Published in the Rains County Leader on October 17, 2017:
Celebrating Life, the title of this article, is an accurate description of how I spent this past weekend. In a period of forty-eight hours, I attended a gender reveal, a tenth birthday party, a wedding shower, and a memorial service. Each celebration was very different, but each one marked the importance of an event that most of us experience during our time on this earth.
The gender reveal was my first. I’ve seen pictures of them on Facebook had never attended one until Saturday. When I had my son, the gender reveal came in the delivery room when the doctor declared, “It’s a boy!” Medical advances have allowed earlier announcements, and the process has evolved.
This recent reveal was done at a family fish fry. During lunch, young cousins of some designation made the rounds, taking an opinion poll of the gender of the cousin-in-utero and applying Team Pink or Team Blue stickers as appropriate. I was on Team Pink, and David was on Team Blue in the gender reveal game, but in the game of life, we’re both on Team Brendle! (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on August 29, 2017:
The first time I read Gone with the Wind, I wanted to be just like Scarlett O’Hara. I conveniently overlooked the needy and manipulative parts of her personality and focused instead on her strengths. To me she was a brave southern woman who stood tall and strong in the face of all adversities and enemies. Compared to her, I had very little adversity and even fewer enemies, but I knew that, if the occasion ever arose, I would be just as brave and fierce as she was as she stared down war, poverty, and more. I was wrong. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on August 8, 2017:
David and I go to a home group Bible study every Friday night. We meet at somebody’s home and share dinner before we study. I post a sign-up sheet on WikiSpaces every week, and we take turns bringing various parts of the meal. Friday was my turn to bring the main dish. One of the men was planning to order egg rolls from the mother of a co-worker, so I decided to stay with the theme and make teriyaki chicken. I had never made it before, so I went on-line and found a recipe that looked fairly easy and tasty. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on July 25, 2017:
As children, finding joy is as simple as picking a dandelion or coaxing Daddy into being the Tickle Monster for a few minutes. As the years pass, however, joy sometimes becomes more elusive. More joints hurt, more friends develop debilitating or terminal illnesses, and social calendars have more dates for funerals than for weddings. Joy is still possible, but it takes more work, and it sometimes requires an attitude adjustment.
If you’ve spent any time on Facebook, you know it can be a joyless place if you’re not very selective about what you read. Some users post nothing but political tirades and negative news while others give more information than most of us want to know about their long list of medical complaints, medications, and procedures. I’m all for being well informed and also for keeping up with friends and praying for them in their times of need. However, caution is necessary in order to keep all that negativity from sucking all the joy out of life. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on October 25, 2016:
I missed my 50th high school reunion last year, because it was scheduled in October when we were in Oregon visiting grandchildren. I had a second chance of sorts this past weekend as I accompanied David to Jonesboro, Louisiana to attend his 50th.
We missed the morning homecoming assembly and the afternoon parade on Friday, but we arrived in time to attend the tailgate party and football game that night. We also attended the big party on Saturday night. We both had a great time, and with David’s encouragement, I thought I’d share a few impressions, most of which center around two words – commitment and perspective. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on August 30, 2016:
I don’t do change very well. I don’t know if that’s a result of nature or nurture – in other words, I don’t know if I was simply born with a natural aversion to change or if I have developed that aversion because very little changed in my world when I was growing up.
Not that my childhood was boring, but it didn’t involve a lot of variation. When Mom placed furniture in a room, that’s where it stayed. Dinner meant one of a few familiar menus, and family vacations usually included a week in a cabin on Lake Ouachita in Arkansas. That kind of lifestyle gives a solid sense of stability and security, but it doesn’t offer much opportunity to learn to deal with change. (more…)