From Debbie Wilhite
I’ve forgotten how much I enjoy the change of seasons. With the cooler weather even the air smells like autumn! A world of memories surfaces with the scent and crunch of dry leaves fallen from trees preparing for the cold of winter.
It used to be that autumn was associated in my mind with the beginning of school; but here, in the southern hemisphere (and following the USA school schedule), it signified the end of another school year. Perhaps that’s why it was extra special? 😉 Yesterday Joshua tapped on the window for my attention. His beaming face greeted me. “Definitely! Definitiely!!” he declared, handing me a small, crisp, red leaf. “It’s FALL!!”
As we enter another autumn our heads are full of “summer plans”… It’s time to catch up on all those things we overlooked, only dreamed about, or ignored during the busy days of school. Here are a few family togetherness (and some personal) projects we plan to fill up our “extra” hours:
I finally added the finishing touches to my 2009 Australia journal. 😛 I also have some other journals begging to be filled. During our family Bible time, among other things, we’ve been studying about a particular animal, a character trait, and Biblical principles. We are each entitled to a picture to color while Jerry reads. Even I have tried my hand at it, employing the lovely colored pencils purchased years ago. ‘Tis also the season of split-wood and gathered-kindling for our wood-burning stove. What a pleasant place to curl up with a good bood to read in a cozy corner!
Gardening here means boys working hard to maintain a pleasant-looking yard with forking and pruning. Without the rains, the grass is quick to wither, so the sprinklers need to be regimented and rotated to keep a spot of green around the property. Of course we have the super-duper cleaning involving the “extras” inside and outside the house as well. (I even tested my skills of hair-cutting on myself one day in desperation!)
A recent one-day-trip to our favorite nearby Debegeni Waterfalls turned into a trip down memory lane for me recalling other occasions there and places we saw enroute. To our delight, the Tea Gardens near Tzaneen seem to be reopened with the appearance of brightly-clad workers. A trip to All Days (yes, that’s really a town’s name, as well as My Darling!) took us all day. 😉 There we viewed lions, tigers, wild dogs, ceracal, cervil, mongoose, a python…and even touched some…! Plans are in the making for a family trip to Durban to visit some missionary friends, view the Indian Ocean, and celebrate our 31st anniversary, Julianna’s 25th birthday, and Jeremiah’s graduation from high school.
Much of the above also includes our year-round ministries of printing, collating, and distributing Gospel literature. Jerry’s been posting signs on many high schools offering the Bible correspondence course. As a family we’re attempting to memorize all or part of Proverbs 8, and perhaps doing some extra Bible reading.
This is also the time to catch up on correspondence that may have been neglected. Opportunities abound to visit hospital patients, shut-ins, and others. Just recently while visiting a friend, her new puppy, Smalley, used one of the children as a fire hydrant (to quote some of our kids). Some times are more pleasant than others, but we always seem to find something to chuckle about!
I must admit…that looks like quite a list for a few months. High hopes? Probably, but I always tend to pack more in my bag than is needed. I owe much for anything accomplished in our family to my dear husband’s leadership and planning. He not only keeps us seeing things to be done (both physically and spiritually), but his sense of humor sends us laughing, moaning, or sighing!
A friend in Kenya once told us that he counted his day successful if he could complete one task that day. That’s because sometimes it took all day to do one thing! And this is still Africa…So, now I think I’ll go back to finish the book I started, More Hours in My Day.