53 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 4-28-21

  1. The header photo is a male pileated woodpecker. The ivory-billed woodpecker, thought to be extinct, was the largest American woodpecker, but this guy is second, about the size of a crow. One day in Nashville I saw two of them, but otherwise I never saw them until I moved to Indiana, and my husband never saw them until one day I called urgently from the kitchen, “Honey!” He came quickly, thinking me to be in distress, but was able to see his first pileated woodpecker out the window.

    We now know their call (a laugh that makes him think of the jungle), what they sound like hammering on trees, what they look like in flight, and when and where are the best times and places to see them, and all those things greatly increase one’s chances at seeing a bird, so both of us have seen the pileated woodpecker a good number of times now, and even saw a nest four years ago.

    Well, I had gone to the park and walked around taking photos, and I called my husband to tell him I was on my way home, and that one or two pileated woodpeckers had mocked me–I’d just heard their laughter from two different trees, but hadn’t seen the bird(s). I put my phone back in my pocket and immediately heard a pileated woodpecker laugh, but this time it wasn’t from up in the trees lining the park; this time it was from the ground, from a stump across the yard I was just walking by. I watched for several minutes as the woodpecker moved around the stump, in and out of the grass around the stump, and finally flew across the street and landed on a tree that gave me more photos.

    Note that here you can see his tongue, his feet, and a loose feather on his shoulder. This one has some grayish feathers on his wingtips that I don’t usually see. If you look, you can see that he is in a neighborhood; on the right is a house across the street from where he was feeding.

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  2. Enjoy the study Janice.
    Nothing is happening here.
    Absolutely nothing.
    No. I don’t know if that’s good or bad.
    But I have to go with it.

    I don’t know how to describe it.
    The other half of me is gone.
    All of my offspring cares for me. I have no complaint.
    Everyone is overly helpful
    But it isn’t the same.
    “This world is not my home…..
    and I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Nice photo, Cheryl. He is sticking his tongue out, must have found a bug to eat.

    We have seen pileated woodpeckers here. One came close enough to the house to perch on the maple tree that we used to climb as children, which is about 20 feet from the house. My mother, one year when I was away, saw two pileated woodpeckers on one of the tall birches that we had on the outskirts of our woods. She said they were on opposite sides of the tree and they stayed that way as they went up and down the tree trunk in a corkscrew motion. We think it must have been a mating ritual.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I know why they do it.
    I know they need to do it.
    But it still irritates me to wee a man and woman on TV keeping a “social distance” from each other while on camera.
    I know that when the cameras go off they sit next to each other at the coffee table.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Because it continued to stay on my mind, I continued to search…
    http://www.uplook.org/1998/07/my-fathers-house/

    I am probably not supposed to copy and paste The whole thing but I did want you to be able to ready it.

    Dr. Harry Rimmer, a Christian scientist and archeologist, was a well-loved servant of the Lord. His talks on science and the Bible were a great help to many Christian students. He spent his last years in California after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. Rimmer often listened to Charles Fuller on his well-known radio broadcast, “The Old Fashioned Revival Hour.” On one program, Fuller announced his upcoming subject: Heaven. Dr. Rimmer sent Dr. Fuller a letter, including the following:

    My dear Charlie:
    Next Sunday you are to talk about Heaven. I am interested in that land, because I have had a clear title to a bit of property there for over 50 years. I did not buy it, for it was given to me without money or without price. But the donor purchased it for me at tremendous cost. I am not holding it for speculation, because the deed is not transferable….Fire cannot destroy it. Floods cannot wash it away. No locks or bolts will ever be placed upon its doors, for no devious person can ever enter that land where my dwelling stands, almost completed. It is ready for me to enter in and rest in peace eternally, without fear of being evicted.

    There is a valley of deep shadow between the place where I live in California and that to which I shall journey in a short time…but I am not afraid, because the best Friend I ever had went through the same valley long ago, and drove away its gloom. He has stuck with me through thick and thin since we first became acquainted, and I hold His promise in printed form never to forsake me nor to leave me alone. He will be with me as I walk through the valley of the shadows, and I shall not lose my way when He is with me.

    I hope to hear your sermon on Sunday next from my home here, but I have no assurance that I shall. My ticket to heaven has no date stamped upon it, no return coupon, and no permit for baggage. I am all ready to go, and I may not be here when you are talking next Sunday, but if not, I shall meet you there some day. Harry Rimmer, Sc. D.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Chas, maybe they don’t. Maybe they put their masks on and stay away from each other off camera. Some people actually do follow the rules all the time. Besides, hosts of talk shows do not always get along, so maybe they don’t even like each other off camera.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. That is a nice picture of a piliated woodpecker. We have them here, but I have never been able to get a close picture. Seeing the tongue is wonderful. These are always impressive to see. I was glad my mom was blessed to see some when she moved in with my brother. He hadn’t seen them until she moved there. Of course, there is much wildlife we don’t notice. I am 99% syre U saw three wolves go into the same section of woods where I saw the one the other day. There were two close together and then one a few minutes later. I am not sure if they came from my property or the field next door.

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  8. Slow moving thunderstorm overhead. Tiny loves it, watching eagerly at the window for the next flash of lightning and listening for the accompanying roll of thunder. Sixth is mildly interested but more interested in his toys. Tiny is hoping for a blackout. I guess she finds being without electricity an exciting novelty.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Kim, thank you for the 10:11
    It was a good read for a (almost) 91 year old man who has lost his wife and is ready to see what God has for him in the next world.
    Strange thing:
    Not anxious to die because of all the commotion it causes.
    but anxious to follow Elvera.
    I know there is no marriage in Heaven. But I hope we know each other.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Kathleena–so, have you seen wolves before? Is it safe to go outside? Has it been a lean winter and so they’re . . . hunting?

    Yikes.

    We had some sort of woodpecker in Washington–who awakened us each morning drilling into the siding.

    Yikes.

    Never saw any damage, but it worked well as an alarm clock. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I spent most of yesterday scanning photos. I decided I HAVE to put the photos away–they’re still downstairs six months after our last evacuation–and to do that I HAVE to scan them.

    I have a light week and off I went. I started with the oldest photos–my grandmother’s album with pictures as old as 110 years. 25 years ago before I had a decent scanner, I had taken photos of all these pictures and sent them to relatives so they wouldn’t be lost.

    The scanner is easier and produces much better quality.

    I’ll do the same today.

    Seeing my grandmother young, my dad as a baby, my grandfather’s relatives–whom I didn’t know when I dealt with these photos long ago–brought tears to my eyes. I know their history now, their griefs, and the spiritual overlays in a different way.

    I’m glad I finished that album. Now on to my children! LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  12. That is an intense-looking woodpecker, I’ve never see one in the wild. Do we even have woodpeckers in our area? (asked by a non-bird watching person)

    Wolves, nice, and not. But we are fascinated by them, perhaps because they’ve become somewhat rare due to past management programs.

    I read a story last night about how Idaho plans to cull that state’s wolf population by up to 90%, but it’s getting some opposition. The entire subject of predator protection — and how that may impact other segments of the environment — is fascinating, I once tried to do a story on it and how it plays out locally here (coyotes, full “coexistence” solutions, etc.). I interviewed a scientist working on Catalina Island who had done some research on the topic, but the interview didn’t lead to much I could use; then other more urgent news coverage topics on my beat called so I never got back to it.

    It seems we go from one extreme to another — in the recent past, it’s been to wipe everything out that’s causing a problem; now, it’s swinging in the opposite direction by creating full government-sanctioned protection, come what may, and we have to learn to live with the consequences.

    Meanwhile, the pandemic lives on — I keep seeing hikes in numbers in other states and nations that are disconcerting. California remains in the very-low range, but it just “feels” like that won’t last, it feels like something that’s too good to be true.

    The vaccines have helped, where they are available; but availability isn’t consistent yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Nightingale and I were laughing last night about a present that her best friend Stephanie gave her. Stephanie said that when she saw it in the store, it was like a light shone down upon it (like in movies or TV shows), and she knew she had to get it. “It’s so you!” she insisted.

    The funny thing is that it is not Nightingale’s style at all! In fact, it is kind of tacky or something. Well, it’s a mix of kind of pretty and kind of tacky. 😀

    It is a largish snow globe type of thing with roses inside, and the “snow” is multi-colored sparkles. The globe rests on a pretend teacup-and-saucer, which are larger than real ones.

    Since it matches my style better than Nightingale’s (as I have a teacup collection, and like roses and some sparkly things – just not necessarily all together), it is on a bookcase shelf in my living room, where I also have some teacups.

    It was the “It’s so you!” that had us laughing, because it’s so not her! But we love Stephanie, and would never laugh about it to her face. She’s a sweetheart.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. You know, Chas, if you lived near me, I’d bring photos over for you to scan. 🙂

    You also should know, what you are expressing is grief–simple, plain, absolutely understandable grief.

    Keep telling us about it–we’re your friends here to help you bear that burden of grief.

    Weeping with those who weep. The good news is, we grieve with hope.

    xoxox

    Liked by 6 people

  15. Thanx Michelle.
    I have lots of caring people, (son/dil, etc). But It’s something I have to handle myself.

    That’s only logical if you think about it.

    Liked by 4 people

  16. Chas, it’s a process. And you’re right, it’s something we have to handle ourselves, and everyone’s different.

    An older couple from my church moved to Denver to be closer to their children and grandchildren a few years ago and the husband died within a year of the move. His wife was probably late 80s by then, maybe 90, and clearly had a grieving period that was tough, they were extremely close.

    Now she’s into her 90s and has remained remarkably active — her driving is limited (she always drove a bit fast even when she was out here!), but she keeps an open invitation for folks in our church to come visit (a number of them have). She and I keep in touch via Facebook messenger (which reminds me I owe her a note). She’s survived cancer a few times now and just keeps on plugging.

    The pandemic has been frustrating for her, but she was able to hook into the virtual church services without too much trouble. Not sure if they’re back to in-person services yet or not, but she may stay on the virtual platform as she did not get the vaccine. (Her physician recommended she not get the Covid shot, but others her age can get it, from what I remember reading — good idea to get a doctor’s clearance first, though.)

    Anyway, everyone’s experience is different with grief, some of it depends on our individual personalities and circumstances. My Denver friend was always very outgoing, the proverbial church lady who knew and kept up with everyone, so I think that helped with her recovery from her own loss, but it definitely was a tough time for her.

    I’m guessing the transition is hard but easier for younger widows or widowers.

    Either way, it’s never easy, I know, and I can only imagine how hard it must be losing a cherished mate of so many years, a lifetime really.

    Just know that we’re hanging in there with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Note from a photographer who had to get shots of some petroleum storage tanks for a story I’m doing this week:

    ~ Got images
    Had to crawl up a hill through homeless people
    Some guy asked me out ughhhh
    The things I do for you Donna LOL ~

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Hello all. Hope you’re doing well.

    Sorry to jump into the conversation without having read it yet. Roscuro, I sent you an email a little bit ago with a question/prayer request about a medical/musical situation with a potential student. Thanks. 6

    Like

  19. Hello Anon.
    The thing about grief is that everyone has to experience it sometime o r other.
    Everyone!
    And he/she deals with it in his/her own way.
    No one can share it.
    I could write a book about it and you still wouldn’t understand.
    But (almost) everyone deals with it and moves on.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. It has been three and a half years since I lost Hubby, and I still go through times of wondering what I am still doing here.

    If you were to meet me and we got to chatting, you would never guess that I am still in the grieving process, but I am. Of course, the intensity is not like it was in the first couple years, although there are times when it feels close to that. Sharing my feelings here has been a big help. (Nightingale seems uncomfortable when I try to share those feelings with her, so I seldom do.)

    Chas – When you say “it’s not the same” (about other people being around), I understand what you mean, I really do. My heart goes out to you.

    Liked by 3 people

  21. It is an incredible picture. I am glad that that fellow is on a stump. I paid thousands to repair woodpecker damage on my house. So please keep them in the forest.

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  22. We were dealing with grief during our prayer time today with my group. It does linger And it is helpful to share with others. And it is okay if a person is inclined to cry in front of others about their hurt. Last year and this year have had more grieving than any other times I have seen.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Yes, grief has so many variables, from our own personalities and situations to stage of life we may be in, what the relationship of the person was to us — so many factors. So it also can be different from time to time as we lose people in this life. But it is part of the human condition.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. DJ, I’m not sure it is easier for a young person to lose a spouse–unless that person remarries, anyway. Everyone’s grief experience is different. My brother used to rant about people daring to come up with him and tell him their mom died of cancer so they know how hard it is, because he thought it insulting that they’d dare compare losing a spouse to losing a parent. Yet my husband will be the first to admit that it was harder for the girls to lose their mom than for him to lose his wife; they were so young and it’s an unfathomable loss to lose one’s mother. Besides, a person can remarry and the new spouse is fully a spouse, not a step-spouse; though stepparents can be parents in a deep way, it is a different relationship (not flesh and blood) but the new wife is every bit as much a wife as the first one.

    But my sister found young widowhood extra hard on several levels: one, she was still raising children, and so she became a single parent; two, her provider had died; three, she lost many more years of (potential) companionship than if she had been married 30 or 40 or 50 years before losing her mate; four, the other widows she knew were older, so she didn’t even have the comfort of friendship with other widows in similar life circumstances. It’s also unexpected. My mother-in-law grieves at the loss of her life mate of more than 60 years, but losing a husband in his 80s with several health difficulties is not unexpected, and most of her friends were already widowed. While for several years she had been largely confined at home caring for him, with irregular trips to the hospital to break up the monotony, now she is back to spending more time with friends. She would take caring for him in a heartbeat, I know, but she already had a large circle of widows around her, and now she is more fully one of them. (She’d been doing Bible studies with ladies in her neighborhood for more than 20 years, and gradually most have been widowed.)

    To some degree, my sister and other young widows do find that having children at home gives you a reason to keep living, but my sister and my mother both specifically grieved never getting to the empty-nest years when they’d have more time with their husbands.

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  25. BTW, obviously a person might still grieve heartily and then remarry. But I know that historically fathers of young children have remarried quite quickly, and I suspect that their loneliness would be less than that of a senior who lives alone after a lifetime as part of a family. I suspect that cultures in which seniors would live with other family members might be easier settings in which to process grief, at least in some ways. Being alone all the time as a new experience would be lonely.

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  26. Cheryl, true, there’s probably no “rule” about any of this. Each situation and personality will bring about a unique experiences and recovery period. It’s the same experience in many ways, but unique as well.

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  27. Since we’re talking about grief . . . I’ve spent the last two days scanning my grandmother’s photos and papers. I just finished–except for one item.

    The family has a complicated history (surprise!), and only an uncle and aunt are left–both fairly eccentric.

    The aunt made a lot of decisions that were a bit beyond the pale and I’m apparently the only person who has any sort of contact with her–albeit she lives 4 hours away and neither of her remaining children live nearby.

    Anyway, among my grandmother’s papers, I just found a mother’s day card from my aunt’s oldest daughter–who died, possibly of a drug overdose, five or more years ago.

    That cousin was the only other Christian in the family. She became a Christian at a Christian commune circa 1978, married a kind-hearted man (who is still walking with God in Alaska), had five children, and then one day about 1993 fell off the wagon and walked away.

    She was in AA for many years, tried valiantly to claw her way back to God, but never succeeded. I hadn’t had any contact with her in years.

    (And later discovered one of her sons graduated from UW the same day as Stargazer. Had I but known, I would have sought him, or at least cheered.)

    I’m in tears reading about my cousin’s attempt to regain her former life, promising her estranged mother she was trying so hard to stay with AA and see her children.

    When my aunt mentions her two daughters, both dead from substance abuse, her words are full of scorn.

    So, I found this card written in 1994. It’s so poignant. Do I send it to the aunt? Scan and send her a copy? Ignore?

    I’d appreciate some counsel.

    Thanks,

    #amothermyself

    Like

  28. Michelle, I’d scan it and send her the copy and tell her you’ll send the original if she wants it. (And hold onto it even if she says no in case one day she says yes?) I know someone who got rid of everything reminiscent of her daughter several years ago, including childhood photos. Now she is rebuilding a relationship, and I have a hunch that if anyone had copies of some of the stuff she discarded, she might be willing to accept them now.

    Liked by 3 people

  29. DJ, Indiana has seven species of woodpecker, and the only overlap with those photos is the yellow-bellied sapsucker. You may well have the northern flicker and one or two other species we have, though, since it doesn’t say that’s all the species you have.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Thanks, Cheryl.

    Mr. Kindhearted doubted my aunt would be interested but thought my cousin’s children might be. I scanned the card and wrote an email to her truly wonderful ex-husband.

    We’ve now just had a conversation on FB–why can’t people stay on email???–and he thanked me for sending the scan, saying he was very happy to read it.

    He’s going to text his kids to ask.

    He also told me that my cousin cleaned up her act the last two years of her life and was a wonderful grandmother to their granddaughter. I was pleased and thankful to hear that.

    They’re the same ages as my kids, and he said they’ve started asking questions about the family’s past. He has several copies of the biographies I wrote, so he knows a lot that he can share, but I asked him if he’d like to be included in the Dropbox file of the photos I’ve just scanned.

    For my kids’ pictures, I’m just going to scan the photo albums–date and location–nothing else.

    For my grandmother’s pictures, however, it was just one album, I took the trouble to make sure the old photos had labels. I figure if I don’t know who people are, no one will–which is why I was asking my aunt questions!

    I’ll try my uncle, but he’s younger than she is and I know she was her father’s favorite child. I figured if he told anyone, he would have told her!

    Families can break your heart without even meaning to, but I’m glad the Lord has sustained the Alaska ex-cousin-in-law connection, if only because it’s always nice to know a man of God. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  31. My son in law, with whom I am not allowed to speak, brought me a gift today. A bit of yard furniture he made. Two seats with a table in between in a beautiful color I cannot describe. A year ago he knew nothing about carpentry, but last year, his father in law (my husband) went down and worked on a couple of projects with him. He is really enjoying it as a hobby. That is good, he needs one. Such a blessing to get a few hours to talk with him. He got in about four this morning so sacked out in the guest room for a few hours before heading home. So good to see him. He is doing well.

    Liked by 7 people

  32. Thanks, Kizzie. I need to go see her on Facebook.

    Walking down our carpeted stairs just after dark in a bit of a hurry, I missed the last step and although I did not fall, I did something painful by landing in an awkward way. I hope it will heal quickly but at this age . . .

    Now I need to get off the reader app and check out the header photo.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Oh, those last steps … My neighbor did that and fell — I think I did that once, too, several years ago, wound up splayed out next the curb. Of course, the big concern is whether anyone saw it or not, right?

    Liked by 2 people

  34. That’s the kind of positive, inspiring tone and message that I think will resonate with more conservative voters going forward. I wasn’t sure we were even capable of that anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

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