Monthly Archives: April 2012

Shining Moments

 There’s something about coming home, isn’t there. Yes, Dorothy had it right in the Wizard of Oz when she said there’s no place like home. Even today although I enjoy times of getting away, I love coming home. Bags packed. Heart beating wildly. That can hardly wait feeling. It seems no matter how old I grow, there is no place like home.

Years ago when I went off to college at SUNY of Fredonia I frequently rode the bus.

Back and forth. I knew the trip like the back of my hand.

But the memory that shines the brightest in my memory is the one of riding home from college to Owego, New York.

The minutes would simply drag as we stopped at each little bus station along that way. I could hardly wait to see my family and to hear the chatter around the table again. I could not only count on that but I could also count on a familiar sight at the bus station.

We would round the corner of North Avenue and pull to a stop in front of the familiar shop. Glancing around even before I stepped out of the bus I could see my Mom standing. Big smile on her face. Scanning the windows of the bus hoping to get a glimpse of me.

Better than a thousand Christmases was that look of joy on her face.

I carried my heavy white suitcase down the steps and then quickly dropped it to give my Mom a hug. Then we would both walk the couple of blocks to our home.

Yes, my footprints covered those smooth slate sidewalks.

Home. Owego was always my hometown. Even today my heart oftentimes  yearns to go back and walk the same sidewalks and see the familiar sights. Although many things have changed, some things have not. And my love for the town remains deep.

At home  I loved seeing my Dad and younger sister and brother. Time would stop as we basked in a few hours of togetherness before I would have to ride back to college.  The smell of homemade cookies filled the house.

Piano music playing. Laughter.

Yesterday’s joys brighten today as I thank God for those times and the special memories I hold in my heart.

Could it be God knows that as we journey those shining moments will continue to cheer our hearts? You have yours too. Cherish them. Don’t ever let them go. And keep making memories today.


Shining Moments

It was back in the days when hats cost only a few dollars and kids could walk freely without fear. Browsing some photos of Saugerties,New York I saw an old sign that reminded me of a time that my older brother and I went shopping.

Mother’s Day was fast approaching. Dave was 9 at the time and I was 7. We emptied our money jars on his bed and counted our nickels and dimes. Not very much we both agreed but enough to buy something very special for our Mom.

Dave was the adventurer and I was his faithful follower. How I loved those times of planning a secret surprise with him.

Making up some excuse we left home and walked the slate sidewalks to downtown Saugerties. The money jingled in our pockets as we walked.

Standing outside the 5 and 10 cents store we tossed ideas back and forth.

A book. Maybe a purse or fancy scarf. Nothing practical. No, not for Mother’s Day.

We walked together into the store and glanced all around.

It seemed like at the same time our eyes fell upon a red hat on display.

It was the most beautiful red hat. I looked at him and his eyes smiled in agreement.

Now if we only had enough money.

I worried as we waited for the clerk to come.

“May I help you?” she asked looking down at us.

“How much is that red hat?” Dave asked. I would have been much too scared to even ask.

She picked up the red hat and looked inside.

While we waited I tried to imagine my mommy wearing it to church. She would look the prettiest of all the ladies. I was sure about that.

Then the clerk walked back to us and mentioned the price that thankfully was within our means to pay.

As we walked the few blocks home that afternoon we were so excited.

The memory of her opening that hat box and the look of joy on her face remains with me today although this happened many, many years ago.

It shines in my memory as a time when I not only had the pleasure of planning a surprise with my big brother but also of how beautiful my mother looked that day.

Shining moments that brighten up our lives years after.

Gifts of God to cheer the heart and lift our spirits.

Life certainly has its difficult moments but look for

And hold onto those shining moments.

When Light Breaks Through


An ordinary day turns extraordinary in a moment.

A simple word. A deed of kindness.

A letter or email. A visit with a friend.

Sometimes it almost seems like nothing extraordinary is happening

but beneath the surface where we cannot see.

He works

He loves

He breathes life into places that might seem beyond hope.

No, He is the One who loves to give us an extraordinary day and life.

My heart is tuned to see His Touch

    And I rejoice when I see again

         the miraculous.

I celebrate when people are healed

    and hopes are restored.

Let’s be that hope in others lives.

Our world is hungry and thirsty to know that He is Real

   And that He cares.

Knows the numbers of the hairs on our head.

Knows our deepest thoughts

Knows our longings and desires.

Yes and He not only knows but He has promised to give us more than we ask or think

    as we trust Him

Like sunshine bursting through on a cloudy day

   He loves to wrap us in His Light

       And whisper to us assurance

            That He will never, never fail us.

His Light has broken through

Celebrate His tender mercies

    Open wide the windows of your heart

          And let His sunshine in.