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Archive for May, 2013

Snaps are Gorgeous

For my late brother-in-law who fought in the Battle of the Bulge, for the 93 year old WW II veteran across our lane who drives a “cool” car and plays country tunes at full blast, for all those who served in any of the five wars of my lifetime—and those before I was born.  For whomever may serve the cause of freedom at present or in any future conflict, until our Lord returns to make sense of this crazy, sin-sick world . . .

Thank you!

Margaret L. Been, 2013

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Home of the Foxy Gentleman

I’m a year ’round lover of life, but the months from now through September tip the scale for me.  The above photo (titled “Home of the Foxy Gentleman” after the guy seated amongst the foxgloves, who fooled that stupid Jemina Puddleduck into letting him supervise her nest) shows one of many reasons why I love the seasons at hand.  Some other reasons are:  a deep tan on my body, soft breezes soughing, long days, short nights, and ice cream.  Of course ice cream can be had in all seasons, but it’s a lot more fun when it’s consumed outdoors!  (My opinion.)

Another BIG REASON for the tipped scale from now through Autumn is that Joe and I are now (a bit tardily this year) entering the RUMMAGE SEASON.  I think I hear clucking, snorting, and sneering from the crowd who believes that “downsizing” (HOW I DETEST THAT WORD!!!) is some kind of a spiritual exercise designated to win extra points.  Some can “downsize” graciously, and for valid reasons—while others say the word while rolling their eyes and aiming sanctimonius glances at Yours Truly!  Those “downsizers” are certain that I’m not in line for any points at all!  And I’m certain these misguided folks are missing out on the fun!!!  🙂

Having recently moved from a house (actually 2 houses) up north to a four-room condo Down Under (under Highway 10, not the Equator) Joe and I have found even more incentive to go rummaging.  We have MORE TIME without grass to mow, snow to blow, and garbage to escort to the town dump.  Bring on the YARD SALE signs and we are off and running.

So at the expense of clucks, snorts, and sneers (which fortunately I can’t really hear because I’m blogging on a computer not a phone) here is a picture of today’s bounty culled from a nearby small city—namely Waukesha, Wisconsin:

Rummage 5-24

Oh my!  A clump of birch trees which we’ll never need to water; a charming, mint condition McCoy pottery planter (“the real McCoy”, not one of those knock-offs); 6 ruby red Depression Glass mugs and 7 matching lunch plates with a measuring cup like those my Mother had; 2 pairs of sweet, girly toddler boots which should fit our great-granddaughter Mia next winter; a (tipped on its side) pewter covered bowl and 2 more ruby red mugs in front of the boots; a copper plated teakettle; a gorgeous orchid plant which—like the birch clump—I will never need to water; all flanked by a humungous acrylic painting (very beautiful!) supporting a vintage necklace with fake diamonds and pearls.  (At least I’m assuming the gems are fake.  Wow, if they are not!)

Behind the Yard Sale bounty is always the best part of the season—our live garden.  You are looking at creeping phlox, mertensia, and other treasures among the ubiquitous mint which will always assure me of having something green to look at.  From now through Autumn, that is.

Remember, we can’t take any of this with us!  That’s why we’re enjoying it now!!!  🙂

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Country Garden with Headboard

I haven’t updated this page for over a month, and I think that’s the longest absence I’ve had since beginning Northern Reflections in Autumn of 2008.  Even after surgery and during hospital sojourns I’ve managed to plug in and let readers know that Joe and I are still on the planet.  Why the truancy?  Perhaps for the only time since I began writing at age 9, I simply could not decide what to write.  No, it wasn’t writers’ block.  I couldn’t decide what to write because for weeks I’ve been caught in a wedge between euphoria over this wonderful season, and my ongoing sorrow over the incredibly horrible daily news.

How could I blither on about herbs and perennials when confronted with images of a couple of brothers who blew up the Boston Marathon?  How could I keep posting photos of knitted shawls and hats when we have a president who refuses to admit he was wrong in trying to conceal the fact that the Benghazi disaster was indeed an act of international terrorism rather than a reaction to some stupid video—or for the fact that available aid was withheld from the embassy in Libya?  How can I wax euphoric over balmy days, when the IRS has reportedly targeted special interest groups including those containing the name “Israel”?  (If that isn’t a red flag, then what is?)  How can I write glowing paragraphs about how blessed my husband and I have been in nearly 60 years of marriage and family, when 3 young women in Ohio have suffered approximately 10 years of what amounts to as horrific an experience as many WW II concentration camp stories I’ve read about?

Thus the delay in refreshing Northern Reflections.  But today in church, I received a nudge.  When I get a nudge—this one was more like a hearty thump on the head—while sitting with my open Bible on my lap and listening to a straight arrow message from my straight arrow pastor, I can be reasonably sure that the thump is coming from the Indwelling Holy Spirit of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!  Time to blog.

YES, life is beautiful.  My own personal life is amazingly beautiful, in every way!  (So what do orthopedic issues matter anyway, at age 79?  If I didn’t have them, I’d wonder if I were really alive!)  The Lord has poured His amazing grace upon our family.  The joy and contentment in my home defy description!  Each day I wake up excited to be alive while praying and deciding which of many creative options to pursue that day, if the Lord unravels the time for my creative options.  I always know that He may have other plans for me, and His will is always PERFECT. 

YES, the days are evil.  Human history is rampant with evil.  Only one sinless person has ever walked this earth, the Person of our Lord Jesus.  Yet in America the evil grows more blatant as time passes.  A cloud of widespread evil has shadowed our land in recent years, accelerating it seems since the Autumn 2012 election.  As we reap the bitter fruit of a godless culture, a nation in which God and the truths of Scripture have been discarded as “irrelevant”, we need more than ever to affirm the good, the beautiful, the blessed—while firmly proclaiming that the days are evil. 

Only PRAYER, PRAYER, PRAYER, can reverse America’s collision course.  While savoring the abundance God has provided for us and rejoicing in those freedoms we still have, we need to remember that the days are evil and we could lose all of our freedoms in a matter of weeks or even days.  I take seriously the Scriptural mandate to pray for our leaders.  Yet today in church, with the blog nudge I also received a nudge to ratchet up my prayers for our nation’s president.  

President Obama is AT BEST clueless and incompetent—or AT WORST downright evil!  Did he really find out about the IRS scandal at the same time the rest of us did, or is he lying?  God knows the answer; at this point we do not—at least I do not!  Yet like each one of us, President Obama is a person for whom Christ died to save. 

And if our president is either incompetent or evil (or both!), will “the other” major TV news networks have the honesty and courage to come forth with the unaltered facts?  So far, only one station is telling it like it is—while the others appear to be in a state of denial.  While the truth-telling network addresses the issues of Benghazi and the IRS as wrongs to be dealt with accordingly, the other stations simply cry “GOP Politicizing!”—as if confronting evil were a matter of politics rather than our God-given responsibility!

The evil in our land reflects the sad demise of salt and light in our nation’s churches, once known as “Christian”.  The objective fact of man’s sin and need for a Savior is (most thankfully) addressed in my church—but in countless assemblies that kind of straight arrow preaching has been deemed “political” (or objectionable, or unappealing, or whatever!) and therefore abandoned.  Yet we are still here.  We can pray that the Spirit of revival will sweep our land, bring us to our knees, and bring our churches back to God’s Word.

Here is the nudge, or thump, I received today:  Continue to PRAY, PRAY, PRAY!  Keep informed, keep talking, keep living the Christian life I’ve been given!  These are not optional—they are essential.  Meanwhile, keep blogging.  Keep broadcasting the fact that my life is good.  There is time and space on Northern Reflections for the urgent issues which confront us—and also for herbs, perennials, knitted garments, and my beautiful family!

Margaret L. Been, ©2012

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