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Sunday 31 March 2019

The Tree

This tree stands in my front garden and I can see it from my chair.  I planted it in memory of my Father, my Mother and my only sister.  My nephew helped me choose it several years ago and I paid for it using garden vouchers which he had given me for Christmas.  I think of it as my family tree.

Last year was a little disappointing because it flowered during a spell of windy weather and lost its petals in just a couple of days but this year it has flowered better than ever.  

Today I have taken a service at Nettleton, a village less than two miles from home.  It was a very special church for me to go for Mothering Sunday for it is the village where my Mother was brought up during her primary school years.

As is fairly common in churches these days I was given a bunch of flowers for Mothering Sunday and I have brought them home and again I can see them from my chair.  Most years I have provided the flowers myself as an acknowledgement of all the kindness I receive from the congregations where I have the privilege to minister but this year it felt right to be on the receiving end.  Thank you, Nettleton Church.

And thank you to parents everywhere for all the love and self-sacrifice you give to your children  I salute you.  

Saturday 30 March 2019

Four cards, two dinosaurs, one dog

Yesterday I went to my monthly card making group and as always it was great!  We made four cards and in some Mandy was encouraging us to use our scraps - but if I hadn't told you that I don't think you would have guessed!  So, here's what I made.  



   So that's the four cards.  Here are the two dinosaurs and the dog.  My cousin has brought her Shih Tzu, Buster, to have a sleepover here whilst his regular staff have an evening out.  His two favourite toys are dinosaurs.  He wouldn't even put this one down to have his photograph taken.  

Monday 18 March 2019

Everything takes longer than it did!

Before I started
I've hinted at my Vision 2020 project a couple of times so here's what it's about.  I've often heard the phrase 2020 Vision, meaning perfect sight but I decided that I would go wonky on this one. I don't want perfection!   It just seemed to me that I would like to improve my life in various areas before 2020 gets here.  There are plenty of areas (financial, social, health etc) which I could improve so I've chosen just a few.

All my life I have fought a rising tide of clutter and I don't see that changing anytime soon.  I have too many hobbies, too many interests, too much memorabilia to be a minimalist.  And that's not really what I want anyway.  What I need is safety to avoid falls.  What I want is to have things in a state where I can find them, sorted to inspire me to create.  If I can't find things when I want them I might as well not have them.  

I decided that the place to start would be my playroom.    There are unfiled papers, uncompleted projects, things which I have dumped until I have time to put them away, just STUFF!  I thought it would take four or five hours but already it's taken nearly eleven and the end is nowhere near in sight. 

Maybe Vision 2020 will take until the end of 2020!

Wednesday 6 March 2019

A Smaller World

I'm not much of a one for foreign travel.  I went on Voluntary Service Overseas when I was twenty one, came home with both legs seriously broken and then never left these shores until I was fifty and my sister wanted to visit Alaska so I went to carry her bags. When I was nearly sixty I decided to do my cruise of a lifetime so sailed across the Atlantic and up the east coast of North America from New York to New Brunswick.  Since then I've been to Bruges to see my nephew a couple of times but really I am quite content to explore my own island.   

And yet I'm very aware that when I say I'm not much of a one for foreign travel I am comparing myself to my contemporaries.  One of my friends returned from Australia having gone to help at the birth of her third grandchild.  Another is planning a visit to New Zealand to see her daughter in the autumn.  My cousins daughter is holidaying soon in Thailand and a friend will soon be accompanying her husband on a business trip to Vietnam.

But my grandmother never left this county, never mind this country!  My grandfather served in France in the Great War and never wanted to cross the sea again.  Compared to that generation I am very well travelled.

However, even without leaving my armchair I can chat with people in far off lands.  It's nearly 2am here and I have been chatting on line with a friend in Texas and talking about holidays, the weather. her grandchildren, my trundle truck and all the minutiae of everyday life.  I wouldn't be doing that to any of my local friends as 2am is a rather unsociable time to chat but it's about 8pm where my Texan friend is.

I may not travel - but the world comes to me.

Sunday 3 March 2019

Thank you,Vicar - and thank you from a vicar.

I'm retired.  But I'm not.  I still "keep my hand in".  Pretty well every Sunday. 

Vicars are quite hard to get - by which I mean a stipendiary vicar, living in the parish or group.  When a vicar leaves the parish it can take a very long time to find a new one so retired clergy like me are needed to fill in.  I now try to have a Sunday off each month so I can go to my own parish church but last month things were a bit desperate so I led worship every Sunday.   I've baptised three babies.  I've taken a couple of funerals and I've got two more in the next few days.  The rural dean has asked me to call on Thursday so I can be booked to take several weddings this year.  Each service takes quite a lot of preparation so really I've almost got a part time job.

Today I have been to All Hallows, North Kelsey.   It's a dear little village church, typical of so many in Lincolnshire.  It's not just the local limestone building which is typical, it's the band of faithful people who clean it, maintain the building and the churchyard, sort the finances and the flowers and do the thousand-and-one small, thankless tasks which are needed to keep the building open.  Add to that their faithful prayer and you can see that here in North Kelsey God is loved and honoured.

One thing really struck me today though: the number of people who said, "Thank you so much for coming".  All I can say  to them (and all the little village churches I go to Sunday by Sunday), "Thank you for your faithfulness and your generosity".

Saturday 2 March 2019

A Whole New Month!

I think months are great for planning.  There's enough time to accomplish something but not enough time to get bored with the plan.

March has thirty one days and there are still thirty of those to come.  Exciting!

In February I was busy but I didn't do enough steps so getting back on the long and narrow is quite important.  I've hinted at my big project, Vision 2020, before and it didn't get progressed much in February so that needs a shove in the right direction.  I'm thinking about reviving my other blog.    Lent starts Wednesday so I am quite busy church-wise.  

And this post illustrates my problem - I'm full of good ideas and devoid of concrete action

Oh dear!

Update: I've revived my other blog