Of Home, Family, Friendship, and Food

Our house is on the large size, rather more than Jerry or I need in our later years, but for the most part we enjoy having it, for often we have others here with us in Crestline, including our family of four children and all those who now trail along with them, including grandchildren and great grandchildren.  Friends. Neighbors.

20141225-untitled (79 of 114)We’re into our fifteenth year of living in these beautiful San Bernardino Mountains, and I’m not exactly sure in which one of those years we met Robert who lives down on the part of Wabern that merges into the woods. We were walking when we met him–sure of that–for it was years before we coaxed him into our home, so our relationship was cultivated as we walked past his house, and as we lingered to talk if he happened to be outside. I estimate his age as being in the late 40s, he’s of a reserved nature, of few words, and he shows a kind spirit. During these years Jerry had a serious heart attack even to the extent of a cardiac arrest in the ambulance as it headed to the hospital, and of course over the years, we told Robert of Jerry’s severe accident in 1994, and sometimes we discussed his residual problems, so maybe because of those things Robert assumed a posture of gentle concern for Jerry. Robert’s dark hair is styled into a ponytail that flows down his broad back. He is a recently retired operating room nurse. Sometime throughout these years, he married Jennifer, a charming, friendly young woman.

Much goes on at our place; a fair amount includes Winston, our grandchildren, and food.

20140805-untitled (62 of 187) 20140821-untitled (165 of 187) 20140824-untitled (171 of 187)Some of our oldest friends, both in age, and in the length of friendship, are Sam and Lil White. They live in Arizona now, and because he understood they would be by themselves for Thanksgiving, Jerry drove to Arizona and brought them to our home. They are each 92, vigorous in mind, but failing in their bodies. When Jerry had helped Lil into the house, she immediately sat down in a chair near the door and began crying. “What’s wrong, Lil? Why are you crying?” I asked.

“Happy, Shirley. These are tears of joy. I’m so glad to be here.”

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During the Christmas season nearly every year, Jerry and I host an open house for our friends and neighbors. 20141213-untitled (97 of 119)Usually we have around thirty people or so attend. I cook lots of food.

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This year Robert and Jennifer came. (Not pictured.) As they prepared to leave and as I gave them a small gift, wrapped up in a tiny beautiful Christmas bag, I sensed they were very touched. Something about people loving their neighbors enough and loving Jesus enough to spend a bit of time and money and arrange for a winter’s evening of joy for a couple dozen people touched them deeply. I could tell. I don’t understand it, for lots of people go to lots of parties, and Robert and Jennifer are certainly not backward people. Perhaps I had just forgotten, though, maybe I had not fully understood, how sometimes an open door, a hand on the shoulder, a slice of cake on a fine plate, a direct look in the eye can move another human.

A couple of days later, Robert and Jennifer knocked on our door. They brought a gift, a tiny holly plant wrapped in festive paper, and as we sat together on the couch, Robert said, “Thank you for inviting us. Thank you. We had a wonderful time.” I believe both their eyes glistened.

20150112-untitled (25 of 25)This has been a difficult post to write, and I’m not sure even now, I have expressed what I am feeling. Hope you “get” it. 🙂 Did you? Please tell me.

21 thoughts on “Of Home, Family, Friendship, and Food

      1. Kyung Munneke

        Dear Shirley, sorry for my late reply. Thank you so much for your gentle words. Your blog had such a loving feel to it, I am very happy I found it that particular evening. When I am having a retreat with the Sisters this August I will pray for you and your family. Please take good care, the pictures of you and your loved ones are beautiful and set a great example of a life full of love. With much love, Kyung

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  1. Charlotte Mills

    I love this post. You and Bro. Buxton are such loving, giving people. I love to hear stories of hospitality like yours. I miss having people in my home now that we travel. God bless you for the great example you are to all of us!

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  2. I get it because I have been one of the lucky ones that has been touched by your hospitality and felt the Love of God in your spirit and home. I know exactly how your friends felt and that feeling will stay with them forever.

    My friend from long ago when you were a teenager, as were my boys, and we lived across the street from each other. You are dear to me. Thank you for the sweet compliments. Anticipating a visit from you soon. Blessings always.

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  3. There is nothing like opening your home up to family, friends and memories. You and Bro. Buxton have the fruit of friendship and hospitality (these WOULD be included if there were more). Sadly, hospitality is becoming a lost art in today’s world of busyness and hi-tech.

    P/S: When you’re in Phoenix next time, our front door is always open. We don’t live far from Christ Temple or the Hogan’s.


    I enjoy reading your blog.

    Thank you for the compliments . . .and the invitation. Love you and your family.

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  4. Sis. Staten

    We do “get it.” Thank you so much for a heartfelt post. Blessings to you and yours, Sis. Buxton

    Thank you for being here Sister Staten and for your taking the time to comment. Wishing you and yours a blessed 2015.

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  5. Christel

    So happy to see the beautiful pics of Bro. and Sis. White. Brother White married us 34 years ago and were our pastors for many years in Bellflower. We love these precious people dearly! We are thankful for people like you and your husband who open up their hearts and homes to so many who are overlooked, forgotten,or just in need of a big hug! You are truly “living epistles.” Blessings to you and your family.

    Thank you for the sweet compliments. Agree about the Whites; they are incredible people……blessings…..

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  6. Kathy McElhaney

    People. They are what matters, during the holidays and throughout the year.

    Loved the picture of Bro. and Sis. White. I’ll always remember working during the Western District Board Meetings at Truth Tabernacle and the lovely Sis. White and Sis. Buxton who were the Ladies leaders at the time. God bless you both!

    Oh, yes; People is what counts. Not houses, land, or money. People. Thank you for your precious comments. I do appreciate them.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sandra Forrest-Casey

    Ahhh the feelings of warmth, contentment, friendship, family, love and the special wonders of the season. What a wonderful way to live; full of life, love and happiness. The saying “it is better to give than receive” can, in my opinion, be grossly misconstrued. It is good to give to people not necessarily “things” but of yourself, your feelings, hospitality and in general sharing your life. However, what you send out you “receive” back 10 fold. And again not necessarily “things” but the warmth and comfort of friendship and family. The knowledge that someone appreciates what you have done for them. The joy of cooking and seeing people enjoying what your hands lovingly made. What a wonderful world we live in that we can give and receive simply by living and sharing our day to day lives. ☺️

    Sandy, you are so articulate . . . and of my heart. It grieves me we have lived so far apart, and have not been closer. Love you so much. Thank you for taking the time to comment here. Sincere hugs and kisses.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Anonymous

    Sister Shirley: I am a member of Ted Buxton’s church in Goodrich TX. I’ve never written u before, but wanted u to know that my family enjoys reading your post; they are a blessing. Love and prayers from TX.

    So thoughtful of you to comment here. It means a lot to me and I appreciate it very much. Blessings to you and your family. Trust you will continue to read and respond. I want to hear from you.

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  9. Anonymous

    I loved your heart of giving! I totally understand and feel it. I too opened up my home to about 30 Cambodian new converts God has blessed us with. I didn’t cook. I ordered the food and picked it up hot. We had Chinese dishes and because it was after a Sunday morning service I knew I would have anxiety if I cooked. So my focus fellowshiping and enjoying them. They brought the drinks and desserts. My new Vietnamese neighbor came and also felt welcome. I want to win and keep these souls for God’s Kingdom. I also had packaged and wrapped little bags with candles and books. Some had tears in their eyes. So humble and thankful. I am planning on doing this again in Feb. If I can win a soul it will be worth it all. My Vietnamese neighbor got a New Testament Bible for her gift. She recently attended a Wed. Night service. I am sharing hoping to encourage others to do the same. Keep it simple! Esther Jones

    What a dynamic post here, Sister Jones. You get it! Thank you very much for your response. I hope you will continue to read from my site and offer other comments. I want to hear from you.

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  10. carolbrewer

    So beautiful sis. Buxton It touched my heart while reading it !

    Carol, thank you. It touched your heart, because of similar material are you made; loving, giving, interested in people……Please return and comment often. I want to hear from you.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Life moves at the speed of relationships and we are so quick to forget the joy and beauty others bring into our lives. So enjoy your writing and openness. Great post.

    Brother Sargent, our lives and hearts are joined in a deep and significant way. Appreciate you and your family so very much. Thank you for the compliments. Hope you return and comment often. I want to hear from you.

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  12. Katrina Holnes

    Human beings sharing a love and connection that reaches deep into the spirit and touches hearts. No words to explain it. It’s an experience that needs to be felt. I hope I got it. I think I did.

    I know you get it . . .so thankful for such are you. I appreciate so much your being here and for taking the time to comment. Hope you return often. I want to hear from you. Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I don’t understand why the post was difficult to write. It seemed you expressed your love of family, friends, neighbors and food, very well. I want you to know that I am so happy that my daughter, Shawnna, and grandkids have you and Pappy close enough for them to visit. I wish, more than ever in our older ages, that we could be close to them also. I miss them so very much. It is my prayer that, somehow, we can make the move to be closer to them. But The Lord knows what is best for us. So, thank you so much for showing your love to my daughter and grandkids. It means so very much to myself and papa. We love you and Bro. Buxton. Bye

    Esther your post made me sad. I understand the love for our grandchildren, and that we share five of them makes our relationship unique and special. I wish you could be with them more often. They are dear and precious children; some, of course, are now adults (Seems impossible, huh?)

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  14. Jean Walter

    You have shared your lives as HE shared HIS reaching out unto others. YOU are blessed and WE are blessed to know you.

    Are not we all blessed? We have so much; friends, food, homes, churches. What a wonderful life God has given us. Thank you very much for commenting here.

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  15. Cynde Leaverton

    Do tears in my eyes mean I got it? Sweet and tender relationships!

    Sent from my iPad

    >
    Of course you would get it, Cynde. Our hearts are connected. My love to you and your sweet man.

    Liked by 1 person

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