Friday, June 17, 2011


A story of love so deep it took my breath away!

As I mentioned, we have been appointed to CnC. We no longer go to Oz.

Yesterday, Hugsum had a funeral in Oz for a precious saint who lived past 100 years old. As he was leaving the funeral another precious saint approached him. I've shared about her before and her extravagant love.

Charlene is about 95 years old. She is uneducated, but a pure heart and she loves deeply. She crochets and gives it all away. Her former pastor shared about a family who had no TV. She gave them hers. She listens to the radio and her record player.

Her husband died after they had been married for 13 years. So, she has been a widow well over 50 years and maybe even 60! Her activities include the simple things in life. She plays cards, crochets and takes care of her dog.

Through the years she has loved me. Sunday after Sunday she has some little something to give me - a card, a bookmark, some banana bread ("I forgot to put the sugar in it, but you can just sprinkle some on it when you eat it."), a pot holder, a book, a calendar, etc.

Her last name is Kendall. I have a granddaughter named Kendall. Some how, Charlene got the idea that my granddaughter is named for her. Charlene never had children and lives alone, but always wanted a little girl. So, she began sending gifts home to to her. Things like stuffed animals, dolls, coloring books, etc. Occasionally, she would bring me something "really special" that I was to take care of for her. Once she brought me a very old vase that her husband had given her with flowers. It has the Lord's Prayer on it and it was treasured by Charlene.

Our last Sunday, she gave me a plastic bag all wrapped up tightly and told me to be VERY careful with it. It was to be given to Kendall - ALL to Kendall. I was told this was special and to make sure I took care of it. It was a "porcelain" heart box filled with butterfly pins and necklaces.

So, this brings us to yesterday. I did not make the trip to Oz and she was looking for me. She approached Hugsum very serious and solemn. She held a sealed envelope tightly in her hand. She looked him straight in the eyes and gave him strict instructions. "This is a very special gift and it is very special and valuable. I want you to give it to Merrie for Kendall. Kendall is too young for it now, but Merrie will know when she is ready for it. I want her to know that I gave it to her and that I love her."

Oh... another thing, Charlene always signs her notes to Kendall saying, "to Kendall, love Kendall". She has taken on her last name as her first so that she can reinforce their connection.

Well, when he handed me the prized envelope, I opened it, gasped and sobbed. Charlene had given Kendall her wedding rings! I have seen Charlene with the rings on all the time. I could hardly breath at the extravagance and sacrifice of her love for a little girl she has never met.

These are some of the treasures: A picture of Charlene playing cards, a note, the heart box, some of the butterflies, and the rings.

Mind you, it is not an expensive ring. It is not really valuable to anyone but her - and now me.
How do you say thank you for something like that?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

New Life

We have moved into a new stage in our life. I'm not sure if we have moved forward or backward. You see, we have come out of retirement.

The truth is, I guess, we never fully retired. We just did something different. Hugsum still pastored, but we were not there full time. For 2 1/2 years we made the 90 mile trip to what I affectionately called "Oz", and spent the weekend. But, since October, we changed and only went up on Sunday mornings. He went up once or twice a week and visited and did other things.

That all changed with a single phone call. As of June 12, we now serve two churches full-time. This is quite a challenge and only something that God can do! I refer to our new appointment as CnC. It is only about 15 miles from our home.

We are excited at what God is doing. He orchestrated the whole thing. We know He is working and moving and has great plans for both the churches.

We covet your prayers. We move ahead boldly!

Do you have new changes in your life? Care to share?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Aging ...

Unfortunately, I seem to be seeing the results of age. It is not pretty!

In my younger years, people always seemed to be surprised at my age. They seem to be surprised now, too. The difference is that I USED to look younger than my age. Not so much now.

Last night I went to my "Tuesday Club" meeting. (For those who don't know - at Ross stores the Tuesday Club means that the over 55 bunch gets 10% off their total purchase!) I happen to be older than 55. A few years ago I had to show my ID to get the discount. Now, there is no question. They just automatically give it to me. The last 6 1/2 years have aged me.

The beautiful sun tans that I used to work so diligently to have are showing their ugly side. The chicken skin neck and the droopy bat wings are far from attractive!

The other day Hugsum and I were riding along discussing the aging process. I stated that I really don't MIND getting older. In fact, I don't FEEL old - until I look in the mirror. I despise the old look! He looked at me and stated, "you don't like the way you look, huh?" Then he glanced in the rear view mirror and said, "well, I still look pretty good!"

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry or slap him! I figured that the last two options were not good ones, so I just laughed.

I've determined that I'm going to enjoy "me" in whatever state I'm in. I enjoyed my tan. I would do it again. I feel better with a tan. I might not do the tanning bed as often to maintain my golden brown, but I would use it for a starter tan... the main thing is DO NOT BURN! That is where the damage does the most harm.

As I've said, I don't feel my age. When I think of how old I am, I normally think that I'm 23. Not so much ... try 61 ... I've enjoyed my life. I've been blessed and I don't have many regrets. (except the ugly age showing up - hehe)

I'm learning to cope with it. I'm learning to accentuate the good parts and help the other ones. First - I'm drinking more and more water and tea and skipping the cokes (or soda or pop - depending on what you call it). I'm trying to "move" more - as in exercise. Get more aerobic activity into my life as well as stretching. I'm trying to eat better. Cut out the fried foods and sugars - eat more natural. FRESH is always better for you. White stuff is bad.

I plan to age gracefully and thankfully...