Why we still go.
- The Simple Life
By Sheryl Simons
"The happier you are with the simple things, the easier it is to be
Bobby socks and Mary Janes are a thing of the past, but as I
walked down the shade-speckled sidewalk I did have a feeling of
being there before. I was just leaving the church service as I have
many, many times. I'd heard that church attendance was falling in
the U. S., and I don't doubt it, knowing how Americans try to
squeeze so many activities in our lives. And isn't God an easy
thing to leave out? He has no attendance lists, doesn't strike us
with lightning if we miss a service. But then we might miss two,
and still no lightning strikes. Missing church gets easier.
Many of us have to work hours of overtime, so who can afford
to spend a morning going to church when we need a few extra hours
sleep? Some of us have to work weekends, our places of employment
trying to squeeze every penny they can from the American public, who
can't seem to keep a dollar in their pocket. I suppose that started
years ago, but I remember when it was almost unheard of for any
business to be open on Sunday. If you were open Sundays, you found
it didn't pay. But then one business after another decided if their
neighboring business was open, they'd better be too.
After 9-11, it seemed Americans were back in church,
yearning to connect with their spiritual heritage. We felt
vulnerable. Then came war. The handsome young men and women who
are giving their lives for our country are listed on the nightly
news. Bombings happen around the world. We are not safe anywhere.
Or are we? As I walked from church that morning, hearing
the birds sing, feeling the breeze in the cool shade, I decided why
we go to church in the first place. The world is a busy place.
It's full of hurts and sadness that sometimes seem to overshadow all
the goodness and light that is there. We need church to
recuperate. To lift ourselves above the injustices and come
together with other people who also believe that there is hope and a
future in a world we don't always understand. We have faith, but
the faith is not in our world, it's in God.
* * *
Once a year our family gets together like clockwork for our
annual family reunion at my uncles farm in Gladwin. Besides the
great food and the fun of seeing each other this year we stopped mid-
stream, held hands and said a prayer for our family. A cousin who
just had a heart transplant, our youth entering college, starting
careers, my son Andrew who is leaving for Iraq soon. I think it's
great that once a year our family can come from across the country
and stop for just a moment and join in a prayer of thankfulness, and
prayers for each other.
* * *
Saving on Electricity....
A friend living in Georgia was having high electric bills
due to air conditioning. A friend told her about the reflective
emergency blankets (like aluminum foil) you can buy for a couple
dollars apiece at Walmart or Kmart. She put them on her windows and
cut her electric bill over $60 the first month. Even if you don't
like the idea of covering your windows, you may have a few windows
on the back side of the house, where it wouldn't even show.
Here in the North, we find that we don't even need air
conditioning by shutting our windows in the morning and opening them
again as it cools off in the evening.
A friend brought me a mocha frappuccino at work. I'd never
had one before, but I figured they were probably expensive and high
calorie. They are delicious!
I did a recipe search on the internet, and found that they
are really not that hard to make. A blender makes it easy, but
isn't necessary. I experimented and found how I can make them. If
you have time, freeze coffee ahead of time in ice cube trays to
3/4 c double strength coffee
1 cup lowfat milk
2-3 T chocolate syrup
2-3 T sugar (or sugar substitute)
2 cups (8cubes) ice
Top with lowfat whip cream. Experiment with mint flavoring or other
flavorings of your choice such as cinnamon, etc. Some recipes call
for a T of fruit pectin to thicken.
Keeping it Simple,