Penny the Traveling Clothespin Doll shares her adventures at home and abroad.

All posts in Uncategorized

The View

A man came in and sat down for a chat,

He said, “I come from Alberta,” as he took off his hat.

“Out of every window is a million-dollar view

Of mountains and streams and fields kissed with dew.

IMG_6975 - Copy

Not a person around as far as you can see.

A paradise on earth, if you ask me.”

I thought for a minute then said, “That sounds pretty fair,

But I’ve got a view that’s beyond compare.”

IMG_7042 - Copy

The man kind of chuckled as he looked around,

At the rusty old tractor and the shed falling down.

“Wouldn’t you rather live in a nicer place?”

He said with confusion across his face.

IMG_7029 - Copy

I smiled and I said, “My view is just fine,”

As I tipped back my old wooden chair to recline.

“In every direction I look and I see,

A friend and a neighbor who is special to me.

IMG_7028 - Copy

I don’t have to look very far to find,

A face that is warm, gentle and kind.

A lot of these people were young with me,

 And now our grandkids are up on our knee.


Through ups and downs we saw them through,

We laughed, we worked, and stayed friends true.

IMG_7069 - Copy

“Whenever there’s trouble that does abound,

I can count on my neighbors to gather around.

And when times of sorrow pass through my home,

It’s then when their true compassion is shown.

IMG_7026 - Copy

Though the times we live in can pull us apart,

They never really stray very far from my heart.

Memories past and new ones to come

Keep drawing us back for friendship and fun.

IMG_7074 - Copy

To the north, south, east, or west,

Wherever I look the view is the best.

I’m filled with such warmth whenever I see,

The wonderful people who are all around me.


God made some nice places under the sun,

But honestly, I think I’ve got the best one.

I’m sure your mountains are pretty to see,

But there’s really no place that I’d rather be.”


The man sat quietly then nodded his head,

He replied, “You know, I wish I lived here instead.”

Susan Ritchie – Farming Magazine, Fall 2015

IMG_7053 - Copy




This is the stack of books my mother uses for her daily devotions.  “My Utmost for His Highest” by Oswald Chambers is an old favorite of hers.  This year she found an old copy of “Streams in the Desert” by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman and it has really become special to her.


I have enjoyed hearing from her about favorite entries that she has found encouraging.  Most recently she printed out and shared with me a copy of the May 22 entry based on Psalm 37:5, featuring a special translation of that verse, in the Young’s Literal Translation.



Here it is in full:

 May 22

He worketh (Ps. 37:5).

The translation that we find in Young of “Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass,” reads: “Roll upon Jehovah thy way; trust upon him: and he worketh.” It calls our attention to the immediate action of God when we truly commit, or roll out of our hands into His, the burden of whatever kind it may be; a way of sorrow, of difficulty, of physical need, or of anxiety for the conversion of some dear one.

“He worketh.” When? Now. We are so in danger of postponing our expectation of His acceptance of the trust, and His undertaking to accomplish what we ask Him to do, instead of saying as we commit, “He worketh.” “He worketh” even now; and praise Him that it is so.

The very expectancy enables the Holy Spirit to do the very thing we have rolled upon Him. It is out of our reach. We are not trying to do it any more. “He worketh!” Let us take the comfort out of it and not put our hands on it again. Oh, what a relief it brings! He is really working on the difficulty.

But someone may say, “I see no results.” Never mind.

“He worketh,” if you have rolled it over and are looking to Jesus to do it. Faith may be tested, but “He worketh”; the Word is sure!
–V. H. F.

I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me (Ps. 57:2)

The beautiful old translation says, “He shall perform the cause which I have in hand.” Does not that make it very real to us today? Just the very thing that “I have in hand”–my own particular bit of work today, this cause that I cannot manage, this thing that I undertook in miscalculation of my own powers–this is what I may ask Him to do “for me,” and rest assured that He will perform it. “The wise and their works are in the hands of God.”

The Lord will go through with His covenant engagements. Whatever He takes in hand He will accomplish; hence past mercies are guarantees for the future and admirable reasons for continuing to cry unto Him.
–C. H. Spurgeon


Mom’s sharing has led me to hunt up online an old copy of this book for myself.  You just can’t beat the feel and smell of an old book, and how it soon becomes an old friend.  Her copy is from 1965, and mine is from 1975.  I am so thankful for the encouragement of this devotional.

Yesterday’s entry (May 30th), was a beautiful one about the song the angels cannot sing.  The song that we learn only in our valleys of pain and suffering.  Sorrow is our school, and there we learn to sing sweet melodies of praise.  Today’s (May 31st), tells about how the strain and wear of an old ship improves the quality of its wood, deepening its beauty and value.















In her new winter coat, hat and scarf, Penny has joined the dogs and I for a walk on a grey day.





Building a snowman…





“Once I was a snowball,

Then I grew and grew,

Now I am a snowman,

How do you do? “




I’m a friendly snowman big and fat,

Here is my tummy and here (where?) is my hat.

I’m a happy fellow, here’s my nose

I’m all snow from my head to my toes.

I have two bright eyes so I can see

All the snow falling down on me.

When the weather’s cold I’m strong and tall,

But when its warm I get very small.”



But big, friendly Fritz was the end of that snowman…Poor lil’ guy.



Some beautiful scenes on a sunny day…



“I opened my eyes and my room was bright,

I wondered what happened outside last night.

I opened the windows and let everyone know

The world was covered with fluffy white snow.

I grabbed my mittens, my scarf, and my suit,

And pulled on my brand new winter boots.

I ran outside and started to play,

And hoped that the snow was here to stay.”









 “Down, down, and down it falls,

The bushes look like popcorn balls.

The places where I usually play

Look like somewhere else today.”




I love how this picture captured Randy in motion!  What a happy smile, those dogs really love the snow!




After romping about, Fritz got tired and had to rest on the soft bed of snow.






“Beautiful feathery flakes of snow

Over the woodland and field they go,

Making a blanket so warm and deep,

Over the flowers that lie asleep.”





Here is little Evangeline, all excited about her recent fantastic trip to “The Last Frontier”, the beautiful state of Alaska!



The cities in red were places that she visited, from Seattle, Washington, all the way up to Fairbanks,  Alaska, nearly to the Arctic Circle.  Oh, what a lot of sights she saw!



Lets begin our trip memories in Seattle, Washington:

Here you see Evangeline posing with her hosts, Mike and Char Mumau, near the market in this busy city.



And here is a colorful close-up of her favorite seat among the dahlias.



She really liked her visit in Kirkland, Washington, visiting friends, enjoying the beautiful garden of Pastor Eric and Cheryl Malone.



Ketchikan, Alaska

Alaska is full of history, and the early people here often made tribute to historic events in these carved wooden monuments called totem poles.  I wonder what stories this one could tell?



A scary moment in Ketchikan, when Evangeline thought her travels were over.  A BEAR GOT HER!!




Juneau, Alaska

Juneau is Alaska’s capital city.  Not far away is the Mendanhall Glacier that is 12 miles long.



How special to find a mighty little glacier, your very own size.



Watch out for the bears, Evangeline!!!




Ah, but the eagles are so majestic and full of wisdom.




What a beautiful sunrise seen at Glacier Bay National Park.  So peaceful and inspiring.

54637Sunrise in Glacier Bay National Park

It makes me think of Paul’s words in Ephesians chapter 3:

“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 
that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory,
to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 
that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith;
that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
may be able to comprehend with all saints
what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height
and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge,
that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.”

Denali National Park,  Alaska



Those log benches are pretty neat!


This Park is centered around the highest mountain in North America, Mount McKinley.  Evangeline and her friends saw this bull moose in the Denali Park.  The moose is officially Alaska’s State land mammal.



Fairbanks, Alaska

The largest city in Alaska’s interior. Its fascinating that the Northern Lights can be seen in the night sky more than 200 days per year in this area so far north.  The shortest winter day of the year here has less than three hours of sunlight, but the longest day (around June 21) never really ends, though officially it has over 21 hours.

IMG_1242 (2)


In the cabbage patch at the Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Gardens:





“Hanging with the boys” in Pioneer Village, here they have created a replica gold-rush town, and an Native Alaskan village and museum, and lots more to see!



Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Saying goodbye to Alaska, and heading south, back to the States, Evangeline enjoyed stopping to see the Victoria Province Capital Building.  How pretty it looks all decorated in these lights.




One more stop, at the world famous Empress Hotel.  Would you like to join Evangeline for tea this evening?




I’d like to include this fascinating story about how Alaska got its State Flag.

Alaska was purchased from Russia in 1867.  Alaska was still a territory in 1926 (before it became a state in 1959).  The governor decided to hold a contest for children to design an official Alaskan flag.  It was open to all children in Alaska grades 7-12.  A 13 year old boy, Benny Benson, from an orphanage in Seward entered the contest.  He was born in Chignik, a small fishing village, his father was a Swedish fisherman and his mother was an Aleut-Russian.  Out of hundreds of submissions, his design was chosen; on a blue background he arranged the constellation of the Big Dipper pointing to the North Star.

Benny said:  “The blue field is for the Alaska sky and the forget-me-not, an Alaska flower.  The North Star is for the future of the state of Alaska, the most northerly in the Union.  The dipper is for the Great Bear – symbolizing strength.”

I found this quote about when Benny Benson learned about his win in March 1927 . “One day our teacher’s  husband came in the room and he brought a telegram,” Benson recalled in 1971. “She just looked at it and her mouth dropped open. She was speechless.   … And I darned near fell out of my seat, I guess.”









Thank you to Mike and Char Mumau for the chance to be included on this very special trip!