Saturday, May 29, 2010

Remember Me (not a problem)

She brings the pail of water and the rags, and she stores the flowers and flags for all of us...and she honors our loved ones each year. She goes from town to town to town, still caring for those who have gone on before. She teaches me how to take care of those we love. Mom loved flowers, Dad loved the red, white and blue. She remembers.

Sister Linda teaches her granddaughter not to fear the cemetery, to care for and about this place that holds our loved ones. They talk about Grandma, forever alive in our hearts. Joselyn was very small when Grandma went home, but she remembers.....

We take our grandsons to the cemetery too and teach them about death and about new life. They wave up at the sky, to the particulary bright, twinkling stars and say, "Hi, Grandma Nichols! Hi, Grandpa George! Hi Uncle Ryan! Hi Grandpa Jim! Love you!" They know about loss. They know about remembering. They know and will tell you..."Your body goes in the ground, but your heart goes to Jesus".

I drive from place to place. I take pictures. I remember. I share with you.
Remember me...not a problem.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Lifetime's Not Too Long

A little town along the interstate kept calling my name. It kept beckoning me. I kept seeing the signs. I read, "Harlan 11 miles". That wasn't so far off my path. It has been many years. I needed to get some "Candi". I made the call, and we visited, just as we often do. She was home. My hand made the turn of the wheel and I was on my way.

I am SURE there were those who thought I was a stalker, but it was just me, a crazy woman who stops and takes pictures of signs. I wasn't sure if I remembered how to find my way.

Not so different from ordinary towns.....a nice car wash.....

A Subway....

I even asked a nice couple for directions. They must have believed me when I was able to produce the name of someone I was searching for, and I could go so far as to tell them the address of this person, and that, in my memory, the house in question was very "near downtown".

There is was, exactly the address I remembered. Exactly where I remembered it...sort of....but, as I said, it was very near "downtown".

I parked across the street, tiptoed to the door, knocked and hid, just like a neighborhood child. No one answered. I knocked again and assumed my position behind a tree. When I grew tired of this game, I entered the porch and knocked on the inside door. Someone opened the door, and in my surprise and my attempt to hide behind the nearest coat rack, I missed the perfect photo opportunity. Laughter, shock, shrieks, more laughter.... "Carol, what are you doing here?"

Meet college roommate. That would be 30 some years ago in 308 East Bonebreak. We ate a lot of popcorn, yelled out the window as our friends were making the diagonal path to and from the Commons, ran out together in the fire drills in the middle of the night, danced for dystrophy, ate some greasy sandwiches at the truck stop, had late night ice cream at the Student Union, tried to have a Christmas tree that shed nearly ALL its needles in our room, made it through several unrequited romances, shed many tears together, danced at some dance place downtown that I can't remember the name of, and had some infamous "Herb's" Hotdogs. We went to Thoren, to Dubs,to Weidler, Wernli, Centennial, Memorial, the Commons, did our laundry in a tiny little campus laundrymat, sang and went to lectures in Kime, Candi worked at the library, I worked at the food service for Fawzy. We sang the Westmar Fight Song..."We sing the glory or Westmar College, the school that stood for loyalty. And now we praise thee, all honor to thee, that all the world can plainly see. We stand beside thee with one accord, we all now say: Three cheers for the blue and white. For thee we'll always fight! Live on our college for aye!"

Westmar revisited, 1988 in front of "Westy"

Probably the last time we were all together, Candi, Yvonne, Peg, Pat, Beth and I. Peggy and Jeff were married on campus on our Graduation Day in 1980.

Candi...I can still smell the Windsong, hear "Freebird", and see her trudging to the showers with her slippers and her shower pail. 30 years and I can still call and talk to her. She has shared my joys and my sorrows. She shared in my wedding and I in hers. She has been with me as my children were born, my grandchildren were born, and as I said goodbye to my mama. They even made the trip for our son's wedding 6 years ago.

Candi and Rich became parents in 1984 when Nicholas was born EXACTLY one year to the day after we had our first son, Brandon.

During another visit in 1990, the boys got to drive Nick and Ashley's car.
Candi and I remembered that visit and I was able to find the pictures to prove it!

Candi and Rich

I am so, so, so happy I took the time and the extra miles to visit this friend. I got lots of laughs, lots of hugs, and I want to thank you, Candi, for your friendship for all of these years. I am so blessed to call you my friend.

Until we meet again, always remember, "A lifetime's not to long to live as friends"!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Happy Birthday Christi!

Meet Christi. She is having a birthday today and she will soon become my daughter in law.
I guess that is only in the legal sense and the biblical sense, as she has been such an important part of our lives for over 5 years.

She schlepped all across this country, following a boy...MY boy, as he played football in college, as he tried scheme after scheme to make it in the business world, and now, she is beside him as he is showing his true resolve with his very own business. He truly is....."The Cell Phone Guy"!

She has shown her determination and her loyalty in standing by him. Here they are in their high school beginnings, over 5 years ago.

She is able to "put up with Marissa" and that isn't easy!
Here, she is, "putting up with" Marissa-

....and again

...and again....

This birthday may not compare to last year's celebration as she was flown off to Vegas to celebrate a huge milestone in her life and came home with another "stone" and a promise to marry Tyler this June.

I love you, Christi, and want you know know, that as a new "mother", I will do my best to let you go and let you grow. You have proven to me how right you are for our son and I know it was meant to be. On this birthday, I am well aware that you are not my own child, but will soon become my "daughter" anyway. AND, I want you to know that although you "did not grow under my have grown in it"!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Consider the "Lilies"

I had the opportunity to do a photo shoot at Orange City, Iowa, well known for their tulips and their "Tulip Festival". The flowers were in all their glory with the cool weather and ample rains. While I have been longing for some sunshine to bring me up in spirit, these flowers have been thriving and reaching up...perhaps just as we need to do...wait, do not worry, do not despair...sunshine is coming...

Remind me, Lord. I do not need to toil or spin, but just to "consider the lilies"! Amazing! Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin.Matthew 6:28

Song of Solomon 2:13 "Arise, my love, my beautiful one,and come away, for behold, the winter is past.
This is part of a love story. This passage uses the fragrance of "blossoming vines" to beautify the text and add sensual images to the love poem.

Song of Solomon 2:12 The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.

Song of Solomon 5:13 His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers: his lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh.

Song of Solomon 6:2-3 My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies. I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine: he feedeth among the lilies.

Psalms 103:15 As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.

Matthew 6:29
And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these

.Isaiah 40:8 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

Perhaps in one of the most well-known New Testament references to flowers, Matthew 6:28-29 compares the care God shows in providing for the lilies with the care God shows in providing for his people. The language is beautiful, saying that the lilies are even more beautiful than King Solomon himself, and if God cares that much for a flower that will perish in a day, imagine how much more he will care for his people.

And NOW, for Tyler and Christi, who have waited to be together for nearly 6 years. Their wedding day is soon to be upon us and I am so happy for them. This mother of the groom is most definitely NOT wearing beige!

The Bridegroom speaks to his Bride:

1 How beautiful you are, my darling!
Oh, how beautiful!
Your eyes behind your veil are doves.
Your hair is like a flock of goats
descending from Mount Gilead.

2 Your teeth are like a flock of sheep just shorn,
coming up from the washing.
Each has its twin;
not one of them is alone.

3 Your lips are like a scarlet ribbon;
your mouth is lovely.
Your temples behind your veil
are like the halves of a pomegranate.

6 Until the day breaks
and the shadows flee,
I will go to the mountain of myrrh
and to the hill of incense.

7 All beautiful you are, my darling;
there is no flaw in you.

9 You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride;
you have stolen my heart
with one glance of your eyes,
with one jewel of your necklace.

10 How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride!
How much more pleasing is your love than wine,
and the fragrance of your perfume than any spice!
Song of Solomon 4