Fields of Laughter

The sun was warm on the sombre faces of ten-year-old twins, Holly and Steve. Their legs swung carelessly over the edge of the old rustic fence. Aunt Mary shuffled past with her black veil held tightly against her chin, barely noticing the children.

Steve’s voice was solemn and quiet. ‘Holly, do you remember last summer when Grandpa fell into the river trying to reel in that big trout?’

Holly laughed unexpectedly. ‘Yes, my sides hurt from laughing while he was explaining to Mother how he got so wet.’

Uncle Peter hurried past with his weeping wife and two protesting young children tagging along behind. He glared at Holly and shook his head in disgust before hurrying up the drive. Steve and Holly tried to stifle their giggles as they watched the small family group approach the house.

Holly laughed again as she remembered. ‘We never did get to eat fish for tea that night.’

‘Hello Holly. Hello Steve.’

The twins smiled and waved back to their cousin Gerald. His father grumbled and prodded Gerald in the direction of the house.

Quite a few relatives lived nearby and sometimes they walked the short distances between the farms and their community church but visits weren’t common. They were all busy with their own lives, their own farms.

Holly frowned. ‘Do you think Grandpa ever found out I was the one who hid his tobacco?’

Steve grinned at his sister. ‘Probably, he always said he had eyes in the back of his head.’ He threw his head back and snorted, almost losing his balance in the process and sending them both into fits of uncontrollable laughter.

Mr Snyder, the owner of the farm that adjoined theirs, drove his rattling pickup truck in the direction of the open gate and stopped almost directly in front of Steve. ‘You children should have more respect for the dead. For pity sake, I can hear you from my front door.’ With that, he accelerated toward the grass area where other vehicles were parked haphazardly under trees.

The twins were silent for a few moments before Steve spoke again. ‘I don’t think Grandpa ever liked Mr Snyder.’

Holly smiled, trying to smother another giggle. ‘Remember when Mr Snyder let our cows out of the back field and Grandpa chased him with his shot gun?’

‘Yes, that was funny, especially since Grandpa had forgotten to buckle his trouser belt before leaving the outhouse.’

The twins were continuing their banter when they noticed their father strolling up from the barn toward them. Work still needed to be done, even if Grandpa’s funeral had been held earlier that morning.

‘Hey you two. What’s the joke?’

‘Holly and I were talking about Grandpa. Sorry Dad.’

‘Dad, why is everyone mad at us?’ Holly asked sadly.

‘Because, my sweet child, no one knew Grandpa like you both did…and like I did, for that matter. Even your mother could tell you a story or two.’ He leaned up against the fence between the twins and nodded in the direction of the house. ‘Not one of these guests will miss Grandpa after today.’

‘They didn’t really know him.’ Steve said this more as a statement than a question.

‘No Son, they didn’t.’

‘That’s sad’, Holly concluded.

Their father looked up and scanned the fields.

The children turned their heads to follow his gaze.

‘I remember when I was about your age,’ he began. ‘Your Grandpa worked the farm completely on his own. One day, Mr Snyder let his cows into our corn field. Your grandfather decided from that day on, he would get revenge. It was never anything serious. They both got over it soon enough. Grandpa’s funny antics were really something to witness.’ He finished with a short, choked laugh and wiped his hand across his eyes.

Holly and Steve jumped down from the fence and walked hand-in-hand with their father back through the gate. The trio didn’t enter the house full of mourners. Instead, they headed for the corn field which was now ready for harvest, and then on to the fields beyond. Their laughter echoed across the farm.

© Chrissy Siggee

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Archived in
Children’s Corner by Chrissy at Riverside Peace

Three days in Coffs Harbour

We took a few days away to visit some of our favourite places and new places too. One of our favourites is the Butterfly House.

We have never seen so many chrysalises at one time.
These are just some of the butterflies we encountered.
Another favourite is The Clog Barn and the miniature Dutch village.
Clogs are made and sold on the premises. I couldn’t resist the photo with the eastern water dragon that likes to sunbathe or take a shot cuts over the houses.
Day 2 we drove up to the sky pier that gives a panoramic view of Coffs Harbour.
As you can see, Norm had charge of the camera. We were the only ones on the sky pier. We then headed for the break water.
At the end of the breakwater we decided to continue the 2 kilometer/ approximately 1 1/4 miles UP 40 metres/ approx 130 feet above sea level to the to of Muttonbird Island.
Views from half way point. Zoomed in of course.
Taken at the top. I made it. 3 years ago I would not have thought I could walk that far.
Yes, way up there is where we went.
While walking the break wall we booked a table for lunch. I had a fresh tuna steak with an amazing salad and Norm had roast duck. We both decided on this Mango cheese cake for dessert. It’s so good for a gluten free dessert.
Day 3 we visited the botanical gardens.
We walked several paths and board walks during the hour we were there.

My apologies if the photos are out of a alignment. I haven’t got these new WordPress changes worked out yet.

Archived in: Retirement

Healing

Heal me, LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise. – Jeremiah 17:14

Most of us have prayed for healing at some time in our life. Some of us have prayed more often than we can count and still we are not healed.

Does he hear us? Does He care?

Yes, I believe God cares and He does hear us. I also believe that He desires good health for all His children, but if healing does not appear to come, we must understand that God has a much bigger perception of our lives.

Although God does heal, we must never presume that it’s His duty to heal. It’s not mandatory for Him to heal us, and although there were many miracle healings throughout the Bible, there were many times when God did not heal pain and suffering straight away – but He did work with it for good.

Romans 5:3-5 says: “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

Here God responded to Paul’s prayers for healing not by making him well but rather by working through his suffering to draw him closer to God.

I often desire God’s healing and I honestly believe He can heal me but I also know I need to continue to wait on Him and to trust Him with my life.

2 Corinthians 12: 9 tells us that His grace is sufficient for us, because His power is made perfect in our weakness.

May God give you peace in the knowledge that He will work with your suffering and pain for good.

Father, I pray that you will comfort me in my suffering and fill me with confidence that in the power of your grace, that even when I am afraid, I may put my whole trust in you; through our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

© Chrissy Siggee 2019

Scripture Verses used are from the New International Version of the Bible

Archived in:  Christian Reads

Old Timbertown

A day’s outing took us to Old Timbertown in Wauchope. With the school holidays over it was a quieter day with very few visitors. Just the way we prefer it. It was nice to wander around with no itinerary.

The old water wheel in working order.
This is Honey, a young Llama with plenty of freedom to roam the town.
A draft horse being hitched on to a wagon. We didn’t hear the name .
The steam engine is powered by timber from the saw mill.
We couldn’t resist a ride.
Magic, another draft horse.
mmm…. it was tempting to leave him there. 🙂
An old steam tractor looking sad.
The old but still operational saw mill.
Old Fire Station.
Saddlery, Cobbler and General Store along the main road.
Original milk urns, carts and stuff.

We bought a few bottles of Timbertown’s red wine and a carved fruit bowl from one of the merchants. The blacksmith was just tinkering but was fascinating just the same. Stepping back in time for a day into the late eighteen hundreds and it’s slow life style made for an interesting day.

Archived in: Retirement

It’s that time of year again!

I’ve never had so much space to work on my favourite craft and not have to pack up so we have room to eat. I can leave it out ready for the next time I have a spare hour or two.

oops. A little blurred but you can see that I’m making Christmas cards. I’m also making January Birthday cards.

Some finished. Others I need more craft material. Our local craft store has closed temporary because their stock is sitting on the wharf in Sydney where the dock workers are having a strike. Ebay may be my only hope to finish them in time for Christmas mail out.

Archived in: Retirement

Promises

Romans 8:38-39 – For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

This is one of those passages of Scripture that lingers in the air and echoes in the mind long after it’s been read. There is nothing that can separate us from the love of God. That’s one reassuring promise. There’s no one else who can make a promise like that and keep it.

Have you ever had someone make you a promise and not keep it? It hurts; especially when if someone made it you thought you could trust to fulfil that promise. Perhaps time overwhelmed them or situations changed, but it still leaves a sense of being totally rejected.

Have you told someone you would do something and didn’t follow through? We need to be careful what we promise. I remember one time when my children were little that I had to break a promise in relation to a birthday party venue. The venue had changed owners and I was unaware of changed circumstances. I was no longer comfortable taking my children on the premises with its new clientele and their disturbing behavior. I broke a promise and had to explain my reasons, but as children are, I still broke my promise. I eventually found a more suitable place that the children were delighted with but from that time I usually added the words: unless something unforeseen happens and if it’s God’s will.

Promises of love can sometimes lead to devastation. Norm and I have had many friends over the years whose marriages have ended often in ugly divorces. Their ultimate reasons were usually based on broken promises. How sad.

God’s promises to us can never be broken and when I see God’s handiwork in the stars, breathe in the ocean air, take in the endless mountain views or the beauty in the land, I think how awesome his love is for me. Knowing that nothing or no one can stop that love is precious and eternal.

Oh Lord, the God of all creation, I praise your holy name. I am thankful for your overwhelming love for me. Your promises from Scripture fill me with hope and joy. Thank you for Your truth and honour that reigns forever. Amen.

© Chrissy Siggee 2019

Scripture Verses used are from the New International Version of the Bible

Archived in: Christian Reads

Faith’s Adventures

From the Archives:  Faith’s Adventure – All 8 Stories

Faith to the Rescue
Faith Loses a Friend
Faith Goes on a Holiday
Faith’s Christmas Surprise
Faith’s Close Encounter
Faith’s Discovery
Faith Becomes a Mother
Faith – That’s my Blue Eye
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Partly true, partly fictional. 8 very short stories about Ken and his dog faith. Suitable for all ages. Please note: story “Faith Loses a Friend” may need parental guidance for younger children.

Archived in
Short Fiction by Chrissy at Riverside Peace

Riverside Peace (the poem)

There’s something about a river
that draws me to its side
Effortlessly advancing
toward a lake or sea.

With abundance of freshness
it’s filled with life and health
Uninterrupted flowing
beyond the distant fields.

From gentle humble beginnings
– a fact of life itself
Amazingly appealing
amid a lonely past.

Whispers of the river embrace
the peace renews my mind
Majestically embracing
yonder pathways I see.

© Chrissy Siggee

Archived in
Poetry Mix by Chrissy at Riverside Peace