Sunday, November 11, 2007

Random Ramblings

Most of the leaves are gone. We are having unseasonally warm days. It is amazing how different 70 degrees feels in the summer than in the fall. In the summertime, when it gets down to 70, it feels wonderfully cool and refreshing. In fall, the same temperature feels very, very warm. Probably because it's 25 in the morning on the way to work, and by noontime, it's so warm that I am overdressed. And then I usually forget my jacket at work and have to wear a different one the next morning when it's again down in the 20s. Very strange time of the year around here.

The sun rises much further south, meaning that it isn't in my eyes as I head north. I pulled off the road and sat on a bit of a rise to watch it happen the other morning on the way to work. I sat there for about 15 minutes, watching the sunrise evolve. It was a great way to start the day.


As I was leaving my neighborhood the other day I saw this "burning bush" with just the right amount of sun shining - one of the last bits of beautiful color for this season:

I took one last shot of the wonderful layers of gray in the early evening:

I am experiencing a bit of "Retirementitis". Remember "Senioritis?" This is a related malady with many similarities. I see the end of the road in sight, but I see how much has to be done before the end. Things that haven't bothered me for all these years have begun to irritate me. The task of writing down what I do in great detail for the next person is totally daunting. I'm trying to remember to enjoy every day. I keep thinking of things as "the last time" I do this process. It feels very strange.

I'm reading a book by Maeve Binchy, which I heard about through the Woman to Woman book review last month. I have read many of her books, but hadn't read one for awhile. The book is Nights of Rain and Stars. I love to "read" it as I go to work and back, with CDs. I am so glad I decided to do this particular book this way. Not only does it save time and give me something enjoyable to do as I compute, but there is another advantage. The book features 5 characters from different countries - England, Ireland, Greece, America, and Italy. The reader has the marvelous gift of accents. Every conversation is in its own vernacular. I recommend this way of "reading" if you have a reason to be in your car for extended periods of time.

The other day I left it on when I picked up Care Bear from school. As we headed down the road, I expected her to ask me for one of her music CDs. Interestingly, she just sat quietly in her car seat. I thought maybe she was dozing. But suddenly she piped up, "That's a book on the radio!" She was listening to the story.

I've been the chairperson of our mission program in our local church for many years. This week-end we had our Faith Promise emphasis. We had a wonderful missionary speaker from Ecuador, followed by a "Round the World Dinner." People were asked to bring something representing their ethnic background. We had a wonderful variety of yummy dishes. I didn't realize we had so many Germans, though - 4 different pots of sauerkraut! Each had a different type of meat. I'm not crazy about sauerkraut, but I sampled each, and they each had a bit of a different taste. My dad, who really dislikes the smell of sauerkraut, was glad for once that his sense of smell has disappeared! I took my "famous" Swedish meatballs and made some Glorified Rice from my Scandinavian childhood Christmases at Grandma's.

I haven't posted one of my favorite devotionals from Max Lucado for awhile. Here is one from his book In the Eye of the Storm. It's called "God Will Get You Home." The scripture is from II Corinthians 4:18, "What we see will last only a short time, but what we cannot see will last forever."

"For some of you, the journey has been long. Very long and stormy. In no way do I wish to minimize the difficulties that you have had to face along the way. Some of you have shouldered burdens that few of us could ever carry. You have bid farewell to life-long partners. You have been robbed of life-long dreams. You have been given bodies that can't sustain your spirit. You have spouses who can't tolerate your faith. You have bills that outnumber the paychecks and challenges that outweigh the strength.

"And you are tired.

"It's hard for you to see the City in the midst of the storms. The desire to pull over to the side of the road and get out entices you. You want to go on, but some days the road seems so long. . .

"Let me encourage you. . . God never said that the journey would be easy, but he did say that the arrival would be worthwhile."

I needed that today. I hope it speaks to you, too.


nancygrayce said...

Even at 55, those were beautiful pictures! I just heard we are going to have a warmer winter here. yuck! It would be so nice to wear long sleeves and sweaters without having to claw them off when you're sweating.

Susie said...

Beautiful sunrise photos! That must not have been easy to accomplish @ 55mph...
All those different ethnic dishes sound interesting. You could keep the sauerkraut though..Not quite my thing, but Bill loves it..

Karen H. said...

Good Morning Dawn,
I hope you had a wonderful weekend. That sunset is just beautiful. I can't believe you took them going 55mph. I would have had to stop to take a picture. LOL. I am a nervous person when it comes to driving. Your World Mission Supper sounded delicious. I'm sure a good time was had by all. Just thought I would drop by and see how you were doing. Take care my friend and have a great Monday. God Bless You.

Karen H.

Becky said...

You certainly do live in a lovely setting. I remember those mountains and how beautiful they were. I also remember that nearly every day at 3:00 it would rain for 20 minutes.

Books on CD are a great way to pass the time while driving. I know a woman who works all over central Florida and she has listened to books that way for years and years. She sends away for them.

Have a great week ... oh, and that retirement thing. You'll never look back!!

Dawn said...

I decided I'd better go back in and clarify that I did NOT take that picture at 55 mph, because it was dangerous, but I sat in the car, up on a little rise, for 15 minutes watching the sunrise evolve.

Diane said...


Your ML devotional is just what I needed this morning.......thanks for the beautiful words...and the stunning photos! Yes, glad you stopped to take them!!!!!!!!!


Morning Glory said...

Beautiful sunrise!

I'm glad you're reading the Maeve Binchy. I really got absorbed into it and loved it.

Robin said...

You sound just a bit tired Dawn. And it's no wonder - what a busy weekend. I'm glad it turned out well for you - that's a great idea. I'm from Scandenavian descent too - I LOVE Glorified Rice!
Keep your eye on the prize - retirement and a whole new way of life is just there on the horizon!

Linds said...

Beautiful sunrise, Dawn. We had a spectacular one here this mornign too! And yes, Max has always got amazing words to encourage us, hasn't he... I needed this today too. Thanks!

PEA said...

Oh Dawn, your pictures are just breathtaking and that burning bush is glorious, especially with the sun shining on it!! I can well imagine how overwhelmed you sometimes feel about what has to be done before you can retire...we worry but then we always do get through it, don't we:-)I actually enjoy sauerkraut but not with any meat in it...I make a white sauce and put the sauerkraut in it and then serve it over potatoes, it's the only way I'll eat it! lol

If you haven't found the advanced book search for the meme yet....when you get on the main page, you'll see "search" on that and choose GO. Now you'll see "advanced search" right under where the Search Books is. Click on that and type in your name where it says Keywords. Hope this helps:-) xox

Sue "Sioux" Seibert said...

Oh, Dawn, what a lovely devotion. Thank you. Last night we drove almost to Dallas to hear a speaker regarding our upcoming convention. The sung evensong was glorious and one of the priests wrote: "With our big vote at diocesan convention now less than a week away, I found it very encouraging to glimpse the future of orthodox Anglicanism in North America made tangible over a potluck supper."

Please pray for us this weekend as we attend our diocesan convention and take a step to leave the national Episcopal church, to walk with God in His way, not the way of the world. Our bishop has been vilified by the national media, for keeping to the path of righteousness. He is such a good man.

Anyway,we will be all over the media this weekend. I just pray nothing gets physical.

Love you!

groovyoldlady said...

I've never heard of "Glorified Rice". If I had gone to your dinner I'd have made some Irish Soda bread. Mmmmmmm!

Those pics were awesome. Thanks for sharing them!

Maine Mom said...

It's nice to see your "burning bush" photo since most of our colors are gone, too.

Good luck getting everything done at work that you need to before your last day. I'm sure it does feel weird to do things for the last time. I can imagine it brings mixed feelings.

The book on "the radio" does sound like a good one to listen to with the different accents. Thanks for the referral!

The devotional was something I needed too, thank you!

Nancy said...

I just loved your photos... the mountain range was just gorgeous. Thanks for the uplifting Max Lucado devotional... I really needed that! Such inspiration!

Sharon Lynne said...

In Southern California, most of our leaves are still on the trees. They're just beginning to change color. They are late this may be because of the drought.

I loved the pictures of the sunrise. It reminds us that God will be with us one more day--and it gives us hope.

Care Bear is pretty "on top of it"!

My husband is Swedish and his mom has a recipe for Swedish Meatballs--she has passed away, but the recipe is in my cupboard. (I confess I haven't tried it.)

Thank you for this devotional...reminding us that our time on earth is important..yet not very long...compared to eternity...and we can look forward to the day we transfer from here to there!

Sue @ praise & coffee said...

That is beautiful Dawn, thank you.


Anonymous said...

Such lovely pictures! Your ML devotional was just what I needed today. Thank you so much for sharing!

Books on tape and CD have become quite a hit here at home. We started them for the ones who struggle to see print and now everyone is hooked on them!

Nadine said...

Thank you for your encouraging words today.

Love the pictures.

Kathleen Marie said...

What fabulous sunset photos. I find sunsets so relaxing. Binchy has some great books. I don't travel enough to listen to stories on tape but think it is a great idea.


Diane J. said...

The leaves are gorgeous here right now. Probably right at peak. There are some trees that are almost bare of leaves and a few that still are mostly green, but most are brilliantly colored.

I'm still fighting my sinus infection/bronchitis, but am feeling a bit better. I'm going to try to put a new post this afternoon.

I loved your shot of the gray layers on the mountains.

Love and hugs,


Myrna said...

Beautiful sunrise pictures! You really do have a lovely view on your drive to work!

Enjoy the approach to retirement. My retirement came several years sooner that I had planned. It happened in such a strange and unexpected way that I didn't have opportunity to do much of that preparation work for the one who followed. You know what? That person is going to do things his/her own way!