Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Much Needed Closure

We all have a need to find closure for the traumatic events in our lives. The move to a new location is generally in the top ten of stress related difficulties in lives. The old house came down ten days ago, and yet I did not revisit the site until a week later. I did the services and interments for both of my parents nine years ago and still have not made a return to that site. I suppose other folks are like I am in the respect that whatever the change it is difficult. This latest change will get easier as I began using the paneling and other stuff that I salvaged from the old house to the new basement. I've even preserved the house number, 1316, to place above the great stairwell leading from the addition to the basement of our project. Healing will come in time. Hopefully before Christmas. The top pic is looking at the old home from the street on Christmas day 2007. The reason I relate the events of the house coming down and the death of my parents is that I originally purchased the house at 1316 for them in '93 when dad was in a wheelchair and everything needed to be on one accessible level. So, there you have it, my most recent bout with depression.
I've found through the years that my best way of coping with unsettling events is to pray regularly(I do that anyway)specifically for the healing I need emotionally. God answers these prayers in His time and in His way. The positive side of the situation is that I know without a doubt that there will be healing, and prayers will be answered! After that it is up to me to deal with acceptance of the answers. We all have to go through something similar to this from time to time. Isn't it wonderful to know that God has already prepared a solution to our difficulties even before we knew of their existence. That is where the "trust" factor begins.
I cannot imagine what John McCain went through during his five years of captivity! He must have a wonderful trust of our Creator, not to mention the faith to follow his convictions even during the darkest of hours. I believe McCain will be a great president and that our country will experience(under his leadership)a truly needed closure to the difficulties we now share. I am personally offering prayer for the Republican nominees. Sarah Palin has gained my respect, and even though I am registered as a democrat I believe that they don't have the "right stuff" to pull my country back from the brink of depression.
Well, there you have my thoughts and feelings. It's time for me to get back to work on the positive sides of my personal closures. God never closes one door without opening another for those who believe. In Christ's Love, Preacher.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Times Have Changed

This week the old house we lived in(originally built in 1947 added to in 1957)was razed. I have been informed via E-mail that even the slabs are gone. Tomorrow I'll retrieve my mom's last auto, a 1977 Oldsmobile Toronado, from the empty lot next door and take some pics. Times change! While in the process of unpacking at the new place I came upon a box filled with stuff mom packed up in 1980 when she truly retired from being a hair bender. The solo cup thing was cool! To think that 19 cents could purchase such an amazing dispenser(for that time)and offer a free 45 rpm record for free. Just include postage. What about those musical choices? It would be hard to choose wouldn't it? I took the pics of this treasure on top of our local grocery store's weekly ad. Yup, it is only one fold out page, and the store has only three aisles! Things have changed throughout the years and not always for the better. We live in an entirely different world today than when the house was built or when the solo cups came out and it will continue to become different at an ever increasing pace.
It is because of change that I write tonight. Everyone of us has a need to grasp that which is unchanging, unfailing, and continues to offer a source of comfort and peace in our fast paced world. Cheryl and I sat out by the 100+ year old wood burner tonight and looked up at the stars. Both of us had moments of prayer and praise for our Creator, God, who has brought us to this point in our lives. Never changing, ever present and always in the process of creation. He is the reason that even when times change life goes on. There are losses along the way. Motorcycles come and some remain, people die and new ones are born, and we are here. One of the most often asked questions is, "What am I here for?" Folks of all ages have posed that one to me, not just out here on the Great American Desert, but in major cities across our country. The answer is always the same. God has a purpose for each one of us. He loves us and is present in the heart of every believer. His Son, Jesus Christ, my personal Savior, came to earth to perform a miracle. He has paid the one price for all time for my sins and yours. He has opened up the gateway to eternal life and offers that path freely to all who believe.
Enough already with me campaigning for Christ. We've got enough of that political stuff going on right now in the media to last us all for at least another four years. I don't do political stuff here, but I do want everyone to know that my vote is for the McCain\Palin ticket in November. That election is 3 days prior to my 59th birthday and I fully intend to cast my ballot for the republican presidential candidate. I'm a registered democrat! My grandparents and great grandparents were democrats! I come from a fully democratic background and I believe the democrats have chosen to *&%$ over the American people with rhetoric that does not engender any of the principles on which the party was founded. Again, enough already.
God is at the forefront of the USA. People can try to take him out of the schools, out the the government buildings, and even out of many of the churches, but He is still present and working to accomplish His will for me, and for you. God bless you this night. So, do you want that 45? In Christ's Love, Preacher.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Everyone Needs To Relax

The photo reflects relaxation in various portions of our world. Now that we have officially moved in we have our "places" to be. The ducks have their same old pond and they are quite content with it wherever I put it. My wife loves her corner windows(we curtained them tonight with rods and everything)they are a replica of her office space at the old house. When we were going through the design phase of the addition I asked her what she enjoyed most(besides me & Snickers)in the home we were vacating. The corner spot where she had her personal computer set up and where she did hours of surfing while enjoying the TV and stereo system was number one on her list of hits. The new corner is great! The point of it is exactly Southwest. Angles have always been a little on the tough side for me. Let it suffice to say I was not very good at geometry. This time, though, I really, really tried to line things up with where the sun and moon are in the sky for the different times of year. The sunlight for the wintering of favorite plants. Moonlight for nights such as this. Windows to share them all on the inside of the house as well as the outside. I suppose that is because we live out on the Great American Desert and for a lot of months of the year we are not outside often. Excluding, of course, time spent "out in it" battling the elements and shoveling snow!
My personal best place for relaxing is in front of a fire. I love to watch the flames dance amidst the logs and listen to the crackle. I often do this in the dead of winter at 20 degrees below zero, and it works! That 100+ year old stove can throw heat like you would not believe. I also love the sky above me. We are now out away from city lights(if you can call where we moved from a city with only 18,437 folks)and the traffic on 6th street. Having been raised on a farm I have always wished to be back in the "sticks" where one can listen and not hear anything. Well, that is where I am now. You can look out those corner windows and there is nothing out there for a long, long ways. Suits me just fine! I have God to commune with and my faith to sustain me plus the opportunity to revel in creation! How much better can it get before I go home to be with my Lord?
Everyone needs to have a place that brings peace to their spirit. Wherever that place is I pray you find it often and enjoy your every moment there to the fullest. In Christ's Love, Preacher.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Moving Days

We are down to the end of moving our stuff to the new home. One by one and sometimes eight at a time the boxes are getting emptied. Just a few days ago we passed another milestone. The number of boxes emptied is now greater than the number left to be emptied. We're wearing down at this point. Yesterdays load included the ducks for whom we have now erected a temporary enclosure. They were happy to come back with us. How does one tell if a duck is happy? When I cornered them and boxed them up for the journey(they are in the big boxes Cheryl is examining prior to loading in the back of the van)the mallard was not happy. I was wearing buffalo hide gloves so the hands were spared the uncomfortable feeling of being totally pecked. Usually when moving animals that are cantankerous we used a noose on a stick sort of like they use for snakes. Cheryl worries that it might harm their precious necks so I opted for a combination of noose on a stick and snatch fast. Once their wings are pinned and they are off the ground they become very complacent. Cheryl couldn't believe how quiet they were in the boxes. I didn't explain to her that fear causes that silence. It's like that with people as well. Take any one of us and put a box around us and close the lid we get very quiet. Maybe not right away like the ducks, but eventually silence will reign. Life has a way of boxing us in at times. We have nowhere to turn(or so it seems)and nobody to help us out of the darkness. That is precisely the moment when God has always provided the answers for me. Faith can bring us through the darkness and into the light if we are willing to be patient and make our needs known in prayer. God is faithful and just. He will not allow His children unnecessary suffering.
That trailer appears to be filled with junk of many descriptions. But it is our stuff and for us it is "good" junk. We are God's children! He does not create junk, it's always "good" stuff. The ducks, for the most part, trusted us. Now they are out in their swimming pool splashing about enjoying the new digs. Out here on the Great American Desert there are plenty of grasshoppers and crickets to enjoy plus the vitamin enriched food we provide. And lest I forget---the bread that falls from their heaven many times a week. The big treat for them is popcorn. They love it! So, as God has provided for us we have provided for the ducks, and Snickers, of course. He was happy to see his fowl friends. In Christ's Love, Preacher.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Tunnel's End Has Light

My last post here shared some of what I have been doing at the old house. This is the first time I have ever moved and taken most of the home with me. Last evening I moved the last of the interior materials into our garage. Yes, it took some time, and yes, I am weary today, but happy as well! The final pic above is of this mornings sunrise. I sent it out to friends far and near via the Email thing on this new computer. The caption read-"Ain't God Grand!" ALL of creation was celebrating this milestone with me, including my wife Cheryl who arose from her slumber at 4:37 to get ready for work(she had to be clocked in by 6am). We shared a few minutes at the table over a cup of coffee and discussed the next cycle in our seemingly never ending relocation. Next is the redwood fence(6 foot high & nearly 200 feet long) and the two ducks that it shields from the elements. I would truly like to eat them but they are my wife's pets and she will not allow it. Roast duck is sooo goood!!!
Then there is the barn that has to be moved(12 foot by 16 foot)and the accompanying potting shed. That plus the flower beds, rocks, bricks, fountain, and other landscaping details we have installed these past nine years in our 6th street location. Amazing how much "stuff" we accumulate. That shouldn't surprise me at all. I came from a "save everything" mother, who came from a "save everything" mother, who came from, etc, etc. I am getting better though. After four years of hanging on to my old IBM typewriter I finally threw it in the dumpster while cleaning out my office. The "Selectric" is history. It will be four years next month since I first began using a 'puter. Now all I can say is that they are fun,great working tools, and with my IBM keyboard I am right at home. Following our settling in process I may sit down at this keyboard and write another book. This time I will write one about performing on the "road" for 40 years. It has actually been a few more than that because the first summer out I was still in high school. It was a 9 piece Rock & Roll band that toured the midsection of the US doing one night stands. The gig only lasted 10 weeks but I did manage to glean some knowledge and get most of the wet out from behind my ears. It seems I could go on and on this morning, but there are other things that need to be taken care of. I pray God is very present in your life and that He is smiling on you as He has smiled on me this day. In Christ's Love, Preacher.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Breaking Things Down

I suppose when most people move they do not take their house with them. That probably applies to everyone but me! I am a chronic "saver" of stuff. This move has got to be my last. God only knows what I've been thinking, but I have the salvage rights to the home we sold. After having lived there for nine years(and previously stayed there a lot after I bought it for the folks)I grew very fond of many parts. So, I've been in destruct mode for weeks. The old living room(3\4 inch tongue and groove oak paneling)is moving with us to become the walls of the new studio. The master bedroom is moving with us to become a guest room, and all of the other parts and pieces I can pull out within the next few days will become part and parcel of "The Project." The best part of the whole process happened the other day when Gordon(lead guitar)and I were attempting to salvage the 5' X 9' mirror that adorned the east wall of the living room. It was way heavier than either of us expected. I kicked a bucket out of the way, Gordon zigged, I zagged, and I only wish we had the foresight to have a recorder running! The crash was enormous. It was one of those once in a life time sounds that will never be forgotten. We looked at each other and for the first time since we've been together neither of us was laughing---at least not for a moment. What a relief not to have to find a place for that mirror in the new home. I will for sure cut a piece of it out and save it for future use, but the 45 square feet that really had nowhere to go are now gone. Whoosh!!! What a project! Mirrors are amazing in what they reflect. God also is amazing in the manner in which He reflects His love through us if we are obedient and let it shine. We have to get the project completed. It is already getting very close to freezing at night out here on the Great American Desert, and like the squirrels we have to get our house in order before it is 20 degrees below zero. I've been riding the HD Ultra back and forth to the old place as I tear out the guts of the house. That is a blessing! The early morning air and the crisp temps bring me fully alive. That plus the thunder of the pipes on the road make the day begin sweetly. I am worn and I am tired, but at this point I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Perhaps one day God will heal me of my "saving" affliction. As for now I am quite content to save what I can of the past as I prepare for the future, and that includes folks that are lost, also. Many prayers go out tonight for daughters struggling, and friends suffering. In Christ's Love, Preacher.