Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Music With Meaning

If you have read my blog for any length of time, you will know the importance of music in my life.
On my last post, I had the song, "American Tune" by Paul Simon.  Did you know Paul Simon based the song on a very old melody?  It is the same music for the hymn, "O Sacred Head Sore Wounded".
You may read the background about it just here.   The first time that I heard that hymn in my Episcopal church, I was thrilled to recognize it as "American Tune". 

Also, when we sang the song at church, one of the verses seemed as if it had been written for me.  Just a few months prior, I had fainted on Christmas day and had spent the entire day in the ER at the hospital. (I was okay, just a bad reaction to medication...but it was scary.)   Read these words and you will see why this jumped out at me with so much meaning.

What language shall I borrow to thank Thee, dearest friend,
For this Thy dying sorrow, Thy pity without end?
O make me Thine forever, and SHOULD I FAINTING BE,
Lord, let me NEVER, NEVER outlive my love to Thee.

The capitals are mine, just because that is how I read them and sung them!

There is nothing like the flowers that bloom right in your own yard!  These pink azaleas bloomed just in time for my birthday.  Wonderful to have calls and visits from family and friends!  I am thankful-just as I am thankful for my blogging friends.  God bless each and every one of you, wherever you are in the world!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Blooms At Arabia Mountain/ American Tune

The diamorpha is in full bloom just now on Arabia Mountain, Stone Mountain and Panola Mountain.
The photo above was taken on April 11th  on Arabia Mountain.    We rushed over there to see these gorgeous flowers after Richard got off from work on Saturday. So glad that we did!

There are still some spots where the diamorpha has been somewhat shaded and has not bloomed yet, but for the most part, I would say that it is at its peak right now. If you are anywhere near this area, do not miss the blooms on our local mountains (monadnocks)!

The red plant is a beauty and blooms with these star-like flowers and it is breathtaking next to the grey rock.
Recently, I heard a woman on a cell phone say, "And they grow straight out of the rock!".  Of course, it looks that way, but they are in just a very small amount of sandy soil... they are amazing!
Want to read more about diamorpha smalli or "elf orpine" may do so just here.  And the diamorpha isn't the ONLY flower blooming!  I will have to tell you about the other flowers in a future post!

The song "American Tune" by Paul Simon...I liked it in the 70's and I still do. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Go Braves!

The Atlanta Braves will be playing the New York Mets tonight in the Braves season opener.  There is to be a ceremony honoring the 50 years that the Braves have been in Atlanta.  I have fond memories of going to my first baseball game at the old Atlanta Fulton County Stadium.  I talked with my Dad tonight and he said that the outfield seats were $1.00 each!  (Please note that the photo above is from a few years ago...the game tonight has been delayed due to a heavy rain shower...but the opening ceremony is happening even as I am typing this!)

This is my son at the baseball museum at Turner Field and I tried to get him between Hank Aaron and Chipper Jones...but I didn't notice he had another ballplayer balanced on his head!  Sorry Christopher!  I have fond memories of going to Braves games with my son.  As a child in elementary school, he was awarded with a ticket to a Braves games for making straight A's! Of course, I would always take him and he would dutifully carry his baseball glove in hopes of catching a foul ball even though we had the cheapest seats and there was never a chance of that happening!
Not to worry, finally, we had some good seats at a game in September of 2001, he had his glove...and he was able to get a foul ball which was hit by a Chicago Cub, Joe Girardi, who is now the coach of the NY Yankees!    Every time I see a Yankees games and see Joe Girardi, I think of Christopher catching that ball!  Did he catch it? I'm not sure, I was so nervous when that ball was coming to us, I was afraid we would be trampled.  "Are you okay?"  That is what I remember saying, and my son's reply..."Don't worry, Mom, I've GOT it!". 
Now, I love to watch the Braves on TV and I will call my Dad and we will watch the game together and talk about what we are seeing on the phone!  It's fun, it really is.  My Dad loves the game so much and so do I!  I would like to think that I have passed that on to my son.
Take me out to the ballgame!  Hey! Do you know that the song "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" is a song that is traditionally sung during the 7th inning stretch?  The fans will stand up and the song is played and you can sing along if you like.  You know that I always do!  (The song is really a great tune and it is quite old, it was written in 1908!)   I found a video of Bernie Williams playing this great song and it sounds just like my husband playing.  Did you know that Richard is not only a wonderful photographer but a great guitarist as well?) 
 I hope the Braves win tonight, if they don't, it's a shame! 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Beautiful Blooms And Blossoms

Recently, our neighbor sold her house and we had new people move into the house across the street from us...I wonder what they thought when this tree came into bloom? I hope they enjoyed it as much as I did!  (I don't know what this is  but I love it all the same.)
My good friend, Mary, invited me over to dinner on Easter Sunday.  What a treat it was to see this NATIVE azalea in bloom!  Mary told me that she purchased this from Callaway Gardens many years ago and it has grown into this beauty.  I really wanted to see all the azaleas in bloom at Callaway Gardens when Richard had some time off recently, but the weather didn't co operate for us! So...I was thankful I was able to see the blooms on Easter day!  (If you think that these azaleas look differently than the ones that you might see from the Masters from Augusta, is because the native azaleas are the ones that were championed by the Callaway family at Callaway may read more about the famous gardens in Georgia just here!)

 Our dogwood trees are beginning to bloom now.  I took this photo at the Sunrise Service on Easter.
Do you know how the dogwood relates to Easter? The flower is thought to resemble a cross, there is a crown of thorns in the center and in the middle of the tip of each petal, there is a reddish stain, like blood.  And by the way, the dogwood is also native to this area, just like the pink azalea above. 



Monday, April 6, 2015

Stone Mountain-Magnificent March


 We have often climbed Stone Mountain with clear blue skies but it is just as beautiful on a cloudy day.  (That is me with the white bag on my shoulder, I have warmed up walking up the mountain...but it is quite windy, so in the other photos, I am wearing my pink jacket again!)

Once we were climbing the mountain and a family was just behind us.  We heard one of the children say,  "Look, Mom, it's NEW YORK CITY!"   (That's the Atlanta skyline, of course.)

Look at the photo above, the people have just gotten off the cable car and are walking on top of the mountain....they look tiny!


Very happy to see such beautiful specimens of trout lilies on Stone Mountain, they were lovely!

 Just as we were leaving, the sun broke through the clouds...magnificent!

Pat, my friend from the Isle of can see I am still walking the walk up OUR mountain!

And you know I told you about the Easter sunrise service?  I am hoping that next year I will be able to attend it on top of Stone Mountain!

During the Easter service yesterday, we didn't sing "I Love To Tell The Story" but it was mentioned in the I have it for here.  It is sung by Emmy Lou Harris and Robert Duvall.  Enjoy!

Hope you all liked our walk up Stone Mountain.  All of the photos are from March 23, 2015...we took that day off from work.  Magical!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Rising of The SON! Happy Easter

We worship the rising of the SON.   I attended a sunrise service this morning AND I was able to stay for the entire service, no rushing away to get back to work!  It was beautiful.  At the beginning, everything was bathed in a brilliant moonlight and gradually, the sky began brightening, lighting up the blooms on the dogwood trees and the birds began to sing.   The speaker played the guitar and sang and then spoke the appropriate words from the Bible.  (The sun, the moon, the sky, the birds, the blossoming trees...all of these were part of this service too!)

Anybody else remember the episode from "Star Trek" where they visit a planet and the creatures who live there worship the sun?  They are puzzled by this until  Lt. Uhura is able to surmise that it is not the SUN that they are worshiping, but the SON of God.  I loved Star Trek, didn't you?  I loved how so many people were able to get along from different countries, cultures and sometimes, even from different planets!

Here it is Easter Day and I am telling you about something from Star Trek!

 On Easter day, I always think of Mary Magdalene saying "I have seen the Lord!".  I think of how she would have said that with strong conviction but with such a sense of wonder that the Lord should appear to her and not to one of his chosen followers.   There is a song in the Episcopal hymnal and it is called "The First Ones Ever To Know". 

The first ones ever, oh, ever to know of the rising of Jesus, his glory to be,
Were Mary, Joanna, and Magdalene and blessed are they, are they who see.
Oh blessed are they who see the Lord, oh blessed are they who see.
They were Mary Joanna and Magdalene and blessed are they are they who see.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Tenebrae (Darkness) Service-Good Friday

Today, as I passed the Lutheran Church near my workplace, I saw that they were having a Good Friday Service at 12 Noon.  I wouldn't have time for the full service, I had to be back at 12:30 at work.   Hmmm....what to do? Good Friday, I wanted to be in church and  I so much wanted to hear the song, "Were You There When They Crucified My Lord".    I thought to myself, that surely it would be alright to sit at the back and stay as long as I could...and that is just what I did!  I was able to hear three readings from the Bible and three hymns...and the third hymn was the one I especially wanted to hear! 
One of the other hymns was one that I was not familiar with.... but it sounded very good with the congregation singing along with the simple piano accompaniment.   The song is called "They Crucified My Lord"...or is more often known as "He Never Said A Mumblin' Word".  I found several videos on YouTube but I am unable to link to them for some reason.  Both songs are Negro spirituals, I wonder if they could be written by the same person?  No one knows for sure who wrote these songs, but someone wrote them, and if you have read my blog for long, you must know how much I think about songwriters!

Even though I was only there for half of the service, I found it very moving.  I hope that I didn't disturb anyone when I left early. God knows that I did have to get back to work!  Love to you all. Happy Easter.