga when he came through a tiny town. He was stopped at a railroad crossing in the middle of this little town and when he took a second to text me and told me where he was, my memory instantly took me standing at those same tracks holding hands with my beloved Granny Mcknight. Just about made me cry, the thought of her, my Daddy’s Mother, a strong independent woman in a day when that wasn’t really in style.

This tiny town, Cowan TN is mainly a place on the road down the mountain.. Monteagle Mountain where two more tiny towns are, Monteagle (duh) and Sewannee. Now, Sewannee is a place of great stature, The University of the South resides there and this is a beautiful campus with beautiful buildings and in my time a pretty awesome party school! Great educational parts also and it’s super expensive.. kinda like a generic Ivy League school, same potency but half the price! But actually the most important fact of this important city is that it is the historic birthplace of this preacherswife, okay my big brother was born there also but this isn’t relevant for this story… (unless you are him) and I was delivered by a woman doctor which I think was pretty cool for back in the day!

Back to Cowan, this tiny town was the place most of my dads relatives lived and I was able to visit often and my memories are vivid from those days, some good some not so good but vivid all the same. My granny would walk to “town” from her house which was not far, down a big hill about three blocks and there were the most beautiful wild country roses along the fence row… they were beautiful and I always loved them along with lots of honeysuckle vines, but back then the trains ran pretty often and my granny would stand way too close for my comfort, holding my hand. Apparently this town was a growing boom town before my existence I believe the trains hauled coal and men working up on the mountain and this was a big stop on that path. Many hardworking men would board the train in Cowan going up the mountain and back again.

In my day there was a super cool drugstore named Rittenberrys that had a soda counter and a massive amounts of comic books for which The Archie’s were my favorite ( don’t judge). My sisters always loved that store too and get cherry Dr Peppers for which are gross considering I do not like Dr Pepper.. the worst pop ever!!!

Down the street from town lived my Uncle Sidney and Aunt Billie Ruth in a blue bungalow home. I loved that house and they had a huge round dining table with a lazy Susan. We should bring back lazy Susan’s they are so helpful! Sitting at that table felt so inclusive, it was a treat to sit with the older kids. They have three sons.. “my three sons” of course I’d think and David ( or Robbie) was the dreamy one, Junior (or Chip) was the funny one and Chucky( or Ernie) was the baby! They played records by The Monkees up in the attic bedroom and it was the coolest place on earth. I Loved being at their house and we were especially close since we were double first cousins (brother and sister set married a brother and sister set )and still today those boys are neat men. We lost Junior early on as he fell and stayed sick the rest of his life.. God bless him. Cowan also had a house with air conditioning which, the only one I knew of, it was my Uncle Floyd and Aunt Francis, they had a nice house with carpet and air.. it was ecstasy and they had one daughter Connie, who was like Nancy Sinatra! Beautiful and as a teenager she was spectacular and she had a little brother, Andy or Mushy as we called him who reminded me of Mickey Rooney!

This was a neat little town where my daddy was from, we lived there two years before I was born, my next above me sister was there, a baby and she contracted Spinal Meningitis and passed away in my Moms arms. How did that happen, how did she do it… go on from that? I can’t imagine it but two years later she had me. Was I the cure… did it help? She spoiled me in many ways I did t mind.

Many people have these memories, I know I’m not alone but these are the people who made us, my tribe of family that loved me and nurtured me… this little Hamlet was a thriving place but now is nearly gone..at least the business area seems sad. Most of my family has died now, a few cousins are still there but I will always have great memories of that little town which by the way every summer has a wonderful carnival come that was my first encounter with a Farris wheel and cotton candy….I was never the same!

Lookout! Vacation story with pictures!


Nothing makes a difference in your life like taking a vacation…the time away recharges all the batteries and in my opinion makes me a better person. This year was a good opportunity to have my family all together(minus one deserter) who I believe never really missed us! Where’s the love dude?

Anyway, even though I really don’t love to travel.. appears it’s not about the trip it’s the destination so we hurry there (she says slyly since she wouldn’t want to imply how fast or anything) but once there, we are good!

We went to the smack middle of Florida or as we like to call it ” Pigeon Forge, Tn 5.0- all the same attractions plus Disney, Universal and anything else that only rich people can afford as well as skinny people as well as younger people! Aaaaand NO BEACH! What in the world! The only reason I can see to go to Florida is the beach, staring at it from a Condo, walking beside it early evening and even putting toes in.. never swimming!

Work came first, we were there to join with our family of God that meet every two years to make decisions and pray and worship and see all the missionaries and friends from all over the world!

I am proud to be married to my preacher man and I wouldn’t ever have been who I am without him and the Lord.. yes you can blame them haha! I was especially happy to see a wonderful women whom I respect so much, Joyce Stephens, and I had the best time with her even if just for a few minutes. All things work together for my good and it did that day!

Once we were able to get free to have some down time we loved the outdoor time! (Yes we went outside! Hush! ) Nothing like watching kids play…

A visit to Disney Springs did turn out fun for granddaughter and snagged me dark chocolate and her a cool balloon… also showed how hard all things Disney are! A lot of people!! I can’t believe years ago we took our four kids there, obviously I was in better shape!they can’t say we didn’t love them!

So we had to go find a beach, I wanted to make sure it’s still there and some people wanted to swim(bad decision) so we take a day and go to Sarasota, Fl or the Rodeo Drive (say Roh-deh-ooh, not rodeo like with horses) of Florida….there is a circle drive of sorts that while driving around and around and around looking for a parking spot that is non existent we see big ole fancy sports cars..and fancy stores. So fun! Then the beach is very near we tried Lido Beach( by the way some TV show was filmed down here-For which I read on google but now I forgot the name ) but the beach was the beautiful white sand, I love the gulf for that reason..so it was beautiful with the exception of what we later heard was a Red Tide.. we saw a good amount of dead fish on beach and the water was more murky and after a few minutes of our two guys in the water they thought better of it.. out they came! ( smart move) but I took sweet pics of a cute little model…

for which made it almost worth walking way far to this stinky beach! But still a joy to see, then off to supper at a neat restaurant at Longboat key where we finally had fish!( no eating fish in Orlando it’s just like eating it up in TN) but the view was great and food was superb! The company was even better and I even broke down and got the son who ditched us and stayed hone a tee shirt from here!

This was a fun day, even though some may have a dreaded disorder from the Red Tide–whales are dying down there, sad so prayers go up for these two knuckleheads..and the wildlife!

Back to finish up at our lovely house with a pool.. you people who have pools are so lucky, I have never wanted one until now! We had the best time…little girls love it and never tired of it.. Who could blame her.. she had all our attention! The last days we swam and laughed and decided to live there forever! But of course we couldn’t so we packed it up and came home… sooo early ….that’s the sunrise!

It was a Long drive, I mean long, did I say long …whew!, but as we got near Chattanooga I felt home, I miss mountains (since we lived in East Tn so long) and we drive thru some of the prettiest countryside on hwy 64..

There were many cool clouds that day so in our weary we looked for unicorns! We (girl car) followed them(boy car) both ways and we girls aren’t great following but we did it and followed our Power T all the way to the ‘burg. I was glad to see it and love this place..I missed those corn fields, I missed the Amish vegetables, missed my Church and the people who love us.. I missed my house and my bed and I missed my life. Nothing makes a vacation like coming home.

Now I only miss that pool but I’ll survive cuz in reality it’s just another chore to clean so I’m good! There are many more pictures that are boring to all but me so I’ll leave it there.

Bon Voyage till next time!

Holiday


Whew!….What a week! I have suffered the painful life of a BUM all week! Since Someone was going to have to do it, I volunteered! Going on “holiday” with my beloved family is and has been a great joy for myself and my preacherman. We must call it “holiday” since Peppa Pig who is British calls it that and our beautiful Ellie (granddaughter extraordinaire) loves Peppa Pig and of course that’s enough for us! This holiday have been holy days for us since a lot of  years have passed and it has been ages, eons even since we have been on a real vacation together, the whole family! Aaaaand this was no exception except one of my brood decided to skip it….yeah he knows who he is….stayed home to work, lame excuse! I really wanted us all but I felt that he is a grown adult and if he chose to stay home and miss all this fun, then oh well. We sure have missed him though…he is the most calm one of the bunch…he tends to be a buffer for us when we want to take a punch! Did I say that out loud? I am sure we are no different than other families on holiday, we have crazy mishaps, speed limits, toll roads and pouring down rain; not great hotels, windshield wipers(in the midst of a monsoon) just flying off scaring the living daylights out of us…..traffic and more traffic, gotta love Atlanta, GA! and the fifteen lanes of traffic( its just everyman for himself on that raceway), and lets not forget the difference between a vehicle GPS and a Apple IPHONE GPS which the latter is more updated. Many, many ridiculous layers which makes for a long tale of woe that will be funny as time passes.

The fun part is it isn’t over yet, we still got three days of the fun in the sun and knowing us….we will live to regret it all…..even through all this…I wouldn’t be anywhere else, families are created to be the first teaching expedition on how to cohabitate with strangers, this is the petri dish for society, if kids can survive the family dynamic and even dare to endure it all when they are adults then we got us a horse race. I have told them all, treat people how you want to be treated and this is a good foundation for life, although they do this well outside our family unit(yippie) when we all are together, that good old kid code, oldest to youngest and all the rules that apply is the biggest obstacle. Of course its only good clean fun, they say.

We have laughed and cried, we have had heart to heart conversations and pretty good arguments and when its all said and done, I would rather hang with these people than any other in the world…there is nothing like it and I will look back someday and miss them all. Of course I already miss the loser who stayed behind! I’m pretty sure he is missing us right about now, I left him with little to none ready made food, and being a family as big as ours when we all leave it is nice and quiet for a while then it just gets weird and lonesome. I miss him and I miss my home, I miss that scruffy little ‘burg. I am definitely missing the lovely Amish vegetables and will make a point to go after some as soon as I return….and I have learned a huge lesson these past few days. I am really old.

Old and feeble and out of shape and unable to even lift my legs over a pool….what happened to me… I used to swim like a fish…I was spry, I was not flabby and achy and had energy! This week has given me the incentive to change, I must use these parts to keep them…..not only am I overweight, I am just physically worn out…my muscles have gone off to another woman who will take care of them. If you are looking for a tell all well here it is! I’m unable to stomach the very sight of me, BUT…I know it can change, back to basics…walking. Then back to “if its white don’t bite” and just get my old lady legs back in shape! If I am gonna see my next birthday (October btw if anyone wants to know) then I gotta get to moving.

So this will be the deal, starting now….I mean next Tuesday (cant let all this vacation food go to waste!) I will make the effort to take care of the body as well as my spirit. I know that unless I want to live in the horizonal position in some nursing home then I gotta get to moving! SO now we begin the time of prayer…its gonna be a long haul…

Stringing with friends


I have been unusually fortunate to be given a group of friends who are truly special, maybe I have been such a wonderful friend that I have earned them…umm no….I am positive that is NOT THE REASON! I wish I could say it was, that I have “paid it forward” so much that the “universe” is giving me a nod…Nope! I’m smart enough to know that I am not that good. I Can show case and point of friends that are so much kinder and giving to me than I have been to them. I am a good friend but because of my chronic laziness I assume I  am not the top of the heap.

Because of Gods good grace He has continued to give me people in my life that have encouraged me and given me the kind of friendship that can only come from Him. Through my life there have been some special ones…Nina Kate, Judy, Kim, Donna….Cheryl, Jane, Denise, Sue, Trina, Karen…Carrie, Maryann, Lori…and many more, no reason to name the names really, they know I love them…but I did a few just because. I also have a special group of women, here in Lawrenceburg that are sent by God to love me…and my family. I am honored to live amongst some of the most talented and hardest working women that have ever been called of God. It’s one thing to be helpful, lend a hand here and there but these women go above and beyond. I would name names but I would not want to leave anyone out(ok, I might!) and the ones that are on this special list… are not even probably on Social Media or read my blog.

Back story—-Two years ago, my son was hours away from death, a surprise to us all which kept him in the Hospital for close to three months. The amazing news is he survived!!! By Gods Grace and mercy my son survived and became stronger and better than ever… I stayed with him in the hospital for two solid weeks, intensive care, praying and interceding for my sweet kid(ok he’s an adult but who’s counting!) and this was just in the middle of garden season. My beloved Amish town that I live near was bursting with garden veggies and I was not home to reap the benefits. But God…..

Upon the return to my new normal and my son was out of the woods and I came back home, visiting back and forth and without me knowing it, these lovely women friends of mine made the sacrifice of their time and did the sweetest thing for us. I came home to jars and jars of green beans and quarts of corn, all canned and made for me to put in the freezer and stock my cupboards. Two of my favorite vegetables of all time were done for us and I know what a tough job this was. They all knew that we loved these veggies and knew this had been a harrowing time for us so they put feet on those prayers and got to work! I cried when I saw it.

Yesterday, now the third time in a row, these women spent the whole day “helping me” break, string and can fifty plus quarts of green beans! That is sacrifice of time from their families even though this year we aren’t in a time of trial they still showed up, ready to bless us and besides the blessing of all those beans, the minutes and hours spent sitting with them stringing beans around a table so reminded me of when I was a little pig tailed girl playing under the quilt frame listening to my Granny Maxwell in the midst of an official quilting bee, talking with her church friends. This was no different, It is precious one on one conversations many times all of us talking at once, working out the worlds problems and reminding me of how fleeting this way of life is.

I’m a country girl who lives in the city; I’m not complaining since I appreciate the cool comforts of an industrial world but it brings peace to my spirit to be among these strong, vibrant and brave women. Women who have stood the test of time, who didn’t need to prove a point… they just do what needs to done, no excuses and no compromise. They have lived lives of great joy and as well great sadness; the prayer requests are many but they continue to visit the sick and cook meals for the home bound. They are the for real Proverbs 31 women and they are teaching me while they live it every day. I could only hope to be as committed as they are to the service of the Lord. They are champions and leaders; they are my friends.

The time spent with them enriches my life…Mabel, Joyce, Freddie Mae, Lois, Melissa, Donna, Carol, Glynda; most of them are several years older than me and one hundred fold wiser and without realizing it teaching this preacherswife how to serve. I am surrounded by the beautiful ones, women who are real and true, women who string beans with me and breakfast/lunch with me, it’s a tough group to break into but when I did I fell right into the funnest bunch of girls. I love the hound out of them! I pray that I will grow up just like them all, I pray I am respected and loved the way they are. I pray my daughter and granddaughter find their way into the lives of such confidence and independence of these true life “god fearing” gals. I pray one day I will be thought of this way….(note to self )–start today being faithful, loyal and a good friend.

Many women have touched my life.. here are just a few–

Sharon, Janice, Ann, Nancy, Susan, Ornella, Ruth, Kim, Nancy, Ramona, Elizabeth, Debbie, LeAnn, Carmen, Angeleea, Sandy, Jody, Francis, Jean, Jo, Brenda, Ruth, Maria, Jan, Lila, Roxie, Amanda, Jill, Jackie, Myra, Rita, Joyce, Jessie, Tina…..and the list goes on….and always Bethany, Ellie and my Mom, Marie.

The Bounty of Summer


Today’s haul was a huge amount of corn..fifteen dozen ears of corn…I was fortunate to find a bit of Okra.. sixteen pounds which after I  fried to freeze came to a sad little batch of only six quarts, but it will be magnificent non the less. I also threw in a load of tomatoes and cucumbers of course as well as onions and one single Eggplant.. just because I’m not sure what to do with it… hello Google!

Next up was more Squash and Zucchini, my love for squash runs deep, I must have enough to comfort during the long winter days….I am already missing summer gardens (and summer not even near over) but hopefully my freezer will be full soon. My little kitchen helper was on the job today… helping just as hard as she could… she is very diligent for which I’m sure will rub off when she hits about thirteen years old….maybe not, I will keep hope alive!

And all in one of her numerous Princess dresses… I mean she gotta represent! Of course since I am a modern women we gotta be in the den doing the bagging, ever so carefully…an important program is on… Anne with a E; Anne of Green Gables…one of my all time  favorites .. this is one of many versions…just multi tasking y’all!

Now I am looking down the barrel of fifteen dozen ear of corn.. help me Jesus!