Ghosts of Thanksgivings Past


This Thanksgiving morning, all is well.  I have family to be with today, plenty to eat, a lovely home to eat in.  And if I did not have those things, I have many friends who would gladly have included me in their Thanksgiving celebrations today.

But as I think about Thanksgivings of the past, things were not always so wonderful.  There was Thanksgiving 2001, when my daddy passed away just a week before.  After the funeral, we did go on to have Thanksgiving with my husband’s family, but when we came home, Daddy’s chair was empty.  It broke my heart.

Just a year later, we buried my mother-in-law three weeks before Thanksgiving.  That year, the five of us ate a small meal in the dining room that before had hosted 50+ family members each year.  We spent many hours going through things in the house before it was sold, dismantling a life.

These were hard times, and everyone has them.  I think of innocent children whose lives are wretched due to the consequences of someone else’s sin, and my hard times don’t look so bad after all.

But one thing we all have in common, the thing we must be most thankful for today–we have hope of a much better life for eternity, without all these sorrows.  The Bible says,

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. John 10:27-28

If you are need more information on how to have this hope in your life, I recommend this link:

Are you saved?

Where have you been?

My occasional readers may have been wondering–where have you been?  I haven’t seen a blog post in months!  Well, big changes have been going on in our household, and will continue for several more months.

My husband had a wonderful ministry opportunity present itself, and so we made the difficult decision to leave behind our friends in Jefferson and our home in the woods.  This new adventure has been great so far, but we are still working on the logistics of finding a house and getting all our stuff under one roof.

Which brings me to our photo today…


When we moved to Jefferson, my motto I reminded myself of was “bloom where you are planted.”  I felt a bit uprooted, and so I was encouraging myself to “dig in” to the new place.

The motto for this move is “There is a place for you.”  We have been blessed with a temporary home for as long as we need it, and this picture shows my humble little sewing nook.  Most of my stuff is still packed away, but there is a place just for me.

IMG_2439And of course, I packed projects for this in-between time.  This little quilt was hand-pieced while attending kung fu class with a certain young man, and I recently finished it.  I think it adds a nice touch to the sewing nook, don’t you?


Keep the home fires burning

Most people keep their home warm with the aid of central heat and a thermostat.  Things are different in the Bruce household, and today’s post is a tribute to the one who “keeps the home fire burning.”


My husband dearly loves a fire, whether a campfire, a fire in the stove, or burning a brush pile.  He can sit for a long time watching the flames and meditating, but he doesn’t sit for long before rearranging the logs or adding some more wood to the fire to keep it going.

We’ve had several cold spells this winter, and are in the midst of another, but our house is toasty warm thanks to my husband’s efforts.  He brings in an armload of wood several times a day, arranges it just so in the stove, and scoops out the ashes when they accumulate.  I can’t even remember the last time we turned on the central heat in this house.


And where did all that wood come from?  Well, since we moved to the pineywoods of Texas, there is plenty of wood.  He has spent many an afternoon cutting down trees into manageable pieces and splitting those logs for use.

So thankful for his servant heart and provision for his family!

A Life Well Lived


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAToday–August 11, 2014–is my mother’s birthday.  She would have been 90 years old today.  She would have let you know that she didn’t want to live that long, and didn’t want to be a burden on her family…and she got her way.  She was not a burden, even when the dark and uncertain times came, and a clear mind eluded her.  She was our mother, and we loved her through it all, and love her still.

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She was a beautiful and elegant lady, inside and out.  She loved to wear shirtwaist dresses to church, but was always comfortable at home in her house dresses. She had fine classic taste in clothing and furnishings. She did not engage in idle talk about others.  She had certain standards:  no phone calls after 10 pm, no unmade beds, clean the house before you leave on a trip.  And don’t impose on anyone more than a few days. (by staying at their house)



She was an educated woman, despite the fact that she grew up in a family of very limited means, and worked to support her parents instead of going to college.  She was interested in world events, read a wide range of books, and made sure her children learned, in and out of school.  We read books, listened to music, and went to interesting places.  It was a long time before I realized not everyone had a mother like mine.

She was a faithful Christian, helping with the work of the church all her life.  She was pleased to be able to see Brother Perry Cotham later in life, since he had baptized her into Christ when he was a young preacher.


She loved her family–husband, children, grandchildren & great-grands.  She always thought we were prettier and smarter, but was not boastful about it to others.  I have a very clear picture in my mind of coming home from school and seeing her at the sewing machine, making clothes for me.  Compared to my schoolmates’ mothers, she looked like a grandmother, since I was the baby in the family, but I always thought she was quite lovely.    She was always there for me, and it was a privilege to be there for her to the end.


It was truly a life well lived…