Summertime, and the livin’ is easy

Well, not really,  but the weather sure is great.  After a whirlwind trip to my sister’s funeral last weekend and attending a performance of my sweet Evangeline in the children’s chorus of the Sound of Music, this week has been busy but good.

Here’s Evangeline during dress rehearsal week with all her “stage make-up” on.

Mark’s parents are here visiting, and it has been nice to have them around.  We have done none of the St Louis tourist things, but they are ok with that.  The 3 younger kids are in VBS, Mark has a big writing project, and I have work projects to complete.  So they have graciously hung around our house as we go about our normal schedules, and they have helped with meals, laundry, grocery shopping, and kids when needed.  And, we have caught little snatches of conversations between shuttling kids to VBS, boys to football practice, and fitting playmates into the mix in the afternoons.   Mom made my birthday cake and a nice meal for us on Tuesday, and Wednesday night she went to the thrift store with Evangeline and me for the entire 2 hours the boys were at football.  We found all sorts of fun stuff.

Thursday was a playdate day.  Both girls had friends over.  Here’s a shot of Evangeline and her friend playing dress up:

We’ve also been enjoying some fresh veggies and fruit.  A very few have come from my pathetic garden from the cucumber plant that took over the world (or at least my little garden patch).

This is a shot of the first cucumber from the garden.

So it has been a nice week of activity, but the frenzy level has been low.  Perhaps I should have “frenzied” a bit more, but I have enjoyed just doing what has to be done with little pressure to do more.

Singing in this World and the Next (aka Memories of my sister 3)

Katherine Eileen Burkett Fagen (March 3, 1947 – July 11, 2009) went to be with the Lord yesterday morning.  She breathed her last with, Randy, her husband of 28 years by her side in their home.  Randy was singing the Doxology when Katherine’s life ended.

In an e-mail Randy sent late yesterday, he mentioned Katherine’s lovely singing voice–he said she sang like a canary.  This brought back memories of singing with all my sisters in the kitchen of the old house I grew up in while we did the dishes.  Katherine was grown and away from home, but she came home several times a year, and when she did, on many of those visits we all did the dishes together.  I am the youngest of all the children, and the sisters between me and Katherine are 6 and 12 years older than me.  So I really learned to sing from them.

We sang what are now known as “gospel songs.”  My older, more “sophisticated” sensibilities might keep me from singing these same songs now, but I remember the words to most of them because they were drilled into my head–not only in the kitchen, but also while driving in the car and cleaning the house.  While these songs may not be “theologically astute,” they did put me on a solid footing for receiving biblical truths for the rest of  my life. Here are just a few of the songs I remember singing with Katherine and my other 2 sisters:

“There’s Within My Heart a Melody,” “The Old Rugged Cross,” “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” “WhenWe All Get to Heaven,” “His Name is Wonderful,” “Blessed Redeemer.”

This morning, as I was worshiping at our church, I thought about what Randy said.  I envisioned all the Saints in this world and the next singing together, and now Katherine is on the other side.  Our service ended with the hymn, “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah.”  Verse 3 goes like this:

When I tread the verge of Jordan,
Bid my anxious fears subside;
Death of deaths, and hell’s destruction,
Land me safe on Canaan’s side.
Songs of praises, songs of praises,
I will ever give to Thee;
I will ever give to Thee.

Katherine is in Canaan now, offering her songs of praises to the King.  Praise God for her faithful life.  May her example encourage others (and me) to keep on living and singing faithfully until we are on the verge of the Jordan.