Compassion

Those of us in the healing professions are trained to achieve success.  Our desire to help others is what brought us into our chosen fields.

Most of us are “fix it” people.  Our ability to fix people is what brings us satisfaction.  And usually it brings satisfaction to our patients as well.

But what happens when we make great efforts and in spite of our best work, our patients don’t respond as we hoped?  Their illnesses are not cured, there are unforeseen complications, and sometimes people die.

In my career as a nurse, I have watched many health care providers react in various ways.  

For many, the possibility that they have failed is too much to bear.  They find ways to blame the patient.

Or if the unexplainable happens, they simply label the patient as “crazy.”  The patient’s perceptions are all off.

I have seen some doctors simply tell their patients they are “not a good fit” and perhaps they should see someone else.

If they continue to see the patient, it is only behind the wall of forced “social facade” they would call just “being professional.”  They do the minimum and see the patient only briefly before moving on.

Is it possible our definition of “failure” is far too restrictive?  Is it possible we have come to equate our own power to effect change as the only success?  

Have we forgotten we are not The Authors of healing?  We are not the skilled handlers of the instruments.  We are in fact the instruments of Compassion in The Hands of Almighty God!

As many examples of hardness as I have witnessed, I treasure the acts of compassion I have seen.

A patient came into the hospital for diagnostic tests.  He walked up to the nurses station and had a major heart attack.  The code team rushed in, but could not save him.

His doctor was devastated, but instead of leaving when the team left, he sat on the floor and held his patient in his arms and cried.  He was linked in heart and he openly grieved.

I have seen doctors, in a rare show of bravery,  admit their failures to patients, and say, “I’m sorry.  I should have caught this, but I didn’t.  Let’s try this again.”

I have seen doctors admit they simply did not know what was wrong with their patients nor did they know what to do.  But they cared.  They did not leave their patients in the valley of the unknown.  They stayed and comforted them.

I have seen doctors tell patients an uncomfortable truth, but instead of delivering bad news and quickly exiting, they stayed and comforted.

I have had a couple of years of unforeseen medical/dental misadventures.  I have seen many doctors, dentists, nurses and other health care providers.  They have run the gamut of all I witnessed as a nurse.

But I have been blessed to find some who were willing to face their own powerlessness and enter the valley of suffering with me.  Most importantly, they prayed with me, turning over the whole situation to The Only One with All The Answers.

When I expressed gratitude to one of my doctors, he seemed surprised.  He said, “I do what I do because I am called by God to do it.  He gave me all I have and I share what I have through God’s Grace and Mercy.”

He and others like him are the jewels in God’s crown.  They are not only The Hands and Feet of Jesus, but they are also His Face.  

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2:10

Second Star To The Right

I have always been nearsighted.  Additionally I have had other visual challenges over time.

But I see with everything I can and perhaps appreciate with joy the simple things more physically sighted people take for granted and miss.

And I have the most wonderful guide in my husband, who has exceptional distance vision.  In fact, he can see at such a great distance that we believe he must be an alien.

When he looks up into the sky, sometimes it appears to be with longing, as if he is remembering some place he has been before that is somewhere out there … somewhere far distant to me, but near to him.

I often ask him if his people are calling him.  He only smiles knowingly and points out where the moon, stars and planets are.

When I see the moon or sun, he reminds me how many millions of miles away it is and tells me that is much better than 20/20 vision.  I am comforted by the thought.

He promises me he won’t leave earth without me, but acknowledges he has no control over such things.

However, he has assured me I can follow by taking “the second star to the right and straight on to morning.”

I think Ralph Waldo Emerson was right.  The stars remind us of The City of God that is out there, inhabited not by strangers, but all those we have loved and have yet to love.

It is Home.  I can see it!  And one day it will be even clearer.

“If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown! 

But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile.” 

Ralph Waldo Emerson

How Houses Grow Into Homes

We moved unto our house in 1994.  It was our dream house.  We thought we would never change anything.

But as human bodies grow and change, so do houses adapt to fit their changing occupants.

Our house of today is different from the house of 1994.

These are some of the changes we made over the years.  

We replaced the wall to wall carpet with solid flooring.  Allergy issues immediately got better.

We replaced the French doors in the family room with a 12 foot door that lets in more light and breeze.  

We eliminated the fireplace and the built in bookcases in the family room.  We added lower cabinets all the way across and two large casement windows.  The cabinets are wonderful window seats or a serving bar for food and drink.

We replaced two windows in the dining room with a sliding glass door.

We added four windows to a solid wall in the dining room.

Adding the sliding glass door and the new windows changed what was a dark dining room into a sunroom.

We changed the small deck behind the family room  into a large deck that stretches the full width of the house.  We underpinned the new deck to cover the patio below with no drips from the deck above.

We disagreed on whether the deck should be covered.  So we compromised.  Part of the deck is covered with a retractable awning.  We put it out when we want shade and open it back up when we want sun.

We remodeled the kitchen and replaced the old style dark green bar with a bright white lower counter that sparkles in the light.  I still have the fascination of a child with things that sparkle.

We also replaced the cabinets, eliminating one over the refrigerator, that was nearly impossible to reach.  We discovered things in the back of that cabinet we had forgotten we had!

We replaced linoleum bathroom floors with tile.

We did a total remodel of the master bath, including replacing a standard whirlpool tub with a huge spa type tub with so many settings and lights, we have never figured them all out.

We painted the interior of the house and changed it from a depressing brown to a house of delightful different colors.   Children use crayons and coloring books.  Old people use paint and walls.

How we furnished the house changed too.  We used to have an abundance of heavy furniture, wall hangings, figurines and other assorted “stuff.”

Over time we found a particular freedom in rediscovering space and flexibility.  

We decreased our furniture and changed to lightweight pieces that can be easily moved from one place to another.  We love flexibility and multi-use.

We arranged the furniture so a person’s view is drawn to God’s Kingdom outside instead of some kingdom we tried to create inside.

We retired most of the figurines, pictures and wall hangings in favor of blank colorful walls where anyone can imagine their own scenes instead of accepting the view we chose.  The things we left on the wall strand out because there are so few of them!

What many people find intriguing is the number of mirrors we have in our house.  Any place I thought there should be a window, but there could not be, I put a mirror.  Mirrors reflect light and give energy.  In the right location, a mirror can reflect the outside world in a wonderful way.

We also discovered the freedom to break with tradition.  Just because a room was labeled something by the builder did not mean we had to live with it that way.

What started as a master bedroom became a large office with a dance floor.

What started as a small bedroom became a production studio for video teachings we do on our You Tube channel.

Today begins our next phase of changing our house into a more “aging in place” functional home.  Even as I am writing, men are at work.

Remodeling is different from building a home from scratch.  

Remodeling is much like life itself.

You realize some things don’t serve you well anymore.

You make a decision to give up the old and make a change.

You take at least a few moments of remembrance of the time when those things did serve you well.

You let go.  You feel the emptiness of the vacated space.

You look forward to what will come next!

And oh yes … one more thing … change can be messy and it takes time.  Be patient with yourself and those around you. 

I will update you, as the next chapter of the Jones story unfolds!

See, I am doing a new thing!  

Now it springs up!

Isaiah 43:19

Beyond The Sunset

The Trip of A Lifetime

In the fall of 1997, my parents were in an automobile accident.  My mother spent a couple of months in the hospital, never able to return to her earthly home.  

My husband and I had planned to go on a cruise to celebrate our twentieth wedding anniversary.  We were going to cancel it.  

However, my mother was insistent that we go.  In fact, she was so insistent that she told everyone from family to friends to her doctor that we “hadto go on that cruise.”

And so we did.  We left on October 12th.  It was described by some of the seasoned cruise staff as the worst turbulence they had experienced in years of sailing.  

As soon as we left port, the ship began to toss and turn and tilt from side to side.  Everyone held on to anything they could find in an effort to regain stability.

Finally, we decided we might fare better if we went up on deck and tried to visually equilibrate with the horizon.  It seemed to work.  As we stared into the heavens, the sea seemed calm.  In fact, it was no different, but our focus was different.

Now that God had our attention, He outdid Himself with artistry.  He painted one of the most beautiful sunsets I had ever seen.  

We spent some time on deck, just admiring His work before we went back inside to attempt supper.  My husband took a picture of me with the sun going down behind me.  

Later that evening, we received the call that my mother had passed into Glory earlier.  I was stunned.  At that time, my only comfort was that I knew beyond a shadow of doubt that I was where she wanted me to be.  But I did not know why.

God Began to Give Clues to His Word!

Weeks later, God revealed the first clue.  My nephew had been present at the hospital at the time of my mother’s death.  He had been asked to step out of my mother’s room for the nurses to care for her.  He had done so.  

Before the nurses came in, my mother quietly left for Glory.  He was concerned that had he remained, she might have remained.

I assured him that my mother, being the lady she was, would never have left while he was there.  She would have considered it rude!  

And besides, I wrote him,  I believed God’s Glory came and filled her room. It was a private, intimate moment, just for God and my mother to share.

I stopped in mid-sentence and thought, “Wow Lord, wouldn’t it have been wonderful to see Your Glory!”  At that moment, I heard Him say in my spirit, “You did.  Your Mother and I arranged it!”

Suddenly I thought of the sunset.  I asked my husband when he had taken that picture.  He replied that it was easy to remember, since it was just before we went inside for supper.  

The sunset occurred at the very time of my mother’s death!

I now knew with absolute certainty that I had been sent to that place in time to have a front row seat to His Glory!  But God had more to reveal.

Sometimes God Plants Seeds 

Long Before We Know They Are There!

While I was reflecting on the wonder of the time of the sunset, God brought to mind a memory from the past.  

As I was studying the pictures of the sunset … for just a moment, I moved back in time to high school.  In my English class, we received points for every poem we memorized.  Mother loved poetry and eagerly helped me select poems to memorize.

As I remembered, it was as if I was transported back home with my mother.  We were both searching through books of poetry.

I could hear her voice, spoken with enthusiasm.  “Why don’t you memorize this one?  I just love this one.  It’s got such a good message.  It would be a good one to remember always.”

So I memorized Crossing the Bar by Alfred, Lord Tennyson … without knowing that God had planted seeds… and that many years from that moment, those seeds would sprout into a beautiful sunset on a turbulent ocean, within moments of my Mother’s ascension into Glory.

God allowed me to remember that poem with a new understanding.

Sunset and evening star,

and one clear call for me!

And may there be no moaning of the bar,

When I put out to sea.

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,

Too full for sound and foam,

When that which drew from out the boundless deep

Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,

And after that the dark!

And may there be no sadness of farewell,

When I embark;

For tho’ from out our bourne (meaning stream or small brook) 

of Time and Place

The flood may bear me far,

I hope to see my Pilot face to face

When I have crossed the bar.

The bar is that point in the water when the currents are stirred up the most by the force of the waters from the sea and the movement from closer the land colliding.  We had indeed been present at the crossing of the bar!

Sunflowers — God’s Promise

Many years later, I was looking through old photographs and looked again at the picture of Mother’s Sunset.  I had concentrated so much on the sun and the clouds, that I had not really noticed myself.

Then God brought my shirt into focus.  It was one of Mother’s favorites.  It was covered in sunflowers.

Sunflowers are amazing flowers that bloom in the fall.  They have the unique ability to follow the sun from the time they are just buds.  

They literally move through the day from east to west and back to the east before dawn each day.

When they are in full bloom, the stem freezes in the eastward position, signifying an eternal dawn!  

God reminded me that I was not just a spectator of the sun.  I was actually connected to the sun!

I decided to take a picture of the picture of me with the sunset in the background.  I wanted to post it for my Facebook Friends.

I took the picture with my phone.  I was completely awed when I saw the picture and realized that “somehow” there was a bright light coming from my heart.  Light of the camera …. or Light of the Lord shown through the camera?  

 Just Look Over Your Shoulder!

One of my favorite songs is “You’ll Be in My Heart” by Phil Collins.  After seeing the picture with the light coming from my heart, I was drawn to listen to the song again.  

As I listened, I saw God smile and I heard Him speak for both Himself and my mother in the closing lyrics.

I’ll be with you.

I’ll be there for you always,

Always and always.

Just look over your shoulder …

Just look over your shoulder,

Just look over your shoulder …

I’ll be there always.

And so as I sign off tonight, I’m looking at a picture of me in a shirt covered with sunflowers … and over my shoulder is the sun, which on first glance appears to be setting.  

But, as with the real sun, setting one place means rising in another.  

My Mother lives on in the same place God lives … in my heart!

The Joy Of Being A Swinger

My parents had a swing on their side porch.  I spent many happy days swinging with my mother when I was younger.

Sometimes when storms would blow through, we sat in the swing and and listened to the thunder and watched the lightening.  

And when the storm was over, sometimes we would just sit quietly and listen to the rain dripping off the roof.

Later in life, when other storms came, I sat in that same swing and let my tears flow like the rain.  In the uncertainties of life, swinging rhythmically was soothing … a reassurance of my mother’s words, “The storm will soon be over.”

My father put up a swing on our pecan tree.  When I was little, he and my mother took turns pushing me until I got the hang of “pumping.”  I flew higher and higher until I was convinced I could touch the sky!

And then I discovered I could fly.  I swung as high as I could and then jumped out.  For a few seconds, I experienced the joy birds must feel, to be free of the pull to earth and just soar.

When our daughter was a baby, we got a swing for her.  We had to wind it up, but then it was good to go.  It was the perfect way to put baby to sleep and became the bedtime ritual.  Swing the baby and then ease her out into her bed.

The baby outgrew the swing before she outgrew the bedtime ritual.  Her feet were dragging the floor, but she still wanted to swing.

Her ever creative Dad put blocks under it to elevate it and we milked another few months out of that beloved swing.

When we moved into our first house years ago, we had a swing on the deck.  When we moved into our present house, we put a swing on our covered patio.  I call it my “sweet spot.”

The sweet bay magnolia is near by and spreads its fragrance in the spring.  In all seasons, I swing and watch the horses in the pasture out back.  

Sometimes I think of all the times and places I have swung in rhythm to the earth’s heart beat … and sometimes I get the urge to swing higher … and maybe see if I could jump out without breaking a hip.

Today life came full circle as our daughter sent us this video of our grandson at the orchard with his Mom and Dad.  Their joy became my joy all over again!

I think there may be swings on the front porches of Heaven.  Oh what a time we are all going to have, swinging and reminiscing about the preview we got of Heaven on earth through swinging!

Connected Or Disconnected?

I was in grammar school when my parents got a TV.  It provided an added dimension to life.

But we never watched it except in the evenings.  We had a life that included so many other things.

As children, we played with whatever was available around us.  Sticks, leaves, sand piles, mud puddles, flowers.  We swang in swings or tires hitched to a tree with ropes. 

We took walks, rode bikes, skated, jumped rope, tossed balls back and forth, and other simple things.   We talked to each other about life. 

We were seldom bored.

We learned to use our imagination to fill in any blanks.  We saw the world around us, but we also saw the endless worlds inside each other’s heads.  We made up stories and became whoever we wanted to be … until our parents called us to supper.

We read books.  We wrote stories ourselves and shared them with each other.

We had family activities, such as card games or board games.  We played checkers.  We told jokes.  We laughed.

We looked at old pictures.  We learned about those who had died before we were born.  Their legacy was planted inside us.

We wrote letters on paper and mailed them to each other.  We experienced the joy of receiving letters and cards we could hold in our hands, knowing the one who sent them had actually touched them.

We were connected to each other and the real world.

In present day time, I enjoy seeing our toddler grandson explore the world.  Every part of it is a fascination to him.  He sees, he hears, he touches, he tastes.  He freely expresses his feelings.  He looks at us and smiles.  We are connected.

In 2021, we say we are connected, but many of us are not.  We are addicted to our distractions.  Faced with the challenges of outside stimulation being reduced due to the pandemic, we are bored.  We feel isolated.  We have an internal restlessness.

We turn to our computers and our TVs, trying desperately to self soothe.  Many cannot make it five minutes without picking up their cell phones.  

And it is only now that we have begun to realize just how much we took for granted before the world turned into isolation wards.

We had become accustomed to parallel living.  We were in each other’s physical space, but not really connected on any other level.

We were content to wave at neighbors or have the most superficial of conversations, but we had no idea what was going on behind the walls.

We passed each other in public spaces with not even a nod.

We even sat in church pews next to each other hearing about a future life we would share, but made no effort to know each other now.

How did we become such a generation of super-connected, disconnected people?  As with all things, it was gradual.  And the more people learned how to artificially connect, the more they forgot how to genuinely connect.

Now new generations are being raised in the synthetic age and will have never known any other worlds.  

In the world as it is now, we fear the sounds of silence.  Simon and Garfunkel gave us a solemn picture of the days of the sounds of silence. 

Instead of reaching for any distraction, perhaps we should go back to the ways we used to be entertained … the ways we used to connect … and teach those ways to to our children.

Christmas Of Discovery

Some years ago, I got tired of Christmas.  It had become over commercialized.  The hype started earlier and earlier every year.

The repetitive songs were getting on my nerves.  I was trying to feel sympathy for grandma who got run over by a reindeer, but I just wasn’t feeling it.

I also was frustrated by The Christmas story being told over and over again in the sane way.  A lot of even the. Christian Christmas celebrations felt more like tradition than real worship.

Ironically, it was at this very time that I was asked  if I could write a Christmas devotional or two for our church.  I reluctantly agreed, even though I felt decidedly less than merry.

As it turned out, God was giving me an opportunity to rediscover Christmas.  A couple of reflective devotions turned into a whole series!

Some encouraged me to write a book.  I declined, thinking that was way out of my reach.

However, by the next year, I was writing a blog.  I published the devotionasl on the blog.  Again, some encouraged me to write a book.  Again, I declined.  I just could not see going to that level.

Then God took it up a notch.  After Christmas that year, my friend Donna, arrived at the door with what she called a belated. Christmas gift.

Much to my amazement, she presented me with a beautiful scrapbook, where she had cut out each of the blog postings and carefully decorated each page.  I was holding God’s Plan in my hands!

The rest is history.  Under God’s Direction, Jay and I wrote a book called Christmas of Discovery.  

It totally amazes me to this day to realize the book went around the world.  We have found advertisements for it in languages we can’t even read.

Some people made it their new shared family experience at Christmas to read each chapter and answer the reflective questions.

Today the book can still be ordered as either a paperback or Kindle ebook.  We don’t sell books now, but still have a supply we give away.

We have had people who wanted their own book or wanted to give it as a gift before the Christmas season.

We have also donated books to groups.  Some gave them away. Some sold them for fundraising.

If you wish to purchase, you can do so through any of the vendors listed on our web site.  Most economical is to check out Amazon!

The most valuable lesson I learned is to never to limit God to one season.  He has fresh discoveries waiting every day and lots of surprises!

Here is the link to our web site.  Be sure to check out the video.  It still makes me smile! 😍

http://christianreading.com/cjones/

Going Home Again

We celebrated our 44th wedding anniversary in a unique way today.

We took a literal trip down memory lane.  We made a list of some of the important local landmarks in our life, revisited them and took pictures and reminisced.

We went back to the places we had lived … our first apartments and the little house that was home from 1979 to 1994.

We marveled at how big we once thought it was.  We moved from a one bedroom apartment to a three bedroom house with a basement, a  big yard and a creek.

It really didn’t seem to matter that those bedrooms were tiny as was the one bathroom.  

It really didn’t matter that there was no garage and we were going to have to chip ice off the car to get in and shiver while it warmed up.

We had a house.  And over the years we brought home one adorable baby girl and added later, eight cats, three rabbits and one hamster (at different times).

Our yard had the best hill in the neighborhood for sledding.  We had a creek with crawdads, which Jennifer and Jay loved … me not so much.

We had family celebrations and parties with friends and neighbors.  We made every occasion a reason to celebrate life.

Our baby grew up there, going through all the stages that transformed her into a pre-teen by the time we moved.

We grew too, going from young adulting to middle age adulting.  We moved through various stages, as we learned more about God’s Design for marriage.

While we were cruising the neighborhood today, we saw an older man walking his dogs.  He looked familiar.  We then processed it was one of our former neighbors.

We stopped and talked.  It was as if no time had passed.  Same smile.  Same laugh.  Same jokes as years ago.  It felt warm and familiar.  Even though we could not walk back into our physical old home, God let us go home.

The day we moved to our new home in 1994, Jay and Jennifer left first, excited about moving into our much larger new home.  I stayed behind to close up.  When I shut the front door for the last time, I sat on the steps outside and cried.

As happy as I was to move on, I did not like the feeling that I could not return to that place in the same way ever again.  

Our precious next door neighbor, affectionately called Granny, came over and sat with me.

She cried too.  When I shared my feelings, she said, “Oh honey, you will always have a home here too.  Just come back and sit with me on my porch.”

It helped.  I was finally able to move on with Granny waving in my rear view mirror.  Granny moved to Heaven some years back, so she wasn’t there today.

But I felt her sweet spirit, and I sense she will be waiting for me on Heaven’s front porch one day.

While God does not want us to live in the past, I think He gives us precious memories for a reason.  Sometimes He allows us to return to places where Love grew to remind us how very special it was and how it is still growing, even now.

Our trip down memory lane was the perfect Anniversary Gift.  I am so blessed to still be making memories.

The Lord brought this scripture to mind tonight.  Interestingly, it is chapter 77.  We got married in 1977!

I will remember the deeds of The Lord; yes, I will remember Your Wonders of old.

Psalm 77:11

The Story Of Us — The Wackiest Wedding Ever

Carolyn and Jay Story, Part Two of The Wedding

My Father’s Blessing

My parents would have had plenty of reasons to say “I told you so” about various choices I made in my young adult life.  But they never did.  They simply loved me and never stopped believing and praying for me.

It was such a blessing that they were there in the garden that day.  As my father took my hand to begin the garden walk, he looked directly into my eyes and said, “You picked the right one.”  Jay was a member of the family at that second.

The Garden’s Not Completely Perfect Location

We were so impressed with the beauty of the garden that we sort of overlooked how close it was to UK Medical Center.

As the ceremony began, the birds sang sweetly in the trees and the harpist played a gentle lilting melody.  Everyone emerged from their perfectly choreographed spots and went where they were supposed to go.  The minister began in appropriately solemn tones.

However, his voice was quickly drowned out by the sound of a helicopter overhead.  The medical chopper headed to U.K. was apparently delayed in its landing and circled over the garden.  

It was like the beginning of an episode of MASH.  If someone had yelled, “Incoming!” half of our guests would have hit the ground!

The minister talked louder, adjusting his voice with each circle of the helicopter.  He seemed relieved, as it was finally cleared to land at the med center.

However, his relief was soon overshadowed by another sound.  An ambulance with sirens blasting made its way up Nicholasville Road.  Now realizing his vocal range was going to be required again, he rose to the occasion … or should I say, his vocals cords came to full thrust!

He was quoting The Love Verses of First Corinthians at the time.  As the ambulance got closer and closer, he yelled louder and louder.  As soon as the ambulance cleared the Nicholasville Road light, they killed the siren, leaving our minister red faced and screaming into the silence, “Love is not easily angered!”  At this point, the guests were beginning to snicker.

He, once again, adjusted his voice, but for the remainder of the ceremony, looked on guard!

He continued with the ceremony, but was momentarily distracted by a new sound.  There was a peculiar whining sound that began in the garden.  This was followed by the sound of off key harp notes.  The gentle breeze had picked up and changed into a wind, that caused the harp strings to begin a tune of their own.  They were quickly captured by our harpist … but not before …

Our minister forgot that Jay had not said his part about accepting his ring.  As the minister forged ahead, the groomsmen tried to cue him, without success.  Finally they were yelling, “Let Jay do the ring!”

This, of course, confused him because he knew Jay already had the ring!  But after he realized what had happened, he got back on track and the ceremony proceeded.

However, the next sound was what sounded like an 18 wheeler backing into the garden.  No one was sure what it was, but at this point, we all just desperately wanted to get this thing done!

The minister nearing the end of the ceremony, launched into The Blessing, saying, “Love life, so that Love will life you!”  The groomsmen lost it.  They cracked up in belly laughs, and our guests, even those who had tried to remain serious, laughed.

The minister tried to finish the “sending forth,” but paused too long, at one point, making the harpist believe he was done.  So she started to play the recessional and the minister returned to yelling … and she stopped playing … leaving him once again yelling his parting blessing into silence!

The sound of laughter was covered over by the return of the sound of the truck.  As our guests stood up, they felt the wind at their backs, as several large men, grabbed their chairs, folded them up and threw (yes, threw!) them into the back of the truck.

We rented those chairs, so our best speculation is they were being rushed to the next event!

We all moved on to the party room of our apartment for the reception.  When Jay and I ceremonially departed, we didn’t go far.  We drove around the block, went up the back steps, and went to our apartment.  We sat and watched our guests through the window … and realized we had done it!  We were married!

And we wondered what life would be like in 40 or 50 years.  And that, as they say … is the rest of the story!

Thank you for letting us celebrate our Anniversary with you and thank you for all the good wishes!  We are blessed!

The Story Of Us — The Best Laid Plans?

The continuing story of Carolyn and Jay

The Wedding September 25, 1977

— (Part 1, Part 2 to follow later today)

The Place
We decided we wanted to get married outside. We chose a beautiful garden owned by The University of Kentucky. It was called The Landscape Garden. It was located at the corner of Cooper and Nicholasville Road.

(Sadly it no longer exists. Without even consulting us, UK chopped down our tree and others and put a big building there some years later!)

We asked the groundskeeper if it was ok to get married in the garden. He said he didn’t care, but he would have to ask his boss. His boss said he didn’t care, but he’d have to ask his boss … and so it went until our request reached the desk of The President of U.K. He said he didn’t care, but they probably should have a policy.

It’s a good thing we started working on this in the spring, because it took them awhile to gather a committee to write and get a policy approved for events in the garden.

Basically it came down to we could not exclude anyone from visiting the garden. We didn’t care. The more the merrier!

Seating
I was very certain I wanted chairs for each guest. Jay said it would be too expensive to rent chairs and everyone could stand. The minister tried to broker a compromise by suggesting chairs for only the family. I was horrified. That sounded like a funeral. All we needed was a tent! 😱. The minister noted that might be good in case of rain! 😱😱. Since Jay already had witnessed my “delicate emotional side” at the jewelry store, he countered with we could have all the chairs I wanted.

Jay went to the garden the morning of the wedding and received and set up all the chairs. This was a reassurance I really did pick the right sweetheart!

Aw-w-w, but stay tuned for the wedding finale … where the chairs figured prominently!

Historical Event
My parents were in their early 70s at the time. They had never flown on an airplane. My brother talked them into flying.

My uncle said when he heard that I was getting married, he wasn’t surprised. But when he heard my parents were going to fly, he said it was epic news!

They were determined to contribute to the reception, so my mother baked cookies, which they brought with them in carry on luggage. The only thing was that the handle broke on the bag. Somewhere we have a picture of my parents getting off the plane with my father carrying the precious cargo in his arms!

My brother traveled frequently by air, but says he had never experienced what they experienced on the way home. The plane was struck by lightening. He said it was as if the plane had slammed into a wall! My father slept through it and my mother said she thought that might just be the way planes worked. She had no frame of reference!

Music
It was outside. We considered a “boom box.” But back then battery life was limited and of course outside, there was nowhere to plug in.

Jay said he didn’t know why we really needed music anyway. (Remember this is the guy who didn’t want chairs!). But somewhere in the music discussion, someone told us about a wonderful harpist (Elaine Humphries). She agreed to play and it was beautiful! However, stay tuned to hear about her challenge the day of the wedding. (Hint: Think wind and it’s effect on delicate strings!)

Later today, I will post about the wedding itself. It involved a run away harp, an ambulance siren, a screaming minister, a minister who reversed the words in a sentence, two groomsmen so overcome with laughter they could hardly stand up, and for the grand finale, a fast paced game of not so musical chairs!