Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge this week was, well, challenging. I don’t have pictures of a vintage kitchen or antique dishes. Nor do I have pictures of cast iron pots and pans or a wood burning stove. And the one place nearby I considered for field trip photo possibilities is closed for the season.
So, how about tables and chairs from two recent volunteer efforts?
The pictures of the box under the table and the tables full of books were taken with my cell phone when volunteering at the Planned Parenthood Book Sale (read about it here). I’d donated books long before Covid-19 paused book donations and the sale; I took the picture because that particular box came from my house! All the table legs captured my imagination when I looked at the photo later.
Having received a Cheer Box last holiday season (the first after my husband’s death), I was eager to help wrap gifts and deliver boxes this year. (Read about Amanda the Panda and the Cheer Box program by clicking here). The bear poking his head over the box just makes me smile!
The books in the book stack were selected with the challenge in mind: Folk, Steinbeck, Potok, Think, Monk, Frederick, Dusk, Black, Nick, Black (again), Gleick, Deepak, Peck, and Desk. I’m sure I could have found more books to add to the stack but decided to stick with what was on the shelves in the one room.
When I started a list of possible subjects for Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge I soon had a long list of words with “ch” or “ck” in them. I finally chose childhood as a common theme.
While extracting my childhood rocking chair from the piles of stuff in the basement, I had to move a box of children’s books my mom brought to me rather than throw away. There was also a bag of vinyl records my husband couldn’t bear to see discarded, including a few child friendly recordings.
Three Charlie Brown stories by Charles Schulz!
The last two photos are from my archive. Taken at a special exhibit at Reiman Gardens a couple years ago, they are of larger than life-size childhood games.
I’m so excited that Frank of Dutch Goes the Photo! is back with his Tuesday Photo Challenge. This week’s theme is “puzzle.” He used the word “puzzlement” in his blog post, making me think of the statue in this first picture.
There’s nearly always a jigsaw puzzle in progress on the card table at my house. If you only look at the front of the pieces, this one is a challenge. But if you notice the back, putting it together is somewhat easier.
My father emails me most Sundays with a copy of “the fiver” – five intertwined Sudoku puzzles. He usually adds advice like “turn off the TV, get something to drink, and do the fiver.”
If a jigsaw puzzle or a Sudoku aren’t your thing, maybe you would enjoy a puzzle for your brain found in one of these books. (I’m a bit puzzled about the atlas being on this shelf!)
May you solve – or least come to terms with – every puzzle that comes your way this week.
I’d like to say that I’ve read more since stay-at-home orders were issued in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. But I haven’t. I’m a reader at heart and have continued to read at about the same pace.
Two of the four books pictured have not been shelved because they each have something I might quote in a sermon someday (if I ever preach again!!) and I wanted to make sure I wrote them down somewhere. Here’s the somewhere.
KINDER THAN NECESSARY
“If ever single person in this room made it a rule that wherever you are, whenever you can, you will try to act a little kinder than is necessary–the world really would be a better place. And if you do this, if you act just little kinder than is necessary, someone else, somewhere, someday, may recognize in you, in every single one of you, the face of God.”
From Wonder by R. J. Palacio (pp 300-301)
HERE TO WONDER
I think us here to wonder, myself. To wonder. To ast. And that in wondering bout the big things and asting bout the big things, you learn about the little ones, almost by accident. But you never know nothing more about the big things than you start out with. The more I wonder, he say, the more I love.
From The Color Purple by Alice Walker (p 283)
Dune has a funny insult somewhere in those 863 pages. But I didn’t mark it and I can’t find it so I guess you’ll have to read the book yourself!
MOTHERS AND SONS
I read Pachinko after reading Dune and was struck by the complex relationship between a mother and son in each book. Very different genres but rich portrayals of the people in each.
For Khürt’s Smart Phone Challenge : Use your smart phone to “take a picture that tells us who you are, without actually showing your face.”
Those who know me well don’t need much of an explanation. Books, a camera, some quilting, and a paten and chalice paint a pretty good picture of who I am.
I am the daughter and granddaughter of quilters, but it it has only been in the last ten years that that I have become a quilter. The wall-hanging of flowers reflects my love of nature. The table runner shows my interest in music and states my firm conviction that “All Are Welcome” (song by Marty Haugen, words stitched below the notes) in God’s realm.
The paten and chalice are symbols of my being an ordained pastor and teacher in the United Church of Christ. Although not currently serving a church, I do pulpit supply (preach and lead worship) when colleagues are away on a Sunday morning.
The camera was a Christmas gift from my husband a dozen years ago. My first SLR camera was a combined Christmas and 16th birthday present from my parents. I caught the photography bug from Dad. He took pictures and developed the B&W film; Mom printed pictures in our home darkroom.
Thanks to parents who read to me, I have been a reader for as long as I remember. When I was in trouble as a child it was likely because I had my nose in a book. A common refrain from my teen-age years: “turn off the light, you need to go to sleep.”
Notes about the books I chose for the photograph.
Mister God, This Is Anna by Fynn. Be aware of wonder. It’s a big, beautiful world and there is much to be amazed by and marvel at.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Listen to your heart. Follow your dreams.
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. Be willing to take a risk. Know that things are not always what they seem.
Dakota: A Spiritual Geography by Kathleen Norris. A beautiful description of the land and the people not so far from where I grew up.
Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott. A wise and witty account of coming to faith in a “series of staggers from what seemed like one safe place to another.”
This Day: Sabbath Poems Collected and New by Wendell Berry. Who knew I’d like poetry!!
After the long weeks when the heat curled the leaves and the air thirsted, comes a morning after rain, cool and bright. The leaves uncurl, the pastures begin again to grow, the animals and the birds rejoice. If tonight the world ends, we’ll have had this day.
A personal library. One big, beautiful room filled with every book I’ve ever read, every book I want to read, and every book someone else thinks I should read. With comfy chairs and good light for reading. Pure fantasy.
Set aside every time we have boxed books to move.
Nevertheless we have books aplenty.
One shelf of Fantasy and Science Fiction books in our home begins with Frodo’s adventures in Middle Earth as told by Tolkien …
… and ends on Pratchett’s Discworld with Mort.
Why, I wonder, is Fantasy shelved with Science Fiction in one area of Barnes and Noble …
… while Fantasy is shelved with Adventure in the Young Adult Section?
In our local library, Fantasy is simply shelved with most of the other Fiction. As is Science Fiction. No trying to figure out if a particular book is one genre or the other!
Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of the prophecy, and blessed are those who hear and who keep what is written in it; for the time is near.
Revelation 1:3 (NRSV)
The time is always near. There are times when we are just more aware. Aware that life is precious. Aware that things will not stay the same. Aware that some things must end.
The book of Revelation is about end times. At least that’s my first thought when the book is mentioned. Full of weird visions and used by some (to try) to scare folks into heaven, it’s a part of the Bible I generally avoid.
But prompted by a presentation I heard last spring, I re-read the book The Cloister Walk by Kathleen Norris. The chapter “A Story with Dragons: The Book of Revelation” nudged me toward a re-read of Revelation. So far I’ve avoided reading commentaries; that may change.
To add a little discipline to my reading and reflecting, I decided to blog about what caught my attention. I won’t be doing a verse by verse interpretation – that seems tedious to me and would likely be boring for you. At the moment I’m thinking a total of 10 or 12 posts for a book that has 22 chapters.
First observation: Revelation is meant to be read aloud. The words are heard differently when received through our ears rather than our eyes. The text paints some fairly vivid pictures. When I read aloud or am paying attention while another reads aloud, the images have time to develop. I can’t just skip past without nothing more than a glance.
“Blessed,” the author says, “blessed is the one who reads aloud … and the one who hears.”
Keeping eyes and ears and heart open with high hopes of encountering the blessing. – Teressa
One by one.
Book after book after book.
Pull off the shelf. Read the title.
Check for an inscription.
Haven’t read it? Give it away. (A very small pile.)
A textbook? Have I used it since taking the class?
Can I imagine turning to it for any reason?
Keep? Give away?
An old favorite? Remember the story. Remember the person who gave it to me. Remember why I bought it.
Remember how it made me feel or gave me hope or challenged my world view. Remember.
Keep? Give away?
Have I re-read it?
Will I read it again?
Have I quoted from it?
Was it a gift?
Does it make me smile?
Is it a connection to someone I love?
Keep? Give away?
One by one.
Book after book after beloved book.
We have to have our floor replaced (it’s become a safety hazard). Every piece of furniture, including all the bookcases, will be moved at least twice. So we’re clearing the bookshelves, packing books into boxes, and taking the opportunity to thin the ever growing collection of books. – Teressa