Friday, December 30, 2016

For 2017

Happy New Year, 2017!

Are there any better words of wisdom, pieces of advice, admonitions, or goals for the new year than those from Scripture? No mere memes come close. 

Not that I have already obtained it [what God wants me to be] or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,  I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.  (Philippians 3:12-16)

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:1-3)

Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:1-3)

Jesus said, "apart from Me you can do nothing" (John 15:5)
I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

A New Year's Prayer:  “May we trust in the Lord with all our hearts and lean not on our own understandings; may we submit to him in all our ways , and may he make our paths straight.” (From: Proverbs 3:5-6)

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Granny's Pantry # 38: The Christmas Train--Annual Tradition

This Christmas Fun rates right on up there with climbing the Himalayas in search of Yeti or dragging the Scottish lochs for Nessie (in perhaps only my humble opinion).  I love and look forward all year to the next Denton Farm Park Country Christmas Train! 
[Please don't tell anyone about this place, because if no one else knows, it won't get too crowded and feel like Disney World. (But judging by the line to ride the train this year...the story is already out as this place just might have been featured in NC's Our State magazine.]

It's definitely better to go Dickens' Early (as it has been called), so that you are in place in line for tickets at least 1/2 hour before the gate opens...just in case.  The lights in the lane are better in the dark, but don't take a chance...get on in there before the selfish people do!
This is not your granny's train ride. I'm not telling what all you will see in your once-around-the-park trip...but it will be moving, and fun and inspirational and you might even shed a tear (it has happened). Just keep a close eye out and be prepared to stop mid-ride. [These folks "get" what real Christmas is all about.] 
You will want to have dinner in the exhibit shed--this time it is a bit like a meal at granny's---complete with chicken dumplings and cornbread if you want it.  Do not pass up the General Story and Post Office. They have bottled cokes and little packets of marshmallows that you roast over a fire outside!
There is a petting zoo, pony rides, old grist mill, vintage radio store, doll museum, shoe shop, and old filling station with little cartons of cotton candy in an incredible number of intriguing flavors.
There is a cookie shop and even Santa's House for pictures. And something that looks a lot like an "excabator" for a certain little boy. 

But do not misunderstand. This is Not Disney World. This little place is like going back 50+ years, and that's why it is so special. This is rural Davidson County Country Christmas--oh my heart!
Personal favorites:    
  • The Myers Garage--replica of Bobby Myers Garage (former NASCAR driver and father of "Chocolate" Myers)
  • The Reid Plantation--restored farm house, threshing barn, old kitchen, and other buildings moved from their original site on Cabin Creek off of the Yadkin River (decorated for the season)      
  • The Old Jackson Hill to this location from Jackson Hill, NC (down the road from Granny's house).
    Hear a Christmas story and singing by the Hill-Stuart Family---"Beautiful Star" has never sounded so good! 
    And if it is celebrities you want?  Here you go....
    Batman! (not sure little boys were impressed)
    And these folks were such VIPs that no one would tell me who they were.
    You never know with whom you are rubbing elbows. Should have tried to get autographs!

    And I'm fairly certain that You-Know-Who was sitting next to me on the train...

    the Big Man in Red with the Beard himself!  
    What do you think?  Ho!Ho! Ho! 
           Thankful for Christmas Fun! 

    Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. (James 1:17)

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Granny's Pantry # 37: Finding Misenhiemer

Once upon a time we were riding down a side street in the tiny hamlet of Misenhiemer, NC. The "we" was likely me, Janie, Ruthie, and Mama (Virginia). We came upon a cottage-style house that was clearly uninhabited, but clearly a "house of interest"--one that you would buy immediately. So, rather immediately, we called the realtor listed on the sign. The price say the least...astounding! For the house (never mind that the kitchen roof was falling in) and the land around it, complete with 5 outbuildings and a well) the owner wanted $6,500.00.  (Yes, the decimals are in the right place.)
And so, "we" (that would be Janie and me) quickly called our respective husbands to see if we could wrangle "a deal."  This was rather early on in our marriages, finances being what they were, and the fact that the roof was caving in, the tandem responses came back..."No Deal!"   
Oh well. It was a good idea at the that Aunt Ruthie crawling into the realtor's van (rolling office?) and writing a check?  It really was. She bought it!

And so, the Misenhiemer House, or the "Holiday House" as it came to be called, came into the Cole family. Move ahead about $50,000 in renovations [it would have likely remained with the roof caved in had Janie and I bought it!], and here is a peek at the place today. 

corn crib

smoke house
chicken boxes
machine shop? granary?
and buzzard roost
out house

Some parts of the old house, built by a Culp relative, could stand more attention, it's true.  But we've had some good times here. 

For every house is built by someone,
but the builder of all things is God. 
(Hebrews 3:4)

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Granny's Pantry # 36: New Peacocks at High Rock

You've heard the saying,"While everything changes, everything remains the same, as well" (Aristotle). That's the way things seem to be at High Rock these days. Granny and Granddaddy Cole are gone, as are Uncle Brooks and Aunt Lorene. Ruthie and Virginia (Bid/Aunt Martha) have moved to Fuquay. 

Tommy is keeping the stove warm inside the house, and Brooksie is re-working the grounds. The place is by no means deserted. But without anyone from the generation before mine in residence, High Rock feels a bit...empty. Everything changes, yes.
They were shy, making good pictures hard to get.
And then up walks the new white and gray peacock ladies, and...although different...everything remains the same. As was reported in Granny's Pantry #35, there was a rumor of new peacocks coming to High Rock. The rumor was truth. There are four new ones (all white or gray), two are females, and they are incredibly beautiful. 
Standing just outside of the well house
No, not the same as the flashy, kaleidoscopic old birds...that are still in residence...but no less breathtaking. 

Also, there is a new generation that is finding High Rock as intriguing as we all have. Gunner kept insisting that he wanted to see "The Excavator," and his G kept telling him that the excavator was "gone." He and Duncan played on the trailer in the barn lot and hid in the hay bales, 

and suddenly...there it was...sticking up over the tops of the trees out in the lane..."The Excavator," after all!  (In reality, it was a track hoe, but that was of little consequence to them.) These little boys may have climbed under the big downed oak to get to it, 
  and they also may have climbed on it just to say they did. 
Thank you, Uncle Wiggly, for that moment of delight.

May many more generations find this special place hidden between the Yadkin River and the Flat Swamp Mountains in Piedmont, NC. 
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.  (James 1:17)