Monday, July 4, 2011

Thoughts on the Fourth

Today I awakened to hot sun. Since I'm usually up before the sun, before the birds, I was surprised to see that my wrist watch read 8AM. Ahhhh well, I must have needed that sleep.

I find myself thinking about many things this morning.  Yesterday's church service was attended by about half of our normal gathering, which is often the case on a holiday weekend. People are traveling, people have family...or a number of other reasons keep the numbers down. Those who weren't there missed a fantastic time in our sanctuary. We sang the patriotic hymns with great gusto, and I felt that my pew mates had their hearts fully engaged.  There was a real attitude of joy in that room, some having to do with the freedoms we enjoy in this country of ours, some having to do with other blessings we have. Yesterday's blessing was multiplied by the presence of some of our congregants who have been out for some time, due to illnesses. Harold was back after an extended absence following heart surgery and rehabilitation, Sarah was back following surgery, Bob was back with his  sense of humor following the suffering of a debilitating stroke, Sue was back after a long time of grieving for her lost husband, and Betty was back after a continuing battle with cancer.  We also saw a photo of our pastor's great grandchild who was born in January, 3 months premature with lungs that weren't fully developed. We didn't know if that tiny guy would make it, but there he was in the photo, smiling, chubby and healthy. We were blessed to see so many of our prayers answered and failed not in giving thanks for each one!

I find myself wishing that my family members lived closer, so that we could enjoy this holiday together.  My Georgia girls families have their own plans for the day, and my New York kids are limited by time and money. Our best friends are spending time with their own families, and one has to work today. So, we find ourselves alone, spending time with each other, which is definitely not a bad way to spend the day! We'll probably just stay home so that we don't put ourselves in harm's way on the highway.  (LOL, I've corrected it just now, but my first typing of highway was 'HITway'. Freudian slip?)

Those ornaments I made for the "Christmas in July" ornament exchange are finished, so today I will package those up and get them ready to mail out tomorrow.  The ones I've received thus far are very cute and diverse. There's a paper pinwheel made with snowflake scrapbook paper, a rusty old mason jar lid with a painted snowman face on it and a small rusty star hanging at the bottom, and a 'dirty' muslin stuffed star with a rusty vine of berries and a small rusty bell sewn on it which hangs from old twine.  The rules stated that the ornaments should  be handmade 'primitive' ones, meaning that they should look rustic and old, even if they aren't.  My choice to make was  small broomstick horses. The heads are handsewn, attached to a small dowel for the stick, with yarn manes and twine bridle and reins.  They are white homespun fabric, but stained with tea to yellow the cloth. I hope they will be among the favorites with those in the exchange.

We'll start another exchange soon...for Autumn. I've decided that I'll do either small,stuffed scarecrows or  oak leaves that are muslin and stuffed with a quilt batting, with embroidered 'veins'.
The dyes will be natural ones made from beet juice or onions.  When that exchange is done, we'll do a true Chrismas exchange.  It's fun having other women's handwork!

My mind is racing with things this morning...but now it's time for my body to get up and move forth into the day. I hope you're all enjoying this holiday. Be safe, and I'll see you tomorrow.