It's a BEAUTIFUL DAY ...In Pennsylvania!
Probably it's beautiful in lots of other places around this big old USA today too.
But for my money, it's a beautiful day for more than just the fact that the sun is shining here -ever so brightly and there's no snow in the forecast either until maybe Monday. (The latter bit of information from Mandy who says she heard were supposed to take another hit from Frosty the Snowman's Maker then.
But here's another reason why I think it's a beautiful day too! Time to do a good old "Only the Good Friday post, ya know!
If you aren't familiar with Shelly Tucker and her blog -This Eclectic Life - then go here and learn about turning negatives into positives by doing posts that illustrate, as she says, "Only the good" -the things that make life very much worthwhile.
It's a good day, anyday, that I am able to go for a nice brisk walk -or trot -or sometimes even break into a tiny bit of a run -while enjoying the fresh air with our sweet little Sammy -aka "Chippy" -on our walks up or down the street here where we live.
Today, we went out around 1 p.m. -walked up to the corner and back and it was on the return portion of our stroll that he forced me into upping the pace, just a tad -from the normal "trot" speed to breaking out into a run. Granted it was a very brief run, but it was definitely a run all the same.
He knows all the houses along our route where there's another dog living -whether it be an inside dog or an outside dog, chained up, he knows those places! As do I.
Today, on the way home though, one neighbor of ours -who has a dog -just so happened to have the dog out, on their front porch. Thankfully, their porch is also barricaded so the dog can go out without having to be tied and getting a lead all tangled up around everything and anything -and also, so we can walk by without risk of the two dogs -theirs and mine -getting their bodies a bit tangled up too.
However, the same can not be said for their cat. And though Sam knows there is occasionally a cat, out and about around that house, he usually is pretty good on the leash if he sees it -just barks a bit, strains a little on the lead too but not all that hard and I can easily keep him under control.
Today though -with the dog on the porch barking at us and then, Sammy spied the cat by the side of the porch and he gave a yank on his lead at the exact same time that I was changing hands on the hand control of his lead and that pulled the lead completely out of my grasp!
He was off and running! And boy, I do mean running too! Barreling through the snow, up to the porch and around the side and the cat -well, the cat took off too like a streak across the field between that house and the neighbors next door to them.
Sammy was racing and chasing, zigging and zagging, in and out and around everything in the second neighbor's yard until the cat finally took refuge under a the lilac bush there and in the vines and branches at the bottom of that bush, it sat there, completely protected and well out of Sammy's reach.
Reluctantly, he gave up that chase and romped a bit then through the snow, finally reappearing on the road two houses down from where he had taken off.
And I had to run then a bit to get up to where he was standing before something else caught his eye -or before some truck or car might come by and he'd be liable then to dart out in front of that and could get smooshed, flatter than the flattest pancake.
It's a good day in that I did manage to run that short piece (very short piece) and caught up with him. He put his head down as I picked up his lead and scolded him a bit for running off like that. Kind of acted as though he understood he'd been bad and was showing me a bit of remorse for having forced me to move even faster than he does when we are moving at his "trot" speed.
Inside the house, out in the kitchen, I just about jumped out of my skin though as I heard this really loud rumble, then thumping sounds coming from above me. What the heck was that? Then it dawned on me, that maybe the warmer weather, the lovely sunshine, had melted away at some of the icicles hanging from the upper eaves of the house and fallen on the porch roof and then, rolled off.
I went to the front door to check it out but saw nothing new on the ground. So I went out on the side walk and looked up and there was Mandy, hanging out the window from her bedroom, trying to knock whatever icicles she could reach from that small vantage point.
She managed to get a goodly number of those icicles knocked off and then, came downstairs and went to the side of the house -between the kitchen and the front porch -and proceeded to break off a really huge icicle that had formed there.
Here she is holding the icicle up -and as you can see, it is several inches higher than her -and she's almost 5 foot 8 inches! Pretty big old icicle, don't 'cha think?
I'm just glad this icicle was on the side of the house, hanging of the porch eave in a place where no one would be able to walk under it and have it land on anyone or anything!
Hey -we do grow 'em big here in the good old Keystone State, don't we?
This week marked the beginning of Lent on Wednesday and though we couldn't make it to the services at church Wednesday -Mandy works Wednesdays from 11 a.m. until 8 or 9 p.m. -we were able to get out and attend the annual Shrove Tuesday supper of Pancakes and Sausage that the men of our church sponsor every year. A nice dinner, for sure and one that usually both the kids will eat heartily too of the pancakes the men cook up.
After the dinner, as we were getting ready to leave, we walked down to the sanctuary where my neighbors -and good friends, Kate and Shirley, were busy stripping the altar and replacing the normally colorful altar cloth with the black one, indicating the start of Lent and a very pensive and reflective time of the Church's life as well as our own.
Pastor Carrie was there too and as she usually does with Maya and Kurtis, she was paying a lot of attention to both of them. She and Maya took the black cloth used to wrap the base of the cross in the front of the sanctuary and draped it there -where it will remain until the Easter Season begins.
Here's Maya and Pastor Carrie, seated at the foot of the Cross.
It's always a very good day when we're able to participate in any of the activities of the church. And especially too, that we have Pastor Carrie here to lead and to teach all of us about Faith, Hope, Love and hopefully, having Christian Charity within us towards all we meet.
Earlier in the evening -as we sat eating our pancakes and sausage, Maya had begun asking us some questions -about Pastor Carrie. "What is she?" she wanted to know. Well, what do you mean by that question was Mandy's initial response. It took a little doing to help Maya explain what it was she wanted to know but it all had to do with the title of "Pastor." Finally after several explanations were offered to her, she sat back and said "Oh, she teaches about Jesus."
Yes, baby, that she does! And now we know that Maya "gets" that about Pastor Carrie and her role to us, for us, within the church. And that aspect, that she is grasping that concept, makes for some very good days for us.
And so, as we move through this period known in the Church Year as Lent, let us all think about the many, many things we have in our lives that are good -family, friends, good neighbors, a home, food -and how fortunate we are to have them too. Let us remember too all those who are not so fortunate -who have no roof over their heads, no food or not enough food for their tables, no warmth or love in their lives -and let us try to find ways to bring those things to them regardless of their so-called status in life, their race, religion, ethnicity, location -you name it!
Make it, to the best of our ability, a beautiful day for them too!