The Barn at the Homestead

The Barn at the Homestead

Sunday, May 12, 2019

What might have been

It's Mother's Day

It's Mother's Day; hope that those who are mothers and those who have been like mother's to us have had a wonderful day.  

This story won't leave me; the story of Adam Crapser.  A colleague posted something about it on Facebook.  For days I was arrested by my own feelings.
This story is a few years old, but there are some updates on other websites.  Adams is suing the agency that placed him in the adoptive home.

Adam's story is heart breaking; adopted at age 3 and raised in the United States, after living here for all of his life, he was deported.  It is indeed a sad story.  Made sadder for me by my own life circumstances.  You see, many, many years ago, my husband and I tried to adopt a South Korean child.  We were the next on the list to receive a child when something went terribly wrong.  The relationship between the South Korean Agency and the agency in the U.S. was broken and lawsuits were impending.  We, along with several other couples, never got our long awaited child.

To read Adam's story, the unsettling circumstances of his life, it is difficult to image the horror he experienced.  Abused by not one family, but two, he now finds himself in South Korea as his wife and children remain in the States.  It made me wonder--what if we had been Adam's family?  We were blessed many years later to adopt a child; but Adam's story made the disappointing outcome of my past come roaring back.  A son--oh what would it have meant to have a son! Would he have become an artist, a poet, perhaps a baseball player, or even a ballet dancer? Would he have laughed with us, celebrated birthdays with us, fed goats and chickens with us?

Today on this Mother's Day, I give thanks for the process of adoption that allowed me to become a mother and for the beautiful daughter with which I am so blessed.   I give thanks that as a priest, I have served as a spiritual mother for some.  But today, I am also thinking of Adam Crapser and all of the others who have similar circumstances.  What if Adam had been my son?  The story won't leave me; for now I pray for him. Letters will be in my future plans--to politicians, agencies and yes, maybe even one to Adam.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Purple Hearts

     Retirement brings needed time to sort through the material goods of ones life in addition to all of the memories collected.  Cleaning out, spring cleaning; no matter what you call it, it is the sifting and sorting of things.  My father was a decorated Navy Captain; he served in World War II, Korea and in Viet Nam.  Recently in sorting through some very old things, I came across memorabilia that was Dad's.  Beyond reminiscing, it set me to thinking:  about life, honors, and purple hearts.

Purple Heart
     I set to look up Purple Hearts as awarded to those in the military.  I learned a few things: the idea of purple hearts originated with George Washington, but it was on the 200th anniversary of his birth it was revived and given the name of Purple Heart.  It bears an image of Washington and is awarded those military veterans injured while in service to our country. On online site says, "A symbol of sacrifice."

     About the same time I found some of Dad's honors, I also discovered a pattern for knitting hearts.  I thought of all those who sacrifice in so many ways but never receive much notice: garbage collectors, stay-at-home mothers, teachers, clergy.  As I began to knit, I found myself drawn to purple yarn.  Yes, yes--others deserve a Purple Heart.

    My knitting is slow--but there are those in my life who are worthy of a Purple Heart.  It won't be one with Washington's image, but it will be in recognition of the sacrifice you have made on behalf of my life by picking up my garbage, by teaching little ones so well, by the prayers who have offered on my behalf.  Be on the look out...a Purple Heart, knitted with love may be coming your way.


Sunday, March 31, 2019

Searching for Mayberry

It was one of those social media memes that caught my attention; it gave me a chuckle or two.  I grew up in the era of Mayberry RFD.  What a town--from my childhood perspective, everyone seemed pretty happy, everyone seemed safe, everyone seemed to care about one another.  It never dawned on me that everyone was single!

Mayberry--I thought it was just about perfect,  when I was a kid that is.  And in some sense (I think I am not alone), I've been searching for Mayberry ever since-- a place where everyone is pretty happy, everyone is safe, every really cares about each other.  A few years back, a friend was using a Bible Study Guide based on Mayberry; you can read about it here:
or here:
It isn't something that drew me in at the time, but the concept of the Mayberry of my remembrance continues to pull at my heart strings.

As I reflect back on Mayberry, there wasn't a lot of diversity.  It was a pretty homogeneous group--like lots of places today.  Yet, I think the people were striving at a simple, peaceful life.  I want that kind of life--with more diversity, because I believe that's the key in our modern life!  I want to be happy (well...maybe content), I want to be safe, and I want to live in a world where people really care about one another.  I believe it is possible--it begins with conversation and a reminder for me that Jesus said that we are to love our neighbors as ourselves.  Some of us have some work to do here! 

Whether everyone in Mayberry was single or not (and some days, it would be easier to be single--says she of a long-term marriage), with a few adjustments, Mayberry is still possible.  It may take a while, but I'm going to continue to search...

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Always we begin again 2.0

It's March, 2019.  Always we begin again--wonderful, powerful words from St. Benedict.  These words, like words from the Psalmist, are also forgiving.

February 2018 brought a new word to my vocabulary and to my world: retirement. There were good intentions to write something more often--but to be honest, 2018 was a very unkind year!

Create a clean heart , O God
    and renew a right spirit within me
                                Psalm 51:11

These words, like Always we begin again, are words of invitation.  And so, I shall begin again--to make an effort at this write more share the journey deeper into my heart as An Eclectic Episcopalian.