Living in the Big Woods, Part 1

During all of my growing up years, I lived in both small towns and large cities. We moved a lot. I lived in Iowa, Oklahoma, Illinois, Indiana and South Dakota. I’ve lived in Michigan now for 58 years.

For all but the first five years of my married life, I’ve lived in the woods! For 19 years I’ve lived in the woods where my husband and I live now. Ah, living in the county and in a woods can be and is so exciting!

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Our log home

We have all kinds of wild life, which we love, so I’ll try to write about them here. We have deer, raccoon’s,  opossum’s,  turkeys, coyote’s, foxes, lynx, rabbit’s, owl’s, eagles, hawks, all kinds of birds, squirrels, snakes, bears (?) and more!

I’ll start with the bear! I was sitting upstairs in our loft, in my lazy-boy recliner, with the window wide open. It was late, I was getting very sleepy and was about to go to bed. But suddenly I heard loud growling, groaning and moaning, mumbling and plundering through the woods! The motion light turned on but I couldn’t see what the animal was. The next night, the same sounding animal went through, but the motion light didn’t turn on. Whatever it was it was good-sized, not like a raccoon or other small animal! Then Jerry noticed a tree near the pole barn that had some branches broken and hanging. It looked like an animal had climbed the tree and was too heavy for the light branches. A bear could have caused that! A couple of days later we saw a picture, in the newspaper, of a bear lying in a ditch… dead, only about two miles from where we live! Could that have been our bear? Another consideration was a wild boar. They’ve been known to be around our area.

I’ll write about our turkeys next. My parents came to visit us from Washington state in September of 1998. They wanted to see our new log home. They would be here for a full week and I was a little concerned with how to entertain them! No worry! Every day, between 5:00 and 5:30 PM, 14 wild turkeys came marching through the woods, up our long driveway! There were three hens and 11 young ones. I called the young ones teenagers because they were big enough to fly into the trees at night. They would wander around our yard, especially under the bird feeders, eating whatever they found, that they liked. Then between seven and seven-thirty PM they flew up into some trees, right beside our house, to roost for the night! My parents were entertained every day!

Sometimes they flew onto the roof of our house. One evening I was upstairs and could hear the turkeys on the roof. I looked up through the sky light. Oh my goodness, a turkey was staring down at me!

Early in the mornings we could hear the gobble, gobble, gobble as they woke up, flew down and went on their way!

The next year a few turkeys came to roost in our trees but not as many. Now days we have a few who come to find food but they don’t stay long and they don’t roost in our trees!

I think my favorite wild animals to visit us are the deer. We’ve had many, many deer come wandering into our yard. They are so quiet I often just happened to see them when I glanced out the window and there they’d be! I would stop whatever I was doing just to watch them. Such beautiful creatures standing quietly, eating leaves off the trees. Sometimes just one, or sometimes several deer would be here. What I loved the most was springtime when a doe would come into the yard with a fawn, or two! It was a thrill to watch them nursing from their mother.

One day our grandson, Armon, came running, “Gramdma, Grandma, you’ve got to come quickly! A baby deer is by the pond! It was just born!” We went running to the pond and sure enough, except there were two fawns!

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Twin Fawns

Twin fawns born beside our pond! It’s kind of hard to make out the second one. We were all so excited! A little while later I went back out by myself to take a better picture…they were gone! The mother must have been watching us and when we left, decided to move them to a safer place, one that we didn’t know about! Several times, as they were growing, they came into our yard by our house. It was so fun to watch them running and skipping about! Sometimes we got to watch them stop for a little nourishment from their momma!

I’ve seen several deer sleep in our woods by our house! It’s very exciting to me to see them before they get up for the day!

Well, more stories another day! Good night!

 

 

God Encounter

A few nights ago, sitting in my lazy-boy chair, in the loft, my phone made a sound telling me someone had texted me. I checked it, of course, but the message was one I almost deleted. It asked a question, ‘why did your phone number show up on my phone? Who are you and what do you want?’  My name is ___________ and I live in _______, Oklahoma.

The name caught my attention. When I was a little girl, I knew an even younger girl named ______________! My family lived in _________, Oklahoma.  She had a brother a year younger than I was. I wrote back telling her this. I asked if she had a brother named _________.

She wrote back, ‘Yes, she had a brother named _______! They lived in the same town as  my family!

So I wrote back, ‘Your dad was my pastor! How did you say you got my number?’

My number had simply appeared on her phone! We decided to keep in touch!

The next night she wrote again, asking for prayer for her brother! He had injured himself and was in severe pain! His wife is taking care of him, but they needed a touch from God.

How and why did this happen? Only God knows. I’m praying for my childhood friend, _______, that God will touch him and heal his injury. I’m praying for my new texting friend, ___________.

This was a God Encounter!

Happy Birthday, Pam

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My first-born! I hardly knew what was happening! Two hours and twenty minutes total labor time!  A head full of beautiful and manageable black hair! You were special right from the start!

Here you are at three months.IMG_0697 (2)

You’re still special today! You’re a very hard worker and yet, whenever we need you…you’re here!

We’ve had some very special, unforgettable vacation times with you! Malaysia, Canada, Hawaii and Iowa! I wish we could be with you today on your birthday!

Heavenly Father, thank You for Pam! She’s a beautiful child of Yours. Please watch over her as she drives, works, plays, in whatever she does. She’s a wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, niece, cousin, friend and neighbor. Please keep her close to You as she trusts in You. I love Pam so much and You love her even more!

World War II Memories – Displaced JapaneseAmericans

Everyone knows about the displaced folks of Japanese descent during World War II. But not everyone has a personal story to tell!

Hundreds, perhaps thousands of Japanese were moved to camps,  filled with rows and rows of barracks which housed the Japanese families, against their wishes.

My dad was the pastor of the  Free Methodist Church in Des Moines. Rev. Aoki was the pastor of a Japanese Free Methodist Church in California! It really doesn’t matter how they met…it does matter that they met!

But, let me try to explain the two men meeting. Dad answered the phone one day, the person on the other end had a Japanese accent! He quickly gave his name and his position in the church. Then he asked if he and his wife could come to our house.

My dad didn’t have any prejudice bones in his body. He explained how they could find our house and that they were welcome.

Somehow Rev and Mrs Aoki had escaped the exodus of Japanese people in California! Somehow they made it all the way to Des Moines, Iowa and called my dad, as another pastor, in the same denomination! With the blessing of my parents, they moved into our upstairs. They were a delightful couple.

There were folks in our church who were not happy! Dad patiently and lovingly gave God’s plan of salvation again and explained God’s love for ALL people. Slowly folks accepted them.  Finally, one Sunday evening, at the request of my dad, Rev. Aoki preached a sermon to the church family! Afterward, he received many warm handshakes and smiles. He and his wife were completely accepted into our church family.

I was too young to understand any of the implications. I only remember a very nice couple coming to live with us. They were very friendly and always smiled at me! In discussing this time of our lives with my older brother and sister, they both used the term, underground railroad! My sister, Lorraine, is gone now so our discussions are over. I called my brother, Richard and he, being four years older than I am, remembers many details and carefully explained it all to me again.

I believe with all my heart that God had a plan for Rev. and Mrs. Aoki and my family was included in that plan! What a privilege!

First Sunday of Advent

Today begins Advent. Awaiting the birth of the Savour. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  This is the candle of Hope or expectation. We have hope because God is faithful and will keep the promise made to us. Our Hope comes from God.

And again, Esaias saith,  “There shall be a root of Jesse, and He that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in Him shall the Gentiles trust.”  Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. Romans 15:12-13

Where In The World

I love to travel! I’ve been to five continents, 14 countries and all 50 of the United States. I would love to go to many more countries… I have several countries on my bucket list, but I’m quickly aging. A few countries I’d love to go to are Norway, China, Ireland, Scotland and England, Nepal, Myanmar, Austria, Germany, France, Colombia,  Rwanda, oh and so many more!

The continents I’ve been to are: South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and North America.

The countries I’ve been to are: Haiti, Paraguay, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, U.S.A., The Netherlands, Belgium, Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Thailand, Japan and Malaysia. FullSizeRender (90)  It’s hard to see some of the countries, but I’ve colored each one I’ve been to.

For many years, I was an ESL (English as a Second Language) tutor. I had students from all over the world, from ages three to 70! I loved every one of them and I believe they loved me! They came from Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan, Egypt, The Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Thailand, Italy and Spain. I have probably missed some countries here.

I’m amazed! As I check my statistics I have readers from all over the world! U.S.A., Norway, Czech Republic, Venezuela, The Netherlands, Brazil, Algeria, Australia, Russian Federation, Canada and more that I’ve missed! I’m thrilled!

 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16.

I believe God is Omnipresent and God is Love.

Soccer Season – Destroyers

Soccer season is over. FullSizeRender (75) It sure was fun while it lasted… FullSizeRender (76) Armon is the third boy from the left, standing.  The games were always on Saturday AM.    It was okay when they started, but then Autumn set in and cool temperatures.      IMG_0017 (2) IMG_0020 (2)    A butterfly was on the field! A woman rescued it and then sent it on its way before it got trampled by the players!                                                                                   Then really cold temperatures hit! FullSizeRender (49) Jerry and me.  FullSizeRender (44) Elmise and Mama.FullSizeRender (48) Haleigh on her iPhone!   IMG_5011 (2)  Mama and Papa.IMG_0014 (2) Jessica, Ki and Erin. Sometimes good friends came!                                                                      We loved watching the young boys play. Some were very good players and some were only there because their mother’s had signed them up!!! But even those boys got better as the season went by. Our grandson, Armon, shows great ability as a soccer player and as an athlete. He was determined and shows athletic ability! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  He was the goalie in a couple of games.  For these young boys, the positions were traded off so they each had a turn to play each position. In this picture, he was catching the ball just in time. In the next picture, he was down on top of the ball before FullSizeRender (47) it went in for a score! You can see him on the ground with the ball.  Winning or losing is not emphasized in this league, learning the game and learning good sportsmanship is what matters.  Here are the medals each boy earned and received today. I’m showing both sides of the medal. The name of Armon’s team was Destroyers!

FullSizeRender (71)  FullSizeRender (72)   He’s showing Grandpa his medal.FullSizeRender (68)