Janet and Alf’s wedding day
I felt depressed.  I couldn’t figure why.  I survived my second covid vaccine.  I had food, clothing, shelter.  It was even sunny out.  I asked God to reveal to me why I was wallowing.  I thought maybe it was because I had read all of Tracie Peterson’s books and that Roseanna White’s new one would not be out until May.  Then I remembered– my cousin Janet passed away 3 years ago on April 2. Her husband, Alf, passed away one year ago on April 2. I was mourning — that’s all.
The first time this strange depression set in was when my sister, Evy, passed away in January 1997.  For the next 5 Januarys I would become very sad for no reason.  Then I would remember that Evy had passed away in January.  
To cheer myself up I would go into the local drug stores or department stores and try on all the sample perfumes.  I would check out all the Mary Engelbright greeting cards wherever I could find them– in toy shops, Hallmark stores, and stationary sections of various stores.  I would watch a bunch of movies.  One time I went to Elizabeth and Alexander’s Tea Room (no longer exists) at The Country Village in Bothell, and ordered a huge breakfast. I also would listen to my favorite music.
How do you cheer yourself up if you have a time of sadness?
Proverbs 17: 22 A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

I hope you have some happy memories from Easters past.  One of my memories is of the above Easter Bunny bookmark.  I recall seeing these bookmarks around the house as I was growing up.  The crafted Easter Bunny must be at least 50 or 60 years old.  I have no idea who made it.  It could have been created by my mom.My other joyful memory is of Reverend McPherson, Pastor of Calvary Presbyterian church in Alexandria, VA–  teaching us to say– “He is risen indeed,” after he had proclaimed that –“He is risen.”
Then third are the hymns– “Up from the grave He arose,” and “The Easter Song.”
May God bless you with good things this Easter as we celebrate the hope that we have in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Here is the story of the 1904-1905 Welsh Revival in a hour long You Tube presentation.  Because of the power of the Holy Spirit thousands were converted to faith in Christ.   Crime stopped. The police were only needed to sing at the revivals.  My idea would be to open all the churches for 24 hour prayer and hymn sings.  Maybe this will be in God’s plan when Jesus is ruling on Earth!

Back row– Jack, Ruth, Brad, Evelyn,Wayne, Grace, Martha, Dave, Jay, Dorothy, Chris, Roberta, Evy, Lou, Davy, Sue, Lane

Front row- -John, Diana, Mike, Sue, Tina, Mark, Jes, Heather/ Diana and Mike’s wedding

“Now the sun is sinking
In the golden west;
Birds and bees and children
All have gone to rest:
And the merry streamlet,
As it runs along,
With a voice of sweetness
Sings its evening song.”

I can hear Grandma’s sweet voice as she sings while we drive into the sunset on our way home from Spokane.  Music was a comfort and a joy in our family.  Grandpa played the fiddle and the piano by ear.  Mom and Aunt Evelyn played piano and organ.  Aunt Ruth sang.  Uncle Jack sang, was a music teacher,  directed the church choir, played clarinet, and sax professionally.  Wayne played the baritone and bugle, Martha played piano and organ.  Jay played the sax.  Dorothy played the clarinet, Chris took an interest in playing flutes, guitars, ukuleles, harmonicas, and other small instruments. I sang in the church choir and in girls chorus in high school.  Evy played the clarinet, Lou sang in the church choir, Davy played oboe, clarinet, sax, flute, and bugle, John plays the trumpet, Diana plays clarinet and sings.  Mike sings. Sue dabbled in playing the bass, Tina took piano lessons, Mark played clarinet and was a professional drummer.  Jes was also a professional drummer, and Heather plays piano.

So whether we were amateurs, or received pay, we were a musical family. I’m looking forward to when we are all with Jesus singing worship songs to God.

Psalm 96:1 Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth!

Mary, Martha, Emily, Mary Ann, Grace, Jeanne, 1996

My Aunt Ruth said one time, when we were all young, “I’m glad we don’t kiss and hug like some families do.  All that mushy stuff is very uncomfortable.”  I chalk it up to the scientific mind.  She was an RN with a BS from Whitworth.  The rest of my family were scientists, mathematicians, or engineers, and didn’t kiss or hug either.  My grandfather on my mother’s side was an accountant for the city or county.  I’m not sure which one.  He worked at the Spokane court house. My grandfather on my father’s side was Superintendent of the Post Office building in Spokane.  He grew award winning African Violets in his basement.

So this mask wearing and social distancing works very well for many of us.  We can avoid all the mushy stuff.  So, of the ladies in the picture above, my mom, aunts, and sisters-in-law, and cousin-in-law, I don’t recall hugging any of them.  My Aunt Jeanne did kiss me on the cheek when I traveled to Spokane for my uncle’s memorial service.

But my Aunt Ruth said in her later years, “I wish we did hug.” As soon as this social distancing is over I plan to follow the example of my cousin Kit, my cousin Dorothy’s daughter Cindy, and  my daughter-in-law Jessica, and begin hugging!

Romans 16:16 Holy hugs all around! All the churches of Christ send their warmest greetings!  The Message

Mars has been the subject of many conversations with my three brothers.  It all began with my oldest brother, Jay, I think.  He had the vision of running a radio station on Mars.  I think the next brother, Davy, may have wanted to do something there using his degree in biology.  The youngest brother, Wayne, I suppose would use his degree in agriculture.  I believe Jay and Wayne have attended Mars Conferences. In case you didn’t pick up on it my brothers are colonists.  They would like to colonize Mars!

Well, now America has a robot named Perseverance on Mars.  Here is the story from World Magazine.  

Hebrews 1:10 “You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands;

Monday, February 15, 2021, is President’s Day.  From History.com is this explanation of how this third Monday of February became a federal holiday.  

Speaking of Abraham Lincoln,  have you heard about the San Francisco Unified School District voting to rename Abraham Lincoln High School because, “Lincoln, like the presidents before him and most after, did not show through policy or rhetoric that black lives ever mattered to them outside of human capital and as casualties of wealth building?”   Here is an article in Smithsonian Magazine that sets the record straight.   We only need to visit Gettysburg and to read Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address to realize that he believed that all men are created equal.  Here are some photos from our visit there back in 2001.  Lincoln’s Gettysburg address follows.

“Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives, that that nation might live.

It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate—we cannot hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract.

The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.

It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Our door decor
February is a busy month for us.  First we have Ground Hog’s Day, then we have Jes’s birthday, then Valentine’s Day, then Samantha’s birthday.  What do you look forward to in February?
Here are some Valentine craft projects my thoughtful children made.  I scanned them and then passed on them to others.

After two Valentine’s Day dinner reservation failures several years ago we gave up on going out on Valentine’s Day.  First we thought that the local Italian Restaurant wouldn’t have that many people going out to dinner on the 14th– we waited for a table for about an hour and then gave up.  Then the next year we made reservations at the local Bonefish restaurant. We ended up waiting two hours and eating in the bar.  The restaurant was so loud we couldn’t talk so we texted each other.  But to make up for those disappointments we had the best Valentine’s Day ever with our friends Nancy and Charlie in Orlando in 2010.  We attended the new movie “Valentine’s Day,” and then had a nice dinner after — with no waiting! 

This year we will cook at home!  What will you do?

I Corinthians 13:Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[bit does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Stoicism is a trait that I believe many members of my family posses.  When I was seven I broke my foot after jumping out of my grandparent’s hay loft into a hay stack below.  I twisted my ankle on a piece of coal while walking back to the hay loft to jump again.  I ordered my brother, Jay, to carry me into my grandparent’s house for some first aid.  My mom wrapped my foot.  I went back outside and continued to jump into the hay.  When I was eighteen I fell down some stairs in college and broke the same foot in a different place.  The college nurse wrapped it for me.  I traveled home for Thanksgiving vacation.  My mom made an appointment with the doc.  I went shopping for needed school supplies until it was time for my appointment.  After an x-ray and learning my foot was broken I then received a cast which I wore for six weeks.  The third time I broke the same foot, in a different place again, I waited a few days before I went to the clinic nearby. I  was put into a walking boot which I wore for six weeks. 

When I was in labor with our son, I went to church.  Most women scream when they are in labor. Not me. I gave birth Monday morning at 4 am with no anesthesia.  I was so stoic that the nurse said that I was ready to go pick cotton.  

Both my children are stoic also.  When daughter, Heather, had to get stitches in her head, when she was three years old, she did not cry.  When son, Jes, was hit by a car when he was eleven he did not cry.  

When my sister Evy was dying of cancer.  She was home alone and kept the door locked.  Anytime the doorbell would ring she would get up out of her death bed to answer the door.

I thought the following obit illustrated the stoicism of my ancestor.  He stayed at home until he knew he was going to die then rode into town– I assume on a horse, and went to stay with his son for the last few days of his life.  ___________________________________________________________________________________

Newspaper Obituary – Thursday, June 25, 1885 Pulaski Democrat – Pulaski, New York – Orwell – Old Mr. Samuel Stowell died Saturday morning, June 20, 1885. He was over 92 years old, and has lived in town over 60 years, one of Orwell’s old landmarks. He was a good citizen, a good neighbor, and will be missed.

Newspaper Obituary – Thursday, July 16, 1885 Pulaski Democrat – Pulaski, New York – Samuel Stowell, one of the oldest residents of the town of Orwell, died at the residence of a son, H. J. Stowell, in Orwell, and the 94th year of his age. The deceased was born in Connecticut, in 1791 and in 1819 he removed to Orwell, where he bought a tract of land in the almost wilderness, and commenced the arduous task of clearing the same to make a home for himself and family. During the first years his winters were engaged in teaching school and the rest of the time was employed on his land. He raised a family of nine children, and at the outbreak of the Rebellion being a strong Union man, he offered four of his sons to help save the country. Only two returned. He was, for many years, assessor of the town of Orwell, also holding the offices of town clerk, school Commissioner, and other offices of respectability in which he was always found it very accurate. He was a man of great memory and even in his last years would read readily without the aid of glasses, and would relate what he had read with remarkable correctness. He was very much attached to the old farm where he had lived for 66 years, and could not be persuaded to leave it until the Monday morning before his death, when he arose earlier than usual and put on his best clothes, which he was not accustomed to do. After eating a light breakfast he rode to the village, a distance of half a mile, and while at the store, said he presumed it to be the last time he should ever come there. He then started to walk to his son’s house, a short distance from the store, arriving there very much exhausted. His daughter, Mrs. Crocker, was visiting there at the same time and remained, administering to his every want, and all that friends could do was done to make his last days comfortable. He expressed no wish to return to his home, but said to his daughter that he thought he would not go back. He suffered no pain as there seemed to be no disease, but gradually sinking till Saturday morning he departed this life and exchanged his place on earth for a home above. He was a member of the Congregational church and a regular attendant until within the past few months. His funeral was largely attended on Monday, June 22, at the Orwell Union church, Rev. Mr. Griffith officiating, taking for his text the following, found in Prov. 3:16: “Length of days is her right hand, and in her left and riches and honor.” He will be greatly missed by his friends and neighbors, but they feel assured that their great loss is his eternal gain.

Listened to The World and Everything in it and heard Lauren Daigle sing this song. Click on the You Tube above.  I liked her arrangement.