It’s a week late for Nancy Merrill’s A Photo a Week Challenge: Glass. But other than being late, I couldn’t think of a reason not to share.
The bowl of water was on our worship (aka kitchen / dining room) table for a virtual Maundy Thursday church service. We were supposed to be remembering the story of Jesus washing the disciples feet (see John 13).
But my mind wandered to Nancy’s challenge and to the shadows made by her glass mixing bowl. Click here to see for yourself!
Three types of glass are visible in both of my pictures: the bowl, the flower vases, and the living room window. The bottom picture also has reflections of the dining area windows.
Look around! What shadows and reflections do you see in your corner of the world?
“Oh, they’re back,” I thought as one Canada goose stood at attention and honked at me to stay away. Another was floating in the run-off pound. A third was sitting on the nest. Canada Geese don’t seem to ever fully leave this area; my thought had to do with the nest.
It’s a sign of hope. The pond used to be an excellent place for a goose to raise a family. Four or five years ago there would be six or more goslings there. Occasionally the parental units would stop traffic to march the young ones across the street to the larger neighborhood pond.
But then a medical building went up just south of it. And now new condos are being built to the west. I saw the geese and their nest a year ago. But never did see any goslings. Hope springs eternal.
The nest was my first thought for the Tuesday Photo Challenge of HOPE. So I grabbed the camera when my best beloved and I headed out for a walk yesterday. One Canada goose was on the nest; a pair of mallard ducks was nearby.
The walk itself – with proper physical distancing from whoever else might be out – provides a bit of hope in this era of COVID-19 pandemic. Getting out of the house to enjoy sunshine and blue sky is as much for our mental health as it is for physical well-being.
An annual sign of hope are swelling leaf buds. I marvel at the variety. Here are a few pictures from our corner of the world on the last day of March.
There are so many ways to take the Tuesday Photo Challenge of connect this week! I finally settled on a piece of jewelry. Every time I wear it – or even just see it – I am reminded of love and laughter and relationships that persist across time and place.
We were all together for Thanksgiving about eight years ago. Tanya had an empty bracelet chain for each female in the clan. And dozens and dozens of beads.
One by one Tanya handed each of us two or three specially chosen beads that said something about our connection, our interests, our family. She then instructed us to choose as many additional beads as we wanted to fill out our bracelets.
I picked glass beads based on my favorite color and how they would match the PROSTATE CANCER RIBBON bead Tanya had given me to honor my husband.
Those who know me will easily guess the meanings of some beads.
CROSS – I’m an ordained minister.
SIS – Tanya is my sister.
TEAPOT – My husband and I drink tea (not coffee).
BELLS – I have a bell collection.
The CAROLERS take me back to my childhood. We looked forward to Christmas caroling as a family every year. Dad would instigate it. Mom would have treats prepared (with help from the kids!). All five of us would go because it was a family thing. We would stop at friends’ homes, sing a carol or two, and invite them to join us. More often than not, they would drop what they’d been doing and go along. At the end of the evening everyone gathered around the fireplace at our house with mugs of hot chocolate and Christmas cookies in hand.
In this time of physical distancing, may you find ways to connect with others (a phone call? a text? an e-mail? a card?). And may you be reminded of love and laughter and relationships that persist across time and place.
“Spread” was the photo challenge word on Tuesday. As Frank put it “While the spread of a virus is not welcome, a nice dinner spread or bread spread or even bed spread might be appreciated!”
As a quilter I have plenty of bed spreads around the house. But I’d shown you stack of quilts not so long ago when the photo challenge word was “rest.” (You can see it here.)
Then I remembered these pictures of Grandma’s quilt. Actually, it’s my quilt made by Grandma Mary. The fabric came from left-over scraps from clothes Mom had sewn for me when I was a little girl. We cut the many triangles using cardboard patterns over Christmas break 1986.
When my beloved and I moved into our current home, there were no window coverings so Grandma’s quilt became the master bedroom curtain until we could get blinds hung. The only reason I have pictures is because of the reflection of the back-lit quilt on the glass of a framed doily!
After getting out the colored pencils on Sunday, we’ve used them everyday this week! So grateful to have found FREE RESOURCES to help us pray and learn and simply pass the time during this period of staying home for the good of all. Note: click on the name of the each organization below for more information.
PRAYING for others using an intercessory prayer from The New Century Hymnal;
LISTENING and humming, and singing along to the “Lord of Light” CD by the St. Louis Jesuits (Bob Dufford, S.J.; John Foley, S.J.; Tim Manion; Roc O’Connor, S.J.; and Dan Schutte);
and PRAYING as the Spirit led with paper and colored pencils.
But the time is coming–and is here!– when true worshippers will worship in spirit and truth.”
John 4:23a, Common English Bible
In ordinary times we gather on Sunday morning with other Christians. For now, this works.
Be well, Friends.
Please wash your hands and keep a physical distance from others.
And, if it’s in your spirituality, offer a prayer today for patients and their families, for the the many, many people working to care for those who are sick, for researchers and lab workers, for decision makers, and for everyone who’s regular routine has been upended.
It’s not just about being neat. It’s about being safe.
You must not insult a deaf person or put some obstacle in front of a blind person that would cause them to trip. Instead, fear your God; I am the Lord.
Leviticus 19:14, Common English Bible
I led a memorial service not so long ago for a man who became blind at the age of 18. He participated in programs at Iowa Commission for the Blind and quickly learned to read and write Braille. He also learned to cook, do laundry, keep house, get around on his own, be independent.
One day he arrived home to discover his mother had rearranged the furniture. She’d unwittingly designedan obstacle course which they quickly dubbed a “bear trap.”
Shoes by the front door are a bear trap. Throw rugs are bear traps. Moving the spices in the cupboard makes a different sort of bear trap, but a bear trap all the same.
Any obstacle that might trip one up is a bear trap.
The more I consider the verse from Leviticus (above), the more I think that it’s not just about the physical stuff that might block another’s way. It’s also about the obstacles we set up that, intentionally or not, make life more difficult for another.
Steer clear of bear traps, friends. Don’t set up obstacles that cause another to fall. And remove bear traps for others. It’s not only kind. It’s faithful.
It started with a call from a funeral director. He had a family who was not connected to any church but wanted “prayers said for Craig.” I met with the family the next day and led the memorial service a few days later.
Everyone who knew Craig knew that he always carried a bottle of Lawry’s Seasoned Salt. When asked why he’d say, “Everything tastes better with Lawry’s salt on it.”
It’s one of those quirky things remembered when someone has died. Having never met Craig, I would have forgotten it except for two sermons I heard the following weekend.
A retired Catholic priest talked about throwing salt around. Be generous with it. Everywhere you go, fling it out into the world.
I’m still not sure about throwing salt at anyone. But I really like the image of indiscriminate extravagance. Spreading goodness and joy, love and laughter and kindness – anything that makes life a little easier or a bit more pleasant.
My pastor talked about being salt. Be seasoning. Add flavor wherever you are, wherever you go in the world.
The challenge: be salt even when it’s hard.Shake up a conversation when it turns negative. Speak up on behalf of one is marginalized or oppressed. Stand up for what is right no matter the cost.
May you be salt, dear friends. May you share salt with indiscriminate extravagance. May everything taste better because of you and your salty goodness.
Somehow I never got around to posting for the prior photo challenge, but I took some pictures!! So here’s just a bit of the action required for creating a quilt block using the pink square shown above.
SEW: Sewing machine needle at rest and and then in action. Note that the horizontal screw on the right holds the needle in place so it has go up and down and up and down with the needle.
PRESS: First with fingers, then with iron.
CUT: Stack two strip sets, cut into 2″ widths.
Sew some more. Press. Repeat as necessary.
Finished block! One of more than 100 I’ve made for the 2020 Stash Buster Challenge.