Monday, September 29, 2008

Not If, But When

They say not if, but when it happens. At least in some parts of the country, this is true. But it can happen almost anywhere in the United States, including heavily populated areas. It unfortunately (finally???) "happened" to us shortly before sunset, yesterday.

We were driving home from Wisconsin Rapids after a family reunion when suddenly, out of no where (as is usually the case), a deer ran out in front of us. Hubby started to break, but already a second doe had dashed out. This one we hit, but it was both a merciful and miraculous moment. Upon impact, my first thought was, "That's it?!!" We had barely even felt it!!!

After inspecting the van, we understood why. Hoof marks could be seen by the grill of our vehicle, and no where else. The doe's back legs were up in the air as she tried to leap to safety. When we hit her, she pivoted on her front legs and rolled out of harms way. Our son had then seen her get up and run away into the woods, for which were were all grateful. We gave thanks for the tender mercies of the Lord toward us and prayed for the little doe's recovery. No doubt she'll be sore for a while!

It's interesting: the day before, I had grabbed a freebie magazine called "Around the Kitchen". Timely advice about dealing with deer was on page 37 in their October issue. Here are some things to keep in mind:

1) Feeding times for deer are before and after sunrise.
2) Deer are also more active from sunset to midnight.
3) Bucks are more active October through December.
4) How fast you are driving can and will effect stopping time as well as the force of impact.
5) If you see one deer, expect to see more.
6) DON'T SWERVE!!! I think this is the hardest advice for anyone to take. Instead, honk your horn while you're breaking, but stay in your lane. To quote the article, "Serious crashes happen when drivers swerve to avoid a deer, only to hit other vehicles or lose control of their cars."
7) Everyone should be doing this anyway, but make sure you're wearing your seatbelt so you are not injured should you unfortunately hit a deer.

Some very good, timely advice, I thought. After we got back on the road, I shared what I had read with my children, one of whom will be getting her driver's permit in the very near future. I hope this will positively impact your life! --LKR

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunday's Song

Shout to the Lord

My Jesus, my Savior,
Lord, there is none like You.
All of my days, I want to praise,
The wonders of Your mighty love.
My comfort, my shelter,
Tower of refuge and strength.
Let every breath, all that I am,
Never cease to worship You.
Shout to the Lord, all the earth let us sing.
Power and majesty, praise to the King.
Mountains bow down, and the seas will roar,
At the sound of Your name.

I sing for joy at the work of Your hands,
Forever I'll love You, forever I'll stand.
Nothing compares to the promise I have in You.
My Jesus, my Savior.
Lord, there is none like You.
All of my days, I want to praise,
The wonders of Your mighty love.
My comfort, my shelter,
Tower of refuge and strength.
Let every breath, all that I am,
Never cease to worship You.
Shout to the Lord, all the earth let us sing.
Power and majesty, praise to the King.
Mountains bow down, and the seas will roar,
At the sound of Your name.

I sing for joy at the work of Your hands,
Forever I'll love you, Forever I'll stand.
Nothing compares to the promise I have in You.

--Darlene Zschech, 1993

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sunday's Song

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty,
the King of creation!
O my soul, praise Him,
for He is your health and salvation!
Let all who hear
Now to His temple draw near,
Joining in glad adoration!

Praise to the Lord, who over all
Things is wondrously reigning
And, as on wings of an eagle,
uplifting, sustaining.
Have you not seen
All that is needful has been
Sent by His gracious ordaining?

Praise to the Lord, who will
Prosper your work and defend you;
Surely His goodness and mercy
Shall daily attend you.
Ponder anew
What the Almighty can do
As with his love he befriends you.

Praise to the Lord! Oh, let all
That is in me adore him!
All that has life and breath,
Come now with praises before him!
Let the amen
Sound from his people again.
Gladly forever adore him!

--Joachim Neander, 1665

Monday, September 15, 2008

"It's a Bird! It's a Plane!"

I was positively ecstatic, this past weekend! Rare bird sightings in town were responsible for this elation. But as much as I would have loved to have seen them closer to home, they would have been quite difficult to attract to our yard, as they have a rather peculiar diet and don't perch too well. And just as ducks look ridiculously odd sitting up on rooftops, so would one of these birds sitting on our acre lot. Yes, I'm talking about the seven Blue Angel military jets that came to put on a spectacular airshow at the Chippewa Valley Regional Airport in spite of cloudy conditions.

We started hearing them Thursday afternoon as strange sounding thunder permeating through the walls of our home. Outside, from a distance, they sounded more like the cars on a roller coaster zooming along on tracks. But it was all music to my ears!

My fascination with aviation began when I was a toddler. Living a mile from La Guardia Airport's runway brought ample opportunities to hear, see, and even feel the presence of planes. Later in life, driving along the NJ Turnpike, as well as various roads in Chicago and Minneapolis, gave many chances for us to ride along side as they taxied down the runways. And it was always thrilling to have them roar above us as they came in for landing as we waited in long lines to pay the tolls.

I wasn't the only one in my family who found airplanes fascinating. My dog Shep would intently watch them high in the sky when I lived in a valley not too far from Newark International Airport. And while living in the Chicagoland area, my dog Charlie would gleefully chase them across our yard as they flew overhead. A former neighbor mused at the idea of him actually catching one! One thing is certain: these canines would have applauded our attempts to chase the the Blue Angels clear across town. And had they been with my youngest daughter and me, they, too, would have been elated as one flew a few hundred feet directly above our van!

Saturday's show was rained out, but we got to see the Blue Angels (Navy) on Sunday, along with a C-130 affectionately dubbed "Fat Albert" (Marine), a few acrobatic planes, and the Golden Knight (Army) parachuters.

I had seen the Golden Knights perform years ago during my senior year in high school when a classmate scheduled them to come land on our football field. I was delighted my children were now able to see them. Clouds prevented them from doing their whole show, but it was still awesome!

We had one last exciting moment after the performance when a jet flew over our house on its way out of town. My children all joyfully pointed it out and asked when we could see them, again. They're not alone. According to many comments heard from others and the media, these military aircrafts were very welcomed guests to the Chippewa Valley. --LKR

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday's Song

In Christ Alone

In Christ alone my hope is found;

He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev'ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow'r of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow'r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow'r of Christ I'll stand.

--Keith Getty & Stuart Townend, 2001

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Memories Of A City Ant

The sight of flying ants has always intrigued me. Every year, I look forward to this phenomena.

Memories of childhood now flood my mind. As a youngster, I used to play with ants, so it wasn't surprising when my first "pet" became an ant found on a walk with my mom.

This poor, helpless, captive creature was brought to our apartment in Long Island. At my mother's request, it was placed out through a window onto the fire escape while I took my bath. Later, when I couldn't find it, I was heartbroken. My mother reasoned with my four year old mind that it's mother must have called it back home for dinner. That was enough convincing for me! --LKR

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Day We'll Never Forget

Today started off with several friends reminiscing about where they were on 9/11. I'd love to hear your stories, too! Here is mine:

We were in a hotel in Ohio, getting ready to drive back home to the Chicago suburbs after visiting my Mom and sister in northern New Jersey. My hubby was down in the lobby while I was packing when he suddenly burst through door of our room, emphatically telling me to turn the tv on. I asked him which channel, and he said it wouldn't matter. Puzzled, I turned it on.

I cried when I saw the towers in flames. I'd been in the World Trade Center several times back in high school. Rows of lobby elevators vividly filled my memory, along with the thought of how many people must have rode up them, that morning. How utterly helpless and hopeless those innocent people must have felt! It was overwhelming to even try to imagine. And how very desperate were the many that leapt to their deaths from that height must have been!

Every ounce of me wanted to go back home to New Jersey and be with my family and friends. We had almost stayed there longer (we home-schooled, at the time) to help my sister with her three month old triplets, one whom was sick. I later learned my hubby waffled with going back to help at the site or at area hospitals. Having spent much time in Loyola University Medical Center's emergency room as a respiratory therapist, he was used to the blood and gore of inner city traumas.

It was really eerie driving the rest of the way home from Ohio. No planes in the air, which is so totally creepy to think about even now, especially when passing by larger cities. And every place we stopped (frequently with a 7, 5, and 3 year old!), everyone was going along daily routines automatically, quietly and in shock. If we weren't listening to the news on the radio, we too drove on in silence. It was surreal.

Once we got home, even before unpacking, I pulled out a photo album containing photos of the towers and the view from the top to show the kids what they looked like, before, and how high up it was from the busy streets below.

Back in my college years, my family watched a slideshow of the towers being built taken by a friend from his office, above the construction site. I had found it really interesting. Now, we had witnessed them collapsing.

My Mom, sister, and friends called to tell about all those they knew that were late for work that morning, and spared, as well as those that they heard were still missing. Shortly after, I got an email from a friend who worked on Wall St. Her subject title was "I'm Alive!", and described how she narrowly escaped death by diving under a truck and followed directions from people from storefronts, after the second tower collapsed. She was fortunate enough to be near a drugstore that was equipped to aid victims, who in turn assisted many others that came in for help.

It's scary to think that something like this ever happened in the US, but it's even scarier to think that it very well could happen again. The world for us Americans forever changed, that tragic morning. --LKR

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sunday's Song

When I survey the wondrous cross

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it Lord that I should boast,
Save in the Cross of Christ, my God;
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down;
Did e'er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were an offering far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my heart, my life, my all!

-- Isaac Watts