Hello, What a change in the weather! When I last popped these newsletters through your door, we were experiencing some very cold and wet weather, which then turned to very cold snowy weather. Although all the children enjoyed the snow, I think we are pleased to see the back of that!
Now we can see that spring is in the air and what a difference it makes to us all. I go out early with our old dog, Indie. We enjoy our early morning walks apart from the MUD‼ The birds are getting much more vocal and darting around in front of us as we walk along. Everyday we see more and more signs of spring, blackthorn on bud, elderberry tree/bushes bursting green leaves and the birds pairing up. Most mornings I see a couple of robins and blackbirds together and the ducks and pheasants are pairing up too. It certainly lifts my heart, even Indie has a bit more bounce in his step. The other afternoon I walked up Sheepcoates Lane with Granddaughter Florence in the pram. I often pray as I walk along, as I passed St. Mary’s R.C. church I thought of all our friends who worship there, I felt uplifted by the Spring flowers, snowdrops and miniature daffodils leading up to the doors of the church it felt like I was being drawn in. Sheepcoates Lane has become Silver End’s Promenade, you can meet half the village walking along there. Saying hello to everyone, and now people are much more willing to say hello back even if they don’t know you. Let’s hope this keeps up as we begin to come out of this difficult year and the Country opens up. We still have a long way to go, but at least we have the road map for guidance. I know for some of you it has been a long lonely year and will take us all sometime to re adjust to freedoms.
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL DURING THESE
Animals can be such a joy, comfort and company. I feel privileged to have them in my life and thank God for all his blessings. After mentioning Indie I thought I would tell you a little about all our pets. Indie came from Allshots Farm and belonged to my Mum and Dad and he is quite a character. I expect some of you will remember him from those days? A couple of times he managed to go looking for Mum in the Co-op, he caused quite a stir! He is a Border Terrier and he has a lot of terrier in him, especially where other dogs are concerned, which is the reason I walk him early. He is now nearly 15 and is deaf, which has helped his behaviour, as he doesn’t get so stressed with other dogs and affected by noises. Sadly I can’t let him off the lead anymore, because he can’t hear me call him. Indie likes his home comforts, sitting on your lap is a perfect position for him.
I know many of you hear (he is very loud!) our old cat Harry, when you telephone or I call you. He is 25years in April and also deaf. He is amazing, I wonder how he keeps going sometimes. I can’t believe we have had him all those years. He has had quite a few scrapes along the way, burning his feet on cooker hob, hurting his leg very badly which fortunately healed without an operation and his last scrape in the last few years he came home with his chest ripped open, being too old to anesthetise the vet managed to staple it together. He is now confined to the garden, so he is safe. His favourite place in the summer is beside the pond, at the moment it is beside the heater. I think most of you know our other dog Twiggy who comes to coffee morning, she is a long haired Border Collie, black, white with a little brown. She is now 5 and very spoilt by Allan. She has a sweet nature and is full of fun, she absolutely loves our Grandchildren. Twiggy has missed them so much with all these lockdowns, she goes bonkers when she see’s them. Occasionally someone calls from the family to take her for a walk. Looking after animals can be a fulltime job, especially when they are old! But, the benefits to us far out weighs the work.
Little Acts of Kindness
Whilst I was out last month delivering these newsletters I had a delivery too! When I got home I had an envelope waiting for me, opening it I discovered a beautifully handmade card of a vase of flowers. Inside was written ‘A vase of flowers to brighten your day’ I can’t tell you how much it touched my heart and indeed brightened my day. So unexpected and lovely. Thank you Lesley.
I know many of you are being helped by neighbours and friends who have gone out of their way to help, during this past year. Isn’t it wonderful?
I mention Margaret Martin quite often in this newsletter, but Margaret is one of the most kind and thoughtful people. She often drops in a little note or gift to brighten my day.
Brenda Hardy and I were chatting and she asked if I could share the words of a verse that John Rutter set to music, which our little choir used to sing. It is a lovely piece and can certainly help take away stress.
Life on Mars!
I have never felt any desire to travel into space. The recent landing on Mars was a wonderful achievement. I remember the first moon landing, going outside and looking up at the moon and thinking people are walking about up there, which was amazing and then later in the 1980’s going to Stansted when the shuttle came over on the back of a jumbo jet. Our boys loved that and it was great event. It must be amazing seeing the earth from space and just wonder about how glorious it looks. Seeing those pictures sent back from Mars the other day, I just thought how bleak it looked, no thanks, not for me. It got me thinking about a recent reading.
Ever wonder why we’ve failed to find life on any other plant, yet ours is designed to sustain us and meet our most basic everyday needs? Do you think it’s just a coincidence? Not according to the Bible. In it God says, I… made the earth and created mankind upon it.’ Did you know that if the earth was 10% larger or 10% smaller, life as we know it wouldn’t be possible? Or that we’re just the right distance from the sun so we receive the right amount of heat and light? If we were any farther away we’d freeze, and if we were closer we wouldn’t be able to survive. Consider for a moment the amazing tilt of the axis of the earth. None of the other planets are tilted like ours at 23 degrees. This angle allows the sun’s rays to touch every part of the earth’s surface over the course of a year, as the earth circles the sun. If there was no tilt to the axis the poles would accumulate enormous masses of ice, and the centre of the earth would become so hot we couldn’t stand it. Like an excited parent designing a room for the arrival of their newborn child, God made this earth specifically for us. For this is what the LORD says – he who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited’ That’s how much God cares for us.