Cross The Ocean

It was the black of night.

Their tired and weary eyes could hardly make out the large looming shape of The grey metal Boxcar that would be leaving their motherland forever.

It was 1935.

Great grandma and grandpa and their four young sons were heading for a land… land of the free.

Four older son’s said goodbye in thier hearts as face to face was too risky as they were left behind to face cruel Russia.

My heart aches as I imagine this having four daughters.

I can’t imagine.

The crude unforgiving jolts of the train stopping and starting, must have added to the angst gripping their hearts as it approached the Port where their next part of their escape would continue on the open seas for the next long month’s.

“Reische” as they were called in German, were buns that had been toasted to golden perfection, and packed by the dozens into flour sacks to sustain them for the long journey… perhaps the only thing standing between life and death.

Settling in with the crude amenities of the day, I can’t imagine Grandma and Grandpa’s mind’s did not float back to the day they had to say goodbye… forever… to their oldest four sons , left to face the cruelties of Mother Russia.

Although the focus now was to keep, protect their younger four sons and build a new life, I can’t but imagine their minds didn’t go back… maybe often in their humanness. But life in the 1930s on the ship to America, the land of the free, did not afford anything but looking forward, survival, the future, today… their life depended on it.

The move had different lasting effects on great-grandma and great-grandpa. While Grandpa could never really forgive himself and was never the same, as the story is told, little great grandma or the “Kleine” grandma as I knew her, mourned her sons and her losses differently. She said ” We had to do what we had to do for us to live free in another land”.

Although my heart begs to know she thought of them constantly for the rest of her years till the age of 96.. She not only survived… she lived.

She had not only raised four sons…and lost four sons, she also lost her 9 month old baby daughter… her only daughter, in the freezing semlin( underground dirt house) of the merciless winters.

My mind can hardly comprehend.

My great grandpa died in 1958. I never did meet him personally, but I learned to know my great grandma for the first seven years of my life. A determined little lady who worked the fields till her first pains of labor in the early years, then served “faspa” ( German afternoon lunch) to the men folk at the end of the same day, tending to her new born at the same time.

Life needed to keep moving forward.

We just have no idea….

Well at least I don’t.

Reflecting on this story… this piece of family history , it reminds me of how our hearts and minds want to look back to situations, relationships, etc, that can never be changed, yet we keep looking back.

Most of us will never have to experience what my great-grandparents did or only parts of… but nonetheless.. We keep looking back… somehow wanting… needing things to change. Yet our new moments that lead to our future need to be anchored in the new season of change.

We cannot move forward holding on to the past. Remembering yes… holding on … no.

Focus on the todays and tomorrows, and yes, surely reflect and remember well, but make a choice to get on that “boxcar”… perhaps in the darkest Midnight Hour of your life, and choose to keep looking forward and get on that “ship” of continual journey, and cross that ocean to that Promised Land of the FREE.

Both believed in their God that had been with them through many dark times before, both dearly equally loved by their God despite their own personal Journeys and choices how to live them.

Yet great grandpa only survived…. And great grandma lived.

They both had crossed the ocean physically but great grandma had truly cross the ocean in her heart and mind. Oh I’m sure it had to have been a commitment at times to continue, but looking back would have left her on the other side of the vast ocean even though her feet had been physically planted in the land of the free.

I believe in the same God my great grandma and grandpa had faith in so many years ago.

That same God has a hope and a strength for me to choose any “ocean” I want to cross to the “land of the free” in any life situation.

He has proven Himself to me over and over again as I look back on my journeys of having to choose to “cross my oceans” in my life… and continue to.

I cannot begin to imagine having to leave my children behind or even lose one to a harsh winter, but I know that I know that the ocean needed to be crossed to focus on a new life.

Today, what is in the rearview mirror of your life no matter how difficult?

Look to the God of the ages.

He is with us in the “boxcars” of life in the dead of the midnight and with us on the “ships” and anywhere else we may be. He hems us in with His mighty, everlasting, loving arms and gently turns our face.. If we let Him, to the winds of tomorrow… the land of the FREE…

And cross the ocean.

Chapter 55…

The day started out just like any other…

Now 55 years of days later, I got to choose… not my circumstances, not the weather, not who wished me a happy birthday, not who may have come to visit, not who called.

I got to choose.

Choose how I reacted… choose how I saw the weather… the people crossing my path that day… my circumstances…whatever they may be.

I had a gift. Not only a birthday gift that day, but a gift I’d had every single day for 55 years now.

In the early years, the gift was very young but nonetheless a gift. I didn’t always know what to do with the gift, but none the less there it was…

the gift to choose.

Choose to “see” with my own eyes or His. His being the One who had walked with me all of my life… my God.

The gift would be to not only choose, but choose to “see” through His eyes. The first 53 years…. 53 chapters… Mostly through mine.

Year 53 began a journey of writing from a place of hope. Hope of “seeing” the world… my world… through His eyes when I would invite him to join me on life’s bench along life’s path… and “see”.

Every morning… A gift to choose.

I did not always see it as a gift. In fact it was unwanted at times, as it left me in control… In control of how I would see”… my own eyes would deceive me more then plenty of times in all the past 55 chapters of my life.

So when the time came, I started choosing to” see” through His eyes… my writing changed. 45 years of writing stories… journal entries…. Poems…

I started a new chapter.

A Chapter of Hope.

Webster’s… HOPE: a feeling of expectation and desire for certain things to happen…. A feeling of trust.

The Living Word…. HOPE: confident expectation of what God has promised… And strength in his faithfulness.

So there it was…. HOPE.

Confidence in His promises to me in every life circumstance… in every moment.

The foundation on which every moment of my life could be “seen” through His eyes.

“I will never leave you nor forsake you”…” I will be with you”… ” I will protect you”… ” I will answer you”… ” I will provide for you”… ” I will give you peace”… ” I Will Always Love You”.

It all came back to the gift.

The Gift to choose… to believe His heart towards me.

A gift to choose to “see”through His eyes, anchored on this Foundation…..

And the day started out just like the previous days in the past 54 chapters of my life… The gift to choose… to “see” the world… my world… Through His eyes … A gift… Sitting at my feet beautifully wrapped by my God, ready to be opened…in a new day…

Chapter 55…

Where Heaven Begins…

The smile and smell of a newborn baby…snuggling securely in your arms… straight from Heaven…

The glistening dew resting on a blade of grass as sparkling diamonds on a brand new morning…

The majestic song of a Whipper will, echoing through the still of the evening sky…

The cool gentle breeze of a Prairie wind caressing ones sun-kissed cheeks on a hot summer day….

The crackle of a late night fire on the shores of the lake at dusk, the sounds of a lonely Loon’s caressing serenity echoing under a spectacular display of dancing Northern Lights….

A mama robin tugging at its latest juicy worm amidst the earthy smell of the dirt it came from…

The sounds of a lawn mower in a childhood neighbourhood accompanied by the aroma of freshly mowed sweet-smelling mounds of grass….

The sounds of Sunday morning country gospel time locked far away in the corners of my mind… the start of a day stamped of family….

The taste of a cold, freshly poured bubbling glass of Mountain Dew from vintage green bottles on a hot summer day, taking a break from hauling bails from the alfalfa fields on a farmstead… tucked deep within my heart….

Watching a long-lost soul coming home and come up out of that pond, the cool water streaming down their beaming face as the preacher finishes with “and raised to have new life”….

The wide-open tiny mouths , bodies cuddling closely in their nest, watching their mama Robin drop a morsel in each one intentionally with much necessity and satisfaction…

The sounds of a century old hymn.. “It Is Well with My Soul”… croon across the old country church with the voices of many, gathered to sing their praises on a Sunday morning in unison….

The taste of an icy cold cup of water touching your lips on the hottest summer day…

The sounds of the steady rain on a metal roof above a favourite chair… eyes closed as the sounds of the distant Thunder threatens its magic to complete the picture…

The view half-closed eyes see, as one peeks across the table as family gathers around a long harvest table, almost too many bowed heads to count, as the old fashioned ham and potato salad along with all the trimmings… fill the table end to end…

And then, there are the large tufts of white fluffy clouds, sailing across the blue sky, wondering what it will be like when Heaven will meet Earth, as we His children will meet Him in the air… someday…

That may be where Heaven begins….

And yet all of this doesn’t even come close to, where the real Heaven begins… Don’t ever want to minimize Heaven…

But what it does do is touch our hearts… our souls… Our minds, and gives us Hope…Joy… and happiness in the moment. And when we can experience these and more in the moment…, that which threatens to hurt our hearts… pierce our souls… cannot…..

And we taste a piece of the Abundant Life promised to us by our God, who is the centre of our hopes in all our moments.

We can then begin to taste Joy…peace…love… in the midst of a fallen world….

And that is where Heaven begins♥️

The Light Is Still On

I was hoping.

Hurrying down the street of my Hanover Street neighbourhood past the summer time sunset, I could faintly see the golden hue of the porch light through the leaves of the mighty oak, planted many years before, that had stood the test of time, standing stoically on the corner of the white picket fence that signified home to my young heart.

It was a time children could stay out past dark and the biggest worry would be to get home before the now cold tub water was thrown out from the large metal tub the whole family bathed in… Same water for all.

The vintage light bulb surrounded by the tiniest night time bugs was a stability… security that all was well. Mom and Dad were home, waiting for the last of the children to come in from the darkened summertime streets.

My red and white 70s banana seat bike bumped happily onto the gravel driveway.

I was 8… And my heart was happy… the light was still on.

*************

Driving down the dusty country gravel road in my dad’s 78 green LTD, the darkness surrounded the car with only the high beams lighting the way as the rain poured down around me.

I knew… just knew, no matter where my evening had taken me… just passed the evergreens bordering the front yard, the front porch light, still surrounded by the tiniest night time bugs would still be on since I was not home yet. Mom and dad would still be up… waiting for the last of the teenagers to make their way home.

I was 18…and my heart was happy…. The light was still on.

****************

My heart, my mind, my eyes… strained longingly through the snow packed windshield waiting to get a glimpse of the snow covered front porch light beaming through the snow storm.

It was home.

Making my way down the snow packed highway, now still 20 miles from my home, my knuckles gripping the steering wheel tighter and tighter as the snow storm swirled mercilessly around my 1981 Silver Chevy Topaz, covering any hope of previous tracks on the lonely stretch of highway deep in the dark of the night.

My husband would be waiting up. I was 28 and my heart was happy because the light would still be on.

**************

Making my way from a church service wanting to make sense of some things happening in my life now and throughout the past years, there was no 8 year old summertime Darkness… no 18 year old pouring rain… and there was no 28 year old swirling snowstorm.

Yet the darkness of the things I couldn’t see in my life… the pouring rain of tears…or the swirling snow storm of confusion in my mind.. my heart, had left me searching for the comfort of that light… the light at 8… the light at 18… and the light at 28.

My soul yearned for the light that brought a comfort that said I was home.

I picked up my little brown Bible my mom and dad had given me at the age of 13 and started reading.

Reading passages and chapters I had read many times over the years, yet this time I saw through the darkness… through the pouring rain.. and through the swirling snow storm… A light.

A light I had always heard about but had not seen for myself. I found a peace that had escaped me for too many years. A joy that filled my heart from corner to corner and a Truth… not just any Truth, but the Truth about who my God was to me and who I was to Him.

It was the comfort of home my heart had yearned for over the decades.

Someone was waiting…. He was waiting…. No matter where I’d been.

The God of the universe… Waiting for me to see the Truth… And come home.

I was 48…. And my heart was happy…

Because the LIGHT was STILL on❤️

The Power of “One”

Do you ever think:

Does what I do matter?… Do I make a difference?

Do I impact my world?.. THE world?

Well than you are in good company. I would dare say everyone on the planet has had these thoughts at one time or another.

I recently listened to the testimony of a well-known evangelist, Ravi Zacharias on YouTube.

At 17, he attempted to take his life and was hospitalized in grave condition…. Done with life.

The doctors saved his life but Ravi would need to want to live to continue when he would walk out those doors.

A man Ravi did not know, found his way into his hospital room with nothing more than a small but powerful answer to Ravi’s despair in the palm of his hand.

A red Gideon Bible.

This stranger proceeded to read a very short passage of scripture from the Gospel of John chapter 14:

I am the Way, The Truth and the Life… Because I live, you also shall live.

He stayed but a very short while as Ravi was quite weak, but this stranger knew in his heart that this small, but powerful piece of life in the palm of his hand would be the answer/hope to Ravi”s life of despair.

Ravi let it sink into his heart… and it changed his life completely from there on.

Ravi Zacharias died this past week after 48 years of loving life in the ministry of the Gospel to the world.

The Gospel message that changed His life….The Way, The Truth, and the Life.

India, his home country, called him India’s Billy Graham.

As this man goes on to share after Ravi ‘s death, if he had done nothing else with his life… influenced no one else, he felt he would have fulfilled his purpose here on Earth as he watched Ravi for the next 48 years of his worldwide Ministry, spreading hope in the Gospel to anyone and everyone, and especially to those who had been at the end of themselves as he had been.

This man’s one act that fateful day in Ravi’s hospital room, stretched way beyond Ravi… indirectly influencing the whole world over the next 48 years through Ravi.

What if he had not listened to the nudge on his heart that day?

Ravi may have gone on to be influenced by someone else who said yes to a nudge, but the point is, Ravi’s life was completely changed by the influence of ONE…

One Godly Man… Saying yes to a nudge.

Ravi went from wanting to die to wanting to live in the matter of moments, and went on to influence others with the same Gospel that had changed him that day.

How powerful.

This man unknown to Ravi, could never know have known that day what his moment of influence would carry in the next 48 years through Ravi Zacharias’ life.

Does what you do matter?

Do you make a difference?

Do you impact your world?… THE world?

Today… the words you speak, the things you do, the listening ears you have for a moment…. may just be the beginning of 48 years of influence.

Follow the nudge.

It starts with you.

The Power of One.

To MOM: My Journey Through Mother’s Day.

To MOM:

said the letters crudely scribbled on the pink homemade construction paper card, from the hand of a five-year-old, almost finishing the kindergarten year.

Her teacher had given examples on the black board to follow if needed, but her little heart had her own ideas… and so she did just that… follow her heart already at the tender age of five.

The inside cover was half filled with hand drawn red flowers and forest green uneven stems, coloured with Crayola crayons that smelled oh so wonderfully.

She quickly raised one to her little nose so as to get all the aroma that always made her heart smile.

To MOM :

Said the words now well written, not printed, on a homemade card once again as she had really practiced her cursive writing diligently as required by now being in grade 5.

The crudely hand-drawn red Crayola flowers with the forest green uneven stems, had now been replaced by a poem from her own heart as her passion for writing emerged and blossomed year after year.

“Open the door to happiness” it began. The first line of many a handmade card she would find many years later going through her scrapbooks the year following the day her mom had left for Heaven.

It was everything she truly wished for her, but didn’t always know how to tell her over the years.

To MOM:

Said the front cover of a beautiful store bought card filled with beautiful store stamped flowers. The homemade cards were being slowly replaced by bought ones found in the $1 section( what she could afford in those days) but none the less precious to her as she tried finding the one that could portray what her high-school heart wanted to say.

As the teenage years rolled by, Mother’s Day became a bit more complicated in her heart.

There were many things that brought her Joy with her mom, like the smell and taste of her homemade garden fresh bean soup with ham, jars of canned peaches( not too much sugar though said mom) the local radio station, CHSM crooning softly through the house daily, country gospel, tips for teens, Back to the Bible broadcast, Trading post and so much more… setting the tone in our home.

Yet their hearts didn’t always beat in sync, creating times of unhappiness for them both. Nonetheless she continued to linger in the card aisle yearly on Mother’s Day, her heart trying to find the one with the right words amidst her conflict in her heart.

She loved her mom. There was no doubt. But life had taken on an unwelcomed sandpaper edge at times.

To MOM :

Said the annual hand-picked store cards…so the years continued, and now she had four daughters of her own and Mother’s Day had taken on a whole new meaning for her.

The view from the other side.

The hand printed cards with the fresh pungent smell of the Crayola crayons were now hers to open from her little girlies, continuing the never ending cycle of mother /daughter, that had gone on for many a generation now going back to HER mom.

To MOM:

Said the beautifully handwritten entry, her one of many journal entries she made the year before she left for Heaven.

“Another Mother’s Day Without You! Oh how I miss you! You would be 96 years young now! I so look forward to seeing you again someday in our Eternal home where we will never have to say good-bye again!”

She gently turned the pages of one of the beautifully gifted journals given to her mom over the years by her and others whom she held so dear to her heart.

A salty tear escaped slowly down her cheek as she read and re-read the words again about how her mom missed her mom, now a year after she had left for her Eternal home.

Flipping through the pages of a scrapbook found in the small dining room cabinet her heart welled up as she came across a card from herself in the handwriting years at the age of 10…

To MOM:

“Open the door to happiness” it began.

She couldn’t hold back the tears any longer as she held the Scrapbook and journal tight to her chest, just hoping to feel her mom close again through the pages.

The hope of her mom celebrating Mother’s Day in Heaven with her own Mom after missing her so much after all these years made her heart Happy in the moment, and her salty tears turned into joy in the moment as she envisioned her mom and HER mother celebrating Mother’s Day all together once again, but this time for all eternity through the Ages!

Her mom’s “door to happiness” had been truly opened once and for all time.

The last “To MOM” had been written in the form of a eulogy at her homegoing celebration the year before… Really saying everything she had always wanted to say over the years… And she had felt she had said it well.

Her heart knew it had really been the ultimate Mother’s Day card she had sometimes struggled to write over the years. Now all felt… Now all said.

So much time had passed. 50 years since the first of many Mother’s Day cards we’re given, and no matter what struggles her heart had felt in the Sandpaper years, she wished in this moment she could give her mother a Mother’s Day card just one more time….

Coloured with a wonderfully smelling red Crayola crayon… with forest green uneven stems…

And begin again…

To MOM:💖

The Sewing Box

Carefully and somewhat subconsciously, she slipped it on her thin wrist…

Her homemade orange and white fortrel pincushion with an elastic band, filled with an eclectic array of colourful pins.

There it would sit comfortably for the duration of her sewing project for the day, still wearing it for her mug of hot water breaks she took as it was good for her body and her soul she would claim.

A thimble nestled close by as a close parter to the pins for any project that arose.

Homemade 70s suits complete with matching tie for my dad, dresses, jeans and blouses for us girls, and sweater vests, pants, and Sunday shirts for our little brother.

The pin cushion was one of many useful things found in this array of treasures found in this vintage sewing box.

The three foot long trusty measuring tape, stamped with bold black numbers in inches back then, measured everything from waistlines to neck lines and everything in between from the top of our heads to the tips of our toes, indicating how much mom would need to adjust her trusty onion thin brown patterns that in the end were really just a loose suggestion.

Extra sewing machine accessories along with a trusty petite cream colored seem ripper that would help iliminate a few stitches that had gone ary, or perhaps used to open up a complete outfit handed down for resizing, found its home in this treasure box.

Many a spool of colored thread were tucked neatly in one corner ready for the next project.

It was a box filled with all that was needed to start and complete a project.

Without the sewing box and all its contents, the 1970s Bernina sewing machine would sit quiet.

Another important tool found in the box was a pair of regularly sharpened gold and silver sewing shears used to trim the grass on occasion around the house… a trusty companion for all her sewing projects and more.

This important tool was added to the sewing box many years before during the early days of a door-to-door salesman period my Dad tried his hand at to pay the bills for a time.

Big buttons, small buttons, round… square, and a few other fun colourful shapes, collected over the years, sat happily at the bottom of the eclectic array of sewing treasures just waiting patiently to be part of the next sewing project needed for the family.

The sewing box…

a home for all that was needed in creating a masterpiece for all occasions.

This box was always within arm’s reach, perched directly on the side of the vintage brown Bernina sewing machine cabinet.

No project could be started or finished without the contents of this simple yet elegant wooden vintage sewing box.

These sewing box memories remind me of tools needed to create the Masterpiece of Our lives…. Truth from the Word.

A seam ripper to undo a path taken in the wrong direction making room to create a bigger and better life, and a thimble for times life was getting too painful but needed to push through.

An army of buttons, perhaps to hold ourselves together when life begs us to fall apart.

A tape measure not nearly long enough to measure the height and depth of our Heavenly father’s unfailing love.

The spools of eclectic thread.. Forgiveness, healing, Joy, hope and so much more… may stitch together a life that is full of purpose.

Those freshly sharpened scissors for shaping a healthy life, permanently cut out that which threatens to take down our joy, peace, and hope in our lives.

And then there is the infamous pin cushion filled with an array of colourful pins, handy in the moment to put together His unending promises that carry us through our days on this planet…

all creating a beautiful garment(life) to be worn, lived, walking in the light and hope of our Heavenly Father.

A collection of all that is needed to live an abundant, well-lived life with His ever-present help…all tucked away in my heart as I look back in time and remember…

the sewing box.

The Ultimate Cellar

Inching my way gingerly down each old wooden, crudely built step in the musty dirt floor cellar, my young spirit was in awe at the wonder of this magical place of vintage canning jars, fruit pattern stamped into the pint and quart glasses.

Despite the blanket of dust wanting to settle on the beautiful array of colourful works of art sitting dutifully on the wooden shelves, it seemed a masterpiece of its own kind. Beautiful jars of canned peaches, peas, corn, rhubarb and Peach jams, komst borscht, somma borscht, meats, and so much more.

As the years rolled by and my home changed with every move my family made, the cellars would differ in location and size but would still always be the foundation of my mom’s array of colourful canning on display.

Hot summers of harvesting in her garden contributed to this masterpiece. Jellies and jams derived from summertime berry picking in Sandilands, to raspberry and strawberry picking at my grandma and great grandma’s Country gardens just a short drive away from my hometown where their own cellars housed their own beautiful colourful array of many a jar of tasty favourites.

Many a “faspa” (Sunday afternoon lunch) table as I remember it growing up, would be the home of many a pint jar of Mom’s freshly-made rhubarb strawberry and Peach jams, ready to be slathered on her healthy delicious homemade bread.

Mom’s tried-and-true recipe of pickles had its place in its own honorary green vintage pickle bowl… A true “faspa” favourite.

Many a hot summer evening after a supper of delicious canned tomatoes poured over homemade macaroni and cheese in the biggest roaster mom owned, a glass dessert bowl of canned peaches emerged for each one of us. First the peaches than the syrup were devoured. It was a beautiful ritual that lingers often in my memory still.

And then there were her canned crab apple (picked from great-uncles) , pie filling that nestled beautifully into the corners of her homemade pie dough, trusty recipe from the Mennonite Treasury Cook Book.

A long time favourite for many in the family.

Years later, after I had started my own family, more cellars became a constant in my life.

Pickled deep red beets, yellow Mustard Pickles, and delicious, beautiful chokecherry blue jars of jam, were the end result of many a warm summer afternoon working together with my mother-in-law in her Farmhouse kitchen. My four little girls soaked in the memories already then to be tucked away deep in their hearts to be cherished many years later in their own Cellar memories.

My grandma’s Robin blue cellar was the home of particularly tart, very red pin cherries in thin juice to be enjoyed poured over homemade Flapjacks (German pancakes) along with her ever famous extra tiny baby dills. A perfect addition to just about everything.

And then there was the meat, canned to a tasty perfection from the abundance deer season had afforded after many a day tracking and waiting by my dad in the early years, always adorned in his bright orange cap.

Those beautiful cellars are but a memory now as the masters of them, moms and grandmas, have made Heaven their home now. But these memories are still very strong in my heart as they bring me to a place of understanding when it comes to abundance from my Heavenly Father.

I Never worried of lack from those cellars many years ago and I never need to worry of lack from God’s ultimate Cellar.

All was provided out of an abundance of hard work and produce. Throughout the generations, many depended on these cellars for their survival. Mentally and physically.

Large jars of

Peace, Joy, and strength.. Favour, protection, and wisdom … Forgiveness comfort, eternal life, and healing…

And jar upon beautiful jar of unfailing love..

filled to the brim.

This picture tucked deep in my heart of the beautiful cellars over the years, so incredible, cannot be compared to the beautiful cellar Masterpiece of abundance from my Heavenly Father.

As beautiful as these jars of abundance are, sitting on the shelf, they are meant to be opened and enjoyed to the fullest… Just as I did from all those beautiful cellars over the years.

All from the abundance of…

The Ultimate Cellar.

The Easter Dress

The bolt of pastel purple, springtime fabric dotted with tiny white flowers, flopped over too many times it seemed for my little mind, as the store clerk mentally counted through her cat eyes glasses, all the while measuring with precise swiftness along the scratched brown yard stick fastened to the wide counter.

My young mom snapped open her black shiny 70s purse and counted out many, many one and 2 dollar bills and change… An endless amount of change it seemed, for the miles and miles of fabric my young mind perceived.

Every hard earned dollar and dime lay haphazardly in a vulnerable heap on the well worn arbrite counter at the local frequently visited fabric store.

The beginnings of the Easter dress ..a yearly treat. Homemade by my mom.2 little girls to sew for. .

Many an hour was spent perched at her loyal, older model 1960s Bernina sewing machine.

It had stood the test of time.

The Easter weekend was nearing as the warmer April winds pushed back Easter on the calendar that year.

No little matching white tights were needed, just our little bare legs accompanied by little cotton white socks tucked neatly in our shiny new white Sunday shoes.

The onion thin brown tissue pattern was but a guide as my mom’s large vintage gold and silver trimmed sewing sheers made thier way loosely around the distinct black outlines… A heavy “chunk” sound with every pinch of the scissors in her young hands.

By days end, my dress along with my younger sister’s (matching of course) would hang completed on a wire hanger next to the sewing machine… adorned with Ric Rac and petite shirred front pockets… Perhaps a “nest” for the coveted Easter treats accompanying the holiday to come.

As Easter Sunday made its debut… Symbolizing new beginning, my sister and I in our matching dresses, danced happily up the well worn steps of the old Hanover Street church we had attended for all the years my little mind could remember.

My mother lingered close behind her girls and young son wearing her newly sewn Easter creation… different pattern, but distinctly familiar of the pastel purple material gleaned from the fabric store bolt she had saved for over the past year.

There was something about a new dress and how it made me feel when I wore it for the first time… especially at Easter.

Wearing it for the first time held a sense of new beginnings, even at this tender age… whatever that meant for me in my little heart.

A new Easter dress was indicative of a new day… representing the most incredibly new day ever.

Those days of the Easter dress are now tucked far away in the furthest corners of my memories. Sweet memories.

The idea of a new day, new attitude, not just yearly but daily, reminds me of the newness I felt in those early years of the Easter dress.

New beginnings.

I continue to remind myself daily of the new beginning, the new day Easter represents as I face each moment of every day. My strength each day… Bought and paid for with a very high price and sacrifice.

And the result…

His mercies are new… Not only every year… but EVERY morning…

My thoughts… My reflections… As I remember the days of…

The Easter dress.