Tuesday, July 28, 2009

More Randomness and a Book Review

We've been having the most remarkable weather. Many of you are having remarkable weather this summer - remarkably hot, remarkably wet, remarkably dry. Ours is remarkably pleasant. I just can't get over it. After so many years of really hot summers and drought, we are having weather like we used to have in Colorado - pleasant mornings, afternoon showers, cool evenings. I hold my breath every day, wondering if it's going to last. I just will enjoy it as long as it does.

Do you ever put off making phone calls you need to make or writing letters you know you to need to write? The other day I realized I needed to talk to three different Lindas in my life. You know how Emma is the most popular name for girl babies over the last several years? Linda must have been one of the top names back in the late 1940s, because all 3 of these friends are my age, or close. I also have my dear blog friend, Linda, who is near my age as well.

So I did a Linda-calling marathon, and it was wonderful to catch up with all of them.

The first Linda I called was a friend from high school. I only went to this school in Nebraska for 2 years, and it was a great place to end my high school career. She was one of a group of girls who took me in as a junior and treated me as if I had been with them since kindergarten - as many of them had been. I hadn't seen her since high school when suddenly she showed up in my driveway. I couldn't believe it - her husband had taken a job out here for the same company where DC worked. Unbelievably, of all the houses they looked at, they bought the one next door to us. I didn't even know it was for sale, but was so thrilled, because those neighbors had been the kind that you really hope and pray will move away soon! What a blessing - they lived by us for 6 years and we had great times together. We also went through sadness with them, when their older son was killed in a freak accident at age 19. This Linda and I connected with two other high school friends who live here in Colorado as well, and we have spent many hours around lunch tables laughing and talking, and sometimes crying through each others' tough times. They have recently purchased a cabin close to us in the mountains, so we can see each other more often again. We talked that night for a long time and got caught up on the latest.

The next day I began thinking of the second Linda. Actually, chronologically, she was the third, but I called her next. This Linda began working at CSU in the same department with me, on the same day. She was my Christian buddy at work, and we lived through much together over the next 10 years. She recently lost her mom after years of encroaching dementia, and we talked of that for a long time. She left the university and did a two-year mission, teaching in Morocco. The last 4 years she's spent dividing her time between Estes Park, where she lived in a cabin with her mom, and St. Louis, where they stayed the winters with Linda's older sister. I hope to see her sometime in August when she's back here to figure out what to do with the cabin.

The next day, I called the third Linda - she was my college roommate for only one year, and my roommate in our first year of teaching. We both were resident assistants in a freshman dorm during our junior year. We became very close friends that year. She is tall like me, she had 2 siblings on campus, as did I. People thought we were sisters - and we were almost as close as we were with our sisters. We ended up teaching in a small town in southeast Kansas and let's just say, neither of us had a glorious experience there. She ended up back close to home in western Kansas and I ended up here in Colorado. We used to write letters regularly, but that went by the wayside after we got so busy with our growing families. But we still got together as often as we could, including going to college reunions together. I'm hoping we can go to our 40th (YIKES!) together in November. She's the kind of friend that, no matter how long it's been, the conversation picks up right where it left off.

I have one more Linda who was important in my history - she was my first college roommate. I have lost track of her, sadly. I wish I knew her current last name, because I could look her up on Facebook!

It's been a busy week in grandma-land. I've had the kids a lot. Blessedly, DC has been doing a lot of fun things with the big girls. I've had fun with the babies out on the patio. We attempted a walk to the mailbox, but we only made it about halfway.

Feisty got a bubble machine for her birthday, and the babes have been having such a great time with it.

Note the peanut butter and jelly on their faces and their swimsuits.

There's something about water - whether it's clean puddles --

Or really dirty, yucky gutter water --

Katie is following in the footsteps of her big sister, Care Bear, who never met a flower she didn't love or want to pick --

And, finally - I recently read a book that I want to share with you. I got it from my SIL for my birthday, but finally got around to reading it. It is a fabulous book, with a message that will really grip your soul. The name of the book of Safely Home, written by Randy Alcorn. It is fiction, but tells the story of Christians in China and the incredible difficulty of their journey with Christ. When one of the main themes of a book consists of the sentence, "Is this the day I die?" you know it's going to be tough to read at times.

This book is something every complacent Christian in America should read. Chuck Colson says, "Safely Home is not only a first-class story; it's a bracing wake-up call about Christian persecution in China. You'll be challenged."

If you read it, please let me know what you think. I believe it will change your thinking, as it did mine.


Morning Glory said...

Precious twin photos!

Hootin' Anni said...

Hello Sweet Dawn!! Well, if it's anything that should be noted, you're the only Dawn I know. LOLOL [I used to have the same thing when younger, only my friends 3 of 'em and a sister in law---all named Diane] Which reminds me, before I went to sleep last night I was thinking about trying to find one of my Diane's from Colorado.

Now, the photos of the girls are so dear. Love the ones with all the bubbles...what a great family you share with us.

Oh.......and Irene just got back from a two week vacation in Colorado [the Springs and Denver] and she told me it rained a lot! And she cussed all the mosquitoes. LOL

Happy day to you.

nannykim said...

I hate phone calling....don't know why....I have a strange phobia! Facebook and email and bloggin is more my style and of course visiting in person. Cute pics of the kids!! That book does sound good. I read a book called the Heavenly Man that is a true story of what this one man has gone through in China----it is so convicting about how we live here as Christians. I have also seen some footage that had been smuggled out of some underground church meetings...man can they celebrate Christ!

grammy said...

Sounds like a good book. I wish it was warmer. I am always cold. I don't want 99 or something hot like that... I need the sun. Today makes me feel depressed. No sun and way to cold (o: It is not pleasant to get in an outdoor pool when it is like this. The kids here played in the water on top of the sandbox tarp...sat in it. Totally wet, then freezing of course (o:

Midlife Mom said...

That is quite a Linda marathon you had!! How nice to catch up with old friends from years ago. I have been trying to catch up with some on Facebook but have only managed to find one so far.

The pictures of the girlies are adorable as always. They have grown so much! Love the ones with the bubbles!!!!

I had to catch up on your last post too. That was quite an adventure for DC to go on the balloon ride! I have always wanted to do that but haven't gotten up the courage yet. :o) Maybe some time.

We are in a nice weather pattern right now although rather muggy. Seems good to go outside and feel the sun and be able to swimming in the kids pool. It cools down at night which is nice so I don't have to run the air conditioning all night. The bugs aren't as bad either thankfully!!!!!!

Linda said...

Big smile Dawn....Linda was a hugely popular name when I was growing up. My Mom thought she was being very originally, but alas, there must have been at least two other Linda's in every class I was ever in. The ironic thing is, I wanted to be much more original when we named our children, so I picked Scott for our first son because I loved it and didn't know another single Scott. You guessed it, everyone else seemed to have the same "original" thought at the same time.
I think it's wonderful that you have kept in touch with your friends. I've lost touch with all my old school friends. I am a rather poor correspondent.
The book sounds like a very challenging one. I'll let you know if I read it.
Enjoy your lovely weather - I think you've earned it with all those years of drought.

Mary said...


I can't complain about the cool weather, as it's very pleasant, but it would be nice if we had a couple of sunny days. It's difficult watching the boys when they are indoors all the time. We all get bored.

The girlies are growing quickly. I always enjoy seeing photos.

Enjoy your weather. I hope it lasts for you.


nancygrayce said...

I have a couple of Linda friends too.

The pictures of the girls playig in the bubbles is too cute!

Robin said...

The name thing is so funny. My granddaughter is Ava which I think was very popular oh about 70 years ago! Now it's very popular again! Just like Emma. Go figure!

That book sounds fascinating. I've seen it but never have picked it up. Hmmmm....I think I'll be stopping by the library before I go home today. Thanks for the recommendation!

I love the twin pictures. Those two keep you hopping don't they?!

Sammy said...

Hi Dawn!

That's a lot of Linda's! :-) My first-grade teacher's first name was Linda and I always associate that name with her. I adored her and truly think she is the reason I decided to teach elementary school. I always wanted to be just like her! :-)

The twins are just adorable! They look so sweet in their matching bathing suits. And a bubble machine is a great idea!

Needled Mom said...

It is always so nice to reconnect with friends. It amazes me at how quickly time goes and we really need to make an effort to keep in touch. Our lives are so busy and our friendships need to be nourished.

The girls are so cute. Yes, there is nothing like water - clean and dirty. They are certainly enjoying those bubbles.

Have a wonderful weekend. I'm glad that you are having such a wonderful summer weatherwise.

Nadine said...

Ahh. I don't believe I will ever tire of seeing those beautiful grandchildren of yours. They are getting so big.

Grammy and Olivia said...

Adorable pictures. That sounds like a good book. I will have to look for it.

Sharon Lynne said...

Cute little girls...and growing so fast in their looks and personality.

It's hard for me to read "challenging" books because I think I must be too sensitive or something because I come away carrying the burdens for weeks...and sometimes questioning God.

I got that way, more so, after going through things with my son.

The young man who is in prison in Afghanistan is in my prayers, and my heart is heavy for his family.