For all writers

For all writers

Monday, June 28, 2010


Community. What does that word conjure up for you? Webster's defines community as "any group living in the same area or having interests, work, etc. in common" When you think about that definition and then think about where you live, it's really a no-brainer that we should be "involved". I realize that some of us are more involved than others; some of us don't know where we "fit" in and so forth. I just know that every time Eldon and I get involved in something (take Mudtown Days, for instance) we are always given back a hundred times what we give. We have never lived in a really large city, mostly small ones and always in Benton County so you would think we wouldn't have definite opinions about such things but you'd be think wrong! We have observed cities like Tulsa, Oklahoma - Denver, Colorado - Joplin, Missouri and they all have their ups and downs; "pros" and "cons" but I must tell you, Lowell, Arkansas is a wonderful and absolutely awesome place to live!!! We are not a town but a CITY with the feel of a small town in the sense that sometimes, when you go through the drive-thru at Sonic or the bank, someone will know you and call you by your first name. We have watched Lowell grow and expand with great anticipation about what our city could be one day. I guess that visiting with people from all over this past weekend, I have just had a resurgence of hometown pride, maybe that's what it is, I don't know. But I do know that the people that live and work in Lowell are some of the best you will ever meet...anywhere. Hands down. I would just say here that, if you live in Lowell or in close proximity, shop there first. Give the local business owners a chance to earn your business. We have so much to be thankful for in this world and I, for one, am so thankful I live in Lowell!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Fun in the Summertime!

I've got to admit that, even though I don't like the cold very much, I have really been feelin' the heat lately! I guess a lot of that has to do with the fact that I'm not nearly as young as I used to be (watch it!) nor am I as slim and trim as I used to be! Keeping those two undeniable truths in mind, I took two of my girls to pick blackberries last night. What a hoot!

Have you ever picked blackberries? If you have, you know that the bushes grow low to the ground and climb out around the plant. They have tiny and very sharp stickers and you WILL get stuck if you try to pick a berry — that is not a maybe — that is a fact!

We drove to the farm armed with our berry-picking gloves and plenty of tubs for our booty. The sun was beginning to set so it wasn't nearly as hot as I imagined it would be and we even had a little breeze to cool us as we picked. All three of us got our fair share of scratches and prickers on the forearms but we came away with an amazing amount of sweet, juicy berries — a wonderful reward for our hard work. We also came away with a renewed respect for huge bullfrogs and water moccasins. There was a large pond only feet away from our picking area and it teemed with the loudest frogs and the creepiest snakes the two of those girls had ever seen. In fact, the size of the swimming snake actually put a little damper on the remainder of our picking and we decided to call it quits. The girls had become a little "snake shy" as they imagined something down in every patch of weeds or clump of berries and it was funny to hear them shrieking and yelling everytime something moved in the grass or a bug flew by their heads.

I got a big kick out of watching those girls but the thing I most enjoyed was the time spent together with them. Because we were without children (thanks dads, for watching the boys!), we had the opportunity to talk about all sorts of things that we most usually aren't able to talk about. Topics like God's grace and goodness, the cost of things today, where the orchard will be planted and how we can't wait to get started on a new beginning were just a few of the things we seemed to cover, all three of us just enjoying the time and the company. I look so forward to doing even more of that this summer and fall.

Long ago as a young woman, I had someone admonish me to "spend the time wisely, as if the hours were dollars" and I must admit, I have forgotten to do that enough but, thinking back to last night, I believe I was blessed to "spend" a little of that time with my girls. Enjoy the recipe below. Greta has already made one of these pies and she tells me it's "yummy". If you need some blackberries, just give me a call. We'll go pick some anytime you're ready!
Ain't God good!

The Coffee Shop's Blackberry Pie
2 quarts blackberries
3 cups sugar
1 pastry crust, plus more for lattice
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover the berries with the sugar in a bowl and let stand for a short time. Transfer them to a pot and heat over low flame for arond 20 to 30 minutes until they're cooked.

Line a pie plate with your favorite crust and lightly sprinkle the flour on the bottom. Pour cooked blackberries into the pie shell and dot with the butter. Cover the top with strips of pastry in a criss-cross pattern.

Bake for 25-30 minutes and enjoy!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

CeCe's Birthday!

It's June already and we just celebrated my youngest daughter's birthday. Doesn't seem possible that she's a "twenty-something". I guess that means I'm "something else"!! Anyway, in lieu of birthday cake (which she already had) I'm posting a picture of one of her next-favorite things...strawberries. Yum!
Seems whenever one of my kids has a birthday anymore, I begin to "wax philosophical" and rant on and on about how things were different years ago and so on and so forth.
Sorry, but I feel the need again today, in light of CeCe's 28th birthday! I remember when I was still home with her - hadn't gone back to work yet - she couldn't have been more than three weeks old. I had given her a bath and she was zonked. I just sat in the chair, holding her all wrapped up in a big snuggly towel, watching her sleep. I grabbed the camera, took her little fingers and held them up to my own and snapped a picture. I think I actually still have that picture somewhere.
Even though it hadn't hit me fully yet, I remember thinking to myself that I'd better savor that feeling because this would be the child of "lasts". The last one in diapers, the last one to potty train, last one in kindergarten, the last sixth grade graduation, etc. (you get the picture)
Now she is a mommy and she is thinking she may have had the "last". I wonder what she thinks as she looks at her little boys on her birthday. Could she be having some of the same feelings I had? Could she be reminding herself to savor the moments because she knows they'll be growing up fast too? (sigh)
"Ciest la vie" (Such is life) the French say. I've entered that "season" in my life when I have more to look back on than to look forward to and the look back is a mixture of many emotions and feelings. The Bible reminds us that we are all just "dust" and our lives are like a "vapor" - fleeting, at best. These days are precious and worth remembering. I should stop and "smell the roses" more, huh?
Well, summer is here and even though we still have to work, we have more time to enjoy our families. The daylight lasts longer and we love to be outside and enjoying the sunshine and the sprinkler. Have a safe summer but remember to make those memories, lots of them. Because one day soon, you'll be sitting here where I am now and taking some walks down memory lane yourself. I pray your "walks" will be as wonderful as mine!