Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Sky on July 22, 2015

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Baptism

My niece and my sister-in-law received their baptism in the James River in Buchanan on Sunday afternoon. They have been attending Fincastle Baptist Church for about 18 months.

Fincastle Baptist Church has a long history in Botetourt County. It was founded in 1831 and up until 2005, the ministry was located in the town of Fincastle. The congregation now worships in a large new facility on the outskirts of town.

The church is lead by the Reverend Kevin Cummings.

The river was quite busy Sunday afternoon with people canoeing, floating, and swimming.

The pastor readies his flock for their baptism. 

My niece, Zoe, getting ready to be baptized.

Zoe going under.

Coming up, anew.

Getting out of the water.

My sister-in-law, Dina, with the pastor.

Dina going under.

Dina rising up, born again.

Leaving the water.

Dina, Zoe, and my step-mother after the event.

My nephew, Trey, looking on.

My father and husband, also watching.

My father and nephew.

My brother and step-mother.

My niece, my sister-in-law, and my brother

Dina receiving a congratulatory hug.

My brother and nephew.

Dina, glowing.

My niece and her father.

My husband, my father, my stepmother, and my brother.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sunday Stealing: Spreading Wings

From Sunday Stealing

I’ll spread my wings and I’ll learn how to fly Meme

1. Have you ever had a pen pal?

A. I have an e-mail pal in England that I've written to for about 14 years. We started writing to one another shortly after 9/11. Most of the emails go through a private yahoo group, and at last count there was something like 15,000 back-and-forth responses there.

2. What’s your favorite breed of dog?

A. Poodle

3. Can money buy happiness?

A. No, but it can pay for health care.

4. Do you listen to music when you’re down?

A. I get up, and nothin' gets me down.  You got it tough, I've seen the toughest around. And I know, baby, just how you feel. You got to roll with the punches and get to what's real. Might as well jump!

5. What is one thing you spend way too much money on?

A. Books. Video games. Computer stuff. That's actually three things but I never said I was good at math.

6. Can you honestly say you’re okay right now?

A. I'm about the best I have been in over two years. That is not "okay" yet but it is better than it was.

7. What was the last thing you spent money on?

A. Groceries, which included bananas, chicken, bread, and medicine.

8. Is your current hair color mostly your natural hair color?

A. It is ALL my natural hair color. Including the gray, which I describe as "soft white," like a GE light bulb.

9. Who have you texted in the last 24 hours?

A. I don't text.

10. Were you in a good mood last night?

A. I was pretty irritable, actually.

11. Do you have a reason to smile right now?

A. Not particularly, though I always enjoy Sunday Stealing. Yay thieves!

12. How often do you hold back what you want to say?

A. Well, apparently I have a reputation for being blunt, or so I learned this week, so not as often as I thought I did.

13. Do you think that in the end, everything will fall into place?

A. Life events don't have a "place," they happen, it's life. Whether or not they are good or bad is a matter of perspective.

14. Are you currently looking forward to anything?

A. I have new furniture ordered. I am looking forward to receiving it.

15. Do you have any TV shows on DVD?

A. I have all of Xena: Warrior PrincessDr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, Legend of the Seeker, Cagney & LaceyBand of Brothers, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and a few seasons of Hercules, the original Charlie's AngelsSix Feet UnderStar Trek: Voyager, and probably a few more that I am not recalling.

I encourage you to visit other participants in Sunday Stealing posts and leave a comment. Cheers to all us thieves who love memes, however we come by them.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Saturday 9: All the Way

Saturday 9: All the Way (1957)

 ... because The Gal Herself is into Sinatra
Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) In this song, Frank sings, "who knows where the road will lead us?" Which leads Sam to ask, does your vehicle have GPS?

A. Yes, it does, and it tells me to turn into the cattle gate and not my driveway every time I have it on headed for home. My driveway is about 100 more feet down the road. It has yet to give me the proper way to anywhere.

2) Sinatra introduced "All the Way" in the movie, The Joker Is Wild. During that film he also sang "Chicago (That Toddlin' Town)." A few years later, in the movie Robin and The Seven Hoods, he declared Chicago as his "kind of town." Besides Chicago, can you think of another city Frank immortalized in song?

A. New York.

3) When Frank was 19, he saw a pretty girl sitting on her front porch, giving herself a manicure. He went and got his ukulele and serenaded her. That girl became his first wife, Nancy. Tell us how one of your romances began.

A. My girlfriend and I were standing around under the goal post at the high school football game (which they no longer allow). She edged me towards this fellow she'd been wanting me to meet. She introduced us and then he stood there not saying much. I asked stupid questions about the game, even though I know football and didn't have to ask what was going on.

He asked me out for the next night, but I was going out with my parents for their anniversary. After the ballgame, I ran into him again at Mike's Market, where I'd stopped for a soda. My girlfriend coyly told me she had another way home and I should go with the fellow to the local dance spot, which at the time was a bar in the Ramada Inn off the interstate. I went (I was 19 and too young to be in there). We danced. We kissed. I drove him home.

He called the next day and on Sunday he went with me to take the Sunday school children to Waldron Park, and one of the kids puked in the backseat of my mother's station wagon. He helped me clean it up. We've been married for 32 years. 

4) Both Frank and Nancy grew up in New Jersey. When you think of NJ, what else comes to mind?

A. Atlantic City. Shores. East Coast.

5) Sinatra made Las Vegas as famous for entertainment as for gambling. He was so identified with the Strip, that when he played Caesar's Palace the marquee simply said, "He's Here." Have you ever been to Vegas?

A. I passed through it when I was 12. We had a cross-country drive with my mother, father, brother, grandmother, two young uncles, and myself, all crammed into a huge van. By the time we hit Nevada, my mother was screaming, "Let me out! I want a divorce now! I can get one here quick!" 

 6) Thin for most of his life, Frank was blessed with a metabolism that allowed him to whatever he wanted without gaining weight. He especially enjoyed clams posillipo. What's your favorite Italian dish?

A. I am afraid I don't know the difference between Italian or anything else. I will say spaghetti even though I don't know if that is really Italian. It has tomato sauce in it, so maybe.

7) Perhaps because of his hardscrabble childhood, Sinatra was a soft touch for charities devoted to kids. One of his favorites was Variety, which sends disadvantaged children on day trips to museums, zoos and sporting events. Here's your chance to tell us about a cause that's near and dear to your heart.

A. Volunteer fire and rescue squads are very important to rural communities. Most communities would not have emergency services if people didn't volunteer their time and money to train and learn how to put out fires. I have been to and helped out at many barbeques and other fundraisers for the local fire departments as they tried to earn enough money to buy equipment, including vehicles, or build new structures. I remember one Saturday all I did for hours was wash potatoes, slap Crisco on them, and wrap them in foil. Hundreds and hundreds of baked potatoes.

Our area now has a combined emergency services department that is a mix of paid people and volunteers (and yes, it creates problems), but the volunteers remain the heart of the service. That is changing and eventually I imagine it will all be paid, but that means raising taxes, and unfortunately people would rather watch their neighbor die of a heart attack than part with an extra penny.

If you receive a solicitation from your local volunteer fire department or rescue squad, please make a donation.

8) Sinatra was a neat freak who couldn't stand dust or clutter and showered at least twice a day. He got this from his mother Dolly, who was compulsive about housecleaning and hygiene. Can you think of a time when you caught yourself doing something and thought, "I'm just like Mom/Dad!"

A. When I play guitar, sometimes I think about my father.

9) In 1998, Sinatra was buried with the things he always had in tow: a bottle of Jack Daniels, a pack of Camels, a Zippo lighter and 10 dimes. Why the dimes? According to his daughter, "He never wanted to be caught not able to make a call." Of course, 17 years later cell phones have replaced pay phones. Anyway, tell us what you always carry.

A. My asthma inhaler, my car keys, a hair brush, a credit card, and dental floss.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Seed Spittin'

A very long time ago, a hundred years now by my reckoning, aging ancient woman that I am, watermelons had seeds.

No kidding. They harbored big black huge seeds, and lots of them.

When an adult split the melon in half, the seeds were everywhere. Melons were bigger back then, too. They were long and too heavy for a kid of 12 to lift, at least not without a lot of grunting.

After the first cut, the melon would be sliced into smiles. The fruit would grin at you with huge black teeth, those seeds just waiting for you to take a bite.

I remember my father would bring one home and he'd haul it down to the springhouse to let it get cold. It was much too large for the refrigerator. And we'd think about that melon for a day or two, waiting for dad to bring it up and take the big knife to it.

Sometimes on a hot summer afternoon, usually a Sunday, I'd sit on the back porch at my grandmother's house where we'd chow down on some glistening red melon. It tasted sweet and the coldness against the heat was like an iceberg making its way through your stomach.

And the seeds? Oh, we spat them out. At each other. Sissy girls like me would wave our hands and squeal if the mood struck, but mostly I spit back. Sometimes we'd put a can in the yard and see who could spit seeds into it. Or see who could spit those seeds the farthest.

But mostly we spit them at one another. Sometimes you'd gather up a great number in your mouth and then try to send them out rapid-fire like, taking your target by surprise. This took some finesse and tongue work, but it was manageable if you did it right.

If you had a front tooth out, then you'd try to spit the seed through the gap. Sometimes that was hard, especially if the seeds were large.

Occasionally you'd end up with a watermelon with soft little white seeds. While the fruit tasted good, the seeds were a disappointment. Not much spitting went on when you ended up with one of those bad melons.

Nowadays, those bad melons - seedless watermelons, they call them - are about all one can purchase in the store. I haven't seen a regular ol' big oblong fat seeded watermelon in years. Whole generations of children have grown up without spittin' a seed at a sibling and watching it stick to his or her cheek.

They don't know what they've missed.