Monday, May 8, 2017

Serving Pope Elementary

Yesterday Fielder Church spread out to serve
the city of Arlington.
We didn't "inhale" the gospel as usual in our comfy 
air-conditioned buildings.
Instead, our many small groups "exhaled" the gospel
 to 23 schools in very practical ways.

I heard my choir mate/friend Brenda Caruthers
say that her group was going to Pope Elementary.
Now a year ago, I had not even heard of Pope,
but it is close to my heart now!  Why?
Because that's where I mentor my precious
ten-year-old boy as part of Kids Hope USA.
So I asked Brenda if I might tag along with them--
and so did our fellow second soprano, Julie Harris!

What I want to tell you about is what was waiting
for us in the hall at Pope.
Those we were serving served us!
There was the most beautiful table of food--
lots of food!
There was fruit, there were sausage rolls, doughnuts,
Danishes, more fruit, dogs!
I thought that the leaders of our small groups had
brought this, but they did not.
The food was provided by the teachers and staff
of Pope and set up by
David LeMond, Sue Wilhide, and Deana Peterman!
They had put so much effort into welcoming us!
And, I didn't take a picture. 
Does anybody in the sound of my voice have a picture?

In addition to failing in the picture taking department,
 I wasn't that much physical help.
But wow!  Others certainly were.
The principal's office was repainted.
Safety zones were repainted.
The bike rack was painted and looked so much better!
Bags and bags of leaves and trash were filled.
Mulch was spread.
My group did clean out a room, boxing 
and marking extra books.
I know the atrium was cleaned and
many more things about which I am unaware.

I gotta tell you about something else I observed
while at Pope Sunday morning.

Deana Peterman and Tracy Gordon McKee were
making their hall look so exciting for the
very un-exciting Staar testing which started today.
Is this not fabulous looking?
(Tracy's parents, Don and Joy Gordon, are 
"bus buddies" of mine on many Sunday mornings!)
I know so many teachers go above and beyond
for our children, but I had never witnessed anything
quite like this.
Deana and Tracy were there when we got there,
and they were still there when we left.
(Oh--and I mustn't forget the third member of
their team: precious Maddie McKee!)

There was so much gratitude expressed for
the service of Fielder folks this Sunday morning.
But, even if it sounds corny...
We were the ones who were most blessed.

We do this twice a year.
If you don't have a church home,
please come join with us in inhaling 
You will experience life change.


Saturday, May 6, 2017

A Cautionary Tale

I had an experience yesterday.
It was unusual--and painful.
You do not want to have this experience.

This seems very random and, as I said, unusual,
but here goes.
My refrigerator has a red light that comes on when
the water filter is in need of changing.
It had been on for a few days weeks when I
finally got around to getting a new one.
It is "so easy to change--just snap out snap in."

Here's what the filter looks like:


 Here's what it looks like installed.

Well, I punched that button bottom right and
removed the old one.
Then I pushed the new one in and had a bit
of trouble getting it to click in place.
I just wasn't sure it was secure,
soooo...I pressed the button bottom right again, and...
That thing shot out of there like a bullet and 
hit me squarely in the nose!
Oh, for a hidden camera.
It must have been one of the funniest sights ever.
I was pretty sure my nose was broken and
 I knew I would have two black eyes.
I thought the crazy filter must weigh 5 pounds,
(that's how it felt)
but it only weighs 1-1/2!
(I weighed it on my diet scale.)

I am so disappointed.
There are no visible signs of my great injury.
Therefore, I guess I cannot sue.
I will just warn you that changing this filter
is not for the faint of heart.
(Or faint of nose.)

Sunday, April 23, 2017

One Policeman Has Heard Everything!

This story is not about my interaction with a policeman,
although I have had a couple.
It is about my friend Jan McCarson's.
She is a cute little lady who, because of her
stature, is always on the front row of our 
"small group" (aka Sunday School) photos!
Like I, Jan has been a grandmother for a good many
years and has hair shaded similar to mine.
Here's my sweet friend:

Several years ago Jan felt led to be a volunteer with the
Arlington Pregnancy Center,
now called the Metroplex Women's Clinic.
There were certain classes to be taken 
 to be qualified, ending with a written exam.
Now, people of our age group have not taken tests
in many a year, so she was a bit nervous.

Driving to the center that morning to take the test,
 Jan had to pass through...dum da dum dum..
P a n t e g o!
Ohhh nooo. And...she was going a leetle bit fast.
Sure enough, a policeman pulled her over.
After checking her license, he asked her,
"Are you in a hurry to get somewhere this morning?"
Jan answered,
"Yes.  I am going to take a pregnancy test at 9 o'clock."

I don't know what else was said, but
he took her picture!!!
Can't you hear him back at the station,
"You guys are NEVER going to believe the excuse
this lady gave me today!"

The heartless bum still gave her a ticket!
No mercy for anyone!

Monday, April 17, 2017

An Uproarious Lunch With Rory

One of our lunches on our recent trip was at 
The Landing in Marblehead, Massachusetts.
I mentioned it in passing in my last blog,
but it was such a hoot that I want to tell you more.

I was on a mission--to have a lobster roll!
What better place...these were the stacks of traps
as seen from our table.

Even though it was a bit chilly, one must dine
al fresco in Marblehead!

So Britton and Rob went back to the car to
get their jackets.
We didn't really notice that our server, Rory,
asked us a lot of questions about them
while they were gone.
When they got back, he began calling them
by name and throwing out a fact or two about them.

Shirley (Nanny) ordered a Bloody Mary, and
Rory served it to her with about a 2' straw.
See, it extends over Madeline's head!

Maddie undertakes having a sip!

I (Mimi), on the other hand, ordered a root beer,
and when I attempted to suck the water out of
the accompanying glass of ice,
I found my straw to be woefully short.
It didn't even reach the bottom of the glass!

By this time, Rory was asking Madeline about 
New York and her show, and
he was calling me "Mrs. Stovall."
What we didn't realize was that he pumped the guys
 for information about us, too, when they came back in
with their jackets!

Here is my beautiful lobster roll:

The fries were out of this world--soaked and battered--
like nothing I had ever tasted!
And here was my ketchup:
Portioned by Rory, of course.

When we were all finished, Rory asked if anyone
was interested in dessert.
We all chorused that we were too full, etc. 
So he asked me if I would be interested in
knowing what I passed up.
I was kicking myself because I just knew he
would have given me some free key lime pie or 
free something else wonderful!
He then handed me the menu folder which was...
completely empty!

If you're ever in Marblehead, go to
The Landing and ask for Rory!
He did pose for the picture for free!

Friday, April 14, 2017

The Travelin' Grannies Locate Miss Nelson

Just to get you up to snuff, our Madeline Metzger
is with a touring company out of New York
performing the children's show,
They have been in New York, Virginia, 
New Jersey, Maryland, D.C., Pennsylvania, etc.
They play in beautiful venues to as many as
2,000 children.
(I thought it would be elementary school cafetoriums!)
(Oh me of little faith!)
Madeline is Miss Nelson and her alter ego,
Miss Viola Swamp.

When I saw that the troup was going to be near 
Boston, my traveling urges overcame me!
Shirley, the OPG (that's other proud grandmother) 
and I began making our plans.
We actually let Susan and Rob tag along
(and buy a lot of our meals!!!)

Now we had a special reason for choosing
 the Boston area to see the show.
Britton and Beth Wilson and Linda Evans are there!
Britton is my Edward Jones rep, 
Beth his beautiful wife, 
 and Linda his beautiful assistant.
He was also Rob's roommate at Baylor and is just a 
very dear friend to all of us.
  And, he is a terrific travel planner.
Linda and I are BFF's, mostly via Facebook 
 and phone, and she actually insisted on seeing
 Miss Nelson if the show came to the Boston area.
How's that for a true friend?

{{Remember: Click on the pics, oh ye of fading eyesight!}}

The performance was at Mechanic's Hall in 
Worcester, Massachusetts.
(Pronounced 'Wuster' we were told.)
Wow, were we amazed at the venue.
It was historic and huge and handsome!

The stage.

The fan club!  That's Linda in the center!

I know you'll be so surprised that we thought the
show was WONDERFUL!
An outstanding children's show for sure!
It is clever, witty, and very entertaining.
There were about 1200 children there who seemed
to enjoy it as much as we did!

Here is Madeline as Miss Nelson, the sweet,
and as Miss Swamp, the sour!
And with her Nanny and Mimi afterward!

So Britton had fabulous plans for our days in Boston.
Most involved dining!
We had brunch at Acquitane in the South End.
That's me, Britton, Beth, Susan, Rob, Shirley
This is my Croque Madame which was magnifique.

We saw the famous Acorn Street.

We visited the unique and fabulous
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

This is the courtyard of the museum, which is housed
in what was Ms. Gardner's private mansion.
The hanging nasturtiums only bloom for a short
time each year, and we were there!

The museum was the sight of one of the largest
art heists in history.
The empty frame in this picture marks the
spot where one of the stolen paintings hung.
This is a must see in Boston!

We visited this beautiful spot:

then had dinner at The Wayside Inn.

We The Landing in Marblehead.
Britton and Linda had taken me here
on a previous trip,  and I
requested to return for a lobster roll!!!
 Shirley had one, too!
Sadly, we were minus Beth and Linda now.
Working is such an inconvenience!

We stayed at the Colonnade Hotel, which was
right across the street from the GIGANTIC
Prudential Center.
Going to the top of the Prudential building was
on my list of things to do.
Here we are way up on the Skywalk floor!
Good job, Rob!!!

We stayed for the sunset.
Here's Fenway Park from on high!
And the moon:
And the gorgeous sunset over the Charles River.

 I finally got to go inside Faneuil Hall!
It has always been closed to the public when I've
been here before.

We girls were pooped when we returned to the hotel!

And here we are back at the airport.
Happy Rockin' Grannies.

Bye, bye Boston. 
Thank you Britton, Beth, and Linda!

I'll be back cause I didn't get to take the
amphibious duck tour!
I have such high class taste!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Miracle on the Hudson


I have finally seen the movie, Sully.
It was shown on my last cruise, out under the stars
by the pool,
but I just couldn't miss another activity first 
and was too late to get a chaise!
I had to resort to shelling out some $$s for it here at home!
Oh, wow! I watched it last Saturday night and
couldn't wait to watch again on Sunday afternoon.

If, by chance, there is anyone left out there 
in the sound of my voice who
hasn't seen this movie, you have a treat in store.
This is one of the stories of our lifetime,
made even better because it had such a 
beautifully perfect ending.

One thing of which I made particular note.
It was only 24 minutes from the time the plane
touched down on the Hudson 
to the time all passengers and crew were rescued!
(A good thing since the air temperature 
was only 19 degrees and the water 41 degrees.)
The first time I teared up in the movie was when
a rather gruff ferry boat captain radioed in amazement
that he had just spotted a passenger plane in the river
with people on the wings!
He was the first to arrive to help, in as little 
as 6 minutes, I believe.
The actions of the rescuers--ferry boat captains,
Navy divers, first responders, the Red Cross 
and so many others--made me cry some more.

As for that touchdown, here are a few facts from
the captain himself when asked by Charlie Rose
"What could have gone wrong?"
Sully said,
"If we hadn't had the wings exactly level, 
it would have spun us around.
The aircraft might have broken apart.
If we had landed with too great a rate of descent,
the airplane may have broken apart and
wouldn't have floated long enough for the
rescue to take place.
If we had misjudged the height at which to begin
the landing, even by a fraction of a second..."

The investigation into the "water landing" 
(not "crash" insisted Sully) took 15 long months, 
although I didn't realize that from the movie.
This had to be horrendous for Sully, even though he
was hailed as a hero by the masses.

When we were in New York recently, I kept
looking at the Hudson and wondering in what
area the plane had come to rest.
I have since realized that it was near the area of the
Intrepid Air, Sea, and Space Museum.
At least once our cruise ship was parked next
 to the Intrepid--I took pictures of it from our deck.
I wonder if there were cruise ship passengers
who witnessed this miracle in person.

One thing that makes me sad about the story is
that Captain Sully credits only his years of training
 and skill for this landing.
He does not wish to be called a hero, but he also
gives no credit a higher power--
the Creator who gave him his brilliant mind
and the perfect recall of his skills to save lives.
Nevertheless, I do...and this will be the
picture etched indelibly in my mind when I remember
the Miracle on the Hudson.

"For you, O Lord, have made me glad
by what You have done.
I will sing for joy at the work
of Your hands."
Psalm 92:4

Friday, March 10, 2017

Is I Is or Is I Ain't...Blessed?

I have no earthly idea how or why this title
took root in my mind for these serious thoughts.
But it did.
Now is there anyone else out there who remembers
"Is you is or is you ain't my baby?"
I know...probably not!

A blog post showed up on my Facebook 
page a month or so ago.
I took particular interest, since I had been
debating whether or not to reply,
"I am blessed,"
when presented with that oft asked question,
"How are you?" 


I shared the article on my Facebook page, but only 
dear Shari Bower and a couple of her friends 
shared my depth of interest.

Knowing that you may not wade through the
entire article (but I hope you will,) I am going to share
my feelings on some parts.

{1.} I have been convicted that a reply "I am blessed"
to the question, "How are you?"
could easily be misinterpreted.
As you know, I am usually overdressed for almost
any occasion(!), makeup enhanced to the best
of my ability, perfectly coiffed, etc. 
So a reply claiming blessing could easily be construed 
to mean that I am bragging of my material blessings.
That pretty much horrifies me!

{2.} Saying "I am blessed" might seem to indicate
that in some way I am deserving of what I have.
I am not. No way. Nada. 
I deserve absolutely nothing.
Even the fact that my life has not always been as easy
as it is now does not mean I am deserving
of anything. It is NOT "my turn."

{3.} The article makes it appear that if one calls
 their material possessions blessings that he or she
is supporting a "prosperity gospel"--
the belief that God rewards faith in Him with
material blessings.
I do not believe this at all. I believe that
preachers who tell listeners this are
false teachers, of whom we are warned in the Bible.
Nowhere does God promise us material
prosperity in return for our faith or obedience.

{4.} In the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12)
Jesus spells out who He calls blessed.
He lists the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek,
 those who hunger and thirst after righteousness,
the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, and
those who are persecuted because of righteousness.
I get this, and I earnestly want to be included
in this group.
I just don't think this is an exclusive group--
that these are the only people God blesses.
Though I am not always merciful, pure in heart,
etc. etc etc., I believe God greatly blesses me daily.

{5.} How has he blessed me?
First and foremost,
 He has saved me from my sinful state.
He sent His perfect Son, Jesus, to die for my sins.
He provided a way for me to live forever--
just by accepting and believing and trusting in Him.
I am His, and He is mine.
There is no blessing to compare with this.
But I believe I have been blessed in approximately 
one billion other ways:
By being born in the USA; by my fabulous family
and friends; by health, including every breath I breathe; 
and by material things, just to name for starters.
But...please refer back to {2.}

So, "Is I Is Blessed?"  "Yes, I most definitely is."
How will I be answering that common question,
"How are you?"
I believe I will go with the blog author's suggestion
and answer, "I am grateful."
Because I most definitely am.