Celebrate Life!

My mom’s birthday was this past Monday. We had celebrated with family and friends on Sunday, and then just the two of us had our own celebration together on the 15th. She loves coconut shrimp, so I ordered that from one of her favorite restaurants, and we watched “Dancing With the Stars,” another one of her favorites.

That morning though, while running out to get her birthday roses, I noticed a procession of cars…part of a funeral…and it hit me again how short life is here.

Constantly, people are born into life on this planet, carried away to be cleaned up and placed into the arms of loved ones — and people die here every day, and are carried away and cleaned up and placed into our Father’s arms…born into new life in His Presence…

Oh life! With all your complexities, you’re amazing!

But it all goes by too quickly, doesn’t it? So celebrate each moment, each new day, and don’t take anything for granted or waste the time you’ve been given…

Right now, as I type this, I can hear the church down the street playing its noon chimes… So beautiful… Not sure what hymn it is, but it’s lively and festive…like you might hear after a wedding… If we could all keep that feeling with us as we go through each one of our days here, what a difference that would make.

So decide to celebrate life today. There’s music playing for you, too… Just listen with your heart…

P.S. — And writing about the topic of life and death just reminded me of “Our Town,” by Thornton Wilder. I love this play, and was in two dynamic productions of it. If it’s done well, it hits you at the core of your being. Here’s one of my favorite scenes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLWewZO6z1w

German-Chocolate Cake for Oktoberfest

Well, I haven’t been very active blogging lately, have I? It seems I’ve been swallowed up a bit by life. But I’ve missed sharing stories and recording events and thoughts to look back on later… A couple weeks ago, on Sunday, October 7, Mom and I had our Oktoberfest celebration. : ) Last year, I made a Black Forest cake, and this year I made a German-chocolate cake. (I just went with the recipe inside the German’s chocolate-bar packaging.) It took a long time to create this dessert — glad I like baking! — but it was delicious and worth the time in the kitchen. So many great memories of Germany…

Happy Oktoberfest!!! : )

Just When You Think Everything is Gone For Good…

Oh October! You showed up much too quickly. I was just getting used to September… Letting go of August was difficult, and it was heartbreaking to watch the sunflowers die.

But okay. It’s the start of a brand-new month. And it could be great. I hope it’s great. After all, once in a while, just when you think everything is gone for good, new life suddenly appears…

For example, I was certain our summer garden had seen its last days — but September birthed a delicious little cantaloupe, along with lots of tomatoes. And the tomatoes continue to grow, better than during the summer months. The basil, too, is still producing flavorful, fragrant leaves for cooking, and we harvested a few green beans in September also.

But October… Well, October’s always been a mixed-emotion type of month for me; although it’s when my mom celebrates her birthday, it’s also a reminder of when my dad moved on to Heaven. He loved October though — partly because of Oktoberfest. ; ) We used to live in Germany, and I remember going to Munich, or München, for their festival with my parents and brother. Such a fun time and great memories!

Last year, I made a from-scratch three-layer Black-Forest cake. It was just a little time-consuming, but a delicious recipe. This year, I think we’ll go with a German-chocolate cake.

Still determined as ever, I’m set to grasp hold of this new season and find all the blessings, all the beauty, in each new day it offers.

And somewhere down the road, when all my days here on this Earth are finished, I can picture Jesus welcoming me Home, and then at some point saying, with His fantastic smile, “Just when you thought everything was gone for good…” — and then I’ll look around and see my earthly dad and all the family and friends who moved there ahead of me… That’s going to be some party we’ll have…even better than Oktoberfest. ; )

All right. Into October we go… I pray it’s wonderful for us all, in ways that will make us laugh out loud in wonder. : )