Friday, April 27, 2012

That's the Way I was Born and Raised... Country!

      I'd pulled on long socks and tennis shoes and I was ready to go for our evening walk.  I was just about to go downstairs to round up my fellow walkers when my little brother came in and started talking about some basketball game he had just beaten my other younger (but older than him) brother at.  Somehow we trickled outside, though I don't quite remember how.  We started talking about starting up a game of basketball, or baseball, or perhaps some touch football.  Then it happened... my brother insulted me (and either this insult was unrepeatable or I forgot it... or both).  Well of course I couldn't stand for that.  He had already made it so terribly easy by beginning to flee my presence and I didn't even have to scare him into running from me.  So off we ran, both laughing a little to hard for it to be anywhere near serious.  The chase took a surprise turn when my brother dashed into the newly planted field that runs around our yard.  "Stop" is not in my vocabulary nor is "let the little brother win", so I kept right on, trying carefully not to step up on the little shoots of corn.  Of course I persevered and caught him in the end... after we had traversed half the width of the cornfield.  We plopped into the cornfield, gasping for breath.  We were just getting up and I was collaring my miscreant brother when my other younger brother (the one who was beaten at basketball) ran up.  Then I don't quite know how this happened either but we decided (we?) to keep on walking until we reached the country road that was on the other side of the field.  By then the sky had darkened considerably and the moon with the stars were affording us light.  By the time we had reached the "road", we were all far too hyper.  We skipped along it, taking off running every few minutes just for the fun of it.  When we reached the pond, which lay to the "road's" left, we tumbled down its banks on to the "beach".  My older younger brother and I managed to push my even younger brother into the actually wet muddy part of the "beach" but our conscience was being picky about letting us actually push him into the pond.  When we had tired ourselves of the pond we clambered back up to the road and continued on towards the actual highway.  Then our fun went to a higher level. As we neared the highway we threw up our arms and waved to every vehicle passing by, sometimes shouting something like "halloo".  Then the "road" took a turn so we were walking parallel to the highway.  We continued on with our waving and hallooing, laughing our heads off in-between. About then we heard our parents calling for us (I'd left my cellphone back at the house and we hadn't told anyone where we were going).  We figured they might be worried so decided it was time to head back.  My older younger brother promised a million dollars to whoever got home first, which neither my other brother or I took seriously, knowing exactly who would get that million dollars.  However, we took off running that final stretch: off the "road and onto our driveway and down our driveway.  When we finally got home we were sweaty and out of breath.  Our mouths were sore from laughing and we were ready to take a shower and drop into bed.  As I lay in my bed that night, I thought what a crazy experience that really was.  There we had been, in the dark, just running around and laughing out in the middle of a field, on the country road, and on the "beach" of a pond.  What can I say?  I'm a Kansan; I'm a country girl, and when I have a couple of my favorite brothers with me, well that was the logical course of action. :)

Lois Johnson, avid writer, tea drinker, and reader but first and foremost, avid Christian.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Family and Music

     My family bonds in many ways, one of the most obvious being that we are, well... family.  However, one of the most fun ways we bond is through our love of music.  My siblings and I were brought up by my parents listening to Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, and many other great composers of the Baroque/ Classical/Romantic time period.  We also enjoyed some Louie Armstrong, Prairie Rose Wranglers (cowboy music), and of course musicals.  As my siblings and I have grown older we have branched out more and learned to enjoy bluegrass, some country (mostly my older sister), folk, Celtic music (Gaelic Storm and Celtic Woman!!!!), and I personally enjoy Patsy Kline.  Most of the time there is music running in the house, either in our family CD player or on a computer.  We all, for the most part, enjoy listening to whatever is playing, and sometimes my older siblings (with far better voices than I) will start singing along.  However, one can see my family's love for music reaches its peak when my older brother and sister sing songs (sometimes duets) from Gilbert and Sullivan while they do dishes.  Nothing is more entertaining then watching and listening to them as they sing a fast exuberant song or a slow sad love song as the keep on with their washing and drying of dishes.  The sparkle in their eyes and the beams on their faces is enough to tell anyone of the enjoyment they are having.  
     Looking back over my life I am very grateful that my parents had us listening to great music as children and I hope to someday do the same for my children.  

Lois Johnson, avid writer, tea drinker, and reader but first and foremost, avid Christian.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Cruel Logic

 This is a great short video (about eight minutes) and I am not going to tell you what it is about but you will have to watch it yourself.  For teenagers and up, not for younger kids because of some violence.  It will make you think (oh no!). :)

Lois Johnson, avid writer, tea drinker, and reader but first and foremost, avid Christian.

Monday, April 16, 2012

In His Hands

I didn't really believe the tornado would come near us.  They never had yet.  Throughout the day, as I saw people talking about it on Facebook and my mother mentioning it, I just passed it off as another tornado that wouldn't affect me or anyone I knew.  They never had yet. Evening came and we all watched a movie, mom saying we had to watch something not too long because of the storm coming.  I thought she was being paranoid.  It was my firm opinion that she had reached the peak of paranoidness (if that is even a word, which I doubt) when she insisted my little sister and I sleep in the basement.  The floor was hard and uncomfortable, and I didn't have a sleeping bag.  I thought the whole thing was absurd.  I didn't start to realize the gravity of the situation until my Dad (who was at work) called to tell us to stay in the basement and get undercover because it was a big one.  Even then though, I didn't quite get it.  While my mom and brothers fixed up our under-the-stairs-closet I watched the news on TV.  As it roared through Wichita, I realized that even if the tornado didn't hit my family and I, it could very well hit someone else I knew.  My worry grew as the weatherman begin listing off times it was going to hit various places- Andover, Benton, Augusta, Towanda... El Dorado.  I stood staring at the TV as the news flashed by, following the tornado as best I could.  My mom called for us to get in the closet and with my siblings I huddled in the small space.  Then my dad called again.  He said he had been looking at its path and there was no way it was going to miss us.  I was scared... we were scared.  We had the light on in the closet and the door closed.  Even downstairs and with that door closed, we could hear the wind ripping through the trees outside.  Then the electricity went out.  Without lights, without our precious technology, I suddenly felt very vulnerable.  We started singing hymns, it was incredible to me that I remembered their words.  Even as we heard the blowing stronger than ever and wondered desperately what was going on outside we kept singing.  It seemed like an hour, but it was really only about twenty minutes when my dad called my mom's cellphone.  The tornado had turned, we were going to be okay.  We poured out of the closet, letting relief pour out as well.  A few minutes later friends of ours called us to make sure we were okay.  It was wonderful to know someone cared that much about us, and wonderful to say yes.  My brother made a call to friends of ours in Wichita to make sure that they were okay.  Through them he found out that others in that area were okay.  There were others that weren't though, and even though we didn't know them, I prayed for them because I knew that I could easily have been in the same situation.  It wasn't until late when we got asleep.  The electricity was back on and we were all back in our own beds.  It was then I just wanted to bow my head, cry, and pray.  As I had sat in that closet, not knowing if I was going to live or die, not knowing if the tornado was going to carry the house and rip up the yard,  realized then that I was in God's hands and that though we humans may try to find protection in all of our technology we can't.  When it comes down to it, we are in His hands.
Lois Johnson, avid writer, tea drinker, and reader but first and foremost, avid Christian.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Obituary for a Dog

Molly Gibson Johnson, pure bred German Shepherd dog, died April 5th 2012 during the night.  She was the beloved pet of the Johnson 9.  Molly was known for her exuberant spirit.  No visitor every got away without being licked or jumped on by her.  She may have just been a dog, but she was a wonderful dog.

Daniel and Molly

Molly on the red swing.  Daniel actually took this picture to the county fair where it got Grand Champion and Best Portrait.

Molly and Jason


Molly during this last summer.

Molly during this last summer.

Molly in the fall.

Jason and Betsy with Molly.

Lois Johnson, avid writer, tea drinker, and reader but first and foremost, avid Christian.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Favorite Smells of Spring

Nothing beats the smells of freshly mown grass, the coming rain, or of lilacs.  With spring saturated into all of nature, some of my favorite smells are in the air.  Every morning when I walk to the van to go to school/work I can smell the freshly mown grass and as I walk to and from class I can smell it then too.  It is wonderfully invigorating especially as I walk between classes and toward the promise of a long lecture.  Even from across the yard I can smell lilacs in the wind and as I take an evening walk there is sometimes that faint hint of rain in the air.  I love these spring smells but unfortunately they will be leaving soon as summer decides to beat down its sunny wrath upon us.  Until then though, I'll enjoy the spring weather God has graced upon us.

Lois Johnson, avid writer, tea drinker, and reader but first and foremost, avid Christian.
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