Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Day I Talked With God

Winters in Ohio are very cold with lots of snow and sleet and driving winds, all of which combine to make life miserable for us Buckeyes. You'd think that we would be happy with our summer weather - hot but not too hot with just enough thunder storms to make life exciting, provided that the tornadoes go to Indiana - but we're not. Especially if we are five year old little girls scared of our own shadows.

Grammy and the other women in the family thought it was funny to see me hide under the bed and cry every time thunder pounded the walls of our home. They told me it was just the angels bowling or God cleaning house. But none of those silly stories calmed my fears. Grampy was also very aware of my fears and decided to help me get over them.

Grampy was a big man; six feet tall with snow white hair and remarkably strong for his almost sixty years of life. One early summer afternoon as dark clouds drifted on the horizon and Grampy and I were alone on the farm, he asked me if I would like to talk with God. I was thrilled at this idea and eagerly held Grampy's hand as we walked together across the road to our corn field where stalks of corn were standing knee high, whatever that meant.

I expected that we would go into Grampy's tractor barn or maybe a patch of sunflowers sprouting along the edge of the field. Certainly God was in a beautiful place. But Grampy led me farther in the field until we stood at the crest of a small hill where the land curved and glided in soft waves allowing us to see for miles in every direction. I took in my breath, gazing at this beauty until I saw distant dark thunder clouds gliding toward us. "We better go back to the house," I said.

"We can't leave," Grampy said. "You haven't met God yet."

"Well, He's not going to come out if it rains," I objected.

Grampy didn't argue, he just tapped his lips with his finger, signaling me to be quiet. He raised up his face and I did the same.

"What do you feel on your face?" he asked me.

"The wind," I said.

"No," Grampy replied. "It's God's breath breathing more life into this world."

Lightning flashed long golden jagged lines to the earth and Grampy said, "What is that?"

"It's lightning," I said and looked for a place to hide.

"No," Grampy said, "It's God's fingers touching the earth He created."

Thunder boiled in the sky, its bass sounds vibrating against my breast bone and pounding against my ears.

"What is that?" Grampy asked me.

I shook my head and clung to Grampy's hand. "It's thunder," I almost cried.

"No," Grampy said. "It's God's voice, calling us to love Him."

The thunder growled, more lightning flashed, and rain began falling.

"What is this?" Grampy asked.

"It's thunder," I shouted.

Grampy said, "It's God's tears falling for those people who will not love him."

For long seconds, Grampy stood in silence, gazing up at the sky, smiling at the wind and rain. Then, looking down at me, he said, "Now that you have talked with God, you need never be afraid again."

I laughed and Grampy laughed and we danced with the rain drops back to the house.

That was 73 years ago. I now live in Florida, the lightning capital of the world. When thunder storms come and even grown up people run to hide, I stay outside to talk with God while Grampy smiles with pride at the brave little girl he helped God create. Where would we be without our fathers?

Happy Father's Day.

Posted by Diana for Margaret

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Dog Gone Mail Delivery

Woofie is a happy dog who lives in a housing development in Florida. There are hundreds of houses and women with cars and boys with bikes, men with motorcycles, little girls with doll carriages, and the most beautiful truck in the world - a white mail truck. Woofie loves the people and their vehicles, especially the white mail truck driven by Mr. McNutter, the postman. Woofie wished that he could get a mail truck to drive.

Every day that Mr. McNutter drove into the development, Woofie jumped up and down, barking and running after the truck to let Mr. McNutter stop and give him a ride. But Mr. McNutter never did that. He just leaned on the truck horn and shouted, "Get out of my way, you mangy mutt!" Poor Woofie was so sad.

One day, however, Woofie saw Mr. McNutter get out of his truck and carry some packages to a house. This was Woofie's big chance. He stayed a distance away until Mr. McNutter bounded up steps to a wide porch on a big yellow house. Woofie ran for the truck and jumped in and landed on the driver's seat and grabbed the steering wheel and looked out the windows. What joy he felt! Then the truck started to move down the incline in the road, slowly at first, then faster and faster as the people started screaming and running after the truck heading for a tree. Woofie thought at last the people knew how to play "Catch the Truck."

Then the truck came to a hard stop against the tree, leaving a dent on the truck's fender.

The boys ran to Woofie and grabbed him as he fell out of the truck.

The girls hugged Woofie and said, "Are you all right Woofie?"

The women petted Woofie and the men praised him for his courage.
And Mr. McNutter said, "You dumb dog. Look what you did to my truck."

Woofie thought that Mr. McNutter just wanted to play with his truck again so Woofie jumped up and slurped Mr. McNutter's face before trotting off to tell his family about his wonderful adventure.

That was the last time Woofie drove the mail truck but he got rides from other places, like the women's cars, boys' bikes, men's motorcycles and girls' doll carriages. As for Mr. McNutter? Well, he moved to a desert island where everyone has to go to the post office to get their own mail. Well, okay, so this story isn't all that true. Mr. McNutter never moved to a desert island. He stayed in his house and delivered the mail for another ten years before retiring and taking up gardening. As for Woofie becoming Mr. McNutter's friend? In your dreams. But it's okay. Every time Mr. McNutter runs after Woofie, Woofie barks in joy because he just knows the man is really playing tag with him and that makes them best friends.

Posted by Diana for Margaret

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Some Cat Facts

Black cat's fur is not solid black. It is black stripes or spots on black background. Look at a black cat in bright sunlight and you should be able to see the stripes or spots.

When a black cat stays outside in the sun for long periods of time, his/her fur will turn red. Once he/she quits staying in the sun, his/her fur will go back to black. This is not instantaneous but takes several days, sort of like us getting a sunburn.

As a cat gets older, his/her fur seems to age with him/her. If a cat has black fur and this fur starts to come out, the new fur will come in white, theoretically turning a black cat into a white cat. Please leave the testing of this theory up to the researchers.

According to The Origins of Cats, the domestic cats (Felis Catus) are difficult to be distinguished according to their 37 different species since they overlap each other in description making it difficult to tell one from another. Cats are the most intelligent felines and are most closely identified with lions.

As early as three million years ago, cats were prolific in populating the world with their presence known in every country except Arctic, Antarctica, and Australia. There are rumors that the Aussies, upon seeing their country being overrun by rodents have put out the red carpet, so to speak, for all cats, a statement they will neither confirm nor deny.

Researchers say that domestic cats as we know them originated about 10,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent, about the same time people began storing grain for their food supplies. Some researchers say it was about this time that cats began approaching humans for companionship and for being entertained by the humans while they - the cats - feasted on mice. So the next time you want to pet your kitty's face, you might want to count your fingers just to be safe.

Our black cat Scooter was a voracious leaper, being able to jump a span of six feet from one rooftop to another.

Are Chrissy and Paco black cats turning white or white cats turning black? Chrissy's black spots have been growing over the past two years.

Posted by Diana for Margaret