Thursday, August 26, 2010


Roseland is truly special.  We have some amazing experiences.  We have felt the hand of God; we have seen His miracles.  But sometimes it’s the quiet moments when we sit down with our guests and just converse that make Roseland unforgettable.
Since those talks are private conversations, we cannot blog about their content, which may freely range from the weather to politics to religion to health matters and then to whatever else seems to be of interest.  One of the things I’ve noticed here at Roseland is that God seems to bring guests into our lives who are experiencing difficulties like ours; inevitably by the end of the conversation and visit we both feel blessed to be part of the same family – the family of the Lord.  In fact, many times saying good-bye to our guests reminds me of saying good-bye to our distant relatives after a Thanksgiving holiday.  We’re overflowing with joy because they came, sad they’re leaving, but peaceful in the knowledge that we will meet again and resume our relationship right where we left off.

So what does all this have to do with blueberries?  Actually, quite a bit.  The blueberry season is June and July and we have two nearby blueberry farms where guests can pick fresh blueberries right off the bush.  As a result we’ve had several couples come specifically to pick blueberries.  In the evening we struck up conversations that blossomed into friendships during the visit.  All because of blueberries.

What’s so good about blueberries?  Actually quite a bit.  Blueberries look good on the plate and taste good; they also have some incredible medicinal value.  Blueberries are high in anti-oxidants and vitamins that help prevent heart problems and other severe illnesses, including cancer. 

Furthermore, this last season I learned from our guests that blueberries can help ease the pain of arthritis:  Their arthritis pains have lessened since they started eating a cup of blueberries a day.  Consequently they’ve cut back on traditional drugs. 

Other guests have told me of yet another benefit:  The blueberries keep them regular.  So not only do blueberries help relieve arthritic pain (we need fewer pain pills), but they help relieve the cramps caused by any pain pills we may choose to take.  That’s so God:  Two for the price of one!

So for all you readers out there:  Start eating blueberries.  They look good, taste good, and are healthy for you.  And then come back visit us at Roseland next June or July so we can talk about blueberries and anything else that comes to your mind.  After all, we’re family…

The Great Texas Balloon Race

Tyler and its environs are one of those well kept secrets of Texas.  We are frequently surprised by some unanticipated thrill that you would expect only in a much larger metropolis.  Recently our daughter, Christina, told us about The Great Texas Balloon Race.  Bryce and I decided to join Christina, Dale, and Brayden at the event. 

This event, now in its 32nd year, rivals the largest ballooning festivals in the nation and lasts three days.  Over 50 balloons came to the festival this year.  They participated in a variety of ballooning contests and races (with a $10,000 cash prize), and provided an opportunity for visitors to get “up close and personal” with a hot air balloon. 

It’s hard to believe that hot air balloons, those majestic floating flowers of the sky, are the size of a house!  It’s even more difficult to imagine wandering in a forest of these behemoths.  Standing in the middle of a field of half inflated balloons was like standing at the bottom of a well.  One’s entire field of vision was totally obscured in every direction by the bevy of balloons.  Besides balloons all around, only the sky overhead was visible.  Curious people were dwarfed by the reclining half-inflated balloons. 

In addition to balloons, the festival featured an impressive air show with classic fighter aircraft, parachutists, and other aerobatics.  Of course no Texas event is complete without food.  There was plenty, including the Texas fair classics:  BBQ and Fried Twinkies.  Other booths offered traditional fair goodies, such as glo-lites, toy balloon sculptures, pony rides, bounce houses, and much more for the children.

There is something special about music outdoors.  It always brings a sense of special enjoyment for our weddings at Roseland, and did so at The Great Texas Balloon Race as well.  Rock’n’roll and country songs resounded throughout the grounds compliments of a local radio station, emphasizing the festive evening mood.

Though this is the hottest part of the year, it cools down by nightfall when the real action occurs:  The balloon light-up.  We all had a terrific time watching the show, and Bryce had a memorable day on the pony ride and in the bounce houses.  Brayden, who is only four months old, was oblivious to all the action.  All in all, it was one of those unanticipated thrills associated with living near Tyler.  It was certainly a “Do again,” as Debbie used to say.

The Great Texas Balloon Race is held every year at the East Texas Regional Airport in Longview.  For additional information visit, and do plan on coming to next year’s Great Texas Balloon Race.

The Big Silence

There is so much to do and say, yet so little time – especially when business is brisk.  So please pardon our silence for the past several weeks.

There is yet another reason for the silence.  It is painful - no it's paaaain-ful !!! - to actually post a blog, especially one with pictures.  It's worse than pulling teeth without anesthesia. 

Any given blog, even if all materials are ready, will inevitably take at least 45 minutes of fiddling to post and look acceptable.  I'm considering switching to a different blog engine, but that takes experimentation (= more wasted time) and there is so little time. 

...and after that, it will take money to actually implement the transition seamlessly.  So please bear with our periodic silence.