Friday, July 02, 2004

Thanks to Ashley, I discovered a new "meme" called Friday's Feast. Join me in answering the questions if you like...and happy FRIDAY!!!!

Name a board game you enjoy playing (Scrabble? Monopoly? Trivial Pursuit?) What's fun about it? Do you change the rules or go by the book?--I love Trivial Pursuit, but it's been ages since I played it! My husband and I make a killer team, because I handle literature and entertainment, while he handles science and sports. I also enjoy Scrabble, but I'm not as good at it as you might think. It's not really about having a good vocabulary; it's about knowing all kinds of strange words that are worth lots of points! Before my husband's stepmom became ill with Alzheimer's, she was a killer at Scrabble...pretty much unbeatable. When I started beating her at Scrabble, I knew something was wrong.

How's the weather been in your area lately? Hot and dry? Wet and muggy? Stormy? Beautiful? --"Beautiful" would pretty accurately describe it. Highs no higher than the low 80's, without too much humidity. As I understand it though, we're in for a few days of rain and thunderstorms, even a chance of it on the 4th.

Do you consider yourself an emotional person? What types of emotions do you experience most often?--Uh....YES. Yes indeedy. I experience pretty much the full gamut of emotions, usually pretty intensely. My Irish heritage, my Mediterranean heritage, or my Latin heritage...or a combination of all three???

Main Course

List 3 songs you've been listening to recently. Are these songs from a different category of music than you usually choose, or are you devoted to a certain type of tunes?--I listen to mostly Christian music, but will venture out of that genre for music that I think is beautiful and worthwhile. Here are a few I've been listening to lately?--

1)Mercy Me's "Here with Me"---here are a few of the lyrics:

"...I can feel your presence here with me
Suddenly I’m lost within your beauty
Caught up in the wonder of your touch
Here in this moment I surrender to your love"

2) My daughter bought "The Late Great PFR" on a sale rack recently, and I really love their "That Kind of Love":

"...where does that kind of love come from? They say that it runs in his blood..."

3) I also enjoy my daughter's Josh Groban CD. Come to think of it, I find myself sneaking her CD's quite a bit!

What's on your refrigerator door? Magnets? Your child's drawings? Photos? Calendars?--Magnets...including several CocaCola magnets because I collect CocaCola stuff. Several pics of my children. An old postcard I sent my son from Nashville once, just because I love Nashville and have happy memories of there. Stuff from Chicago, because I love Chicago. A schedule for the Rockford RiverHawks baseball team. A drawing by one of our friends' twin daughters---don't remember if it was Morgan or Raegan. Years ago, you could find lots of my kids' artwork on the fridge. Remember that old Wayne Watson song, "Watercolor Ponies"?

"There are watercolor ponies on my refrigerator door
And the shape of something I don't really recognize;

Brushed with careful little fingers, and put proudly on display
A reminder to us all, of how time flies.

It seems an endless pile of laundry
And a stairway laced with toys
Gives a blow by blow reminder of the war,
That we fight for their well being; for their greater understanding
To impart a holy reverence for the Lord.

But baby, what will we do when comes back to me and you?
They look a little less like little boys every day.
Oh, the pleasure of watching the children growing
Is mixed with a bitter cup; of knowing the water colour poines...
Will one day.... ride away

And the vision can get so narrow
As you view from your tiny world...
And little victories can go by with no appaluse.
But in the greater evaluation, as they fly from your nest of love;
May they mount up with wings as eages for his His cause.

Still I wonder baby, what will we do.....
When it comes back to me and you.....
They look a little less like little ones every day...
Oh, the pleasure of watching the children growing
Is mixed with a bitter cup; of knowing the Water colour ponies...
Will one day.... , one day..... One day.. ride away."

OK, NOW I'm emotional. Thanks a lot!!! :)

By the way...

My gnews and qnews e-mail seems to be fine now, if anyone needs to e-mail me.

Reminiscing about the great storm of July 2003...

Last year's Fourth of July celebration was followed by a severe storm that uprooted thousands of trees in Rockford, and left our home without electrical power for four days. It just so happened that my son and his girlfriend were visiting, and that was the weekend that he proposed to her. So last year's Fourth was pretty memorable for our family. The following is something I wrote about the whole event, and posted on my website.

July 16, 2003--The Storm, the Ring, and Other Things

Jonathan and Daylyn

The storm
On Friday night, the 4th of July, my husband Doug, daughter Elizabeth, son Jonathan, his girlfriend Daylyn and I sat on a park bench in a factory parking lot in the heart of Rockford, spellbound by the spectacular fireworks display. Doug and Elizabeth had found this particular spot last year, and from this vantage point, it really did seem as if the fireworks were being set off for our personal viewing pleasure. Funny how no matter how old I get, I never tire of a really magnificent fireworks show, and Rockford's really has to be among the best!

Little did we know that the Lord was about to put on his own fireworks display. Around 4:30 the next morning, a powerful storm woke the entire household. Well, I say I woke up...but it was really for just long enough to hear my husband, who was peering out our bedroom windown, say, "Maybe we should all go down to the basement..." I was conscious of the thunder and lightning and the sound of high winds, but that was about it. I mumbled something, rolled over and went back to sleep. Fierce thunderstorms are par for the course in the summertime here, and I thought it was just another storm.

I woke up a few hours later, sweltering. What? No ceiling fan? electricity. The storm had wiped it out for some 80-thousand Com-Ed customers in our area, but that wasn't the extent of the damage. One of the huge old trees in my neighbors front lawn had literally been jerked up by the roots. What a strange enormous tree, leaning over on the front of our neighbor's house, roots literally dangling off the ends.

We got in the car and started driving around the city, (although later we heard the mayor was asking people to stay put as much as possible), and were dumbfounded by what we saw. It was like some kind of green holocaust. Streets so piled up with large tree limbs and branches that they were actually impassable. Huge, venerable old trees toppled over, uprooted, split down the middle or the tops broken off like so many giant matchsticks. Ingersoll Golf Course alone lost over 300 trees to the storm.

Later we found out that the storm had wreaked a wide path of tree and wire damage down the middle of Rockford, whirling its way down the major artery called Auburn Street that's just to the south of our neighborhood. The storm whipped up to over 100 mile an hour winds, and although it lasted barely 15 minutes, it left tree carnage the likes of which I have never seen. Thankfully, trees and power lines were just about the only victims. Not a single human injury or loss of life has been reported. Thank you, God!

The ring
Jonathan and Daylyn headed to downtown Chicago for the day, and when they came back, Daylyn was wearing an engagement ring! We knew this was going to happen, but we were no less thrilled. Doug and I can sense that we are entering a whole new era in our lives. Am I ready to be a mother-in-law? Will I be a good one? I have the examples of my mom and my sister-in-laws to go by. ( I haven't really had the full mother-in-law experience, because Doug's mom died well before we met.)

Jonny did it right. He took Daylyn to the observatory atop the Hancock Center and went down on one knee to pop the question. Now a beautiful diamond in a white-gold setting graces her left hand. Daylyn is a lovely girl, and we already love her! The wedding is set for early January, so the next few months will be exciting as preparations abound.

...and other things
Well...we were without electrical power for almost four full days. I learned one thing: I'm glad I didn't live in the pioneer era. I've been reading a Jane Kirkpatrick series about an Indian woman who helped blaze the trail west in the early 18-hundreds, and my hat's off to those men and women. I found out that I'm truly spoiled. I missed a working refrigerator, being able to blow dry my hair and to read at night (how on earth did Abe Lincoln do it by candlelight?!)...I even, yes, missed watching TV and of course, listening to the radio. Most of all, I missed being able to cool off! Not even a window fan for relief. You just do not realize how dependent you are on electricity until you don't have it!

Speaking of candlelight...I view it in a whole new way now. Candles are great for fragrance and ambience, for evoking a romantic mood, and they certainly are kind to one's appearance--candlelight takes years off your age!--but it's not that great to see by. Ben Franklin and Thomas Alva Edison--guys, I appreciate you as never before!

Well, we survived. And we saw a future daughter-in-law that, as a house guest in a house without electricty, was the epitome of grace under pressure. Daylyn, we can't wait to welcome you into our family!

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