Sunday, May 22, 2011

Only People Matter

Many pursue wealth & ownership, dream jobs & experiences. But no one grieves over losing money in the stock market or missing a job promotion. No one's heart aches over a low score on a standardized test or a canceled plane ticket. The only thing that matters is people. And love.

This is evidence of the image of God in the human heart. Even for those who do not believe that he created us in His own image, it is true. Throughout the Bible, as God's character is revealed, this chief attribute is evident in his words, actions, sacrifices, grace & provision. God loves people. We are all He cares about. No other object or issue trumps his constant love for people.

Our hearts are the same, although our lifestyles do not always reflect that love. He blesses us with precepts & commandments to remind us. He instructs us over and over on where our focus & efforts should lie. Everything else is meaningless and frivolous. We are made to love our neighbors and to embrace our families and to serve one another. Only people matter.

Our dear friend, Levi Masalin, and his cousin, James Austin, were killed in a motorcycle accident this afternoon.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Alice Austen's House

It looks like a doll house- with carpentry like lace lining its dormers and gables, diamond-pained glass, and stout chimney- sitting in the grass where an 8 year old Alice Austen set it on a trip to seashore in 1874. Her little fingers wrapped leafy vines around its porch supports then showered the whole thing with colorful flower petals.
The famous photographer's home is perched on a hillside only yards from a 3-mile-wide water way. I try to imagine her view of 19th century Manhattan and of old Brooklyn. Now, sky scrapers scrape smog and international barges pass slowly and loudly under the longest suspension bridge in America. If I foucs, I can still smell the sea salt that once overwhelmed the air here. Now the air smells like the smog looks.
I sprawl on the lawn in my new maternity skirt and Cinderella flats with my hair surrendered to the breeze. I close my eyes, stroke the grass, and imagine the water a little bluer, the sounds a little calmer and the breeze a little fresher. When I open them a white crane flies low over the water in front of me and I smile.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


When my name is typed into corrective text messaging, a phone's first guess is "Heavier," not Heather. For once that is applicable. My belly seems to grow in spurts. At the mo 4 mark, I suddenly doubled in belly-size then seemed to stay stagnant for a while. Then this past week, I had another growth spurt!

Monday, May 9, 2011

"Ba ba black sheep, have you any wool?"

"Yes sir, yes sir, 8 bags full!"
Remember the unsheared sheep at the orchard last week? Well, I called to inquire about the price of their wool and they offered 3 bags for free! So, my fellow historic village tour guide, Aileen, and I visited Terhune on sheep shearing day (I had never seen sheep shearing (say that 3x fast) before. It was quite and experience) and left with two whole white fleeces and 1/2 of a black fleece! We plan to wash it (cus dat's jus nasty!) and spin it into yarn on a wheel or drop spindle for knitting. We may even dye it with homegrown berries! Yes, while dressed like rural antebellum women.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Renewed. Historic. Serene.

I wrote of my visit to Princeton and its local orchard last fall, but O, let me talk now of spring! Finally, after a long snowy winter, the foliage is again thick enough to cause me to miss turns as I zigzagged through rural New Jersey. I was welcomed into Terhune Orchard by innumerable dandelion patches and apple trees, pruned and flowering. The grounds were loud with geese, a mule, woolly sheep and guinea hens scurrying from curious preschoolers. The same two yellow labs reclined on the porch, the same friendly duck approached as if to be petted and one cat gave the Cat Mint (catnip in live herb form) its undivided attention (as pictured). Spring.

After sniffing herbs and wandering through blossoms, I headed to Princeton, my favorite town south of New England. There I bought an iced vanilla milk at a local coffee shop, as pregnant women should, and sipped it on a grassy lawn in the old shopping district. Inviting.

On my drive North, an old mill aside Stony Creek caught my eye. I took a narrow road that crossed a wooden bridge, the original of which had been destroyed by General Washington after the Battle of Princeton. I parked by the mill and walked into the watery woods. I call them watery woods, because the wide creek spreads thin over the forest floor creating a series of tree-studded islands that canopy the whole area. In the cool greenery, I could only hear the water spilling over the rocks, shimmering like envied jewelry, and the occasional squawk of a lone goose. Serene.

Doctor's orders

I told my prenatal doctor yesterday that I cannot physically eat the recommended 2500 calories a day- or at least I cannot eat that much in healthy foods. So she prescribed whole milk and a scoop of ice cream per day. How often do you hear news like that from your doctor?