No Photos

The Amish prefer not to be photographed so we never take a photo face-on. One of our best images, not recorded because it occurred too fast, is as follows.

We came over a rise and there were on the side of the road were 5 or 6 little Amish boys in black pants, a few with hats, bowl-cut hair and shirts. They were carrying lunch pails and obviously had just left school. They were fooling around just like all boys seem to do. Laughing and poking one another.

It would have made a WONDERFUL photo. Hopefully some artist some place can drawn or paint it.

Found a photo on line. Our boys were having more fun! I did not notice if they all had their shoes on!

I think we are fascinated by these folks who choose to love God and live a ‘simple’ life. Our modern conveniences often seem more simple than their lifestyle. I am likely wrong though.

I recently read a series of fiction books by Terri Blackstock called the Restoration or Light Series: Last Light, Night Light, Dawn’s Light and True Light. In the story mankind worldwide is stripped of electricity and all the things that implies; no running water, computer, cellphones, TV, video games, landlines etc.. She explores the darkness and kindness of the human heart during the struggles to survive. Finally people did things like dig a well, plow up their sod and landscaping to grow gardens, reach out to help those in the inner city. Actually, it sounded kind of Amish to me. Yes, the people in the story lost weight and worked hard. Perhaps we might be healthier too if we did more of that sort of work?

So the next time a First World problem bothers me like the washer not working right, I intend to remember that washing the clothes by hand and hanging them on a line is hard work. First though, I have to get the HOA to let me!

God is our refuge and strength,

an ever-present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way

and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,

though its waters roar and foam

and the mountains quake with their surging.

Psalm 46:1-3 NIV

 Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Nehemiah 8:10 NIV

Humor and Discovery on Our Vacation

Driving through Ohio we came up a hill, the billboard said “Your Turn Next” and then a cemetery came into sight. I don’t think that is what they meant, but I guffawed at the faux pas!

Having lived in turkey vulture country for sometime we often see them in early morning drying their feathers perched on lamp posts, or atop telephone poles, etc.

Driving one day we passed little white signs along the road, reminiscent of Burma Shave: “Come to the Church on the hill”, next one said, “You will feel closer to God.” Just about the time I began reading the signs we came to the top of the hill and there was indeed a church! Bob said, “Oh look at that eagle on top of the church!” as we whizzed past. I said, “That was no eagle. That was a turkey vulture.” Of course, we had to make a u-turn to be certain. Indeed there was a turkey vulture, this time drying his wings in the sun. And not just one, but two!

Photo by Robert Dutina

As we drove away I began thinking and chuckling. Birds drying out on top of the Methodist church. Hmm, wasn’t it Bill W who began AA on the tenets he learned from the Methodist church? Or maybe it was the Oxford group. Anyway, it struck me as amusing that the turkey vultures were drying out at the Methodist church. Thank goodness so many churches allow AA meetings at their facilities.

We passed many Amish people as we entered their neck of the woods. I told Bob we really were in THEIR part of the state. One development we had not encountered before was the women on motorized bicycles. I am assuming most of them were Mennonites.

At the Stop Light
Bonnet strings flapping in the wind. Battery Pack on right rear of bike.

Bob finally asked a waitress in Mennonite dress how they charge those bicycle batteries. She mentioned employers with electricity, some factories with propane generators. She said her parents have electricity.

Much in Amish and Mennonite life depends on whether you are old order or new order. We learned this trip that most new order Amish will affix the orange triangle to the back of their buggies but old order families refuse. I would be frightened driving a horse and buggy without that sign for slow moving vehicle!!

Remember Monkey see, Monkey do?

At the Cincinnati Art Museum I had to wonder what this artist was thinking!

Future Retrieval: Close Parallel

Future Retrieval, the studio collaboration of former University of Cincinnati faculty members Katie Parker and Guy Michael Davis, appropriates imagery and forms from historical objects to create new art that speaks to our twenty-first-century experience. Their practice is rooted in ceramic art, but also incorporates a diverse mix of media and techniques that combine age-old methods with new technologies.

For this exhibition, Future Retrieval will take over two museum galleries as project spaces where they will construct an unconventional response to objects “borrowed” from the Cincinnati Art Museum’s decorative art and design collection. In pairing their own work with objects from the museum’s collection, the artists will create an experience that encourages visitors to consider aspects of our historical collections and practices in a new light.

#CAMCloseParallel

At home when I enlarged the photo I wished I had gone around the other side of the ape. Evidently it was holding something in its hand! And chin on other hand. How like us! was it thinking “Should I eat this?”

Well, it was at the end of our museum visit and we older folks get tired. The painting of mushrooms and sculpture of mushrooms was interesting also.

Perhaps more interesting in person, but thought I’d distract you with these art items. Careful next time you look in the mirror. Make certain there is not a monkey looking back at you!

Wish I had Remembered a Camera!!

We had two open house parties this past week and I forgot to have a camera ready for either one of them! Drats.

The first was an open house Wednesday afternoon for my friends from the Union Township Crochet and Knit group. Following day after day of summer sweltering heat, we had a tremendous downpour right at party time. Most guests waited in their cars for the storm to abate. Even at that when they came in they were wading through the full gutters along the street. As usual, there was much laughter and sharing. After touring the house we settled down for a small lunch with Jimmy John’s third cut sandwiches, chips, cookies, lemonade, water or iced tea. No one drank coffee. We had fun opening our home and sharing with this joyful bunch!

Then on Sunday afternoon we had another larger group. We invited 37 and about 27 showed. This group was comprised of neighbors from our old address, friends from our church of the last ten years, people Bob used to work with and others who had not seen our home yet. It was a rowdy bunch. We had lemonade, tea, bottled water, cookies and York peppermint patties. Some folks stayed the whole 2 hours. Others came and went at their leisure.

The last half hour we were left with a table full of friends who are all strong Christians. About then I realized our friends who have an adult daughter who has been ill for over 16 months had not arrived. Someone mentioned the serious turn for the worse that her health had made. Another read a prayer request for her that had arrived in the last hour on their phone. I was stunned as if someone had slammed me against the wall. One person suggested we pray right then and there as a group on her behalf. And we did. One man mentioned how we could all go from rowdy laughter at one moment to solemn intercession the next. Such a clear example of the Christian life. I was so grateful to have all those sweet folks praying with us for her at that moment.

How fitting that this house that we believe belongs to God and is on loan to us, was suddenly transformed into a prayer altar on Mindy’s behalf. Please, please pray for Mindy, her husband and children, her parents and siblings. These folks are exhausted and in need of encouragement and prayers on their behalf.

So I have no photos to share with you, but hope from the words you get an idea of our week of celebration. I failed to put “No gifts” on the invitation and people brought gifts that about overwhelmed me. Bob is out buying thank you notes now. We are blessed beyond measure.

Hurricane Ida is supposed to bring rain to our part of Ohio this week. Though our hearts are heavy for the people on the Gulf coast, we are grateful Bob will not need to water the sod and plants. Weather will likely delay the start of our deck being built, but we can wait. Ryan homes is also supposed to begin digging a drainage ditch across three lots (ours included). Hopefully that will clear up the standing water and let us use all of our lot instead of avoiding the last 5 feet due to marshy soil.

Online I did find a photo of the Hallmark invitations we used!

Cincinnati Art Museum

We found humor at the museum this week. At the display of artworks from the Monuments Men of World War 2, pieces that were reclaimed from Nazi Germany, we found this portrayal of the Madonna and Child.

Now my ignorance and humor will shine. I saw the artist’s name and thought Fra – thinking to myself fraulein, young woman. How like a woman to be the only one I’ve ever seen to paint a pouting Jesus! Well I stand corrected. Fra stood for Friar. The artist was Friar Fillipo Lippi, an Italian painter and Carmelite priest.

But really, have you ever seen a painting of a pouting Jesus? Likely a rendition of a 2 year old Savior.

In another exhibit of contemporary “Paintings of the ’80s” we found this from a huge donation from the Shore’s collection. Bob and I are not usually drawn to dots and splashes of color. We let our imagination run wild in this exhibit and had great, raucous fun!

My first impression? “Oh, their rubber band ball burst!” Naughty me. Here is the actual museum description.

What a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon. I am so grateful to have a husband who keeps track of these fun things to experience!

80th Birthday for an Acquaintance

She speaks with almost no filter. Words just seem to fall out of her mouth, tumbling over one another, often to the surprise of the listeners.

Her life is centered in old movies. She tells us she seems to like the wicked women.

I know she has wounds she has never addressed. Some were inflicted by her father and she refuses to tell her sons because they loved him. Her daughter left without a word many years ago. Her husband died suddenly. From what we could discern from the outside there did not seem to be much trust or love in the marriage relationship. Her mother died a few years after that.

She now lives in a retirement complex with other senior citizens where the staff provide all the meals. Never has to cook or wash dishes unless she chooses to in her studio apartment.

She calls the complex a prison. There are shared meals, activities both in the building and off the campus. During the Covid-19 lock down they were confined to their rooms in an attempt to keep them well. She can now take the van to stores and places of interest if she wants, for no charge whatsoever. They have organized games, a library, board games and sitting rooms for all to share.

After her birthday party when I shared these thoughts with Bob I was reminded of a prayer my mother really liked in her later years. God, help us all!

A Prayer For Those Growing Old

Lord, You know I am
growing older. Keep me from
becoming talkative and possessed
with the idea that I must express
myself on every subject.

Release me from the craving to
straighten out everyone’s affairs.

Keep me from the recital of
endless detail. Give me wings to
get to the point.

Seal my lips when I am inclined
to tell of my aches and pains.
They are increasing with the years
and my love to speak of them
grows sweeter as time goes by.

Teach me the glorious lesson
that occasionally I may be wrong.
Make me thoughtful but not
nosy; helpful but not bossy.

With my vast store of wisdom
and experience it does seem a pity
not to use it all. But You know, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end. Amen.

Keep me grateful. Empower me to adapt to my life and health, circumstances and abilities as I age and everything seems to change. You know I still feel inside as if I am nineteen years old. I know that I am no longer nineteen.

Left to myself I would be worse than the woman I observed and wrote about. Open my eyes to my own shortcomings and faults. I know they are abundant, Lord.

Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye.

Matthew 7:3-5

Remember these sayings?

Now and then sayings pop up in my head that I heard often in childhood, but not so much now. Perhaps you also remember hearing, “I just can’t abide him.”

Or, “Why don’t you go out and play tiddlywinks with the sewer lids!”

“Crime in It’ly!”

When our good friends, Dan and Betty Cooksey, visited us recently we toured the sign museum in downtown Cincinnati. This sign reminded me that we no longer call facilities for seniors this:

What phrases or sayings do you remember? I’m fairly certain as soon as I close this entry more will pop into my head!

Focus or Observation?

Focus is defined as the main or central point of something, especially of attention or interest. Over 45 years ago Bob and I were driving around Kentucky. As usual he was taking photos. After he snapped the one below I commented, “Oh I can’t wait to see how that horse comes out!” He responded, “What horse?”

I said, “Why the horse in the barn!”

“I didn’t see any horse,” he said.

“Didn’t you see the galvanized tub hanging out the side of the barn for the horse to drink from?” I asked.

“No. I just took a photo of the barn!”

As we drove on down the road I said, “Well, when you develop and print those photos you will see the horse. I thought it made the picture special.”

Amazing how people can look at the very same thing and see totally different items. Was it focus or observation? Now fifty years into the marriage we continue to focus and observe different things even when we are in the very same setting. I find that continuously amazing!