Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Remembering Uncle Levi

"Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ."   ---1 Peter 4:10,11


The books I showed you last time in a photo? Most were written by Ralph Moody and oh my! He came from the 'writingest' family.

Ralph's Uncle Frank wrote a book.
Ralph's cousin, John, wrote many books. (Here.)
Ralph's other cousin, Frank Jr., was a newspaper editor and wrote two books (here and here).
Ralph's grandmother wrote a book.
Ralph's Uncle Ralph (yes, that's correct) wrote 3 books.
Ralph, himself, wrote 17 books.

And I'll mention here that Ralph's mother's family tended to live 'forever'. Wow. Eighty-two to one-hundred-two, pretty common for them all. And these were folks born in the 1800's! 


In Ralph's autobiographical Little Britches series, his widowed mother, Mary Emma, moved her 6 children to Medford, Mass in 1912 and that's where we meet Uncle Levi, her uncle.

After Ralph's family finds a house to rent, Uncle Levi treats 13 year old Ralph and his older sister, Grace, to a meal at a fancy Boston restaurant, a first for them both. Afterward Levi told them:

"Don't never thank me for victuals! If there is anything in this world I like to see better'n a parcel of little shavers sittin' up to table and stuffin' their bellies, I don't know what it is."

The next weekend Levi arrived with a brand new tobaggon and tons of groceries for a housewarming:

"... it looked as though he'd bought out half the stores in Boston. There were two big bags of fruit, every sort of vegetable, a turkey that weighed nearly as much as Elizabeth, a two-gallon jug and a dozen packages ..." 

He rounds up Mary Emma's brother, Frank, (and his family) and while the women cook the meal, Levi, Frank and Ralph build tables and shelves in the basement for what will be Mary Emma and Grace's fine-laundry business so to support the family.

Then after the family sat eating and visiting at the table for 3 hours, Uncle Levi announced:

"There, by hub! I calc'late a family ought to move about onct a year, so's to get in plenty o' housewarmins whilst the children is all together."

At that chapter's end, always, I set the book down and let Uncle Levi's generous spirit convict me to become more giving.

Well, before preparing lunch yesterday, I finally read A Maine Man In The Making, 'Uncle Frank's' book. Eagerly I devoured the chapter titled, Uncle Levi, and enjoyed more stories of his later years and more giving to children and neighbors. But oh dear, the ending. Uncle Levi at age 83:

"One day John drove Uncle Levi down to the barber shop for a shave. When he had been shaved he went into the market and filled his arms with bags of fruit for the children. He then hurried across the street to the car, but his heart was unequal to the task; he fell dead among the broken bags of oranges and grapefruit.

Quietly I closed the book, stepped into the kitchen to heat a pan on the stove, but found myself brushing away tears. "Debra!" I whispered. "Pull yourself together. Sheesh." Yet moments later, new tears came.

I kept thinking of this and want to hold onto it:  if there's a sweeter way to die than while happily doing what God placed you here to do, well, I don't know what it is.

Uncle Levi wrote no books, but all these decades later his generous spirit still nudges me--and I hope you, as well--to help others in the specific ways God designed us to.

And we can do that, all of it, even in 2021. It's more necessary than ever that we each play the part for which we were designed.

"God in his kindness gave each of us different gifts. If your gift is speaking what God has revealed, make sure what you say agrees with the Christian faith. If your gift is serving, then devote yourself to serving. If it is teaching, devote yourself to teaching. If it is encouraging others, devote yourself to giving encouragement. If it is sharing, be generous."   ---Romans 12:6-8


And here is the final paragraph of Frank's Uncle Levi chapter:

"We laid him beside his mother, among the pines on the hill back of the old farm, and nephews and nieces, even to the third generation, have vied with each other keeping his grave "neat and nice" as he always insisted on having everything. If the supply of nieces and nephews should ever run out, we can safely trust his memory to Him whose initial (G) Uncle Levi wore on his watch charm for sixty years."

Last week I was so excited to find this photo of Ralph Moody's mother and siblings from later years:

To check out more photos and the birth and death dates of the family, etc., go here.

My favorite books of Ralph's about his family are these, in their historical order:

Mary Emma and Company  (This one? I've probably read it 20 times.)

(OpenLibrary.org may have some of these.)

Oh! And last week I began a Pinterest page regarding Ralph Moody and his books and family. Here's what I have so far.


Tom and I discovered another cool movie: Love By Design.  (I kept thinking of many of you who would love this film.)  シ

Please remember: My posts are ALWAYS about more than they appear to be. 


 "For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." ... Matthew 6:14,15

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Back From A Vacation For The Mind

"This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success."   ---Joshua 1:8


Since it's become a rather intense world out there (cough, cough), guess who needed one more week of vacation?  ツ

I raked a million leaves, rearranged perennials in the flower beds (and then it snowed). Climbed a ladder so to hang a shiny, swirly thing from the outdoor garage light because guess where the robins chose to build their new drippy nest before the blue jays took over?  (@#$%$#)

I read old books. Novels packed with good, brave people from a world I recognize more than our current one. Watched tv shows like Leave It To Beaver and movies from Pureflix (or other places), just anything not pushing current agendas as though I was born last week and know nothing true.

More than my body, my mind required a rest. I spent less time online and more moments staring out windows to the river and bird feeders, listening to God and making up my own mind about Today's nonsensical happenings.

I considered contentment and adventure, how to swirl them together at my current age and in present circumstances. I let my mind wander both backward and forward, held onto ideas (and items) which still work and released what no longer does.

Well, you get it. Mostly I reminded myself of "whatsover things are pure, true and of a good report" and reaffirmed my belief of this:

Many folks are using their faith to believe for only more gloom, but not me! No, I'm choosing to count on examples of God's goodness so huge, so surprising, we've never even beheld them before.

Godly anticipation! Color me all smiley-dancing with godly anticipation.

Evil lasts for a season. God and His love and joy last forever.

"Know thyself."  Learn to recognize when you need a rest and then freely give yourself permission to take a break, to do what you enjoy, what rejuvenates you.

"We all experience aging differently. I have noticed that I need more quiet time now than I once did. If too many things are going on around me at one time, I can begin to feel mildly overwhelmed or confused, so I have made adjustments, and I don’t feel bad about myself because I need to make them." ---Joyce Meyer


As Tom and I watched yet one more PureFlix film, I smiled and told him, "Funny how not once have I watched these and thought, "Gee, I miss hearing bad language and seeing unmarried characters in bed together.'"  シ

More movies we both enjoyed:

Oh, and if you have the Roku channel did you know all the original Leave It To Beaver episodes are there?

Many are also available at Youtube, but the filming comes out odd in places, as though some scenes are shown through a magnifying glass. Er hem.


Here are more of the books I've reread lately:

How grateful I am for books full of generous, brave, independent and sane people!

But the snow we received after a month of gardening? Not so grateful for that. Er hem.


Please remember: My posts are ALWAYS about more than they appear to be. 


 "For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." ... Matthew 6:14,15

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Aging. Sigh.

"Do not let your heart become troubled... --John 14:1


Long story, but this morning I shoved my office furniture from 'the cat's room' back to the guest room and now guess who feels absolutely decrepit (and resembles a zombie)? 

And who, also, is scheming to drag all (annoying,it's-all-too-much!) bits of clutter down to the Salvation Army drop-off?


Being in one's 60's is not for wimps. Especially when one begins reaping from the whirlwind she has sown over decades (er hem).

Anyway, if I'm going to survive this with both grace and humor, I (desperately) need to read Joyce Meyer's latest book:

But sheesh, I keep forgetting to order it. (The old grey mare's memory ain't what it used to be, either.)

Yet this week while moving bricks around in the yard(!), I realized this: only by following Grace will I, from now on, accomplish what must be done. The days are gone when I can successfully carry out my own ideas in my own strength.

I'm glad. Reaching a helplessness apart from God's mighty spirit, grace and wisdom became my goal way back in 1994.

"Without Me you can do nothing."  --John 15:5

I love that. To live any other way, repulses me, I mean, do things on my own? Feel that tiny rush of pride? Ugh. Horrible.

And yes, God realizes "I am but dust". But what He also knows, remembers? Every single hour of work, lessons, experience and grace He poured into me over decades. Thousands of hours!

For such a crazy, unpredictable year as this one, this 2021, He equipped me--and you--early. Or tried. (Man, sometimes I feel sorry for God having to deal with stubborn folks like myself.)

And now may none of us waste those thousands of lessons nor miss the specific plan He imagined for us. May we not hide like scared cats or allow ourselves to become overwhelmed into do-nothings. 

Truly "it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Lord." Oh, the responsibility of listening, then living-out all He pours into us for such times as these.

To finish our journey well!

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."   ---Galations 2:20

Just two examples why I follow Grace?

She tells me the best time to begin a task. She knows when my energy is at its peak and when I'll not be interrupted.
And right before I become too tired (and likely to injure something) she says, "Stop now! Yes, even before you're finished."


Lately these much-loved books from my home library have given me wonderful encouragement. Now after I start whining, I recall how crazy-tough these women from the 1800's had it. And I hush. 

Need inspiration of your own? It's out there waiting for you to find it!


Rare photo of stork delivering baby.  シ

Please remember: My posts are ALWAYS about more than they appear to be. 


 "For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." ... Matthew 6:14,15

Friday, April 09, 2021

April This And That

"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”   --- John 16:33


1.) Darn. The knucklehead robins are back trying to build a nest over our bay window. Gah, all those weeds hanging down until I whisk them away with a rake every few minutes.

I'd hoped they'd settle for last year's nest they (finally) built in the crab apple tree, but as of yet, uh, no.


Persistent fiends. But as I muttered to them last year, "I can be just as stubborn." And I was. Still am. So there.

2.) Remember that white line on the lawn Tom tried to spray paint? Well, that was to mark where the new electric line would go out to the garage. Now, skipping a ton of details, we also had additional outdoor lights and electric outlets added--and though all that is pleasant--guess who's left with a long strip of dirt?

Tom said, "We could hire someone to reseed,", but I said, "I'm not that decrepit, not yet anyway. Inch by inch I'll get it done," (said she who sometimes pretends she's in her 30's--and later pays for it. Finally Tom's understanding that when we have work done to the house, ol' Debra ends up wearing herself out with all the no-one-thought-of-this details).

Stay tuned.

3.) I belong to a Leave It To Beaver group at FB and I loved this answer to a fan's question of "Where was the town of Mayfield located?" --

-- "Mayfield lives in you and me. Anytime you see a kid in a park with his head stuck in a fence, or in a soup bowl on a billboard, you’re in Mayfield." ---Linda Italia Kennedy

Lovely, right?

4.) So why wasn't I here blogging for over a week? I took a vacation from people. Or tried. Of course, there's nothing wrong with that, unless we make it a lifestyle. You know, a hiding-away-and-withholding-our-callings-from-others lifestyle.

Then it's a problem, what with love being the most important thing (according to God). Heaven help us if we stop caring about this world where God purposely placed us for such a time as this.

4.) Wow. We keep finding cool movies at Pureflix and never, ever will we return to that den of iniquity, a.k.a. Netflix (er hem). 

Here are a few Pureflix treasures we've watched recently:

It's a Fixer-Upper (slow-moving, but pleasant)

The Stray (a true story, but probably not for those who're hyper-sensitive over the death of pets, which is usually me, but I handled it.)  シ

5.)  I spied this over at a Hygge-ish Life at Facebook. Beautiful, right?

My heavenly mansion will have one. Perhaps two.  ツ

6.) Man, it's hard to believe what's happening in our Country. Color me grateful that God's led me to folks who openly use their gifts to fight evil. They inspire me to never even consider giving up.

And oh my, with all my heart I believe the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit will fall upon us all soon--it's even beginning! Wow. Color me excited already at what all we shall experience.

7.) Note to my old-fashioned self:

"We should embrace where we are in each stage of life and enjoy our journey toward the finish line. Don’t be one of those people who always talks about the “good old days.” Those days are over, and they will never be repeated, but new and even better days are ahead if we will embrace them!" ---Joyce Meyer

8.)  Yes.  

And lastly? Now here's some good news!


Please remember: My posts are ALWAYS about more than they appear to be. 


 "For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." ... Matthew 6:14,15