My husband had some surgery almost six weeks ago, and since then has had to go to physical therapy one morning a week. I take him, drop him off and go do a little exploring, or maybe a little shopping. A lot of the time I drive around into parts of Chattanooga that I’ve never… Continue reading The Peeling Steeple
My paternal grandfather had a 500 acre farm along the Red River just north of Nashville, in Clarksville, Tennessee. I loved being on that farm, so every Friday mama would pack my little suitcase and off I went for the weekend with my grandparents. They lived in a stone cottage that was built with stone and wood from the land they lived on. My grandparents’ stone cottage.
In the Spring their backyard looked like a snowy day with all the many Dogwood trees in bloom. I would sit on the porch with my grandmother and learn about the trees that kept the house cool in Summer, the birds nesting in those trees, and the flowers in her abundant flower beds where the flowers were waking up from their Winter’s sleep. The Summers were spent working in the fields. I would go out with my grandfather on his John Deere or on horseback. I learned how to count when we would count cattle together. I would ride on the fender of the tractor as we meandered through the woods down to the coolness of the cave spring that was located on the edge of his property. After a warm morning of being out in the fields, we would go in for a good lunch, take a nap under the cool sheets, and then back at it until Supper. In Winter the snows would come. My dad would bundle up and drive through the snowy fields in the old truck to feed bales of hay to the Herefords. Afterwards, we would all get our sleds and go sledding down the hill that led to the stone cottage. My grandfather would have a fire going in the fireplace and I would lie on the rug to watch that crackling fire, and football games on his Zenith television. I remember all those times like they were yesterday. Now that the days are finally getting cooler, I think about this time of year on the farm. The apple orchard behind my grandparents cottage and the pony barn that was built near the orchard, the Shetland ponies beginning to grow their Winter coats. There were acres of tobacco being harvested by hand, then placed on flatbed trailers and pulled away to be hung in the “FD” tobacco barn for curing. I can see Sunshine Shack where old Dave one of my grandfather’s farmhands lived, and the beautiful maple tree in the backyard with it’s golden leaves glowing in the autumn sun. I will always cherish those memories.
The cool autumn morning brings dew on the grass that looks like a sprinkling of sugar across the ground. I notice the small, intricate webs the spiders have woven within the damp grass, looking like delicate lace.
Behind me I leave a trail in the dew. Behind me I leave the passage of time. I look up above to see the leaves of an old maple that have turned a beautiful gold. The leaves slowly fall around me and for a moment, time stands still.
The aroma of tobacco curing, brings me back to the present. There is a thin line of smoke that snakes above the ground.
It sends me the scent of autumn. Memories of autumn. A Tennessee autumn.
My little family posing underneath the old Maple tree behind my grandparents’ house. (1998)
Last night when I laid my head down on my pillow, there was the wonderful sound of rain and a distant sound of thunder. It was perfect sleeping weather. During the night I awoke to some fierce lightning and thunder. The lightning was like a whip slashing through the air around my house, and the… Continue reading Victory Over the Storm
In a small town you drive by green stalks of corn waving in the breeze, cotton fields of snow, and fields of maze topped with a golden shock top as they grow under a blue sky that goes on forever and ever. In a small town you take your time. You walk down the street… Continue reading In A Small Town
In just a few weeks, in just a few mornings, I’ll be waking up in Chattanooga. Back in my nice, comfy Rice Bed feeling like I never left home. The fact is, we haven’t been in our home since February. Six weeks of Spring Training then five months of ballgames and life with a Baseball… Continue reading Truly Home
It’s funny how when you open up your Bible and begin reading, God places before you a certain verse or verses that you need to learn from. This morning when I opened my Bible to Ephesians, there it was. He knows I need to work a little more on my Inner Towanda. Don’t use bad… Continue reading Fixing My Inner Towanda
These days most of us have a GPS in our car and on our phone. This is a modern convenience that can be very helpful, or not. How many times has your GPS led you into some rough parts of town? That’s happened to me several times and so I’m still a map kind of … Continue reading God’s GPS
Do you ever feel like you are always the one who is asked or chosen to do everything? It could be at church, at school, at work, or taking care of a family member in need, you are always the one doing the majority of the work. I know we can complain about being asked… Continue reading Our Father Knows Best
Just about every morning you can find me out at the swimming pool. The apartment complex that we live in during baseball season has a great saltwater pool. It’s 150 feet long, with palm trees along the winding edge. When the weather starts getting really hot here in Texas, too hot to do my walking,… Continue reading The Little Sparrow
The other morning I was listening to a podcast from Pastor John MacArthur where he was speaking on parenting and he mentioned the Chinese Proverb above. Today is Father’s Day and just a few weeks ago we celebrated Mother’s Day. It’s nice to have days set aside to honor our parents, but we should honor… Continue reading Under the Shade Tree
Last week many people were saddened to learn of Anthony Bourdain’s passing. I loved watching his show ‘Parts Unknown.’ He took the audience to exotic places, where he ate exotic foods. You felt like you were walking alongside of him on a foodie adventure, and then sitting right next to him along with the locals… Continue reading Parts Unknown
One of my favorite things to do is to go junkin’ for architectural salvage, oil and watercolor paintings that were painted by some unknown artist, chippy/rusty things, and very old books. Yesterday, Castroville had its annual city-wide yardsale, so even though it was 5,000 degrees here in Texas, I made my way over. As I… Continue reading Finding Treasure in the Junk
Several years ago, Phillip was working for the St. Louis Cardinals and we were with their team in Springfield, Missouri. Not far from our apartment was Springfield National Cemetery. It looks like most National Cemeteries with the uniformed white stone grave markers in rows upon rows set in the green grass and surrounded by a… Continue reading With Gratitude
The other day Phillip and I were sitting at a table outside one of our favorite coffee shops in Castroville, Texas. We were enjoying the cool morning before the heat of the day set in. Phillip is reading the Bible in one year along with a group from our church, and they were getting into… Continue reading The Pursuit for Our Heart
3 The serpent was the craftiest of all the creatures the Lord God had made. So the serpent came to the woman. “Really?” he asked. “None of the fruit in the garden? God says you mustn’t eat any of it?”2-3 “Of course we may eat it,” the woman told him. “It’s only the fruit from the tree at the center of the garden… Continue reading The Blame Game
I love spending time tending a garden and working in the yard. That’s one of the things I miss about being away from my home, that time spent digging in the dirt, mowing the grass and smelling the scent of that fresh dirt and newly mown grass. So, when a friend came over for supper… Continue reading Tending What Has Been Planted
In America we are obsessed with our lives. Think about it. We obsess about our government and what it’s doing. We are obsessed with having the best no matter what we need to do to get it. The best home, cars, clothes, the best bank account. There are even American pastors who preach that we… Continue reading An Obsession for Eternal Life
A few days ago I left the desert. I was physically in that desert for 49 days straight and it was time to pack up and move on. I remember the very first time I traveled to the desert. My first impression from my seat on the airplane was that the desert looked pretty rough.… Continue reading Through the Desert
Chapel of the Holy Cross, Sedona, AZ Have you ever had a time when you were really praying for something to happen and out of the blue it seemed your prayer was answered? I’ve been praying about something for the last few months and out of the blue one day my prayer seemed to have… Continue reading Change of Plan
It can be very hard to leave home for baseball season. Last year I had a terrible time leaving, but once we get to where we are going, things are okay. I know God places you where you need to be, but I never really thought about our baseball season being used as a mission… Continue reading Be Disciples – The Woman at the Well
“Knowing the correct password—saying ‘Master, Master,’ for instance—isn’t going to get you anywhere with me. What is required is serious obedience—doing what my Father wills. I can see it now—at the Final Judgment thousands strutting up to me and saying, ‘Master, we preached the Message, we bashed the demons, our God-sponsored projects had everyone talking.’ And… Continue reading The Gate
Here we are once again in Arizona for Spring Training. It is the 34th Spring Training for my husband. I doubt he imagined when he signed up for Little League so many years ago, that he would make a career out of baseball. It was all because of thievery that he got his early beginnings… Continue reading The Fungo
Here we go again. Here we go again questioning, debating how evil can happen, how evil can happen to the innocent. Here we go again asking how someone slipped through the cracks and why we are having to bury our children. Here we go again arguing over whose fault it is. Here we go again searching… Continue reading Searching For the Answer
The other day I was scrolling through Instagram and a post by Jimmy Don Holmes of HGTV’s ‘Fixer Upper’ fame caught my eye. He had posted a photo of his newest metal sign creation, “Always stay humble and kind.” I already own one of his signs, hanging in my hallway back home in Chattanooga among… Continue reading Always Stay Humble and Kind
In Matthew 18:20 Jesus said, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” Some of my earliest and fondest memories are attending church with my family. My Christian foundation was being built as I sat in that pew as a small child. Now whether… Continue reading Church
We Southern girls love our monograms. A monogram is a motif of two or more letters, typically a person’s initials, usually interwoven or otherwise combined in a decorative design, used as a logo or to identify a personal possession. Pillows, sheets, towels, clothing and jewelry……if it’s not moving, we monogram it. As I get things in… Continue reading One Stitch at a Time
While most people are preparing for their New Year’s celebrations, reflecting on 2017, or pondering what’s ahead for 2018, I’m here thinking, “Six weeks. I’ve got about six weeks until Spring Training.” Those six weeks will fly just like the rest of our “Off-Season” flies by. Our “Off-Season” isn’t really time off. In just a… Continue reading Prep Mode, Are You Ready?
Last night Big Daddy and I grabbed a coffee and a hot chocolate then headed out to look at the Christmas lights here in Chattanooga. We drove over to a very small, hidden neighborhood called Shepherd Hills on the east side of Missionary Ridge. If you drive a little past that neighborhood, you can park… Continue reading Take It to the Curb, Jesus
We all do it. We all are impatient when we have places to go, deadlines to meet, a schedule to fulfill, and then we find ourselves catching every red light along the way. We sit at that light fussing and fuming, or blow the horn at the slowpoke in front of us because it’s all… Continue reading One Little Corner of the World
Last week we were all so saddened about what happened in that tiny Texas church. It seems every day all that we see is tragedy and heartbreak, but if you watch and listen, you see God’s power and grace rise above it all. I don’t watch much of the news on TV these days. I… Continue reading His Reason
When I think of suspicious minds, I think of the Elvis song….” We’re caught in a trap, I can’t walk out, because I love you too much, baby…..” Then the chorus goes, “We can’t go on together, with suspicious minds, and we can’t build our dreams on suspicious minds…..” These days when I think of… Continue reading Suspicious Minds
The end of this baseball season meant jumping right back into normal life. We usually pack our things, load up our pickup, and take a leisurely trip back home trying to gradually leave the “Baseball World”, but this year was different. We pretty much hit the ground running into this Off-Season and now we are… Continue reading Home
I woke up this morning and turned on the news to find the subject hasn’t changed. More and more talk about the NFL and the controversy over kneeling for the anthem and in front of our flag. Psychologists, former players, former military, Constitutional experts, those for the protest and those against, and on and on… Continue reading My Freedom Is In Christ
Yesterday San Antonio’s mayor made the statement that if Hurricane Harvey had just moved thirty miles farther inland to the West, his city would be seeing what Houston and the Coastal Region of Texas is seeing today. We prepared for the worst and prayed for the best. Now, we pray for those who are suffering… Continue reading God Is Here
There are two big news stories happening right now and they both have to do with darkness. One, the darkening of the sun, the other the darkening of the heart. Thousands are lined up purchasing protective glasses or on the hunt for that protection from the eclipse of the sun. Thousands are converging on small… Continue reading The Eclipse of the Heart
I grew up in a small South Carolina town, and I love going back from time to time to visit my mama, family, and friends. So much influenced me in that little town and I take a bit of it with me wherever I go. Time moves on. One minute you’re a little girl rocking… Continue reading What We Leave Behind
We’ve all seen beautiful Bibles. Some Bibles are leather bound, some pewter bound, some with beautiful pictures inside, and gold leaf pages. I will tell you though that a couple of years ago, I saw the most beautiful Bible that I have ever seen and it was like none of the above. My grandfather had… Continue reading Duct Tape or Dust
Every now and then while I’m sitting and watching a baseball game, I think to myself, “I’ve been sitting in one of these seats for over thirty years” and I think about how much things have changed in baseball and how much things have changed in the world. It seems to me that the more… Continue reading Cornfields, Tobacco, and Old Southern Gentlemen
The other day as I was driving in my pickup down the Texas highway one of my favorite songs, Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Time After Time’, came over the radio. The lyrics to that song and the emotion in Ms. Lauper’s voice as she sings it, are both beautiful. The chorus goes like this… “If you’re lost… Continue reading Time After Time
This past week I was reading in the Book of Luke, Chapter 6. As I read verses 12-23, all I could think of was how awesome it must have been to be in that vast crowd awaiting Jesus, and to finally look upon Him as He descended the mountain. It must have been awesome to… Continue reading Awaiting That Day
While spending time out here in Texas, we rent an apartment. The apartment complex is nice and quiet, surrounded by ranch land and a golf course, so the snake population is plentiful. One of the maintenance guys and I chat quite a bit. He is like the “snake handler” around here, and just about anytime… Continue reading The Snake
A few weeks ago our daughter told Phillip and me that we would become grandparents in the Fall. So many emotions….. excitement, nervousness, I can’t believe I’m old enough to be a grandparent. People joke that grandchildren will be fun because you can enjoy them, and then hand them back to their parents, but oh… Continue reading Smothered in Love
A couple of weeks ago my husband had his first ejection of the young baseball season. He received his letter from the newly appointed League President who informed my husband that he would not be putting up with this kind of behavior and gave my husband quite the hefty fine. Included in the letter were… Continue reading In This Day and Time
Tomorrow we celebrate our risen Lord, but has this special day just become a day on the calendar? Has this day become a day to make an annual visit to church, or to show off that new dress? Has the worship of our Lord and Savior just become a habit? Does what God did for… Continue reading In Awe of Jesus
Today I went into WalMart for the third time this week. That is certainly a record for me, but it’s pretty convenient being that it’s only a few minutes West down HWY 90 and in the cute little town of Castroville. I want to say that I’m really not an anti- WalMart snob, but my… Continue reading Life Can Be Like A WalMart
May 11, 1985 that was the day Cupid drew back her bow and fired. Yes, I say her, because in our case it was a her. A seventy-something, very Southern her, by the name of Allie. Yes, Allie was a true cupid who worked her magic on that sunny May day. Fifty years before she… Continue reading Cupid Draw Back Your Bow
The other morning I was walking over to the baseball fields and noticed a new silver Mercedes parked in front of our apartment office. There was a warning sticker on the driver’s side window saying that the car would be towed if not removed from that space. Then I noticed the license plate, GODIOU5. I… Continue reading GODIOU5
Sometimes when you take time to look around, does God direct your gaze to a “lily among the thorns?” Maybe He hands you that “lily” who just needs to be planted in His “soil” and then gently cared for with the nourishment of His Word, with prayer, and then watered with love. The roots grow… Continue reading Lilies Among the Thorns
People these days seem to always be in a hurry, always have to be doing something, or going somewhere. Does anyone take time to be quiet and still, anymore? Phillip and I are very busy in the off season from baseball with working on our house, working in the yard, and catching up with family… Continue reading Never Alone
Some of you may remember the song, ‘Kind Of A Drag’. That song was on one of my many Beach Music tapes I had during high school and college. Some of the lyrics went like this, “Kind of a drag When your baby don’t love you Kind of a drag When you know she’s been… Continue reading Kind Of A Drag