Old Books . . . Old Friends

July 6, 2016

The tattered pages

Speak of those who’ve gone before

Can you hear the whispers?

By Martha L Shaw ©2015 

Digital Camera

For lots of reasons, I find myself reading most books these days by ereader, yet still I adore old books and stores which feature them!  I love the sight, smell and feel of them, but there is something more!  I hear the voices of each soul who held, read, and loved the book before me.  Old books, old friends!



Good Fences Make Good Neighbors?

August 23, 2012

What do you think?  Do good fences make good neighbors?  What does that cliché really mean?  Like many of you, I can recall “different times” from childhood which compared to “these days” . . . and am thinking of unlocked front doors, neighborhood parties, knowing each and every neighbor by name . . .

Our neighbors were our friends and we were, as they say, there for one-another.  I didn’t know many of my neighbors where I last lived, and actually got to know some of them when they saw the “for sale” sign go up and got curious. 

I’m a friendly person.  It seems to me, though, that we or I anyway, get so busy these days with all that we “do” and many of the people I know from church, from work, from this meeting or that have said something about not really knowing their neighbors . . . I can recall there always being someone to chat with, to play with, to lend a hand to.  If my dad was doing yard work, home repair, adding an addition to the house, there was usually one or two neighbors who’d come over and help. 

Mom never had to worry about where we children got our Halloween candy from.  She knew all the neighbors.  Several of the neighbors, my Mom included, would make homemade treats.  I can recall one or two neighbors who had cans of beer on the ready for the Dads taking us kids out while Mom was home giving out treats.  I don’t get many kids to my house anymore . . .

I can recall Mom sending me to school with food for my teacher . . . something from the garden or something she baked.  I wonder if teachers still receive such gifts and if they fear eating them?   We have a lot of those kinds of fears these days.

So, the question remaining to be answered is “do good fences make good neighbors?”  I don’t know the answer, but in looking at my neighbor’s yard from my deck which was my vantage point in snapping the photo this piece began with, I’d have to say I’m glad that he left an opening in the fence to invite folks in.  Life is different today in lots of ways.  Some changes are good, but . . .

Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.
                                                                                                    Romans 15:1-3

Please Don’t Pass the Green Bean Casserole!

November 14, 2011

Okay, we all have our holiday traditions and I surely have mine.  We do not all celebrate the same holidays, so our choices might in some cases be different, but not entirely . . . aside from one.  It seems there’s always somebody who feels compelled to make a green bean casserole and quite honestly I just do not understand the attraction.  Seriously!  Maybe part of this, for me, is that I’m not as drawn to canned goods as prior generations and maybe some of it is that I . . . . well, I don’t like green bean casserole.  There, I admit it. 

 I hate to say it, but I also don’t care for creamed onions.  I don’t even understand them.  Seems everywhere we celebrated Thanksgiving when I was a kid was surrounded by creamed onions.  To make things worse, the onions themselves?  They came from a jar!  They didn’t look that much like onions.  The texture wasn’t quite right for my taste, and sadly on some occasions even the simple cream sauce came from another can or jar.  Sad!

 I admit, some traditions I do enjoy.  I like to watch the parades on TV.  I like to watch the football games.  I also spend part of my Thanksgiving afternoon or evening with holiday music playing and putting up a few, not all mind you, but a few Christmas decorations.  I enjoy having friends and family around.  Even doing the dishes and other cleaning up is more fun when there’s the noise and confusion of being with folks you love. 

 I remember when I was a kid, I had to start thinking of my letter for Santa.  I also remember my sister Kathy got the annual Christmas catalog out and wrote down what she wanted complete with page number and item code.  I personally liked to leave some of the decision making up to “Santa” since I loved being surprised.  I still do.  Silly to some but I enjoy surprising folks with something they’ll really love and not necessarily think of.   I guess I hope I’m not the only one who feels that way. 

Holiday traditions . .  there are so many.  I recall Mom always baking tons of treats and while she doesn’t anymore, I still do.  For years I’ve enjoyed getting together with two special girls and having “cookie baking day” with them.  Both girls are graduating from college this coming Spring and it both makes me proud and sad since they’ll likely be off starting their own traditions next year and I’ll perhaps be b aking alone . . . or finding the need to cut back since the kids are growing up and some of the older generation are with God now.  But, it’s never too late to change and I as well will begin a new tradition or two while keeping some of the old too.  Change is growth, change is good. 

That being said, I still can’t bring myself to eat green bean casserole.  Oh, but not everything from a can is bad, you know.  Pumpkin pie filling is always used in my “homemade” pumpkin pies.  lol   Traditions.  Don’t you just love them?  Okay, some of them make us scratch our heads  and wonder, but that is somehow part of what makes them special!

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