Tag Archives: touchstones


hand of God“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” ~Psalm 90:12

It is holy week. 7 days from Saturday to Golgotha. 24 hours times 7. Approximately, 10,000 minutes to gain wisdom.

I started numbering my days last night. Shabbat a time with familly, friends, food, grandma mickey treasuresand Our Father started at sundown. Grands watched TWO Ice Age movies (sssshhhh…it’s a secret from mama and daddy) and giggled and laughed and jabbered. On this first day, it became a Grandma Mickey day. A day to dig into the “dress-up” chest – full of fancy hats, long gloves, jewelry and the softest coat imaginable. The coat that used to wrap around me much in the same way it wrapped around the Grands today. A comfort in strange bedrooms, in cold churches during long choir rehearsals and in the backseat of a car as we traveled home from family outings. I rubbed my face into the fur (much as I did when I was tiny) before I carried it into the next room to wrap it around the granddaughter….who proceded to bury her face in the softness. I could almost smell her perfume in the folds.

“Choose my instruction instead of silver,
knowledge rather than choice gold,” Prov 8:10

While Grandson played with one set of beads, long enough to create a sash of power on his tiny body and a power crystal ring that vanquished the “evil” Koayiyah from attacking us, the other one decorated Papa with rings, neckaces, pins and even a “Peter Pan Snood” that Grandma Mickey made for dressy occasions like singing with a band or dancing with Grandpa Mike (btw – I still have the 1940 pattern). Passing on our heritage…creating new memories for a future generation…a small link in a long chain.

“…for wisdom is more precious than rubies,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.” ~Prov 8:10-11

Today, the special jewels were on a compact that Grandma Mickey had carried for special occasions. The smell of the 1940 Elign American powder slightly lingers in thin powder puff. Granddaughter rubbed it everywhere on herself and on Papa’s feet. What I didn’t tell her is that I had rubbed that same puff under my nose just before I gave it to her. Just before the parents arrived, the Grands pulled out the old IQ game that I had spent hours playing with my parents and by myself. Another link in the chain.

So many years later the links are still strongly joined to the chain. The material things are merely a physical touchstone of the essence of the knowledge and wisdom passed on from one generation to another. A myriad of stories woven together with threads of facts and faith.

“Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” ~Matt 28:20

Rabbi Yeshua numbered His days during this holy week. I0,000 minutes to share as much as he could squeeze into these last 7 days on earth. He told stories. He pushed. He prodded. He provided links to help those He loved so that they could hold on to the wisdom He had sought to share. Those links still exists – on the earth – in the heavens – linking us – disciple to disciple – one to another – His family – from generation to generation.

(google images)

Grandma Mac

“My son, do not forget my teaching,
but keep my commands in your heart,
for they will prolong your life many years
and bring you peace and prosperity.” Prov 3:1-2

Long ago, children were raised by a village.  Family was all around.  Teachers could be found on every little street, church and school.  Good teachers hold a special place in our memories.  Sometimes those memories swirl around in our head and emerge to remind us of some knowledge that we gained because of that one person.  One of my favorite Grandma Macteachers was Grandma Mac.  There are so many memories of this lady.  Mother 0f 8 and an additional still-born set of twins.  Strong matriarch after her husband died.  Loving Grandma.  There was nothing better than stopping to see her when I was out riding my bike or walking home from school. Her kitchen was full of aromas that never came out of our kitchen at home.  (Mom may have been her daughter, but she never could manage to cook like her mama.)   Homemade noodles, cookie jars full of un-burned sweetness (mom always “overcooked” cookies), chocolate-meringue-topped pies, sauerkraut setting on the back porch with the wine bottles brewing..and on and on and on.

“Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers.”  Prov 17:6

In those days, we could ride our bikes all around our small town…day into night…at least…until the car horn beeped three times or the fireflies lit our way home.  Parents never worried about what we were doing; they knew that neighbors were always keeping their eyes open for mischief, and I could get spanked from them Grandma Mac retirementas well as mom or dad. Inevitably, there were the stops at Grandma’s house – especially after she got home from working at the Flxi (Flxible Bus Company). If she was not home yet, I would wander around her kitchen garden, sit on the porch and read my favorite book of the day, or explore the old barn behind her house.  To my way of thinking, the 50’s were the perfect time to grow up. Church on Sunday, family gatherings, bike rides, minstrel shows, a library full of books, and endless list of happy times, but at the top of that list was always Grandma Mac.

grandma's panYesterday, my daughter picked strawberries and shared some with us, so today I made shortcake. Grandma taught me her recipe as I stood on a chair by her side….flour, buttermilk, baking powder, butter, sugar and a touch of vanilla.  Sometimes she even patted it with powdered sugar as she put it in the baking dish…golden brown heaven covered with strawberries, homemade ice cream and real whipped creme.  Some of her grandma toolskitchen pictures and  tools remain in my own kitchen, and it makes me smile as I think about her hands holding the same ones that I hold.  Double boiler pan slightly colored on one side from our house fire several years ago, an porcelain funnel, a potato masher.  Simple things but so precious.

Memories bring us close to those who have traveled through this world before us.  They were our first teachers –  our touchstones.  Stones that are handled throughout many generations.  Stones that have been carved by the sharp knives of  knowledge, wisdom, and love.  Stones that are left behind for us to hold and treasure.  Now I have my own Grands, and already, they stand on chairs by my side.  We haven’t made any of  Great-Grandma Mac’s recipes…YET.  But summer looms ahead. and I think there will be a day – or hundreds of days – when we will chose one of her touchstones, carving a little more love into it, and passing on the skills that she passed to me.  And believe it or not, I believe the Grands will be teaching me much more than I am teaching them.

“At that same time Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit, and he said, “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way.”  Luke 10:21me grandma 1954