Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

       1 Thessalonians 5:11

Vol. 2, No. 4: October 8, 2011       Editors: Nancy & Bronwyn       Design & Production: Harriet

Welcome Back!

Sistas at Bible Study
The sistas starting a new year of Bible study. We will be studying Beth Moore’s “David, Seeking a Heart like His”.

Contents

Click links below to access specific articles.
Rappin’ With Nancy My Story
Upcoming Events Favorite Books
Sonbeams by Bronwyn My Favorite Season Is…
Wendy’s Favorite Quotes Nancy’s 70th Birthday Party
Sista Picture Corner If You Lived In Arizona
Devotion by Gail Our Thanksgiving Traditions
My Trip to Italy The Thanksgiving Tablecloth

 


Rappin’ With Nancy

“I said Sh*t”

Nancy
Nancy

God uses us by focusing on our strengths and sometimes “our downfalls” too!!! 🙂  I was raised in a family that constantly said bad words and since being a Christian I have tried to NOT say negative or disrespectful words…that will or “can” offend God or my friends. Every so often one word just creeps out and surprises me or catches me off guard. It is not said to offend or be disrespectful but more as a slip into my past. I said bad words until I was 63 years old and it is hard to break a pattern of that many years. In THIS case using a bad word was used BY GOD to bring someone to Him!! God ways never ceases to amaze me.

I live in senior housing and recently a neighbor came down the stairs to help me carry my Oxygen tank upstairs. Gene’s comment to me was, “I am NOT helping you because I am a good Christian”….I am helping you because I want to see how your air conditioning works. I showed him how it was installed and then asked him to sit and chat. He immediately said he had things to do…but maybe just for a short time.

Gene started to ask me some questions about my faith and said “I feel like I can talk to you since you said shit once and aren’t one of those perfect, unapproachable types of Christians.” I have lived next to him 3 years with NO discussion of religion and just light, fun teasing and neighborly conversation. I DO however try to live life in a Godly manner and always to FOCUS on “What Would Jesus Do.” I wasn’t sure how to respond to Gene’s comment…so I chose to NOT respond and just let God do His thing. He kept saying he had to go but then stayed instead. God was definitely in charge of his questions and my answers and the Holy Spirit was certainly a BIG part of how this event unfolded.

I have learned to “tune in” to the Holy Spirits prompting and just go with the flow. I know now NOT to question but to just “relax” and see what God has planned for me.  🙂 The more I “LET GOD”…the more I enjoy the way the conversation flows and the more I let it flow the deeper the conversation gets. The deeper it gets the more fun I have and before I know it…heavy, heavy stuff comes out and BIG problems are brought to the surface and solved. Then powerful stuff gets discussed and solved by the only one who can do it….God working with the Holy Spirit.

I just LOVE the way God allows ME to sit in on HIS conversations and teachings and can utilize me in ways that I hardly recognize!!! I feel SO honored when I am allowed to “be included” in one of His teaching /revelations. Afterwards…I am so excited, hyper, amazed and just stunned at how the last few hours just “happened.”  🙂 I KNOW it didn’t “just happen” and then have to ponder “just how long this meeting had been scheduled” and SO glad I didn’t “miss the opportunity to be included.”

The conversation continued and we discussed a lot about Catholic teachings, protocol and how we had never been encouraged to “read the Bible.” I explained that I now read it daily and entirely at least once a year. I showed him my cherished and tattered Bible and remembered that I had an extra copy in my car. I had felt led to purchase it 9 months ago for a new Christian in my Bible Study group who never showed up again. I offered to get it for Gene the next day. He was thrilled. We found that we both loved history and I said that “if YOU like history….wait until you read the bible…it is FULL of interesting history.”

After 3 short hours, the conversation ended and I felt elated and very up lifted. After thinking about all that just happened…I felt honored and quite surprised that Gene would even consider talking about his spiritual feeling with me. But then it wasn’t really me he was talking to was it????? I can pretend I helped him understand and answer his many questions. In actuality…I can only give thanks to God that HE allowed me to sit in on this magnificent process and witness a Christian on the rise. 🙂

Oh yes…I almost forgot…Gene met me at my front door the next morning @ 8:00 and walked me to my car to get “his new Bible.” Just imagine him up early listening for me to leave to get to the car before I left. How eager he was for God’s word!! That shocked me more that the conversation the night before.

As always I like to challenge you and ask that you take the time to tune in to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to take over your next project like I did. I pray that you learn as much as I did about myself, my friend and about God. Put your antennas on, keep tuned it…and be ready for whatever journey the Holy Spirit takes you on. It will be a wild ride for sure.

Living in Color With God,

Nancy

Back to Top


Upcoming Events

 

Women of Faith

women of faith over the top 2011

Seattle, WA
October 28 – 29, 2011
KeyArena

Friday 10:-3:30 and 7:00-10:00

Saturday 9:00-5:00

For tickets go to Women of Faith or call 888-49-FAITH  (888-493-2484)

Steven Curtis Chapman Concert

Steven Curtis Chapman

Steven Curtis Chapman with Andrew Peterson & Josh Wilson

Saturday, October 29, 2011, 7:00 PM

at

Overlake Christian Church
9900 Willows Rd NE
Redmond, WA US 98052

For tickets and more information go to LMG Concerts

Back to Top


Sonbeams by Bronwyn

 You (GOD) are resplendent with light  – Psalm 76:4a

Sun Stained Glass
Window by Jerry (this window will go in the guest bathroom of their new home)

I thought I had beat depression. Hadn’t God freed me of the “pit,” as Beth Moore calls it? Since early fall of 2006, I’ve enjoyed and relished the freedom from the bondage of depression and anxiety. After all, didn’t I write a book on how God led me out of the darkness?

So why did I find myself enshrouded in a fog of sadness in beautiful, sunny Arizona? How could I be feeling blue when palm trees, as tall as telephone poles, grace the outdoor landscape at our temporary RV park residence? Sunlight gives the clouds a radiant sheen against a blue sky. Some look fat and lumpy like mashed potatoes that didn‘t turn out right. Others take on animal shapes. I’m sure I see a wolf yawning at a fish. Or is the fish laughing at the howling wolf?

When Jerry and I drive through Arizona’s red rock canyons, I think I’m in a Disneyland setting with towering roundish, puffy rocks. One round rock. the size of a minivan, teeters on top of another. Only God’s hand could hold it steady.

As we cruise through the Sonoran desert, I’m mesmerized by the massive assembly of majestic saguaros. Tall cactus raising their needle-spiked arms in holy prayer. The sight makes me swoon, that is, if I knew how to swoon or even what swoon means. Hundreds of saguaro cactus, well over 100 years old each, stand with straight posture and prickly confidence. It boggles my mind to think that many of the saguaros that I’m looking at through my car window view, stood in that very same spot in the blazing desert years before my birth; before my first day of Kindergarten, before I even knew what a saguaro cactus was. The Arizona desert has a comical, perhaps even hilarious, sense to it. Like the lizards. They skitter this way and that. What’s their hurry? The rock they’re racing toward will be there tomorrow. And the roadrunners. These long-legged birds seem to bum around all day, canvassing on foot as if hurriedly looking for something special and can‘t find it. What kind of funny birds are these anyway? It is said they can run 26 mph. Do they even know how to fly?

But then, who cares?

Certainly not me. At least not for the first eight weeks of living here. My world held no beauty.

A tremendous sadness took hold of me with a firm grip just days after we arrived. When the AC broke in our RV (the first day of our arrival) we moved to a park model, a mobile home dressed up to look like a house. Our park model featured a pitched roof, covered deck, one-car carport, and a working AC.

As the only humans living on Oasis Drive, a street lined with empty park models, we began to believe we were the last humans on earth.

Flocks of Snowbirds will return in the fall. Until then, Jerry and I and our two cats lived in ghost city. With 111-degree summer heat baking us like butterball turkeys at Thanksgiving, the Snowbirds wisely keep their distance. They enjoy summer in cooler, far away places like Canada, Colorado, and Washington.

The RV park, the home of our temporary residence while our new home is under construction, has a stained glass studio. Although classes won’t start up until mid-October, Jerry learned he could use the studio on his own. Jerry immediately embraced his longtime passion. Each morning he left our Park Palace and headed to the studio to create gorgeous stained glass windows. He’ll place his colored glass creations in our new home.

I remained at the park model, so I could sink deeper into the gloom.

Living in small quarters with two cantankerous felines who liked to wake me each morning at 2a.m. and 4 a.m., didn‘t help me with my sleep. Tiredness increased my sadness.

Mainly, I felt isolated. I felt a sense of loss of all that I held dear back in Washington.

Harriet sent me an e-mail asking how I was doing. I replied, “Please pray for me. I’m depressed.”

Harriet suggested I put my prayer request out to all of my Sistas in Washington. But I didn’t want to announce it to the world. Depression can trick you into thinking that hiding is the best way. Anyway, I reasoned, God will hear Harriet.

About the same time, Linda I. sent an e-mail asking how I was. I asked her to also pray for me. There, I had two prayer warriors. Let God get me out of this, I thought. And I sank deeper into my gloom.

Depression is a disorder that involves feelings of sadness lasting for two weeks or longer. It often involves a loss of interest in life, hopelessness and decreased energy.

Depression is a medical condition just as real as diabetes or ulcers. It affects nearly 19 million Americans. It actually affects one in five people at some point in their life. Depression can strike anyone whether you’re a president or author or composer. It affected Abraham Lincoln, Ernest Hemingway, Peter Tchaikovsky, Charles Dickens, and Mike Wallace. Scientists believe illness, heredity, psychological traits, and social environment play a role as contributing factors.

The depression that came over me certainly had some of those factors, but mainly I believe my depression evolved out of a lack of self-care.

I used to say to others, in a rather cocky way, that I was “recovered” from depression and anxiety. I thought I had gained the skills to never fall into the trap again. Then I fell back into the pit. There I was, all alone with my cockiness. How did I get there?

Once the fun of our RV journey through California and Disneyland ended with our stop at the RV park, sadness took over. I quit paying attention to maintaining a healthy diet or continuing a regular exercise regimen (as I had done in Woodinville). It was too hot to run in the Arizona heat and I had no one to talk to (Jerry was off in the stained glass studio) I began looking for books to read in the RV park’s tiny library to keep me company. I found books by Holocaust survivors, a memoir of a horrific childhood, and a literary classic with a suicide ending. I filled my mind with all the dark thoughts of the books. I filled my body with nothing to give it strength and vitality.

I had the prescription for depression.

Harriet and her husband Murray, in addition to Linda I. and Jerry, prayed for me. As they did, things began to slowly turn around. With their support and encouragement, I began to break free. Harriet e-mailed resources and suggestions of activities.

I told our realtor, the only person I knew in town besides Jerry, I was having a difficult time adjusting to Arizona. I even think I told her I felt depressed. To my surprise, she suggested she and I begin meeting for coffee once a week, stating she understood how I felt. Getting me out of the park model and into Starbucks was a definite boost to my mood.

When I heard there was a Beth Moore simulcast in the nearby town of Chandler, I signed up. I also attended the Women of Faith Conference in Phoenix. Patsy Clairmont spoke on the promises and possibilities of life. Sandi Patti blew me away with her testimony. She and Amy Grant rocked the house with such joy and uplifting music of the Holy Spirit. I left the conference a new woman with a happy new attitude.

At Harriet’s prompting, I also began to exercise in the tiny gym at the RV resort. Jerry, always my hero, worked out a way to keep the cats from waking me. I began to get more sleep and feel better. Best of all, Jerry and I began to read through the Bible together. We started at Genesis 1 and kept going.

While reading through Exodus, Jerry and I could see that God had one plain message for the Israelites. And that is: God responds to those who depend on Him.

The more we depend on Him, the bigger He becomes as we witness first hand how He reaches out and helps in ways you’d never think of or consider.

Consider this passage in the book Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis. A child named Lucy encounters Aslan, the Christ-figure of the Narnia stories.

Lucy hasn’t seen Aslan for a long time, so she says.

“Aslan, you’re bigger.”
“That is because you’re older, little one,” answered he.
“Not because you are?”
“I am not. But every year you grow, you will find me bigger.”

As we grow in our faith, we grow in our ability to depend on God. The more mature we are in our faith, the bigger God becomes in our life.

Depression has nothing to do with how big our faith is. You can have great faith and be depressed. Elijah’s life story makes that clear.

Faith has a lot to do with our dependence on God. The more we come to rely on Him, the more at rest we are. All of us encounter change, sadness, hurt, disappointment, and unexpected problems and sorrow, but those who depend on God have an indescribable connection to a spiritual realm where peace reigns.

The turnaround for me came when I asked for prayer.

After eight weeks, the depression lifted. I can see better than ever that when I depend on God to get me through a setback or struggle, He is bigger than any of my worries, anxieties, fears, troubles, loneliness, or sadness.

I’m no longer “recovered” from anxiety and depression, but instead I’m recovering and I always will be.

Patsy Clairmont presents the message in her current book Stained Glass Hearts, that God is willing to mend us of our broken-ness and then mold us for His glory. How interesting to me that Jerry has spent the summer creating stained glass windows for our new home. At the same time, God leads me to Patsy Clairmont’s book where she uses stained glass windows as a visual of God transforming the jagged, disjointed fragments of our lives into a colorful story. Clairmont writes, “Stained glass art doesn’t begin to show its beauty of inspiration or release its story until light touches the dark. The light transforms an otherwise subtle picture into a brilliant, dimensional experience.”

How clearer can God be to me?

His light brings brilliance to everyone who lets Him into their heart and refuses entrance to the darkness.

 

Palm Creek Resort
This is Ghost City (aka Palm Creek RV Resort), the deserted community in Casa Grande, Arizona, where Bronwyn & Jerry lived throughout the summer during the construction of their new home in nearby Maricopa.

 

Stained Glass for Office
Stained Glass for Office

 

Stained Glass for Master Bath
Window by Jerry (this window is slated for the Wilson’s master bath)

“I think even the phrase ‘stained glass’ conjures up not only the usefulness of broken-ness, but also its potential beauty. And even though the stained glass pieces are artistically designed, they still have been broken, sanded, soldered. They didn’t naturally fit the redemptive pattern without holy repairs. Also, stained glass art doesn’t begin to show its beauty or its inspiration or release its story until light touches dark. The light transforms an otherwise subtle picture into a brilliant, dimensional experience.”    ~Patsy Clairmont, “The Heart of the Matter” Stained Glass Hearts

Back to Top


Autumn scene with stream

See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.    Isaiah 43:19 (NIV)


Wendy’s Favorite Quotes

curlique
Make God’s will the focus of your life day by day. If you seek to please Him and Him alone, you’ll find yourself satisfied with life.   ~Kay Arthur

A Christian is never in a state of completion but always in the process of becoming.   ~Martin Luther

Every moment of resistance to temptation is a victory.   ~Frederick William Faber

You are either becoming more like Christ every day or you’re becoming less like Him. There is no neutral position in the Lord.   ~Stormie Omartian

Worship is your spirit responding to God’s Spirit.   ~Rick Warren

Back to Top


Sista Picture Corner

Sistas at Claim Jumper
Sistas at Claim Jumper for Bronwyn’s farewell lunch.  June, 2011. We miss you Bronwyn!

Sistas, send us your travel pics, pet pics, kid pics, favorite pics. We want to print your pics in our new Sista to Sista magazine. E-mail pictures to:

email address

Back to Top


Devotion

by Gail

Gail
Gail

For a while I was having a hard time understanding why “the world” could not see how the things they did, the decisions they made were so obviously wrong and made no sense. It was so obvious – like the handwriting on the wall – why didn’t they see it. God, as usual helped me understand.

The world is living in a “dark room”. The sins are written on the wall but because of the darkness they can’t see them. Only when Jesus, “…the Light of the world” (John 8:12a), comes into their personal world can they see the truth of sin. John 3:19-21 says “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.” It isn’t that they can’t see their sins its that they have chosen not to. But – If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Later God also showed me that for many living in the dark they don’t even know that they can turn on the Light of Christ in their own lives. We/I must live my life so Jesus light shines through me to draw them out of the darkness and into the Light, be forgiven and receive His peace. They must see and come, I can’t push them.

I finally understood. God’s light or perspective always brings peace to my heart.

Back to Top


sun and sky

 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.    John 9:5  (NIV)


My Trip to Italy

by Carol

Carol in Pompeii
Carol in Pompeii

Two weeks in Italy was better than we ever expected. We went with GET tour group and had a very experienced guide who made every minute fun.

Rome was overwhelming with so much history and ancient sites. We went to the Vatican. The Pope wasn’t home. I also got lost in the cobbled twisty roads when I zigged and the tour zagged around the corner. Peace of the Holy Spirit brought me

Carol in Pisa holding up the tower
Carol in Pisa

through that trauma and back into the group after 45 minutes.

We traveled by a nice big bus to Pompeii,and Sorrento and also went boating around the Isle of Capri. We drove up north to Assisi,and to Venice. Yes, those Gondola rides are wonderful.

Shopped on that Rialto Bridge spanning over the main canal. We even went to Romeo and Juliet’s famed balcony in Verona. Later spent three days in Florence. Also spent one day at Cinc Le Terre, the Italian Riviera on the beach.

The sun was out and weather was perfect. Our last day in Rome,and we had dinner entertainment. Actually 3-4 nights we had singers and performers in various restaurants. I think all Italians are romantic and can weave stories and sing songs. It was a wonderful adventure. Loved sharing with you.

Back to Top


 My Story

by Tori

Tori with her two daughters
Tori with her daughters, Shelby and Ashley

Hi! My name is Torena, but I go by Tori. I was lucky and blessed to have Jesus come into my life as my personal savior when I was in the 5th grade. My mom had begun attending a Baptist church in Drain, OR in an attempt to turn our lives around. My parents have always been loving and nurturing parents, but something was missing. On a beautiful Sunday morning, my mom, sister and I all went forward and asked Jesus to come into our lives. About three months later my dad also accepted Christ into his life. Our lives have forever been better since that day.

My adult life has been a very nomadic one. I married a Marine the day after I graduated from college and began the first of 12 moves as a military wife. During that time I was blessed with two beautiful daughters. My oldest, Shelby, is now a sophomore at the University of Washington and my youngest, Ashley, is a junior at Redmond High School. My husband, Chuck, is now retired from the Marine Corps and works at Corsair Engineering in Kirkland, WA.

I am currently a “domestic goddess” who loves to work in my yard, garden, and volunteers with a local animal rescue group called Motley zoo. I have fostered 5 wonderful animals so far; all who have since been adopted into loving homes (one in my own 🙂 ) I also enjoy reading, running and watching college football. I look forward to my new life here in the Pacific Northwest. It is wonderful to be back near family.

Back to Top


Once upon a time plaque

Favorite Books

Over the Edge by Brandilyn Collins

Reviewed by Linda I.

An intruder breaks into the home of Janessa McNeil in the night. He plants an infected tick on her scalp. A tick infected with borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that causes lyme disease. She is bitten, and becomes very ill. Doctors can’t seem to find the cause of her illness. Janessa’s husband refuses to believe that she is ill.

Who would do such a thing? And why?

There are two “camps” in the real world medical community regarding chronic lyme disease. One that says it can be treated with a short course of antibiotic and easily cured, and another that says long-term treatment is necessary once lyme becomes chronic.

Author Brandilyn Collins has communicated this story in the real world in her fictional story with a gripping suspense novel that keeps a reader engaged.

I found the book very interesting because I have lyme disease myself. The author’s description of the symptoms that Janessa goes through are accurate, as well as the difficulties that she encounters with the conventional medical community.

Back to Top


My Favorite Season Is…

Autumn leaves Winter Snow Scene Spring tulips Sunflower

Gladys – Spring: I love the feeling of planting and renewing my garden. Also I love outdoor activities in the wonderful spring air.

Tori – Summer: My favorite season is summer…I love warm, sunny weather and being outdoors.

Angela – Summer: Because it is warm.

Emerald – Fall: The leaves changing, the smell of wood burning in the fireplace. Spring: Flowers beginning to bloom.

Gail – Fall: I love the fall because of the beautiful colors and cooler weather.

Carol – Fall: September and October. I like the changing foliage and sometimes the late, beautiful sunsets. Nice time to take a trip to the “country”.

Mary – Fall: I love warm days and chilly nights.

Linda I. – Fall: I love fall – the weather is still warm and the colors of the trees are so beautiful as the leaves are changing. It is a time of new beginnings as our family celebrates Rosh Hashanah.

Velma – Summer: Sunshine and fishing in Alaska for Sockeye salmon.

Georgia – Spring: It would have to be spring, life being renewed all around us and in us as well. The gift of the sun coming through and the increased energy for us all.

Wendy – Fall: Crisp cool air with beautiful colors.

Linda G. – I don’t have a favorite season but I love the change.

Brenda – Fall: I love the fall season because of all the beautiful colors of the leaves and the brisk air, the wind and running through the leaves.

Harriet – Fall: I love the beautiful foliage and the cool evenings.

Back to Top


Nancy’s 70th Birthday Party

Nancy celebrated her 70th with family and friends at a party that was just like her, a lot of fun and a little zany. There was lots of laughter and delicious food, a great time was had by all. Nancy is the “mom” of our group. She is always ready to listen to other people’s problems, no matter what difficulties she is going through herself.
We love you Nancy!

Nancy's 70th birthday party

After one too many root beers at the party, we decided to have a “crazy glasses” contest. You decide, “who wore it best”.

Wendy  Velma Nancy
 Mary  Linda  Harriet
 Georgia  Emerald  Gail
 Carol

Back to Top


If you lived in Arizona…

by BronwynArizona

1. You would wear a heavy winter coat to the grocery store or mall. The AC is cranked down so low in stores, you would suffer hypothermia while picking out oranges in the produce department if you didn’t wear your fur-lined (faux-fur, of course) coat. It’s the equivalent of stores in Washington state jacking up the heat to 110-degrees and Washingtonians shopping in their bikinis to beat the heat.

2. You wouldn’t count on anything done in a timely manner. You would no longer say “Good Morning.” You would say “manana.” For example, you make an appointment to have your hair cut at an Arizona salon. In Washington, you expect to have the hairdresser’s full attention, and be in and out within a half hour. In Arizona, a haircut is an all day experience. The hairdresser snips your hair a little bit, then leaves you with half your hair clipped while she conditions and rinses another lady’s hair. That lady remains at the sink with wet hair as the hairdresser takes a 15-minute break in the back somewhere. She returns, snips your hair a little more, then takes the other lady with wet hair for a blow out, while you sit with your hair three-quarters trimmed. By the time you leave the salon, it’s dark outside, you forgot what day it is, but your haircut is complete.

3. You would see feet, think feet, perhaps dream of feet way more than you ever would want to or ever would have thought of in Washington. Pedicures are not luxuries here. Feet are part of Arizona fashion. Your toenails can have psychedelic designs in mind-boggling colors. You can blow the minds of all the people standing in line with you at the bank because your feet look so awesome. All they have to do is look down at your feet and whoa! Your toenails match your outfit.

4. You would begin saying this phrase (it would be difficult to say at first since you never hear this in Washington) But here you would say: “Oh! The blessing of rain! Oh! Oh! How wonderful! How marvelous we had rain last night. I L-O-V-E rain.”

5. You would learn quickly that ordering coffee in an Arizona restaurant will get you a look from the waiter that resembles a serious frown. He says, “Coffee? Uh, well, I’ll have to make a pot. I don’t have any made.” You’re much better off ordering iced tea. It does help, I’ve discovered, to explain to the distressed waiter that you‘re from Seattle. This helps him to understand your strangeness a little better.

6. You would hit the traffic pole in search of the buttons at the pedestrian crosswalks. But there are no buttons. How the Arizona traffic light knows when it’s time for you to walk, I don’t know.

7. You would never leave home without your car window heat shield, body slathered in sunscreen, and water bottle to keep you hydrated in the drive from your home to the store.

8. You would happily search the store’s parking lot for a shady spot to park. You don’t mind finding one five miles from the store as long as you get the joy of parking in the shade. Walking in the heat is not as bad as sitting inside a car blistering hot from being parked (baked) in the sun. Not to mention your need for E.R. from severe burns caused by touching the steering wheel.

9. You would begin saying, around September, “Yahoo! Winter coming!” Winter in Arizona is when the weather is perfectly pleasant, plants bloom, farmer’s markets open, art fairs abound, people come out of their homes and jog and bike and hike and hit the traffic poles looking for the buttons.

10. You would never feel alone here in Arizona. More than half of Arizona’s residents (from my perspective) originally lived in Washington state. No one ever asks, “Where is Woodinville or Redmond or Kirkland?” Everyone knows. They usually say, “Oh! I’m from Washington. I’m from Bothell or Lake Stevens or Gig Harbor or Redmond.”

11. You would never use the word lawn. Lawns are extinct in Arizona. Yards consist of pretty colored gravel.

12. Finally, the funny thing about Arizona is the perception of weather. After weeks of 110 to 115-degree summer weather, the local TV news reports good news. Arizona will have a cool-off period with much cooler temperatures of 103-degrees. Yep. 103-degrees is like Iceland. I will need my winter coat, for sure.

Back to Top


Our Thanksgiving Traditions

Thanksgiving Dinner

Angela – Lots of family and lots of food.

Tori – Our thanksgiving traditions are rather typical: turkey, stuffing and all the sides…..before we “retired” from the Marine Corps, we always played a tag football game against another military family before eating.  They have two boys, so always beat us–but was still a fun tradition 🙂

Gladys – Grandparents come up every year for a family Thanksgiving for bonding. We have fun times going to the theatre, out to dinner, and everyone looks forward to going to Molbaks for a Christmas ornament.

Carol – At our dinner table we go around to everyone and tell about one thing we are thankful for.

Mary – My family and extended family at my house for dinner.

Velma – Getting together with family and friends.

Georgia – Getting the entire family together, catching up, spending the day cooking together and going around the table for each of us to share what we are thankful for.

Brenda – We would always go around the table and say something we were thankful for.

Harriet – Before eating our dinner each person at the table says one thing they are thankful for. After eating way too much food and cleaning up we always go out to a movie. At the end of the evening we start to play Christmas music and then the Christmas season officially starts at our house.

Back to Top


The Thanksgiving Tablecloth

by Wendy

Thanksgiving table

 

When I was a divorced young mother of two I had my first Thanksgiving without my kids or my extended family. That Thanksgiving my Pastor’s wife invited me to celebrate with them. It was a good meal and good company. After the meal they wrote their names on the tablecloth along with the year in pencil then the women embroidered them. I was young and thought I’d better not attempt something I didn’t know how to do and didn’t want to mess it up. The women tried to encourage me but I just sat and chatted while they worked.

Fast forward a couple of years and I was getting remarried and loved the idea of this tradition. Our first Thanksgiving as a new family we invited both sides of our extended families. My dad bought a huge turkey and after our rather large group had finished the meal I passed out the sharpened pencils and told everyone to draw a picture, write their name and the year on the tablecloth. To my surprise all the women and even some of the guys embroidered their own contribution. That was in 1979 and we have continued this tradition for the last 33 years. One tablecloth has been completely filled but we still use it on Thanksgiving with our second tablecloth. After 25 plus years of hosting Thanksgiving everyone did not want to miss coming so we kept inviting people and their relatives. I had always sewn everything that had not gotten done on Thanksgiving Day. Needless to say I wasn’t getting any younger and wanted to start downsizing so two of my nieces volunteered to take on the family tradition. We then met at my nieces home, everyone helped bring dishes and the other niece took over the sewing. After the first year of trying to sew on the tablecloth she organized a weekend get away for all the women who would embroider on the tablecloth. These younger women have learned to be so resourceful.

Our families have gained many new members and lost a few along the years but the tablecloth remains a source of warm remembrances to us all. We laugh at our own terrible drawings and spellings and tell many stories each year when the tablecloth is spread of the tables. My mother passed away after that first Thanksgiving in 1979 but we have her own handiwork to remember her by, the children have grown to have children of their own so we have a never ending display of turkey hands and my great granddaughter has included her own baby footprint then her very own turkey hand.

After so many years of practice I got pretty good at embroidering and you can see the progress from one year to the next. No one has ever bowed out from attempting to embroider because the truth is plainly seen that we all had to start somewhere.

May you all have a blessed day of thanks this year.


golden leaf

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.    Psalm 100:4  (NIV)

Back to Top

Print Friendly, PDF & Email