Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Entrusting the minds of children

Nashville's teachers will get a 2% raise in the new budget cycle.

JFK once said, "Modern cynics and skeptics...see no harm in paying those to whom they entrust the minds of their children a smaller wage than is paid to those whom they entrust the care of their plumbing."

Monday, May 30, 2005

The Uncles

Today I would like to honor my uncles who served in WWII. Otis Lee Tucker and Clarence Edward Tucker served as tank mechanics in Italy and never saw action. Roy Eugene Brandon left a West Texas farm to serve in Europe and returned a sergeant and an alcoholic. My dad said once that what Uncle Gene saw in the war changed him. He isolated himself from the family and eventually died of alcoholism.

But while I knew him, he was the greatest uncle--He took me to the fair and gave me my first ferris wheel ride and bought me more cotton candy and popcorn than I should have had. I have a locket he brought me with wings on it as a souvenir--I guess he must have been in the Air Force. My Uncle Clarence still has his uniform packed away and a German gun--but he never talks about the war or shows off the leavings. I never heard my Uncle Tuck (Otis) say a word about the war.

This "greatest generation" deserves our love and respect for the protection and safety they brought us in the last just war. I do pray for those families like the Reiders at Otter who have sons and daughters in Iraq now. May they all come home safely. Oh, God I pray for peace in this generation and for peace among all your children.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

The rich get richer...

Today's paper reported that our culture has forsaken keeping up with the Jones and has now gone to keeping up with the Gates by buying $130,000 Hummers, $600 jeans and $400 bottles of wine.

The most outrageous example given was a Japanese restaurant in NYC named
Masa which serves only a $350 dinner. It has 26 seats and a reservation is the most sought-after status symbol in the city. (And they don't even serve steak!)

"Woe to you who are complacent in Zion (America?)....You lie on beds of ivory and lounge on your couches. You dine on choice lambs and fattened calves. You strum away on your harps like David and improvise on musical instruments. You drink wine by the bowlful and use the finest lotions....Your feasting and lounging will end."

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Turning off time

I had to turn off the grandfather clock when Ella and Maddie were here Thursday. Ella didn't like the tick and the gong. She said they were "cary".

Come to think of it, I think they are scary too--incessently marking speeding time day after day. I don't know where it goes. Curse that day with the tree when Adam and Eve saw the end of their time with God's admonition that they would return to dust.

I must remember Psalm 31:14-15 "...You are my God. My times are in your hands...."

Friday, May 27, 2005

Until then

I had the good fortune to keep the girls yesterday, and although they had their moments, I found myself looking into their open faces and clear eyes and beautiful childlike spirits when I had the chance and dreading the day when real sadness and pain comes their way, when teenage angst takes over, when friends don't love and adore them.

I have a really terrific new book called Teaching with Fire: Poetry That Sustains the Courage to Teach. This one is called First Grade by Ron Koertge:

Until then, every forest
had wolves in it, we thought
it would be fun to wear snowshoes
all the time, and we could talk to water.

So who is this woman with the gray
breath calling out names and pointing
to the little desks we will occupy
for the rest of our lives?

Hopefully they will never have a teacher with gray breath, and hopefully they will never lose the call of imagination and the power to dream. I pray that for them, my sweet little girls.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Made in the streets

Heard a wonderful report last night from David Wilson and his wife who quit jobs and spent 6 months volunteering with OC's mission in Kenya to uplift children in the streets. It made me think about our perception of poverty--or rather lack of it. Most people not involved with schools or children's affairs do not even know that there are poverty-stricken children in Nashville and indeed all over the U. S. This in a booming economy with house sales going up (one million dollar homes are not rare in Nashville anymore), people restricting themselves to this and that diet (as children have nothing to eat) and spending thousands on Hummers while children are living in cars or boxes.

And now, the mayor of Nashville wants to raise the sales tax and the property tax which will also hit those who are struggling. Nashville EVEN TAXES FOOD!!!! The sales tax will shortly be 9.75%. It was quite a shocker for this Texan to go to the grocery store for the first time to find I had to unload my own cart at the checkout--no small feat in the tiny aisle AND had to take my own groceries to the car and load them, plus pay a sales tax on food.

Read Larry James at larryjamesurbandaily.blogspot.com for more hair raising details about how those in poverty are treated. He recently posted that those who apply for the drug discounts offered by the govt. are now being told that their welfare checks will be cut "because they will not have to pay for drugs and will have more money."
So much for compassion.

All of us need to read the minor prophets again with their warnings about oppression of the poor.

Isaiah 58:14 ...if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness and your night will become like noonday.

Maybe that is what would make our country an "all are created equal" place again.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


Honeysuckle climbing
up a dying tree--
What a sweet way to go.

Although I prefer to write in prose, there are times when growth demands a go at poetry. I am certainly surrounded by a creation crying out for poetry. The honeysuckle picture is just down the road from my house.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Where are those 10 books I haven't read yet?

not teaching
not studying
not discussing a book...

floating in a limbo of aliteracy
drifting in an open space of free time
hovering above stampeding lists of

chores to finish,
books to read,
hospitalities to return

buoyantly poised for

an inspiration,
an invitation to learn,
a stimulating friend.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Margaret Wise Brown

In the great green room....virtually every child knows this first line of a very famous and well-loved book Goodnight Moon. Today is Margaret Wise Brown's birthday. She was born May 23, 1910 in Brooklyn. She died very young at the age of 42 from an embolism.

This book relates so well to the experience of children and parents and the goodnight ritual, it has become an icon in children's literature. I heard Patricia MacLachlan say recently that she hesitated to submit her new goodnight book to her editor because the perfect one had already been written by Brown. MWB never had children, never married (although she was engaged to a Rockefeller when she died.) The book did not win a Caldecott for Clement Hurd, the illustrator; yet its rhyme and pictures live forever in the hearts of children.

It was the favorite book of Brandon Scott Thomas and his mother enjoyed reading it to him, as she does reading it to Maddie and Ella.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Small gifts

I love the way Maddie and Ella get as excited about small gifts as large ones.
Maddie is just as happy with new colors and a coloring book or blank page pad as with a huge Barbie doll ensemble. Ella loves gum more than a basket full of candy.

It was fun to see how excited the girls were about going to Ben and Jerry's for ice cream after we ate wonderful steak at Houston's this weekend. They were practically dancing. Maddie wanted something yellow, so she wound up with lemony-limeny sherbert. Of course, Ella had the same thing she did. Brandon had strawberry in a cone with sprinkles which the girls loved to eat. Sheryl had her favorite pistachio--she likes the green and the nuts. I had butter pecan--so full of pecans! Ahhh, summer!

Thank you God for your large and "small" gifts--for your Son and for the magnolia trees now blooming in Nashville. For salvation and for the community of family. For your love and for the starry night.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Fraterville Mine Disaster

On May 23, 1902. the Fraterville Coal Mine blew up and 216 miners were killed. They left 150 widows and 1,000 children. Each family got $320 per death. It was the worst mining disaster in U. S. history. Yesterday relatives gathered to commemorate the disaster in Lake City, TN.
The cemetery where many of the miners are buried was being added to the National Register of Historic Places.

I never heard of the disaster until I read about it in the paper today. I was interested that many of the dying men left notes to their families. A very poignant note said, "Oh God, for one more breath. Oh, how I wish to be with you. Goodbye to all of you. Goodbye."

Wow! That makes you want to call your loved ones, doesn't it?

Friday, May 20, 2005


I thought Texas had the corner on strange town names. However, last night on the weather news, the weatherman mentioned Lickskillet, Ky. (What could the founding folks been thinking?)

And last week at a ladies'luncheon, I met someone from Belt Buckle, TN. (Wonder if that is the origin of The Bible Belt?)

Abilene, TX was named after Abilene, KS in the hope that the new town would become a cattle--railroad town. Unfortunately, there were too many farmers in the settlement for that to happen. The railroad did thrive for a while thanks to the buffalo hunters sending hides up north. Buffalo Gap nearby is named after a gap in the Callahan Divide through which the buffalo came seeking new grass. My birth town of Anson, TX is named after the last president of the Republic of Texas Anson Jones. Hamlin is named after a railroad man who helped found the town. And then there is Cut and Shoot just down the road--don't know where that came from.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Meaningful touch

In Smalley and Trent's book The Blessing, they cite a UCLA study which showed that for emotional and physical health, one needs 8-10 meaningful touches from a significant person EVERY DAY.

I am enjoying many meaningful touches from 2 and 3 year old hands now that I am in Nashville, but not that many. As a widow, I find that touches are hard to come by.
One of the lovely things about going to church is getting hugged a lot--I enjoy that too. How long has it been since you hugged a widow or a single at church? Caring words are nice, cards are nice, but there are times when we all need "someone with skin on."

Look at the many times in the NT when Jesus touched--especially those people he was not supposed to. He didn't hesitate to touch lepers--surely the most untouchables of that era. And he took little children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them. (Mark 10:13-16). He didn't mind the touch of the woman who bathed him in perfume.

I know there can be problems with touch in this era of crass sexuality, but I leave you with the challenge to touch someone meaningfully today.

"I never like the giving of the hand, unless the entire body accompanies it!" Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


One of the more interesting questions in the book we have been studying in ladies' bible class came today: "What is the most valuable spiritual advice you have ever been given?"

Some answers: "The only perfect church is in heaven." "Always be content with what you have." "When a minister said I didn't have to ask forgiveness for every sin--grace took care of them." "Satan is powerful and deserves respect." Mine was, "Don't believe everything you hear--don't be afraid to ask questions."

It is a thought-provoking question--What is the most valuable spiritual advice you have been given?

Monday, May 16, 2005

Liminal moment

In speaking about rituals and traditions in family life yesterday, I quoted some from Robert Fulghum's book From Beginning to the End: The Rituals of Our Lives. I have had the book seven years and never looked at it much until this past week. It is chock full of wisdom, great emotional stories and comments which make "stops" in your mind.

I learned a new word too--"liminal" meaning threshold moment. This is a moment of crossing over, a transitional phase of personal change. We must all take care to celebrate those liminal moments in the lives of our family--and we must make time to do it--that was the main thrust of my speech. Birthday, funerals, weddings we all understand; but there are others we miss. In Habits of a Child's Heart: Raising Your Kids with the Spiritual Disciplines, the author says we should also celebrate things like the first tulip of spring (certainly a threshold moment when the weather has been rainy and cold for months!), the smile of a baby (another liminal moment for parents), and the blessings of God like a pillow for our heads, hot running water, etc. I had forgotten that one of the final chapters in Richard Foster's book Celebration of Disciplines is about celebration.

These days we are celebrating high school graduation. If you did not do that in your church, read Mike Cope's blog today. The blessing of 48 seniors as they leave the warm environs of their home church is certainly warrented and is a big! threshold moment in their lives.

Thank you Lord for those of us who take the time to celebrate with children. May we celebrate you every day!

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Wonderful words

Several years ago Kaye Price Hawkins and I attended a children's lit conference at Sam Houston State. We sat and ate with the poet Lee Bennett Hopkins--delightful, witty, and interesting.

He has a new compliation of poems called Wonderful Words: Poems about Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. It is beautifully illustrated by Karen Barbour, a rising illustrator in children's circles.

It contains this one by Tom Robert Shields:

I Am the Book

I'll be your friend,
stay by your side,
contradict you
make you laugh or teary-eyed
On a sun-summer morning.

I'll spark you
help you sleep,
bring dreams
you'll forever keep
On a dappled-autumn afternoon.

I'll warm you
keep you kindled,
dazzle you
till storms have dwindled
On a snow-flaked winter evening.

I'll plant in you
a spring-seedling
with bursting life
while you are reading.

I am the book
You are needing.

Now why can't I think of descriptions like sun-summer morning and dappled autumn afternoon? Lovely.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Taking time

In preparing to talk about Sabbath tomorrow, I have been rereading To Everything a Season: A Spirituality of Time by Bonnie Thurston. In an exercise, she suggests that the reader do a time log of a week of life, examining where time goes. Then discover what the top three timefillers were and ask, "Is this the way I want to spend the precious minutes of my life?" As the reader reflects, Thurston suggests taking a look at the things you "took time" for and the things you want to "make time for", things that delight you.

"You might be surprised to discover that they are not only the things that sustain and energize you and bring you joy--they are, in fact, the very things God uses to call you along your unique path; your heart's desires are at the heart of God's call to you."

As I reflected on the life-enhancing and life-diminishing things in my time, I had to wonder if God is using my writing as part of his call to me? It and this blog is certainly one of the things I delight in doing. And what about going to movies--does that count too?

Thank you God for kairos time to delight in you and your blessings to me.

The Steeplechase and Hats

Tomorrow is the running of the Iroquois Steeplechase here--evidently a big thing.
Similar to the Derby, all the people in box seats dress up--meaning new spring outfits and hats, hats, hats. Hats have been featured in several noon news broadcasts this week.

My Granny Tucker loved hats; she had one for every outfit. I wish I still had some of them. My mother liked to wear hats too, although I rarely saw her in one because most of our budget went for more mundane things. She did wear a hat to my brother's wedding, I remember. At any rate, I remember going with my Mom to Abilene one Easter season hat shopping. We went to the Mode O'Day shop on Pine Street and tried on every hat in the place. I had never had a "Sunday hat," but I left that day with a beautiful pink gauzy hat trimmed with a flower that matched my new Easter dress. Every time I wore it, I felt very Audrey Hepburnish and adult. I am sure it cost way too much of the monthly family budget and that makes it very special in my memory.

I don't think I have worn a hat since that year when I joined the hat tradition of the women in my family.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Meeting Pat again

I spent time yesterday afternoon listening to Patricia MacLachlan tell about her latest book Who Loves Me?--a bedtime picture book. She is the author of the wonderful Sarah, Plain and Tall. She spoke of being in a writer's group in her city with Jane Yolen, Ann Turner, and others. What a group!!!She also said that Tracy Kidder lived in the same town. It was marvelous hour of literary talk I had missed since my last time at the Texas Library conference. And of course, Maddie and Ella got an autographed book out of the deal.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The Blessing

I am speaking to a class Sunday morning on the topic "Rituals and Traditions which Enrich Family Life".

One of the things I want to talk about is blessing your children. One of the watershed books in my life has been The Blessing by Gary Smalley and John Trent. It was bombshell when I read it, and I loved teaching the book many times in various venues.

At any rate, Blessing Your Children is one of the rituals every family needs to practice. Keith Brenton wrote about such an occasion in the New Wineskins Blog
when all the folks in his small group spent a Sunday evening blessing their children.

Smalley and Trent list several requirements of the blessing: meaningful touch, a spoken message, attaching high value to the one being blessed, picturing a special future of the one being blessed, and an active commitment to fulfill the blessing.

This morning I heard Tim Russert say that the first time his father hugged him and said he loved him was after he read Tim's book about their relationship--I think it is called Big Russ and Son. What a waste of a lifetime! But there are many people of my acquaintance who say the same thing--my mom/dad never hugged me, kissed me, or affirmed me.

Smalley and Trent spend the second half of the book discussing the side effects of not getting a blessing. I am sure you can find the book at any religious book store--very valuable reading.

My talk will be mostly "Do as I say and not as I did" kinds of things; however, Sam and I were pretty faithful about affirming Brandon as he was growing up. And I see him doing the same thing to Maddie and Ella.

Thank you, God for affirming me in the highest way by giving me Jesus and hope.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Writing the language

Here are some signs I have seen around town recently:

Banish the rainy day blue's

We want to peak your interest in loans (could have been a play on words, but probably not)

Offices and suits available. Are the suits Armani?

Monday, May 09, 2005

At home in Tennessee

One of the fun things about being here is answering the door. The girls (Maddie and Ella) prefer to knock--several times. Then when I answer, they come tumbling in like little puppies falling over each other. Maddie's first question is always "Do you have any new books?" And Ella says "Hi!" in her low alto voice on the way to the bedroom to play.

It is a joy of major proportions to see them more often than three times a year. Moving was definitely worth it.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Mother's Day

I have just been gathering up from Mother's Day--putting away the dishes from lunch, picking up the toys scattered by the girls, throwing away the tissue from my gift (A lovely arrangement of beautiful shells the family found in Florida).

This is the first Mother's Day I have been with Brandon in a long time. It was so fun to hear the girls giggle in anticipation over the cards and gifts. I think they get more excited over the cards because they get to write in them.

Some years ago at the New York World's Fair I was privileged to see the Pieta--one of the more profound experiences of my life. To see Mary holding the adult lifeless body of Jesus and looking at him with such pain and love was priceless. All mothers know the joy and pain of having their "hearts walking outside their bodies" as someone once said. It is one of the most intense experiences of being human.

I am so thankful to God for the joy and the pain of being a mother to the son He gave me--certainly one of the better deals of my life. I am grateful for his sensitive soul, his thirst for God, his many gifts, the respect he has earned in his chosen occupation, and for the fun, the tears, the triumphs we have had--what a life!

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Hazel Pauline Tucker Brandon

I have written about my mother before, but wanted to add these notes for Maddie and Ella on this weekend.

My mother was an enigma I never quite figured out. She was very outgoing with the public with whom she worked as a seamstress and with her church friends, but very closed with the family. By outgoing, I mean friendly and approachable--not speaking her heart to anyone ever. She would truly do anything for anyone in need and often did--I saw her cook double portions of food many times, some for us, and some for the bereaved. Believe me, her family eyed those extra coconut pies!

She went to church by herself come hell or high water, whatever her mood or fatigue.
The only time she spoke of religion to me was the month before she died of melanoma when she told me that she had gone forward at church because she had spoken ill of someone during the church split. The Hamlin church split so often, it was hard to know which side to support. That public going forward was so unlike her, it floored me, and I knew then she was dying. She was intelligent and a reader, but I never heard her speak of anything other than domestic ideas or the weather with anyone. She was the first in her family to graduate from high school and graduated 1st in her class at age 16. I have her senior ring.

She and I both had the mother-in-law from hell and that troubled her marriage until
Granny Dobbins died. But I remember my mom sitting up with her night after night and then working all day the next day.

There are so many questions I would ask her if she were still here--she died in 1976 at age 63. She did live long enough to love Brandon fiercely, and I am glad he remembers her fondly.

I still miss her: the sweet smile, the soft laugh, the flawless skin, and the way she smelled and the example of service she set for me. I will be celebrating her tomorrow.

Silence and ice

I attended a multicultural interdenominational worship service last night--actually a "prayer concert" to celebrate the National Day of Prayer.

As I sat and observed the Hallelujahs, the Amens, the Yes, Sirs, Preach Ons, and other comments coming from the congregation in response to comments made from the podium, I began to think how quiet the worship practices of my fellowship are. There were hundreds of hands raised pointing to God, and a good amount of clapping for what was said and sung. People swayed and clapped to the music. The children's choir rapped for God. During the concert of prayer times, the loud murmur of voices praying ALOUD to God filled Ryman Auditorium. We have made one comment ("decently and in order") into a mantra for silence and ice.

Lynn Anderson says,"Some of us have backed so far away from the ditch of emotionalism that we have gotten entangled in the fence of legalism and cold ritual. Today's church...is in far more danger of having swelled heads, shrunken hearts, and feeble bodies in worship than we are of being overly emotional and subjective."(from In Search of Wonder: A Call to Worship Renewal)

When did disengagement become a science for us in the Church of Christ? Was it during the charismatic scare of the 50's and 60's? Was it at the entrance of contemporary Christian music into our psyches? Was it because Alexander Campbell absorbed and preached the rationalism and logic of John Locke? Was it because we were afraid of the Assemblies of God and Billy Graham? I don't know--I would like to hear someone learned speak on the subject.

I value silence and awe in worship, but there are times when exhuberant praise is necessary and required. So wake up out there and say Amen.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Dream of the past

It is interesting how dreams sneak up on you--you haven't thought of something in years and bingo! there it is in your dreams.

I dreamed last night of the days when I was supervising elementary school libraries in Abilene. In this dream, it seemed that I had been gone for a long time and had been called back to supervise again. I spent the whole night trying to think of the names of each librarian in the schools I supervised. What a night! They were the salad days in my life when I helped build a superior program, in which every school had a full-time librarian. We were the envy of many larger schools in Texas which had only library aides in the elementary schools supervised by a greatly overworked high school librarian. Thanks to a great superintendent who knew the value of libraries and trained people to run them, we did wonderful things. But later came a superintendent who knew not libraries and the whole structure went downhill--Thankfully I was retired.

If any of my readers are superintendents or school board members, you can do no better favor for your schools than to put trained librarians in every school, and spend money for books. We proved that with higher test scores, more readers, and better resources for teachers.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005


Wild honeysuckle grows on the sides of the streets in the city and along the country roads of Nashville. I was delighted when I finally realized what it was. Honeysuckle in my section of Texas was a very domesticated plant--you didn't have it unless you planted it. We had a whole wall of it at Potosi--until we figured out it was damaging our foundation and dug it up.

Honeysuckle reminds me of the south--When I see it clinging to the trees and vines, I half expect William Faulkner to step out and wave. It is one of my favorite flowers; I remember picking the flowers and sucking the juice while growing up. And the fragrance is to die for! What a marvelous creation God gave us--simple pleasures with delightful aromas.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

National Teacher Day

I heard on the radio that today is National Teacher Day. I didn't know there was one.

When I began teaching high school English (after a stint with middle school reading)
in 1962, I wanted to teach like the teachers I loved. Trouble was, they were all college professors. Most of the teachers I had in public school were mediocre at best. The ones in high school who really challenged me were math and history teachers. Who knows why I became an English teacher? I lasted only three years in the classroom until I got smart and decided my gift lay in library science. Librarians have the best of both worlds--they get to teach, give book advice, and then see the class leave to go back to the classroom.

As a librarian I got to see each teacher in the school in action. Not all teachers are wonderful; not all should be in the classroom; however, most public schools have far more excellent teachers than they deserve with the pay scale offered. It was one of my goals to try to make the teachers better by giving them the absolutely best materials available and resources on how to use them. I hope I helped some.

One of the best descriptions of teachers of all kinds I have found:

Come to the edge, he said.
They said: We are afraid.
Come to the edge, he said.
They came.
He pushed them,
and they flew.

Guillaume Apollinaire

Think kindly of a teacher you had today and thank God.

Monday, May 02, 2005

The Boyds

I had my first visitors from Abilene Friday! Jack and Joann Boyd, longtime friends from Minter Lane, came to see their son Allen and family and stopped by my house on the way.

What a delight! Jo and I were young mothers at Minter under the tutelage of Laura Smith, Dama Hambelton and Sister Hunter. We did worship committee together, formed a book club, which is still meeting, and shared those days in great joy. She sat with me as I waited from my mother come out of surgery to see if her melanoma had spread (it had); we often had long deep talks on things spiritual; Sam and I taught their children in Sunday School, and I think Sam and Jack served as elders at the same time.

Jack is a Renaissance man who can do anything from conducting an orchestra to growing tomatoes. He writes music, fiction, humor, plays, etc. He was the worship man at Minter through our term there, and we all learned so much from him. There were days at Highland when the worship leader would ask members to go to the hymnal because the song might be unfamiliar--My friends Ronnie and Darla and I would look at each other and say, "We know that; thanks to Jack Boyd." Jack would often go through the hymnal and teach the congregation unfamiliar songs which fit perfectly with the day's topic. It was he who taught us that the service should be cohesive and not just three songs and a prayer. One little known talent is his gift for book reviewing--he joined the Minter Lane Book Club several years ago and has enriched it.
Besides all that, he is a funny man who makes me laugh.

They brought a touch of home with them which lingered when they left--thanks Jack and Jo for stopping by.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Psalms, Hymns...II

Another very old hymn opened to Christians by Fernando Ortega (on Hymns of Worship)
is "Give Me Jesus". An African-American song, the lyrics poignantly say, "In the morning when I rise, When I am alone, and When I come to die, give me Jesus--You can have all this world, but give me Jesus."

Possible some of the most beautiful renditions of hymns can be found on John Catchings' Wayfaring Stranger. John is a premier cellist in Nashville and has played for many stars. This is his contribution to worship. One of the selections on his cd is While on the Sea. This is a Ukranian hymn which first came to my notice at Minter Lane when our missionary Stephen Bilak brought it to us from his home country. It has a very Russian sound. The words can be found in the ACU hymnal we all used before Howard and power-point. (Can't think of the name of the hymnal.)

Jack Boyd told me this week that he had done an arrangement of When We Meet in Sweet Communion for John Catchings and Jack's son Allen to play at communion. I would like to hear that. Come to think of it, wouldn't cello music be a wonderful accompaniment to most communions?