Friday, July 29, 2011

a week of sweets

So, when we visit our Syracuse family, sweets abound-like a little drawer in the kitchen with shortbread (for me) and dark chocolate (for John) for tea time-with the white teapot. . .and more.

On Thursday we planned a day trip to Buttermilk Falls in Ithica, but early in the morning Abi and I worked on dessert for the evening. . .Strawberry-rhubarb Pie was preferred, but there wasn't time for a pie that day.
Instead we made sauce, and really, it was abolutely perfect- a bite of sweet strawberry and tart rhubarb, spooned over vanilla ice-cream.

Rhubarb-Strawberry Sauce
3 cups strawberries, 3 cups rhubarb, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/3 cup water.
We defrosted Abi's local fruit, cooked the rhubarb in a saucepan with water and sugar for 10 minutes, then added the strawberries, simmering for about 7 minutes.
That evening we took our sauce and ice-cream to a gathering . . .tart, sweet, smooth, cold, red, white-just perfect.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

morning with a friend. . .

It's nice to share grandmothering with a friend, so I've discovered.
hmm, sweet Florence-really, Lucinda and I could eat her up. . .

And with Lucinda, there's lots more to talk about. . .when I came to Syracuse in January we spent a whole day together, leaving conversations dangling-
So, last week we squeezed in a morning together at the bagel shop; we talked fast, picking up unfinished thoughts, broaching new ones, yet to be completed, and as we explored personal issues, some complex- my friend reminded me of a clear and worthy purusit-
Blessed is the man whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and it leaf does not wither. . .
Then Lucinda dropped me off at Nathaniel and Abi's, for it was time for the day to move on-it's that way in a woman's life, no?
But in the evening Jeremy and Lucinda joined us for dinner.
"Darcie, there are 3 things we didn't talk about this morning. . .we didn't talk about aging!"
(really, dear friend, we talked all about aging. . .)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

3 kitchens and a recipe

Last month my kitchen was 100 degrees and Gabrielle's kitchen was under construction. Sometimes it's easier to face a challenge in someone else's space.
So, one day I offered to make dinner for the family at her place. I tried a new recipe-Mediterranean Orzo with Olives and Feta; between our kitchens I collected all the ingredients, and we agreed- it's good.

Last week in Syracuse , Abi and I cooked together in her kitchen. We had some lovely hospitality opportunities and one evening I made the orzo salad-try it!

Mediterranean Orzo. . .
Cook 2 cups orzo, drain and rinse
Add: 2 cups chopped raw spinach
1/2 cup chopped sundried tomato (oil packed)
1/2 cup feta cheese
3/4 cup sliced kalmata olives
chopped red onion
1 (6 oz) jar marinated artichokes, drained and quartered
reserve marinade and add to your liking, tossing pasta lightly. Serve with extra feta.

(And invite some folks in to share. . .)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

sojourning- 4 weeks

This morning I read Psalm 146, The Lord watches over the sojourners. I'm sojourning. . .we've been traveling for almost a month; I like road trips-the adventures, but mainly the people.
Sometimes as we drive along I peek at the other drivers, Who are they? Where are they headed? I wonder what it would be like to be old and travel around in a monstrous motor home visiting parks, lakes. . . And a road trip always provides the opportunity to trust God with the unknown-so I've discovered.
We left Lancaster on a Friday, headed for Nathaniel and Abigail's home in Syracuse. The car lost electricity just 15 miles into the day; on the roadside John diagnosed the problem- something broken on the fan belt pulley.
So, up the road a few miles in Reading we found a VW dealer (I'm in Pennsylvania at a VW place?). they didn't have the part. Should we drive to Harrisburg or Scanton?
John told the clerk, "Not Harrisburg. . .we're heading north to New York."
And I said, "But Harrisburg is close. . .Scanton is far."
He said, "We'll be fine-our VW has a diesel battery!"
Trust the Lord. . .and trust my husband -
So, 2 hours later in Scranton we found the VW place; then John discovered that the problem wasn't the fan belt, but the alternator.
He returned the unneeded part, purchased the needed one, and in the July afternoon sun in Scanton, Pennsylvania, my husband decided not to try his shade tree mechanics on the side street.
"What if. . .we charge the battery at Auto Zone for an hour while we eat lunch and then drive to New York?" he asked.
Trust the Lord. . .and honor my husband.

Then we drove on a curvey highway in a heavy downpour, and once we crossed into New York it seemed earier to trust. Surely Abigail and Nathaniel would rescue us if need be. . .

hmmm, the Lord watches over the sojourner. . .and that's life, all of it, a sojourn.

Monday, July 18, 2011

in Pennsylvania. . .

Tuesday we drove to Lancaster, Pennsylvania to visit Joy and Clarence.
Ahh-on this road trip I keep discovering hydrangeas-and each bush is more amazing!

I love to sit with Joy in her sunroom- wicker, cushions, little tables for writing, morning sun.
How to keep up with our children?
for her-2 daughters and 5 sons, for me -4 sons and 4 daughters, all growing up, moving out, away from us. . . How to wisely fit into their lives. . .to be a blessing, to glorify God in the midst?
"Consider Him" because if not, I'll certainly "Consider me" every time.
I was alone one morning in Joy's sunroom; I read Psalm 143; then Joy came around. . .Friend, I prayed for you and me, "Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground!"

And we met Beltron . . .Hug, Hug, tickle, he calls.

Joy and Clarence are adopting Beltron, 8 years old, from a Peruvian orphanage. We prayed for this little guy- now we've held him, talked and played with him.
And Beltron sings. . .

Thursday, July 14, 2011

in New England. . .

After a wild ride through New Jersey and New York City, I think a GPS would be a worthy purchase-John agrees.

It seems just right to spend 4th of July weekend in New England, dont you think?
On the town square in Havehill, we located the church where Adoniram Judson was commissioned to go to India; someone said we'd find a statue in the commons - I whipped out my camera. . .no statue of Adoniram.
But really, we traveled to Haverhill to visit Mel and Marsha. . .our friendship goes back to 1976 when we were in missionary candidate school together, then language school together (Marsha and I carried our girls, Naomi and Mandie, together) and then Mexico together-so, friendships are forged. . .

In Haverhill we workshipped with a young church in an old building and spent the 4th in Newport, Rhode Island; we picniked and ate ice cream like the young, remembered the past, considered the future. . . retirement?
And we looked at pictures-lots. Our friends just returned from a 2 week trip to Haiti where they traveled the island by truck, visiting the places where Mel was born and grew up.

My son says I can download my pictures onto my computer. . .one man helped another.

We wanted to see all 1,500 pictures, hear all the narration, ask questions, discuss. . .

Sometimes old travelers fade fast.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

lost in Jersey, caught in New York City. . .

This I know about myself: when I am lost, I struggle with fear. . .

Last Saturday John and I left Richmond, Virginia, headed towards Boston.

I'm the navigator. . .reading printed map directions, I navigated neatly around Baltimore, but somehow, somewhere I missed a line and instead of getting on the New Jersey turnpike, we stayed on I-40 east. . .the scenery was lovely and I was reading aloud to John.
hmm, I guess if we drive far enough east we'll hit the ocean, I told my husband. . .

Indeed, we hit the ocean, in Atlantic City, imagine that? And then we were lost. . . in Atlantic City.

Heart, why are you fearful? And of course, every city has a way out. . .

Yet more confusion-toll roads, turnpike tickets, a maze of highway arteries, an intense traffic snarl in New York City (how did we end up in Manhattan?)

Heart, why are you fearful?

I texted our kids, Pray! We're tied up in New York City-Scarey! (one cheeky girl suggested we visit Central Park and the Empire State Building.)

We crossed the George Washington Bridge, and of course, every city has a way out. . .

That morning as John and I wandered east through New Jersey, I was reading to him from the autobiography of Patricia St. John. She writes of the Morracan children who packed into her little room to hear the parable of the lost sheep, of their delight, amazement. . .The man having a hundred sheep, if he he has lost one, leaves the ninety-nine and goes after the one that is lost, until he finds it. . .then he carries it home on his shoulders, rejoicing (Lk 15)

And such is the Good Shepherd, always. . .

Friday, July 8, 2011

in Virginia. . .

though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good discipline and the firmness of your faith in Christ.

Alex lived with us in Texas when he was single and young in the Lord. Arriving home from work and school, he would say, "Darcie, can we have tea and talk?" So, we visited Alex and Kathy in Virgina last week; we met their sweet children. I was cleaning out the car and Alex called to me, "Aren't you going to join the conversation?" Not much has changed, and I'm glad.

Deborah was part of our home group Bible study in Texas-she is dear to us; in April she married Paul and he took her to Virginia. Last week we ate Mexican food with Paul and Deborah in Virginia, imagine that? We asked Paul what he's learned about Deborah since they married. . ."Have you tasted her chocolate cookies?. . .She's kind and soft spoken now, just like before I married her!"
While John drives, I've been reviewing Colossians 2:1-5, practicing my verses for him- and thanking the Lord for our sweet young friends in Virginia.

For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good discipline and the firmness of your faith in Christ.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

in North Carolina. . .

Welcome to Mr. Newton and Mrs. Newton. . .a note on the bedside table in 5 year old style, 2 water bottles and 2 Hersheys chocolate bars. So- Allan, Courtney and 5 sweet children welcomed us to North Carolina.
We arrived Monday evening, the same day Allan deployed to the Middle East-expected, but not expected so soon.
John did bikes and bugs and baseball. . . and shoe tying lessons. I held tiny Rebekah and untangled the sewing machine bobbin a hundred times-perhaps we cushioned the gap a bit. . .

Courtney and I crammed a year's talk into 3 days. we sat at the the neighborhood lake, counting 1-2-3-4 dark heads. . .and we talked about life in a broken world, about God's grace and goodness.
And Courtney said, "Darcie, it's not until I experience the opposite of God's character that I really appreciate God's character. . .when I experience loneliness, then I appreciate that God will never leave me. . .when I experience upheaval, then I appreciate that God never changes. . . "

We explored that worthy thought, fleshing out truth with real life.

And I was so glad to be in North Carolina with my friend.