he’s back and she’s still alive

Sabbath By the Sea has concluded its final half-week of retreats, and I happily announce that I successfully reached my annual goal of keeping Mr. Darcy alive in Mauri’s absence. While there were moments when her life was at stake at my own hand, I managed to speak gentle words of love to her just like he does, give her treats when she deserves them, and throw a toy to her from time to time. And feed her, yes I fed her.

So, another good month of ministry out at the coast for Mr. Macy. It was even better for him than in the past when he was still responsible for and involved in what was happening in worship ministries back at Newberg Friends. He could concentrate on the music and the people at the retreats and enter in more fully. Of course, as an introvert, he also took advantage of the open times to search the skies and surroundings for some of his favorite flying critters.

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He made friends with this kingfisher, going back regularly to check in with him.

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Generally, two pairs of eagles can be found around Garibaldi. Here’s a single up close.

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Another up high.

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Down low.

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But this couldn’t be a post about the January retreats without a shot of the two rocks, one with a hole in it.

I have many folders of pics he sent me of the rocks, but my favorite from the 2015 folder is this:

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It could win the prize.

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bows

The stars aligned to bring about the perfect circumstances for my current project.

First—My computer’s hard drive crashing during a backup because the external disk was full. Translation: I need to delete files to make more room. Since more than half of my computer’s memory is used to store photos and movies, those were my first files to target.

Second—For years now I’ve had two large plastic bins of family archival materials stacked up in my home office awaiting attention . . . approximately half photos to sort, scan, toss, organize; the other half old letters and memorabilia to read, organize, redistribute/file/toss.

Third—Time and space. Mauri spends all of January (except Sundays) helping lead spiritual retreats at Twin Rocks Friends Camp at the coast. This opens several hours each evening for me to make and leave messes in each room of the house (if needed).

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This photo represents only a fraction of the photos I held in my hands the past two weeks. And one of the many messes.

There was only one problem with my plan. Every scan uses up space in my memory. So I had to stay ahead of the game by deleting more than I added. To do this made looking at file after file of my precious photo collection and decide which ones I can live without.

There was a clear line of demarkation between film and digital, when cost was no longer a factor. Take as many pictures as you want! For me that line occurred in 2002, 13 years worth of limitless shutter clicks! And now I pay the price of having to cull. Try to imagine my great distress at having to look at all those pictures.

A couple of fun series came to the surface in my photo review. Here’s one:

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Three generations of bow wearers.

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you can’t keep everything

I tried this. Keeping everything. It doesn’t work.

Not enough time had passed between Paul’s death and Mauri’s and my “I dos” for me to release all of my attachments to many of the items that were Paul’s, were ours. But even then I could see the folly of hauling everything I owned across the country only to add it to what the Macys had already collected.

So I made a whole-hearted attempt to cull my household.

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My dear friends Ev and Ang worked tirelessly to organize and price a house full of stuff, treasures that didn’t make the travel cut.

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I let my heart do the deciding. I parted ways with my many*-volumed record collection (*an understatement).

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But I kept Paul’s wood high chair.

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Paul’s 88- and 89-year-old parents had both followed him in death by only a few months, leaving behind their life collection of earthly possessions (they didn’t take any of it with them). That’s another story all its own.

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Meanwhile, in Oregon, Mauri and his crew were tearing down a carport and

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adding a west wing to our house.

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Surely there would be room for a U-Haul truck full of stuff! (Ben and Quinn made the trek while Mauri and I honeymooned.)

Dad's crib copy

Offloaded in our new garage was my dad’s wrought iron crib, covered in layers of lead paint. For years I’d had the vision of making this into a love seat, since it was far from code for even my own babies, back when life wasn’t as precious as it is today. When I inherited the crib back in the ’70s I knew only that my dad and his siblings slept in it.

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But you might imagine my delight to find this picture of my grandmother and her two oldest children (one is my dad) in the “first bedroom” of their house. My eyes went right to the corner of the room.

I dragged that clunky iron crib from house to house to house to house as we moved around the east side of the country, then its final move to Oregon. I always thought I’d find the resources and the energy to have it sand blasted and repainted to make into a love seat. Something else always took my attention and energy, and I finally sold it to a local antique shop.

I wonder what has become of it. I think someone bought it to rest and rust in their backyard with ivy and other greenery growing around it, potted flowering plants in the middle. Dubbed “flower bed.” I’m content with that.

Posted in family matters, nostalgia | 4 Comments

kidpool

When two invitations to babysit local grandkids were offered, I suggested a kidpool. Last night was the mutually ideal evening, and by 4pm the house was alive with happy sounds.

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My friend Deborah came over to lend a hand. It was sweet and ever so poignant to introduce her to the kids as someone who long ago was a good friend of their “Grandma Rose” (aka Margaret-Rose).

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Yep, there she is in the Macy family album. (Nothing alcoholic, I assure you.)

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I tried to impose my thoughts on Deborah, wondering how she felt spending an evening with her friend Margaret-Rose’s grandkids.

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We played games, ate mac ’n’ cheese and other favorites, watched an episode of Sesame Street, colored . . . stuff little kids (and certain adults) like to do. We had a great time.

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No one cried or disobeyed; there wasn’t a single disagreement among the little dears. Deborah and I got along too!

By 9pm the parents had reclaimed their children and the house was once again quiet.

This morning at the office I picked up my purse to add my cell phone, unzipped a pocket, and discovered this:

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Aw. Brynn left a little something for me.

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my interesting life (ha)

My computer is like an appendage, and I never feel quite at ease when it isn’t within arm’s reach. So much of what I do, both at work and at home, depends on its capabilities and what it holds in memory. This is why I regularly run two backups.

Good thing!

One week ago tonight my hard drive failed and it has taken this whole week to transport it to the Apple store for diagnosis and repair, pick it up again, transfer nearly a half a terabyte of data from the backup to the new hard drive, and restore it to working order. The latter is the most dreaded part, as I always need to know just a little bit more than I know to accomplish this.

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Here it is, getting its brain restored. If you don’t regularly back up your computer, please go do it right now!

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There’s a Barnes & Noble near the Apple store, so I carried with me the six gift cards I’ve had stashed in a drawer for many years. Not knowing if they were still valid, I started out at the cash register and discovered I’ve been sitting on 50 bucks! I was about to enjoy a “free” shopping spree. For the next half hour I walked the length of the ground floor, then the second level, hoping to find something real cool on sale or that I couldn’t live without.

I tried, I really tried. But I read books on my phone these days and I don’t even use a calendar anymore. All of that info is stored on my computer! If I buy a CD I order it through Amazon at a discount (usually). So I went to their coffee shop, ordered a $2.75 hot chocolate and a $2.25 cookie, and paid with one $5 card. (No sales tax in Oregon.) That’s why you counted only five cards in the picture. $45 to go!

Such interesting stories I have to tell! (that was sarcasm)

Here’s one.

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This Christmas card from long-time family friend Malcolm Benson arrived the day after he died on New Years Day at age 93.

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And maybe you need to see this! “Tucker” (at least that’s his name so far) will become part of the Arizona Anderson family sometime next month. He’s a goldendoodle and sure to win over all of our hearts.

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It’s always challenging to choose my favorite sunset picture that Mauri sends me from the coast every January. We’re only halfway through the month, but he’ll have to go some to top this one.

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We FaceTime every evening and share stories of our days. Here he shows off one of his purchases. I can’t quite bring myself to start calling him Leonard though. Does he look like a Leonard to you?

Just a few items of interest to share from my interesting life (now that I have a computer again).

Posted in blather, old friends | 2 Comments

stats

Today I received an e-mail from WordPress, host of this blog. It contained a link to my “annual report.”

I might never have told you why I blog “a little bit of this and a little bit of that” every now and then. Sometimes I wonder about that myself! My own siblings won’t read it, and if it weren’t for my cousin in Ohio and a few other faithful readers, my stats, which I rarely investigate, would be nonexistent.

But today I clicked the link to my annual report and confess to finding considerable interest in one particular section. I made a screenshot so I could share it with you.

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The post that gained the highest interest all year? “Oil pulling”! As I live and breathe.

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christmas snippets

If you’re like us, you’re glad to see Christmas come and then you’re glad to see Christmas go. I’ve learned to simplify preparations (think Amazon Prime, reusable cloth Christmas wrapping bags, one-page Christmas letter, wood Christmas tree).

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It takes thirty seconds to put together, 4 minutes to string the lights, and 6 minutes to hang the ornaments. Ten and a half minutes.

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Don’t judge; we love our tree!

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We love this one too. Oscar made it for us last year.

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What’s not to love about this one?

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We attended the NFC Christmas Eve service from a vantage very different from the past 33 years (for Mauri, 20 for me). There’s nothing quite like watching the room fill with candlelight as we sing “Silent Night” from the platform.

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It was nostalgic for the man sitting next to me, who has been part of an attempt to burn down this and other churches in this way since 1976.

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Then on to Shari’s to fulfill the Macy tradition, only much earlier this year.

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A special gift from sister Margi. Hot chocolate made at home (when Mauri steams the milk)—what could be better?

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Love how electronics let us be part of other Christmas celebrations! Taylor and Beth with her Virginia family.

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How well they’ve woven him into their family!

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He willingly takes part in their family initiations, and I can see why they love him.

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He is “OT” to these sweet girls.

snow for C'mas in AZ

Ben shared this glimpse of Christmas Eve snow in Arizona on Facebook. Turns out, friends of Quinn and Dusty wanted to give their kids this unique experience and invited the Andersons (and a bunch of others) to join in the fun. Ben refrained from sharing the fact that he lives in Michigan.

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Facebook also let me watch the progress of the annual putting together of the requisite puzzle.

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Dusty kindly included me in this moment via text before their Christmas Eve service.

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Rachel sent this picture of OK playing Suspend.

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We spent our Christmas afternoon with these guys at Erin’s parents’ home.

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She got her wish for a violin for Christmas. A demonstration for the grandparents.

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Since I get two days off work for Christmas, we had the luxury this morningof a traditional breakfast of fresh-squeezed OJ and coffee cake. While we ate, the smell of turkey was already filling the room.

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This is all we have to show for the turkey-with-all-the-fixings meal we gobbled (haha) all by ourselves. Want to make a wish? In the crockpot, a savory turkey stock simmers.

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Christmas has come and gone. We’ve celebrated the birth of Jesus in ways we can—recognizing God’s gift to this world, honoring him with love for our family.

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