Friday, June 23, 2017

Conclusion Episode 9



Well, I have to say it's been an interesting experiment. There are several things I learned, and several that I reaffirmed were true.

The first thing I learned was that camping alone is not for wimps. The amenities of the campgrounds I picked were not nearly as important to me as were the number and types of campers with whom I would be surrounding myself.  There is safety in numbers. It took courage to put down my guard long enough as to actually fall asleep in a tent in a strange place. Perhaps that vulnerability will fade as I get more camping nights under my belt.

The second thing I learned: my favorite part of the trip was that, except for the times I was in the car driving or cowering, I was outside. I consider being in a tent still being outside. Even though under a shelter I was not completely out of the elements. The sounds are the same, the temperature and air are the same. In other words, I was essentially still outside! Both times I ate at restaurants I ate outside on a deck or patio. In the time I was gone,  from 9 am on Thursday morning until 4 pm on Saturday, (about 64 hours), I think I was outside for 50 of those hours. Living in Minnesota means months of inside living with our nearly 7 months of winter a year. I have seen the cows leaping for joy after being let out of the barn after a long winter.






It felt like that.









Thirdly, I enjoyed the people. This reaffirmed my memory of how fun it was to camp. When folks are camping, they are not in their normal surroundings. That means they don't have all their friends with them, so they reach out to others, and seem friendlier somehow. Also, they have more time to visit. Campgrounds are places where striking up a conversation with a fellow camper is easy to do. I find people's stories endlessly interesting and entertaining.

The beauty of God's creation was everywhere. As I soaked in the beauty of that part of Wisconsin, I was thirsty to see more of the world. What marvelous things are the work of His hands. I felt spiritually restored as I read God's word surrounded by God's world.

 It was a marvelous trip. Thanks to all of you who went along the journey with me. Oh, and I did make it to Iowa and had a great time.

Out of all these people ......





I got this close........














Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Day Three: Two Celebrations Episode 8

Saturday morning. It was another beautiful day. I had brought along my coffee maker in the event that I had access to electricity. There were multiple outlets in the park's picnic shelter, so I had my first really satisfying cup of the trip. Instead of making breakfast I just prepared a protein shake and a food bar. The tent is always a little wet in the morning from the dew and the ground, so I began to take it down. In the middle of that task I got talking with Pam and another camper.

My new lesson: empty the tent before you collapse it. I think the distraction of the conversation made me forget what I had been doing and I went straight for packing up the tent. You can get your things out, it's just awkward.

All packed up, I took one more look around the campsite and realized that I had not taken advantage of the rack full of courtesy bikes that you could ride in the park, or into town if you liked. So, I grabbed a bike and pedaled the two blocks into town. checked it out and went back to camp. It was a nice amenity, in an all-around nice park.

The evening before, Sam had mentioned that Maiden Rock, WI, a nearby town I would be passing through on my way home, was having their summer celebration this weekend. I was pretty sure it also had a municipal park for camping and I had planned to scout that out anyway.

Just before I got to Maiden Rock I saw a big banner next to a county road that read Maiden Rock Camping Fest or something like that. I turned on to a winding road that climbed up and up into the bluffs until I hit a plateau and found the party. There were tents and campers and lot of people and a parking lot full of cars. Some women were doing yoga in a nearby patch of grass. About 50 people were sitting at picnic tables waiting for the noon lunch.

I found what looked like an official welcoming booth and said that I had seen the sign on the highway, and asked what was happening. The gals working the booth said lunch was being served in about 10 minutes. So I bought a ticket for $5.00 and began talking to the young woman next to me. I asked her if this was a pretty popular campground. She seemed surprised by the question. She told me that she was petty sure that this was private property, but that once a year the owner opened it up for this camp out.

Most of the people here seemed to know each other. I didn't see any other touristy types. Lunch was served: A ham sandwich (with cheese slices if you liked) potato chips a giant cookie and a glass of cold milk. Not bad for $5.00. I filled my plate, walked back to my car and retreated down the windy road back to the Highway. I'm pretty sure that was a semi- private party.

Back on the Highway I drove into Maiden Rock. They were having their summer festival. I pulled in to the municipal campground which was just behind where the activities was taking place. Of course I had already eaten, but it was a hot day, and this the the party I was actually looking for, so I bought a beer and sat down.
I began talking with a woman who said she and her husband were camping at the park and liked coming here. Her name was Penny. Her brothers named her. She said she went to a Catholic school when she was young and the nuns refused to call her Penny. Her mother got a call from her teacher complaining that she didn't answer when they called on her. Her mother asked what thy were calling her and they said they were using her full name, Penelope. Her mother said, if they would call her by her real name she would answer. They finally relented.
Penny

Penny invited me to see their camper and meet her husband. This campground was also on Lake Pepin and the view of the lake was lovely. Penny's camper was really nice, too. I told Penny about my earlier party crashing, and one of the guys visiting with Penny's husband finally figured out that I had been at the old rod and gun club. He said he thought it belonged to the VFW or the American Legion now. He had no clue about the celebration, and he was from Maiden Rock!

The parade was starting in ten minute, so Penny and I grabbed a couple of chairs and went up to main street. I think the parade went three blocks. It was 20-25 minutes long at most. Perfect. The kids ended with huge bags of candy, and since they shut down the highway for the parade the line of cars that had to wait for the parade to be over was almost as long as the parade.

Time to go. I said goodbye to Penny, stopped at one of the tents long enough to buy two pieces of barbecued chicken to eat later at home, and traveled the rest of the way up the river to Prescott,WI to Hastings, MN to St Paul, MN to home. What an adventure.

What will I do next? Well, I have tickets for a Trump Rally in Cedar Rapids, IA tomorrow. I've never seen a sitting president.


Monday, June 19, 2017

Day Two. Just What I Was Hoping For. Episode 7

I woke up surprisingly refreshed. I was annoyed by my cowardice, but  pleased at the rebound. I actually liked sleeping in the tent. I gathered breakfast paraphernalia, table cloth, coffee, cookware, cook stove, dishes, matches.....uh-oh. I lost track of the matches. I went down the hill to the fire pit and they were there on the ground. I hadn't seen them in the dark. When I picked up the box it was wet and one side was a little slimy. I turned it over and there, hugging the flint was a leech. Ick.

When the camp owner stopped to see how I had slept he seemed a little disappointed that I had had trouble due to the noise. Still, he could see that I was happy with the site. I asked for another box of matches which he cheerfully supplied.

I had brought my own water from home, so the first thing I did was heat water for coffee (instant coffee. After all, I was roughing it) and then made scrambled eggs in my new frying plan. I discovered that I had forgotten to bring salt. I checked the pocket of the cooler. Paul had always packed the cooler, and he often included napkins, silverware and packets of sugar and salt in a zip lock bag. Sure enough, 3 packets of salt. I miss him.

I "broke camp" and headed back to Durand to catch WI Highway 25 south to WI Highway 35 which runs north/south along the Mississippi River. I took some county roads so that I would come out closer to Durand before getting on to Highway 25, and thereby avoided the flag persons. Ha!

The Wisconsin countryside in that area is breathtakingly beautiful. These are picture postcard visions  of the dairy farms that provide the milk that makes the state famous for it's cheese. The trees and crops and grass were lush and green. I was trying to decide if I would camp another night as I had planned. I still had no phone service and a lot would depend on the weather report. About an hour later I arrived at Pepin, Wisconsin, one of several small towns that sit on Lake Pepin, a renowned recreational lake. In fact, across the water on the other side, a bit north of Pepin was the town of Lake City, MN known as the birthplace of water skiing. I had recently driven Highway 35 and had noticed more than one sign announcing municipal campgrounds in several of the towns. I thought Pepin was one.

There was an inviting restaurant right on the highway. It was nearly noon, so I stopped for a California Burger and fries. A bonus, in addition to being able to eat outside, was that they had wi-fi.

I sent a quick text to the kids (they like to keep tabs on me, for some reason), and then checked the weather. 40% chance of rain/thunderstorms. Hmmmm. Now that I had experience as a tenter perhaps I should extend that experience to "difficult conditions". On the other hand, 40% chance of rain also meant 60% chance of no rain if my math was correct. I decided to go for it.

I couldn't find a campground in Pepin so I continued up 35. I didn't see anything at Lakeport, but in Stockholm, right in town, was a sign saying "campground". I made a left turn, toward the lake, and there it was, the kind of campground I had envisioned when I planned the trip.

Situated right on Lake Pepin, with a large grassy area in the middle for tents, and a friendly camp host, Pam, it was perfect. Pam told me to fill out my registration envelope, put in the money and drop it into the box, and she would show me around. It was only 2:30 in the afternoon but there were already 10-12 campers and RV's with their awnings and electrical hook-ups in place. There were no tents, but I would be in the circle of activity. I chose a spot in the middle of the knoll, away from branches that could break off in a wind and right across the road from Pam's camper. Pam rolled a metal firepit over to where I was and said, put it anywhere you like. If you brought wood you can burn that or you can buy some. Whatever you want. Pam and her husband were taking care of their 4 grandchildren for a week, so there was a lot of activity across the road. They were good kids and I enjoyed the lively atmosphere.


I set up the tent and got out my crossword puzzles and other books and kicked back and enjoyed the day. Before long a young couple from Eau Claire, WI, Sam and Josh, set up a tent across the knoll from me. They were very friendly and said they'd watch out for me. Sam said she grew up in Plum City, WI and Josh was originally from LaCrosse, WI. They said they really liked this campground and came here often. I was pretty sure their well-behaved, 1 year-old black lab, who slept in their tent with them, would warn us all of anything that went bump in the night.

We had a brief rain shower, maybe 5 minutes, which cooled the air. My tent did not leak. I made a light supper, enjoyed a campfire from the gift of wood from both Pam and Sam and Josh.


I watched the boats go by and my fellow campers walking their dogs, enjoyed a beautiful sunset, and slept peacefully the whole night through.






Sunday, June 18, 2017

Day One. Part Two: Fifty-Fifty Episode 6

When I pulled into Menomonie a wonderful thing happened. It's called phone service. Relieved that I could now search on line for a campground, I found two listed. I decided to go for Twin Springs Camping. My phone could actually take me there! It looked okay. There were a number of RV's, and I could see at least one tent as I parked by the office. It was privately held. The sign said it had been under the same owners for fifty-two years. It showed it's age a bit, but I could hear kids having fun at the pool. A sign on the door said "ring the bell and come in". Inside a tall man, who looked like he could be the owner, was getting up from a chair in front of a TV in the living room and he met me at an office area right there in the house. His wife stayed in front of the TV.

I told him of my experiment in camping, filled out a registration form and asked if they took credit cards. He said they did not, they were old fashioned that way. Cash or checks would be welcome. I told him I was rather old fashioned as well, I tend to carry cash. I pulled out a couple of twenties, we settled accounts, he gave me a parking pass for my mirror, and said he had just the spot for me.

We went out the back door of the house where the office was, went to the right side of the house where there was a lovely, level site with a table. He pointed out that there was a fire ring at the base of the small hill behind the site. He said that would be mine to use if I wanted it, but they only allowed wood that I bought on-site. He said I could pull my car right up next to the tent, and the bathrooms were only three sites away. 

There was a camper one site from me, but I did not see anyone there. I thought they might have taken their car into town for supper.  I thanked him, pulled the car forward and began to set up the tent. That went well. The weather report included no rain. The sky was clear. It was calm and the temp was a pleasant 75 degrees or so. In other words, a perfect night to camp.
I even had my own swing.

I ate a salad for my evening meal. It was about 7 pm by now and I gratefully hit the showers. The bathrooms were aged, but clean. Two flush toilets, two showers and two sinks.  I hadn't really recovered from that hot round of golf, and there was very little breeze, so the shower was welcome and refreshing.

I checked out the camp a bit. The owner had pointed out  a path, so I walked to the lake, or the "Twin Creeks" perhaps, else why the campground name? 


No activity around the camper next door. I saw one person use the restroom. I assumed that activity would pick up as the day wound completely down. 

I want back to the office and asked to buy the firewood. A campfire seemed like a nice touch. My son-in-law, Jeff, texted on Friday and asked if I had forgotten anything. I had. I thought I had packed matches, but could not find them, so I went back to the office and the owner graciously gave a whole box. I had a fire starter along, and the wood was dry and burned well.
It was pretty dark by the time the fire settled down to a few embers, so I gathered my things and went back up the hill to the tent.

Earlier, the camp owner's wife had come out of the house. She drove around the camp on her golf cart, and went back inside. Other than that, the one girl at the bathroom and the owner were the only people I had seen. There was still no sign of anyone in the camper next to me, and I could not see any other campers from where I was. 

I got ready for bed, climbed into the tent and got to thinking. I was really pretty isolated here. (I could have done that in Durand). No one knew where I was. I had never mentioned going to Menomonie to camp. I thought I should text the kids to let them know where I was.  No phone service. I tried to sleep. I was pretty tired. Golfing and setting up camp had worn me out. 

Since Paul died I have never failed to lock my doors. I would get up and check if I couldn't remember locking them. There are no locks on a tent. Worse, the campground was only about a mile from the interstate, and there was a constant drone from the cars and trucks. There is no muffling of sound when you are in a tent. To top it off, about the time I became lulled by the highway sound a train would roar along breaking the pattern (the railroad tracks turned out to be right by the highway.)  The sound would not have been so annoying, but it blocked my ability to assess any sounds that might be immediately nearby. Rattled I took another look at my phone. It had been going in and out with rare, but occasional service.  In my increasingly nervous musings I realized that I had paid cash. There was not even a credit card trail to tie me to that camp. I have a big imagination. Why had I told the guy I was carrying cash? The phone had two bars. I quickly texted the kids about where I was and even got a text back saying they appreciated knowing. The bars promptly disappeared.

I had always had a back up plan if I was unable to give myself over to sleep. I climbed out of the tent, went to the bathroom, climbed into the car with my pillow. I closed the door. Instant silence. I locked the doors and dosed off and on checking out the surroundings each time I woke up. Nothing happened. No animals around the tent, no cars coming in from the highway, no people wandering around in the night. Still no neighbors, but about 4 am I thought, "This is stupid." I climbed out of the car and into the tent, and slept like a baby until 8:00 am.

Four hours sleeping in the car, four hours sleeping in the tent......50/50.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Day One. Part One Episode 5

I left  at 10:00 am, destination, Durand, Wisconsin, a small town about 90 miles from here. Durand was  home for the first 5 years of my married life. Our oldest three boys were born there. All went well until I came to the other side of Plum City, Wisconsin. With only 13 miles to go to get to Durand I was flagged down along with a whole long line of cars and trucks. They were paving the road between the two towns. The flag girl held us in check for fully 19 minutes. 

It was hot on Thursday, so the wait was fairly miserable (I am stubborn and rarely use my AC. Summer should feel like summer). Eventually we were ushered through the one-sided road and I rolled into Durand around noontime. 

Before I left I had asked my search engine, "What is the best place to eat in Durand, WI?" The first place listed was the Corral Bar and Riverside Grill . Even though I was pretty hungry, I wanted to check out the camping area in the park at the edge of town. Doris was right. All 14 tenting spaces were unoccupied. There was one RV parked in the RV section, but I did not see any people in evidence.

Okay, there would be a place to camp if I made a decision to camp in a relatively deserted spot. The Corral Bar and Riverside Grill lived up to their reputation. Their deck overlooks the Chippewa River which was running high, covering a road behind the restaurant and lapping at the basements of the downtown businesses on that side of the street.

 St. John's Lutheran Church was Paul's first call from the seminary, and we lived there one year when it did indeed flood those downtown businesses.

The golf course was my next destination. I am a medium to poor golfer, but I like the game  and, like many golfers, have just enough really good drives and chips and putts to keep me playing.  The Durand course was the first place I ever golfed. Several members had invited me to join a ladies league. It would be almost thirty years before I played again more often than about once every ten years. It was a very hot day. I was pretty tired when I got done with nine holes. I headed back to the park, hoping to find a nice collection of campers there so I could get on with setting up my tent.

One deserted looking RV. 

Since Paul died I have never forgotten to lock the doors before I go to sleep. You can't lock a tent, so I was hoping for safety in numbers. Camping in Durand was more than I could do, so, hot, and already a little tired I decided to check out the County park near Plum city.

Remember that road they were paving? Twenty minutes after being flagged down, I continued on Highway 10 until I saw a sign pointing to a county road that led to the park.  It was well marked at the highway, but became a closely guarded secret after that. (One frustration on this trip was that I almost never had phone service the whole time I was gone. That meant no digital directions to anything.) 

I drove that county road back and forth looking for a clue, and finally, retraced my steps to a town I had gone through. I  pulled over and asked a couple of guys if they knew where the park was. They were sitting outside of a bar in the little town of Arkansas, WI. They looked at me and then at each other and then back at me with that vacant look that pretty much says that, no, they did not know where the county park was. 

"No, I don't think I know where that is," said the more vocal of the two. 

I tried the road again and saw a man in his driveway and  asked him if he knew where it was. He gave me directions, and before heading out I asked if a lot of people used that park. He said, "Yeah, on holiday weekends it's always packed. 

I asked what about on a Thursday? 

"On Thursday?" he mused, "Well, on a Thursday you might be the only one out there."  I could have done that in Durand. 

He told me to try Menomonie, a bigger town about 20 miles away. I headed back to Highway 10 toward Durand to catch Highway 25 to Menomonie.  Only 18 minutes with the flagman this time.


Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Fun Starts Now! Episode 4

Once the cooler is packed I am ready to go. Yesterday I set up the tent in the front yard with the help of various neighbors who were passing by (mostly taking their dogs for a walk). 



One said, "Let me send my husband over. He's good at this stuff." So, I had a live tutor instead of a digital one.

His name is Tom, and he brought me a tarp for under the tent and told me the key was to make sure the under tarp was smaller than the tent floor to keep it from attracting rain, and to fold the tarp's edges under so that moisture would roll off the sides and away from the tent floor. He made me fill and actually fire up my Coleman stove, a nifty little one burner appliance that I trust will keep up me supplied with hot coffee and soup. He instructed me on where, especially, to apply the seam sealer to the tent, showed me a clever door at the base of the tent that lets in an electric cord if I have a site with electricity, approved my hatchet, and reminded me to take an extension cord. He said he used to be a Boy Scout Leader. My gain.

It's a beautiful day, there are no predictions of rain. Here I go!


"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

It's A Learning Curve Episode 3

Yesterday I bought a small cast iron frying pan. The box said to be sure to season it before use. That's all it said. Fortunately we live in a digital world, so I asked my search engine, "How do I season a cast iron pan?" Apparently a lot of people know how to do this.

I don't know if I have ever had my oven on 500 degrees for one full hour. They said the fire alarm may go off so turn on the fan and open the windows. Fortunately it is a pleasant 70 degrees today, so that worked out. It seems that you season a pan by making sure it is very dry and then rubbing it from top to bottom with Crisco or other cooking oil and then placing it in the aforementioned heated oven for one hour, after which you turn off the oven and let it cool down in the oven for another hour or so. Done.


Next I located a small, nearby town that has a city park with 14 tent spaces in it's camping section. The website gave a number to call at the city hall. It warned that if you made a reservation you had to pay upfront, and if you did not give them a week's warning you forfeited your deposit. I want to go on Thursday, two days from now. I called the number and, after hitting "1" for camp reservation I spoke with Doris.

Me: I was calling to see if you have any tent sites open for this Thursday.

Doris: I don't think..... just let me check the calendar.

Me, thinking:  How did I think I could just call two days in advance and expect to find a spot to camp? I was hoping it would be a simple matter of deciding on the spur of the moment....

Doris: I don't think I have any tent reservations, so I guess you have your choice of sites. The ones up by the pool have electric, the ones farther away do not. 

Me: So, if I decided to stay Friday night, too? 

Doris: I don't have any reservations on Friday night either, so that's fine.

Me: Well, how would I do that then?

Doris: You can drive to the site and you'll find some yellow envelopes there for you to put the money in and just put the envelope into the box.

Me: So, how much do I put into the envelope?

Doris: It's $5 a night.

In early May I went to Door County, Wisconsin for a few days because I was going to lose my vacation points if I didn't use them by the end of May. The place I stay has a golf course included in the package, so I golfed every day. It was early for Door County season, so I almost always had the course to myself. I told everyone that I felt like Trump! 

I'm not sure what having a city park to myself would feel like. I mean, who does that? I guess I could go and set up my tent, and see if there are others that come, too. I read about a group that was going camping into a dangerous area, and the advice they got was to have at least six people along because there always had to be someone who was awake to stand guard. Well, that would be me. I plan to pick one of the sites by the pool, but I probably won't sleep until the first kids show up for swimming lessons in the morning. 

I could also just bail and go home, but then I would forfeit my deposit.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Girl Scout Motto: Be Prepared! Episode 2

Having learned the importance of "trying things out" before I actually show up at the campsite, I have been gathering what I perceive would be the supplies needed to "live outdoors" so to speak. I think the main problem is that I want to have all the comforts of home while I "rough it". That means transferring a lot of things from here to there. My daughter, Sarah, suggested putting as much of the stuff as possible into a plastic bin. I assume that as one gets used to camping, much of the gear stays in the container, or at least there is a prior knowledge of what to bring. 

Today I began gathering everything into one place. I took a picture. This is without food, clothing or the tent! I know this is old hat to those of you who have been camping for years. For the rest of us, we salute you!

(It also does not include the two camp chairs and the air mattress!)

Maybe this is why people stay in motels!

The tent comes tomorrow. I'll let you know how that goes.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Let's Go Camping! Episode 1


I've decided to start a series of blogs chronicling my new endeavor: tent camping. Since my husband, Paul, died this past September I have been lying low, staying home much of the time, reading, praying, just getting used to not having him around. I am finally rested, almost a little bored, and ready for the next thing. 

When we were raising our family we had a big blue bus in which our family of ten traveled and camped. Missing the camping experience, but wanting to try something new, I decided to try tenting. I have had lots of advice from friends who USED to tent camp and are now happily settled in their RV's, and who look at me skeptically, wondering why I would want to start that now. I am well past retirement age, and, while fairly fit, I'm not sure what the ground will do to my aging body. I'll let you know.

Since this is still the preparation stage, I bought a camping app for my phone that lists county and municipal campgrounds. I want to camp in or near towns. The wilderness doesn't interest me. Next I searched online for articles that coached new campers. One article suggested that it would be wise to practice setting up the tent before you go. I had bought one of those little pop-up tents, but had never opened the package. I had planned to just get to a campsite and figure it out there. After all, I would have plenty of time since I have no idea what I will do all day at a campsite anyway. 

Still, practicing seemed a good idea. After retrieving my tent from the back of the car I made a space for it in the living room, unzipped the bag it was in, and POP, up jumped my tent. Imagine my surprise when it only had three sides. I just stared at it, trying to make sense of how that was going to work. After reading the directions I discovered that I had bought a beach tent. My first reaction was that I was really glad that I had not opened the tent for the first time at the campsite! My second thought was, since this happened in the privacy of my own home, no one needed to know how stupid I was to order such a thing.

As I tried, and failed to put the creation back into it's little round case I laughed even harder, realizing I might have had to drive home from the campground with that thing all popped up in my car which was an even funnier visual. I promptly went to Amazon and ordered a real tent along with the water repellent with which  the online article told me to prep the tent.

My daughter, Sarah, stopped by with her kids today, and, after about a half hour of attempts, amid further hilarity, we have the thing back in its wrapping although it does bulge in some strange places.

Overall, so far, so good.




Thursday, December 22, 2016

Wisdom from the Psalms

Saturday morning. It was another beautiful day. I had brought along my coffee maker in the event that I had access to electricity. There were multiple outlets in the park's picnic shelter, so I had my first really satisfying cup of the trip. Instead of making breakfast I just prepared a protein shake and a food bar. The tent is always a little wet in the morning from the dew and the ground, so I began to take it down. In the middle of that task I got talking with Pam and another camper.

My new lesson: empty the tent before you collapse it. I think the distraction of the conversation made me forget what I had been doing and I went straight for packing up the tent. You can get your things out, it's just awkward.

All packed up, I took one more look around the campsite and realized that I had not taken advantage of the rack full of courtesy bikes that you could ride in the park, or into town if you liked. So, I grabbed a bike and pedaled the two blocks into town. checked it out and went back to camp. It was a nice amenity, in an all-around nice park.

The evening before, Sam had mentioned that Maiden Rock, WI, a nearby town I would be passing through on my way home, was having their summer celebration this weekend. I was pretty sure it also had a municipal park for camping and I had planned to scout that out anyway.

Just before I got to Maiden Rock I saw a big banner next to a county road that read Maiden Rock Camping Fest or something like that. I turned on to a winding road that climbed up and up into the bluffs until I hit a plateau and found the party. There were tents and campers and lot of people and a parking lot full of cars. Some women were doing yoga in a nearby patch of grass. About 50 people were sitting at picnic tables waiting for the noon lunch.

I found what looked like an official welcoming booth and said that I had seen the sign on the highway, and asked what was happening. The gals working the booth said lunch was being served in about 10 minutes. So I bought a ticket for $5.00 began talking to the young woman next to me. I asked her if this was a pretty popular campground. She seemed surprised by the question. She told me that she was petty sure that this was private property, but that once a year the owner opened it up for this camp out.

Most of the people here seemed to know each other. I didn't see any other touristy types. Lunch was served: A ham sandwich (with cheese slices if you liked) potato chips a giant cookie and a glass of cold milk. Not bad for $5.00. I filled my plate, walked back to my car and retreated down the windy road back to the Highway. I'm pretty sure that was a semi- private party.

Back on the Highway I drove into Maiden Rock. They were having their summer festival. I pulled in to the municipal campground which was just behind where the activities was taking place. Of course I had already eaten, but it was a hot day, and this the the party I was actually looking for, so I bought a beer and sat down.
I began talking with a woman who said she and her husband were camping at the park and liked coming here. Her name was Penny. Her brothers named her. She said she went to a Catholic school when she was young and the nuns refused to call her Penny. Her mother got a call from her teacher complaining that she didn't answer when they called on her. Her mother asked what thy were calling her and they said they were using her full name, Penelope. Her mother said, if they would call her by her real name she would answer. They finally relented.
Penny

Penny invited me to see their camper and meet her husband. This campground was also on Lake Pepin and was very nice. Penny's camper was really nice too. I told Penny about my earlier party crashing, and one of the guys visiting with Penny's husband finally figured out that I had been at the old rod and gun club. He said he thought it belonged to the VFW or the American Legion now. He had no clue about the celebration, and he was from Maiden Rock!

The parade was starting in ten minute, so Penny and I grabbed a couple of chairs and went up to main street. I think the parade went three blocks. It was 20-25 minutes long at most. Perfect. The kids ended with huge bags of candy, and since they shut down the highway for the parade the line of cars that had to wait for the parade to be over was almost as long as the parade.

Time to go. I said goodbye to Penny, stopped at one of the tents long enough to buy two pieces of barbecued chicken to eat later at home, and traveled the rest of the way up the river to Prescott,WI to Hastings, MN to St Paul, MN to home. What an adventure.

What will I do next? Well, I have tickets for a Trump Rally in Cedar Rapids, IA tomorrow. I've never seen a sitting president.


Saturday, December 17, 2016

Thank God For Air

This morning I woke to 5 or 6 inches of fluffy new snow. Outside my window lay a Christmas scene lacking only the horse and the sleigh rumbling past on the way to grandmother's house.  The fluffy snow brought to mind a similar snowfall in the first year of our marriage. Paul was serving two churches in Wisconsin, a neighboring state, one in town and one in the country. The country church had a wonderful hill for sledding, and that Sunday we were on our way  to the youth group sledding party

I grew up in Nebraska, a state 400 miles south of there. We had plenty of snow in the winter, but Nebraska is a flat state, so we had few hills. As kids, we did often play "King of the Hill" at recess, but that meant claiming the top of the mound of snow that the plows had amassed at the far corner of the parking lot. Those were the winter "hills" of my youth.

That Sunday, long ago, newly-wed, not yet parents, not much older than the youth group we were leading, eager for a new adventure, we arrived at the church. Several of the kids had brought toboggans, long sleds, wooden in those years, with a curved front that helped the riders glide through the snow. A toboggan often held multiple riders, 3-4 generally on the ones they brought. I had never ridden on one before. No one that I knew in flat Nebraska ever owned such a thing.

Hearing that, Paul and the kids insisted on giving me the honor of riding in the front, since that was the most exhilarating place to experience the full effect of the race down the hill. The snow on the hill glistened, pristine for the first run of the day. I can still remember my excitement as three burly youths ran behind the sled starting us on our way. Paul was behind me, a comfortable and warm bulwark against the cold and the bumps.


There are unwritten rules for getting the most out of careening down a hill on fluffy snow on a toboggan. Number one of which is, "Never open your mouth, no matter how much you want to scream with delight at the rush." Halfway down the hill my mouth and nose were completely packed with snow. If you have ever had the breath knocked out of you, you can get the idea of what it feels like to have the breath locked into you. Totally panicked, unable to give any indication to my merry co-sliders, I held on tightly to Paul's arms wondering if I would pass out and fall helplessly into the snow. Mercifully, the hill leveled and the ride was finally over. Paul, realizing my dilemma, helped dig a little of the now melting snow out of my mouth, and I could breathe again.

Rather than sympathy, my ordeal was met with merriment. Alas, it seems it was a rite of passage. Most everyone had a story to tell of their first ride, usually in the place of "honor", at the front of the toboggan, and, no, they had not forgotten to tell me the rules.


"The Spirit of God has made me, And the breath of the Almighty gives me life." Job 33:4

Today I thank God for air.

Katherine

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Christmas 2016

             


 "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." 2 Timothy 4:7

 For those who have not heard, we are experiencing our first holiday season without Paul. His health had been slowly failing these past few years, and in May we began having hospice services here at home. For the next few months he was able to walk short distances with his walker, but in September his mobility became very limited and I could no longer care for him at home. He entered a hospice facility in early September. Seventeen days later, on September 28, 2016, he entered his eternal home.

"I have fought the good fight"....he suffered patiently and without complaint. "I have finished the race".... words of comfort for his family. "I have kept the faith".... we do not grieve like those who have no hope.

He died 6 weeks before our 51st wedding anniversary. He was determined to make number 50, and he did. When he first became ill we had no grandchildren, and he prayed that he could live long enough to see a grandchild or two. God answered that prayer mightily. He lived to see 25 grandchildren (the youngest, Paul, was born on our 50th wedding anniversary) and one great granddaughter.

He was a well-loved pastor, friend, brother, father and husband.

We miss him terribly.

Katherine

Friday, May 27, 2016

To Everything There is A Season

 I always liked the folk song, To Everything There Is a Season. It was often abbreviated to "Turn! Turn! Turn!" Written by Pete Seeger in the late 1950s, the verses seemed wistful and mysterious when I was young.  A season for everything. I wanted to experience them all, I thought. Life promised to be one big adventure after another.

I'm not young any longer, and life has been an adventure. The lyrics for that song were taken from King Solomon's list of "Times" in Ecclesiastes 3:1-9. What I once eagerly anticipated is now quite likely already residing in my memory bank.

There were times to plant and harvest, times to kill and heal, times to destroy and rebuild; to cry; to laugh; to grieve; to dance; to scatter stones, and to gather them up; to hug; not to hug, find, lose, keep, throw away, tear, and repair. Times to be quiet and times to speak up; to love; to hate; times for war and for peace. And still the cycle returns. A time to plant, and a time to reap; to find;  to lose.

Last week we put my husband, Paul, on hospice. His strength is slowly melting away. He no longer walks, but is still able to sit in his recliner and watch the Twins win an occasional baseball game. He doesn't see much of the game anymore. His eyesight is nearly gone. In fact he has little tying him to this world and often wonders aloud why he is still here. He looks forward to being welcomed into His Savior's arms. But that is part of God's rhythm. The seasons of life belong to Him.

Last Sunday, baby Paul, (grandchild number 25 born on our 50th wedding anniversary) was baptized. Newly born Paul Klemp has his whole life ahead of him.

 Now in declining health, the elderly Paul Klemp, with much of his life already lived, awaits his turn to die.



 A time to dance; a time to grieve.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Reluctantly

I hear Your call to service. I love the sound of Your voice. That You would call me (I can tell the summons is personal), warms my heart. I so want to please You after all the love you have shown to me.

And yet, I hesitate, sensing an inner resistance that appalls and embarrasses me. I know that You know my struggle. I want to render this service, to honor and obey this special calling, but....

I've know others who have answered this type of call. My mother cared for her mother for many years, and then she cared for my ailing father for years --- YEARS. She labored hidden away in our home while her friends went on cruises and trips to Germany and France and Florida.

I've seen the ads. "Your gift to the Wounded Warriors Fund is so important to these soldiers and their families." Then the caregiver wife comes on camera and says, "The hardest part is when you think you have been forgotten and are all alone."

Servant-hood demands self-sacrifice, the ultimate sacrifice really; dying to self, being able to say, "ALL of You, Lord and NONE of me."

Can I do that? Can I even conceive of what that might take? I suspect that I can, and that is the reason for my reluctance to answer this particular call, this one that feels so opposite the call that Isaiah answered so readily with the memorable, "Here am I, send me, send me!"

Isaiah heard You ask, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for Us?" What I hear You asking is, "Who can I find to stay here and do the daily, routine, unexciting (and sometimes exhausting) things while others go. Someone has to do the grunt work, and I chose you."

"I come among you as one Who serves," says the suffering Savior after washing the disciples' feet. "Go and do likewise."

Okay.

Katherine

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Heartfelt Prayer for Life

Heavenly Father,
Lord and Giver of Life,

Forgive our nation the great sin of killing the unborn. Forgive those who protect this law because they are afraid that standing up for what they know is right might cost them an election. Help us to find and elect brave candidates that keep their word.

Comfort women who have fallen prey to Satan's lie that ending a life is a harmless solution to their distress. Give them the full assurance of your love for them and for their child.



Until then, be with all babies that suffer and die under the knife and vacuum of the abortionist. Comfort them in their travail. Until Your will is done on earth as it is in heaven, help us stay faithful to your word and fight for life at every age.

In the name of Jesus, who loves the little children,
Amen

Monday, January 19, 2015

Pass it On

Our family gets together on the Fourth of July weekend at our church camp to enjoy each others' fellowship, and to practice singing. Then we sing at a church on Sunday, so that once a year we once again become the Klemp Family Singers. This year we picked up where we left off three years ago, having missed two summers, one for a wider family reunion and the next summer for a wedding.

As we began singing in that first rehearsal, we realized that while all of our eight children were there, many of our older grandchildren were missing. We knew that, of course. They had jobs, music camp, etc., but we always assumed that the kids familiar with the music would bring the younger ones along. Instead the oldest row of sopranos (there were three adult voices) included one grandchild aged 13 and then it dropped to 11-year-olds on down. They kept turning around and looking at us with bewilderment as each song arrived. They were having trouble reading choir music. Each song seemed to be a new song.

About three songs in  it finally dawned on us. Having missed the past two years, the last time we sang this crop of grandchildren included one 11 year old with all the rest being 9 or younger. Other years we did not worry about the little ones. They did fine following the older cousins' leads, but now the "little ones" were the leaders, and barely remembered the songs!!

Well, they have Klemp Family Singer blood, and I am happy to report that five rehearsals later they knew the music and all went well.

Every Christmas I remind myself of the importance of Parochial school and Sunday school Christmas programs; the importance of playing and singing Christian  music in our homes. What are well known and loved songs to us are not known at all by our children until we teach them to them. Never assume "common knowledge". Things become "common to the community" only when passed down faithfully by you and me.

 "These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates." Deuteronomy 6: 6-9

Friday, January 16, 2015

Viva la France!

I just read an online article by a Christian young man from France. He tells how the churches in Paris, far from being empty and up for sale, are full every Sunday, standing room only in many cases (or sitting on the floor room if you will). You can read it here:

http://www.theweek.com/articles/531469/there-christianrevival-starting-france

 Could it be that there is a Christian revival going on in France?  My son, Matt, went to Paris for a month for an interim class when he was in college. While he was there he was assigned a young Frenchman who was to be his mentor in the French language. (Matt claimed the guy usually wanted to practice his English on Matt, so he did not get much French language help from that quarter.)  Anyway, this young man kept questioning Matt about why he went to church. He said he had never met anyone who went to church every week, and was fascinated by the idea that anyone would actually do so.

Matt is now in the process of raising a young family, just like the author of the above article who tells how his friends and their young families have returned to the church and are fully engaged in it's teachings.

I wonder if Matt's mentor is among that group. I pray so. Pray for the Christians of France!!!

Who knew?

"I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go to the house of the LORD." Psalm 122:1

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Tarnished Treasure

It's interesting how much of my life I spent wanting, and acquiring things, and then, at least for me, how surprised I am to hit a time when those things seem to be more of a drag than a blessing. I want to downsize. I dream of a home that shelters only things that I really love. I'd settle for  feeling that way about my closet!

There has to be some deep seated reason why getting rid of "stuff" makes me nervous. I just sent a curb-full of unwanted things to a charity, and feel nothing but a sense of relief that they are gone. Even so, it took a lot of energy and angst to get them to that curb in the first place. Intellectually, I know I can replace anything I gave up but find I still need. Intellectually, it makes sense for the store to "store" it for me instead of me storing it for some future use. But emotionally, it will seem foolhardy to have to buy something I already had in my possession. Emotionally, I wonder if I am making a mistake.

Lots of people feel this way. I know others, too, struggle to downsize.

"Good luck you guys!"

"But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6: 20-21

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Worrisome

Instead of watching TV tonight I read to Paul from a book  I checked out of the church library this morning, Clippings From My Notebook by Corrie ten Boom. She was quite the lady. She and her sister, Betsie were sent to a Nazi concentration camp during WWII for hiding Jews in their home. Her sister died at the camp, but Corrie was released a short time later due to a clerical error. After her release she went all over the world teaching that God's love through Jesus Christ reaches into the most horrible places and holds us up.

Anyway, there was one chapter in this book that addressed the problem of anxiety and worry.

This paragraph hit me between the eyes.

"We imagine that a little anxiety and worry are indications of how wise we are. We think we see the dangers of life clearly. In reality, however, our fears are only an indication of how wicked we really are.

As Charles G. Trumbull says,

'Worry is sin; a black, murderous, God-defying, Christ-rejecting sin; worry about anything at any time whatever. We will never know victory over worry and anxiety until we begin to treat it as sin. for such it is. It is a deep-seated distrust of the Father, who assures us again and again that even the falling sparrow is in His tender care.'"

Whoa. Hold on a minute, that seems pretty strong...until you think about it.

Katherine

Saturday, January 10, 2015

No Smoke, No Fire

My life is pretty mellow right now, so I was wondering what to blog about today. Sometimes you create your own excitement. Just as I got to the "Y" to swim it dawned on me that I had put a piece of frozen roast into the crockpot on low an hour or so earlier.

The problem was that I just set it right in the pot, plastic bag and all, intending to empty the bag before I left the house. Paul would have no idea what was causing the fire alarm to go off, which I was sure would be the case when the plastic began to melt and burn.  I usually swim a half mile when I go swimming. It takes me about a half an hour. Today I set a fourth-mile record of ten minutes, and still made it home before anything dire happened. The bag was really hot, but no melting. I don't think that is where the term "melting pot" came from, but another 30 minutes or so might have given it new meaning!

The Bible says to cast your cares upon Him for He cares for you. I was praying all the way home that I would not find an alarmed husband and a smoke-filled house.  Instead, Paul was resting in his chair, unaware of any pending disaster, and the meat was nicely thawed (as was my original intention.) All was well.

Today's events reminded me of the story of the man who was recounting a horrible accident to a friend. He told how he and his whole family were in the car when they slid off the road on a sharp curve and though the car rolled twice neither he nor his passengers were hurt. The friend responded with an even better story about that strip of the road. "I've been driving to and from work on that very road for thirty years and I have never had an accident of any kind at that curve!"

 God's grace is sometimes overlooked when He averts disaster, but that is when we should be most grateful!!

Nothing happened here. Thank Goodness!! (God is our Goodness)

Katherine


Friday, January 09, 2015

In The Early Morning

My daughter, Sarah, and son-in-law, Brian, are on a four day ski trip. Our thermometer read -4 degrees this morning, and they are a couple hundred miles north of here, so I'm not sure how much skiing they will do in this bitter cold. She has 3 school-age children, the oldest in third grade. Their other grandma graciously offered to take care of them while she and Brian are gone. The kids go to a parochial school, so that means no busing, so I offered to do the shuttling from school and back, all in all about an hours driving for me.

Anyway, having to be at Cathy's place to get them this morning and then have them to school by 8 am meant that I was up at 6:30 am. Not a big deal for many of you, but I am retired and have always been a night-owl, so I am rarely up that early. In fact I worked the night shift for many years because my biological clock did not rebel.

Getting the occasional  glimpse into the early hours of the day is quite a revelation. First of all, I had no idea so many were already up. (As one of my night-owl friends complained  as we waited for breakfast in a long cafeteria line, "Why does everyone get up the same morning I do?")

In the Bible the Psalmist glories in meeting with his Lord before the day completely unfolds.

"In the early morning, with the sun's first rays.
All God's little children thank and pray and praise."

My little sisters sang  that sweet song at a talent fest we attended more than 50 years ago, and the sound echoes in my ears at this very moment. It almost makes me want to be an early riser more often. (I read about a woman who made a New's Year's resolution to be up and dressed with full make-up on by 6am every day. She said she quit because she got tired of her make-up smearing when she went back to bed.)

We'll see.

Katherine


Thursday, January 08, 2015

The Best Construction

Well, I surprised myself and got all the Christmas decorations down in one day. As in other parts of life deconstruction was far easier than construction. There is far less care in un-stringing the lights from the tree than in securing each strand to complement the one next to it. Nothing has to be "just so". I did not carefully select which decorations to put away, I simply put the all the carefully selected decorations back where they came from. It was kind of sad to see how quickly all that beauty could be ripped from the house compared to how long it took me to decorate.

 I found the task of decorating more rewarding than the task of taking things down. This is something I need to remember when I am offered the chance to pass on a piece of gossip that can destroy someone's good name. The Bible says to put the best construction on everything, lest we destroy something or someone with a careless word. We all mess up. Someone who has had a lifetime of earning a good reputation should not be judged on one particular shortcoming. This year I am going to try to build others up rather than tear them down.

"If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? " Psalm 130:3

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Starting Anew

Making New Year's resolutions is a favorite exercise of mine. I like the fresh slate. Looking ahead to "what might be" and leaving behind the reality of "what is" gets my creative juices roiling. I have written out new goals nearly every year of my life. Experts insist that the mere act of written goals changes things. (They also say that referring to your list on a consistent basis throughout the year increases your odds of success. I have not done that very often. Maybe that should be a New Year's resolution for next year.) Still, I know for a fact that the simple act of writing things down has resulted in some amazing changes in my life.

Right now I am in the process of writing the final two chapters of a YA novel. I know how the book ends, so writer's block is not a problem. I will get the words on paper soon. The rewrite, however, is daunting. Still, having a finished product ready for submission to an agent is on my list of resolutions, so I suspect I will continue to move forward.

Have I made good on each resolution? Not by a long shot. Has writing resolutions made a difference? Without a doubt!

And in the midst of it all comes Christ's reminder,  "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5

Written goals help me focus, but still,  "Man proposes; God disposes."

God willing I will finish the book!




Saturday, March 08, 2014

Harsh Winter

We are coming out of a very harsh winter. It has been challenging in more ways than one. My husband, Paul, was in the hospital between Thanksgiving and Christmas with a severe bladder infection. The holidays were wonderful and stressful at the same time. And yet we experienced the quiet joy that permeates the Christian life. We were overwhelmed and "held up" at the same time.

Paul has become more and more independent in the past few months. We began with home health and graduated out of that program to the place we now are. I am tasked with blood sugars, insulin injections and meals. He is able to set up his own medications as well as take care of other needs. I am grateful for his progress and even though I am not able to be gone for more than a few hours at a time, I rejoice in his increasing independence.

We have had more than fifty days with temperatures that were under zero degrees, and more than fifty inches of snow that did not melt. But, tomorrow we are to have a sunny day with temperatures in the 40's. God is good.

One benefit of our harsh winter is that we have been more faithful with our reading of Scripture. We are currently in Psalms. This is our fifth or sixth reading of the Bible. When we read, and I cannot claim that it is every day that we read, we read 5 chapters (except now in Psalms we read 10 Psalms). That has been a huge blessing, and a reason to not argue with God's choice of weather, for  "we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Romans 8: 28.




Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Not Cool(ing)

Our refrigerator is on the blink. If you want to know how spoiled you are, go a few days inconvenienced by by having no ice (crabby husband), having your meat in your daughter's freezer (15 miles away), having what little you could save (it began to die while we were on vacation and only about half our food was salvageable) in a small refrigerator in the garage (thank goodness for that) and having the repair man coming on Wednesday (when you arrived home on Saturday to discover the disaster.)


See how quickly I complain about something not even approaching Job's plight?

"The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord."

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

A Life Like Job's

Sometimes I wish my life were more like Job's. Sure, he had some heavy duty problems, but his attitude toward God guaranteed that his troubles did not destroy him or his reverence for his heavenly Father.




"The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." Job 1:21b (KJV) was his immediate response to the news that all his children had been killed in a disaster. It is a statement of thankfulness, in a way.

"God gave those wonderful children to me even though I did nothing to deserve such a gift,"  Job seems to say. "How wonderful were my days with my children. Now God has taken them home to be with Him as is His right, but no one can take from me the joy and remembrances I have of them all."

Granted, I am not going through the loss of a loved one at present, and cannot even imagine the searing grief that cuts parents' to the quick when they lose a child. I don't ever want that pain, but I admire Job's response. "Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither." Job 1:.21a (KJV) Anything in between birth and death is, to Job, a gift.

I want, like Job, to be able to regard everything in my life to be a pure and undeserved blessing: a gift of love from the Lover of my soul. That attitude would restrain my sense of entitlement. It would also serve to keep me from nursing feelings of envy, jealously, covetousness, and discontent.

My sinful heart longs for the "life of Riley", but my soul's desire is for the spiritual "life of Job".

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights." James 1:17a (NIV)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Chief of Sinners

"Apart from seeing ourselves as sinners, we shall see no beauty in Jesus that we  should desire Him," says the author of the book, I Would See Jesus.  But, I do desire Him, and see Him, by faith, to be what I need as a sinner, as a failure, as a poverty-stricken weakling. Jesus is what I need in this very hour.

Of course, for this to happen I must accept the truth about myself and about God - truth, not in the sense of doctrine, but in the sense of a revelation of things as they really are. The devil tells me that I am "a good person" and "a good Christian"; that God is not all that holy and uncompromising, but every time I fall for this lie I lose sight of truth.

"To see ourselves as sinner is the beginning of salvation," says St Augustine. That's what I want, and so I cling to God's promise:

 "If we say we that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1: 8-9.


 
 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Just Laws

Justice. America is a country of laws. These laws have, up until recent times, sought to do good for its people. Just laws. Laws that favor the righteous rather than the lawbreaker. Somehow that has changed.

The Psalmists often cried out to the Lord pleading with God to hear their case, lamenting the fact that there was no justice in the land. When I was young I was saddened that they could feel so helpless. Now, however, I feel a similar despair. The rulings from our courts almost seem upside down: mercy for the wicked, increased restrictions on those who follow the law.

"Let God be the judge of the peoples," says the writer in  Psalm 7:8. Fat chance of that happening today. The downhill progression is thus. First we hear the lie and wonder. i.e.: "Is abortion really that wrong?"  Then we believe the lie. "Well, I think in some cases it really is the only answer."  And then we make God the liar. "A loving God would not make that poor girl be tied down with a child she does not want. And anyway, no child deserves to be born unwanted and unloved."

Hence, the continued efforts to get the Ten Commandments removed from our halls of justice. "Listen God, you can't tell us what to do. We want to figure it out for ourselves. We'll do what we think is right."

Not too reassuring. Entering the court system in this America gives no guarantee that justice will be done. That is scary.

Psalm 119:52 "I remember, Lord, your ancient laws, and I find comfort in them." 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Oh, the Things He Planned For Us.

I used to swim a mile whenever I went to the Y to work out. Now I am down to half a mile. The swim was not so long that I could no longer do it, it just took too much time, an hour at least. Swimming half a mile is more manageable.

The water was especially inviting today. Outside the wind chill was below zero, but this is a heated pool and the temperature inside was just right.  Swim time is often prayer time for me.

The water gliding past my skin was just the soothing I needed on this stress filled day. God did a marvelous work when He created water. It is by the water of Baptism that He makes us His children, and then to delight His children He made water something in which to swim and pray.

"Many, LORD my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare." Psalm 40:5