Posts Tagged "Thanksgiving"

A Memory-Building Detour – Creating, Reviewing, Protecting Legacy!

Posted by on Nov 29, 2015 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts | 2 comments

A Memory-Building Detour – Creating, Reviewing, Protecting Legacy!

Today I struggled to come out of a fog. I had a nap—longer than I intended. I bolstered myself with a touch more caffeine. Still, I needed something. So, I put on some baroque music and the constantly moving lines of the pieces start to wake up my brain. On the counter I spotted the tea cups I brought home with me from our recent trip. Ah, yes. A cup of tea. Just the thing. I smiled as I poured the water over the tea bag. This cup will always be a special memory of our detour to see cousins.   Usually, when we come home from South Dakota we shoot east and drop down through Chicago, or at Sioux Falls drop down to Kansas City. This time we chose to come back through Nebraska and Kansas.   In Nebraska I had two goals; the first was a stop in North Platte to research the next Double Cousins mystery. The other was a visit with my cousin Gordon and his wife Jan at their ranch. Something about that ranch fills a hole in my heart. The hole left when Grandpa moved off the ranch? Maybe. The hole left when Grandpa died? I’m not sure. But what I know is that their hospitality is a challenge and a blessing to me each time I am there. Their love for the stories of our elders, the details of the history of our family, and determination to leave a godly legacy for the children remind me so much of Grandpa and Grandma Jones. And, well . . . there is the fact that Gordon is a horse man, through and through, just like Grandpa, AND the fact that his ranch is right in the place that Grandpa loved more than any other, the Sandhills of Nebraska. We stayed at their home one night.   First we met in Gordon, NE, for pizza before Jan went to work the night shift at the hospital where she is a nurse. (Yes, my cousin Gordon lives outside of Gordon, Nebraska—how cool is that?)  While Jan worked, Gordon, Bruce, and I spent the evening talking about family history:  Gordon found another barn built by our great-grandpa Jones, memories of our grandparents, Grandma’s ability to do what she wanted without making a scene, and the project at hand, the re-publishing of Grandpa Jones’ books. By the time Jan got home in the morning, Gordon had decided he needed to get on the road with some cattle he was moving. A storm was coming. We ate a quick breakfast—delicious cinnamon buns—and Gordon was out the door, a bit ahead of us.   A quick visit, but what great memories. I wish I had taken a picture of Gordon and Bruce talking politics the night before, but I didn’t . You’ll have to imagine that! From there we drove to North Platte where I lived as a child and where Carly, one of the “double cousins”, lives with her...

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The Most Powerful Presence

Posted by on Dec 9, 2014 in Home Is Where The Story Starts |

We spent Thanksgiving with some of my McKnight cousins. It was so much fun laughing and remembering together. We found ourselves bringing our grandparents into the conversation over and over. Whether it was mimicking one of Grandpa’s pet sayings, or commenting of how proud Grandma would have been of one of the kids attitudes their presence was felt. Oh, not literally. They weren’t there in some ghostly way. It is just that we know them. They invested in us and taught us. We sense what they would say and do. We also spoke about how we tend to hang on to things just because they belonged to someone we love. I’m really bad about that. I guess it feels like they are not completely gone if I have something of theirs. I’m working at whittling down the things we have to things we truly love and can use. But it is hard. When I was packing books last summer I found a small book on the shelf. It is old and the cover says it is a World Devotional Classic. On the flyleaf it is inscribed to my Grandpa and Grandma McKnight.  To: Franz and Eleanor for their gracious hospitality and Christian fellowship in the LORD. Bill   Psalm 13:6  It is a copy of The Spiritual Riches of John Bunyan, published in 1952. I have been reading this book here and there, ever since. I haven’t made it far. I keep getting distracted and when I come back to it, I reread the part I already started because it is so good. One simply cannot overdose on the attributes of God. Last week I reread a short paragraph and I copied it into my journal. I prayed over it and asked the Lord to help me hold onto this passage. I believe that if I can truly GET the truth of this point it will CHANGE MY LIFE. It would change yours too. Here it is.  PRESENCE OF GOD God’s presence is renewing, transforming, seasoning, sanctifying, commanding, sweetening, and lightening to the soul. Nothing like it in all the world: his presence supplies all wants, heals all maladies, saves from all dangers; is life in death, heaven in hell, all in all.  Whether I’m at home, at work, in my car, in danger, in perfect safety, having a good day, a bad day, or somewhere in between God is with me. His Holy Spirit lives within me. I hope the knowledge of HIS presence affects me even more than the memory of my grandparent’s presence. After all, HE is actually still here! Psalm 139:7-12  Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I...

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Holiday Memories, Holiday Stories

Posted by on Dec 9, 2013 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts | 1 comment

Holiday Memories, Holiday Stories

For some reason I’m not a huge fan of the Christmas movies. I don’t know why. They are usually fun, sentimental, and wholesome. I’m just not usually motivated to stop on a channel if it is one of those movies. But, last night I surprised myself. I was flipping channels and came across one and decided to watch. It was called Christmas Lodge and it was special. It was the story of a young woman who helps rescue the lodge where her family spent Christmas every year when she was little. It was all about God, family, and legacy. Of course I liked it. At the end when she not only got the guy, but her ailing Grandpa managed to make it to the newly restored lodge for Christmas, I shut off the TV and I sighed. That. Was. Great! I started thinking about family and the places we build traditions. That reminded me of a blog I’ve been itching to write. Back in the late 70’s and early 80’s we lived in Gillette, Wyoming. I was in my last two years of high school and early adult years. For several years, every Thanksgiving we would travel to Morrill, Nebraska to have Thanksgiving with my Uncle Tom, Aunt Twyla and their family. Grandpa and Grandma Jones would drive over from central Nebraska and meet us there. One year they all came to Gillette, but only once. It was easier for us to travel since we didn’t have animals to take care of, like Uncle Tom. This picture is one that was taken on one such Thanksgiving. This is my Grandpa Jones, my sister, and one of our cousins. Grandpa is in heaven now and Tony and Vonda are all grown up. But, when I look at this picture I have a flood of memories. Memories of the cinnamon buns and pumpkin pies Mom would make to take with us.  Memories of Uncle Tom cutting the turkey and waving the knife when I tried to snitch some. Memories of watching the football game on TV. Memories of watching the boys playing football out in the yard. Memories of looking through all of Aunt Twyla’s cake decorating books. Memories of sleeping on blankets on the floor. And, memories of Grandpa telling stories. Now, we all live in different places and we have different holiday traditions. But, for a few years we had that special time. It is one I’ll remember forever! What holiday traditions do you have? Do they involve listening to your grandparents tell stories. I’d recommend it! They have some interesting things to...

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