Hello friends, hope your week has been a good one. We certainly had enough rain Saturday night and Sunday; my gauge has just under two inches in it and it sure beat the peonies down, which have bloomed earlier than usual this year…so what else is new, ha.
At this rate, by Decoration Day (Memorial Day to you young people), there won’t be any peonies left to put on the graves. Peonies were the favorite flowers that folks used to decorate family graves with and they always bloomed about the end of May.
Many years ago, families would get together, pick lots of peonies (and other flowers but there didn’t used to be a lot of others in bloom back then as I remember, maybe some flags (iris) or honeysuckle), and make up large picnic baskets. Parents gathered up all the kids, grandparents, (and as many neighbors as wanted to come) and everyone spent the day at the cemeteries, visiting with each other, putting flowers on the graves, and remembering all those that have ‘gone before’.
I can remember back in the early ’40s’, some still came with horse drawn wagons loaded up with food and kids (that was during the war, gas was rationed); there were always a few cars, with ‘running boards’, that would go slow through the cemetery with us kids ‘riding the boards’. One ‘mom’ or another would be screaming for us to get off before we broke our necks, which we couldn’t hear over our laughter.
Several families were sure to bring ice cream buckets, with all the ingredients, and us kids would fight to see who got to ‘turn the crank’. Even though several other commodities were rationed (like sugar and butter), women always found a way to proudly bring their favorite cakes and pies. Days long past and kept alive by precious memories and things seemed to be more simple back then.
Mother’s Day was another day that was celebrated a lot differently then from now, at least for most folks. Children would come from far and near to honor their mothers, grandmothers, and many times, great-grandmothers, reliving the past and speculating (sometimes bragging) about the present and planning the future. Naturally the day was filled with lots of good food, tables and sideboards would be groaning with platters stacked high with every kind of goodies imaginable.
Ways of doing things have changed; families are often separated and located in different, and far away, parts of the country (years ago most families lived, and died, [those that didn’t live in cities of course] in the same general area), big dinners are very expensive to prepare (few people have any money to spare these days), and people seem to feel differently than they used to about celebrations…and family. In any case, I hope that all mothers in our community had a wonderful Mother’s Day with the hopes of many more to come.
Mary Martin got lovely flower bouquets from daughter Kym and partner Aaron, and son Michael and wife Jessi; Jessi (Michael is still in Wyoming working) and the boys took Mike and Mary out to supper on Saturday evening and visited again Sunday afternoon. I stopped in, coming home from Sam and Cyndi’s, and Elijah and Weston wished me a Happy Mother’s Day; Landon just sat on Papaw’s lap eating his candy.
The Ledbetters (Rodney, Jessica, Madison, and Cyndi Jo) celebrated with Cyndi Carr (and Sam too) on Saturday afternoon. Cyndi and Sam had me over for a steak cookout Sunday after church (yes, Sam grilled out in the rain but we did eat inside and it was delicious.) Sam got Cyndi two huge baskets of geraniums and some petunias.
Mike and Mary and I went to church (all the ladies got a pot of geraniums) and Pastor had a wonderful sermon taken from Samuel about hope; it was very thought provoking and inspirational. Even though the lights were off (electric was out for three or four hours Sunday all over this end of the county – it was very low light [remember it was raining and cloudy] and very peaceful in church); however, the sermon was so interesting that I didn’t see anybody start to ‘nod’ off (I am sure Pastor Bobby appreciated that.)
The Kentucky branch of the family called Sunday evening and everyone is doing okay down there; Donna is continuing to heal from her accident and the kids are all okay. Frank is still working on the ‘ground’ cranes; he will take his ‘apprenticeship’ on the high (on top of skyscrapers) cranes later this year.
No Bridge game last week because several of the girls were out of town for various reasons, no Bridge this week either. Rita is out of town, Carolyn has doctor’s appointments, Ana has business appointments, I fell on the stairs (I am okay, but moving very slowly and sporting some ‘new’ colors), and that doesn’t leave enough players to have a game.
Spanish Friday was fun as usual; Jean Sandidge made the comment that the ‘junior (beginner’s) Spanish class’ was a lot different than the ‘senior class’; the ‘junior’ class is all business and the ‘senior’ class is a lot more social.
Let us kindly remember that ‘socialization’ (along with exercise and learning a foreign language or musical instrument) is one of the top recommendations of the government for keeping ‘seniors’ healthy, mentally alert, and out of nursing homes – see how great we are doing.
Cindy Anderson told us Sunday morning that her father Norris Works is doing so much better; she stopped in to see her folks before coming to church Sunday. Cindy said Norris was able to drive to church himself this week and that was a big improvement. She wanted to thank everyone for their prayers in his behalf.
Betty Williams and Charlotte Kroening were both back safe from trips Sunday; Charlotte had been in Indianapolis visiting family and attending a baby shower and Betty was in Florida celebrating the birth of her new great-grandson (she brought pictures to show us, he is so cute.)
Our sympathies go our to grieving families in our community especially to Mr. Jackson in the loss of his mother (Shyla Prince’s teacher) and to the family of Brandon Miller, and the many others suffering the pain of lost loved ones.
Debbie Bruce wanted us to remember Chip Henderson in our prayers this week and also her (for business traveling) and especially husband James (he is home with the girls, keeping the ‘home-fires’ burning.) Remember in your prayers also, our shut-ins: Louise Rayles, Vandora Bennett, Bob Baatz, and Mary Davenport (all of whom wish they could be attending church with us and we miss them as they miss us.
We asked Howard how Joy and Eldric Hazeldean were doing and he said, “Only fair”; don’t forget to mention Joy and Eldric to the Lord as you speak to Him this week. We still have several folks traveling and many others in our congregation and in our ‘friend circle’, that are seeking jobs; there are so many folks that are out of work these days; do remember them also please.
Granddaughter Kym Martin travels to Hershey, Pennsylvania, this coming weekend for the National competition for theatrical make-up; remember Kym for a safe trip and success. We had some unspoken requests and petitions for prayer for unsaved loved ones and for service personnel and their families, please join us in praying for these also.
Kyle Perry told me that he and Micha had listened to a very moving sermon by John Piper entitled, “Don’t Waste Your Life”, and he wanted to share some of the key points with us.
Your life is a gift given to you by God and He wants you to use it to glorify Him; that is our purpose for living.
What do you value most in your life? “Where your treasure is, there your heart is also.” In the final end, when you stand before God at the Judgment Seat, what will really matter, what will be the most important thing then?
Don’t waste your life chasing after ‘things’: power, money, social status, popularity, etc.; as a Christian we are commanded to love God first and our neighbor (everyone else) second.
In today’s world, if you don’t have ‘things’, you are considered as nothing, a failure, but in God’s eyes, these ‘things’ are rubbish. The apostle Paul said that ‘things’ last only for a lifetime and then you face eternity…and you can’t take one single ‘thing’ with you.
Every single person will ‘stand’ before God at the Judgment Seat and the most important ‘thing’ will be the decision you make in this life about Christ, whether you accept or reject Him.
Have you accepted Christ as your own personal Savior, confessed and repented of your sins, believed that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that He died on the cross (paying the required penalty for our sins), and rose from the dead on the third day to sit at the right hand of God the Father; this then is the most important decision (thing) we can make/have.
In the end, salvation through Jesus Christ is the most valuable, and only ‘thing’, we can take with us when we leave this mortal life. Think about it and see what ‘things’ are important to you and thanks Kyle for sharing with us.
With the weather jumping back and forth so much, it is kind of hard for me to figure out my timetable for ‘traditional doings’, like spring cleaning (or at least as much as I am prone to do – and as I am sure you guessed, that is not too much…I’d rather ‘play’ out in the dirt with my flowers and stuff.
In any case, I was cleaning out some ‘stuff’ and came across Gram Gant’s recipe for Lemon cake; it tasted great, especially refreshing in hot weather, and would last for a long time in the fridge, not hard to make…now what more can you ask.
Three cups of flour
Two tsp. Baking powder
One-half tsp. Salt
One-half pound butter (two sticks – room temperature)
Two cups sugar
One cup milk
Finely grated peel of two lemons
One-third cup lemon juice
Three-quarters cup confectioner’s sugar.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease (she used butter) and flour a 9, or 10 inch, tube pan (bundt pan); Gram would sometimes butter and then dust the pan with finely crumbled cookies (shortbread, ginger snaps, sugar, snicker doodles, or anything else she had handy that she thought would go with, or complement, lemon.)
Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together and set aside. Cream butter and sugar, add eggs (one at a time, beating well after each addition), then alternately add the dry ingredients and milk. Beat until smooth then, stir in lemon rind. Pour into a pan and bake for one hour or until cake springs back when pressed (ovens vary, so check it after fifty minutes.)
Let the cake ‘stand’ in the pan for ten minutes then, invert it on a raised rack to finish cooling. Put some aluminum foil under the rack and during the ten minutes it is ‘standing’ in the pan, mix together the lemon juice and confectioner’s sugar (do not heat, just stir it smooth.)
After you put the cake on the cooling rack, drizzle or brush, the lemon/sugar mixture over the top and down the sides (don’t forget to put the foil under the rack or you will have a mess that only the ants will appreciate.) This is really good and will keep a long time…if folks don’t gobble it up right away; I’ve never tried freezing it but it might/should do very well.
Incidentally using orange rind and orange juice works just as well if you don’t care for lemon. I like to add finely ground pecans (toasted first of course) with the dry ingredients. You can use the same base recipe and a lot of different fruits/condiments; have fun experimenting (the birds love all our mistakes.)
I also found this advice from an old l920/30 cookbook from Jewel Tea: “To keep bananas from turning black quickly, wrap them carefully in wax paper, and place in a mechanical refrigerator; they should keep for about two weeks.” Actually I usually put my bananas in the fridge without wrapping them (I just found this advice and haven’t tried it yet) and the skins turn black but the inside stays firm and nice.
You can also slice fresh bananas, place the slices on wax paper and freeze; when they are frozen, take them out and put them in a freezer baggie and eat them like candy. They are even sweeter frozen than they are fresh.
Until next week my prayer for each of you is that 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 peace. Amen.