A Blast From The Past

For the last week or so I’ve been gathering and sifting through stuff that has been left behind on our last couple of moves. You may be acquainted with the “stuff” I’m talking about… old files and boxes of stuff that you didn’t have the heart to throw away, so you just box it up and find a convenient place to store it. Usually with a sibling, child or parent. That stuff that you don’t have time to deal with or make a definitive decision on. So it just lives a life of its own in a different space.

In my case it is stuff that I left with our youngest daughter in Yacolt, WA. But now she is on the verge of moving, so my stuff needed to be taken away or thrown away.

Well, the hoarder within whispered, “Throw away all the known junk and take all the “good” stuff back to Arizona.” So I did… and encountered the unexpected…the monsoon season shortly after entering AZ. All my precious “stuff” was riding in plastic crates in the back of our open pickup would soon be junk!

CAUTION! Never be disillusioned by the waterproofness of plastic crates. The crate holding correspondence containing photos, genealogy information from relatives long dead, were floating in 3″ of water.

I have spent some long hours since arriving home, doing what I should have done years ago… scanning them to disk.

My office smells older and mustier than I as the old wet paper slowly dries enough to be scanned. Some of the old photos seem to have survived enough that Photo Shop can repair them.

Evelyn’s three documents for which I am most proud are still in pretty good shape. Society of Mayflower Descendants (in the line of John Alden), Daughters of the American Revolution (in the line of Paul Revere), and our Marriage Certificate.

Early in our marriage we began corresponding with our parents via reel-to-reel tapes. Then as technology increased it was via cassette tapes. Somewhere in these crates are some surviving cassettes.

Another way of communicating was a yearly newsletter that went out to siblings, children and cousins. For years it was a joint effort of both Evelyn and me, but by the 1980’s it became more of her burden. I wish that I still had some of the letters from the 60’s and 70’s. They were pretty “Artsy.”

So I thought that I would share the oldest one that I have, just for human interest.

This will also illustrate the problems that we had using “older technology.” Her typewriter (what’s that?) was laying down only half of the “e.” Sometime none at all, but the Christmas letter went out “as is,” because by the time it was finished, it was well into January. This is the scanned version that survived the thunder and rain of AZ.

STRAWN NewYear Letter-1_1985STRAWN NewYear Letter-2_1985

Waiting on the Lord

Psalm 2017:27

July 27, 2017

I will arise with the break of day
Wipe the sleep from my eyes
And begin to pray.

Thank you, Lord, for life it’s self,
For your everlasting mercy.
Your eternal love, given without measure
To sinful mankind is a thing of wonder,
Staggering my comprehension.

Teach me your ways, o Lord!
Put a right spirit within me.
That I may reflect your will
To those around me.

Give me strength to guard my thoughts
That they may turn to you all my days.
Let my life be a channel of your love
Flowing out to those around me.

Thank you for undeserved grace.
Your daily forgiveness brings tears of joy
And dancing to my feet.
Songs of praise arise from my heart.

You are my salvation,
Deliverance from the wretched man that I am.
I will bless your name forever, my One God.
The One for me! Forever and ever. Amen!

Happy Trails

What an awesome trip from Oakridge, OR to Fallon, NV yesterday. At one point were went from 92F and light clouds, down to 62F and rain so heavy I could barely see the road.  Coming into and out of storms punctuated with lightening and thunder. There were at least two fires burning the hills in the distance.

We spent a peaceful night in the Fallon Walmart Rest Area.

Lake Chautauqua Reflections

Lake Chautauqua Reflections
July 19, 2017

We have spent the first night ensconced in our “Family ’n Friends compound,” composed of three consecutive RV campsites on the grounds of the Oregon Conference SDA Conference Center at Gladstone, Or. Meetings don’t start until tomorrow evening, but already this part of the RV park is half full.


The Lake in its morning glory.

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Six brothers and sisters of the feather flocked through camp this morningChautauquaReflections  12b.jpegFamily_Friends Compound-b.jpeg





Family and Friends Compound


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Ducks Breakfast






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Tuesday morning, this week, I read the last posts on my Facebook page (making only a few Comments) and deleted my account. With my announcement the week before of its imminent demise, on my FB page, I promised to keep my word, unless I was dead, unlike those who promised to leave the USA if Trump was elected President, I’ve kept my word. But I understand that it may take up to 14 days for them to snoop out all my posts and information in order to delete it, so be patient I AM on my way out.

It’s been a good run. I’ve enjoy every minute, and hours upon hours, of our “visiting” on that venue.
Some of my Facebook “Friends” were relatives, some have been face-to-face friends in real life, some of you I have never met. Those in the latter category, I think that I would LIKE to meet you one day.
I am also limiting the use of the phone that is smarter than I am. Phone calls and text messages will be answered at my convenience… usually after Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. I’m tired of being a Smartphone Zombie.
Email will take a few months longer to untangle, but for almost 200 years the postal service, paper, pen and ink has served our nation well. OK, I’ll probably use my computer as a word processor before dropping the missive in the mailbox. I’m taking that step so that I can more easily keep a copy of all my correspondence. Besides, I need to hone my handwriting skills or my recipients will not be able to read what I’ve written.. lol
My wife, Evelyn has pointed out that by Blogging, “You’re still on the internet, still being social, so what’s the big deal about not being on Facebook? You’ll be back soon as Jolie or some other fictional character.”
Perhaps but certainly not “soon.” If I can hold out long enough, I’ll be dead of old age… then what’s the point of being a “Friend” on Facebook?…. unless I join as a Zombie???
BTW, we are missing the Monsoon weather going on in south-central AZ in favor of more moderate (70-85F) !


Whom Do I Seek?

Whom Do I Seek?
Psalm 2016:5

When God comes near do I see him?
When God jogs my memory do I listen?
When he blesses my life with a glorious sunrise
Do I anticipate the following sunset?

When I touch a new baby’s skin
Do I reflect on the journey that my skin has seen?
When I savor a tasty fruit
Do I pine for the fruit of the Tree of Life?

When I revel in the melodic sounds of a great orchestra
Do my ears itch for the sounds of the heavily choir?
When I enter a crowded room
Do my eyes seek out the best looking or the most needy?

Heaven is here among us, but am I really cognizant?
The Spirit world constantly barrages me, leaning on me to choose God.
How am I to feel the Spirit’s leaning
If I am constantly seeing, listening, tasting and desiring things of the flesh?

You have promised, O Lord, to be my Guide
May I follow you in ALL things.
Seek your face in the eyes of need,
Taste your love in helping others,
Marvel at your greatness in the sunrise and sunset,
Listen to your words in the sounds of nature,
But most of all, be aware of your presence by my side,
Both by day and by night.

A Psalm of Don