Sunday, October 31, 2010

Tangled up in knots and the Monday Prayer

A tangle of trees and underbrush occupy a corner of our back lot at the lake.
 There's a trailer back in there.
But what sticks out to me is this rope-like branch that winds around
several trees,  forming a knot.
It's difficult to see a true hole, and you can't see the trailer at all.
To the left of the tangle is our shed.  The 'hidden trailer' is on an adjoining property. 
                                                   Zoom in closer and a form emerges.

Zoom in more and the trailer is now visible.  Someone has a place on the other side of the tangle of 'knots'.

 There is a teacher at school who seems to be tied up in knots.  She teaches in a different part of the building and I've not had much contact with her.  The two parts might as well have been in two different parts of the school yard as contact between the two has been minimal due to scheduling and departmental separation.

However this year, the principal instituted  a Professional Development Time each morning for 30 minutes BEFORE the students are permitted in the classroom and locker sections of the school.  Now I begin my day with her.
Also I  have lunch with her.  Due to a change in scheduling, she is in my lunch group this year.

This over 40- year-old  believes she has the right to speak her mind about anything, at anytime, to anyone regardless of whether she offends or hurts. Her voice bounces off the walls of the teacher's lounge.
She does the same in the morning.
I have heard other teachers sigh and say something like, "Well        was in true form today, wasn't she?" or "Is she crankier than usual today?"  or"Good ol'       , just laying it all out there!  We can always count on  knowing where      stands." I don't feel comfortable going into why no one says anything to her.

   I believe in freedom of speech, but I also think common  courtesy should help determine what a person does or doesn't say.  She has boasted of her lack of caring if she offends. 

 She has brought her knotted, tangled world into my reality.  I'm having difficulty seeing that there is a person in there.
 I'm trying to look up into the light and then with His help zoom in and see the person.  Whether seeing her will help her or not, it might just undo the knots she has manged to tie in my insides.   (My stomach has been upset a lot lately.)

So I begin a new week.   This is our last week of the first nine-week period. 
 Report cards will go out the following week.

It was a quiet weekend. Husband had to stay in Cinci, but he will be up here this week.
The weather has turned colder--a low of 29 is expected tonight and a high of 52 tomorrow.
I got some sweaters and a corduroy skirt out of summer storage.

So, I hope you keep warm or cool depending on your location,
 and that you have a wonderful week.

Here's the Monday prayer:

I confess that there are things that make me feel anxious in my soul.
I lift them up to You and ask that You would take those anxieties away
and give me Your peace.
Comfort my soul as only You can do.
Help me to understand my life and my circumstances from Your perspective
so that I won't be tempted to dwell on them with a heavy heart.
Thank You for the comfort of Your unfailing love.

In the multitude of anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul.
Psalm 94:19

From one Stormie OMartians prayer books.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

My drive to work and the Friday Psalm

 I pulled the SUV over one day, parked, got out, and took a photo of this curve.  I'm looking back at the way I just came.  It's one of many curves I guide my vehicle around twice a day 5 days a week.
It's a 30 minute drive from B'ville to my rural high school.   In my opinion, it beats a drive of half the time on interstate.  The view changes with the seasons and even within the seasons.  I  rarely am too weary to enjoy this countryside that I'm blessed to be a part of it.  It's country and to me there's nothing quite like it.

  I always wanted to live in a city, and I enjoyed my 6 years there.  But then sick parents and a first grandchild tugged on our hearts.  Husband and I decided it was time to move back.  However, his dad died of a heart attack one week after I got this job.  Fourteen months later his stroke-ridden mother left us.  That left my dad, and of course the grandchild. 

Husband decided to stay in Cinci enough years to earn his pension.  Meanwhile I lived at our lake place.   Two years later I was laid off.  I had one year off in which I lived back in Cinci.  But I spent a chunk of time that year with my dad, helping him reach all his goals on his 'bucket list.'  Then I was called back up here.  We decided against me living at the lake and instead bought this house in B'ville.(See previous post).
I moved into it 5 years ago this August and began that school year the day after Labor Day.  Dad was gone before Christmas.

 Now, as I've said before, husband is up here unofficially.  He still is working on the house in Cinci.  By Thanksgiving he will be living here regularly.   Praise God!  We are hoping for a quick sale and are willing to sell it for a very reasonable price just so we can close that chapter.

I don't miss the city.  I did some the first few years, but now the sheer volume of people and vehicles bothers me.  I prefer to experience the city in small doses.

Meanwhile I drive the countryside each day and am thankful for these beautiful rolling hills, the fields that lie within those hills and even the curvy roads.  However, I prefer to see the deer in Susie's pictures instead of  leaping in front of my car!

When I come around the curve on my way home, I look up and over to my right and see this log cabin nestled at the foot of this hill.  I don't know who lives there, but I hope they realize how beautiful
that spot is.

 These were right beside where I parked the car for my impromptu photo session.

This farm is high on a hill on the other side of a golf course that someone placed between  farmland, some of it Amish.  Talk about incongruity!  There is a sign at the bottom of the steep road up to it.  Apparently 86 acres complete with buildings are for sale.  We would like some acreage, but not 86, and it's too far away from B'ville in one direction and the town where my son and family live in the other direction.   I like the country, but I don't see myself as a farmer's wife.  Yet, when I was making my life's plans I didn't envision being where I am now.  So I've learned not to try to boss God.  Yeesh---you would think that was a no-brainer!

Well, another week is done and I'm sitting here in the wee hours of Saturday morning.  So I'm overdue with my end of the week and beginning of the weekend Psalms.

Here goes:

The LORD upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down.
The eyes of all wait upon thee; and thou givest them their meat in due season.

The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.
The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.
He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them.
The LORD preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy.
My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.

                                      Psalm 145: 14, 15, 17 - 21

                                 Blessings to you all this weekend!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

How did I get here?

 I used to drive through
this section of town
past the tired houses
covered with grime
a spot of grass
between each home
porches rarely used
as the coal trucks
rumble by

I wondered:
Who would live here?

I grew up
on the other side of the tracks
in a Victorian Lady
with a huge side porch
where my friends and I
would sit
as the boys
drove by

So how did I end up here?
 The old brick ice house crumbling before my eyes
The rental house with bright blue window frames
where the couple ignite the summer air
with a blaze of cuss words

The rusted trucks for sale
 The dump truck full of debris 
 The construction company
whose owner began a spruce up
of his buildings
'til town government got technical
 he shrugged
and left them as is

How did I get here?

I got here because:

I needed a safe place
 in town
where if I screamed
someone would hear
where if my electricity stopped
or the pipes overflowed
someone would come and help
no matter the hour

I needed a place
where my dad could rest
knowing I wasn't out in the woods
at the lake

I screamed one night while living there
scared the black snake in the shed
as much as he scared me
but then--
what bothered me most--
the nightly phone call with hubby
was done
no one would miss me for 10 hours
yet--no one heard me---

on either side
I have caring neighbors
one couple rents
one owns
The one couple have worked hard
since high school
to build their auto body and auto upholstery business
in the back
across from the alley

I barely knew them in high school
this couple with the business
yet I graduated with him

When my basement flooded
they helped me dry the sepia photos
I'd brought here
after Dad died

He has fixed the furnace
the car
the pipes
she recovered my school desk chair
as a surprise

The other couple have a daughter
and two grandsons living with them
he's on disability
he babysits his grandsons
grocery shops and cooks

and  what does he do for me?
he mows my lawn
waters my flowers
and gives my cat his insulin shot
when I'm gone

The list is long
I could go on and on . . .
and on

But what's this really about?
It's not about which side of the tracks
It's not about the crumbling buildings
It's not about the noise or the dirt

It's about the two couples
who have become close friends

It's about a safe place for me
 while husband worked and lived
on the other side
of Ohio

It's about God's wisdom
and our trust in that wisdom

If I scream
the two couples WILL hear
 they WILL come to my aide

And as for the porch?
it has a swing on one side
where at night we don't swallow
the coal trucks' dirt

This is home
for now

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding."
Proverbs 3:5

Monday, October 25, 2010

Temptation and Monday's Prayer

 "In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.  Proverbs 3:6

 "I have found that the more obedient I am, the easier it is to be obedient again.  And the more disobedient I am, the easier it is to be disobedient.. . .

But every time we obey our conscience, we widen the window that God can use to lead us by His Spirit."

Every time we follow the leading of our conscience, it lets in more light the next time."  Joyce Meyers

When I am tempted, show me what it is that is drawing me away from you.
I praise You in the midst of any temptation I am facing,
knowing You have the power to break its hold on me.
Help me to walk in the Spirit
so that I will not fulfill the lust of the flesh (Galatians 5 :16)
Thank you that You give me strength
to resist anything that would entice me away
from a close walk with You.


For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weakness,
but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Hebrews 4:15

I thank You that You are able to lift me out of the realm of the flesh
 and into the realm of the Spirit,
out of a condition of emptiness and into one of fulfillment,
out of what is worthless and into what is worthwhile.
I reach up to You right now
 and ask You to set me free
 from anything that tempts me to walk in the flesh
and not in the Spirit.


So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
  But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit,
if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.
Romans 8:8-9

from one of  Stormie Omartian's prayer books.'s

A double whammy of prayer this week. 
I'm not sure why, just felt the 'nudge' from God to write both prayers.

Blessings to you all as you begin another week.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Trees and the Friday Psalm

          i was wandering through the field behind our place near seneca lake last weekend
                                   my camera and i  became engrossed in the trees.
                         especially where they met the sky

                                    or where a streak of color demanded our attention
                                  or when one tree stood out among the rest
                               and then there was this tree trunk, gray and wrinkled, showing
                           some age, but not ancient, with some flashy neighbors  waving at us

I survived a somewhat wild week at school.  The principal was gone for  for two days and when
 the cat is gone, the mice will play.  He came back to a stack of detention referrals--only four were mine.  Three of them were when I happened to be in the hallway at the wrong time or the right time
(depends on your perspective) and witnessed misbehavior and a bit of bullying.  Sigh.

It's time for the end of the week and beginning of the weekend Psalms.

I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless they name for ever and ever.
Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever.
Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.
One generation shall prasie they works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.
I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works.
                            Psalm 145: 1 - 5

Blessings  to you throughout your weekend!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The hidden lake

I moved here when I was 9 and moved away when I was 18.  In those 9 years, I did not
wander down the dirt road to this serene beautiful lake.
 Why?  I did not know it was there. 

I was 44 and looking at photos of my wedding taken by a neighbor in Cincinnati.
The two couples who traveled the 4 hours to our wedding might as well been
time traveling---so different was our small town from all that was familiar to them  in Cinci.

Bill, our neighbor/friend/photographer was enamored with our town, particularly this lake.
When I came upon the photos of this lake, I asked where he had found a lake in Barnesville.
 The look he gave me indicated that he thought I was being ditsy. 
"No, really, where did you find it?"
My husband then chimed in, "Beth, it's below the park.  It's our reservoir."
"Since when?"
"Since forever."
"Nah uh!"
At this point, the topic became a 'Bethism'---something I say or do that surprises and amuses him
while endearing me further into his heart.

Two weeks ago, after an overnight babysitting stint with the grandchildren, I turned my car
down the lane and with my camera explored.

How could I have missed it all those years?
The same way I missed the close relationship I now have with the trinity.
They were there all this time.
But I partook of only a fraction of what was available,
just as I swam in the pool, danced at the rec center, swung on the
swings, and watched baseball games in the park
above all this beauty.
It took a deep depression
and the loss of my father
to send me searching
for the 'lake'
hidden yet in full view.
It took quiet desperation
for me to spend the summer
in prayer, Bible study, and simply spending time
with the trinity.

Isn't it a shame that many of us have to fall in a dark pit
before we can stand on the hill overlooking a pristine lake?

Isn't it glorious that He takes our hands and lifts us up out of the pit
to the top of the hill, welcoming us, so happy we finally asked?

"And to know the love of Chist,
which passeth knowledge,
that ye might be filled with
all the fulness of God."
Ephesians 3:19

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Autumn Splendor

                           I'm giving a sneak preview of autumn splenor in southeastern Ohio.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I was the rubber band today. But unlike my grandson's intentions, the boys tugging and stretching
weren't testing motor skills or experimenting with a new 'toy'---they were being ---well----
immature--rebellious---those are the nicest words I can think of.. We had lock down drill today and it was during my worse class. Oh joy! If it had been for real, and there had been a gunman in the building, it
wouldn't have required excellent hearing to know there was a group of students in my room!

It went downhill from there. Four junior Advanced English (college prep) boys are seeing how far
they can push.  Today I have to shove back to let them know unequivocally that there is indeed a
line they don't cross in my room.  I truly dislike having to do that.  But I must or I lose control of my
room of 32 students.

But there were bright moments and this evening was one of them. We had an open house for
 the school levy. Few parents showed (big volley ball tournament away),but several of us teachers
went out to dinner between school's end and open house beginning. We relaxed and laughed and generally had a good time.

More laughter occurred when we returned to school ---there was a camaraderie there that has been missing.
 It is slowly coming back after dissension and frustration during the reign of the last principal.
This picture is from our vacation in Hocking Hills this past August.  I chose this picture because
I had to tramp through the underbrush today to get to a pleasant 'spot', but I made it through.
 Writing this blog helped.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith.
Galatians 5:22  (I needed this reminder.)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Joy in the morning

Another morning, another beginning of a week. May your day and week begin with joy even  in the simple acts of life. 
 This little guy does. 
 I strive to be more like my grandson in that aspect
to find joy in all that I do.
and to follow Christ's example of
caring for others and spreading love wherever I go.

It's time for the Monday prayer.  It's from a Stormie OMartian prayer book as usual. 
 I hope the beginning, middle, and end of this new week is wonderful for you all.

Make me ready to do Your will and move into the purpose for which I was created.
Send me out with joy to do Your work. Lead me with peace. 
 Help me to follow You in all things so I can accomplish Your perfect will. 
Help me to hear the celebration of Your creation
as I lift up praise and worship to You
over the great things You will do in me, through me, and around me.

You shall go out with joy, and be lead out with peace;
the mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
Isaiah 55:12

Friday, October 15, 2010

Good Day, Today and Friday Psalm

                                                            The contrasts of Ireland.

Good day

We played
Brain Quest
three classes.

I bribed them
to study hall

(drum roll)




No one

The highest scoring group
two suckers.

To Kill a Mockingbird classes

This wasn't really meant to be a poem--I'm just messing around.

I'm off to the lake with husband.

Here's some Psalms to end your week and  begin your weekend!

O LORD,  thous hast searched me, and known me.
Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
. .
Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
. .
If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
. . .
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works;
and that my soul knoweth right well.
. . .
Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
                Psalm 139: 1, 1, 6, 7, 9, 10, 14, 23, and 24

(More of my mother's underlined verses from her red Bible.)

Blessings for a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Rubbing his head

This was how I found him one morning.   It was Sunday and he had been on the phone and the computer (often simultaneously) for three hours beginning at 3 am. They had pestered him through most of Sat. evening and it was midnight before he went to bed.
 He didn't ask for my approval (only my acceptance) when he accepted their offer to stay through the summer. They had sweetened the offer with more money that he felt we needed.  I voiced a deep concern for his health asking if the money was worth  the wear and tear on his body, mind, and emotions.  He felt it was.
  He did tell them no to their requests for another year, but then I had been quite blunt what another year of this craziness would do to me.(I have written of this before).

 I understand that we both started over in our lives in our mid-forties; that our parents had health issues, but great retirement pensions after devoting years to a company and a church that returned loyalty; that we have health issues and no such loyalty from  companies and school districts. Thus there are concerns we have had to address.  Much planning has gone into our future. He has no children.  I have two.  Neither of us want to become a burden to them, just as our parents did not want to be a burden, particularly  financial, to us (they weren't).  So we plan; we invest; we work; we pray; and we hope.

I did not want to return to the high school where I am once again teaching. The last two years were brutal. Ah--- but my job carries health insurance.  His company is out-sourcing and though they wanted him another year, they are honest that the position is still temporary..  So he has left them and become an independent consultant, mainly for them.  He is still getting paid well, he can work from here, and they can't call him at all hours of the day without paying by the hour.  Funny how that has stopped their 24/7 including weekends need of him.  He was an executive on salary before with no over time pay.

Last night as I readied lunch, clothes, books, etc. for tomorrow (I have to prepare at night as I am not my best at 5 am), he sat at the same computer.  But he didn't have a phone glued to his ear.  He wasn't rubbing his head like he does when he's irritated or tired or well just anything other than content.  He wore jeans and a t-shirt not his night-time boxers.  He went to bed at 11pm.  So did I.  We fell asleep in each other's arms.  He rolled over and held me when the alarm went off this morning.  Then he turned over and crept back into sleep when I got up.  I kissed him goodbye and went to work.  It was a better day.

When I arrived home, he was doing laundry.  I kissed him hello and we held on tight for a moment.  I've fixed good suppers for us both nights ( he was here to greet me yesterday after school).  We sat at the dining room table together. We watched the news together.  We will fall asleep together.

I get to have him until Monday.  Then he will go back to Cinci to continue the work still to be done on the house there.  There is light at the end of the tunnel as the cliche goes.   The house should be on the market by the end of this month.  Then I will be able to come home to him every day.

Someone recently commented in a letter to me that I seemed to not have joy in my life.  The comment was made with concern, not criticism, and I appreciated that concern.  I have yet to tell that person so. 

I have thought about this comment.   I have read back over my posts.  I know that one in particular was misunderstood by this person as signaling deep depression.  It wasn't.  But I am realizing that joy had crept quietly out of our lives. 

His friends and I have noticed how Mike has changed since August 20th. We are gradually seeing the real Mike emerge once again.  I feel in my gut/spirit that the job was killing him.  It most certainly was sucking the joy out of him and consequently out of me.  He was on call 24/7 seven days a week.  The stress was tangible.  I did not feel that I could tell him about issues at school.  He didn't need my stress too.  So we kept our jobs to ourselves and they were both gnawing away at our insides.

He has laughed that deep, awesome laugh of his more in the past month than in the past two years.  He and I have laughed over silly stuff and truly funny stuff.

 He and his friend spent a day getting his boat out  of the water recently.  They do it every year.  This year he came home, lay on the bed, and laughed---just laughed. He attempted to tell me what was funny. Story after story tumbled out.  I later talked to his friend who told me they hadn't had a day like that for over two years.  He said that Mike had become almost unreachable.

The good news is he's now reachable.  He's here. And my job?  Well, it still has its sore spots.  But those sore spots are easier to handle when I know he's here waiting. I'm beginning to sense that work wasn't the problem so much as working away from him was.  (If he had said yes to them, this year would have been our 8th living on separate sides of Ohio. We had one year when I was laid off and went back to Cinci for a year.)

 No annoying ring of his cell phone will awaken us tonight to get him up to spend 3 hours on the phone and the computer simultaneously. He rarely rubs his head now (his one sister can still cause him to do that at times).

  The joy is seeping back ever so gently.

Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance.
                                                             Psalm 89:15
Row houses in Ireland.  Those ten days were truly wonderful for us.  So I'll end this post with a reminder of that trip.

Part of Imperfect Prose on Thursdays

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Standing out and the Monday Prayer

sometimes you have to leave your group
 even if it means you stand out in the crowd

if you relax and look at the situation from another perspective
you find that  not blending in is actually good

Once your eye dismisses the swing, which pink buds and red future bud catch your attention?

Here's the Monday Prayer:


Your Word says that having integrity will be a guide to me.
It will help me make sound moral judgements.
I pray that You would help me to be a person of integrity----
one who is honest and upright.
Help me to be sound and complete.
Make me whole so that my wholeness will keep my integrity
 from ever being compromised.
Let my integrity guide me
so that I am always able to make the right decision
at the right time.


The integrity of the upright will guide them,
but the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them.
Proverbs 11:3

From a Stormie Omartian prayer book.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Sleepover and shopping with granddaughter and Psalms Friday

I took this when I was babysitting three of the four grandkids overnight at their house several weeks ago.  My son and daughter-in-law had left on a five day trip and I was doing my part.  Irish lass was a bit upset at being parted from mommy, so big sis had to sleep with her.  They have matching twin beds, but can still fit in one together.

 Tonight she is asleep in my bed as I write this.  Her little sis is staying with Grandma Georgie.  Little brother is having a sleepover with his twin 'cousins'.  Big brother is at his dad's and stepmom's. 

No, their parents aren't off on a trip. In fact, they were taking the three little boys to the Chinese Buffet and bowling.  It was just a weekend when they found themselves with one child instead of four and decided to treat that 'middle' child who sometimes gets lost in the shuffle of dance, gymnastics, cheerleading, football practice, and so on of the older kids.   The Irish lass is the 'baby' and gets the extra attention of that special spot in a family tree.  I know: I was one and my brothers often noted how spoiled I was. 

I picked Peyton up at 6 pm and we went out to dinner(her choice of course--it had to be some place with a salad bar). Then we settled here all comfy with popcorn and The Blind Side (she had seen it already, but wanted to see it again).

Tomorrow we head out for a shopping trip to Justice's -- a shopping haven for young girls.  I also hope to find jeans that fit me at Penney's.

Meanwhile, here are some more excerpts from Psalms.  Another work week is over and a great weekend has already begun.:-)

BLESS  the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
Who forgiveth all thine iniquities, who healeth all thy diseases;
Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and render mercies;
Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's. . .

The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. . .

For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.
As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

Bless the LORD, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the LORD, O my soul.

                                   Psalms 103: 1 - 5, 8, 11, 12, and 22.

                                                      Blessings to you all this weekend.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fall Decorations and Monday's Prayer

Part of Pumpkin Festival is the decorating of homes, yards, and businesses.  There is a competition, but I don't enter it.  I don't go all out like some, but each year I have added more to the front porch.  I skipped the bales of hay and the corn husks.  They're expensive, messy, and a pain to get rid of.

 I don't care if the mums do eventually die; they're lovely while they bloom.  Flowers are happiness compacted into colorful blooms that send waves of cheeriness through me. Last year I was able to buy ones that I could plant and all three bushes blessed me with an overabundance of blooms from late July until now. This year I couldn't get to the nursery that sells the ones meant to last our winters. Her hours were erratic and I couldn't make it back from school in time.  So Walmart had to do.

  The decorations have to include pumpkins and gourds, but not carved pumpkins.  Scarecrows are also a huge hit.  Some people build massive displays on their lawns and porches.

 I don't have a lawn.  I'm in a home that goes like this: open door, walk about 7 steps to porch steps.  Walk down 2 steps and cross sidewalk in 3 steps max.  The next step will put you in an extremely busy street where the coal trucks come rumbling down a hill and whip around a bend throwing dirt and stones up on my house and my neighbors' houses.  So nah! You don't want to take that last step!

Anyhow here's how my porch looked.  I'm not a master decorator, but I have fun.

 We can't have bushes and flowers in the ground around the porch.  We have drains that have done well to keep our basement from flooding.  But having plants and dirt around the porch would work against the drains, so I use pots.

The one in the above picture still has its summer blossoms.  Almost all my summer flowers are still blooming.
The plants didn't grow as tall as they usually do, but considering the 90 degree weather that blistered this area for most of August, I'm pleased that they survived.

 My door:

 An old school desk from my in-laws basement.  Mike and I chose it, found it to not be sturdy enough to have around the grandkids.  One of his sisters suggested I use it outside to
decorate and I have for 2 years now.  It did have summery flowers in pottery
on it, but I rearranged so that the porch would be all fall.

He greets the mailman. Our mailbox is above his head.


So there's a peek my house during Pumpkin Festival. It's still looks like this because our weather has been summery and the flowers are doing well.

Here's the prayer to start the week:

When I find myself in difficult or uncomfortable situations,
show me Your perspective.
Help me to see what's right and not all that appears to be wrong.
Where I have failed to recognize Your hand of goodness and blessing in my circumstances,
forgive me.
Help me to make praise to You my first reaction to every event in my life.
Deliver me from an ungrateful heart and help me not to complain when I should be
giving thanks.
I know You are a good God,
and I trust You completely with my life.
I rejoice in this day and every day because You are in charge of them all.

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Psalm 27:13

from a Stormie Omartian prayer book.

Here's one of the mum bushes I planted last autumn by my back door.

Blessings to you all as you begin the week!