Markland News 8-22-13

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Hey friends, how are you doing? Hasn’t the weather so far this summer been delightful; I was hoping it would continue but I think ‘summer’ is back, you know, hot/humid/horrid – oh well, makes the tomatoes and beans ‘come on’ better. Like Gram Gant used to say, “It is a dark cloud indeed that doesn’t have a silver lining somewhere…but sometimes you have to search a little harder for it.” Gram was a real ‘corker’.

I tried to get the column out last week but you know where I live, the ‘breakdown/blow up/fall off/ leaky/found on the road dead’ house. The computer went down (or something) and I had to get grandson William to fix it (I would have said repair it but that would be expecting too much, a ‘fix’ was as much as I could get – hey, at least it works…for now.)

Sons, Mike and Sam, got the mower ‘fixed’ and since I hadn’t mowed for two weeks (with all our nice rain, you know what that meant.) I thought if I couldn’t mow for another week, maybe I could advertise safari hunts, give folks a whip and a chair and send them out in the ‘jungle’.

Patty Miller said Christmas (the cat) has a howl like a demented banshee and if she were out there, people would think there was a horrible monster after them.

Patty spent the night a couple of weeks ago and during the night, Christmas let out her peculiar hair-raising howl and Patty almost fell off the bed. It does sound horrible.

Naturally, after I got through mowing, there was enough cut grass laying out to kill whatever was trying to grow under it (I had enough ‘hay’ to make Ronnie Ray jealous because his hay field didn’t have as much – just joking, he had a little more than I did), so it had to be raked.

Now raking an acre and a half of bumpy, up/down hillside presented no small chore for this old woman but not to worry on my behalf, I had help. Seven little dwarfs came running (ok, so maybe they weren’t dwarfs but they were short.) My six little neighbors, all under the age of six (Brooklyn, Miley, McKenzie, Maison, Emma, and Maria) and one more, Taylor Lyon (she is a little older), jumped in to ‘help’ me.

The real draw of course was playing in the piles of grass and dropping it in the wagon for the trip to the garden (on top of the hill) to spread it as mulch (little Maria [one and a half years old] would get one handful dropped in and drop three more on the outside of the wagon, but believe me, she was proud of herself; she was working just like the big kids.)

The best part of all was when the wagon was empty three kids could jump in the wagon and get pulled (by the mower) around the yard, hollering whoopee, giddy-up, and other words to that effect. Naturally since there were seven, they had to take turns and Maria thought she should get every turn…and was hard to convince otherwise. In the end, most of the grass got picked up and the kids had a good time, a definite ‘win/win’ situation. Actually I had fun too.

Congratulations go out to Mike and Mary Martin celebrating 35 years of marriage on the 19th; they went out to dinner at Red Lobster to celebrate. Then Mike took her to the Christian Book Store in Florence and let her shop (he didn’t understand how anyone could spend that much time in such a little shop. Let me tell you though, you do not want to have to wait for him if he goes into a lumber store…take a book, that is what I do.

Bunch of birthdays in August: Alex Turner celebrated his 16th birthday on the 1st (six months to driver’s license – boys big birthday), Debbie Bruce and Paulette Barnes both on the 4th, Marci Leap on the 12th, Jennie Simpkins on the 19th, Dana Carter on 24th, Daniel Mangold on the 27th, Charlotte Kroening and Jeff Mullins Jr. on the 28th.

We pray each of you will have a day filled with joy and a year to follow with an abundance of God’s sweetest blessings; Happy Birthday!

Pastor Bobby and family will be gone next week; they are going to visit his family in Washington, DC, and in his absence, we will have one of our congregation leading the worship service. Michael Carter has been intermittently leading the Wednesday night Bible Study; he is nervous about the ‘preaching’ assignment so say a little prayer for him. Pastor said there are two things that most Americans are afraid of, death and public speaking; and public speaking comes first. Most people are more afraid of public speaking than death…ok, I said most. We are proud of Michael.

The Bible speaks of two of God’s promises that I particularly love: in several places God says, through His inspired prophets that, “If you will be My people, I will be your God.” (That infers that you will love Him: Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey my commandments.”) And, “If you will return to Me, I will return to you.” No matter where you are in your life, no matter what you have done in the past, repent (be sincerely sorry for your sins and ask Him for forgiveness), turn to God and He will forgive you and take you in/back. How much more can anyone ask.

Markland Baptist is gearing up to honor our 125th anniversary with a ‘Homecoming’ celebration on September 21st and 22nd from noon to about five on Saturday with a big picnic, the Anniversary Worship Service will start at 3 until about 4, followed with ice cream and cake. There will be games and other stuff for the children and fellowship social for the adults. More about this next column.

Around the last week of July, I came down with what I believe was a case of the old-fashioned flu; I haven’t been that sick in years (yes, I had a flu shot but that doesn’t cover all the different strains of flu.) High fever, splitting headache, spewing from both ends, aches and pains (even my hair and teeth hurt), it lasted for almost a week then cleared up but left me weak as a day old kitten and nervous as a three-legged cat in a rocking chair factory. I am better now, still slightly nutty but that is my usual condition..

Have you been following David Hewitt’s column; I am really enjoying his stories. I don’t hunt (except for my glasses, keys, etc.) but am looking forward to the next segment of his column regarding his hunting trip. He is a good writer and makes you feel like you are there with him.

Got my garden in late and stuff is just coming on; gathered in some crookneck squash, sliced them up, dredged them in flour, and fried them in butter. Wow, were they ever good. I don’t think I planted enough of them…next year. Neighbor Savannah wanted some green tomatoes to fry but I told her she had to wait until I got the first ripe one; I took her some green ones yesterday. Lots of cucumbers, she is going to make pickles; she always gives me a jar or two.

The peaches had too much rain to be really sweet, so the kids ate most of them. Too much rain dilutes the sweetness in peaches and the grapes were not as sweet as usual, same reason. The apples are delicious this year (and lots of them) and I am frying some for supper tonight.

Bridge through the summer is pretty much a ‘catch as catch can’ thing and we have had only a few games; I am looking forward to getting back to that pleasure as fall looms and of course, watching football. The Bengals have won the first two of their pre-season games; I have great hopes for them.

The weather, all around the country, has been unusual this year (which is the under-statement of the year, for some, it has been a ‘black as the devil’s dreams); floods and mud slides and drought and fires. Remember all the victims in your prayers; they are really having it hard. It will effect all of us through the food prices this winter as so many crops are/have been destroyed.

Dropped in to see Patty Miller and it was like a convention at her place: Mary Sides, Jennie Simpkins, Mindy Otter and son Traiton, and Debbie Simpkins, and me – it made a porch-full. I enjoyed the conversation and Jennie reminded me that her birthday was coming up (she was hinting for a chocolate cake); I have one coming out of the oven in a few minutes.

Debbie Turner came over after she closed the shop (Ridge Top Consignment) Saturday evening to visit. We sat out on the deck yakking until the mosquitoes ran us in. We caught up on all the ‘news’; she told me that she was going to close up the shop on October 22nd (depending on the weather) for the season and wouldn’t open again until April 1st (again depending on the weather.)

Ana Slover is expecting to have shoulder surgery next month; Rita Green has been visiting kids in Missouri and Georgia; Carolyn is getting over a broken ankle bone; most of the Bridge club has been otherwise occupied – come on Fall (not winter, mind you.)

Eldric Hazeldean had a fall, no broken bones, but had to go to the hospital to get over it. So remember both he and Joy in your prayers please; the last six months have been medically hard on them.

Earl Jackson (Jade Mullins’ grandfather and a friend of Mike’s) is going through some tough medical issues so remember him also.

Garrett Kent (Melissa and Marty’s grandson) completed Basic Training in Texas and is headed for special training in his field. Kali Carfield (Navy) has been taking special training in Washington.

There were many praises to God for His loving provision for His children in health, employment, and other life experiences; thank you Father.

On a Martha Stewart PBS program, she made a delicious looking New York Cheesecake; complicated and expensive but maybe for a special occasion, like Christmas, I think I will try it. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Susie Chatham is still at the Mayo Clinic undergoing treatment and her Mom, Betty Williams, is having some medical problems herself; please keep these two ladies in your prayers too.

Wilma Turner went to a foot doctor for a problem with her left foot; the doctor seemed to have a good grasp of the condition and recommended a brace to correct (or maybe deflect worse problems in the future) for her condition.

Debbie Bruce’s father is having some medical issues and so is Michael Carter’s father; remember all these in your prayers please.

We had several ‘unspoken requests’ and some of our congregation were traveling (or about to); prayers for families grieving lost loved ones and friends and especially for those separated from God. One young lady requested prayer for her Grandma Gail (she didn’t know what the problem was but she was worried about her.)

My niece Kris Parker and her daughters, Rylee and McKenna, were here for a couple of days from Tallahassee and we had a nice visit…but it was too short.

Son Frank called and said that their daughter Kristie Skidmore was beginning college to become a vet this week in KY and daughter Jeni Gibson was still in the nursing program at Ivy Tech. Josh Carr starts also starts college this week in the nursing program (or the preliminary to it anyway.) Sounds like the grandkids are off to a good start; please remember them, and the rest of the kids/adults in their educational endeavors. Don’t forget the teachers, here and everywhere else; they are molding the future.

Well friends, I have to get Jennie’s cake put together and get to town with it so until the next time, may the Lord watch between me and thee and keep you safe under the shadow of His wings.