Monday, September 26, 2005

Tools of the Trade Posted by Picasa

Wrinkle Patrol

I just got off duty. Wrinkle patrol—ironing that is. I realize that to admit that I iron “dates” me. Most women these days don’t iron. Many don’t even own an iron. Call me old-fashioned, but I still think that my husband’s casual shirts and kakis deserve a little smoothing out and a crisp crease.

In the early days of our marriage, I took in other people’s ironing to help put food on the table for our wee ones. I didn’t want to leave by babies in daycare. Thus, I opted to iron men’s long-sleeved, white, 100% cotton shirts for ten cents apiece. Baskets piled high with shirts were dropped off. Rows of freshly pressed shirts were picked up.

The task was tedious. First, I sprinkled the shirts with water and folded them back into the basket, covering them with plastic. Dampened shirts were much easier to iron. Then I would spend hours on my feet with my iron and starch.

Then came the era of polyester and double knit. Women were convinced that the days of ironing were gone forever. Yes, I was temporarily delivered from wrinkle patrol. But that didn’t last long. Polyester became a thing of the past, and it was back to the comfort of cotton.

Do I like to iron? Not really. It’s a mundane chore to say the least. I procrastinate more often than I care to admit.

However, when I think about it, I like the power I posses with my hot iron and spray starch. Wrinkles quiver as I attack and win the battle. I’m in charge! If only it was the easy to smooth out my ever-increasing facial wrinkles.

What I really want is to iron out the wrinkles of life! I want to smooth away sadness and disappointment for myself and others. And if I could only steam out wrinkles in relationships, finances, and health—press out problems of every sort. Since I can’t, I will have to settle for what I can do—pointing rumpled hearts to the Heavenly Father. He can handle the wrinkles of life that I can’t. As for me, I had better stick to me weekly wrinkle patrol in the laundry room.

(c) 2005 Marlene Depler

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Beautitul new book for women! Posted by Picasa

Just Off the Press!

A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Women is just off the press! This book of daily inspiration is written by women for women. Check it out for yourself and as a gift for your female family members and friends. (It was complied by James Stuart Bell and Carol McLean Wilde.)

Two of my devotionals are in this book! September 26 and September 30. Three of my friends also have their work in this book.

You can search out the book while I finish a writing assignement. My deadline looms near!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

A Walk in My Shoes

"Lola gets what Lola wants!"

It would be impossible for me to count the times that I was teased with that line as a young child. What no one knew is that in my mind this was not true at all. Who would have believed that this little blonde-haired girl with natural curls framing such an innocent face desperately wanted something that she could not have?

I wanted shoes—girl's shoes. Yes, there were other things that I desired, such as a hula-hoop and a "bride doll," but shoes were the foremost cause of my discontent. It was the mid-1950s, and black and white saddle oxfords with bobby socks were the prescribed fashion of the day for girls. I wore brown, clumsy oxfords—boys' shoes handed down from my boy cousins. In those days, shoes for boys and shoes for girls were quite obviously different.

I was convinced that everyone noticed that I wore boy's shoes. My embarrassment made no difference in my circumstances. My father was a young minister for a tiny church in the southwest corner of Kansas, and his pay was meager. There was no money for what I coveted most.

I went to school each day filled with shame, certain that everyone was staring at my shoes. I made a conscious attempt to keep my feet hidden under my chair. If the teacher asked for the class to sit on the floor, I hid those ugly brown shoes under my skirt. Fortunately for me, the skirts of dresses were very full in those days! My feet were the only ugly ducklings in a world of swans.

I remember being invited to Susie's birthday party. One of her gifts was a pair of plastic, dress-up, high-heeled shoes. Even her gift of play shoes was reason enough to strike a chord of envy. Sadness descended over me. It was such a hopeless plight. Lola did not get what Lola wanted.

After the second grade, our family moved to the coast of Oregon where my father became the minister for another church, slightly bigger than the previous one in Kansas. We left Kansas in our blue and white, 1955 Chevy station wagon, pulling everything we owned in a U-Haul trailer. We were off to see the world, and temporarily, I forgot about the shoes on my feet.

While we were in Oregon, my father started selling shoes out of a catalog to supplement his small income. One day he showed me a picture of black velveteen shoes in his catalog. On the glossy page, they looked simply beautiful—more beautiful than anything I had ever seen before. He then proceeded to measure my feet. The order was placed. I spent days in eager anticipation.

At last the shoes came! As I slipped my feet into their velvety, black softness, my world changed. I was a princess with the most exquisite shoes in the kingdom. My feet danced, and my heart sang. Black velveteen shoes—more wonderful than anything I could have ever imagined! From that day forward, I never wore boy's shoes again.

It's been more than forty years since then. I no longer go by my first name, Lola. (I am sure that you can guess why!) Instead, I use my middle name, Marlene.

Just yesterday I saw some shoes in a Wissota Trader catalog that caught my eye. The advertisement said, "Velvety nubuck leather casuals...." I just may order them.

Sometimes Marlene gets what Marlene wants!

(c) Marlene Depler

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

A Rendezvous with Daybreak

An intrusive beep, beep, beep jolts me from my peaceful slumber. I am reluctant to move from my cozy comfort until I remember that I have a rendezvous with daybreak. Then willingly, perhaps expectantly, I put my feet over the edge of the bed and find my robe and slippers. I quickly brew a cup of tea and open the door to the patio.

The air is cool. It smells fresh like laundry just off the clothesline. A single crow calls from a nearby tree, and crickets make monotonous, rhythmic sounds. In the distance a small plane engine drones. Cars hum over the pavement as they take early commuters to their workplaces. The trees to the east are shadowy silhouettes. Their reflection is mirrored in the two glassy ponds. A faint rim of pastel pink outlines the horizon.

The neighbor's obnoxious, diesel pick-up engine interrupts my morning meditation. It begrudgingly shifts into gear and quickly fades into the distance. Four ducks take to the water for a brief swim but then hurry back to shore. Soon they are back in the water, erasing the reflection of the trees as they swim into the cattails. Now the pale rim widens into a peach glow.

Succulent tomatoes in the garden beckon for someone to pick them before frigid fingers of frost touch them. The corn patch is in a state of disarray, giving evidence to a recent visit by hungry raccoons. Marigolds lift their bright faces to greet the new day. Tall blue spikes of salvia surround the birdbath and mingle with the sharp thorns and fragrant petals in the rose garden. An occasional weed reflects a bit of neglect on my part.

A hint of pink through the trees---now melon, then orange. Multitudes of blackbirds suddenly fly overhead, chattering and chirping their morning greetings to each other. Here she comes! The sun makes her grand entrance with such glory and grandeur. She confidently flings her magnificent robes of brilliant orange across the expanse of the eastern horizon while lavishly scattering her dazzling jewels of light across the earth. Higher and higher into the sky she rises.

There is something sacred about the sunrise. Praise to the Creator of the dawn, the daybreak. He is the giver of new days and second chances. Nourished by my morning meditation, I graciously accept the gift of a new day with both gratitude and humility.

"I shall remember the deeds of the Lord;
Surely, I will remember Thy wonders of old,
I will meditate on all Thy work,
And muse on Thy deeds.
Psalms 77:11-12 NAS

(c) Marlene Depler