Awakening a Keen Observer

Monday, April 30, 2007


My father's studies of the Red-Winged Blackbird determined some interesting conclusions. One that came to mind yesterday as I was driving was that the Redwinged BB's you se in your local area are not the ones that do crop damage in your local area. These move on further north ' for that purpose. This he determined by banding thousands and following their movements. The Red-wings are breeding and you can see them about ever 1/4 mile on the fence posts.
Other Migrations The Sissor-tail flycatchers are back in full force right now in SW Oklahoma. What a delightful graceful bird they are. Colors of light grey with a little variation they really flit and soar along their way. One was perched about 3 feet from my car the other day and it was a delight to watch. We are on the flycatcher trail...a fly zone for the birds. They are back
Bluebonnets. We've lived here in OK for 7 springs now and this spring there are more bluebonnets as they make their way north. The road between Duncan and Marlow in its center has a wonderful carpet of them mixed with a few Indian Paintbrush. How beautiful.
But also in a wilder environment along the roadside here and there in the south part of my Parish there are crops of bluebonnets. Not as many as Texas...not yet.

There are studies of human patterns of migration. National Geographic has such information on the Genographic website
What makes a people wander? What makes them move out from where they are set and into another country or whole continent. Today humankind once more experience migration due to war and strife and fear and surety of being killed if you stay. Darfur Sudan, Baghdad Iraq are a couple of references. People are leaving. A little different than a migrant hunter gatherers.
Where do you belong? Where are your First roots?
WE all seem to come together on the whole we do all we can for one another, but on the whole people are still on the move. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you...

God abides
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Sunday, April 29, 2007


John and I had to drive to Lawton the other evening and the sunset was again, thanks Oklahoma, awesome. It was one where the sun's rays filtered through the clouds in about 6 different places and from different angles and it was wonderful. There were clouds and then this sun...shinning only on certain places. The pink/blue that surrounded the holes in the grey sky were awesome.
Wow, if we didn't 'have' to make that trip I'm not sure we would have seen the sky. How great a gift there was right there and we would have missed it.
Today, look for the gift that God sends you. Be alert, ready and when you see it...thank God.
God abide
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

hello I'm an earthling

AP | SETH BORENSTEIN | April 24, 2007 06:53 PM

For the first time astronomers have discovered a planet outside our solar system that is potentially habitable, with Earth-like temperatures, a find researchers described Tuesday as a big step in the search for "life in the universe."

The planet is just the right size, might have water in liquid form, and in galactic terms is relatively nearby at 120 trillion miles away. But the star it closely orbits, known as a "red dwarf," is much smaller, dimmer and cooler than our sun.

So, friends, what do you think you might say to a 'being' from such a planet if there were such a being? What would be your first question if there was life out there? Do you think "they" might be asking the same question about this planet ?

Ah, yes, now I remember there's surely enough questions we have here about treating one another with love and respect to step back and closer home and do just that... ask questions about how we treat each other.
My home church in Ohio, First Community in Upper Arlington, gave us marbles with a gold band around the middle that says
" Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." I realize how that has influenced my life all along.

God abides
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Thunder or?

We had quite a spring storm come through here this afternoon. It was one of those OKlahoma storms that on the radar looks like a line of red and orange(big storm) surrounded by blue and following it...clear skies. We are into the clear skies just now. In one place East of us weather service said there might be tennis-ball size hail.. That's not hail...that is more like rocks from the sky.

Even still right now, with the clear sky I heard some rumbling. It was not the storm anymore it was Army base about 30 miles from us. Apparently this is a day for gunnery practice. At times it booms like thunder.

What might it be like to live in a place where you didn't expect thunder, you expected bombs? Maybe where your friends lived or shopped had been hit. Oh my. And I also wonder what it would be like for a child? These things rest on my heart some times and I'm not sure how to deal with them. Oh, sure I do...I pray...
And yet there seems like there must be more that could be done. Perhaps more that could happen on behalf of the children of the world. Those just down the street and those who are all the way on the other side of the world. How can we tell them they are loved? How can we show them they are loved?

"listen to the thunder...hear the winds roar..."
Listen to your heart calling you to work on behalf of the children..
The world is counting on you.

God abides
and that means I'm not in control and for that I am eternally thankful

Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Monday, April 23, 2007

Left Behind

There are things in my house that were left behind along the way. As an only child growing up my family ended up with a lot of those things.
It has been a joke in my immediate family that everything we have-has a name. Names like- my mother's rocker, or my grandmother's rocker, or the chest-of-drawers that my parents bought and used the bottom drawer as my first crib. (No no they didn't close the drawer)
My cousins on occasion will tease me about the things that I have...and that's ok. Attached to these things that are left behind is the essence of the person who owned them. I can see my Grandmother in the rocker I'm sitting in holding my younger cousin and rocking him as I know she rocked me. I can see my Grandfather Ed making the blown-glass canes we have on the wall. I can hold my father's well-used Peterson Guide to the Birds and realize there are lot of Ohio State grads who learned about the birds from him as I had. These are left behind. But in a sense, because I remember, and constantly remind my children, they are also moving on. Whether any of these will be interesting to them later on--I don't know. And that's ok.
These things are what motivate me some days. These things remind me of how my parents would have celebrated our children's success and John and I together. They are for me treasures... see that rug that is on the wall was hand made by my Grandmother Grace...and the painting over there was done by a good friend from Bryan, Jimmie Homberg...and that clock belonged to....
fine... but let me tell you about these people...see, they are not left behind at all.
Are you lucky enough to hold some of the things from your past? What stories or experiences can you pass on? What can you do to make your whole life something to be treasured when you leave it behind? Give it a try? I hope so.

God abides
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Friday, April 20, 2007

Parent tears

" My tears have been my food--day and night." Psalm 42:3

Feed us OH-God on the tears of our sorrows
They nourish the soul and heal the new wounds
Together and solo -for 30 or 3000
the cries of all parents from all round the world
who weep for a child who is hurting or lost now
come rising to Your ear from here on this earth
Is it hunger or thirsting or lost to some violence?
the parents would all give their lives now for their child.
Tears then are feeding both Mothers and Fathers
just wanting safety for the children they've birthed.

Feed us, dear Jesus, on the promise of New Life
Given for us and ours for the taking
Your Peace you have left us
yet peace we leave wanting
and waiting for hard times here on this earth
Let the food of your love-- whatever /wherever bread-broken
Fill us to full and give us new life.

Feed us, O Spirit, with breath that's renewing
Where ever we live -we are all one these days
We need to know joy and laugher and play time
from children whose hurts can be healed with a kiss.
When children are hurting the tears they do feed us
When nothing can satisfy any more than Your Love.

Feed us dear God, Creator, Redeemer, Spirit so Holy here in this time
We long for tears of new laughter you promised to give us
the joy we are still wanting- fed fresh from your Word
keep us from doubting Your place here among us
We are sisters and brothers in good times and hard times
related thorough You and Your love for all earth.


Feed us and satisfy us
then let us witness
to the food that will save us and
and bring back our heart

God abide
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Sun comes

It has only been a few days
till we celebrated the new life
that was given to all
so they would know they were loved
even then
Even then before
the sun had risen
on your grandparents great and great great all the way back
whom you never met
who who live in your bones
in your core
The sun would still shine
and the Son he had risen
and made us all family
with all on the earth

So we are connected
as sisters and brothers
filled with the life breath
that all creatures know
now are we living
and passing on our breath
for all of the children
yet now to come.

God abides
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


In Texas it is Bluebonnet time. Those lovely lupines that are wild along the roadsides and across vast fields. The deep blue is wonderful. There are even some as far North as Duncan, OK where they grow in between the road from Duncan to Marlow. Each year re-seeding themselves and bringing more the next.
The Texas folks love their wild flowers so much, thanks in part to Lady Bird Johnson, that they are protected by law from being plucked up. When our children were little and we'd first moved to TX in '83 I took them out to have their picture taken in the bluebonnets. We found a great hillside and they were standing there. We had talked about not picking the flowers. As we were taking the picture a highway patrol office pulled up. He was asking if we were ok? I pointed to the kids and my camer and he smiled and nodded and moved on. I was glad to look up to see they had understood not to pick the flowers.
Our yard when we lived in Bryan Tx was covered two years in a row with pick flowers. It was so great. This year our yard in Oklahoma has quite a few Indian Paintbrush. I hope for even more to be there next year.
It is sometimes the very simple things that we miss that might bring us joy. A beautiful paint horse, the laughter of a child, a sunrise or sunset, or the memory of someone dear.
Be alert, (I've said this before), Be alert and enjoy..

Bobbie Giltz McGarey
I just remembered the lyrics to a Peter, Paul and Mary song..\If I had wings

If I had wings no one would ask me should I fly
The bird sings, and no one asks her why.
I can see in myself wings as I feel them
If you see something else, keep your thoughts to yourself,
I’ll fly free then.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Stories and Books

I was talking to someone about my favorite book. Oh that's really not possible to limit it to one... and there are novels that have their own purpose for me and I read them at different times.

Yes, I will re-read a book that is good. I read two every year. Siddhartha by Hermon Hesse and Franny and Zooey by JD Salinger. These books are friends to me.

I also like the book about my Mother in law that Analea McGarey wrote, Born to Heal. It reminds me of my family roots.

I re-read Siddhartah for it's reminders about what enlightenment and peace are all about. It is a story that I found first in High School. It is now considered a classic as is Franny and Zooey.
It is the story of Buddha's enlightenment. This meant even more when I visited the place in India where that is to have taken place.

Franny and Zooey I re-read for the conversation between the brother and sister on the phone which takes up a good deal of the story. It reminds me of what I need to look for in the world... My 10th Grade English teacher was impressed I was reading Salinger and apparently from the book reports I understood his writing.
So many books little time.

Yes, they are really very similar stories. Each of them calls me back to other years when I've read them and also gives me encouragement for the present time.

Oh and of course there is Pride and Prejudice I read that that is for an entirely different reason it is good on a long flight.

Ok, here's my final Siddhartha story. In 9th grade Sandra gave me her copy of Siddhartha. I read it and loved it. She said i could keep it so I wrote my name on the first page. I read several times and then loaned it to a friend. It was never returned. It was a cover that they have re-issued now. I didn't know where it had gone.
Years later, when I was a Senior in College I was visiting a friend, Edd and we were talking about books. I looked on his bookshelf and said, Oh I had a copy of Siddhartah just like this one and pulled it off the shelf. My name was inside.
Where had this book been? Who had read it between me and him? I wished that everyone would have listed their name as they passed it on one to another. He gave it to me and said I should keep it. I've loaned it out a couple more times... and had it returned.

Do you have a book or two like that.. Share it with someone.

Good Abide
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

International News

I woke this morning and went to check the weather for a trip to Austin. Alas, the lights were off so I found some matches and a candle. With it I found the flashlight and then with that... Oh look lights are back on.
So I came to find out weather on the computer and listened to the BBC news. Their story about the Iraq situation --and prayed.
I made coffee so John could have some when he got up, alas I didn't put the pot under the spout right and there was coffee in the pot and on the counter and... but that being fixed I came back...waiting for the pot to cool to finish the cleanup on the coffee plate.
The news was still talking about Iraq. A differet perspective from the one we get. I prayed. And checked the weather. It looked pretty good.
My npr radio station is having a silent fundraiser and they are talking about it now... I laughed.
I looked over the scripture for the morning. It is in part...
John 14:1-14

1"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. 2In my Father's house there are many dwelling-places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. 4And you know the way to the place where I am going."

8Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied." 9Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? 10Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. 12Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. 13I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.

There...that is a far better start to the day.. Now I'll go clean up the counter.

God Abides
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Little Darlin' Here Comes the Sun

It is the navy blue sky before dawn that holds the robins song this morning. We cannot keep it from rising, nor would we want to... We welcome the day. It is Easter. It is a very cool morning. We will need two shawls to keep warm. And we are thankful we have them.
By choice I slept with the window cracked last night. The cooler air let me pull the blanket up tight and feel warm and secure. I chose to sleep a little cold. Many others don't have a choice. They pull blankets up around them just to survive the night and huddle with family.
By choice I haven't eaten anything yet this morning. Many others do not choose to be hungry and yet they are and they ache for their children who want to be fed--but there is no food for them.
By choice I wear clothes I've had for some time. Many others do not choose to wear the same clothing all the time--it is all they have.
By choice I can do many things to make me secure and warm and fed and clothed seeking happiness. Many others, with little, or nothing, are at peace with the world in a way that we can only find in a dream. As the girls in the Children's Home said to me 10 years ago... "We have everything- we have Jesus"

We too have everything. And today is Easter. Thanks be to God.
God is good! All the time! All the time! God is good.
God abide
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Beatles Abby Road
Here Comes The Sun

Here comes the sun, here comes the sun,
and I say it's all right

Little darling, it's been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
and I say it's all right

Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
and I say it's all right

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes...

Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been clear
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun,
and I say it's all right
It's all right

Friday, April 06, 2007

tulips in the snow

When we lived in Northern Utah it was not unusual to have a snow even when the tulips were blooming. Ours almost always were eaten by the deer down to the ground not long after they bloomed. They must be yummny.
I remember going out to take a picture of the tulips and finding them ...gone. Looking at the tracks around them in the snow and knowing what happened. I imagined the deer saying... Ah Food...colorful food... mmm red and yellow...mmm

The weather here is cooler than it has been and we are hoping it doesn't get cooler here like they have predicted. Our pear tree has bloomed and budded and I hope they are strong enough now to withstand a little cold. The wheat is up and in a vulnerable time according to some farmers I know.

I also imagine there are a lot of Easter Dresses that were meant for warmer weather than is predicted. I remember wearing T-strap sandles in the 50's and it snowed when we were in church and the snow covered them on the way to the car. My Daddy wouldn't let me take them off and walk barefoot in the snow to save the shoes.

We do what we can do. We wrap up when it's cold. And all in all we make it through even when there are tulips in the snow.

--God Abide
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Angel Wings Wed 2

I will be away from the computer tomorrow so I thought I'd write ahead...
Friday I was in the church praying and it was a dark and stormy day, (same day that created the flood of the previous post.
It was thundering, wind blowing and cooling. I thought the storm had calmed down and opened the door and the wind was blowing the wind sideways.
I walked back up to the communion table and noted something sparkly on the floor. It was tiny...angel's wing.
Just a tiny piece of angel's wing there on the floor. Even in the daytimedarkness it was there. It made me take a deep breath and sigh. A sign?
Oh I believe it was a sign and a reminder. Even when least expected, there comes the angel's wing reminding us we are not alone. We are not forgotten we are not in charge. Deep sigh again.
What do we do with the little reminders that we have of our not being in the midst of any joy or any trial alone? We should treasure them. Hold them. Remember them and pass on the news to others...
Angel's wing ...a little angel wing.. It even makes me smile to remember it now... hope it makes you smile as well.

(The angel wing glitter was a remnant of the gold fringe on the angel's wings during the Christimas program last December.)

God still abides
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

log jam

We had quite a deluge last week. a true Walters Oklahoma there was a true flood. On the road between my house and Walters today I was crossing one bridge and glanced to my right and saw a huge log jam. There were so many big pieces of trees scattered and stacked here and there...and a refrigerator.
I know, I know. A refrigerator you say? Yes. I checked on the way home slowing down with no cars behind me there it was on top of the logs. It's origin? Probably won't be known. I could image it was one that had been placed outside somewhere and floated down the stream in the flood. But it seemed so very out of place.

No doubt there will be a road crew out there cleaning up the logs as they back up the water and push on the bridge. But what will they find in the frige? Some food? nothing? It would be interesting to know.
But then, don't we spend a lot of time both in a log jam of all the things we need to do, should do, need to finish, need to do for someone, etc.
Some times our lives feel like a log jam when too much piles up and nothing gets through. And then on occasion in the list of things to do something so out of place is plopped into our lives. It takes more work to make things flow again. We still remove things one at a time, even if it is as odd as a refrigerator in a log jam on a river in Southwest Oklahoma.

God abides
Bobbie Giltz McGarey