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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
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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

A Veteran's Story

  I noticed Bill sitting in our local park where I walk.   He glanced my way just as I finished the last exercise walk song on my playlist.   He shouted and pointed to my car:   “Hey, is that your car with the Nam front license plate?   I stepped closer into the veranda where Bill sat on a picnic bench.   I noticed his Vietnam Vet cap and instantly I knew why I walked there that day.   The Marine Vet served during the 1960’s, the same time span as my husband.   Bill talked a lot about the war evoking my emotions from laughter to tears.   My South Vietnam front plate often prompts a conversation with a stranger and I’ve learned a deep respect for it over the years.   It is my way of listening to a veteran.   I enjoyed listening to Bill.   He made me laugh in spots but he made me cry as well.   Like when he talked about the sandwich lady.   “Do you ever eat at the sandwich shop in the gas station down the street?”   I replied that I’ve order coffee once in that place with a turke