Sunday, July 03, 2016


I am reading in Ecclesiastes this morning...not a book I have spent much time in, but for some reason I found myself there today.  It is fitting, since it talks about the "riches" we accumulate in life, as we have just divided up Mom's belongings among her kids and grandkids.  Mom's treasures...her many dish collections, her angels, nativity sets, crystal serving bowls, handmade doilies and bookmarks, and jewelry holders.  She loved things shiny and pretty and "rich" looking, even if it came from the Dollar Store.  I think if she could have been born in another era, it would have been in the early 1900's in England,  like Downton Abbey.  Her and the Dowager would have either loved or hated each other, but I have a feeling they would have found each other amusing.   It wasn't just about the material things for Mom though, I know that.  Her most treasured possessions were things that she had gotten from others...her great grandmother's platter, her grandmother's bible, her mom's teacup sets, and things that us kids and grandkids gave her.  I found many letters and drawings and cards given to her over the years...all saved and kept in perfect condition.

It has been a weird feeling to see all the "things" that are left over from Mom's life.  All in boxes now, waiting to be distributed to their new homes.  Memories of Mom and the things she liked and held precious.   She used to want to ask me what things I wanted when she died...she has been doing this since her 40's and I used to think it was morbid, or obsessive or something.  Now I realize that it probably became important to her when her own mother died.  Mom would be happy to know that most of the things she had in her hutches are now going to the homes of those who love her, and will hold onto these things because they were hers...a little piece of her to remember and treasure.

But when I read in Ecclesiastes this morning, at our table with my coffee and my husband, I wonder what Mom thinks of her things now?  Are they still important, or is she hoping we will see past them to what is truly important in life...knowing God and following the path that He has set before each of us?  Loving each other and spending time together, so much more important than having pretty things in a hutch to look at.  I think one can have both, as long as we keep things in perspective.  As Joyce Meyer said once, it is ok to have nice things as long as they don't have you.

For me, like my mom and grandma, it is the things that others have given me that mean the most.  Without a doubt. Everything else can be replaced.  But these things should never become idols, and neither should the ones who gave them to me.  I am guilty of both, but I think God is teaching me at this season of life that He wants to be the greatest treasure of my heart.  The greatest love of my life.  My purpose is not to accumulate more things, or make more money, or worship the people or places on this earth.  My purpose is to know and love the Creator of all things, the Sustainer of life, the One who gives meaning and purpose to this world and everything in it.  He gives us a love of beauty, both in nature and in things created, because it is one of His own qualities and helps us find enjoyment in this life.  But He also gives us a void that cannot be filled by the things and people of this world...because He wants us to come to Him and realize that He is the only One who truly satisfies the longing of our hearts.

Matthew 6:17-19

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth,where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Saturday, July 02, 2016

A Saturday "Date Day"

Today has been amazing!  Mr. W planned a Saturday date for us today to celebrate our 8th anniversary - we LOVE our Saturday dates, and this one I think has been one of my favorites.

First, we slept in.  No alarm, no people or dogs waking us up, so the day started out nice just because of that.  I have been exhausted for the past probably two months...ever since moving Mom and Curt to Winona in early May, and then Mom being in the hospital for 3 weeks until she finally left us, and by finally I mean it was totally unexpected in the big picture of things.  I'm having all kinds of feelings about it, but that is a post for another day.  Right now, I want to focus on today and how wonderful and relaxing it has been!

Once we got done with our showers and Vince got home from the post office with my mother in a box and I got done crying about it (also a post for another day), we left for one of our favorite local destinations...Cabin Coffee in St. Charles.  Best coffee evah!!  My husband and I sat on the log furniture, ate our breakfast, sipped our coffee and talked.  It was very sweet and rush to be somewhere, and no guilt about not doing something for someone else.  I finally began to feel normal again.

After that, we were off to make a couple stops in Winona and then on to the main destination of the day...Elmaro Winery!  It's been around for a couple years and we've heard so many awesome things about it.  Today was the first time we went and it...was...fantastical!!!  As we drove the country road that led to the vineyard, we both commented about how it reminded us of Door County...the trees lining the county road, and the beautiful homes and landscaping tucked away behind them.  I felt myself relax already.  Vince had pre-arranged a picnic basket for us, which we enjoyed on the patio.  The view was beautiful, the weather was perfect, and live music from a couple playing guitar and djimba added to the ambience.  We enjoyed a bottle of wine, some sausage and cheeses, and each other.  It was a little slice of paradise on earth.

I think we could go to this place every weekend and never get tired of it.  After our picnic we went to the wine tasting tent - something we have come to LOVE to do together.  There was not one single wine that we tried that we didn't wine tasting experience to date, and that's saying a lot because we have probably been to a dozen other wineries between here and Door County.  And to make the experience even better...THIS girl was our wine expert :)

This is Kari, one of my bestest friends since our early teens, and also the person responsible for hooking us up, so we can either thank her or blame her depending on the day - ha!  Just kidding, I am forever grateful that God used her to bring Mr. Wonderful and I and all our wacky and wonderful kids together :)  

So after forcing ourselves to leave this place, we made a stop at this new yogurt place in Winona called "Nate and Ally's", because we hadn't had enough treats for the day.  Super cute place.  Then, the last stop on our date day was to go to the movies and see what I have been waiting for MONTHS to see........"Finding Dory"!!!  It was as great as I had hoped.  

Now as the evening winds down, we are nestled in our comfy chairs at home watching old Johnny Carson shows. Vince is putting together one of his Metal Earth models while I am blogging about our day, feeling blessed, and falling in love with my new cranberry neck pillow that my sister made me buy (because I got addicted to hers in the hospital)...and my Mr. Wonderful, all over again.