Sunday, July 26, 2009

New Baby for the Mount Airy Charge

This is Kevin, Cody ( in the back), Heidi, and baby Cortney Lee Dawson. Cortney arrived on June 29th, she weighed in at 8 pounds 9 ounces and was 21 inches long. The first Sunday after her birth her parents had her in church. It happened to be communion Sunday. As we were at the altar receiving comunion, her grandmother, Betty Jo Dawson, touched a piece of bread that had been dipped in the juice to her lips.

She is the first baby born on the Mount Airy Charge in a lot of years. This is a very special occasion for us all and everyone is happy for Kevin and Heidi. I love hearing baby noises, that includes fussing, in church. It reminds me of new life, Jesus receiving the little children, that we're supposed to be childlike in our faith, and so much more.

Christmas in July at Meade Memorial UMC

Meade Memorial UMC, where Joanne works as church secretary, had a Christmas in July sale. So Mom and Dad, my sisters Karen and Paula, and Joanne and I went to do some early Christmas shopping.

There was a boat load of Christmas crafts for sale. The church had one room set up where the proceeds went to the church to meet expenses.
The other rooms had vendors, individuals who had paid a small fee to set up a table to sell their own crafts.

Paula was the big buyer of the day. She found several necklaces that she liked. Sorry Dan. Joanne bought some Christmas towels and books; I got a big walking stick. I bought a ticket for a raffle on a snowman, but didn't win. Oh well, a dollar for the cause.
Dad and I were more interested in the fresh cookies they were cooking in the kitchen. The smell floating out the kitchen was the best sales pitch of the morning. We were going out to breakfast after shopping, so the ladies were afraid it might spoil their appetite. Dad and I had no such concerns.
The were quite a few people there who were selling home made jewelry. Now, I don't know much about the subject. But, Joanne, Paula, Karen, and Mom said there was some really nice things for good prices.
We ran into Kate's, Jeremiah's girlfriend, aunt, Sue, selling her handmade jewelry. Hers were some of the nicest items. They were all made from polished stones, really impressive.
Dick Lance and Dewey Rakes were working the sales in the Meade Store room. Dick makes really good fudge. He had a batch of fudge and if you made a purchase in the Meade Store you got a piece of fudge. I think they did very well, as far as sales go, with the fudge as an incentive.

After shopping for a couple hours we finally headed to breakfast at almost lunch time. It was a good chance to spend some time with Paula before she headed back to Omaha on Sunday.

Fields of Flowers and Hay

There are times when we drive to our churches in the country that the absolute beauty just blows me away. We came this week to find fields of Black-eyed Susan flowers spread out in fields of baled hay. I had to stop the car and just look.
This one field, where God has painted an incredible canvas, is only a small portion of the entire picture. The colors take the breath away. This what I get to visit every week. The picture on the canvas may change, but the beauty does not diminish. Wish you were here to see it, too.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Memorial Day

First, let me apologize for missing this day when I was catching up from where I left the blog in April. I was reminded of my neglect when I read the blog of a gentleman I've been keeping up with for several months. Please read:

I know there are many who think that Memorial and church shouldn't be mixed. I am not of that thought. For me and many others, Memorial day is a High Holy Day. It is a day to recognize those who have served and are no longer with us. For me Christianity is about love and sacrifice. For me that is what Memorial day is also recognizing. I'm not trying to put them on equal standing, I just want you to know how important this is for me.

At each church we recognized Memorial Day and the service of are men and women in uniform. At Republican Grove UMC, when the Sunday service was concluded, we went out back to the cemetery. We went to each grave in the cemetery of individuals who served in the military, removed the flag that had been placed there last year, and placed a new flag. We had one flag remaining, Nancy Moste asked if she could place the flag by the bench at the back of the cemetery in remembrance of her father, who had served.
The year old flags that were removed were taken by Betty Jo Dawson to the Army Reserve to be properly disposed. You do not simply throw away an old American flag. There is a specific ceremony that is conducted before the flags are destroyed.

When we had placed the flags on the graves, I was asked to say something to close. I told them of a young Marine and his family I met at Disney World. This young man had done two tours in Iraq. We talked for awhile, when he asked me if I had been in the military. I told him I had been in the Air Force from 1972 to 1980. He reached out his hand to me and shook my hand saying, "Thank you for your service." I can't really remember anyone ever having said it like that to me before. I was so humbled and appreciative I can't explain. So my closing that morning was, "Thank you all for your service".

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Paula's Visit to Providence UMC

Last Sunday my sister Paula was in town from Omaha. She and my dad joined us for Sunday Service at Providence UMC. And guess what? She didn't fall asleep.

St. Andrews UMC Outdoor Service July 2009

We finally had our outdoor Sunday Service at Saint Andrews UMC. This time the weather totally cooperated. While was pretty warm, we had the shade of the big tree in the church yard to sit under, plus we had a pleasant breeze. I had to change clothes when I got to church. Joanne said the other two churches probably wouldn't appreciate my jeans and "Grumpy" t-shirt.
We had told the church that this was a casual service and anyone showing up in a tie would be sent home. Just kidding, they might not come back. ;-) The choir sang acappella and sounded great.
The congregation also sang without musical accompaniment. Rather than carry the hymnals outside, we had the words to the hymns printed in the bulletin.

Bill Wyatt brought his grill from home and cooked the hotdogs and hamburgers. We had that cooker fully loaded and it was seriously smoking.We had originally planned on fixing our plates inside and eating outside. But, once every one got inside, they liked the air conditioning and lack of flying pests.
After lunch there were some games out in the front of the church.
Most of us just hung around and talked. It was pleasant, it was relaxed, it was a good day.
Some of us stayed and talked until 4:30 in the afternoon. If it hadn't thundered we probably would have been there longer. I guess it was like church was when it was the center of the community. You worshipped together, ate together, played together, and spent time together. How did we get to this idea of its an hour, times up, let's run for the door.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Michelle Adams Graduation Party

Michelle Adams graduated this year from Gretna High School. She was her class Valedictorian, pretty impressive, eh?
We had folks there from Saint Andrews UMC where Michelle attends, along with a lot of family and friends.

There were a lot of Michelle's friends there, a bunch had also graduated this year.
Mark Adams was the cook on the grill. He rolled in with a custom grill on a trailer.
They played badminton, croquet , and a bean bag toss game.
It was an evening to celebrate Michelle's accomplishment. Michelle will be going to the University of Virginia this Fall.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Visit to Colonial Williamsburg

After spending 4 days at the United Methodist Conference in Norfolk, we decided to spend a couple days visiting Colonial Williamsburg. We figured this was just one last extension of our anniversary celebration. I realize that we've been celebrating for a month now, but I figure Joanne deserves stretching it out a bit after 38 years.
Colonial Williamsburg is one of our favorite places to visit. We have a come here to celebrate a number of anniversaries. There was one time when I asked Joanne what she would like to do for our anniversary. She told me she would like to go out to eat. So, I made the mistake of asking her where she would like to go to eat. She smiled and said Shields Tavern at Colonial Williamsburg. So we drove 4 hours from Lynchburg to Williamsburg, ate a fine dinner, and then drove 4 hours home.
Now, I realize that some people actually have been to real palaces or may live in countries that have them. But, this is the Governor's Palace at Colonial Williamsburg. It may not impress Queen Elizabeth, but I bet it made the early colonials take a step back.
The entryway and stairway of the Palace is loaded with swords, muskets, and pistols. You can imagine the intimidation factor for guests.

The furnishing seem a bit sparse, but again for colonial times they were rather grand.
The palace gardens are immaculate. There are benches placed throughout the gardens where you can just sit and enjoy. It is one of the few spots that seem cool in Williamsburg during the summer.

Above is the tiered vegetable garden for the Palace. The kitchens are at the top of the hill. There was a lady in the kitchen baking and it smelled really good. She was preparing foods that would have been eaten in the 1780's and prepared them in the manner they would have done it then.

This is the magazine, where muskets and gun powder were stored. The majority of the muskets on display, there are hundreds, in the magazine were given by Queen Elizabeth on one of her visits to Colonial Williamsburg.

There are reenactors all over the place, who portray life during the 1780's. They stay in character when you talk to them. It can get very confusing and amusing to watch someone try to talk to them who doesn't quite realize what is going on.
They have numerous carriages that people can take a ride in if they get tired of walking.

Joanne always makes sure that we search out the sheep.

The way I like to visit Colonial Williamsburg is to just find a seat in the shade or in a garden. From there you can watch people, read a book, take a nap, or even imagine yourself being a resident of Colonial Williamsburg.