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I have done just that…. for 57 years!

Died from Laughing

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Flight of The Hawk and Trowel -Prelude

Today I’m posting the prelude to a autobiography written by my father shortly before he was taken to an early grave by cancer. You are invited to read the complete book here.

Within the covers of this book is the fascinating story of a bashful, skinny, high school dropout. Pulled by financial distress into the occupation of his father, he took up the hawk and trowel, the major tools of a plasterer, to help lighten the money worries of his parents. Thus began his apprenticeship of living for others.
From my earliest memories, his was a life of hard work, and caring for the needs of those around him. As a self-educated man his intellectual pursuits carried him easily from Einstein to the Apostle Paul, from the Reader’s Digest to Bio-engineering. He could “rattle your cage” with a good joke or intrigue you with a discourse on Righteousness by Faith. He was an intensely private man who had trouble lying open his innermost feelings, but he became most eloquent with a pen and paper. He journalized his thoughts on the closest paper available ranging from the empty spaces on Church bulletins, used envelopes, brown paper bags, and paper towels to genuine notebook paper. In this biography, started shortly after his early retirement, he wrote and rewrote those experiences of his life that he wished to share with his family. When it became apparent that cancer would surely cut short his work on these pages, it’s completion became one of his driving compulsions, with his last editing being done one week before he died on June 18, 1986.
Throughout this story, the hawk, a tool of his trade, is given the wings of a bird that not only nurtures and feeds him and his family, but also carries him to a life of adventure and travel. At times facing life with all the wild abandon of his winged counterpart.
So, join the family on Dads lap for a view of life through one man’s eyes. Who knows, you may find some of your own genes mirrored herein.

Are You Ready? Or Not?

“God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you’re ready for anything and everything….more than just ready to do what He wants done.” 2 Corinthians 9:8 The Message

Express your neediness, He gives Grace with reckless abandon.

How can I top this?

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.