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The Refreshing Snow

  I think the reason I like snowstorms is because the snow settles on all the imperfections of my property and leaves a much improved version.  I am thankful for all the rain last week.  My pine trees soak it up, but it leaves ruts of accumulated water across my front yard and ugly potholes in the street forcing drivers to slow down to avoid a muddy car wash. This morning's sun rose up over our small community in central Arizona where almost four inches of snow fell in the night.  The perfect white flakes covered all the imperfections of weeds, ruts and mud on my property. Everyone posted photos on social media of their snowy porch railings, their parked cars hiding under a white coat of snow and my favorite--dogs jumping in the snow with white, wispy snouts. I bundled up in my winter coat and shoes and forged a path atop a perfectly packed accumulation to greet the strong sun and to assess and capture the beauty with my cell phone. I sat in my kitchen with a cup of hot coffee and
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I Never Go to the Gym

I invited a friend over for coffee.  She's never been to my home so when she parked in the driveway, I greeted her on my back deck.  "I never go to the gym anymore," I exclaimed as she made her way through my prayer garden and climbed up the deck.  "You have more than enough exercise right here," she agreed. As I face this last week of summer I find myself thinking back of all the hard work during hot triple digits and how I prayed for rain.  Then the monsoons came and I prayed for help with the high, out-of-control weeds!  My son-in-law rescued me with his quad and sprayed for hours.   Tomatoes were small, but I'm happy I didn't kill anything.  I learned so much over the past months not only about how to water pine trees slowly and keep watch not to overwork the well, but to rise early with the sun and beat the heat.  Farming Sleeves saved my aging skin.  Spraying with Avon's Bug Guard, Skin So Soft, smells nice and protected me from critters that s

How Do I Say Goodbye?

Wendy called.  She had heard about Tom's passing and the enormous peace that filled our hearts and home.  My friend challenged:  "Mary, you've got to share your story on your blog.  You will encourage other families going through hard times."  Of course, I knew she was right.  The Lord has been nudging me too.  "I want to heal families, He told me. Tell your story."     My daughters join me, from two different perspectives, to share our family's journey of faith as we navigate through the night we lost our patriarch.  Our hope is in Jesus Christ who comforts our souls.  Here are their thoughts.   Carrie Writes: In our family, we have often said that God can use you and change your story until your last breath. I always believed that, and then I saw it with my own two eyes. I was never the peacemaker in the family. That role belonged to my sister and mother. I was the feisty one. The one that wasn’t going to put up with bad behavior. My dad had mental i

Just Call Me Mountain Woman

This morning I killed my fourth wasp nest on my front deck this season.  I can remember the old days when I would flinch at pulling the heavy garbage can to the front driveway or when I would lug heavy hoses to water the property.  I've come a long way.  Just call me Mountain Woman.  I'm stronger and braver.  I have to be. The human spirit rises up to do what it has to do when no one else is around to carry the load.  It's been five weeks now since my husband, Tom, passed away.  He put up a good fight, but Pancreatic Cancer is aggressive and stole the very life from my large framed, muscle-bulging man.  It broke my heart to see him in pain and lose every ounce of fat on his bones.  I am relieved he no longer suffers and know by the peace which ushered him off into eternity that he reached his heavenly destination. He hated to leave us, especially me, because the responsibility of our homestead requires muscle power.  Although it overwhelms me at times, I am surprised how ne