Monday, December 28, 2015


This has been a good but unusual Christmas. The weather was quite unusual being much more monsoon like rather than cold and snowy.

A soggy back yard and rushing creek usually dry.
James Center Outside
The Season began with our symphony's traditional program at the James Center in downtown Richmond. We had a large and enthusiastic audience to hear our Christmas offering. The balmy weather with no rain was a further inducement.

Our little tree.
Lib and I before concert
The following Sunday I was part of a small orchestra and large chorus at Bon Air Baptist church for their afternoon presentation. I learned a new musical skill, how to follow a  "click score". Goes to show that for a least a few of us old geezers we can adjust to the times and make use of the new gadgets.

A huge wet weather system moved in over the Christmas weekend and just about inundated us. Guess we should feel fortunate because in other sections of our country there was flooding and in the northern quadrant blizzard conditions.

Tuesday after Christmas and Lib surveying the room
Christmas Eve we went to Cathy's church to share the service with them at Swift Creek Baptist. It is only 10-15 minutes from our home and even though it was raining when we left around 3:20 for the 4:00 service it had stopped when we emerged at 5:00. There was still a little daylight through the breaking clouds.

Christmas morning we drove the 12 minutes over to Cathy's home to share a brunch and the opening of presents, something we have done since we moved to Richmond to be near them. Jimmie and Sharon Miles, Jeff's parents have shared this traditional time with us also.

Later the older Miles left to prepare for a trip to Florida and Lib and I returned home for a short time to gather up some deviled eggs Lib had made for the evening meal. She had also made a pound cake, candy, and an apple pie. Cathy had prepared a filling Christmas supper of chicken breasts in sauce, green beans, and mashed potatoes. She also made a pumpkin pie. There was no reason anyone should leave the table hungry.

We finished the evening by playing Christmas carols on our instruments. Devin our grandson played 1st violin, I played 2nd, Cathy played cello, and Jeff played guitar. That was our Christmas.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

National Older Adults Conference 2015

It’s been a long time since I have written to my blog….

Every two years the Church of the Brethren  have sponsored NOAC (National Older Adults Conference ) at  Lake Junaluska  (a Methodist Conference Center in the Smokey Mountains of 
North Carolina.  Lib and I have attended several times and have benefitted from the challenges

The purpose is to inspire 50+ year old’s to get off their duffs and  contribute more of whatever they can to improve themselves, their communities, and their world. To accomplish this the 5 day meeting is built around presentations based on Scripture and the imperatives they suggest for our lives. Blind pianist Ken Medema was one of our stars this time. Not only is his accompanying astonishing but so is his ability to compose a song on the spot weaving into it a narrative he has just heard a few minutes before. This year the assembled 900+ participants were challenged to do what they could to help our Nigerian Brethren who have suffered so 
terribly from the warfare in their area. Also there were presentations that  would be helpful toward  being more accepting of the sexual revolution that is occurring in our world. 

Because these gatherings are Church of the Brethren  sponsored there is a built in understanding that we will encounter and think outside the box. Our Anabaptist heritage impels us to shed the old constricting skin and emerge a new creature  from time to time.

Change is uncomfortable at first, but each generation must decide what it means to follow in the 
footsteps of  Jesus Christ. 

Lake Junaluska
Stuart Hall where the main presentations occurred
Terrace Hotel where we stayed
rose among hundred on rose walk

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


The big snow began for us round 1:30 this past Monday and piddled around for a half hour or so sort of teasing us. It even stopped for awhile as if deciding it wasn’t quite ready to really fire up. Around 5:30 pm it began to snow in earnest. Our Governor declared a State emergency as all of Virginia would be impacted by the storm. Our main concern is that we wouldn't lose electricity. At 18 degrees F. our house can become uncomfortable within an hour or so. Because it began in the western area of  Virginia  before noon, my sister Mary was able to stay home from teaching responsibilities. Our daughter, Cathy was able to leave work mid afternoon  just as some of the roads were beginning to get slick. By 6:45 there was about 1 1/2  inches down.

I cooked spaghetti for supper which worked well for such a cold evening.

By 9 pm we had about 4-5 inches and the temps stayed around 17-18 F. Lib watched a basketball game on TV and I took pics of the snow and kept up with the news via iPhone and FaceBook. We went to bed around 11:00 hoping the current would stay on and let our new heat pump do its job. Fortunately that was the case. 

It stopped sometime before daybreak and I took a few more pics. Looks as if we may have had a tad more than the 6 inches they had forecast. Because of the cold temps it was a dry powdery snow that yielded rather easily to blowing rather than shoveling. I opened paths to the mailbox for us and our next door neighbors who so graciously share their newspaper with us every morning. 
How it looked at 1:30 pm Monday

Our cardinal friend supervising the storm.

About 6-7 inches by 9:00 pm. 

around 9:00 pm front of house. 


Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!

I've always been fascinated by lights. At first it was the kerosene lamps on the tongas in India. Then the brake lights shining from the back of a Model A Ford possessed by one of our more modern mission stations in India. The great headlight on the Frontier Mail locomotive was also a thrill to watch as it appeared on the distant night horizon before it thundered into the Bulsar, India station.

At Dehradun it would be the twinkling lights of Mussoorie on a cold March day before sunrise. A constellation of white twinkling pinpoints near the top of a distant ridge. From Prospect Point near the top of a Himalayan ridge on a cool crisp evening it would be the light of Dehradun.

When we returned to America it would be the lights on our first Christmas tree. As an old man yhat fascination with lights of all colors that adorn houses, yards,  bushes and trees still manages to
attract my interest.

We had numerous lit homes in the vicinity this Christmas. One even made the 10 top tacky homes in the nation list. I'm sure you had a similar home near you. Thank heavens for gaudy bright lights to celebrate the Season!!