Markland News 2-26-15

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Hey friends, hope today finds you warm (and not living in an igloo) with some laughter in your heart and on your mind. What with one thing and another, I have been remiss in sending in a column; please accept my apologies.

The old adage that ‘time flies’ after fifty is true (in my opinion) and after seventy, it goes at ‘jet speed’. If you are alive (and if you are reading this, I sincerely hope you are), you have the ‘gift of time’. If you are young, probably a lot (no guarantees) and if you are older, maybe not so much. What will you do with whatever time left that God has allotted you?

Time is a gift; how you use your time, determines whether it is a valuable or worthless gift. As humans, we have the innate capacity to change… if we really want to. No matter how badly we have failed in the past, we can change; the gift of time gives us that chance.

Last Wednesday (18th) was Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the 40 days before Easter; a time designated as Lent.

Lent for me is a very exciting time, a time to reflect and commit to improving, or at least trying to change, some things in my life, (much better than the first day of the new year.)

It is, for me, a time of commitment and resolve, a time to appreciate the gifts God has given me and think how to use those gifts better, in ways more pleasing to God. (When you are as, let us be kind and say, ‘yucky’, as I know I can be, that takes a lot of commitment.)

Think about what it means to repent, to renew, to start over again. We should reflect every day of our lives on what we are, what we’re doing, and what we ought to do. We need to make that the ‘fabric’ of our lives. Think about it.

One thing I have resolved to do is to ‘de-clutter’ my house and to donate or recycle what I can and eliminate the non-essentials (within reason of course: I do like my comfort.) I have made a start, took three large bags to the RE-USE Center, gave away a box of pans, and cleaned out one closet. Honestly, it doesn’t look like anything is even gone; I have a long way to go.

Wilma called the other day; she said she just wanted to make sure I was still amongst the living. She told me that she was doing pretty good; daughter Rita Jones and granddaughter Stacy Turner, check on her most evenings, and said that she was ‘snug as a bug in the rug’ in her trailer.

Jan Rayles has gone through several medical procedures, successfully I might add, and says he is doing much better. Jan told me he couldn’t believe how much difference his eye surgeries made to his sight. Wife Gayle was shaking her head in agreement…with a smile on her face.

A friend sent me a neat “10 Minute Chocolate Oatmeal Cookie” recipe that you don’t have to bake:

2 cups sugar

3 Tbs. cocoa

1/2 stick margarine or butter

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup peanut butter

3 cups quick cooking oats

1 tsp. vanilla

Mix together and cook on the stove for two (2) minutes (medium heat) everything except the peanut butter, oats, and vanilla; then stir in the last three ingredients. Drop by spoonfuls on waxed paper; eat in 10 to 15 minutes. Pretty neat huh? As mom would say, “No muss, no fuss, no bother!” I used butter and they came out great.

Our church was canceled Sunday; country roads were just too dangerous. It was kind of ‘dicey’ even going out to feed the birds, and that is only two steps from the door. Based on that, I don’t think I would be very good at skiing and ice-skating is definitely out of the question.

Markland Church had planned a “Parents Night Out” for last Saturday but had to be postponed until better weather. The idea was for parents to bring their children to the church for free babysitting from 5 to 10 p.m. so that parents could have a ‘free’ night to go out (or maybe just sleep) without worrying about the kids. Church was planning to have snacks and games for the kids; we are going to try it again when the weather changes.

We haven’t had Bridge games since last year; shoot, I haven’t even had anybody to play Rummikub with for what seems like forever. Anyone who doesn’t have to get out in this weather, isn’t.

Ana Slover and I have been doing a lot of reading. Both of us especially enjoyed a book (at the Library) called “Bloom & Doom” written by Beverly Allen. One of the great things about this book was the language; your grandmother or granddaughter could read it without polluting their mind with bad language. About the worst word in it was “fiddleheads.”

It is a mystery story, well written, and funny as all get out; at one point, I was laughing so hard I was in danger of having to change my underwear. Mostly I can guess the ‘bad guy/gal’ fairly quickly and both Ana and I tumbled to it a couple of chapters from the end…all but one mystery in the book, both she and I came to the wrong conclusion on that one.

The book is about two cousins raised by their grandmother, opened a flower shop after their grandmother passed away. From there the mystery develops into a funny and good story. Check it out for yourself; it is a good, easy ‘read’.

Another book we both enjoyed was the “Patmos Deception” by Davis Bunn; this book is set in Greece. Naturally it is a mystery too and pretty good.

This weather is conductive to reading…in between shoveling, sliding, possibly a little (or a lot) of whining, and thinking about SPRING!

Ana got a new cell phone and is having a bit of trouble figuring out how to work it. She called Rita Green for help, which she did, with a lot of laughter at/with Ana; even Rita’s husband Gary got in on the laughs just listening to the conversation.

Carolyn Green had carpal tunnel surgery (successful I believe) recently; she has been having a lot of trouble with her wrist for some time. The last time we played Bridge, she had a large cyst on her wrist that was causing her quite a bit of pain.

Our sympathies go out to the Bond/Hunter family in Debbie’s passing. We have lost so many of our ‘shoe’ family.

Remember son Sam was fussing about having to sweep off all the leaves from the deck…well now he is fussing about shoveling the snow off; actually he just likes to fuss. Fortunately he laughs a lot too. He and wife Cyndi took me to town where I stocked up groceries (and library books) between bouts of bad weather.

Want to send out belated birthday wishes (January) to Howard Hazeldean (3rd), Eldric Hazeldean (8th), Peggy Eckerty (15th), Shyla Prince (17th), and Jessie Bruce on the 19th.

February’s birthdays are: Michael Martin (1st), Betty Williams (24th), Cyndi Jo Ledbetter (also on the 24th), Weston Martin (26th), and Judy Judy on the 28th. We wish that each of you will have a year filled with God’s sweetest blessings; Happy Birthday!

I must have been whining a bit when I talked to my niece Kris in Tallahassee a couple of weeks ago because she sent me a little message: “How you can tell when it’s going to be a rotten day!”

You put your bra on backwards…and it fits better.

Your birthday cake collapses from the weight of the candles.

Your twin sister forgot your birthday.

The bird singing outside your window is a buzzard.

Your income tax refund check bounces.

You put both contact lenses in the same eye.

Your pet rock snaps at you.

Your wife says “Good morning, Bill” and your name is George.

Your car horn goes off accidentally and remains stuck as you follow a group of Hell’s Angels on the highway.

And I have to add, you woke up in Boston.

After I finished laughing, I figured out I didn’t have it to bad after all.

Paulette Barnes had broken water pipes last week and Emmett Church has been having some medical problems. When it rains, it pours…or in our case, just keeps snowing.

Pastor Bobby’s dad has his last round of ‘chemotherapy’ and Bobby said he is doing fair. Bobby’s wife Melanie developed ulcers (I told her cabbage juice is the best thing for ulcers.)

Haven’t heard from/about Joy and Eldric lately; working on the premise, no news is good news. Mary Martin has been sick with something; she is better now but told me last night that whatever it was just made her so weak and tired she just didn’t feel like moving. Please remember Frank and Donna Miller in your prayers also.

Peggy Eckerty is recovering well from her fall and broken bones; she has her foot in a ‘soft cast boot’ and I expect the next time I see her (the way the weather has been going), she will probably be ready to run a marathon.

Every time it snows, I think of Julie Hazeldean; that girl really detests the snow. I believe Julie was meant to be a sunny, beach person; she loves the beach. I like the snow, it makes everything clean and bright but even I have had enough this year.

Haven’t been out and about so don’t have much news, or much of anything else, so I will close for now and try to be a little more prompt with my next writing. Until then, may the Lord bless and keep you safe from harm and grant you peace.