Wednesday, January 30, 2013

tybee pier ~ this morning

Love this picture!

I love the ocean, the sunrise, the clouds
swishing across the sky.
I love to walk out on this pier at night...
all the way to the end and watch the stars and the moon
shimmering on the surface of the water.

We have the opportunity this next week
 to have as our guests in our home
Lucy and Gus.

Believe it or not,
I am still taking down and putting away Christmas.
Never has it seemed so overwhelming to me.
The more I pack, the more appears.
I've worked all day and there is still more to be done.
My goal is to be finished by tomorrow
January 31, 2013.

Want to get the guest room set up as the Gus domain....
his own little private suite,
dark and cozy so that he will hopefully

We will assume mommy and daddy duties for a whole week.
Are we up to this?
I hope.

Planning lots of fun activities and food and expeditions 
to various and sundry playgrounds.
Bub is bringing Lucy's bike 
and has informed me that it is time for me to 
start riding again.
Oh no...what if the substitute mommy falls and breaks her leg,
then what?
We'll see.

"Children's children are the crown of old men."
Proverbs 17:6

picture by milind ketkan

Monday, January 28, 2013

a bridge too far

 Pictured above is the great old Talmadge Bridge,
gateway from Savannah to
South Carolina and fascinating places beyond.
How many times as a child and a teenager
 would we venture over that bridge
to wonderful places near and far?
Back in September,
I started the process of having a bridge made in my mouth.
The middle tooth on the top right was pulled
and crowns were made for the teeth on either side,
thus creating
 what in dental circles is called a bridge.
The fall off of my bicycle
 and the ensuing busted lip caused the final installation of said bridge
to be put off until late October.
I noted to self about a month ago....
"that pain associated with the bridge is finally gone."
Last week I had my dental cleaning done.
As par course with me,
the dentist noticed that the bridge didn't fit correctly.
"Come back on Monday and we will snap that thing off,
send it back,
and get you one that fits."
Well today is Monday and that thing didn't snap off.
Five huge shots of novacaine later
he started sawing
and after about ten minutes of that,
 the worst cracking and pulling ensued,
and THEN it was off.
While making the impression for the new bridge,
 the dentist accidentally got glue on my lips
and they stuck fast,
having to be pried apart with much pain. bed...with pain relievers.
This morning I woke up feeling better than I've felt in over a month.
Didn't last long. :(

Sunday, January 27, 2013

our family

There are eleven of us....
Bubba and I are now the patriarch & matriarch.
How amazing is that?
"You shall love the Lord your God
with all your heart,
with all your soul,
and with all your might.
And these words which I command you today
shall be in your heart.
You shall teach them dilgently to your children,
and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way,
when you lie down and when you rise up."
Deuteronomy 6: 5 ~ 7
The blessings of the Lord
come tumbling down on those who love Him.
They may be tumbling down in the midst of sickness and great sorrow,
trials, and overwhelming suffering,
but tumble they do...
filling the one who loves with the greatest of joy and peace.
Thank You Lord!
So abundant is this "Life in Christ."

Friday, January 25, 2013

i know how he won all those races....

Lance Armstrong that is.
Yesterday I went to the doctor....
have been sick for over two weeks and figured it was time.
He gave me a big shot and said,
"This will make you feel better very quickly." 2:30am I was wide awake...
planning away in my head all of the things I could do
rather than waste my time sleeping.
Very unusual thoughts for this girl who takes her sleep very seriously!
At 3:30 I was up and busy as a beaver.
It is now 9:30am and I have already accomplished
a full three days normal activities.
My heart is racing and Bubba just said,
"You are going to crash and burn any minute now."
The doctor gave me steroids,
and boy do they work!
Don't like the feeling
and hopefully I won't have to take them again anytime soon,
but they work!!!
People ask me time and again if I've ridden my bike
again since the accident.
I haven't.
Maybe its because of winter...
you know,
but maybe its fear.
I think its a little of both.
I read this a little while ago...
"Do what you fear and the fear will go away."
but I will probably get a helmet....
(can't stand the thought of wearing a helmet.)
I love the little bike diagram above,
minus the references to global warming and earth friendly statements.
It is God who created and sustains the earth
and He will continue to do that
until He is finished with it in its present form.
 The diagram makes me want to go out right now and ride to the beach.
Maybe on these steroids I could.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

happy birthday david

Today is David's birthday.
We just had a very sweet little party with him.
With all of us still half and wholly sick....
it was quiet.

The picture is David with his two grandmothers and
two great grandmothers.
This was taken on Mother's Day in 
May of 1974.

How proud they all were
 of this tiny little guy 
who came and stole everybody's heart.

Wish all of them could hear him preach.
Wish they could have known Erika and his children.
Wish they could have known the man he has become.

Family is everything ...
the people God put us with to share our lives.

I'm just glad I got to have a son....
I love you 
David William Cleland!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

ring around the moon

Last night there was a giant ring or halo around the moon.
It was directly overhead.
When I saw this sight it took my breath away
I love the things God does in the sky to show His glory!

"The heavens declare the glory of God;
and the firmament shows His handiwork."
Psalm 19:1

What a glorious and creative God we serve. 
He shows Himself everywhere and we are without excuse.

Too cold to go down on the beach this afternoon.
The wind was blowing and the waves were kicking up a fuss.
Bubba drove me down...
he knows how being near the ocean soothes my soul
and calms my spirit.
Just sat for a while and let its beauty wash over me.

One word on yesterday's blog about sin.
I don't think we take sin seriously.
it wasn't until I saw the gravity of my own sin,
that I realized the magnitude of what Jesus did for me at Calvary.
What He took upon Himself on my behalf....
I cannot even fathom.
I am humbled and grateful before Him.

"Therefore, my beloved brethren,
be steadfast, immovable,
always abounding in the work of the Lord,
knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."
I Corinthians 15:58

Loved that ring around the moon!

Monday, January 21, 2013

the entanglement of sin.....

or...why we need a Savior.

I snapped this picture while on the beach last week....
dead winter, but 77 degrees of warmth.
Didn't think to much about it until I was looking at my pictures just now.
This thought jumped out at me.....
This tree,
washed ashore on the north end of Tybee,
reminds me of my heart.

"Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth 
and that every intent of the thoughts of His heart 
was only evil continually."
Genesis 6:5

Even though this verse describes God's thoughts
 toward man right before the flood,
 not much has changed in all these generations of hearts.  
That verse still describes us perfectly.

Some would say.....
"Yes, that perfectly describes the heart of the man 
who shot and killed 
26 people in Connecticut recently."
  You would be right to think that.
 but perfectly describes our hearts as well.

I can hardly get through my prayer time
 without some sinful thought manifesting itself.
I am constantly fighting sin in every area of my life.
Sin is like the picture above,
it winds and snakes its way around every area of my life.
I could sit and list every sin in God's word.....
every one of them
 I am capable of committing.

God sent Jesus into this world to pay the price
for our sins.
He suffered and died so that we could be reconciled back to
 a right relationship with God....

Sin will be with me until the day I die,
I will fight on to be able to live righteously before Him
in these the "last days."

Thank you Lord for having great mercy on my sinful heart.

Saturday, January 19, 2013


What can I say?

Daddy made it home alive from World War II
and these are the blessings of our life.

This past week has been an amazing, sad, wonderful time.
So many emotions to sort through.
I cannot even begin to process
 the love and concern 
that was shown to our family in these last days.

Since I awoke to the news of dad's death over a week ago now,
You, all of you,
have blessed us in so many abundant ways.
I have never felt so loved in all of my life.

My sister and Anna left this morning going
back home to California.
Davis & Erika joined us for soup and cornbread tonight.
We needed to sit and talk
and  remember all the ways we were blessed.

Tomorrow we worship again...
David is preaching on heaven....come join us if you will.

Just a short note on the previous blog.....
Dad trained with the ski troops out near Vail, Colorado.
The men learned to soldier out in the valley at a place called
Camp Hale.
In latter years 
all of us would join together for big reunions of those who fought in the 
Tenth Mountain Division.
The last reunion that they ever had
was entitled
Hale and Farewell.
Hence the title of my blog on the day we buried our dad.

Thanks everybody...
I love you!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Hale and Farewell

On the banks of the Thunderbolt River, 
under a gorgeous blue sky drenched with sunlight, 
we said goodbye to our dad today.

On a morning of warmth and gentle breezes,
with family and children and friends circling around,
we heard His word presented
reminding us all that death is never far away.

Taps was played,
the flag was folded with much ceremony,
and we committed him back to the ground from whence he came.

He gave us kids such a love of nature.
We talked always about birds and flowers,
animals and God's great world.

I told him once that all mankind has to do is look at His creation 
and he has enough knowledge to know God.
He loved that and brought it back up to me often.
I have a few flowers that he potted for me just recently.

It was a fitting celebration for our bigger than life dad,
he being an enigma 
that we could never quite figure out.

He taught us to love life!!!!
He loved us fiercely and held on to us dearly.

Now he is gone.
A light has gone out,
but the memories are strong and shining 
and will last forever.

"I am the way, the truth, and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through Me."
John 14:6

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

these days of waiting...

....have brought great peace upon my heart.

Being in His word 
and surrounded by the love and nurturing 
of family and friends,
has caused my soul to flourish.

I have had time to get well,
time to take hold of the great promises in His word
that pertain to those of us who are 
"walking through the valley of the shadow of death."

We don't get to experience very often
 the magnitude of love 
that is shown during these times of sadness and sorrow.
We have been overwhelmed with
 "the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living."
All I can do is say thank you for every kind word and deed.

Now we start the process of saying goodbye.
Never easy....
but as surely a part of life as being born.

"To everything there is a season,
a time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born and 
a time to die."
Ecclesiastes 3: 1~2

Sunday, January 13, 2013

the tender mercies of the Lord

It had been a strange week.
I had a better than usual visit with my dad on Monday last.
He responded to something I said to him
and he got up on his walker and walked a few paces.
Little did I know that would be the last time I would see him alive.

On Wednesday I got sick
and early Friday morning when the call came
I was still not doing well.
Bubba came to my bedside and gave the the news I was not expecting.

Daddy hated being at the nursing home.
He was miserable.
nothing brought him any kind of solace.
Finally there was nothing I could do to minister to him

I was in the process of accepting his situation 
and settling in for the long haul,
still hoping to be able to find a way to make his days more pleasant.

I didn't ask God for much concerning Dad.
We had been told that he would never be any better than he was,
so I prayed for God to comfort and calm him
and to have mercy.
I think I asked you to pray that prayer as well.

The tender mercies of God took him in his sleep sometime
early in the morning of January 11th.
His bed clothes were not even rustled.
He peacefully slipped over to the other side
without any known pain.

How can I not praise God?
Was this not an answer to prayer?

No long extended suffering...
only had about six weeks of struggle.
I could not be more thankful
 as I fall on my face before our worthy God.
I got to see a great work of His one more time.

I am still sick...
but the ministering angels swooped in
just when I needed them
to cook and clean and take down my Christmas tree.

I will miss dad.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

our dad....

Edward Francis O'Quinn Jr.
passed away yesterday morning,
peacefully, in his sleep.
He was 89 years old.

"Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed,
because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning:
Great is His faithfulness."
Lamentations 3: 22&23

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

collage # 3 ~ the last ~ 2012

I love these pictures...
just our family ~ having fun.
We are going and doing constantly.
Nothing extravagant or expensive....
mostly close to home,
but always so much laughter and happiness going on.
I love my life 
and I am exceedingly thankful and blessed beyond measure.

In spite of sickness and nursing homes and hospitals,
because the Lord's mercies never fail,
because He has given us abundant life in His Son,
everything we do is a celebration
of His goodness.

So much of my life centers around the beach,
my great love.
Many impromptu trips take place there
 where the ocean meets the sand.
"Wanna ride down to the beach?"
You bet I do!!!

Bubba asked me to marry him down at Tybee beach.
It was the day after Christmas, 1968.
We were sitting in the car looking out at the ocean.
What a way to plan the start of 
the rest of our lives!

The smiling faces of my grand babies say everything there is to say.
Whether they are snaggle toothed
just getting teeth, 
or have a mouth full of teeth...
these are the days,
these are the smiles that make my life so full of joy.

Friday night Lu and I are having a pajama party down at the condo.
It is going to be 80 degrees.
Can't wait for all the fun.
Have to stop and buy a kite and hope for a breeze.
The sand may even be warm enough to go barefoot.
Thank you Lord!

Monday, January 7, 2013

there are nights...

when I am too tired to write,
and there is tonight when I probably shouldn't even attempt.
But I need to share about Harry.
He is home from the hospital,
sick, sad, and sore,
but he is home!
God has heard our prayers for him.

Being the little boy with some big medical issues,
sometimes infections steal into his body unaware and ravage him.
This strep bug laid him low so quickly
no one knew what hit.

Thank goodness the nurses and doctors at Memorial got right to work,
brought his high fever down,
and gave enough medicine to overpower that bad bug.
We are thankful....very!

Jake and Eli are also well from their bout with the flu.
Praise the Lord for His healing mercies.

Spent a long time with dad at the nursing home today.
With help and his walker,
he made his way a short distance down the hall.
He is improving a little physically, but mentally....not much.
He still knows my name though.
His eyes, so breaks my heart.

My grand babies...getting well.
My dad, not really.
I praise God because He is always right....

pray for harry

Please pray for our Harry boy....
He was taken to the hospital early yesterday afternoon 
with an extremely high fever.

The doctors admitted him to do tests and administer medicine.
David was with him all night.
Don't know anything this morning other than he had a very bad night.
Will keep you posted on his condition.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

#2 ~ 2012

Just some more pictures of our year.
I always include a wedding picture
 because that is when this wild and wonderful life began.

some things....
Precious little Harry has joined the sick list in our family.
Along with Jake and Eli,
they are all suffering the effects of the dreaded flu.
Lucy has finally weathered her bout,
and has joined the land of the living once more.
We are hopeful that Gus has very good immunities.

Yesterday I fell again.
Rising very early in the morning,
whilst it was still dark,
I tried to cram both of my legs into one leg hole.
In the process of trying to untangle myself from the mess,
I fell backward into the bathroom
and landed loudly on the cold, hard, tile floor.
Bubba heard the crash and came running in to rescue me.
Seeing no blood
 and feeling no broken bone sticking out,
I assumed the duties set before me for the day.
Today I am sore, very.
I think I may need a neck brace.
The word "fall" has taken on a new meaning in this house.

My tree is still up.
I can't bear to part with it.
I'll be like Jake and break into sobs when it has to go away.
Every morning when I read my bible and pray,
I turn it on...
call it "my tree time."
It still looks great and is not shedding at all.

God is so good to us, isn't He?

Friday, January 4, 2013

moments in time ~ 2012

Will be sharing my photo collages
on my blog for those who 
aren't on facebook.

Just moments 
caught on film 
that capture the year for me.

On yesterday's blog
I asked that you pray for my dad.
I know that he won't be getting better this time.....
but I ask for God to give him a 
spirit of calmness & peace
in his last days.

I went armed with God's word today.
I don't know whether he understood what was read,
but I know he heard it.

Thanks for loving me and for praying.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

what do you do?

What do you do when the sky's not blue
and the clouds won't go away?

What do you do when the sun won't shine
and you can't find a single ray?

What do you do when your heart is sore
and your eyes stay red
and you mouth won't praise?

You remember.....

That God made clouds and the sun and our hearts...
He fashioned them all with His hands.
He knew we would laugh and He knew we would cry
and He knew every path we would take.

Every word in His word
is vivid and true and
He promises not to forsake.
He lovingly listens to our weakest prayer
and He never makes a mistake.

He is faithful and kind
He is loving and strong,
He has given us life in His Son.

So ....
We trust in His word
we practice our faith
we watch to see what He will do.
We do unto others
meet all needs we can
and cry out for mercy and grace.

Praise God from whom all mercy flows!