Tag Archive | Rain

Penny in the Porch

I’ve been thinking about my childhood recently and this has brought up quite a few memories of my grandparents and their home. I want to preserve those memories, since my daughter will never be able to experience these things with these people. Sadly, a few years ago, my grandparent’s home (my second home away from home) had to be torn down. The people who bought it after my Pappy died did not care for the house and land like my grandparents did, and the house became unlivable.  But that’s another story.  I’d like to share a mental picture of my grandparent’s home, a place that held many special memories for me.

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The front of my Pappy’s house had a porch that went nearly the full length of the house. There was nothing fancy about it. It was a concrete porch, very narrow in width on one end and nearly a foot high on the other end, but it was level!  A dilapidated wooden door was near the “deep” end that led to the hand dug earth cellar. In the narrow end, near the corner that ran nearly flush with the sidewalk, was a penny in the porch. The penny caught my attention at a young age, and I wondered why anyone would put a penny in the cement. “That’s the year the cement was poured,” my grandma would tell me.  I can’t remember for sure, but I think it was a  1952 penny. It wasn’t shiny anymore and had some green on it where the copper had oxidized.  Every now and then, I’d check to see that it was still there.

Grandma would keep her houseplants out on the porch in late spring and summer. They would flourish there. Everyone who would drive by (the road was just mere feet from the porch) could see them in their lush greenness and full bloom beauty. Redwood furniture with stainless steel trim sat on the porch and hosted a bevy of guests on a regular basis. As soon as it was warm enough, we’d spend nearly every evening out on the porch.

I spent nearly every day at my grandparent’s house. They were my babysitters since my parents each worked the 3-11 shift. I remember Grandma and Pappy’s house almost better than I can remember my own home. I just loved it there! Being that I was there so much, I soon started to accumulate toys and things there that I could play with. Near the end of the porch with the cellar doors was one of my favorite play areas. Pappy had helped me set up an outdoor “play kitchen” there. You had to use your imagination (which I had a lot of!) but there were two concrete blocks and a few bricks fashioned into a “stove.” Grandma had given me an old sauce pan that got scorched one evening and could never get clean. I had a dull table knife, an old spoon, a tin pie pan, and an empty plastic butter tub. These were treasured items to me! I spent hours “cooking” at my stove. I’d go into the yard, pull up handfuls of grass, pick dandelions, and find other little earthy treasures to make salads and casseroles that I’d “serve” to Grandma and Pappy with great delight. They graciously would pretend to eat the meal I had made and ask me to go make something else. I’d get creative and grind things between the bricks like a mortar and pestal, chop things with the dull knife and make garnishes with little flowers that bloomed wild around the yard.

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One of my best memories was the nights we would sit on the porch together and watch it rain. Even during thunderstorms, we’d sit out there and watch it rain. At some point during the storm, there would be a deep stream form along the road in front of the house. Pappy and I would remove our shoes, go running out and play in the stream, wading up and down in front of the house. This was fine with Grandma, unless it was still thundering and lightening! Then she would be chiding us to “get in before you get electrocuted!” We’d be soaked until we decided to stop, but neither one of us wanted to quit! Grandma would shake her head and fuss that we were wet, but Pappy would gently remind her, “Edna, you’re only young once! Let her enjoy it!”

The year I was 10 years old, my Pappy began to have stroke after stroke. Before long, he was bedfast. There was no more sitting on the porch in the evenings. Then I found myself going out there just to think about what was going to happen. There was talk that Pappy was dying, but in my young mind, I couldn’t fathom that would ever happen. Who would wade in the stream with me? Who would I pal around with. Who would be my best friend if he was gone? The porch had become a place for me to go in solitude to cry and contemplate the future.

Pappy died that summer. Grandma came to live with us for part of a year and with my uncle for part of a year. Things were packed to sell or move. The house was emptied room by room. I was having a hard time letting go of the house and the memories there. It was more pain than my 10 year old heart could take.

On our last trip to the house to make sure we had gotten everything out, the penny on the porch caught my eye. I went down to that end of the porch and rubbed the penny with my finger. I looked around and no one was there, so I began to pick at the penny. I dug and dug until my fingernails broke, but I got the penny out of the porch. I held it in my hand until we got home and then I put it in a safe place. No one knew for a long time, but I would get the penny out and hold it and think about the times on the porch with my Pappy. It helped me remember him.

I still have that penny. It means a lot to me, but it will never bring him back to me.

But, that penny does give me hope. It reminds me that though I still miss my grandfather 35 years later, I know that one day I will see him again. I dream about him occassionally…they are some of my best dreams! It’s not just in my dreams that I will see him though. I know I will see him in heaven one day.

Revelation 21:4-7 tells us this… ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.  He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.  Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.”  This excites me! Not only will God take away the pain of death and the sadness we feel when we lose someone, wiping the tears from our eyes, he will make everything new! I’ll get to see my Pappy whole again! And, if I drink from the water of eternal life (Jesus), I will be there in heaven with him! We will both be children in God’s house! How exciting!

When that day comes, I will no longer need the penny from the porch to remind me of happy days in my childhood. My Pappy and I can be together again as brothers and sisters. What a day that will be!

♥Miriam

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Good & Evil, the Battle of 4-Letter Words

Okay, I know from the title you’re wondering if I’ve lost my mind. But honestly, I haven’t. It was Katie’s softball practice on Thursday evening that got me to think about 4-letter words, good ones and bad ones. Why? Because there was a young man in attendance who freely used 4-letter words in his conversations, mostly the f-bomb, and I did not appreciate his language one iota! However, it made me think how some 4-letter words can be good. That evening I had thought about the day….it had been a doosey….and how 4-letter words made up so much of that day.

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1st, some of the bad 4-letter words of the day. (Don’t worry, you won’t have censor anything….these are pretty tame by many standards!)

WAKE – something I shouldn’t HAVE DONE, but I got up and WENT to WORK, EVEN though I FELT SICK.

SICK – how I FELT and Katie FELT pretty MUCH the whole day (though we BOTH had different illnesses).

COLD – the temperature outside at the BALL practice. No one could get WARM, and we had to listen to THAT obnoxious FOUL boy who KEPT swearing.

RAIN – it had the nerve to start spitting THIS nasty stuff during practice, which MADE everyone EVEN MORE miserable and COLD.

TEAR – Katie started crying PART way through the practice because her stomach HURT, and she too was COLD and achey.

FELT – WHAT I did to Katie’s forehead to see if she had a fever. Thankfully, she didn’t, but she did LOOK PALE.

HOME -where we decided to go after practice and picking up a BITE of supper because it was 8:00 p.m. and NONE of us had eaten yet.

PALE – apparently how Katie looks prior to having to throw up.

PUKE – WHAT happens WHEN Katie hollars FROM the backseat of the van and SAYS, “Daddy! PULL OVER, PULL OVER!”

MESS – WHEN the PUKE doesn’t quite MAKE it the whole way out of the van.

GAGS – WHAT David DOES WHEN he GETS out of the van to try and clean up the MESS.

YAWN – THIS was all I could do (after all, if I clean up PUKE, I PUKE too) because my COLD medicine was kicking in.

But then there were good 4-letter words once we got home. Those 4-letter words made everything better and the rest of the evening was so much more enjoyable.

BATH – how Katie warmed up once we got HOME.

WARM – how a NICE fuzzy blanket and housecoat WILL MAKE you FEEL.

PURR – WHAT the cat did WHEN she curled up NEXT to Katie. I think she was trying to comfort her.

COLA – WHAT Katie got to sip on to settle her stomach.

PINK – Katie’s color after puking again and saying she was starting to FEEL better.

TUCK – WHAT we did WITH Katie WHEN she started to FALL asleep. I remade her bed and DAVE carried her to it where she was tucked in WITH her precious “BLUE BABY” DOLL and CALI the cat.

LOVE – WHAT I FELT as DAVE ushered me to bed and proceeded to TUCK me in too. ♥

KISS – a sweet expression of LOVE THAT DAVE placed on the top of my HEAD as he SAID goodnight. ♥

HOME – where everyone is THAT you LOVE, and you can be SAFE.

Notice, of all the 4-letter words I used today, not one of them was profane. Not one of them tore anyone down or disgusted anyone (well maybe the puke did). So in the battle of GOOD vs. EVIL, I believe the good 4-letter words will win each time. We’d all do better in this world if we could just think about what we say before it travels out of our mouths. Your words can encourage or discourage. Think of how you would want to be spoken to.

Paul taught us this in Ephesians 4:29 – “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (NIV)

♥Miriam

♫Walkin’ in a winter….um…♪ Raindrops keep fallin….okay…..♫ Somewhere over the rainbow….oh please! Make up your mind!

The weather the past two days has been exceptionally weird. Yesterday we experienced pretty much anything you could come up with in a day as far as weather is concerned. I awoke to a beautiful sunrise, soon followed by giant snowball-like snowflakes coming down. This snow (which all the weather men assured us wouldn’t amount to much) started to accumulate and mix with sleet. We soon had around 2 inches! The temp dropped into the 20’s. By lunch time, it had all stopped. The sun came out and everything melted. Then came the rain, but it too was brief. Again there was a period of sun. But then there came a thunderstorm! Who ever heard of a thunderstorm in February….that’s a summer thing! I even heard reports of hail in the area. Once Mother Nature got done with her temper tantrum, it got windy.

Today, it flurried most of the day. It was cold and windy all day. I sure am anticipating spring! In fact, a friend reminded me that there are only 27 more days until we have Spring. (I believe I’ll start a countdown for that!)

The strangeness of the weather got me thinking. I recalled a verse from Hosea 6:3 – Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.” (NIV) Now, I’m not sure if we had “winter rains” or “spring rains”, but this verse reminded me that in all this, God was here. Did I thank Him for this weather. No, I didn’t, but I did thank Him for the safety He provided as I traveled in the sleet and snow.

I wonder how often God is visibly right in front of us. How many times does he allow something to happen to get our attention so we can feel His presence.  How many times has He been obviously close by, but yet I didn’t acknowledge Him. If I couldn’t tell after the rumble of thunder that rattled the walls of my office that God was present, then I must have been oblivious. I know that He is always with me…there are just times when it seems He’s a little closer than usual.

Yesterday, after all that strange weather, God sent us a sign that He was definitely there. He painted a beautiful rainbow in the sky.

A complete rainbow in our backyard this past summer!

A complete rainbow in our backyard this past summer!

I’ve been feeling His presence in my life more and more lately. It’s undeniable that He’s here. He’s provided for us in so many ways….ways I don’t even know about, but yet there are many ways that I do know. As this blog progresses, I’ll share how He provides in the lives of His people.

I stepped out in faith 7 months ago to take on a job I had never done, for less pay than I was making, and without a clue how I was going to survive it all. But God has provided! Neither my family or I have wanted for anything. We have been cared for by God and He constantly is reminding me that He is in control of everything. Now, if only I would take the time to acknowledge His presence at all times. Keep reminding me, Lord!

♥Miriam