Thursday, December 31, 2009

The waning hours of 2009 are here.

My husband is working.
My oldest is singing and playing the piano...delighting me.
My youngest is here but I am not sure what he is up to, I don't want to interrupt Grace. My guess either on the computer communicating or he may be reading, thinking or writing.
My red girl is in the Midwest surrounded by more loved ones.
Of course, I am here at the kitchen table blogging on my MacBook.

The pilgrimage continues as we are living in our third residence of 2009 and into 2010 for the mean time.

Life is worth living.
Friends are worth keeping.
Family is worth loving.

Another year for the history book........until next year.

Remember.....and remind one another of who you are. A created one who is meant to love and be loved.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Blog = Web log or Online Journal

I don't write on this blog as often as I would like. In fact, it got me to thinking that my not writing here has possibly affected my not writing in a paper journal. Writing is really therapeutic for me. Journaling is something that I am really missing right now. It is usually VERY personal.

My children's generation could be called the "all access generation." Some think that any information that they want about anyone should be accessible to them. Mystery, secrets and personal information is being invaded by this portal that I write for now, the almighty internet. (small "a" and small "i" because I am one of those people who believes that GOD is The Almighty One) There is stocking on Facebook and googling your neighbor or co-worker. Anything I write or post here in cyberspace is in today's public square.

Perhaps I am afraid that my paper journal might end up in the wrong hands and fed to said portal. Sounds paranoid but not far fetched, not in the 21st century USofA. With all this access, my freedom of expression doesn't seem so free or at least, I am not feeling free to express myself. On the other hand, there is the ability to reach so many more people at one time than ever before, but that is not the point of this blog post.

It is my desire to be honest and transparent as I can on this blog. Not looking to bring harm upon myself or others but there are times when writing that the feeling of vulnerability comes over me and I have to hit the delete button. It is usually something that would fit perfectly into a paper journal because it was beneficial to write. Deleting it robbed me of being able to go back, read and reflect. There it is: time to reflect, time to contemplate, not on the "focus on your naval" kind but the kind that allows one to let go of trashy thinking littered with lies and become open to the truth that flows from above.

Recently, my daughter made me aware of an article entitled, "Is Google making us stupid?" by Nicholas Carr from The Atlantic Monthly July/August 2008. In it Carr says,
"In Google’s world, the world we enter when we go online, there’s little place for the fuzziness of contemplation."
There is no time to digest what you are reading or even writing. At times it seems like we just need to go, go, go, gather, gather, gather info, get to the next link, the next site, the next blog I am following, respond to that email, write a blog post, update my status on Facebook. My time here on this chair has grown and at times robs me of picking up my pen. However, I did pause to write a friend a Christmas card while writing this post.
Pens and paper are still an everyday part of my life, I just want to pick up the pen more often in order to become a better person, a better wife and mother, a better friend and of course, a better writer.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sun Catcher
This is a winter post from a wintery place and who would have guessed that I would be sun catching in December on the top of a hill.
The eastern sky showed a hint of purple announcing the coming of the sun. There were only moments to bundle up if I were to make it for the magical moment. Hurrying out to the snow covered drive way I stood shouting "Glory!" When the dawn broke I closed my eyes took a deep breath and behold I had been kissed by the sun. Removing the snow from the van I felt bathed in hugs and kisses of the newly risen sun. I couldn't stop smiling. The joy I felt being in the first light of day is not quite like anything else I have experienced in this life.
The vista from my current home is an unexpected gift. Picture perfect. A work of art. The sunrise never looks the same way twice. It is almost too sacred to photograph and too glorious to be the back drop of any shot.
Millions of fingers reach to the sky from the barren winter trees and all at once they cried out "Cover me" and the new fallen snow answered.

This post is dedicated to two friends, Becky for telling me that I have been kissed and hugged by the sun and to Gail for offering me the view.

Monday, December 07, 2009

The Village Market, Now open for business

Serving the people of Wellesley and Newton Lower Falls, The Village Market, formerly Convenient Mart, has finally re-opened after being closed for 2 years. The local community felt like there was a hole in their neighborhood. I had the privilege of receiving hugs, applause and many exclamations, “we are SO glad your back!” “You don’t know how MUCH we have missed you.” “You are a God sent.” And my response has been equally affirming. “Thank you. We are glad to be back.” Some customers have said, “How long has it been a year?” Then I tell them 2 years and of course others seem to think it has been 3 because they have missed it THAT much.

This store, The Village Market is my brother-in-law Barry’s. Dan has 2 other brothers who have stores in Quincy and Dedham. Michael and I continue to work in Dedham once a week and now I am working part time for Barry as well. These men grew up in their dad’s stores. Everyone in the family has worked in one store or another.

It is exciting to be a part of something that was in some ways dead and has been resurrected to new life. The building was gutted and the store that for 40 years was my father in law’s and is now Barry’s is just in the next door over from where it was all those years. Everything in the store is new. The local residents and business people are grateful and excited and for some relieved to have the store back in the neighborhood. In these hard economic times it is wonderful to see people react with gratitude and rejoicing over a small business owner.

Please stop in and see us.

The Village Market

9 Washington St. Wellesley, MA

Open Daily 6AM to 11PM

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving, not because it reminds us of the pilgrims landing in Plymouth and after much loss of life came together in harmony with the Native American Indians shared a feast and gave thanks to God, but because I need to be grateful everyday.

Twenty-five years ago during the summer I met somebody near and dear to my heart at the time she was Kathy and I was Cathy (now we both go by Kathleen and Catherine). I left my home in suburbia and went to a state run facility that was less than ideal. I was talking to Kathy from a pay phone
and she said, I want you to do something. I was listening. Every morning, I want you to write down 5 things you are grateful for, "FIVE THINGS!!!" (If you know me personally then you also know that everyone on my floor, the floor above and below probably heard me). This was so foreign to me, I could feel my ears turning red and I probably said something like I probably can not even come up with 3. Kath said let's do the first one here on the phone, just tell me 5 things you are grateful for. I don't know what I said, I am pretty sure I made it through the list and I am sure that being sober and my cigarettes were on that first list. Why? Why did I need to write this list every day? The answer "Grateful drunks stay sober." Well, that was the point I wanted to stay sober. I think the phone call happened in September of 1985.
It was hard at first. A real struggle to come up with 5 things every day, but I was willing and soon I was writing 10 then 15 and eventually up to 20 things that I was grateful for each day. I kept up this discipline for about 2 years. I've gone through bouts of writing a gratitude lists and on occasion I still do.
When our children were small on Thanksgiving we would ask them what they would grateful for and Dan or I would write it down. Once they were able to write, we would write our own lists and then read them out loud to one another. It is so important in this life to be grateful. It has been said, "When you invite gratitude to your pity party the party disappears."
Here are some things that I am grateful for today:
That my girls get to spend some time together this week.
My son is a young man who knows how to work hard.
For my husband who has the gift of mercy (good thing for me I can be a real pill at times)
For our vehicle (we are sharing one presently)
Our newest abode in Shrewsbury and the view of the sunrise from here.
For the God who is there
For the Bible which is the Word of God
For Jesus, His grace, mercy, lovingkindness and LOVE
Being able to read and write
Being able and willing to come along side other people

There is so much more than that to be grateful for today. My heart is glad, my house is warm and life is not easy but thank God it is never boring.
I am well please to have been given the gift of knowing about the importance of gratitude and I need to get back to it. Sometimes it is really hard when life becomes hard to remember that there is always something I can find to be grateful for like the breath in my lungs.

Take a good look at your own life and acknowledge those things that cause you to pause and say, Thank you God.
When you sit down for your feast next Thursday take a few moments to express some gratitude.

Monday, November 09, 2009

The Wall came down
November 9, 1989
Don't know much about history
Today is the 20th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin wall. My home page on my web browser is the BBC, a news organization with a more global outlook than most American news source. The picture on the home page caught my attention. At that time I didn't know very much about the difference between East and West Germany. I don't claim to know much more now 20 years later. East Germany was a communist and oppressed country, that was the extent of my knowledge. Recently I watched a film, The Lives of Others
It is a foreign film with subtitles. The setting was 1984 and it was an education in government activity of East Germany. The film was eye opening. It also carried the universal theme of the love of human beings for each other and the sadness of a life lacking in love. On the anniversary of this historic event, I recommend you watch the movie with your older teens. It is both moving and enlightening. And your kids will think it is much better than a textbook version of a look into the history of East/West Germany. It has real people, real drama a look into what really happened in that part of the world, not just some extracted facts, dates, and places. History is best told through a story by someone who lived through that time in history.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

If you go to Google today this is the picture you will find. Sesame Street is celebrating it's 40th birthday, which puts me in the launching audience catagory. Oscar was my favorite character probably because he was both green and grouchy. I was tickle by yesterday Cookie Monster
Google. It is just fun. I love when Google dresses up their logo and when you click on it, you get more hits about the what the current art represents than there is time to read.
Here in my final week in Marlborough, any writing that I will be doing will be for my NanoWrimo novel. Since I have more readers than commenters, and some who are vocal about wanting me to write more stuff. Thank you for reading and your patience.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


This is a sampler of some of the foliage found in Massachussetts specifically, Marlborough, Northborough and Southborough. I was able to share the whole album from my Snapfish account, click on the sidebar to see the rest. Soon all the leaves will fall off and the branches will be bare as we look to another winter, but in the mean time today will be Indian Summer and we will delight in it.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Process.....
As many of you know, the Mullaney Pilgrims have been wondering around the homeland, Massachusetts for the last 2 years. This past summer we went from a FL tag to MA license plates. After both the girls were off, I resumed house hunting. The search is not over but the packing has begun, trusting that God is indeed preparing a place for us. While going through some things I came across this bookmark that my friend Dawn gave to me years ago, it reads as follows:
"We are, quite naturally, impatient in everything to reach the end without delay. We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress that it is made by passing through some stages of inability and that is may take a very long time.
And so I think it is with you. Your ideas mature gradually - let them grow, let them shape themselves with out undue haste. Don't try to force them on, as though you could be today what time (that is to say grace and circumstances acting on your own good will) will make you tomorrow.
Only God could say what this new spirit gradually forming within you will be. Give our Lord the benefit of believing that God's hand is leading you, and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete."

I do not believe I could have said it better myself. It was exactly what I needed to read this evening. I am looking forward to the new adventures that lie ahead. Yes, you can count on me keeping you "posted."
Fall pictures still to come......

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Canopy of Colors

is a great way to describe New England in the Fall. Pictures to follow.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

The First Word

Just over a year ago my daughter Grace while speaking to a group at a conference shared something that keeps coming back to me time and time again. I am pretty sure it came to her while she was at L'abri in the Netherlands. She was talking about people and when we encounter every person we ought to view them in the following way; the first word about people ought to be, "this one is created in the Image of God." It came up in conversation again, last night.
In Christendom, we often view people as sinners first who need the Lord's forgiveness offered by the shed blood of Christ. This is true. All people are sinners and we, as Christians quite regularly have this as our first word about people. Sometimes it is in a judgmental tone other times with compassion. Those thoughts can often lead to "they are on the highway to hell and they are beyond help" or "I need to share the gospel with them."
The judgmental tone needs to be left for the Only One who has a right to judge the living and the dead. And I know that I need to grow in my compassion for other people. I think part of the key to doing just that is for my first word about people to be: this one is created in the Image of God. Then I just may view the effects of The Fall i.e. sin, on this particular, man, woman or child with compassion. Knowing full well, that I am a fellow person, created in the Image of God first and that I too have been scarred by my own sin and that even though my sins have been forgiven and that I am a new Creature, I still walk around with that sin nature. I still mess up, fail, fall and yes, I sin.
Do we wish to be lovers of people? Is not the greatest commandment to love the LORD with all your heart, soul and mind? And the second, to love your neighbor as yourself? Can not the story of the Good Samaritan answer the question who is my neighbor be answer with a single word, "everyone"?
I do indeed wish to be a lover of people. I fail to love regularly but I wish to begin again and again. If I remember that we did not just simply evolve from Lucy or Ardi but that we were fashioned, yea lovingly created in the Image of God for His Glory them I just may have success from time to time as well.
What a wonderful thing to be learning this lesson from my own child who is now a young woman. I am so grateful that God gave me the gift of being the mother of Grace, Katie and Michael and that He would involve me in the creation process.

St. Francis of Assisi

The Peace Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace!
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon.
where there is discord, harmony.
where there is doubt, faith.
where there is despair, hope.
where there is darkness, light.
where there is sorrow, joy.

Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

I first encountered this prayer in what might seem to be a strange source in 1985 in the book The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous. Although as a child we sang a song based on the prayer in church. It is a prayer that I wish to return to and keep close to me. It keeps me in third place right where I belong, with God in first and others in second.

Today October 4th the Franciscan brothers are celebrating 800 years of the order established by God through the humble servant St. Francis of Assisi who toke a vow of poverty. Franciscan rule of life is:
"To observe the holy gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, living in obedience without anything of our own, and in chastity."
I was made aware of this and wanted to share it here on my blog.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Television Event

When I was a kid there were annual television events: once a year you could see The Wizard of Oz and The Sound of Music among others. If you missed it, you had to wait til next year, there were no VHS tapes, DVDs or Blu-rays, no YouTube or other Internet sources for your enjoyment. It also meant that it was usually a family affair. Children in feety pajamas hoping they could make it til the first commercial if they needed "to go." Parents putting aside their book or evening newspaper (there was a morning edition too in those days) to watch a classic with their family.

So I thought, are there really any television events left? Immediately, I thought about the Super Bowl, people still hold Super Bowl parties, bars and restaurants make it special too. It really is An Event. Tuesday September 11th, 2001 was a television event that most Americans watched. I was not one of them not because I didn't have a TV but I was doing something else. I became aware of the event in progress and since I was in the car I tuned into the news via radio. When I arrived at my destination there was a TV on and I witnessed the first Tower to come down, but I didn't stay. The man standing next to me freaked out. I wanted to know what was going on but I didn't want to be glued to the set. I would tune in later that day. Coverage lasted for days. I watched the President address the nation from a bed and breakfast in Queens. That's right, Queens one of the five New York City boroughs is where I was on September 20th, 2001.

As our friend Bob Dylan likes to say, "times they are a changin' " Some parents will not have their children watch the Super Bowl with them since Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction. Other parents allow their children to have their own TV's and often parents have a TV in their bedroom. We can watch classic movies anytime and almost anywhere on a laptop. We have gained so much over the years but we have lost a time, date and place for the family to get together around a television event.

*These thoughts were brought on by my latest email from Barnes and Noble. The 70th anniversary of the Wizard of Oz is out. They even have an ultimate collector's edition. It can sit on your shelf reminding those of us who remember when it was a television event or you can watch it any time with everyone or all by yourself.

Thursday, September 24, 2009












Monday, September 21, 2009

The Highland Games 2009
My maiden name is MacDonald, I am a second generation American and my paternal grandparents were from Nova Scotia and did not refer to themselves as Canadians but as Scots.  Oddly enough this was the first time I attended the Highland Games, I have never been to Canada but I did learn Scottish Country Dancing as a kid.  
Two of my nieces and my nephew participated in the games.  The girls danced (and placed) and the fine lad piped his way to a first place finish with his band.  I would say that I am a participant of life. It was a challenge and at the same time relaxing to take it in as a spectator.  I am already thinking about next year and wondering how I can join in.  
Our arrival in the early morning met us with a chilly mountain air.  The girls were up first dancing with the wind at their backs and a young lady on the pipes.  The Highland fling is just one of the dances that they competed in wearing matching kilts.  Two of the other dances are the Sword and the Scottish Lilt.  Pipe and drums compete in grades and perform in massed bands.  The sites and sounds are just a part of the culture of these clans from Scotland.  
At some point I ran off to get a progr'm.  Half way through the day I wrote the following that probably best describes my reflection on my day at the games:
"Never too old to dance, to pipe, to drum, to embrace your heritage, to know the history of your people."   CM

Sunday, September 13, 2009

"In Essentials UNITY, 
           In Non-Essentials LIBERTY, 
                                   In All things CHARITY."

                                                                                           Rupertus Meldenius 1627

In other words "they will know we are Christians by our love" and if we fail to do so, the apostle Paul reminds us, that we will eat each other alive.  This past week with Katie and the rest of the Communicators for Christ 2009 traveling team I experienced all three and above all was the LOVE.  
Thank you David, Teresa, Wendell and Devin.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Lead and Lead the Escape

Attend Christian Educators Reception 
Lead the Escape Program
Tomorrow at 330pm and 7 Respectfully
1075 Washington St. Hanover, MA
Living Hope Church


My inbox has been filled with emails that can disappear with a simple click or two. So, in an attempt to clean out the inbox, I decided that I can minimize the cleaning if there is not as many emails addressed to me.
" Take me off the list, unsubscribe, I have received this email by mistake." Mostly, I am unsubscribing to magazines, department stores which of course also have online stores, and ministries. You can ad to the list ad infinitum. Most of which I never read but had at one time or another, I will read that later. Rarely was that happening. Then I just let my inbox fill up with unread emails.
My kids would look at my number of unread emails and laugh. Now, I just have to get rid of all those ones that I have unsubscribed to and I will be on my way to dealing with the emails that I really want to read, there are probably 3 subscriptions that I read regularly, the rest is pretty much correspondences and at the moment listings for homes in Central MA.
So for my fellow self-inflicted sufferers, I say before you hit the delete button, go ahead and unsubscribe. I know you can do it. If I can do it, anybody can.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The Bread of Life

"For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love."

"For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.  For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.

But I say, walk by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.  For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.  Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies and things like these.  I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.  Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another."

Galatians 5; 6, 13-26

English Standard Version

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Up on a crisp September morning in New England

There is nothing quite like a late summer day in New England that starts out chilly or crisp (not yet cold and no where near freezing, we are 21 degrees above that) that increasingly warms up like the oven does over the course of the morning.  
Today I really need to decide on what Scripture to memorize.*  So I started to think about it and asking myself "what is it that I need in my spiritual life?" Do I need praise? gratitude? truth? the gospel? Yes to all of those things.  
There are some passages in the recent pass that I have read everyday for a matter of weeks or months but I have not committed any to memory.  And I am not too old.  Jesus said that man does not live on bread alone but on the very Word of God.  

Time to pick up my Bible, make a decision and stick with it.  

*I decided it has been way too long since I memorized any Scripture

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I know you by your foot steps on the stairs

Have you ever paid attention to the sound of a person's gait?  Some sound confident, others purposeful, still others walk so softly that they are nearly right behind you before you hear them.  Then there are those with a spring in their step as if their feet are always dancing to a tune that only they can hear. I remember learning about what makes us individuals when my kids were very young and one of the things that is unique to us is our gait.  The way we walk is the signature of our feet.  [Being a little more observant these days in a place that is not my own.]  

Sunday, August 16, 2009

(Blogger and GMail connected directly yet if you go to the more in your drop down menu and click "blogs" it will not connect you to your blogger account.  You have to go to "even more."  That makes about as much sense as wearing a bathing suit in a N'orEaster in the middle of Massachusetts in January.  
Now that I got that off my chest.)
The Numbers
As a number of people know (not necessarily all my readers), I have been working at my brother-in-law's store since the middle of May.  We sell Lottery tickets LOTS of them.  Scratch tickets, Mega Millions (up to $170 million this week), the Daily Number, etc.  You get the picture or you never go into that kind of establishment or if you do, you totally ignore it and you have no idea what in the world I am talking about, regardless, just stay with me.  
On Tuesday, my daughter's birthday, I had the urge to play the numbers.  It was more about the numbers than the winning money.  For the first time I saw this angle from the customers point of view.  The month's numbers are all written up on the Lottery calendar made specifically for that purpose.  Two of the regulars were discussing the pattern of the month and suddenly it hit me.  For some it IS about trying to win money and for others, it is about actually playing the numbers.  Some of our brains are just wired to think about numbers and patterns.  Recently, my friend Carol has cracked up over my ability to remember people's birthdays, dates of where I have lived (17 moves in 6 years) and world and personal events that have happened.  (However, if you ask me about my 75 or so passwords for the Internet and accounts I have and I will have to go to my book)  I enjoy numbers and it is probably why I create so many passwords instead of using a small variation of one.  It is just the way my Creator wired me.  I didn't play any numbers and I never really have had the desire before this, but I started thinking about the numbers in Grace's birthday.  I don't remember my room number in the hospital (oops) but I know the exact time she was born, the day of the week, the fact that it was raining, how old I was.  Sometimes I have said or had the urge to say when a number arises, say a total on my grocery bill is 19.66, my thought is "maybe I should play that number," but I never do.
If you asked me what is the worse thing about working at the store: hands down, having to sell lottery tickets, but a lot of the regular customers are lottery customers.  It is important to be courteous, even when they come back to the counter for the 11th time to buy 2 more of the same scratch ticket that they bought 2 at a time from the same book of tickets the previous 10 times.  It requires patience.  And in my growing in patience with the people, I have in someway started to look at the game from there side of the counter.  It is hard to hate an activity and still serve the participants of it with love.  First hand, I see how the hatred can slip across the line to look like hating "those" customers.  They are high maintenance for sure, but they are people first, image bearers of God.  With each passing day, I see how much mercy I need and that same measure of mercy we need to extend to the people who come across our path.    Do any of us deserve that mercy?  No, but we all need it.
Doing my best to finish this blog before 10:17 on the 16 of August in this 95 degree heat in the summer of 2009. 

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Written in the hand of one Grace Mullaney
(the following I found while finishing going through Grace's things to make sure she had everything she needs for the next 4 months or so)
Perhaps this was something that Grace was going to speak about at Masters 2009 since it has a lunch schedule for Masters on the same piece of paper.

"teacher - authority
leader - quiet strength
mentor - challenger
servant - see here . . .
friend - encourage me
my privilege . . . honor"

Grace was launched from the nest in 2007 and now Katie has followed this summer.   What a blessing to have children walking in the truth.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

July 19th, 2009
Today I stopped by to visit my dad while I was in Boston.  We got onto the topic of my brother-in-law Billy's store Endicott Variety which is located in Dedham, MA.  It so happens that the Bank that Billy uses, Dedham Savings Bank use to be Norfolk Savings and Trust the very location that my dad worked at back in the early 60's.  
The story he told was one of his advancing from assistant manager to manager but the theme to this particular story was the delight my dad took in the work.  I will do my best  to recount it to you perhaps I can get him to read it and he could help me with anything I missed.  
Back in those days the bank was using an accounting system, IBM 403 (I believe).  My dad was given the opportunity to upgrade the entire system to the 407.  The program(software) had to work on the incoming system(hardware).  It is my understanding that my dad worked on the program and was able to go into the Boston IBM office to test out the program before the system arrived (My dad said he is pretty sure you can't do that anymore).  the conversion took about a 1/4 (3 months) to complete.
One of the VPs kept a close eye on overtime paid each quarter.  My dad's department had $2600 of overtime during the quarter that he did the conversion.   He called my dad looking for an explanation.  "Well," my dad said, "$2400 of that was paid to me."  
"What for?" the boss asked.  
"Converting the accounting system from the 403 to the 407." 
 "Oh yes, how could I forget - a terrific job and someone else in the office said no one could have done a better job."
As a result my dad was promoted to manager with a pay raise.  
There was more to the story and perhaps I left out my dad's favorite part but the most important thing I got out of the story was that my dad loved what he was doing and the fact that I have been working in Dedham and frequenting Dedham Savings Bank which was one of my dad's old haunts, prompted a flood of memories for him.  I am grateful to have been there to listen and my dad enjoyed telling me the story.  
A link to the history of IBM Accounting Machine

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Writing with Pen and Paper

Today, I dropped Katie off at Logan Airport around 8 AM and spent the day in Boston.  I just didn't want to leave.  While I was there, I spent some time writing by hand.  Sometimes you have to do something before you realize how MUCH you miss it.  One of the things I wrote specifically for this blog.  I am not posting it tonight but I will in the next day or two.  The other is a hand-written letter to a love one that isn't finished yet.  
There is something so wonderful about sitting in the sunshine and letting part of your heart spill out onto the paper through the act and art of hand writing.  
Blessings to my Katie girl who set out on her own adventure today and her life will expand in change in new and glorious ways.  I am so happy for her!  I will miss her.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Storms will come
Back in the late summer of 2004 while living in Knoxville, TN, I pre-ordered the latest Switchfoot CD that was coming out, I believe it was Nothing is Sound for Grace. I have been on their email list ever since. Today I received an email about their upcoming release and opportunity to pre-order, Hello Hurricane. It is a great title, don't you agree?
Jon Forman, the front man says,
"Hello Hurricane acknowledges the storms that tear through our lives...this album is an attempt to respond to those storms with an element of hope, trying to understand what it means to be hopeful in a world that keeps on spinning."
Now good things are happening, my girls, really young woman getting ready to go and the winds of change are feeling kind of stormy.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Box cutter in my pocket

No I am not a terrorist and I don't play one on TV. Today I came home from the store with a box cutter in my pocket. For the past month, Dan, Michael and I have been running my brother-in-law Billy's store, Endicott Variety. I think I have used the box cutter on maybe one or two boxes since working there but we usually use it to open a variety of things. Today it was for opening the bundles of newspapers and the 8 packs of bagged ice (5 lb bags) to fill the ice chest.
This past week Katie and Michael competed in the NCFCA's National Championship Tournament in Greenville, SC. This was the first Nationals that I have missed in the past 5 years. Even though I was sad about missing it, many things pointed to the fact that I was exactly where I was suppose to be this week, including the box cutter in my pocket.
I am amazed what Billy does. It takes 2 of us (usually Michael works with either Dan or me and Dan and I work a couple of days together) to do what Billy does in the morning. It is no wonder to me that he needed a hip replacement. It is a physically demanding work. The joint is jumping and week day mornings are especially hopping. We've learned to keep up with the coffee (today I thought I was in good shape and by 8 oclock I was running behind) and for the most part the customers have been patient with us. Coffee is a huge seller. There is not a Dunkies or Starbucks for a mile or two and the store is located right near the train station and right off the highway.
Before Dan was a nurse, Dan and Billy ran their dad's store in Wellesley together. So for Dan running the store was like jumping in the deep end and just remembering the stroke, for me it was jumping in the deep end and being expected to swim. I feel like Dori in Nemo, "just keep swimming, swimming swimming." So, I have been swimming. I am not as fast as Billy and "Danny" (as he is affectionally called by family members and customers alike) but my form is good and I am DOING it.
Dan is still nursing in the evening, while running the store overall. It would have been a great hardship on him for me to even consider asking him for me to have the week off. This is something we agreed to do together and it has also allowed for my sister-in-law, Kelly to stay at home take care of Billy and their kids. I am tired but grateful. I am encouraged.
Having been involved in helping run tournaments the last 5 years has been a lot of fun and hard work. Running the store is very similar with the one exception, the store never closes, no holidays or closing award ceremonies and those Monday thru Friday customers streaming in saying, "aren't you glad its Friday?" and I smile and tell them to have a nice weekend.
So, it is like an ongoing tournament with a cast of regular characters and lots of human interaction. Communication skills are coming in handy and walking with Jesus has too. The job requires an overall willingness to serve your customers with a smile.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Mostly Prove Me Wrong

Fiction Family
by Fiction Family



This is the darkest day I've seen
I can't find an opening
I've never felt this rage in me
I've never known this anger

I'm feeling like a curse
I feel like I'm getting worse
I'm bored with war in songs
I've been bitter far too long
Come on, prove me wrong

And tell me I'm no loner
And tell me I'm not crazy
Or maybe just a little bit
Maybe just a little bit crazy
But mostly prove me wrong

They're up to something in my head
I can hear them taunting me
Thanks for nothing imagined friends
I can hear you laughing

I'm feeling like a hearse
Like I'm carrying dead hurt
I'm tired of being right
I'm retired from that fight
Hey come on, prove me wrong

I'm feeling like a bomb
Like I'm screwing up my song
It's like I don't belong
With no point in going on

Thursday, May 28, 2009

To Be Known....some initial thoughts

Yes, my face and profile are on Facebook. As a general rule I don't "friend" people that I am not actually acquainted with, however, recently I invited everyone in my email address book and that was not intentional. So, if you got an invite to Facebook and thought "what is this?" hopefully you just deleted it.

There are different philosophies concerning Facebook and different people use it for different things. There are all these quizes that people create and take and share. Today I failed at one of the "How well do you know _____?" It was someone I thought I knew pretty well, so that was a bummer. Thinking over how well we know people, I believe there are people who we think we know but we really don't and vice versa. After having a conversation recently, I thought, this person really doesn't know me.

I don't think that Facebook is the place to get to really know people. It can be a fun place to look at people pics, check out their favorite books, movies and quotes and read people's notes, but to really know someone there has to be a type of sharing that can not really happen without a considerable amount of face time. There is something that transpires when you get together. Even the folks who meet online eventually want to meet face to face if they want the relationship to grow.

There are people that we want to know and be known by and there are not.......

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

There is no writer's block here or a cat getting my tongue, just a really strange time in the life of this pilgrim and her family. Today I called a friend just to check in and say hi. She said, "Where are you living?" I said "Marlborough" and she said, "You haven't been letting us know where you are on your blog." I apologized.

Unless you have been in direct contact with me, you have probably wondered where it is that we have gone. As I have said to more than a few people, I quit moving two moves ago. Now I find myself back in Marlborough. I must say that I do like the city where I watched our three children grow, change and become accustom to things and then in 2003 set off on a journey that has brought us back to where we started from. (if you want my new street address email me)

Not sure where we are going, but I am certainly looking forward to all that is to come. Grace going off to college, Katie touring with CFC (ICC) and Michael presently working with Dan and me as we help out at Endicott (Dan's brother Billy's store).....we will see what the fall brings for the 3 of us. There are things that I do want to plan for but without landing, those decisions have to be put on hold.

Here is to living life on the fly. Now writing from Marlborough, MA.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

A trip to the Library yielded the following titles:

Do what you are : discover the perfect career for you through the secrets of personality type / Paul D. Tieger and Barbara Barron-Tieger.

What do I do now? : Dr. Foster's 30 laws of great decision making / Charles Foster.

Reading people : how to understand people and predict their behavior-- anytime, anyplace / Jo-Ellan Dimitrius and Mark Mazzarella.

Questions and Comments welcome.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

From the 5th chapter of the book of Galatians
out of The New Testament

13For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14For the whole law is fulfilled in one word:"You shall love your neighbor as yourself." 15But if youAC)"> bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.
16But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17ForAF)"> the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other,to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19NowAJ)"> the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22But the fruit of the Spirit isAN)"> love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness,AQ)"> self-control;AR)"> against such things there is no law. 24And those who belong to Christ JesusAS)"> have crucified the flesh with itsAT)"> passions and desires.

25If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

Lately, I have been meditating on this part of the chapter and the italicized is mine. These are the key phrases I have been highlighting in my mind during meditation. The Word of God never grows old.

Wanting to post and looking forward to some more writing as we have a little breather before going to the National Championship Tournament and also enjoying some time attending to the boxes.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

How Deep The Father's Love For Us

Stuart Townend

How deep the Father's love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocing voice,
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that helf Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I knoww that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast inJesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

Christ is Risen!!!

Friday, March 27, 2009

A piece of Oh the Places you go!
by Dr. Suess

On and on you will hike.
And I know you'll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

You'll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You'll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life's
A Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And wil you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)


be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
you're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Anyone who might be tempted to say, "Great stuff praying for money. Guess I'll stop working and pray" - don't bother even joking about it! Just remember that we prayed for only enough for food and shelter and the bare necessities of life, and our "working hours" were not according to any "union rules"! It hasn't been, nor is it, a life of any kind of "ease", but it has been tremendously exciting to see the reality of communication with God, and to see the reality of His replies, His answers, in the realm of material things, and in the realm of the minds and hearts of human beings.

L'abri by Edith Schaeffer

Friday, March 13, 2009

I have decided that life is the biggest adventure even if you remain at the same address most of your life or you never have a place to call your own.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

When your troubles make you hopeless in the daylight
The darkness of night is a welcome guest.
Everyone experiences afflictions and those who say they don't can hardly be human. The more I let people in and they let me in, the more likely we will find ourselves with burdens, wounds and the like. These afflictions are accompanied by joys, laughter, and friendship.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Beliefs with Benefits
"What people who are saved, but who don't feel saved, need to know is that their salvation does not depend upon how they feel but upon what Christ has done for them. What Christ has done is summarized in the thirty-sixth question of the (Westminster) Shorter Catechism. the assurance of our salvation, the love of God, and our progress in the Christian life are depicted as the fruit of God's work on our behalf. We must look outside of ourselves to what Christ has done to rest assured in these benefits." Dr. Kim Riddlebarger

After reading this article "Basking in the Benefits" where the above paragraph is from, I couldn't help but think about how important it is to know what we believe and why we believe it. The American Church is so diverse, you could shop for a church for weeks, months and years and not find one that suits you, if you did not set a criterion for which you will even consider becoming a part of a local body of believing Christians, never mind shopping for one.
The article goes on to say,
"This particular question and its answer reminds us of the precious truth that the work of Jesus Christ is the ground of our assurance, the proof of God's love for us, and the sure sign that God intends to finish that good work that He has already begun in us. (Phil 1;6)"

We are the sheep of the Good Shepherd and it some ways we are stupid, trust our feelings instead of the Truth and we need to be reminded. C.S. Lewis has written in one of his books that it is not so much that we need to be taught as it is we need to be reminded. Reminded that it is Jesus Christ who justifies, adopts and sanctifies. That as His child, I am dearly loved. Obedience brings freedom to live by the Spirit and the list could go on.
These days I am in search of the truth about God, His Word, The Gospel, and Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man, what people are for and what God would have me do as I near the end of the race called parenthood. I am thirsty for His Grace and I want to know the truth, so that I can make headway in one of the most if not the most important endeavor in this life and that is to love my fellow man. Knowing what I believe about God and Man, may be the avenue in which the Love of God can flow through me and spill out on to my fellow human beings. It takes effort on my part but I am totally dependent on God. The results are in His Hands not mine.
So my devotional this morning is a urging me to remember that "The benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification, are, assurance of God's love, peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Ghost, increase of grace, and perseverance therein to the end." (answer to the Q36.) We can run and not grow weary as long as I am dependent on God and not on myself and my feelings.
I guess I am just a realist who doesn't believe in feel good Christianity that may try to tell me that if I am not feeling good then perhaps I am not a child of the living God. Life does not always feel good. Sometimes you find yourself riding the subway and it feels like you will never get off or see the light of day again, but being in good company, enjoying the ride anyway and knowing that yes, the train will let you off without paying another fair and soon you will feel the wind at your back.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Opening Your Heart not Just your Home
An Introduction

Heart, n.
  • 2. the central, innermost, or vital part: Oxford Dictionary
  • 4. The seat of the affections and passions, as of love, joy, grief, enmity, courage, pleasure &c. Noah Webster 1828
Hospitality, n.
  • the friendly and generous treatment of guests or strangers. Oxford Dictionary
  • The act or practice of receiving and entertaining strangers or guests without reward, or with kind and generous liberality. Noah Webster 1828

When I hear that someone really knows how to practice hospitality, I immediately think, that person knows how to make someone feel right at home. It is not just greeting someone with a smile but an atmosphere that embraces and welcomes you. It requires an open heart not just an open home.
The better part of the last six years, folks as far north as Quechee, Vermont and as far south as Naples, Florida, as far west as Houston, TX and a lot of places in between have opened not just their homes to us but their hearts. My older daughter, Grace has enjoyed it even wider and farther than that. It is my desire for our family to have a place of our own where we can practice that type of hospitality.

As a young wife and mother, I had a lot of fear about having anyone over. With a lot of encouragement and support from my husband, I walked through the fear again and again and again. There really is no way around it. I really had two choices: live in fear or grow through it. I am so grateful that I chose the later. Not only did I grow through it, I learned to love it!!! Friends have been made, relationships strengthen and needs have been met.

Things are strange at the moment. There are lots of unknowns but one thing I do know, that hospitality is a mindset. It is not something that you just do, but a way of life. First I learned to practice hospitality, then I learned to receive hospitality, now I am thinking about living a life of hospitality.

I can't really say, I know exactly what living a life of hospitality is, although while Grace was in Holland last summer at L'abri I read Edith Schaeffer's book L'abri Fellowship and I would say that the Schaeffers and those that have picked up the work where they left off do indeed intentionally live a life of hospitality.

I have been reading a book by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay (Edith's daughter) called For the Family's Sake, The Value of Home In Everyone's Life and the message is clear, people matter and that is why hospitality matters. The book is inspiring me. The whole feel and attitude of the book is so inviting as if Susan is saying across the miles, "come sit down with me, have some tea and let's visit." That is what I want to be like. I do believe that Susan and her husband Ranald have been living and continue to live the life of Hospitality.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Our children are The Change
Today while watching our new president being sworn into office and giving his inaugural address, I thought about the campaign theme of Change Can Happen. was the name of the website for now President Obama's transition project. Today's speech spelled it out a little bit more:

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted — for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk takers, the doers, the makers of things — some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

I believe it begins with individuals who have had a change of heart within families within community. We can not be a part of the we, if we as individual people have yet hope, unity of purpose, let go of resentment, grow up, stand up for others and lay down our lives, be the go getters and for us as Christians salt out of the salt shaker. I am resolved to be content at being an obscure laborer who is willing to see my children go further and higher. At the same time be willing to press on and see how far I can make it in the journey, do my best to never give up.

So that leads me to my children (K-Mac was the only commenter who wanted to hear about the children being gone) who have been gone for over a week and the oldest having been gone since the end of December. First, let's remember that they are young adults (almost 16, 17, and 19) and each of them wants to make a difference in the world. Until today, it hasn't been too quiet around here.

(did not finish this post after starting)

Back to the my children that are growing up so quickly before my eyes. There is a song by Jon Forman "C'mon, C'mon" and there is a line that says, "let's not be our parents." It is my desire that my children will go up further and higher than their dad and me. Each one will make an impact in their community and be a part of the change in this country by changing and growing more and more into the likeness of Christ. I am not specifically talking about the political landscape or policy making, although I will not count those out. However, I hope and pray for them to each influence the culture for the glory of God.

In the time that my kids were gone. I prayed for them and some of you may be surprised, that I did not pine after them even though I missed them. This is a strategic time in their lives as we "shoot out these arrows of ours" (as Gregg Harris likes to put it). Each of them have been through test launches and they are looking good and continue to prepared for their final launches. Not exactly sure when that will be for each of them but we know that is closer than we think.

Relationships with our children change as they grow up. When we resist the change the pain is greater. I have delighted in walking through life with them all through their childhood. In some ways people may think that the parents who educated their children at home have a harder time letting go, but I am doing what I have done through the years, embraced the change because it will help me to continue on my own journey in this life. By no means am I doing it with ease. I fumble, fall on my face but I get up again, often with one of my young adults helping me brush myself off and telling me, "it's ok mum."

So I want my kids to sing it out:

So c'mon, c'mon, c'mon!
Let's not be our parents.
Well c'mon, c'mon, c'mon!
Let's follow this through.
Oh c'mon, c'mon, c'mon!
Everything's waiting.
We will rise with the wings of the dawn,
When everything's new.
Everything's new.

That they would not just do better than us but that they will be better than us. To Grace, Katie and Michael I say stand on my shoulders.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

blog followers

There are so many things that I want to write about listening, aging, kids test flying out of the nest (2 weeks with all 3 teenagers gone) and not letting the nest get cold, hospitality, families, death, dying and forgiveness for a start. With such a list in my head and on my heart what happens is I don't write at all.
I am very aware of the fact that I have a number of regular readers and 2 regular readers who comment. So this is a shout out to all of my regular readers. First of all THANK YOU for reading and encouraging me over the years. I enjoy getting feedback. All writers want to be read. I write because I love to do it. Today I am asking for more comments: please pick one of the subjects from the list above for me to write about next.
Again, thanks so much for reading!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

In light of what is about to take place in these United States:

"Everyone thinks of changing the world, no one thinks of changing himself."
Leo Tolstoy

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

"All they wanted was one last great adventure."
Kenny, the grandson of my dear friend asked what the sign was, so I told him what it said. It hangs on the wall entering our kitchen. His Bebe said it was appropriate for our family. And yes, I thought to myself. I want the adventure of staying put, not having a favorite type of moving boxes, getting everything out of storage, etc. I could go on with quite a list but I think you get the picture.
Then I googled to find out who the quote was from since two people had asked in the last 3 days and I was unsuccessful in my search. I did however come across some other interesting things as a result. Here are a few:

'Running From Safety: An Adventure of the Spirit,' 1994. Daisy is Richard's Cessna 337

" Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all. "
Helen Keller

" People travel to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars; and they pass by themselves without wondering. "
St. Augustine

" Life is NOT a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -- ’WOW, what a ride!!! "

" To die will be an awfully big adventure. "
James Matthew Barrie

[There were many more but I will spare you.]

The last quote here from the beloved JM Barrie got me to thinking. That it IS death that will be THE last great adventure. The biggest part of it being, its not an "if" but merely "when." In God's economy we are not the ones to determine that factor, but we are to be prepared. The "being prepared" part can mean different things to different people.
So many thoughts have been flowing through my mind this very morning. And thinking on the terms of being prepared for the end, the final curtain call, our final change of address, the following questions come to my mind:
"is your own house in order?"
"am I doing my best to live at peace with all men?"
"are my actions lining up with my convictions?"

I realize that there are many more questions to ask ourselves and thoughts that help us to be prepared. The thing that is comforting about death is that it is 100%. Not one of us (human beings) gets out of this life alive. It is something we all have to face and it is one of the hardest things for us to help others with facing. Lots of folks are not afraid of death but dying. I believe that I am going to need to read and write further on this subject. It has been on my mind for a totally different reason (no, I am not dying.).

As a Christian, I know that I am alive in Christ forevermore even when I face death. It will be different because it will be in the Presence of the Holy One who can not abide with sin. It will be glorious and like nothing that I have ever imagined.

Living out my life here on earth until the last great adventure.