Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ash Wednesday HodgePodge

Wednesday Hodgepodge is hosted every week by Joyce to give us in cyberspace a chance to get to know one another.  Here are my answers to this week's questions.

1. February 22nd is National Be Humble Day...what makes you proud? What keeps you humble?
Proud: my girl.  Humble: my girl.

2. Where is the catch-all (aka dumping ground) in your house?
My desk.  It's just past the entrance to the office, which is the one we use.  The front door is rarely opened.

3. Do you make it a point to visit State/National Parks when you travel or even in your own hometown? What's your favorite?
Absolutely!  We love them!   Sol Duc in Olympic National is probably our favorite. 

4. How would you define honor?
Having integrity, being honest, being respectful, choosing right.

5. Angel's food or Devil's food-which cake do you prefer?
Definitely devil's. 

6. What's the most recent road trip you've taken? Where did you go and how many hours did you spend in the car? Do you like to zoom to your destination without stopping or leisurely wind your way there with stops along the way? What is your car snack of choice?
I like to go leisurely, but hubby likes to "just get there already!" so it's a mix. However, we don't really take road trips per se; we fly somewhere (usually into Seattle) and then rent a car when we get there to take to our final destination.  But the last trip was to Florida, where we purchased our fifth wheel RV in November.  We snack on nuts and berries, mostly.

 7. Recent headlines told how a preschool child in NC had their packed lunch from home taken away and a school lunch substituted by a school inspector who deemed the homemade lunch unhealthy. Reportedly the parent was then billed for the school lunch (chicken nugget meal) although an update to the story says the parent was not billed. The inspector was conducting a routine inspection of the classroom-he/she was not there solely to peek in the lunchboxes. The packed lunch contained a turkey and cheese sandwich, an apple juice box, a bag of chips, and a banana. You can read the story here. Your thoughts?
Good grief.  And some folks still wonder why I educated my children at home.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Today is Ash Wednesday, the solemn beginning of Lent after the glorious revelry of Mardi Gras yesterday.

At services this day, parishioners will have their foreheads smudged with ash, as a reminder that all will die (ashes to ashes...) but the faithful have something to look forward to after that. 

Lent - the 40 days before Easter, which begin on Ash Wednesday - provides the faithful with an opportunity to resist temptation as Christ did, and remember his great sacrifice. 
It is also supposed to be a means of imploring God to send blessings, to make up for the lack suffered during Lent. 
In addition, physical fasting is a means of purifying the body, as the mind is also purified by focus on Christ and spiritual things.

In some traditions, Lent is progressive: this week meat is given up, next week also eggs, and so on for the 6 weeks.  By Easter, some may be partaking of only bread and water. 
This may not have begun entirely voluntarily: for cultures dependent upon the local agriculture, food was often becoming more and more scarce at this time of year as the previous harvest is dwindling, and new growth is only just beginning - or may not have even yet begun. Birds are not yet laying eggs, cattle not yet birthing and producing milk.  So late winter/ early spring deprivation was a part of the natural cycle of famine followed by feasting.

The season of spring has long been associated with change and purification.  The energy of renewal opens up optimistic ideas of progress and action (the reason most people say spring is their favorite season).  The time of Lent builds on that, giving a time for reflection as to the best course of action to take.


  1. I saw on a blog the suggestion to send a hand written card/letter to someone each of the 40 days of Lent. I love that idea and am going to do that too.

    Gorgeous photo! I've never been to the Pacific NW but its on my list : )

    1. That's a wonderful idea! Just imagine if everyone did that...

  2. Wonderful photos. Great idea above from Joyce!

  3. Being that I'm Southern Baptist, we don't observe Lent, but I sure love the significance of it.

  4. Well, I'm hoping that this is the most recent post of yours...if not, please direct me to get updated. And I so agree with you...home schooling is tops!!!

  5. Hi there, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris