Zane Grey published his novel, “Riders of the Purple Sage” in 1912, the year New Mexico became a state. I never read it, but Purple Sage blooms in late summer and early fall so, hopefully his story takes place during that time of year. We call it the purple time of year. This picture of a Purple Sage was taken on a morning walk with Jessie and, as you can see, the bumblebees are stocking up for winter.
Today I catch up with Betty. She is three months older than I am. I was born on a Wednesday about 11 in the morning and the year was 1945. Exactly one month before I was born the first atomic bomb was tested at Trinity Site which is just two hours South of where we live now. The US dropped two atomic bombs on Japan a little over a week before I was born. Tens of thousands were killed but as bad as that was, it saved several million lives, both US and Japanese lives, because the Japanese were making preparations to continue fighting on their homeland no matter the cost. The war officially ended about 3 weeks later on September 2. I’m sure my parents had plenty of reasons to celebrate… a new baby boy and the war coming to an end.
For the past 51 years of marriage and 6 years of dating before that I have celebrated 57 of my 73 birthdays with the love of my life, Betty of course. During that time we have been blessed by celebrating the births of two of the finest sons a man could ever wish for – Wade Daniel and Chris. So, we celebrate one more birthday together. I am a blessed man.
We went to watch an Albuquerque Isotopes game last night. They’re the Triple A team for the Colorado Rockies. Unfortunately, it’s monsoon season in New Mexico so we have afternoon/evening rain fairly often. They covered the field before the game was supposed to start at 6:35 PM and it did start raining and blowing about 7:00 PM. The game finally started about 8:30 PM, but we were already home by then.
I did have a foot-long hotdog with sauerkraut, green chiles and onions which was great. The ball game is the only place Betty lets me eat sauerkraut as she can’t smell it there in the open. She had a slice of pepperoni pizza. So, the evening wasn’t a total loss.
I ran across this statement from C. S. Lewis in Mere Christianity about the truth of married love:
“Ceasing to be ‘in love’ need not mean ceasing to love. Love in this second sense—love as distinct from ‘being in love’—is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by (in Christian marriages) the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God. They can have this love for each other even at those moments when they do not like each other; as you love yourself even when you do not like yourself.
‘Being in love’ first moved them to promise fidelity: this quieter love enables them to keep the promise. It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run: being in love was the explosion that started it.“
After 51 years of marriage to Betty I can attest to the truth of what he says.
Let all things their Creator bless, And worship Him in humbleness, O praise Him! Alleluia! Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son, And praise the Spirit, Three in One!
Yep, that’s a spider… in my sink. It’s a Parsons Spider to be specific. I do not like spiders. They creep me out. However, in researching the name of this spider I found out that he and his ilk do a great job eating a lot of little things we don’t want in the house.
God created him for this purpose. His Creator is my Creator. So, I am leaving him alone for the time being. If necessary, I’ll catch him in a glass (never touch him with my hands) and move him outside. So, praise Him little Parsons Spider and I’ll try to do the same.
But, I’m not there with crickets in the house that wake me up at night with their loud chirping. Still working on grace for them.
Some times Betty and I walk Jessie together as in the picture above. However, there are times when I walk Jessie by myself and, since she’s not that great a conversatio nalist, I have time to think about a lot of random things. Here are just a few of my random thoughts from recent walks.
1. We live in a beautiful place with beautiful sunrises and sunsets and great views.
2. I can’t imagine my life without Betty in it just as I now can’t imagine my life without God in it.
3. I don’t understand why people can’t eat in peace at a restaurant without other people shouting at them and threatening them. Just because they have different viewpoints doesn’t give them the right to act like a mob. They should be ashamed, but I know they’re not.
4. I have good friends who think differently from me about some things. However, we are able to put our friendship above our differences. I am blessed to have them in my life as I learn from them.
5. Someone once said, “Growing old is like being punished for something you didn’t do.” I don’t agree with that. For me as a Christian, growing older is just one more step to going to my real home. Death is not an end, but a middle transition from one life to another one that will certainly be interesting.
6. Where we live always surprises us, even after 14+ years. The other night I took Jessie out after dark. At the gate from our courtyard to the back, she started smelling something that looked at first like a large rock. It turned out to be a humongous toad, bigger than a baseball. That’s the first toad we have seen. Fun.
7. We go to a great church that puts Jesus above all else. Our lead pastor, Mike, preaches straight from God’s word. We’re blessed to have that as our church home and all the people as our second family.
8. Speaking of family, we are blessed to have a great family. I have a sister and Betty has two brothers a sister and a stepmother. They are all good and interesting people. We are also blessed to have great sons, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren. All of our nieces and nephews are good people as well. Even though we may have differing views of the world, we all try to put family above our differences and it works.
9. We have some of the best neighbors we have ever had. Susan, who lives in front of us has been here as long as we have. She is a great friend who happens to love Golden Retrievers as much as we do. Our neighbors behind us, Minet and Barry, moved in about a year and a half ago. They are originally from South Africa and they are fun to talk to. They have four goats which give Jessie a good distraction when they run the fence together. Susan, Minet and Barry are some of the most giving people we know and there’s nothing we wouldn’t do for them.
10. Last thought while walking Jessie: I have a rock in my shoe.