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What to do about Christmas


The season has arrived, trees are shining, packages gleam.  Music rushes in stores and other places, singing ‘Joy to the world’ and ‘Have a holly jolly Christmas’. It is not working for us this year.

Christmas this year on Sunrise Ridge feels pretty bleak.  Grandson, Hubby and I have put up trees, hung decorations and that is as far as we have made it. Oh, ther are couple of gifts in the closet, waiting and we will open them, I’m sure.

The multitudes of cookies and candy that usually fills my kitchen is not to be seen. We made cookies for grandson’s work dinner and ended up tossing the extra ones to the chickens. None of us wanted them.

We discussed the traditional gathering, a family meal of soup and homemade bread on Christmas Eve and found all enthusiasm wanting. I think we will pass on that this year.

Invited to go caroling with the church womans group, I declined, fearing that tears would overpower me. Feelings are still too raw, too near the surface is the sadness and emptiness.

I asked about Christmas dinner, Hubby suggested I call around and find a restaurant that is open, not a likely thing in our rural area. I’m not sue what we will do.

I know we will be thankful, appreciate the family that gathers, celebrate the ‘reason’ for the season and hug each other a little longer, a little closer this year.Recovering is going on, slowly, and not without struggle. Maybe next year…


This year, for the first time ever, I went shopping for Black Friday.

I am not a ‘shopper’, in fact, I have stated often and quite vehemently that I HATE TO SHOP! and it’s true. I do hate to go shopping, I shop for food when I have to, clothes when mine are in tatters, anything else when it has to be replaced.

I grew up with ‘make it do or do without’. Maybe I follow that adage a little too well?

I don’t like crowds, I don’t like all the decision making that comes with choosing what to purchase. Keep it simple, three choices are plenty, two even better.

However, I braved the crowds with daughters, granddaughter and some other folks, for an adventure. Admittedly, it was kind of fun. But I am a people watcher and easily entertained by others.

I won’t say it was the best experience I ever had, but the company was excellent, I did find a few things I wanted/needed at good prices and my claustrophobia was under control. I got through it still breathing and not battered!

Will I do it again? I might.


Yesterday, we had a comedy of error and overwhelming blessings.
What might have been a very ‘wasted day’ turned out well. God stepped in and moved our mountains, just like he has promised to do!
Grandson was scheduled for some tests at a hospital, some 60 miles from home.
When we arrived, there was a power outage (caused by squirrels getting in a transformer). Backup power was being supplied by the on-site generator. Only a few lights were on and procedures were being severely limited.
No computer access in the radiology department meant there was no record available of the order for his test. A technician found a battery powered computer and brought it up. Order found, registration completed!
After a number of minor glitches, his echocardiogram was begun, only to have the generator go down, sending everything into oblivion. A few minutes later, the generator was back up and running; test completed!
We still needed to complete a request for his old medical records from another state. All the medical offices were closed due to the power outage. A staff member heard us explaining this problem and came out with the needed forms which we were able to fill out. Assurances were given that everything would be on the proper desk on Monday morning

why I can’t write right now


This is So hard! We are and have been surrounded by many people and much love, received so many loving messages, but each time the phone rings or someone walks through the door, I seem to realize that it is not Chrysta and never again will it be on this earth.
Not only was she my daughter but one of my best friends…
I know where she is, safe and healthy in the arms of her Savior, but what an empty place she has left here!
When she called me at 12:09 Monday morning saying “Mommy, help me I can’t breathe” of course I slid into my shoes and ran next door to her.
And I couldn’t help. All I could do was hold her and encourage her until the EMS got there.. Brett and I were with her, Hubby had to drive to the highway to direct the EMS personnel in. They went right to work giving CPR and brought her back twice on the way to the hospiral. I know the ER doc and nurses did everything possible too and were so wonderful when we arrived.

Right now it just doesn’t seem to matter
So here we are, me Hubby, Brett, Randy (he sons) and her sisters, surrounded by loving caring hearts, trying to make some kind of sense out of things.

Leslie Gould wins again! 5 star read!


Leslie Gould’ newest book, “Becoming Bea” is a winner!becoming bea

Bea Zook has been leading a sheltered life, she’s a happy homebody. When faced with leaving her beloved Lancaster County home for Montana, she takes a wild step, getting a job as a mother’s helper to a family with triplets!

The only problem, she will  have be around Ben Rupp, the one man who can really set her on edge with his teasing and attentions.

Will they be able to work it out?

I loved this story! Gould’s “Bea” reminds me a lot of myself, as I watch her gain self-confidence and independence.

The story is well paced and keeps the reader wanting to know ‘what next’.

Standing on the edge of the ‘black hole’


‘Black holes’ do not exist only in the cosmos. They can exist inside you, sucking away your hope, light and energy.
It is called DEPRESSION and it is very real.

I know, I fight this battle. I’m far from alone, although when DEPRESSION rears it’s ugly head, I feel that way. Then, no one is there, no one can fathom the awfulness, the aloneness, the fears.

In my effort to continue to exist, I try to look for the good in things, find beauty in what is around me. On really bad days, even this is a hard task.

On those days, when I want to crawl back into bed and ide under the covers, I must remind myself that I am not invisible.

What I do does matter, and who I am matters more.  The emptiness is inside me, attacking, pulling me in.

The battle rages, reality and all that is good, or this lie of despair and defeat.


airstrip, mayholler, maple trees on B 023 airstrip, mayholler, maple trees on B 037heron airstrip, mayholler, maple trees on B 086 airstrip, mayholler, maple trees on B 091

airstrip, mayholler, maple trees on B 052

It was a chilly morning, we could see our breath steam out as we traveled in the fields and forest.

Thistles still raise their heads, pink blossoms bright against the fading vegetation.

A solitary heron breaks the blue above the creek.

The maples begin to show their colors at an old deserted house place. Well kept by the hunters who inhabit it twice a year.

Red, gold, orange sentinels line the highway.

Ripples sing a chorus at the beaver pond.

Sunday mornings long ago


Once, I was 12 years old.

It’s 5 AM. Dad knocks on the door of my brothers’ room, then the one I share with my sister. Trying not to wake the younger one’s is a challenge, for him and us as we get up to start the day.

It’s time to dress and get the Sunday paper route done. It’s almost triple the daily route, so both of us have to hustle.

Dad drops us off at our pick up point and drives away. We gather our newsprint bundles and start the task of separating and sorting.

Brother and I spend  thirty or so minutes, rolling and sorting papers into our bags for delivery, then off we go. One of us takes the ‘even’ side of the street the other the ‘odd’. Quietly we work our way past the still sleeping homes down our three blocks and back up the other three.

Within an hour we are back in the door.

Dad has been busy, a trip to Klein’s’ bakery, boxes of fresh donuts wait in the station wagon. Mother marshalls the five of us to the waiting car.

Our destination, Pioneer Park in Lincoln Nebraska. Breakfast of doughnuts and milk, a chance to play on the playground uninterrupted or look at the buffalo and elk in large fenced fields.  wonder if they are still there, these many years later?

Home by 10 to change and prepare for church.  That is a must!


blood moon eclipse 043A blood moon eclipse 044A blood moon eclipse 049a blood moon eclipse 050ablood moon eclipse 049ablood moon eclipse 044AWay before early thirty this morning, I hauled camera and tripod outside to watch the eclipse.

As it commenced, I noticed the ‘wild things’ around Sunrise Ridge seemed to be upset. Owls, coyotes, and foxes blended an eerie harmony across the Ozark hills.


battle of Pilot Knob 150th anni 064nurse prepared for the battleAnd there I was! I’d read about Clara Barton, Dorothea Dix and other women, making a difference for our men in battle.

I knew I had to help. My brothers, Johnny, Clint and Lucas were out there somewhere. Their infrequent letters filled with tales of things so horrifying. Lives were daily lost for want of nursing skill on the field and in the ragged tent hospitals.

Maw cried, but helped me make my dress, the red trim marking me as a nursing volunteer.Now, here I am following the unit into a skirmish. A bag of bandages and a bottle of white likker in a bag at my hip. Not much to do with, but more than many had.

The drummer boys, no more than 10 or 12 have been shooed away into the woods or back to the earth berm fort behind us.

I can hear the crack of rifles, smoke from the cannons hangs heavy over the field in front.

As I watch, a man out front falls! Those around him carry him back to where I now lay upon the ground. Rifle balls sing over my head like a swarm of mosquitoes. It is all up to me, to help this man.

More are being dragged this way… Where are the ambulances? Blood, blood, blood! Can I do enough to save even one?

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