Sunday, March 13, 2011

Springing Forward, Temptation and Day 23 in the Hills (Shepherd that is)

Springing forward! Did you set your clocks ahead????? I did....and yet for some reason when my alarm went off....I did NOT in fact spring in any fashion. I did however.....almost oversleep and miss Mass. I finally managed to make it up with about 20 minutes to spare before Mass time. You can imagine how pretty I was as I strolled into church with only about half a second to spare. I made it though!!!!!

It appears that my grudges are no longer an issue with God. Perhaps because due to His diligence and Fathers umpteen hundred sermons about forgiveness.....I am pretty close to grudge free. Now God has moved onto temptation! I am thinking that I was nudged into giving up diet pop for Lent, just so I could be tempted and tortured for 40 days and learn how to be stronger than temptation. But if that alone weren't enough, Father's sermons are turning more and more towards the subject. This morning he talked in detail about temptation and about how in most cases....when the devil temps us.....whatever we are being tempted with "looks" wonderful, beautiful (in my case....tasty) but if we fall into the temptation, the consequences are always dire. If we are tempted in ways that can damage our soul and we give in.....the consequences can be loss of grace, loss of our soul.....and ultimately.....loss of heaven. While I am not comparing my temptation of diet pop (well I kinda am) to temptations of the soul, the bottom line is....if I can't avoid the temptation of drinking a diet pop, then how will I ever be able to avoid something big that can potentially damage my soul? While Father was speaking of the sin of Adam and Eve and reminding us of how the devil tempted Eve and won, I was pretty sure Father was directing his sermon yet me. Yes people, by now you should know that I do in fact believe that pretty much EVERYTHING is about me. It did make me think though and made me realize that temptation is all around us and during Lent especially is a good time to think about it and start practicing good choices and make them a habit so that when Lent is temptation radar will be be working full tilt. (Again....if it appears I am rambling....just go with it. I am sleep deprived because of the time change!) So enough about temptation.

Yesterday I got the material and everything I am going to need to redo my chair. I also figured out what I am going to do with the chair once it is finished. I figure it will be a weekend project and since most of this one is over, I will do it next weekend. I am actually kind of excited and should have material left over for a couple of other projects too. Where is Marni when I need here? Oh yeah...right....TX! Anyway, today I will be planting seeds, so you can probably be expecting another blog this afternoon....possibly after I take a nap.

Dinner is cooking in the crock pot (beef tenderloin...yum). Z made a lemon cheesecake (yes I said Z). He in someways is a better cook than I am and he enjoys it a whole lot more than I do. He got that from his dad. When he comes up with a new cheesecake idea that he thinks would be great on the menu, he usually try's it out first to find out if it is a keeper. We have had a flop or two, but usually he is spot on with his ideas. I can't wait to try today's. The rest of the day though....I see much resting and recouping from this springing stuff. Hopefully by tomorrow I will have gotten my second wind!

It's that time again. Time for the 30 Day Challenge.

Day 23 - A picture of your favorite book.

In my lifetime I have read many, many books. My 7th grade year alone I read several hundred. My mother and I used to have competitions to see who could read the most books in a month. She always won, but I always gave a valiant effort. I think one month she read 40 some books. I only read about 30. That was all my brain could absorb.

In all of my reading, there are few books that I would read more than once but there is one that stands out that I have read over and over. I was introduced to it at my grandparents house when I was fairly young. When I went to their house, children were expected to be seen and not heard. They really had nothing for kids to do, so in order not to get in trouble I had to find something quiet which kept me out of sight and out of mind. They had a little room that they used as a guest bedroom and in it held a tiny library. I was fascinated with the room because of two books. The first one was a book that had belonged to my aunt first and then my dad when they were little kids. It was a Shirley Temple book which I believe came out in the early 1930's. The cover was worn and I had been told I could only gently turn the pages and nothing more. Having been brought up with a great respect for books even at a young age, I was extremely careful with the yellowing almost brittle pages. From about the age of six until about ten, I can't tell you the hours I logged carefully looking at every page and for whatever reason marveling at this book about Shirley Temple. I am sure this alone kept me out from under the adults feet and  out of trouble.

As I began to grow away from my Shirley Temple book fascination, another book quickly took it's place. I was a lover of non-fiction and when I found out this book was a work of fiction with a non-fiction basis, I dove into it. I think my favorite book of all time is The Shepherd of the Hills , by Harold Bell Wright. It is about a man who travels to the hills of Missouri and becomes intertwined with it's people. The story has everything. It has romance, mystery, ghosts, secrets and even a fight scene or two. The first time I read it....I fell in love with the characters Wright wrote about and I wanted to be Sammy Lane with all my heart. Since I didn't own the book, I would book mark my favorite parts and each time I went to my grandparents house I would read and reread  them.

When I was about twelve my family went on our first vacation ever. We were going to Branson, MO and Silver Dollar City. I was excited beyond words (although back then it was much different than it is today!) The most exciting part to me though....was when we got there I learned you could actually go to The Shepherd of the Hills. There was a wonderful museum and you could tour the cabin where Old Matt and Aunt Molly lived and see all of the beauty that Wright saw and put into each page of his story. And during tourist season, every night, at The Shepherd of the Hills Theater.....the play of Wrights story was/is still reenacted. We didn't get to go, but I did get a play book which I think I still have. It was a vacation that to this day I still remember fondly.

Since that time I have read The Shepherd of the Hills many times over. Each time I bask in the beauty that Wright's words visualize and I once again fall in love with the characters that make this story so rich. In 1997 my husband and I went there together and I was able to go back and see all the things I remembered so vividly from my childhood (sadly we still didn't make it to the play). Much had changed as it has become a hot tourist spot over the years. But what remained the same was the feeling that somewhere Little Pete might be lurking or at any moment Aunt Molly might appear on the the front porch of the old cabin.....or if you looked just right.... you might get a glimpse of Sammy running barefoot through the trees. I fell in love with the place all over again.

It you have never read this work by Wright....I highly encourage you to, and if you have then you know why.... The Shepherd of the Hills is my favorite book of all time!

No comments: