My Big Brother and Me

My big brother, Richard Glen, is four years older than I am. He’s just older enough for me to have always looked up to him. He’s always been there for me. 2414_1029994670148_9430_n

My very first recollection was when I was about three or four years old. We lived in a house that didn’t have enough bedrooms! So Richard and I shared a bedroom. I went to sleep every night knowing my big brother was in a bed near by and I felt safe!

When we were kids, back in the 40’s, he had a tall stack of comic books! He was very possessive of them. We, my sister, Lorraine, younger brother, Billy and I couldn’t just pick up a comic book and start reading. Oh no, we had to ask permission to read one! Then we had to put it back on the pile when we finished! I’m sure our mother appreciated the fact that Richard’s comic books were never just laying around waiting to be picked up!kids 1947 (2)  I was just seven years old, and he, 11, called with a gruff voice, “Anita!”

Oh no, what did I do now?

“See my comic books?” he asked sternly.

I nodded, searching through my mind, had I sneaked one to read lately? I don’t think so…I couldn’t remember…

“Well, pick out which ever one you want to read!” he ordered with a friendly grin! “But…take care of it and put it back when you’re done!” OH, okay, I could do that!

Richard was very responsible. From the time he was in sixth grade he always had a job! Covington, Oklahoma: sweeping the floor of the newspaper print shop and recycling lead free linotype cymbals! East Peoria, Illinois: an early morning paper route. Waterloo, Iowa: a grocery store carrying groceries and stocking shelves.

One year for Christmas Dad and Mother gave Richard a new, used Schwinn bicycle. He was so excited. It was bright red, it didn’t really matter that it didn’t have fenders. But, because Richard worked and made a little money, he was able to buy new fenders. Shiny chrome fenders!

One day, some boys after school, were picking on him, trying to pull his bike away from him! I saw them and was horrified! They couldn’t do that to my big brother! I ran toward the boys. When I reached them I started hitting and kicking, yelling all the while, “Leave my brother alone! Get away from him, That’s his bike!”

I don’t remember how it turned out. I do remember the reprimanding I got from Richard, later at home. He told me he could fight his own battles, and I was never, under any circumstances, ever to fight for him again!

When we moved to East Peoria, Illinois in 1948 Richard again went to work! This time he was hired as a paperboy delivering the early morning paper! He had to get up very early every morning! I got up early a couple of times to go on his route with him. It wasn’t even light out, but he was faithful and his customers appreciated him. I felt proud making the rounds with him. I should have gone with him more often…but it was soooo hard to get up soooo early!

Richard, teenagerRichard had a dark room where he developed pictures from our Kodak brownie cameras! He patiently explained the whole process to me. I was impressed! He was so intelligent!

But Richard had a problem. He stuttered. He just recently told me how he overcame this embarrassing, uncontrollable problem. We moved often which meant new schools, new friends, new jobs, new church, etc. During our childhood we never lived in a house longer than three years! It was hard on all of us kids but it was our life. It was hardest on Richard though because of his stuttering. Some letters were harder to say then others. He could hardly get out the letter R, so he took the nickname, Dick, although he’s always been Richard to Mother and me.

But Richard had a teacher in East Peoria who recognized his problem of stuttering because she’d had the problem when she was a girl and a teacher helped her overcome it. She talked to Richard about it and offered to help him, if he would let her.

Thankfully, he did let her and what a difference she made for him!  No more stuttering after a few months of working with her. He ended up with an A in English. Later in life he became an actor, preacher, radio announcer, etc.!

Continued as part 2.

 

 

 

How Do You Worship?

We, my husband, Jerry; daughter, Pam; son-in-law, Gene; son, Tim and myself, recently visited some cousins in Iowa. I wrote about this wonderful trip previously.

On Sunday morning, we worshiped. However, we were all in different locations! The important thing here is that we worshiped. Lutheran, Methodist, Gospel Hall, Free Methodist, Christian and Missionary Alliance.

 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
    bring an offering and come before him.
Worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness. I Chronicles 16:29

Here we were, five of us in my family worshiping with seven cousins on this Sunday morning. So here is what our worship looked like: A Lutheran Gene and a Christian and Missionary Alliance Tim attended a Methodist Church with cousin, Lucky. A Free Methodist Jerry attended a Lutheran Church with cousins, LeRoy and Carolyn. Cousin, Kay, who is Methodist, Pam, who is Lutheran and I, who am Free Methodist all attended the Gospel Hall with cousins, Louis, Iris and Bob.

Were we able to truly worship? An absolute YES. God, who is Omnipresent, accepts our true and sincere worship, wherever we are.

It happened to be All Saints Day. Both the Lutheran and the Methodist churches honored each member, who had died during 2014, with a lit candle.

The architecture of all three churches was entirely different. The Lutheran Church was beautiful with very high ceilings and magnificent stained glass windows. There was a sense of reverence as one entered the building. Scripture readings were read and hymns sung before the sermon was given by the pastor.

The Methodist Church was a small country church with white clapboard siding, a few stained glass windows. Inside was the typical layout of pews facing the front with the pulpit and alter. Scripture readings were read and hymns sung. There was open communion. A loaf of homemade bread was broken open so each person took a piece and dipped it into the wine.

The Gospel Hall was a church building, neat and clean, efficient for worshiping and meeting the needs of the members. I felt welcome, even though as a visitor, I was an observer and could not participate in Communion. I could and did worship. Women covered their heads with a scarf or hat. Only men had active participation in the service, leading the singing of hymns and praying beautiful prayers of praise to God. A few requests were read out loud and prayed for.  Chairs were in a square, about five rows deep, with a communion table in the center of the square. Visitors sat in a section near the back of the sanctuary. On the communion table were a loaf of homemade bread and a pitcher of wine. The bread was broken into two halves and passed around as each person took a piece representing the body of Christ. Wine was poured into two glasses and also passed around for folks to take a sip representing the blood of Christ.

Three forms of worship all to the same God! All six of us, visitors, worshiped and felt the presence of God!

I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into  the house of the Lord. Psalm 122:1

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  Scan_Pic0026  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA                          These four pictures of churches are not the churches I’ve written about here. The first one is a very old church, The Church On The Green! It’s in Massachusetts and today is a Congregational Church. The second one is Stavanger Lutheran Church outside of Ossian, Iowa. The third picture is of a Baptist Church in Massachusetts. The last one is Midland Free Methodist Church of which I am a member. I’m showing them here to put my readers and myself  into a worshipful mood! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  I took all of these pictures.