Hola, mis Amigos, October has been a busy month with lots of things going on around the county; hope you have been able to get in on some of them and enjoyed what was offered.
The leaf colors, all around the county, make traveling to the north or northeast, a waste of time and money; our own beautiful colors couldn't be beat. They have been simply gorgeous and the fall decorations in Vevay are outstanding. Our gratitude to everyone that helped make that possible; it is a joy to see and makes me proud of our community for these kinds of efforts and for the people that produce them.
Last week's weather was awesome; I was ready to dig out some shorts - this week, reality set in. By the time you are reading this, forecasters are predicting very high winds and flurries with the coldest temperatures of the year. All around here the past few days, I have heard the sound of chain saws and wood splitters working. Do remember those folks on the east coast that are, or will be, falling victims to hurricane 'Sandy', which may even give us some problems.
Sons, Mike and Sam along with Cyndi and Josh, have me pretty well set for this winter in firewood. They cut down two huge dead trees in the yard, split them up, and hauled the wood up on the deck so I can get to it. God has blessed me with a wonderful family (not perfect mind you but pretty great) and I thank Him, and them, for it.
Nancy Ledbetter had an argument with a wood splitter...the wood splitter won; Nancy lost part of her finger (which was hanging on just by the skin). The kids rushed her to King's Daughters' Hospital, where thanks be to God, a surgeon (who had just finished a surgery) was present and took her immediately into surgery.
He sewed the finger back on and said the prognosis was excellent that she will regain full use of the finger; he thought even the fingernail would grow back. Nancy hoped to get the stitches out last week but the doctor said it was not healed sufficiently so she has to wait another week. Do remind the Lord as you speak to Him that she could use a little more of His help. The moral of this is...don't argue with a wood splitter; 'they' are dangerous opponents.
Got a letter from a 'friend of the column' that sent a little joke to share with you all.
Parents that had a little boy, named him, 'Odd'. All his life he hated the name but never changed it. When he was an old man, he told his wife that all he wanted on his tombstone was his birth date and his date of death, and not his name.
The faithful wife complied with his request just as he wished. When people walked through the cemetery and saw the stone with just the dates on it, they said, "That is odd!"
Thanks for the letter 'friend' and I appreciate you telling me how much you enjoy the column.
Markland Baptist had a wonderful event for the ladies of the church, hosted by Melissa Park; Julie Hazeldean catered a fantastic dinner for us. We played a Bible Trivia game, feasted on the delicious food, and enjoyed a wonderful fellowship. Kudos to you girls; you did a great job and it was a real joy attending.
One Saturday evening, the church held a 'weenie roast' with a big fire (where I got a little 'scorched' roasting my marshmallows for som'ores (what the heck, you already knew I couldn't spell), but boy oh boy, did they ever taste good.
Sunday morning we had a 'fill-in' preacher (whose name I couldn't even pronounce, let alone spell - his first name was Dan) and he provided us with a wonderful sermon. He had his wife, son, and his parents came with him (they were from Missouri) and they were all lovely folks. Pastor Bobby and Melanie with daughter Emma Lynn, are on vacation visiting with family in California. They will be back home before you are reading this. Howard H. sang the most beautiful song called, I think, "Your Grace Still Amazes Me". Howard's talent is a blessing to our little church.
Patty and Bruce Williams are back from their trip to Italy; Patty told me they had a wonderful time (but their Spanish studies didn't help out much with Italian) but a tollbooth 'ate' Patty's credit card (they got it back.)
Bruce told us that so many people over there think Americans live in a big park because we have so much 'space' here; most everywhere they went, Bruce said, was so crowded together, many houses even touching each other and very few yards.
The roads were narrow and they drive very fast, passing on extremely narrow roads; Patty told us that their cars even have 'side mirrors' that fold in because sometimes there is only two inches of space between passing cars, and it is thousands of feet down if you go off the road. (Patty said after driving over there she wasn't worried about driving on Cole Road anymore.) She said over there they have some 'pullovers' along the highways (maybe where you can recover from your heart attack after being passed.)
Bruce thought the highlight of the trip was the wonderful art museums they visited, and the statues and fountains.
Sam, Cyndi, and Josh, were over for vegetable soup (you know I can't make a small pot of that) and we all enjoyed it; I sent the biggest part home with them.
On another day, we had a pot of chili; Cyndi and Josh were stacking wood and Sam was 'weed whacking' (just about everything that was taller than the grass - he doesn't differentiate between flowers and weeds, but it does look neat.) All that work made the chili taste extra good. Rodney dropped Jessica off here with the girls (Cyndi Jo and Madison) and we had a nice visit; Cyndi Jo is starting to crawl now, she is growing like a weed. Jessica said she has a 'real' temper and holds her breath to get her way - I don't envy them her 'teenage' years.
Josh told me that the High School Marching Band took first place in their competition in Seymour (Josh plays the big drum, among other things.) Congratulations to all the Band members and Mrs. Beitzel for all their hard work in accomplishing this outstanding honor; you are all stars in our community 'crown'. Thanks too for all those that support the Band.
Frank and Donna Miller celebrated their 19th wedding anniversary on the 9th of October (boy, I can't believe that much time has passed.) We had several birthdays in October: Ginny Reeves (6th), Joy Hazeldean (6th), Penny Christman (10th), Josh Hazeldean (11th), Jeanne Bragg (12th), and Micha Perry (14th). Congratulations to all of you and we pray the next year will be filled with God's sweet blessings for you and yours.
We got in a few Bridge games and as usual, enjoyed them immensely; the food was great, the fellowship fun, and the Bridge games got kind of exciting at times, especially when you are trying to make a high bid. We get in a lot of laughter at our games.
Several families in our community are grieving the loss of a loved ones: Carolyn Green's aunt Ruth passed away, Robert (Bob) Baatz went home to the Lord, Buddy Swanson was laid to rest, Charlotte Kroening's brother, and there were many others. As we extend our sympathy to family members and friends, please remember these folks in your conversations with the Lord this month.
Phil Kroening was air-lifted to the hospital in Cincinnati this past week with heart problems but is back home now; Charlotte said he is on a very activity restricted level and is having trouble complying with the doctor's orders.
Debbie Bruce wanted us to pray for Ron Kilmer (heart problems), a co-worker of hers; remember also Marci Leap's aunt Betty Mishler (and her family as they contend with her situation) and Marci's aunt Ruth Lohide (Ruth is home now and needs God's support in healing.) Howard told us Sunday morning that his dad, Eldric H. is not doing very well and has a lot of pain (don't forget Joy either), also Mary Davenport, Vandora Bennett, and Louise Rayles, need prayer.
Mike Miller was rushed to the E.R. at King's Daughters' Hospital and is now in Swiss Villa for on-going treatments (his doctor told Patty that it should be at least six weeks.) Patty was pretty exhausted when I talked to her so be sure to mention her to the Lord also.
Prayer was asked for unsaved family and friends, strained relationships between family members and friends and that God's would prevail in the elections (don't forget to vote - its' important; many Americans have fought and died for your right to do so; never let their sacrifice be in vain.)
We have been 'reviewing' past lessons in our Spanish Class at the 'Y'; seems like we have forgotten a few things - imagine that. Professora Evelyn West is very patient with us - we have the 'fiesta-ing' part down pretty good but the language is a little more difficult.
Ron and Jean Sandidge have been working to 'clean out' his mother's residence as she is moving to a facility where she can get more care.
Over the school break, Peggy Eckerty traveled to South Dakota to visit with her 'other' mom; I haven't had a change to sit down and talk with her since she got back but I know she enjoyed the visit.
Jessi Martin took my great-grandson (Michael and Jessi's son) Weston Martin (born with cataracts - he is three now), to the doctor and he got a really good report. He still has to take the eye drops but if you are ever around him, you wouldn't know he had a problem in the world. He is a regular 'Dennis-the-menace" and full of energy - as are his two brothers (Elijah and Landon.)
Saturday evening, the whole family dressed up for Halloween, (dad Michael was a partly peeled banana, mom Jessi was a very cute lion, Elijah and Weston wore Ninja costumes, and little Landon was a Holstein cow (he was so cute). Aunt Kym was a clown (her make-up was fantastic), uncle Aaron went as Hannibal Lector, Dion and his friends went with them but I don't know what you would call their outfits. After 'T. and T.', they all came back to Mary and Mike's for a chili supper.
After the ladies event, "Fall Into Faithfulness" at church, Julie H. went on a short, kind of spontaneous vacation to Myrtle Beach (her favorite vacation spot - good thing it was before 'Sandy' started up the coast) with friends. She is home and back 'in the groove' now.
Jeanne and Rusty Bragg had a short vacation (Jeanne was sort of celebrating the end of the 'Weenie Wagon' (German Corner) season; the season usually runs from spring to fall and it is always a relief when it is over. They visited a colonial town on the east coast and Patty told me they really enjoyed themselves just sightseeing, staying in old-fashioned inns, and eating in colonial restaurants.
Wilma and I have visited back and forth a few times but we don't go as much as we used to; we do a lot of our shopping at the Cash Saver store now and don't travel as much to Madison. I am very grateful to have the new store; it is convenient (saves a lot of gas), clean, friendly, and has a good selection.
Thanks to everyone that worked to make it possible for us to have this nice store here. Before it came, Ron Sandidge once commented that you have to travel 20 or 30 miles just to get the ingredients for a green salad; I know we are not the only ones that appreciates the new store.
In Isaiah 40:27-31, it says, "Oh Israel ( read Christian), how can you say the Lord does not see your troubles? How can you say God refuses to hear your case? Have you never heard or understood? Don't you know that the Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth? He never grows faint or weary. No one can measure the depths of His understanding. He gives power to those who are tired and worn out; He offers strength to the weak. Even youths will become exhausted, and young men will give up. But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint."
God never fails to remember those who put their trust in Him.
Okay, so why do bad things happen to good people, people that do know and trust in Him?
Mankind had it perfect in the Garden of Eden but then made the choice to sin; God gives us free choice - and many times we screw it up and make bad choices. Sometimes we suffer the consequences of others' bad choices. Why do the innocent suffer?
I don't know the answer to those questions but I do know the Lord and I know that He has all the answers, knows us far better than we know ourselves...and still loves us in spite of the rotten lives we often live. His mercy is beyond our comprehension. When we repent and confess our sins He forgives us...and forgets our transgressions. After we accept Jesus Christ, God never leaves us, even when we stray away from Him. Think about it.
Well friends, I have got to bring in some wood and build up the fire; I want to can some meat this afternoon (best tasting 'fast food' there is, just open up a can, throw it over some rice (or noodles, or potatoes) and you have a 'fast' really good tasting meal.)
The friend that wrote me the letter, ended it with a lovely old Irish blessing: "May the wind always be at your back and may you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows you are dead."
Until next week, may the Lord cause His face to shine on you, to bless you and keep you safe from harm; may He lift up His countenance and give you heart-peace. Amen.