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Archive for December, 2013

We had said that when they settled into a house we would give them my father’s piano. We wanted to visit children and grandchildren anyway, but delivering a piano via the back of an open pick-up truck in winter north of the Mason-Dixon Line is a challenge, especially when it is fine mahogany and the forecast calls for intense rain. We made the first leg of trip and got the instrument under cover for two days of intense rain without any hitch, visiting with my daughter, grand-daughter, and son-in-law. We started off on the second leg of the journey from Virginia to Pennsylvania thinking the rain was over and met with some light showers but the covering repelled and the padding softened. It was good to hear it sing again at the hands of my daughter-in-law and their church pianist, albeit out of tune from the long temperature, humidity, and vibrational changing delivery. We had all of the family present but the youngest who was at the a Georgia beach with his girlfriend and her family. The possibility of getting them all together in one place at the same time diminishes as the years pass. On Tuesday my second-born son and I went to Chickies Rock on the Susquehanna River. Afterwards we went down to Muddy Run Preserve and walked around the lake. On Christmas day I ran 9 miles, the most distance for a continuous run I have ever done. I may be able to run a 1/2 marathon in the Spring.  The next day we had a totally unexpected snow of 2-3 inches that was only forecast to be a snow shower. That prevented a trip to Gettysburg but we went to Reading Rocks indoor climbing wall in the afternoon. The next day we visited Valley Forge and many of the historic sites downtown in Philadelphia. Before the day was over we collected two pieces of furniture from my son-in-law’s grandmother to take to Virginia on the way back home. On Saturday we had all of the family, save the youngest son as I have said, over for lunch and a visit. On Sunday after church we visited with some friends, a family of 11 children. They are so pleasant and well behaved. In the evening the pastor, who is also my eldest son’s father-in-law, and several of his children came to visit. It was a full but enjoyable day. I was able to run several times over these days and my second son gave me a Garmin satellite watch that I can register distance, pace, course, and time. The watch is fun and allows for further goal setting but all of this technology reminds me how easily we may be watched. I am thankful that my Father up above is watching, directing, correcting, and providing. Submission to such a kind and benevolent Authority is restful and I wander why I ever resist it. I desire to submit and succeed by His grace in the coming year. A blessed New Year to you all.

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Chickies Rock

Chickies Rock

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Muddy Run Preserve

Muddy Run Preserve

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Washington's Headquarters at Valley Forge

Washington’s Headquarters at Valley Forge

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Great Blue Herron

Great Blue Herron

Washington Memorial Chapel

Washington Memorial Chapel

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City Hall

City Hall

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Christ Church

Christ Church

Ben Franklin's Print Shop

Ben Franklin’s Print Shop

Carpenter's Hall

Carpenter’s Hall

Independence Hall

Independence Hall

Liberty Bell

Liberty Bell

Philadelphia Train Station

Philadelphia Train Station

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A student “set me off” thinkin’ about old sayings yesterday in class when she arrived, sat down and ask me how I was doin’. “Fair to midland”, I replied, “I’m tired from running and not sleeping.” She laughed, “That’s the first time I’ve ever heard anyone say that other than my grandfather.” (Regretfully, I’m old enough to be her grandfather, but I left that out of the conversation.) “So is that good?” she inquired. “It’s OK, I reckon.” “Well,” I began, “I don’t wish my life away, but everybody needs a Friday now and then.”

Then I began thinking of some of the sayings I learned from my mother, but I got “bumfuzzled” tryin’. Oh, well, “six of one, half-a-dozen of the other”. My mother was not much for sayings involving “outlandish” people like “faster than a one armed paper hanger” but she could “teach an old dog new tricks”. I wish I could remember more of her sayings; “one will come to me” “every once in a blue moon”. When they do and I voice them, my students think that they are funny or they just look at me “sigogglin'” like I’m “a few bricks minus a load.” My father-in-law was a good one for sayings. He’d “treed more than a few pole cats” “in his day”, been “up the creek without a paddle” on a few occasions, and gone a whole day with “narey a bite to eat” “more times than he cared to remember.” That was because his father was known to “not hit a lick”, working “narey abit” for “as long as he could remember”, better than “a month of Sundays.” 

Youth have sayings, too, but for the most part they lack the richness of the old sayings. I suppose that is because language is far less isolated to regions, changes faster, and is abbreviated electronically down to acronyms and buzz words, the sayings of the day that “I can’t make hide nor hair of.”I wish I could remember a few more of my mother’s sayings but “for the life of me” I can’t think of another one “even if my life depended on it.” I wish you’d “help me out” and suggest a few you know in the comments. “Whewee!” I guess I did remember one more “by the skin of my teeth”. Let’s hear a few of your sayings.

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Bright Friday

A quiet refusal to participate screams that there is a better way. Yes, I’m a consumer, but not of crowds and things and money saved and first in line. I prefer to consume fresh air and exercise and quiet, rustling leaves beneath my feet and re-aquaintance conversations with family not often seen and memories of sun and trees and unrushed moments. Check out the results:

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