Tell Me a Story about … a Creek!

8-13-18 C (2)Thunder echoed through the hollow, rattling the loose window pane in the cabin door. The afternoon’s thunderstorm had grown into a wailing, angry force, and with the darkness, it seemed to be trying to fight its way inside the cabin. Rain pounded the roof, wind howled and whipped the walls and windows. Lightning bolts streaked across the night sky, leaving eerie periods of illumination.

Inside the cabin, most of the children and adults slept through the ruckus. Some of us, however, could not. Thunder storms bouncing around the mountains could scare an avid storm-chaser, but this one seemed more intense than any before. It roared overhead and burst from the hollow as though chased by unseen demons.

We could hear the water of the small creek, which had gently flowed between its banks during 8-13-18 Bthe earlier part of the day, change to something from a movie about whitewater rafting. Huge crashes, one after another, sounded like dynamite exploding, first up the hollow a ways, then closer, in front of the cabin in which we sat listening, shivering, wondering if the building would blow apart any second.

After the long night of sleepless terrors, the morning showed the incredible power of the storm. The sun had returned, but the torrential rains had swollen the creek, swirling waters pounded the banks, seeking an outlet to the tension from the night before. The ground felt swampy beneath our feet.

What astounded us most was the layout of the creek itself. It did not resemble that of 8-13-18 Ayesterday, nor of the years I’d spent wading its waters. During the night, what we mistook for thunder was huge boulders tossed by rising waters. Rocks, as large as monster truck tires, had been tossed like leaves across the water and deposited in another section of the creek hundreds of feet downstream. The power necessary to uproot these boulders from where they’d sat for who knows how long and tumble them like children’s building blocks to a new resting place, seemed unimaginable. We’d heard it, we saw the aftermath, but we couldn’t take it in.

 That storm made us more aware of our human frailty and God’s power. He created the earth with a word, causes the storms to rumble, commands the sun and moon to rise and set. His power can toss a boulder, crumble it to bits, yet He created us, frail human beings who need His help to breathe and live each day. And He does so because He loves us. Wow … 

 *** Do you have a memory about a creek you’d like to share with us? Please do! Click on the words beside the date of this post. Scroll down to the box with the heading, “Leave a reply.” Thank you for sharing!

 *** Next week, a post written while vacationing this weekend at this wonderful place!

 

Tell Me a Story about … Camp!

Only four days! Four days until we pack the car with duffel bags, pillows, sleeping bags … and the dog, and head for Potter County and CAMP!Potter County!!

Oh, how I love that word! That place! Camp to others may mean somewhere they attended as a child—playing games and learning songs around a campfire for a week each summer. To some it brings memories of camping adventures, with a tent or an RV, doing all the same things as at summer camps only with family and close friends.

But to me, “camp” holds all my most-cherished memories. Over the life of this blog, I’ll share many of those with you, starting with the posts for August, one of our favorite months to go there.

The cabin we call “camp” sits at the base of a mountain and at the mouth of a hollow, alongside a creek, in the Blue Mountain range of Potter County, PA. The Jolly 9 Hunting Club rents the cabin for its members to use during hunting and fishing seasons. These members can reserve times to take their families and friends there for vacations.

Our extended family all planned their vacation times for the same week and traveled by caravan. A hand waved out a window or flashing headlights seen in a rear-view mirror alerted others to stop for a bathroom break for kids or dogs. The trip included a picnic lunch beside the “rusty creek,” a gorgeous, shaded pine grove by the side of a creek with mineral deposits which caused the rocks to become rust-colored.
Camp!!!
Upon arrival at camp, everyone chose their favorite bunks and unpacked. Having so many people together in a three-room cabin, caused quite a bit of noise. With the original exposed beams on the ceiling and walls, we could really “make those rafters ring.” From the smallest child to the oldest adult, merry-making filled the days and nights.

By day, we waded in the creek less than a stone’s toss from the front porch or played the old-fashioned game of quoits, similar to horseshoes except with donut-shaped rubber quoits to toss over the posts. At night, we went spotting deer and toad-finding (after a rainstorm), finishing off with cocoa, hot enough to make it gooey with melting marshmallows. Then we’d break out the cards and play rounds of rummy, Uno, or Blitz until well after midnight, a double delight for us kids.

In fact, the only activity in this idyllic place which did not include the word “fun” was the necessary treks to the outhouse. But no one seemed to truly mind … well, except my one sister-in-love, who detested any speck of dirt and would have gladly scrubbed it down with Clorox and Lysol. One time, my dad snuck out before she got up in the morning and posted a sign on the outhouse door: “Sister’s dreamhouse”! (Name changed to protect the innocent!)

Camp! Less than four days to go! See you there!

*** What does the word “camp” bring to your memory bank? Please, share your story! Click on the words beside the date of this post. Scroll down to the box with the heading, “Leave a reply.” Thank you for sharing!

 *** Next week, another post about this marvelous place!

 

Tell Me a Story about … Cross-stitch!

Who’d have thought stitching rows and rows of tiny X’s would change my life? Have you ever cross-stitched? Did it give you a thrill to stitch itty bitty X’s, making them into a picture?

7-30-18 CI fell in love with cross-stitch the first time I made a sample kit at a party. I figured this would be like many sales party where you gather with friends to hear about some products and spend money you don’t have through a sense of obligation to the hostess. And the best part comes when they break out the yummy treats at the end!

However, this one surprised me. Each guest received a mini craft kit, complete with all materials. The consultant told us the steps to complete the cross-stitched-butterfly napkin ring: separate the six-strand orange floss, thread the blunt cross-stitch needle with three ply of the floss, and begin making diagonal stitches on the Aida cloth (stiff fabric with an even weave creating little squares). Then we stitched back across the line on the opposite diagonal, crossing the first stiches to make X’s. it delighted me!

That’s all it took, that first little butterfly began a new genre of stitchery in what would come to be quite a large repertoire of accomplished techniques I would learn over the7-30-18 A (3) next 40 years. I gobbled up every pattern, bought scads of embroidery floss, completed kits and pictures for gift-giving. Then I infected my mother-in-law with the bug, and she cross-stitched larger projects than I liked tackling, such one with three angels she made for me because of our three daughters.

Eventually, I went on to create my own unique projects. My husband just reminded me of the fun I had with what cross-stitchers call waste canvas. This fun product allows us to cross-stitch from a pattern onto anyt7-30-18 B (2)hing, using a piece of the waste canvas which can then be pulled out of the finished design thread by thread. I cross-stitched on tote bags, nylon wallets, clothing, a bowling towel, and more. I even created my own line of cross-stitched ties, mostly forest animals, which my husband loved showing off at work, including a deer which we had to turn into Rudolph for Christmastime.

Most years, I make our Christmas gifts for our extended family and friends. Sometimes, I write 30-day devotionals, such as the one I did for Christmas 2017 to go along with the current return to the fun of game-playing, board-game style. This year, I plan to use up some Aida cloth I bought maybe 15-20 years ago and create some Christmas-designed placemats.

Of course, my bad habit of waiting until fall to start … um, okay, Thanksgiving … means late-night stitching which, with advanced age and diminishing eye power, I have trouble doing. This meant giving in to my husband’s idea of starting early! So, for my final Christmas-in-July activity, I began working on these cross-stitch projects and anticipating getting done before December 25 … 2019, that is! LOL!

*** Have you ever tried cross-stitching? Or received a piece done by someone else? Please, share your story! Click on the words beside the date of this post. Scroll down to the box with the heading, “Leave a reply.” Thank you for sharing!

*** Next week, I’ll share a post with a word dear to my heart. Check in to see what it is!