Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Busy Day

Yesterday was a busy day. I worked on the blog until late morning and then went out in the backyard to have my lunch under the big walnut trees. It was so chilly that I had to come back into the house! I can't believe it's this cool in July... here in the Northwest.

In early afternoon, while browsing at the Christian Gift Center, I found another version of the Bible that I didn't have in my collection. The title is "The Message//Remix: Pause." This version is designed to take the reader through the entire Bible in one year. Everyday one reads both from the Old Testament and the New Testament and every seventh day is a day of reflection with no assigned reading. There are also reflection questions in the middle and at the end of each day's reading, so I can stop at intervals and think about what I've read. It's a very different type of scripture study and one that I think will be interesting. I'll let you know how it goes. Whenever you're visiting your Christian book store, take a look at a copy. Or if any of you want to buy a copy and study along with me, I think that would be fun. Let me know.

Becka came over to my house around 6:00 p.m. After a snack of fresh orange slices, we secured our bikes to her car's bike rack and drove to the bike path. We had a "blast" as we rode our bikes, for at least a mile in both directions, on a beautiful shaded path that runs along side the river. We're going again tonight-- Jim may join us if his bike is fixed by then. I'm still a little nervous, but I'm getting better every time I ride. I'm so glad that I took a chance at getting on a bike again....after all these years of not riding. It's going to be good for me...I can feel it already and I'm also looking forward to lots of trail-side picnics and "peddling" adventures.

"The glory of God is a fully alive person." - Saint Irenaeus

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

12 Personal Things

Here are 12 things you may not know about me:

1. My favorite color is RED.

2. My favorite food is a baked potato w/butter, sour cream & chives.

3. My favorite dessert is banana pudding.

4. My favorite seafood is lobster.

5. My favorite movie is P.S. I Love You.

6. My favorite book is Closer To The Light.

7. My favorite game is Spades.

8. My favorite season of the year is Summer.

9. My favorite flowers are Peonies.

10. My favorite saying is "Bless Their Heart"

11. My favorite music is "easy listening"

12. My favorite place in all the world is Norris, Tennessee

Great Books For The Soul

I've been thinking of some books that have helped me grow spiritually over my lifetime and would like to share 12 of them in this listing:

1. The Bible (I like the New Living Translation; I have about a dozen other translations, but I like this one best. It's very easy reading.)

2. Meditations on the Life of Christ - by Thomas a Kempis

3. The Pursuit of God - by A.W. Tozer

4. The Knowledge of the Holy - by A.W. Tozer

5. Mere Christianity - by C.S. Lewis

6. The Pursuit of Holiness - by Jerry Bridges

7. Through Gates of Splendor - by Elizabeth Eliot

8. Thoughts In Solitude - by Thomas Merton

9. Closer To The Light - by Melvin Morse and Paul Perry (I loved this book!)

10. In Pursuit of Peace - by Joyce Meyer

11. Get Out of the Pit - by Beth Moore

12. God's Pursuit of Man - by A.W. Tozer

(There are others, but too many to list today. From time to time, I'll list more. I would love to hear some of your suggestions, too. Please leave them in my "comments.")

Today I think I'll make a trip to the Christian Gift Center here in town. I love to browse there and ALWAYS come home with just the right thing, for my spiritual growth.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Changes Will Come

The one thing we can count on in life, is change, and now that I am getting "older" and my six children have all moved out and have their own homes, I find myself thinking more about the constant state of evolving. It's my plan to move (evolve) toward a deeper spiritual life.

There was always change in my life, as an Air Force wife and mother of a large family; I thought back then that I handled it pretty well. But now that my later life seems to be rolling along at such break-neck speed, life's changes seem bigger and more significant. Societal changes are also taking their toll on all of us; changes in the economy, in our culture and in daily global events, are giving us cause for tremendous stress and concern. Our faith, our endurance, and our wisdom are always being tested.

So what can we do? The answer, of course, is to find the center of our belief system through peaceful time alone with the Creator; stay calm and know that God is in control, not only in our lives, but His entire Universe. Believe that His plan is perfect and that faith and love are the only things that will endure. Build on these two--faith and love.

I have found the Holy Spirit is sensitive and is only found in that calm place within our soul. I am going to allot extra time to be with Him in quiet solitude and peace and be an activist in my search for deeper spirituality. I will remember to keep my heart open to His promptings and the things that really matter, which are fellowship with Him, love and doing right toward others. Change is a certainty...let His Divine change be in me.

"Grant me the true peace of heart, which the world cannot give." -Thomas a Kempis
Copyright 2008 By-Barbara J. Kirby Davis

Tennessee Childhood - Part 2

My summers, as a child in East Tennessee were idyllic, indeed....

But the season which surpassed all others was glorious autumn. Returning to school, football games, the county fair, women wearing chrysanthemum corsages and the brilliant changing foliage, all provided a sense of excitement. Year after year, our customs and the seasons, remained fixed in my tiny mountain community.

The arrival of the school year was anticipated for weeks. My mother would take me on the Greyhound bus to nearby Knoxville, where we could shop at the big department stores for school clothes. Even though, I can still remember the smell of the diesel fuel and the stale odor of the tight quarters of the bus, the trip was always one of the most exciting experiences of my young life.

School started in August, while summer still enveloped us with it's relentless humidity. We girls, wore our new dresses, thinking very little about the perspiration that ran down our legs and onto our bobby socks. We were too excited about boys and each other to hardly notice the small nuisance.

The county fair took place in September, just when the world around us was on the verge of turning from deep green to gold, red, and vivid orange. The smell of wood smoke would soon penetrate the mountain air and pumpkins would ripen on the vine--some as big as wash tubs. Ladies skillfully worked on the last touches of their "grand prize" country quilts, braided rugs in vibrant colors, delicate crocheted dollies, primitive artwork and canned goods. Old men spat and quietly whittled as they watched their sturdy women get ready for the special day of competition that would, perhaps, convince family and friends of their individual value. Although, women's work was never done, the county fair was a time of joy and unsurpassed accomplishment for many ladies.

October 31st signaled the end--the end of carefree days and heralded the onset of the winter season. But before that day was over, we children, would fill our handmade pillowcases with hard candy, Milky Way bars, popcorn balls, oatmeal cookies, and fresh fruit, as we "trick or treated" all over town. Back then our parents weren't afraid of the possibility of evil lurking on the other side of a neighbor's door. We were carefree and friendly and trusting back in the 50's.

Life was good and easy then; uncomplicated in our innocence and isolation from the sophisticated world of fancy living; although, the modern world finally caught up to us via the four lane highway, one thing remains to this day-- the beauty of autumn in the mountains of East Tennessee.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Tennessee Childhood

I grew up in the foothills of the Great Smokey Mountains. Running barefoot through lush green grass in summer and catching fireflies in the dusky evenings of the East Tennessee hill country was as close as a child could get to heaven on earth.

I would wake up early on those cool, moist, summer mornings and with breathless wonder, peek out my bedroom window to seize that first glimpse of the sun and a landscape covered in the dew of a misty dawn. Through the open window, I could smell the fresh earth and the honeysuckles lining the fence around our house. The familiar aroma of freshly ground, brewed coffee merging with the salty fragrance of country fried ham, homemade biscuits and red-eye gravy flowed ever so gently throughout our modest home.

This morning, as I hear the voices of children playing in my Idaho neighborhood, I am reminded of my own wonderful childhood in that Tennessee mountain home.
Copyright 2008 By-Barbara J. Kirby Davis

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Summer Paradise

Yesterday, at lunchtime, I enjoyed my creamy peanut butter and banana sandwich under the wonderful protection of our two ancient walnut trees in the backyard. Temperatures are now close to 90 degrees, but it's at least 10 degrees cooler there under their enormous umbrella.

The magnificent old walnuts, where two or three families of squirrels make their year-around home, stand next to three filbert trees that are covered in abundance with small sweet nuts. As I sat eating, I watched in awe, as a single brown squirrel worked in a hurried frenzy, running up and down the branches, gathering, breaking open the shells and stuffing the nutritious inner portion into it's fat little cheeks. It seemed to know every inch of the filbert trees by heart and was a master at hanging by it's two hind feet while dangling from the thin, delicate limbs to retrieve it's food. What amazing acrobatics it performed--carefree and completely in touch with it's environment.

Our yard and our adjoining fruit orchard, offer a rich palette of fragrant fruit this time of year and throughout autumn--Bing, Lambert, and Royal Anne cherries, apricots, Italian plums, Cherry plums, Concord grapes, peaches, pears, both red and yellow apples, boysenberries, gooseberries, raspberries, walnuts and filberts.

On most days, if I sit quietly, I can hear the call of a mourning dove or watch a procession of mountain quail, cautiously, walking across the yard; on rare occasions a brilliantly feathered "cock" pheasant will pass through. The property is a virtual paradise in summer and early fall.

It is deliciously peaceful here. These intimate, sacred moments give nourishment to my soul and free my mind to think about the spiritual. I am thankful for a few minutes alone with my peanut butter sandwich and my thoughts.
Copyright 2008 By-Barbara J. Kirby Davis

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Kids Need A Space Of Their Own

I'm the mother of six grown children. When they were little I would make them a tent by draping an old quilt over the kitchen table. They would play there for hours when the weather was too cold or wet to play outside. They also loved making forts and club houses or building makeshift tree houses. There were times in the summer that we even sat up a tent in the backyard for them to camp and play in. Rooms and spaces seem to be an essential need in the human experience.

As the children grew older, they wanted their own rooms and we allowed them to decorate them alone and believe me, they each had their individual tastes in what they thought was pretty or "cool". Our boys didn't seem to care much about color or frills, but the girls always had a sense of style and beauty.

When I look back on those early years, I realize how important it was for my children to have their private time in their own personal space. Even though, in many families, it may not be practical to give each child their own room, one side of a bedroom can be solely theirs, where they can express their special and unique personalities. Personality preferences and alone-time should be encouraged daily.

My children are adults now. I believe that allowing them freedom of expression at a young age, gave them a head start in creating and decorating their homes today.
Copyright 2008 By-Barbara J. Kirby Davis

Friday, July 25, 2008

10 Ways To Start Your Day

1. Say "Good Morning!" (with a smile) to everyone.
2. Brush your teeth immediately after getting out of bed. I just had a visit with my dentist, who said this is a good way to maintain good tooth and gum health.
3. After brushing your teeth, drink 8 oz. of water. It will wake-up your system and get it going. My grandmother lived to be almost 90 years old and always did this.
4. Read a passage from the Bible or some other good source of inspiration.
5. Pray and meditate for 5 minutes.
6. List 10 things in your gratitude journal that you are thankful for.
7. Eat a nutritious breakfast.
8. Don't read the newspaper, turn on the TV, or the computer for at least an hour after waking up. There's no need in hearing the bad stuff first thing in the'll hear it soon enough, anyway.
9. Kiss and hug each member of your family.
10. Read my blog.
Copyright 2008 By-Barbara J. Kirby Davis

Thursday, July 24, 2008

If Dreams Came True

I was married at eighteen years old (just a baby) and left my Tennessee home for sunny California with my husband who was serving in the US Navy. I didn't know at that time, that I would be traveling around the country as a military wife. For the next two decades my family and I moved every two or three years; visits back to Tennessee would be "few and far between".. as they say.

My husband left the Navy and joined the Air Force. I loved the Air Force lifestyle, but still missed my mother and my Tennessee roots. One can never, completely, leave the roots of their raising. Even though, my mother and I talked often over the phone, it was not the same as being with her in person. The last time I saw her was ten years ago--a year before her death, when she was in her mid-eighties.

Last night, I dreamed of her...she was younger than I remember. I touched her face; her complexion was flawless. We walked together up a steep hill and when we reached the top, I ask someone how far we had come... they said about two miles. I looked at my mother, in amazement, because she showed no signs of stress. I mentioned how impressed I was at her good health and the dreamed ended.

If only.... dreams came true.
Copyright 2008 By-Barbara J. Kirby Davis

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Why I Write

Why write? Someone has said that a writer is someone who writes--as simple as that. Well, that describes me very well. I have written, one thing or another, most of my life. Whether it was love notes (as a little girl), prayers, journals, poems, fiction, or articles for my high school newspaper, I have always felt compelled to write.

What should I write? As the only writer of this blog, I am constantly asking myself that question. What do my readers enjoy reading? One reader may enjoy reading about the everyday musings of the writer, another may enjoy poetry, and another may have a need for spiritual inspiration. So, as a writer, I show up at my desk everyday, usually not knowing what I'm going to write until I start jotting down random ideas onto paper--it's then that a theme starts to unfold and words begin to flow. Sometimes the blog entries are good and sometimes they aren't. But that's the nature of the muse.

My goal in writing, is to create magic between myself and my reader, to make a connection in some profound way. We know it when we read it-- somehow we feel that we've found a kindred spirit. I, continually, search my life experience for the stories, poems and words which may provide a personal link.

Blogging is a wonderful way to practice my writing while building a relationship with my readers. I'll continue "coming to work each day"....awaiting the muse to provide some magic.
Copyright 2008 By-Barbara J. Kirby Davis

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Our Purpose

What is PURPOSE? What is my PURPOSE in life? What is your PURPOSE in life?
I've heard many people say they have never found their purpose in life or have never found what they were "meant" to do.... "Why was I created?" They list great things others have accomplished. They admire or envy teachers, doctors, ministers, artists, singers, influential writers, actors and actresses. They never stop to consider the contributions they, themselves, make on a daily basis. Could it just be... we all live our Special Purpose, moment by moment, everyday of our lives? The very next choice I make could influence the course of events in my life and/or the life of someone else, as it becomes "the domino effect". Nothing we do in life is lost or meaningless. We neglect to see the small mundane decisions, added together, that become OUR PURPOSE.

Copyright 2008 By-Barbara J. Kirby Davis

Wonderful Birthday

Yesterday, I had a wonderful birthday. After taking me to lunch, Jim gave me a beautiful single red rose. The children called in the afternoon and last evening we went to Becka and Tony's for a patio party. They worked hard to make everything perfect for us. The weather was a little cloudy, so it was "just right" for sitting out until after dark. They barbecued hot dogs and hamburgers and also served spinach dip with chips, potato salad and baked beans. Becka made a delicious lemon birthday cake which she knows is one of my favorite flavors.

Today, Jim and I will be out of town, for an unplanned trip to Post Falls, Idaho. The weather is still over-cast, so I expect we will have a cool July drive. Riley (our mini-schnauzer) is getting exciting about the prospect of going with us--he loves to travel and stands patiently beside the car door until I open it and he jumps in.

Thanks to all of you, who sent birthday greetings!!

Have a great day!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

My Birthday Blessings

Birthdays have always been "special" in our family. As far back as I can remember, as a child, my family honored each member's birth-date with parties, gifts and scrumptious birthday cakes. It was a time to give thanks for a God-given life. It was a time to say, "thank you for blessing us with this wonderful and unique person." That tradition was passed on, to my immediate family, and continues to this day.

Today is my Birthday......I'm 64 years old!

Last Thursday, my two older daughters, honored me with a birthday luncheon in Spokane, Washington. Jim and I met Lori, Linda and Linda's husband, Mike, for a delicious gourmet lunch at the fabulous restaurant, Luna. We spent a couple of hours, chatting, laughing and having an unbelievably happy time together.

This evening, my youngest daughter, Rebekah, is giving me a patio party at her home. I have had a whirlwind "birthday week'' that I will never forget. I am so blessed to have such a thoughtful and gracious family.

I have had 64 years of blessings. I couldn't have ask for more.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Secret Hideaway

There's a magical spot in the back corner of our property, that I had forgotten was there, until I was walking, Riley, my mini-schnauzer, last week. I had spent many days there--several summers ago--looking out onto our fruit orchard, as I escaped the heat of July and August. I called it "the arbor" back then.

The tops of a cherry plum tree and two apple trees have come together to form a well shaded, cavern-like, ten by ten foot, enclosure; the entrance is almost my height. Grapes, on overgrown vines, hang from the trees like a "garden on Eden" painting. The fragrance of ripened fruit permeates the air. This place is so isolated, that no one would know I was sitting here, unless, they were looking, keenly, in my direction.

Excited, about rediscovering this secret hideaway, I entered with a sense of renewed awe and reverence. As I looked above me, I could see that neither, rain nor wind, could hardly penetrate this lush little paradise, although, it was obliviously getting enough morning light to retain it's emerald green carpet, atop the moist, ebony earth.

Back, behind the house, I found two dark green Adirondack chairs, which would form the perfect "sitting room" underneath my beloved "arbor". With pen and notebook, in hand, and Riley at my feet, I am exhilarated with the prospect of reading and writing in the solitude and comfort of this cool, enchanted, tiny chapel in the trees.
Copyright 2008 By-Barbara J. Kirby Davis

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Wild Flowers and Hedges

There's nothing better than a good book, a comfortable patio swing and a tall glass of southern sweet tea, over ice. That's, exactly, how I spent this evening in my Serenity Garden. What a cool respite from the July heat!

As I finished my book and lay it on the little green table beside the swing, I realized I hadn't put as much time into the garden as I did last year. Spring had been unusually lengthy, wet and depressing; summer seemed long in coming. I haven't made the usual dozen runs, to Walmart and Home Depot, for flowers and hanging plants and there hasn't been the endless digging, raking, pulling and cutting that went into the yard last summer. As the old saying goes, I have let "nature take it's course."

This year the garden is different; more relaxed. When I look carefully and deliberately, I see how the hand of the Supreme Artist has taken over, in my absence. Now, surrounding the rustic, ornamental heron, which stands on one leg next to the house, are the ostrich ferns that have grown twice as large as they were last year. The yellow ceramic duck, standing next to the weathered fence, is this year, encircled by wild flowers, and the hedge, enclosing one side of the garden, has formed a natural arbor over the wooden gate leading into this placid space. I feel humbled by it's breathtaking simplicity and authentic beauty.

The natural world, as I experienced it tonight, reminds me of our human-need for control, and how we sometimes, lack the trust, that could give us rest and peace-of-mind. The Creator's work is perfect, but we can't seem to "let go and let God."

Perhaps, it's best to keep in mind, Matthew 6:28-29, "Why do you worry....? See how the lilies of the field grow? They do not labor or spin. Yet, I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed as one of these."
Copyright 2008 By-Barbara J. Kirby Davis

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Grandma's Purple Bike

Becka and I went on another one of our adventurous bike rides this evening and I feel that I'm getting stronger and more steady with every outing.

The weather was perfect for the two block ride from my house to hers. I know that a couple of blocks doesn't sound like much, but for a 64 year old grandma, that's a lot of peddling; huffing and puffing all the way!

It wasn't that long ago that I took that first excursion around the block, after many years of not being on a bicycle. They say you never forget how to ride, but believe me, it was frightening and exhausting. Still, I'm glad I got on and gave it my best try. Every ride gets easier and more fun and I look forward to many more summer evenings, riding my purple bike.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Creativity Through Silence

The air is warm and soft, as I breathe in and breathe out. It's quiet here, except for the crows, which seem to have taken over today...they squawk and fly from a nearby tree. Sometimes, I can hear them from far away and the next moment they are very close to me, overhead.

There's an occasional cooling breeze stroking the timid, dainty, red and yellow wind chime, that hangs from a dry branch of the lilac tree, next to the terrace. The gentle, exquisite puffs of wind on my skin, remind me of a friendly cat delicately nuzzling my face, but leaves as quickly as it came.

Riley, my miniature schnauzer, plays at my feet with his dingy white rubber ball--it's surface scarred from a year's worth of rolling and bouncing in the grass and dirt. He tilts his head forward, letting it drop, then watches, intently, as it rolls off in random directions. He picks it up again and the game continues. His loyal presence brings a sense of comfort and companionship.

The evening has been reflective and has given me a chance to explore creative possibilities. Insights have begun to materialize from a place deeper than the external "I". My soul has been enriched and I have come into closer contact with the Creator of all things. I am blessed, daily, as I come to this tranquil spot; taking time to be alone with the Spirit of Peace.

Creativity demands silence and solitude. Whether, it's alone in a garden, driving the car, writing at one's desk, lying in bed just before sleep--quiet time is the most important step toward the Eternal within ourselves.

" is in the silence of the heart that God speaks." -Mother Teresa
Copyright 2008 By-Barbara Davis

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Last evening, as I sat in my serenity garden, I thought of the past year and the changes that have taken place in my life, the life of my family, and even in the garden, itself. We are all traveling, at lightening speed, though the natural, inescapable cycles and passages of life.

The garden was quiet; not as many singing birds this year. The flowering shrubs have gotten taller, although, some had not made it through the winter. It seems the grass is a bit greener, too... perhaps from the long wet winter. The green wrought-iron swing is no longer out by the tall wooden fence, but now sits on the cool, shaded patio with the table and chairs--more intimate for guests, I think.

This year I retired from our local City Council and also gave up much of the volunteer work I've been doing. I feel it's time to relax, travel, read all of those books I've been storing on shelves, find some new interests, learn new things, develop new hobbies, spend more time with family.

This year, also, finds me authoring this blog...who would have thought such a thing? I've been able to navigate the Internet for many years, but I've always sat in awe of those who actually had their own "on-line" journals--never believing that I would, someday, be in their company.

As I sat in the garden, last evening, I also wondered what the next twelve months would bring. How will the garden have changed by this time next summer, what unforeseen "roads" will I have taken, what new friends will have come into my life, how will my family's lives have changed?

Life is a forever changing adventure-- full of exciting and even frightening challenges. Whatever lies ahead, will serve God's purpose in us and in those we touch.
Copyright 2008 By-Barbara Davis

Friday, July 11, 2008


Please watch the "Who Am I" video below. There are three to choose from; I know you will love them as much as I do. It is well worth your time. Scroll down a bit and you will see it on the right of page. Enjoy!!

1. 1st video: group of young people with hands miming in black light.
2. 2nd and 3rd video: same song, different format.
3. 4th video: song writer telling about how he wrote the song.

This is one of the most inspirational things I have ever watched.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Why Do I Blog?

Until a few months ago, the blogging world had always been a mystery to me. To start one, I thought, a person would surely need to be a "computer genius". But much to my surprise and a little help, I had my blog up and running in a matter of minutes; it has been a joy, ever since.

Some may ask, "Why would you want to blog?"

For me, the reasons are: for myself, my family, my friends, and my friends-to-be.

1. Myself....blogging is relaxing and creative, it's great writing practice, and it helps me put my life into perspective.

2. My's my hope that by writing my thoughts in a permanent place like this, my children and grandchildren will begin to know me on a more personal level and perhaps, gain insights into their own life-journey, through me.

3. My's a wonderful way to connect with old friends who may not live close-by. Here, I am able to share my daily life with them.

4. Friends-to-be....blogging is a great way to meet people with similar interests. It's a small world and blogging proves it. I've already met many other strong, creative women.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

My Favorite Books

Please take note of the cute little bookshelves I have added to my blog. They contain books that I have read and recommend. If you place your arrow on the book you are interested in, a window will open. If you are interested in a particular book, click on the buy it from Amazon button. This will take you to Amazon's website where you will be given lots of info about the book, reviews, the price, a shopping cart and checkout key. It's fun and easy. Happy reading!!

A Break From The World

Yesterday, my backyard garden was quiet and serene; almost Holy. It was such a pleasure to go there for lunch and later, sit alone in the swing, under the big old walnut tree, reading a couple of books (one at a time) that begged to be finished. I finished one of them after lunch and the other was finished in early evening.

As I sat in my serenity garden, many memories came to mind of special lunches enjoyed there with family and friends; focaccia Italian sandwiches cut into wedges, chilled white wine in sparkling goblets, birthday cakes, special party barbecues and children's voices. There have been so many happy luncheons shared, under our ancient tree (whose arms are spread wide in welcome) and I expect--with our big family-- there will be many more in the future.

Yesterday, I took a break from my busy lifestyle and relaxed a bit: physically, mentally, and spiritually. The break was rejuvenating and today I'm ready to face the world again.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008 Celebrating Women, Celebrating Spirit

I was surfing the internet this morning and stumbled upon this wonderful women's website. Celebrating Women, Celebrating Spirit. I think it's one you will enjoy and refer back to many times...I know I will. Click on the link and take a look around. There's lots of terrific articles and suggestions. Enjoy!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Evening Bike Ride

Becka and I took our bikes out again this evening for a short ride. I dreaded it all day, after the ordeal we went through yesterday, but knew that I had to get back on that bike or Jim would never let me live it down. I also did it for my own satisfaction, stubbornness and the long-term health benefits I hope I will eventually reap.

This evening we decided to push the bikes uphill and bike only on the level areas until we feel our legs and bodies growing more powerful. It worked out well and we were not as exhausted when we returned home. Much to our surprise, our confidence had already increased and we felt a little stronger.

Memories of long ago came back to me as I felt the cool wind through my hair and on my face as the bike coasted along....a very nice return to that special sensation of youthful freedom.

New Template

You may have noticed that I changed my template to summer colors. Please leave a comment and let me know what you think. Is it better this way or do you like the black background best?

The Bike

A few entries ago, I mentioned some things I wanted to do in the near future. Last evening, I accomplished one of them....I think, anyway.

Digging my old bike out of "mothballs" was not as easy as I thought it might be. Once I rolled it out into the light, from a dark cobwebbed corner of the garage, I noticed it had some major wiring issues. Not being mechanical by nature, I called Jim to take a look. He decided there was just too much work to be done, so he, Becka (our youngest daughter, who was visiting), and I jumped into our old blue truck (Jim keeps it for trips like this) and headed for Walmart.

The store had a lot of bikes to choose from; blue, orange, purple, white, red, 24 inch, 26 inch. My head started to spin a bit, but I eventually settled on a blue women's 26 inch. Yes, it was just right...PRETTY.

Even though I had some concerns about how a biking helmet was going to look on me, Becka and I each needed one, so those were added to the purchase. There is no way to describe how funny she and I looked when we put those bike helmets on our heads. They still had the tags hanging from them, as we tried to adjust the chin strap and found we had them on backwards.....we laughed until we cried, as we looked at each other.

The helmets were not the worst of it, though. Back at home my shiny bike seemed too big for me and I knew I was going to kill myself if I continued to ride much for just looking at it's beauty. Back to Walmart we went and I must say that Jim was not a "happy camper". On the way back to the store he even suggested I might want a three wheeler!!!!!!! At the store, the three of us finally decided, once and for all, on a nice purple ladies bike which was far more comfortable and safer for me to ride.

Now, I hope I haven't "bitten off more than I can chew" and end up maiming myself. I'll continue to keep you posted about my senior biking adventures.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

How Did I Make It This Far?

July...month of my birth. My mother told me, the day of my birth, was one of the hottest days of the year. There was no air-conditioning then and I can imagine the labor bed... wet with her perspiration after the long hours of pain and writhing...temperature near 100 degrees and humidity about the same.

The passing of all seems surreal, like it was yesterday, yet so long ago; my birth, childhood, leaving home, marriage, the birth of each of my six children....motherhood, adjusting to so many new homes (my husband was in the Air Force), reinventing myself over and over again, grandchildren, old I am. How did I make it this far? To tell you the truth, I never thought I would.

There have been many life-passages and even more life-changing experiences within one lifetime. As a teenage wife and mother, I was new at life; everything so fresh and undiscovered. There were so many hopes and dreams to be fulfilled, so many skills to be honed, so many friends yet unknown. At times, life seemed long; the road even longer. But here I am, almost 64 years old (or young). Now the road ahead appears short. Life was short.

I've been thinking, lately, of what my advice would be to someone just starting out, like I was many years ago, so as a list-maker by nature, I've attempted to make note of a few suggestions below.

1. Most important: Develop a strong faith in God. It will carry you through anything.
2. Find your soul-mate.
3. Hug your children everyday....say "I love you" often.
4. Take your education seriously.
5. Find the things you love to do most and do them. Do what you were born to do.
6. Honor your mother and father (give this one some extra thought).
7. Cultivate and value your friends.
8. Relationships are more important than opinions.
9. Don't be afraid of change.
11. This list may get longer as I get older.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

4th of July Winner

I spent two hours, yesterday, shopping for a couple of cute sun-dresses and then, last night, went out to dinner at the casino with husband, Jim. We enjoy going there for their all-you-can- eat King Crab Legs and are they ever good!! After I finished my meal, I had my usual $20.00 that I could gamble with, so went into the casino to play my favorite slot machine game, "Deal or No Deal". Just when I thought I was going to lose my $20.00, I hit a 10.00 jackpot and then went on to win more jackpots and finally walked away with $40.00 profit. Our dinner plus tip came to $39.00, so the dinner ended up, basically, being free.

I've found the secret to walking away a winner, at slots, is knowing when to stop and go home; last evening I did that. Jim doesn't gamble, so he also walked away a "happy winner". Our 4th of July was great fun. I hope and trust that yours was, too.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

4th Of July Blessing

The 4th of July represents the greatest achievement for individual freedom the world has ever known, especially for the common person. Before America became a country... kings, tyrants, royalty and the elite ruled with little regard for the rights of the masses. Now, we the people of America, tell the lawmakers what we want and not the other way around. The ultimate power lies within each person through their vote and their Representatives.

Today, we are reminded of the blessings we enjoy as Americans and how unique our country continues to be. When I look at the fireworks displays this year, I'm going to think about the sacrifices that were made for me, by brave men and women of our Armed Forces and the courage of our forefathers, whose vision and dream molded the foundation of this nation.

But most of all, I'm going to give thanks to God for His Divine Blessing, not only for us alone, but for the entire world. Without the influence of America and the vision of freedom for all mankind, there would be little hope for any of us.
Copyright 2008 By-Barbara J. Davis

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Joy In Adversity

The more I experience life, the more I agree with the New Testament book of James. In the first chapter, verses 2-4, we read this, "Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds, because the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

It's interesting how we never seem to develop character when life is "good". It's in the trials, pain, and uncertainty that progress takes place in our lives. It's in the struggles of life that we become stronger and more confident; where we find spiritual meaning and depth of faith. It's here we find God.

I'm learning to greet each circumstance with the anticipation that wonderful things will follow the bad and that growth will be the end result. Joy can be found in the worst of times. When we look through the eyes of faith, love and gratitude, miracles often occur in the midst of adversity.
Copyright 2008 By-Barbara J. Davis

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Get Up And Get Goin'

When I was young, I couldn't wait to be "older" and the years seemed to drag by. Now that I am really "older"...the years are flying past me and I'm finding changes that I didn't anticipate. The glow of youth is gone, but a change in perspective has taken it's place.

Aging can be a fabulous time for seniors. It's a place in life where we have more time to do all the things we wanted to do before, but didn't have the time. Perhaps, back then, we were busy getting an education, moving up the professional ladder, raising a family, and living up to other serious committments. Now that those responsibilities have been met and our homes are quiet, we can start making a list of "things never done" or "things neglected" and begin to actually enjoy them.

My list:
1. Spend more time with my grandchildren.
2. Get my bike out of "mothballs" and go for long evening rides.
3. Go for short day-trips by car, taking along a picnic lunch.
4. Take an art course.
5. Take a writing course.
6. Visit old friends who live out of state.
7. Go on an exotic vacation.
8. Take a second cruise to Alaska (or to the islands of the Pacific, especially Bora Bora).
9. Restart my exercise program.
10. Attend more new movies.
11. Work on my spiritually (which is really first on my list)
12. Attend lectures, concerts, and exhibits at our local college.
13. Write for my two it!!
14. Read, read, read.
Copyright 2008 By-Barbara Davis

Summer Housekeeping

I have looked forward to the heat of summer for months and it's finally here. We have had two days of 100+ degrees. Now I'm wishing for the weather to cool. Are we ever satisfied?

Last evening a storm came up with lightning, thunder and wind, and in turn, blew down some of the small dead limbs from our old walnut tree. It also took down some power lines around our area, leaving streets and stores in darkness.

The wind and the dead, fallen tree limbs, remind me of my own life-journey. It seems when life gets a bit uncomfortable for me... is when I start shedding the old routines and habits and I am forced to reach out in new directions. Nature does a little housekeeping, whether it's with me, or a tree.
Copyright 2008 By-Barbara J. Davis