Wednesday, June 22, 2011

no posts until july 4th!

hard to believe we'll be into her final month of regular e-mails.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Celebrating the 19th - 06/19/01

sorry - so tired yesterday (seem to tire easily these days ~ bother!), didn't repost this 06/19/01 mindwalker1910 e-mail

Subject: Celebrating the 19th
Date: June 19, 2001

Elsa had her monthly get together at Barnes & Noble tonight and she did not get home until almost 10:00 p.m. (tonight, of all nights, the meeting ran late), so the three of us had a late supper (nibbles of left-over chicken kept me from feeling famished) and we did not go to see the church all lit up.

It is hard to believe I did not get to see the church all lit up - I can probably count on one finger how many times I have missed that beautiful sight. It looks so beautiful against the night sky, completely swathed in light, with the beautiful music floating over the night air.

On the other hand, if I had to choose between what happened here last night and seeing the church tonight, there is no contest. I would have picked last night.

In spite of having spent all last week driving from her job to the evening presentations at a polymer clay seminar at Bryn Mawr College, then staying there Saturday-Sunday morning, then back in Bryn Athyn in time to clean up after Contemporary Service (as scheduled) ~~ in spite of all that hustle and bustle, Elsa had a craft workshop here last night - "pretty" cake decorating, in time for today's 19th of June picnic.

It was so interesting to hear the girls’ comments and watch their concentration as they iced the cakes, which they iced the living room coffee table (it was easier for them to work at that lower height than at the kitchen island). They were so tidy, not a speck of icing got on the carpet - that is impressive all by itself. Sitting there in my big chair (the one Brenda calls Stickley-esque), it was a delight to hear them decide which colors to use, then tearing back into the kitchen to whip up the colors and pick the decorating tips.

The young ladies included Gretchen and Brett and Megan. None of them had decorated a cake before and you would never have guessed it. Elsa showed them how to ice the cake and then how to use some of the tips. I enjoy watching her work with children.

When the girls arrived, there were two plain cakes waiting for them. The cakes had been baked in a tube pan, so they were round with a hole in the middle.

Elsa explained that these plain cakes, which looked very plain indeed, were cocoons, and something spectacular and beautiful was waiting to be released. Then she took a cutting knife and cut each cake, right down the middle. Next, she took the halves and flipped them over so the two circular sides were back to back.

"It's a butterfly," she said. It did look like a butterfly!

I think that the girls must have used five or six different colors decorating the two cakes. It amazed me how quickly the girls picked up how to use the decorating tips and cones of icing. The body of the butterfly was a Vienna Finger covered with icing and the antennae were chocolate.

It was hard to see those cakes head out of the house. As I told the girls, I was worried we did not have boxes to put them in - they might fly away.

I enjoyed talking to the Moms when they stopped by to pick up their daughters. I have known Pam since she was a babe, but had never met Kris before. It was great fun talking to the two ladies while Elsa and the girls dashed between the living room and kitchen, finishing up the cakes. When they all left, I noticed how the Moms carried the cakes out as they were an

In a way they were - an offering of love from Elsa to the girls and the girls to their families. As tired as I was - I was bushed - I hated to see them head out the front door.

Yes, if I had to choose between the two nights, I would have chosen the girls and their Moms and those stunning cakes. What a wonderful way to celebrate the 19th of June.

With love from a tired lady who's about to head up the wooden hill - Ma L'

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Sunday, a week ago 06/11/01

Subject: Mindwalkers - Sunday, a week ago
Date: Mon, 11 Jun 2001 00:26:37 EDT

Poor Elsa. She is hot and tired and sun-burned - after two days out at the Reading Air Show - and she had just finished this posting and her computer froze and she had to turn it off and lost everything she had transcribed just as I was near the end.

I have urged her to head to bed but she has a bee in her bonnet and wants to get this posting out before the day is over. We will see if she can do it. (I didn't - elm)

I was talking about what a difference a day makes. Our Saturday out in Lancaster County had some rough patches. The worst part was that I woke up from my nap with what Elsa described as wild eyes. I did not know what I was feeling when I woke up, but it was alarming. Then, that night, I got up every hour on the hour.

All three of us should have been drained when morning finally came. I can only speak for myself, but I felt surprisingly refreshed on Sunday morning. Some credit might go to the breakfast Elsa brought back from her early foray (I think she left around 7:00 a.m. - John and I were still fast asleep.) On her return, I feasted on Jennie’s bacon, a cup of excellent coffee, orange juice and - just right for a Pennsylvania Dutch breakfast - a pie of homemade raisin pie. Who would not feel restored after such a breakfast?

Elsa drove John over to the railroad museum, then headed back to pack up our gear and myself into the car. As we headed down the drive, I thought we were just heading out for a ramble, waiting for John to be done at Pennsy Days. Little did I know.

We dropped down Rt 896, toward a tiny bit of Maryland, then Delaware. I envisioned us sort of moseying on down to Borders, north of Wilmington, a place we both like a lot. In the meantime, I appreciated my surroundings. We passed a farmhouse with at least a good dozen buggies near the barn and a paddock filled with beautiful horses. Apparently, services were being held in the house. That was a good kickoff to a beautiful drive from Lancaster to Chester County.

As I said, I thought we were simply on a ramble until I became aware that Elsa had a sense of attentiveness that made me wonder if she was heading somewhere in particular. I noticed that we started seeing signs saying things like "Air Show next exit" and "Air Show - turn right" and that we were following the signs. It seems that Elsa had read about an air show at Toughkenemon (sp) and figured we could see at least something from the car, without the stress (on me) of actually going.

Indeed, we could. There were the planes that flew in a circle as parachutists jumped out - I did not see the parachutists, since a grove of trees blocked my line of sight at just the wrong moment. Elsa looked for a good spot for our viewing pleasure. She found a shady spot, pulled over, parked the car and pulled out a folding chair so I could watch in comfort. Oh my! There were planes that went straight up and did some very breath-catching stunts and other plans that acted as teams doing stunt flying.

Let me state, before continuing, that I really did not mean to deflate Elsa's sense of pride in making this special moment possible. How could she have guessed that all the spectacular flying stirred ancient - yet still keen - memories.

After one particularly heart-stopping bit of aerial derring do, I looked up at Elsa and said, in all innocence, "This reminds me of watching Col. Lindbergh and the Top Hatters at the Cleveland Air Races."

Elsa had a sort of queer look to her face as I continued, "Two of the planes flew what looked like straight at each other and just before they passed each other with less than a foot to spare, ZOOM! Col. Lindbergh’s plane flew straight up through the space they closed seconds later."

At that point, Elsa had a big smile on her face and a look I could not pinpoint (irony - elm). She grinned at me and said, "I don’t think I - or anyone one - could top that."

Thinking "In for the penny, in for the pound," I added, "And Jimmy Doolittle buzzed the airfield in his Doodle Bug."

After the air acrobatics seemed to end, we packed up my chair and headed back north, talking in the car about when I flew in an autogiro with test pilot Jim Ray and listening to him - a born story teller - regale myself and the Edwin Asplundh family with tales of his exploits and other test pilots.

It was a grand outing. Heading back north, Elsa plotted our path through West Grove. West Grove is renowned for masses of rose bushes. There were many different colors. My favorite were the masses of lush red roses across the way from the Red Rose Inn. One of these days, we are going to actually go there for dinner. (Margaret...?)

Being practical, Elsa took the opportunity to head up to Blue Ball, where she picked up ten papier mache boxes for the 2001-02 freshman. That is the first time she has started collecting them BEFORE 8th Grade graduation.

My tummy was definitely empty by this time. I did not know what treat Elsa had in store, although I should have guessed she was headed to our beloved People's Restaurant, except I always think that the place is closed on Sundays. In any case. we enjoyed a leisurely lunch at one of my favorite restaurants. Delicious home cooking.

I started to order flounder and cole slaw, when Elsa had a small conniption fit. "Mom, you’re in a restaurant with real down-home home cooking. And you’re ordering flounder and cole slaw??"

She is pushy, but she had a point.

I ordered roast turkey with dressing and cranberry sauce and stewed rhubarb and stewed tomatoes and apple butter and was happy as a clam.

We headed out around 3:30 p.m. and started to make our way due south to John. We went through more beautiful countryside. My goodness, I forgot to mention the buggies.

We saw more buggies than I can ever recall seeing before, sometimes four or five, one right behind another. There were buggies with older couples and buggies with younger couples and buggies with young children, one buggy with what looked like an over flow of teenagers with one young man half in and half out, courting buggies, and even one courting buggy with two young ladies on the seat and a young man literally bringing up the rear by holding onto the back of the buggy and keeping pace with the help of inline skates.

I saw several young Amish with inline skates. What a whimsical sight, at least to me.

(My, this posting is long, and the hour is late, but Elsa is determined to press on. It is fine by me, because I am well rested, but she must be bushed. She says she is not, so I cannot argue.)

As I said, our drop south took us through more beautiful countryside. At one pont, Elsa asked me, "Wow! Did you see that?" I am sure I have mentioned before my notorious habit of looking straight ahead. Elsa, on the other hand, with her father’s amazing peripheral vision, can spot interesting things even with her eyes are on the road. I had not seen a thing, so she stopped the car and backtracked several yards.

What a sight - the front property and driveway of a house set well off the road was brimming over with all sorts of iris. I could not begin to count how many different varieties we saw. There were deep, deep purple iris that looked more like orchids than iris, peach, cream, yellow, different shades of purple, what looked like double iris - the different types went on and on. It was a sight of such beauty, it’s effect is with me still.

We were sort of hushed after seeing that.

Anything else would be anti-climatic after that sight, so we just headed to the museum to check on the dear lad.

John was ready to get packed up and very happy with the day - two large and one small print sold and Bennett Levin interested in giving him a commission. A great beginning (and just the start of big things, as I described a few days ago) and well deserved, I might add. That is not just a proud M-I-L talking - John’s talents leaves me in awe.

I must admit that I was more than a little happy to see our house and home. The feeling of walking up that familiar driveway, navigating the front steps, entering that familiar doorway and stepping into... home.

They say that it is better to journey than to arrive - that is certainly not true when it comes to home. I agree with Dorothy - "There’s no place like home."

It is now well after midnight and I am about to reach over and shut down this computer (which does that enough all by itself) and boot my baby upstairs to bed.

We had a great time last weekend and I am glad to know I still can bop (mom was 91 - elm/6-11-11), even if in a more limited way than I would like.

Maybe next year I will feel more comfortable with the idea of someone coming in to look after me - I do prefer Elsa and John - and the two of them can head out on their own. Until that time arrives, this Gramster is grateful that they are lunatic enough to seem to actually enjoy having me tag along.

Nighty night and God bless - The Backroads Rambler’s #2 Favorite Passenger

Friday, June 10, 2011

Heavenly 05/08/01

the gramster didn't write a 06/10/01 posting, so am reposting this one - which i didn't have in may - instead...

Subject: Mindwalkers - heavenly
Date: Tue, 8 May 2001 22:23:24 EDT

I want to write about Sunday afternoon before the memory dims. It was a beautiful day, one that felt like it could have been a description in Memorable Relations, an experiencing of Heaven. I think it was because of the pink blossoms that chose that day to drift down to earth, leaving carpets of translucent pink. Do you know what I mean when I say that it looked as if the petals had an inner light? They did.

Of all the places that we saw on a drive, the one that seemed the most other worldly was Sue and Greg Odhner's property. To drive down past Janna and Chuck's and look down the hill and first see the beautiful azaleas to the left of the house, then the cherry or crabapple - I was too awed to tell you which - with its deep carpet of pink petals - - there are not words to describe the beauty of it. As we drove s l o w l y up toward the Elementary School, enjoying the dogwoods and the azaleas and the cherry trees and other beautiful flowers and blossoms.

We headed through Bryn Athyn, down Station Hill, across the tracks, over the bridge, up Fettersmill, turning right onto Terwood. As we started down the "rollercoaster" stretch of the road, I looked to my left. The vast meadow was filled with a beautiful yellow - golden rod? - which also looked lit from within in the late afternoon light, a magnificent sight. We were taken unawares by a flock of ravens which rose from the meadow - the sight of those pitch black birds against the glowing gold, rising up to the blue blue sky ... there are no words.

We turned down Cathedral Road, a short residential street that we rarely take. I thought Elsa had picked it because of the many dogwoods along the route. I thought she was turning dotty when she swung the car into the opposite lane - definitely in the wrong direction - then parked next to someone's lawn. I looked over and saw it - a perfect stand of purple iris, back lit by the late afternoon sun. I cannot describe how they looked, it is beyond me. I felt awed and happy and touched by an intense awareness of the Lord.

"Oh, Lord, Thou made Thy world too beautiful today."

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Different Experience 04/07/01

no mindwalker1910 posting for 06/09/01, so am taking the liberty of reposting this one, from 04/07:

Subject: a different experience
Date: Sat, 7 Apr 2001 23:42:25 EDT

(Someone in an online discussion commented) "Aunt Benita told me that in her day (early 20th Century) once your pregnancy started showing you didn't leave the house. I asked her why; she said it was an obvious you had had sex, so to be modest you stayed in."

Benita Acton Odhner was a contemporary of mine. We were good acquaintances for most of our lives and close friends toward the end of her life, when I made her supper almost every night for her last ten or eleven years. She had just celebrated her 70th birthday when I started, about a year after Pete died, so I would have been around 65.

In our younger years, she was pregnant with Carmond at around the same time I was pregnant with Peter; her daughter, Astrid, was no more than five or six years older, so by my calculations both of Benita's pregnancies were in the 1930s.

Maybe it was the custom in the Acton or Odhner family that a woman not stir out of doors once a pregnancy began showing, but please believe me that it was not the norm, not when I was pregnant with Peter in 1938 nor when my own mother was pregnant with my sister Betty in 1912.

From my childhood, I saw pregnant women out and about and I do not recall my parents or any adult expressing shock at a lack of modesty.

It might have been the case at the height of the Victorian era, but then that was what made the Victorian era, well, so "Victorian." In those days, they did not even refer to a woman being pregnant - she was in a "delicate way."

Speaking of those repressed and downtrodden Victorians, I find myself wondering if those Victorian ladies would jump at the chance to live in today's society. It is true that many of the scourges that beset the world and society at that time are just a distant memory today.

I wonder, though, if after hearing about children murdering other children and teachers, genocides and worldwide epedemics, the number of single parents and latchkey children, and the never-ending stress of our day, I wonder if they would consider we have it better than they did.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Internet Wizardry 04/03/01

posting the following because mom had NO post on 06/08/01 & i didn't have access to this posting on 04/03...

Subject: (women] Mindwalkers - Internet wizardy
Date: Tue, 3 Apr 2001 22:28:37 EDT

Late this afternoon, Elsa started reading the first Harry Potter book - Gail lent her the first three, reasoning that we really should read them, what with John illustrating Platform 9 3/4 - and she is already completely captivated. The book is about wizards and magic.

We had our own little bit of magic today here at Squirrel Haven, thanks to the Internet.

Carolyn Heldon sent John a feel better card and he received it hours (our time) "before" the time she sent it from Australia.

Talk about wizardry! It is, to me, awesome that someone "Down Under" can send a feel better card and it is received not only immediately, but apparently hours and hours "before" she sent it.

All the communication flying to and fro over the past three days (with John's illness & hospitalization) - activity I have never experienced before first hand in the same ways - has me thinking that the Internet is nothing short of magic, at least to me.

Remember, I am so old that I recall life before "talkies" and radios.

Another bit of magic arrived today via a get better card from Leslie Adams. Leslie's was based on the Harry Potter books and it features a magical train that passes through the Platform 9 3/4 gate and comes straight at you - if felt like it went right through you. John turned around and sent one right back to her that did the same thing, but that included a personal note from him.

Here is a bit more Internet wizardy for you - the three of us had a high old time checking out florists in Sydney via the Internet. We wanted to send Mike flowers in celebration of becoming owner of the hardware shop he managed for many years. We could look at pictures of available arrangements, get a feeling for the various florists, browse through the "best of" from flower shops on the other side of the world.

Even more magical was the arrangement finally sent off last Tuesday - an arrangement of flowers in a utility pail, "just right" for an upscale hardware shop. Wayne was the epitome of service (we thought the shop did not accept Elsa's credit card and we were happy when he assured us they did) and confirmed on Thursday when we checked
on the delivery that "Mr. Lockhart received the delivery at 4:30 Tuesday afternoon.

Here is a bit of our own Internet magic - Elsa "pasted" the Internet address of A Lazy Daisy in case any of you need to send flowers to friends in the Sydney area. So, we can work our own bit of Internet wizardy - and we did not even have to attend Hogwart's to learn how.

Good night and God bless to all of my dear circle - Mum/Nan Lockhart

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tinka - 06/07/01

Subject: [women] Mindwalkers - Tinka
Date: Thu, 7 Jun 2001 23:47:07 EDT

Last night, as she and John were heading out to pick up some take out food for supper, Elsa made somewhat of a fuss about me calling Ellen Lear from Texas while they were out.

I protested, thinking it would be more interesting for Ellen if they were able to get on the line with her too.

Elsa got a bit testy - as Elsa can - and pointed out that if I waited until they got home, we would probably get sidetracked by supper, then it would be too late and Ellen would not get called until tomorrow, if something did not sidetrack us then. So, as the car was heading down Pheasant Run, this Gramster was dialing Corpus Christi.

When Ellen answered the phone, she did not sound like herself. Not sick, which is what I dreaded hearing and was prepared for, or even tired, but definitely not like herself.

What I was hearing was heartbreak.

Her beloved dachshaund, Tinka, had just then died in her arms.

She had just been thinking that the one person she wanted to talk with was me and there I was, on the phone - remarkable, since I've rarely called Ellen, she usually calls me.

Was it a hunch on Elsa's part that browbeat and badged me to call her right then instead of later or was it something more "cosmic" - I wonder.

Tinka was not a young dog. She was over 10 years old which made her quite an age in dog years. She had not been well for the past few years. Ellen gave her a diabetes shot every day.

It does not matter how long a loved one has been with someone, parting is sad. Tinka was Ellen's great and good, if not very big, comrade through life. Ellen had good and close friends in Texas, but her family was up here, in Philadelphia.

It was Tinka who was always there for Ellen, ready to be fussed over and loved and go out on a walk or just be together. If you saw them together, you would sense they were on the same wavelength. They certainly talked to each other.

Ellen loved Tinka and Tinka loved Ellen.

It is impossible to imagine Ellen's home without her. I am so glad I called. I am so glad that I could be there for Ellen and that she didn't even have to call. I am grateful for whatever spirit nudged Elsa to nudge me to call.

I have been pondering what a difference one phone call made in Ellen's life. It makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

Good night, sweet Tinka - may flights of angels sing you to your rest.


Monday, June 6, 2011

What I have not mentioned... 06/06/01

Subject: Mindwalkers - what I have not mentioned about the weekend
Date: Wed, 6 Jun 2001 20:32:33 EDT

The really big news from the weekend was that John had prints for sale for the first time of one of his trains - a Pennsylvania Railroad passenger train wending its way up the Susquehanna - and sold four (three large and one small). Loud "Huzzahs!" for the dear lad.

That is not even the biggest news. Bennett Levin, one of the foremost collectors of railroadiana (he owns and travels in vintage railroad cars), was at "Pennsy Days" for the first time in four years and took a shine to John's style. He stopped by the house tonight. The long and the short of it is that John sold one of his paintings - not a print, the real McCoy - and has accepted a commission for at least one more.

Elsa is not the least surprised. As soon as John got the project to illustrate Station 9 3/4 from the Harry Potter books, she predicted fantastic things were afoot. As she said to us, anything that touches J.K.Rowlings is sure to be touched with magic.

In the past five days, John has sold four prints, a painting and has a commission for at least one more. That is some kind of wonderful.

So now you know the really big news from the weekend. I am a very happy and bustin' my buttons" proud M-I-L.

Tootles to all - John's M-I-L

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Southern Cross Supper 06/05/01

Subject: Mindwalkers - Southern Cross Supper
Date: Tue, 5 Jun 2001 22:08:55 EDT

We had special dinner guests tonight - granddaughter-of-the-heart Carolyn Heldon and her friend, Rob, who are on a summerlong visit from Australia. Oh, it was so good to have Carolyn really and truly just a hug away. I cannot believe it has been three years since she left, it feels like the blink of an eye.

I would share a lot of what we talked about and laughed about and remembered we ate dinner, but it is a tired Gramster who is seeking out the last bit of her energies to get this posting done.

It was a grand night. It was nice to get to know Rob. We talked a lot about his Glover kin - which is understandable, Gretchen and Andrew being so dear to our hearts. It was well into the evening before I thought to ask Rob what his last name was.

"Ridgeway," he replied.

"Well," said I, "I know Ridgeways down in Australia. Barry and Christine and Robert..."

Carolyn stopped me in my tracks with, "Rob IS Robert."

Well, my expression must have been very satisfying to everyone who saw it - drop jawed and stunned amazed. This man was young Robert? It did not seem possible.

In one incredible moment, my universe collapsed inward and young Robert - and all the other young people down in Australia whom I enjoyed so much at church outing - and this man Rob were in the same place at the same time.

I do not know if I showed how swept away by memory and affection and unexpected reacquaintance I was. It was a most remarkable moment. Robert Ridgeway! I am still shaking my head in amazement.

I will be smiling as I sail off tonight to the land of Winken, Blinken and Nod and awareness of the incredible in our lives.

God bless - Grandma

p.s. A belated bon voyage to Gail and Esther, who are winging their way to
England as this is written. I would love to be a fly on the wall around
those two.

Rough Patches, Creamy Ice Cream 06/04/01

Subject: Mindwalker - rough patches, creamy ice cream
Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2001 22:09:14 EDT

Saturday morning (6/2) in Strasburg reminded me of going down with Elsa to DisneyWorld when I was a kid of 87. Like she did on that trip, Elsa was up and out early on Saturday, this time enjoying breakfast at Jennie's, the diner she and John called home during their 1989 honeymoon in Strasburg. Well, it was a little different from our earlier trek - this time, John was sound asleep in the next bed. Elsa brought back a feast for the two sleepy heads back at the motel - delicious bacon, genuine Pennsylvania Dutch sticky buns that she picked up at a roadside stand, orange juice; for John, she picked up a pint of skim milk for his usual big bowl of Total, and for me a steaming cup of decaffeinated hazelnut coffee. It was quite a spread.

All too soon, the young folks were on their way to get John's display set up at the Pennsylvania Railroad Museum. I was sad that my energy level has gone "pffft" and I did not have the get up and go to tag along. Elsa was back in about 45 minutes and got us packed up (we stayed in two different motels - long story) and decamped in no time at all. We drove west because she wanted to check out the one (1) Lancaster-area Borders for things to do in the area.

My word, the road construction was just awful. It was not restful, neither the drive nor where the Borders was located, so Elsa headed back to Strasburg to get us checked into our motel so I could nap.

As nasty as past of the drive was, I would not have missed it for all the tea in China. On the way out to Borders, as we drove down busy Route 30, past one of the big local high schools, Elsa suddenly swung into the left turn lane.

I had no idea what was afoot, but with Elsa I have learned to just wait and enjoy.

She had spotted some well dressed people - not a lot, maybe a dozen - sort of drifting from the high school to a lovely stretch of lawn in front of the school. Maybe it is due to her love of the students back in Bryn Athyn, but that was enough to make her realize that a graduation ceremony was just over. We pulled into the parking lot across from the school and watched with slightly misty eyes as graduates in black cap and gown, carrying yellow roses, streamed out of the building onto the lawn and gathered together for a class picture, friends and loved ones looking on with big smiles and their own cameras at the ready. It was a lovely sight and made
us think about our own Academy, where the same scene was being played at the same time out back home. We returned to our travels with full hearts and big smiles.

By the way, later, when we were heading out from Borders to go home, a woman was walking across the parking lot toward the next door Olive Garden - with a long-stemmed yellow rose in her hand. Elsa, being Elsa, shouted over congratulations on her child's graduation - the woman gave a huge grin and said how proud she was of her son.

Going to and from the Borders, we went past the Lancaster Host Farms Resort, the sight of several Republican "do's" that I went to with - or on behalf of - Gay Pendleton. Most of the people attending stayed at the "big and bigger" Host Farms Resort. I stayed at the Garden Spot Motel across Rt. 30, which was not as clogged with traffic back then as it is now. It was cozier and more comfortable that the hulking big place across the road.

My, what a host of memories of Gay welled up at the sight of those two lodgings - one so immense, the other so small. Also, memories of Pete. It was just before a weekend trip out to Lancaster that he lopped of the tip of a finger with the saw. He called Morgan and Nancy Jones and told them that if they got a phone call from me
(which they did) saying I could not go because Pete was injured and hospitalized, they were to tell me that it was nothing major and that he thought I would be of more use to the community and country if I went instead of staying home. He was wise to call them instead of just tell me. Pete knew his wife very well. I went.

I wish I could share all the unspoken messages that Pete's actions sang out to me, but they are the type of messages that somehow fragment and seem lessened in speech. I hold them in my heart.

Back to two disappointed women trekking back to our motel from Borders. I do not know how she did it - other than being blessed with Pete's peripheral vision - but Elsa unexpectedly exited off the congested, under-constructed Route 30 and headed toward the Visitor's Information Center and pulled off the big road.

As we pulled into the Visitor's Center driveway (I do not know how, even with her keen sight, she spotted the building in the first place or knew where to go, since all the signs were down due to even more road construction), she asked if I would like an ice cream cone. At first, I declined, since we had not had lunch yet. Then, it hit me - dessert first, lunch afterward. So she walked over to a vending truck that was serving up Turkey Hill ice cream and came back with a lovely butter pecan ice cream cone with a sugar cone (my favorite).


By the time she finished up checking things out in the Information Center, having left me sitting pretty in the shade of a big leafy tree, I was just finishing the last bit. Bliss.

I do not know what I was expecting for lunch, but it did not come close to what Elsa had up her sleeve. As we neared our new motel, she pointed out billows of smoke coming from the edge of a small parking lot. The local Boys Scout troop was putting on a chicken barbeque (she'd seen it advertised when she went out for breakfast). She swung into our motel, got me tucked for a short nap, then high-tailed it back to the barbeque, where she picked up two chicken dinners. There was enough food there to take care of lunch AND dinner AND breakfast (if we had a refrigerator). Whoever were in charge of the grills knew what they was doing, because every part of the chicken half was cooked to perfection. More yum!

I took a nap, then got up in time for Elsa to pick up John and head back to the room before heading out again for the evening's banquet. She and John made a good looking couple as they headed out the door, although it made me miss Pete, especially after an afternoon with such special moments and memories.

It was a quiet evening without them. What a lovely surprise when they returned around 9:15 p.m. with a waffle cone bowl heaped with vanilla ice cream from the Strasburg Country Store for my late night snack. I do not recall ever seeing a waffle cone bowl - a big wafer of waffle shaped into a bowl instead of a cone. Double yum! It was a delicious end to a day filled with a mixed bag of fun and tension.

It was a pretty happy Gramster who headed off to bed. It was not a great
Saturday - in fact there were parts that were pretty bad - but it had moments
of special grace.

Back here at Squirrel Haven, am getting ready to make my way up the wooden hill. We are all going to bed early tonight to make up for lost sleep over the weekend. I will share more about that tomorrow.

For now, sweet dreams - Ma L'

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Transfusions and Trvvel - June 1, 2001

Subject: Transfusions and Travel
Date: June 1, 2001

I was as tired last night as I can remember ever being. I had spent the morning and part of the afternoon at Holy Redeemer getting a complete blood transfusion. It took over five hours.

Now, that is tiring just thinking about.

You might not think that it is tiring to stretch out on sort of a Lazy Boy recliner as the blood is replaced, but it is. The blood can even feel cold. Not a relaxing experience, to be sure. My hemaglobin (sp? ) was low, which made me tired all the time, so it needed to be done and I am grateful we live in an age when it could be, but I was glad when it was over.

Because she has already used two-thirds of their 2001 vacation days this year (and not a one for anything fun), Elsa did not take off the day to take me over. Peter did, God bless him. When I got home, John made sure I was comfortable and had whatever I needed. Being taken care of by two men I love - yes, that was something good that came out of getting my circulation system flushed and topped off.

Today - this evening - John and Elsa and I are heading out to Strasburg, PA for the weekend. Work for John, sort of a holiday for me, and Elsa will be splitting her time between the two of us. John had beautiful prints made of his "Susquehanna Afternoon" painting and will be selling them at the Pennsylvania Railroad Museum's "Pennsy Days," which is tomorrow and Sunday.

John likes to have Elsa with him, to keep him company and help talk up his painting, which she does very well. He says she is his PR representative. Their big question was what to do with me. Other years, they could be gone from 6:00 a.m. to the evening without any problem. Last year was the first year I needed help getting into and out of bed, so Elsa stayed home. This year, with the prints, John really wanted her with him, I could tell.

Peter was not available until late at night, so that would not work. Can you imagine what shape I would be in if I had to stay up until after midnight two days in a row?

Then, Elsa suggested to John that staying overnight and that I come too. We will be staying one night right in Strasburg, which is a very nice little town, and one night outside (Elsa could only get one night at the place they like best, which is the place right in town.) Huzzah! We will be off adventuring this weekend.

This is the sort of thing that keeps me lively. I do love going on outings. They give me a big boost.

I am a little concerned about Elsa, who seems to have been hit hard this week with an accumulation of the past five months. She was very tired in the early part of the week, exhausted. Last night, she stayed up much later than expected, typing up a "Certificate of Authenticity" for his painting, which was longer and more complicated formatting that she expected.

I was worried that she got to bed after 12:30 a.m. This morning, she seemed okay. She said that she must not have gone to bed too upset or "stressed out" because she dreamed that someone asked her what movie couple she and John reminded her of and she answered in her dream, "Charlie Alnutt and Rosie in the _African Queen_" Well, that dream tickled her and I can understand why. Charlie and Rosie weren't a glamorous couple, but they were gallant and had grit. I agree with Elsa that those are great qualities for any husband and wife to have.

I was so bold as to add Rey Cooper to our merry little band - without asking him first. I received a wonderful note from him yesterday and he seems like such a good fit, I could not resist. Welcome to Rey!

Love to you all. Elsa needs to seriously think about getting ready for work and I am ready to roll back into bed for a little bit longer.

Have a great weekend - Kay

Friday, June 3, 2011

Rev. Garry Walsh ~ "Arise, shine, for thy light is come"

Subject "Arise, shine for thy light is come." - - Rev. Garry Walsh
Date: Sun, 27 May 2001 22:14:19 EDT

I think that Garry was a teenager the first time we met, about 25 years ago. I am not sure how old he is now, so he may have been younger. He was one of the Hurstville society young people. Pat and Brian lived outside of Hurstville, so sometimes I got to see him at church and sometimes I did not, but I saw him enough over the years to get to know him and like him. He is extra-special to me because he is one of Dot Heldon's grandchildren. (Dot is my dearest friend in Australia. We clicked.) Over my first five visits to Australia, I got to watch Garry grow from a young boy to a young man.

Garry was here at college when Mike and Kerry came up from Australia for John and Elsa's wedding in 1989. Garry stopped down to the Woodland Road house on what I recall was their last or one of their last nights here. He had stopped for a brief visit, but we all kept talking and talking and Garry ended up staying for dinner. We had to talk him into it, because he did not want to intrude on a special family celebration - - we were having a "Christmas in September" celebration, with turkey and all the trimmings and even presents - - and we were so glad he stayed. I remember him sitting at the dinner table, telling us that a certain young lady had somewhat caught his eye - Laurel Smith.

A couple years later, John and Elsa and I had the honor of putting on a champagne buffet in honor of Garry and Laurel's upcoming wedding. It was lovely having so many Australian friends and Bryn Athyn friends together for such a happy occasion under my own roof. I also remember how it felt to hear John give the toast to the church for the first time - - he handled it like a pro. It was a very special evening.

Garry and Laurel moved to Australia. I kept tabs of how he was doing through his grandmother and on my own trips Down Under. You could have knocked me over with a feather when I heard he was considering coming up here for Theological School.

Theological School is challenging to single blokes, much less to a man with a wife and young daughter. When they arrived, it seemed like AGES until Garry would become a minister.

They certainly rose to the occasion. It took grit and determination on both Garry and Laurel's part to make his vision of his life's role a reality.

From the moment I woke up this morning, my thoughts were on Garry and his family, including his Mum and Dad. I thought about him arriving at the cathedral and entering the ministers' vestry. I thought about him putting on his white minister's robe and getting ready for the ordination ceremony. I thought about him entering the chancel. I thought about him making his declarations and giving his confession of faith. I thought about him kneeling at the altar railing and about the Bishop placing his hands on Garry's head to give him the "Triple Blessing." I thought about him placing the white stole over Garry's shoulders. I thought about him shaking Garry's hand and welcoming Garry - the Rev. Garry Walsh - to the priesthood of the General Church of the New Jerusalem.

How dearly I wish I could have gone. Elsa couldn't even go, so I could not get a blow by blow review of what happened. I hope there is an audiotape, so I can at least listen to it.

How dearly I wish I could have gone, but I followed it in my mind's eye and in my heart. He feels like one of my own.

All day, I found myself thinking, "Arise, shine, for thy light is come." Garry's light has come and now he is ready to light the way for others. May there be a blessing.

A slightly teary-eyed and very proud - Katharine Reynolds Lockhart

How Mom would have loved being able to watch the ordinations on the Internet!! ~ elm ~

Enjoying every aspect of marriage 04/03/01

My deepest, most heartfelt thanks to Michael David, who forwarded me copies of Mom's postings which I can't find but which he (bless him!!) had archived. Many will be out of order, but who cares! ELM

(the following was apparently in response to someone's posting on the Caritas dist list)

From: Mindwalker
To: Caritas
Date: April 3, 2001

I, for one, had quite a few friends who also felt, as I did, that "on a physical level, marriage could be every bit as pleasurable as it could be emotionallly gratifying and spiritually delightful."

It might surprise you to know that there were many women of my generation who considered the physical aspect as a foundation of the others and who considered the marriage bed a place of joy. Of course, there were many - in all religions - who believed they should "close their eyes and think of England."

Here is a thought for you - what about people who believe that there is not any sex in heaven? That stumps me. Some of the same people who feel superior to people in other religions for believing that people are neither married nor given in marriage in heaven can also then turn around and blather on about sex being of this earth only.

Fie and shame - sex is about conjunction and the delights of conjunction. No orgasm in the other world? This Grammie begs to differ, which is the reason my family has instructions that when I am reunited with Pete, the female spouses are to go out and buy black peignoirs and "think of Mom and Dad together again." (after mom reunited with her own true love, i came across a strawbridge's lingerie box in her closet with my name on it - inside was a beautiful black negligee - elm)

I, too, would love to have the truth declared - through words and adult actions - that "one reason to reserve sex for righteous marriage is that with a partner you love and trust, sex is spectacular."

On a deeper, infinitely more important level, by not doing what they both want (and if they do not, then I would be a bit worried), a couple put something outside of both of themselves, above what they want, for the sake of the relationship.

That mutual sacrifice (and both Pete and I had a tough go of not forging ahead full steam before our wedding night – but we did) can make for a strong foundation for marriage. Acknowledging that yes, we wanted to zoom pass "Go" and have intercourse. Yes, intercourse is a rousing experience, pleasurable beyond words. Yes, it should be protected because by waiting ~ with a wholesome mindset ~it can become the concrete of that strong foundation.

What do you think about waiting for marriage to have intercourse? What is the reason for being for sex? Is it an ideal that is worth embracing? What do you believe the Writings teach about pre- or extra-marital sex?

This Gramster is interested in hearing - reply to all or reply to me - what you think. Personally, I cannot make hide nor hair of what people think these days, let alone are sharing with their children.

Thank you - KRL