Friday, November 10, 2017

You Are a Miracle

  When my daughter was a teenager she asked me if miracles still happen? I said yes you are looking at a miracle. When I was two years old, during my birthday party, I screamed, and collapsed, unconscious.  My dad rushed me to the local hospital and then up to the university medical center in a larger town. The doctors examined and tested, but couldn’t find out what was wrong. They couldn’t fix me. The doctors told my dad that my best chance was to pray for me. For the next ten days, the doctors told my dad that this bodily function needed to start working and they prayed and blessed me. The next day they chose another function and prayed. Slowly over a week God repaired my body. It was a miracle. I truly believe that. Then I held up a mirror to my daughter and told her that she was a miracle too. We each have things happening in our lives that bring miracles to ourselves or those around us. We just need to recognize and accept them. Are you a miracle worker?
My cousin put a quote on face book the other that that I had to comment on.
“To the people offering thoughts and prayers to the victims of the Texas Baptist Church massacre. They were already in a church praying.” Truth from Joe Pitti
Does that mean we shouldn’t pray for them?
Some comments from this post were,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
Paul: AMEN; Prayer is nonsense, yet parents (and pastors) keep teaching kids to pray. Nobody comes upon religion BY THEMSELVES, they are TAUGHT by others and elders, just as HATE is also taught. Wake up, be nice, make art, music and food...stop wasting time praying ... no one is listening...PS ... ps. I am a FORMER CATHOLIC ; but they couldn't "GET ME" ... I have my own brain and thoughts... AMEN, I think.
Diane: Everyone has the right to express their own opinion, to have their own free will. For me, grace and mercy, and especially prayer, has sustained me through a lot of heartbreaking tragedies. So, that’s MY truth. All opinions are welcome to me, because I don’t have the right to tell anyone else what their truth is. But one thing I hope we can all agree on & remember is that no matter how much Evil there is in this world, most people are GOOD and; KIND, and LOVING and; CARING. I am reminded of that every day by people I know, and other’s I don’t.”
I have heard many say that If God were real He would answer our prayers. People wouldn’t get sick or die; wars wouldn’t be fought. God does love us and He does answer our prayers. He just doesn’t always say yes. I console myself by thinking that as a loving parent I didn’t always say yes to my children’s desires. Sometimes from a different perspective, I could see that there were better options if we waited.
God lives and loves us. He is willing to answer or prayers. And you are a miracle.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Can I Help You?

 







 I have been quite worried over the last few months. Maybe I should stop reading Apocalypse books, including Revelations. It seems like all the things predicted are coming true. Even the total eclipse of the sun and the red moon felt threatening. Two moves ago, about five years, we decided forty years was long enough to save the year’s food supply and we tossed the worst of it, and are starting over. Now I wonder if we have time. I have trees full of apples and no energy to preserve them. I have hundreds of books; many are not read. I have consumed and consumed on a grand scale and what will I have to show for it when Yellowstone volcano erupts. What of my spiritual pursuits? Hopefully my daughter will take one of my quilts to her conference for a scholarship auction.
Someone put this quote on Face Book the other day.  I’ll have to think about changes I can make in my life.
President Henry B. Eyring said, “The Lord is watching over us. He is with us.
“I promise you that if you go in His name to others, you will be not only able to touch their lives and help them in a way that will last forever, but you will become more like the Savior because you have done what He would do.
Some of you may have family members, friends, or neighbors who have more emotional stress than you know. Some of them may have been troubled for quite some time. Go to the rescue to your family and neighbors not just now but over a period of time. Be kind. Don’t help just with their physical needs, but help them with their hearts as much as you can. Reach out to them over time. The real rescue they need is to have someone come to them so they can feel the love of the Savior and the love of Heavenly Father through you. That will give them a confidence that may have been shaken from their lives.
Jesus Christ lives. He is close by. He will get you through. He will get those around you through. He watches over us. He guides us. He protects us. By His Atonement, we become magnified. I promise you that if you will be faithful and reach out to others and think of Him, you will feel the Atonement of Jesus Christ working in your life. Your heart will change and will expand. You will become better than you ever thought you could be.”
There are so many hurting in our world today. What can we do?

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Choose Happiness


September has been a frightening month. With three hurricanes hitting our country; an earthquake in Mexico; and the western states on fire. Wars and rumors of war blast us from every direction. Our country is being torn apart by ideologies. How can we survive?
When I was in high school, way back in the Dark ages, There were some cute little figurines that I loved , called “Precious Moments”  I think my favorite was a little girl named “God Loveth a Cheerful Giver.” I wondered at the time, while going through the angst of teenager-hood what one had to do to be cheerful?
In the September 2017  Ensign magazine, Jeffrey R. Holland quotes Joseph Smith (1805—40)
“Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it.”
Aristotle, one of the greatest intellectual minds the Western world has ever known once said that “Happiness is the meaning and purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.”
Elder Holland writes,”So how do we “pursue” happiness?? Well, we know one thing for sure: happiness is not easy to find running straight for it. It is usually too elusive, too ephemeral, too subtle. If you haven’t learned it already, you will learn in the years ahead that most times happiness comes to us when we least expect it, when we are busy doing something else. Happiness is almost always a by-product of some other endeavor.”
Living “after the Manner of Happiness”Elder Holland continues, “The first 30 years of Book of Mormon history do not present a pleasant story. The hostility within the family of Lehi and Sariah became so intense that the two halves of their family split asunder, with one group fleeing yet farther into the wilderness, fearing for their lives lest they fall victim to the bloodthirsty quest of the other. As the first group plunged into unsettled terrain to seek safety and fashion a life for themselves as best they could, the prophet-leader of this Nephite half of the family says they “lived after the manner of happiness” (2 Nephi 5:27).
But my reassurance to you is that in God’s plan we can do much to find the happiness we desire. We can take certain steps, we can form certain habits, we can do certain things that God and history tell us lead to happiness with the confidence that if we live in such a manner, that butterfly is much more likely to land upon our shoulder. In short, your best chance for being happy is to do the things that happy people do, live the way happy people live, and walk the path that happy people walk. As you do so, your chances to find joy in unexpected moments, to find peace in unexpected places, and to find the help of angels when you didn’t even know they knew you existed improve exponentially. Here are five ways we can live “after the manner of happiness.”
Choose Happiness I remember my brother, during a contentious time in his life said that he had decided to be happy even though his family situation was not. He chose to be happy and to live in the manner of happiness until he was truly happy.  U.S. president Abraham Lincoln had plenty to be unhappy about in the most difficult administration a president of the United States has ever faced, but even he reflected that “most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
Be Kind and Pleasant Anger damages or destroys almost everything it touches. As someone has said, to harbor anger is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. It is a vicious acid that will destroy the container long before it does damage to the intended object
Work at It Here is one last suggestion when there are so many others we should consider. Nephi said that in an effort to find happiness in their new land after their 30 years of trouble, “I, Nephi, did cause my people to be industrious, and to labor with their hands” (2 Nephi 5:17). By contrast, those from whom they fled became “an idle people, full of mischief and subtlety” (2 Nephi 5:24).
During Hurricane Harvey there was a woman in one shelter who one day broke into song. She started to sing Gospel music and soon many others joined in. She enjoyed the happy feeling and moved on to other shelters in Houston bringing music and happiness to others in distress. She was a cheerful giver.
Watching news reports about all the hurricanes this month, the earthquake and the fires, I saw report after report of people helping peple, people who were happy to be alive and able to help.

I like making quilts. I sent some to Texas and I made some for fire victims and hospitals over the years. We all have some talent to share and it brings happiness to both the receiver and the giver.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Priorities


 








Someday I’m going to die.
I don’t think I will be finished yet!
Thirty years ago, I gave a talk in church. It was in January and it was about setting goals.
Since I’ve always been a list maker, I had a list of 357 or some things I would like to do. I typed these on adding machine tape end and at the end of my talk I said, “Here are a few of my goals >” and rolled the tape down the aisle to the back of the chapel.
Twenty years later someone who still remembered that talk asked me how many things on that list I had accomplished.
Last month I found the list cut up in strips and put in an old fashion bean pot (my dream pot!!
Going through them today I’m having a laugh and wondering how many I will ever do?
I know I won’t make plaid pants for my four-year-old, or knit a yellow dress for her Barbie doll.
And what was a Millennial wreath anyway? Some embroideries and quilts I have finished and they adorn my home and the homes of others.
As I age and I see the end of my lifespan creeping closer I am wondering about my priorities. Have I done what the Lord sent me here to do?
Have I learned those things I need to enhance my eternity and that of others?
1.    Have I been kind?
2.    Have I been honest?
3.    Have I taught lessons and skills to enhance other’s lives?
4.    Have I kept the promises I have made to God and those around me?
5.    Have I shared all the best things in my life to improve the lives of others?
6.    Have I forgiven, and been forgiven?
7.    Is the world better because I was here?

In an article in the May 2011 Ensign magazine “We Have Work To Do”
President Gordon stated
…I do not have a perfect knowledge, but I will try a little harder to be a little better

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Lay It On Me


 







My cousin has been dreaming again. He dreamed that he was in a parking lot and a few people came out of the building and walked by. Two said hello and invited him to go with them. As they walked through the cars in the parking lot a couple would disappear. Then some more and some more till all were gone but him.
He asked what it could it mean. I said “Are you worried that you are being left behind?
He comes from a very religious family but decided in his young adulthood that it wasn’t for him. Are angels searching for him?
There are many times in our lives when we feel the burdens of our lives are too heavy to bear.
I know a man who lost a child to an illness. He couldn’t console himself so he left his family.
A woman suffered a terrible accident and her husband left the family on their own because he couldn’t help her. A girl left the comfort of her religion because she felt rejected by her church peers. Others say, If there is a God, why does he let bad things happen to people.

I like to listed to country gospel music. One of my favorite is

Lay it On Me by Christy Lane

When a hill seems like a mountain and some chain has got you bound
Lift up your knee to the Savior and He’ll say Lay it down.

 He said,lay it on me, lay it on me.  Lay it on me and I’ll set you free.
Lay it on me

It’s just a breeze softly blowing still you’re bending in the wind
And you’re too tired to lift your burden. lift your guilty hands to him.

Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
I will not forget the words He said
Or the promise that He made.

He said lay it on me, lay it on me.  Lay it on me, and I’ll set you free.
Lay it on me.

When I was first married and had three -year old and one year old sons we found out that my husband had cancer. The night of the final diagnosis, I was too upset to sleep. But with children that young I knew I had to be able to carry the burden. As I knelt to pray I begged the Lord to just help me get to sleep. As I climbed into bed I felt his hand on my shoulder comforting me, and I slept. A few hours later the baby woke up. After comforting him and meeting his needs I went back to sleep, again with His hand on my shoulder. God and his angels were watching over me. 

Take your burdens to the Lord and trust in him.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

LISTEN!


Sometimes we have little flashes of insight and we don't recognize them . We don't act on them. Sometimes we don't understand until later that we could have saved time and anxiety by being more in tune with the Spirit.
I have a funny story for you.
This morning in the pre-dawn hours as I was going into a light sleeping period
I was dream/thinking about one of our sixty year- old apple trees. Two years ago, a big wind blew down from the mountains and ripped off a large limb. But the tree was sturdy and produced a decent crop. Last year a big wind blowing off the desert came through town and blew off the other large limb. We cut off a few of the small branches and brought them into the house to enjoy the apple blossoms.
Towards the end of the summer, I looked up at the poor twelve -foot tall stump of the tree in sorrow for its loss. I was surprised  to see a dozen leafy green twigs poking out of the top of that stump like a soldier with his crew cut. I’m trying he was saying to me. I’ve faced diversity many times, but I’m still trying. This spring, still trying, the tree put out limb, after limb, after limb. Suckers grew all the way down the trunk till it looks like a giant bush. We had our pear tree looked at by an expert years ago who told us that those suckers indicated that the tree was dying and we should cut it down. But, we saved it.  This morning I was trying to think of who we could get to come cut the suckers and excess limbs; to prune it and try to save it.
As the sun started coming up and the birds began to sing, my husband got up to feed the cats, who think that’s the first thing that he should do every morning.
“Oh! No! he cried. During the night Lenny the cat had pried open the sliding glass door to go for a stroll. My husband ran around the outside of the house in his pajamas looking for the cat. On the second rotation, calling the cat’s name, he heard a weak, frightened mew. “Lenny?” he called looking up. Lenny the cat, who had never climbed a tree before, was cowering at the top of that poor old apple tree, hidden from whatever creature of the night had spooked him, by a hundred little limbs. The tree was still trying. After feeling rescued, Lenny tore across the lawn; into the garage, scratching at the door. “Let me in! Oh please let me in”!
He was still terrified.
God loves the little creatures. He loves the trees and the flowers. He loves us, and he loves you. He is ever mindful of all our needs. If we listen, we can learn many things.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Sky is Falling



Do you remember the story of Chicken Little? An acorn fell on her head, and she thought the sky was falling. She ran to tell the lion about it. On the way, she met Henny Penny, Ducky Lucky, and Goosy Loosey. Telling each one that the sky was falling. They all ran to tell the King.
Today I put my feet up to rest my poor tired legs and listened to the news. Our world today is filled with distress. Everyone seems to be fighting and hurting. As the news ended a hymn that I love filled my mind. How Firm a Foundation
Text: Attr. to Robert Keen,
The third and fourth verses go
3.Fear not, I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.
I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, upheld by my righteous,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.
4. When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not thee o'erflow,
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee, and sanctify to thee,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.
In our latest General Conference
Reminds us. “We have all felt peace tonight. All of us would like to feel such peace often within ourselves, in our families, and with the people around us. The Lord promised peace to His disciples as He was about to leave them. He has made the same promise to us. But He said that He would give peace in His way, not in the world’s way. He described His way of sending peace:
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.
You will at times have your faith challenged by Satan; it happens to all disciples of Jesus Christ. Your defense against these attacks is to keep the Holy Ghost as your companion. The Spirit will speak peace to your soul. He will urge you forward in faith. And He will bring back the memory of those times when you felt the light and the love of Jesus Christ.
Remembering may be one of the most precious gifts the Spirit can give you. He will “bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever [the Lord has] said unto you” (John 14:26). The memory may be of an answered prayer, of a priesthood ordinance received, of a confirmation of your testimony, or of a moment when you saw God’s guiding hand in your life.
This is the goal that your Father in Heaven has for you, His precious daughters. It may seem to you like a distant goal, but from His perspective, you’re not that far away. So He visits you with His Spirit to comfort you, encourage you, and inspire you to keep going.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Believe Him










On Easter morning
I dreamed I was at the
Garden Tomb
Purple and yellow flowers bloomed
Carpeting the path
The air was cool and glowing
Birds sang joyously.
A little lamb
Sat quietly enjoying the sun.
I joined him, thinking--
Am I willing to suffer?
To give up my sins?
Can I live Christ’s life?
Can I believe Him?
Am I ready for hope?
And joy?
And forgiveness?

Thursday, April 6, 2017

How Could There Not?


 







 OK, I confess. I’ve been on face book again. My cousin had a dream last night where he had an other worldly visitor. His guide in the next life was an atheist as my cousin  is. Among other things, He asked his guide,” What of religion? He almost angrily shakes his head and says "most dangerous invention ever! Imposing a value judgment on life, diminishes the experience, and damages the potential growth."
Another friend posted a site where you can find your Bible quote in your life. Curious, I tried it.
“The Lord is my strength and my shield. In Him my heart trusts.
I tried to look for the scriptural referencThe full quote is,
Psalm 28:7The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.”

The site went on to explain, ”The Bible has been your guiding light through all the ups and downs in your life. It has made you a strong individual and taught you that nothing is impossible if you believe In yourself. All true-Like most people I have had many ups and downs in my life and I do rely on my faith to get through them. I believe and trust in God for His help.
In this month’s Ensign magazine, there is an article by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf 
The Just Shall Live by Faith
In it, President Uchtdorf tells the story,

The Rabbi and the Soap Maker

“There is an old Jewish tale about a soap maker who did not believe in God. One day as he was walking with a rabbi, he said,
 “There is something I cannot understand. We have had religion for thousands of years. But everywhere you look there is evil, corruption, dishonesty, injustice, pain, hunger, and violence. It appears that religion has not improved the world at all. So I ask you, what good is it? ”The rabbi did not answer for a time but continued walking with the soap maker. Eventually they approached a playground where children, covered in dust, were playing in the dirt. “There is something I don’t understand,” the rabbi said. “Look at those children. We have had soap for thousands of years, and yet those children are filthy. What good is soap?” The soap maker replied, “But rabbi, it isn’t fair to blame soap for these dirty children. Soap has to be used before it can accomplish its purpose. ”The rabbi smiled and said, “Exactly.”
President Uchtdorf continues, “Faith is more than belief. It is complete trust in God accompanied by action.It is more than wishing. It is more than merely sitting back, nodding our heads, and saying we agree. When we say “the just shall live by faith,” we mean we are guided and directed by our faith. We act in a manner that is consistent with our faith—not out of a sense of thoughtless obedience but out of a confident and sincere love for our God and for the priceless wisdom He has revealed to His children.
Faith must be accompanied by action; else it has no life (see James 2:17). It is not faith at all. It doesn’t have the power to change a single individual, let alone the world.
Men and women of faith trust in their merciful Heavenly Father—even during times of uncertainty, even during times of doubt and adversity when they may not see perfectly or understand clearly. Faith motivates and, indeed, inspires us to incline our hearts to heaven and to actively reach out, lift up, and bless our fellowmen.
Religion without action is like soap that remains in the box. It may have wondrous potential, but in reality it has little power to make a difference until it fulfills its intended purpose. The restored gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of action. The Church of Jesus Christ teaches true religion as a message of hope, faith, and charity, including helping our fellowmen in spiritual and temporal ways.
I have several relatives and many friends who have left religion because of the wickedness that they see around them. How can there be a God if bad things happen? I plead with them, “Look around you. How can there not? Ask yourself, ”What Am I doing to help?”


Friday, March 10, 2017

Making Mistakes

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 May 2000 When the forest service set our town on fire







I noticed the other day that it was the International Woman’s Day. Then I found out that March was National Woman’s History Month. One site had a list of quotations for each day of the month. For March I could choose quotes on the weather or mistakes. I didn’t think much of that pairing. My mother was a pioneer in her own way, in the thirties, for women’s rights. My daughter, in this century, is still fighting for many of the same rights as her grandmothers did.
In some countries in this world, it is considered a mistake to give women many rights. Even in this country some consider us property or chattel. A book I am reading this week with a Genealogical theme mentioned that in the 1800’s women’s names were not indexed in marriage records because wives were considered property
A Woman’s organization that I belong to is also celebrating its 175th anniversary this March. We are taught that we are creations of God and that He loves us.
I remember one quote from long ago that I always enjoyed.
Roughly it said that I am a creation of God, and God does not make mistakes.
So, looking back at my quotes:

Mistakes are a fact of life It is the response to error that counts.
--Nikki Giovanni 

To make mistakes is human; to stumble is commonplace; to be able to laugh at yourself is maturity.
--William A. Ward

Half our mistakes in life arise from feeling where we ought to think, and thinking where we ought to feel.
--John Churton Collins

and hanging on my studio wall is a sign I found in and antique shop in Wisconsin
which says, “We don’t make mistakes. We do variations”
Did you know that if you take a traditional quilt block and make a slight variation (or mistake) you can give it another name and it becomes a new block. If you change a recipe in a couple of ways, you can claim it as your own invention
(Rocket scientists didn’t quit when the first rockets blew up at ignition. They kept at it for ten years and put a man on the moon. In the mean time they created materials we use in everyday life.
I had a totally unsatisfactory day the other day and wrote in my journal that I had
Another failed day. I need to make an attitude adjustment. Humm Today I had another opportunity for growth and learning?
So, if you don’t do something you wanted too because you might make a mistake, get over it and go do it. (cut into that beautiful batik. Paint something on that odd canvas. My husband just brought in a beautiful 10x10” frame that Fedex put into our garage without saying anything. I’m off to use that saved canvas!
Don’t make a mistake. Go fulfill a dream, large or small.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Chaos to Creativity


Saturday, I attended a conference for women sponsored by our local church. There were several classes or lectures which were meant to inspire and encourage us as we took opportunities to serve and inspire others.  One which I chose to attend talked about the creative process. That was my thing! I love to create new things from something someone else had already started. My mother use to tell us always, to leave our world better than we found it.
The leader told us that when we think of creating we should start at the beginning-In Genesis.
What did God do? He found unorganized matter, chaos, and he created our world. What does this have to do with our creative powers? You should come see my studio—total chaos—unorganized matter in every corner. My husband thinks I’ve taken this too far!
Elder Robert D Hales pf the Quorem of the Twelve apostles writes;

Creativity is a Spiritual Process

"As a child growing up on Long Island, New York, Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles learned many lessons from his parents. He particularly recalls one experience when his father taught him about establishing the proper atmosphere for creativity.
“Father was a commercial artist for a large advertising agency in New York City,” Elder Hales explains. “On one occasion he was under tremendous stress to produce an advertising campaign. He had come home on a Friday evening and worked most of the night. Saturday morning, after a few hours working in the yard, he retired to his studio to create an advertising campaign for a new product.
“My sister and I found great delight in chasing each other round and round the dining room table, which was situated in a room directly over his head. He had told us to please stop at least twice, but to no avail. This time he came bounding up the steps and collared me. He sat me down and taught a great lesson. He did not yell or strike me even though he was very annoyed.
“He explained the creative process, the spiritual process, if you will, and the need for quiet pondering and getting close to the Spirit for his creativity to function. Because he took time to explain and help me understand, I learned a lesson that has been put to use almost daily in my life.”
 “We have the ability to produce creative works in our daily activities. Creativity can also be used to find solutions to everyday problems by developing new ways of approaching the problems. I have seen such creativity during my lifetime.”
Like Elder Hale’s father, we can learn to create as a spiritual process. I remember years ago being asked by the primary presidency to come up with an idea for a Primary special event. I was so tired that I asked for fifteen minutes and then I’d call them back. After a prayer, I lay down on the couch and took a nap. The whole program was laid out for me in a dream. I awoke, wrote down the program and called back. I still create in my dreams. I dream of quilting all night. I wonder if sleeping under four quilts that I made is affecting me!

Friday, January 6, 2017

52 Stories


 









2017 already. I remember sixty years ago thinking about people who had lived in two different centuries and how exciting that must have been. Also, I thought about how old they must have been.
Now at my ripe old age, I am one of them. Isn’t it amazing the things that have happened in our lifetimes.
I was reading an article on the internet about journal writing. This is something I have always had a hard time with. I have twenty some journals with the first few pages written in and a lot of blank pages. This article encourages us to just write a story about our family, our lives, our childhood, whatever encourages us to leave a record for our children. I have a few treasures from my Mother’s life by oh how I wish I had more. I wish I knew more about my Grand- parents.
The article said we should try to write a story a week, fifty -two stories. That sounds easier than a daily journal doesn’t it. And it sounds more interesting than a daily “I didn’t do anything interesting today.”
A couple of years ago I asked various people for first lines to use to write a story . This is from my sister and made me think about my Uncle Jack, my dad’s brother
MEMORIES
So, you take about forty nine cling free peaches, two and a half cups sugar, and about five cups water, unless you don’t like them quite that sweet.”  She probably said more in detailing the recipe but my mind had already drifted back to a summer day and the sweet juicy goodness associated with it.

                  We sat on the wide porch together in the warm sunny afternoon. Bees buzzed lazily among the trumpet flowers and columbine in the front yard; the yellow and black bodies darting in colorful splashes in and out of the deep yellow and red of the flowers.  In the grass the children were blowing bubbles with the large flowers, dipping them in the soapy water Judy had made.

The little girls giggled as the large light bubbles lifted above their heads. Who would ever have thought of blowing bubbles with flowers?

Looking out over the yard, I saw many small peach trees hung with the rosy golden fruit. My mouth watered thinking about the peach cobbler Mom would make from Erma’s peaches. I could hardly wait till we could go home. But, that would be hours –days.  We were here to visit.
                  In the driveway Dad, Uncle Jack and the boys were working on the car. Uncle Jack loved to work on cars and enjoyed having the boys around to share the fun.  Uncle Jack was a happy man. I never saw him when he wasn’t smiling.  He spent most of his life working for the poultry company. The smell alone would keep me from smiling.  But then again when dinner was ready I could enjoy that crispy fried chicken as much as the rest of the family

In the living room behind us a long, low table was filled with Erma’s African Violets.  I didn’t know they came in so many different colors, pinks, purples, rose, even a variegated one. The blossoms smiled shyly through the dark velvet leaves.  Erma was proud of these violets. They are hard to grow—at least I’ve never been able to keep a plant alive and blooming much less a whole table full.  Hanging overhead was a large Christmas cactus. Although it wasn’t blooming yet, I knew it would be filled with red flowers in time for the holidays. It always did. Mother had taken a cutting home with her once so we could have flowers during the cold winter months in the mountains.
                  I don’t have many memories of Uncle Jack and Aunt Erma. But I remember sitting on the porch, eating peaches and fried chicken. I remember the magic of the flower bubbles and the happy smiling family I belonged to. I took a cutting of my mother’s Christmas cactus, Erma’s cactus to continue the tradition. I hope it blooms!