Tuesday, November 24, 2015



"By 20, you should be smart.  By 30, you should be strong.
By 40, you should be rich.  By 50, you should be wise.                                   
But...If you are smart, strong, rich and wise, you don't need any age limits."
Santosh Kalwar
Thanksgiving Day is 'bout here...two more days!  Families are already gathering, someone is doing lots of baking...turkey, pies...all kinds of delicious goodies and the scales are put away for awhile. Gracious...might better hide 'em until after New Year's...you think?
I really like this time of year...love the fall temperatures...crispness...sleeping in a warm bed...in a cozy home...with someone I so love!  Aah, life is good and I'm most thankful.
The quote above caught my eye; I was already thinking about how 'every day should be ‘Thanksgiving' and really there's no limit to our thankfulness, whatever our age or stage in life.
Well, we actually can't eat like 'the day' every day...or should we?  Wow, we couldn't get through the door!  But, for that day with all the leftovers, it sure is good...isn't it?
Here’s my take on the quote:
By 20, I should be smart:
At 20...M and I were not yet married but we were 'thinking about it'...I was thinkin’ more than M.  Since it takes two I practiced patience; at 22 we were there!  Yay! 
By 23 we had Steven...by 25 we had Jeffrey...by 26 we had Patrick...by 28 we had Scott.  Whew...so much for smart by 20...I was a slow learner! By 29, I was smart (enough).
By 30, I should be strong:
At 30 M and I had moved 6 times...yikes!  At 32 we had a huge career change and 'joined the army'...yay!  In the interim 'tween 30 and 40 we had moved to Greece, seen M off to Viet Nam then off to Africa, Virginia and Oklahoma.  Life was busy and I had three major emergency surgeries w/o Michael around.  
By 30, believe me I was strong!
By 40, I should be rich:
Turning into the 40th year of my life brought changes...monetarily speaking the cash flow turned into a drought as in college for four sons!  We were blest being able  to live in Norman those years...whew, the boys could live at home! Monetary riches are not what's important, right?  We had always been rich in love with all the trimmings!  We just didn't worry about finances...we never had leftover or savings but God always saw that we had enough at just the right time...HE's good about that, always!
While there, Michael served as an Elder for the first time...richness in many forms came with that as in growing in Him.  We also worked with the Univ. of Oklahoma student ministry in Norman...talk about rich?  Wow! That experience is ongoing...we're Facebook friends with many of those 'kids'...now they're 'grown-ups'. 
At 49 M had retired from the military and become a hospital/school administrator…another career! Our sons finished their college work, married and established families... careers...more riches for us!  Grandchildren...well now, how rich is that? By the end of my forties, I was covered in riches!
By 50, I should be wise:
I was not the smartest on the block, ever...but I was and still am curious!  Sometimes I think I mouth off too much and that's not good...my bad.  Some people are just slower than others and that's probably me!  But, along the way I've gleaned perhaps a little wisdom. 
The gain is due to such a patient God and my loving companion Michael...he's very wise!
After M’s second retirement we moved to help His work in Wisconsin...M also served as an Elder there and we matured some more...as in wisdom!  Step by step I've learned a few things...from 50 on God was completely in charge and age just had no limits. 
How could it?  Who would consider moving to China in their 70's?  Well, we aren't the Lone Ranger's in that department but there aren't a flood of 'em...it took a lot of all of the above stages/experiences for us to make a go of it...God was there every step of the way!
We've had Thanksgiving Days all over the world; taught our Greek, German, Dutch, Ethiopian and Chinese friends about Thanksgiving Day...they seemed to like it…very interested in learning about turkeys!
Winding down...I just put my hand on my heart and let it stay there for a bit...to get the beat...the feel of it. You see, it's a different heart than I used to have...I have His heart, I am His child.  And trust me, with Him there is no age limit...and it's awesome!   
Thanksgiving Day and every day, I thank you Father...for caring so for me...
I love you!
From my heart...to yours, Vasca

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


"If you think you are too small to make a difference,
try sleeping with a mosquito."
Dalai Lama

 'Mosquito season' is almost history...at least around here.  You think?  We can hope so.  I escaped this season w/maybe just one bite...yay for me!  They usually stockpile my blood!
In 1994 Michael and I did a trip to Alaska, just the two of us.  We packed our old Class C motor home, hitched on our little Suzuki and off we went on a 100 day excursion...driving from Johnsburg, Wisconsin to Coldfoot, Alaska.  M pre-planned the entire trip, made arrangements for our 5 acres/home in Johnsburg to be seen after and off we went.  It was absolutely one of the awesome trips of our exciting lives. 
Among other things, we fished in Prince William Sound.  Cruised around glaciers, fished with mother moose and calves in the middle of the night.  Hiked up mountains to beautiful lakes, fishing by ourselves.  Yikes...we were fearlessly foolish!
We had the desire to sleep by the Alaskan Pipeline...so leaving the motor home safely parked in Fairbanks, we loaded our camping gear into the Suzuki and off we went...heading for Coldfoot.  The ALCAN highway was something else, friends!  In less than an hour, we couldn't tell what color the Suzuki was...there was so much DUST.  
Intrepid were we...continuing on until late afternoon when we spied a good looking spot alongside a stream (fish for dinner)...set up our tent and anticipated some good cooking!  Yay!
Yay, indeed!  We knew about Alaskan mosquitoes so we had netting for our bods...lot of good that did...whoops!  Got my potatoes and onions ready in my oily skillet...stirring like mad over the fire and guess what?  I couldn't find the potatoes and onions for the mosquitoes in the skillet....this is no exaggeration!  Yikes.  They were the thickest we'd ever seen and we've been around the blocks more than once. 
Giving up on dinner we took to the tent for a good night's sleep which quickly became a nightmare...oh yes!  We grabbed our stuff...threw it in the Suzuki and headed for Coldfoot and a breakfast. 
Trust me, one mosquito can and will make a difference in attempting to sleep...sleepless in Alaska or anyplace else with even one pesky mosquito around. 
It truly does make a difference.
This mosquito episode is to make a point; little things can/do make differences.
I'm not the bravest soul around but at times I can be sort of...well? 
Like…on a particular day a couple of weeks ago I saw an awesome looking lawman in the grocery store...I tho't "Vasca, you should tell him how much you appreciate the job he and many others do"...but then I tho't "Yeah, I see his cuffs are hanging there, he's loaded; what if I startle him & he jumps"?
I waited until no one else was in sight but a young guy stocking the dairy section.  Wisely surveying the situation I decided to take a skirting approach from his far right side. 
I stuck out my hand and said, "Excuse me please; I want to shake your hand."  So, being clever...he stuck out his hand and we exchanged shakes!  I gracefully said, "Thank you for all the good you do in protecting and serving us all the time; you keep us safe.  I don't often need a police person but I know you're always there if I do and I thank you very, very much."...he, very graciously, said, "Thank you, I appreciate that."  I smilingly and quickly disappeared before he could recover! 
I recall an awesome teacher once presenting a lesson involving the word 'lagniappe'...as you can read here it's 'a little something special.'
That's what came of my exchange w/the law that day!  The young man, down on his knees while quietly stocking the shelves, must have been listening to the conversation.
As I was almost out of hearing range, he made some awesome comments to the lawman; their exchange was a 'little something special.'  The exchanges apparently made some small difference in their lives as it did in mine...a little something special.
Hopefully I never think anything is too small to make a difference! 
From my heart…to yours, Vasca

Thursday, September 17, 2015


"What is something you might predict happening to you in the future?"
(An insurance ad...)
Each time I see this ad it makes me think...think and think about many things.  If I did predict anything I don't remember...perhaps that's a good thing, yes or no?


"Keep calm.  God is writing your story."
Of course most people make plans for their future; it's probably good to a degree!  I'm not one on long-range planning (or even short-range for that matter, just ask Michael)...I'm a 'wait 'til the last minute' sort of person.  Now my partner is a planner...early preparations, etc.  He's neat, he's organized...in other words, he and I are nothing alike in that aspect. 
Doesn't mean we are sour-pusses w/each other...on the contrary...we have lots of fun and lovely moments...got off the subject...oops!  Back to what I might predict happening?
Well I don't know...I've had a lifetime of surprises...none of which I would have predicted!
Things change quickly, don't they?  Recently I've spent time reading and looking at photos of the events of September 11, 2001.  It brought back many memories; for me, it's impossible to hold back tears...that was truly what I'd call a gut-wrenching time. 
Fox ran a deal on it and survivors were revealing some of the cell phone calls, etc. they received from people on the planes that were the tools of the terrorist's...people trapped in the towers.  I remembered hearing some of those fourteen years ago.
How things have changed since then.
You remember how people were seen and heard praying...how people gathered in church buildings...how the nation pulled to put itself back together...how united we were! 
Was that all just a dream?  I think not...it was real, it moved us!
What happened to all of that...
It seems to me, these days, we are a fractured nation; full of animosity/hatred/malice (whatever you want to call it) in many respects.  Party loyalties seems to reign rather than what's good for the country, the people (that's us).  It turns my stomach to read and hear some of the hateful words that come from  supposedly decent people.
Prayer and religiosity are ridiculed; God is mocked.  Morality seems to be topsy-turvy! 
What has happened in these 14 years?  Ah, you think perhaps we forgot some important things? 

"Transformation in the world happens
when people are healed and start investing in other people."
Michael W. Smith
Healing sometimes come quickly; sometimes it's a slow go process...I suppose at times there is no healing, I really don't know.  Personally, I am healing.  Healing from what, Vasca?  Well, many things...many quite personal things.  Michael doesn't realize that it's God working through him to heal me.  How is that? 
A large part of it is this...his swallowing therapy that's probably in the fifth week...he goes each Thursday morning for one hour and then practices at home.  At first he wasn't following instructions but he discovered "Hey, this is really helpful.  I'm getting some voice and I don't choke so often."
The sweetest sounds I've heard in such a long time come from wherever it is he's practicing; beautiful songs...spiritual songs.  And when he isn't practicing?  His voice goes on and on in my head...day and night.  Now, it might drive you bananas but for me it's heavenly and it's healing me...healing my heart.
Many things are said concerning music; I say it soothes my soul...settles my spirit...calms my nerves...makes me smile...makes me laugh...makes me cry! 

I really don't know what I might predict happening to me in the future...it's not a problem.  I do know this...it's important to turn the page...change my tune...get on with it and invest in other people.

As the Psalmist wrote: "I will not be silent;
I will sing praise to you.
Lord, you are my God;
I will give you thanks forever."

There's a song in my heart...God is writing my story...HE's in charge and I am totally calm.

From my heart...to yours,
Vasca                                                                 (Pictures courtesy of Peanuts...Charles Schulz)