Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


Wedding Wednesday

We have a wedding coming up in just about 30 days. (I. Can’t. Breathe.)

I don’t have a dress to wear.

I don’t have the rehearsal dinner planned.

I don’t know what I need to do or when I need to do it


Maybe there’s a place I can look it up online. Gulp. I hope. I always makes me wonder how Mom knew just what to do on any given occasion.



Tombstone Tuesday

Decorating the family’s graves has kind of fallen to Omega (aka Sister Amy) over the years.  Two of her daughters’ graves are being decorated, so she’s great at remembering and taking care of things. I help out when I can.

Not that I mind. Actually, I enjoy going to cemeteries. Well, I enjoy old ones. New ones that are flat and monotonous, not so much.

As usual, this year when I went to pick up some of the decorations (if you wait too long, roving bands of senior citizen gangs get them!) I took my camera along. This is the view from my mother and father-in-law’s graves.

Not a real exciting view, is it? But there’s a part of this cemetery that’s absolutely fascinating.

See? It’s a whole flock of angels. Don’t you just love angels? 🙂

So I pulled over and took a few shots. Then I happened on this one, and couldn’t tear myself away because my heart got involved.

Come a little closer. I’ll show you why.

Can you read it? It says Elizabeth Pitts, wife of Alfred Oberly. (She had to really love him to marry a guy named Alfred!) Born May 12, 1907; Died Sept. 21, 1924.

This girl was only seventeen years old and she was married and had a baby. I know she had a baby because of this. (Still makes me want to cry.)

George J. Son of Alfred and Elizabeth Oberly. Born Aug. 4, 1924; Died Oct. 26, 1924. “A little bud of love to bloom with God above.”

So poor Liz had little George in August of 1924 (I’ll bet it was one hot summer with no air conditioning!) Then she died less than two months later. And then Baby George passed just over a month after that.

Why did they die? Was it child-birth fever? An illness that couldn’t be cured? Was George ill from birth? Did Elizabeth grieve herself to death over his future? His health?

And poor Alfred. Imagine the joy of having your first son with your beautiful wife, and losing them both in the first sixty days.

You can’t see her very well, but I know she was beautiful. And I’m positive she had a beautiful heart.

This is the angel on Baby George’s headstone.

Elizabeth doesn’t have an angel. She has a grieving mother, looking down on everyone who comes past.

Or maybe she’s not grieving. She might be thinking about her husband, who she had to leave behind.

I feel really bad because I don’t know what happened to Alfred. To be honest, I was so struck by the death of this beautiful young woman and her son that I forgot to look for Alfred’s grave.

Or maybe Alfred is still alive. I hope so. I’d like to say hi.


Father’s Day

Did you celebrate Father’s Day? I know, it’s a Hallmark holiday (ie: made up to sell more cards) but I really enjoy having a day to honor our dads.

I spent yesterday morning worshipping My Father sitting next to my father. I love worshipping with the man who gave me life. Or would that be men?

Anyway, it was a great morning.

Here’s Dad acting silly at his office birthday celebration one year. He’s a great guy to work for!

Yesterday evening we went to #1 son and DIL’s house for a smoked rib dinner. #1 is (finally) in his new house, which is an older home that they’ve refinished. We loved the house. Loved the yard! (They’ve let the rear part of the big back yard naturalize, so it looks like the tall grass prairie. Absolutely beautiful!

I went out with #1 while he checked the smoking ribs and he told me that he plans to put in an outdoor kitchen and how he plans to do it. (I put in a bid on the plants they’ll have to remove!)

We got to meet Gozer, the newest member of the family.


Image via Wikipedia

We chatted and laughed and had a great time. Oh, and G-Man opened presents and cards.

The food was delicious. The house was gorgeous! And we were all so comfortable, I thought we might just curl up and spend the night.

Instead, we took off our shoes, kicked back and had a wonderful time, being together.

Is there anything nicer than having the entire family together, enjoying one another? Not a whole lot, I’m thinking.

Oh, back to my dad. This is the guy who, when he wants something, he goes right out and buys it. One year, he said all he wanted for Father’s Day was a straw hat for working in the garden. So we got together and decided to give him six hats, one from each of his kids. 🙂 (He’s lucky we didn’t include the grandkids. LOL) If he gets something he doesn’t really want or thinks he won’t use, he’ll give it back or to someone else.

Not wanting to be the one to have my present handed off this year, I gave him eight pepper plants. (I heard him say he didn’t have any sweet peppers in his garden.) And I got him two bottles of a great new (to us) salad dressing. We love it, so it’ll be just fine if he gives it back. LOL!

I hope you had a fantastic Father’s Day and while you were at it, thanked your Father in heaven for the earthly father He chose for you. You’re a perfect fit!


♥ I Love My Attorney ♥

#4 sent this to me and I couldn’t wait to share it with y’all.

After living what I felt was a ‘decent’ life, my time on earth came to the
end. The first thing I remember is sitting on a bench in the waiting room of what
I thought to be a court house. The doors opened and I was instructed to come in and have a seat by the defense table.

As I looked around I saw the ‘prosecutor.’ He was a villainous looking gent who snarled as he stared at me. He definitely was the most evil person I have ever seen.

I sat down and looked to my left and there sat My Attorney, a kind and gentle looking man whose appearance seemed so familiar to me, I felt I knew Him.

The corner door flew open and there appeared the Judge in full flowing robes.
He commanded an awesome presence as He moved across the room I couldn’t take my eyes off of Him.

As He took His seat behind the bench, He said, “Let us begin.”

The prosecutor rose and said, “My name is Satan and I am here to show you why this woman belongs in hell…”

He proceeded to tell of lies that I told, things that I stole, and in the past when I cheated others. Satan told of other horrible perversions that were once in my life and the more he spoke, the further down in my seat I sank.

I was so embarrassed that I couldn’t look at anyone, even my own Attorney, as the Devil told of sins that even I had completely forgotten about.

As upset as I was at Satan for telling all these things about me, I was equally upset at My Attorney who sat there silently not offering any form of defense at all.

I know I had been guilty of those things, but I had done some good in my life
– couldn’t that at least equal out part of the harm I’d done?

Satan finished with a fury and said, “This woman belongs in hell, she is
guilty of all that I have charged and there is not a person who can prove otherwise.”

When it was His turn, My Attorney first asked if He might approach the bench.
The Judge allowed this over the strong objection of Satan, and beckoned Him to come forward.

As He got up and started walking, I was able to see Him in His full splendor and majesty. I realized why He seemed so familiar; this was Jesus representing me, my Lord and my Savior.

He stopped at the bench and softly said to the Judge, “Hi, Dad,”
and then He turned to address the court. “Satan was correct in saying that this woman had sinned, I won’t deny any of these allegations. And, yes, the wage of
sin is death, and this woman deserves to be punished.”

Jesus took a deep breath and turned to His Father with outstretched arms and
proclaimed, “However, I died on the cross so that this person might have eternal life and she has accepted Me as her Savior, so she is Mine.”

My Lord continued with, “Her name is written in the Book of Life, and no one can snatch her from Me.”

“Satan still does not understand yet. This woman is not to be given justice, but rather mercy.”

As Jesus sat down, He quietly paused, looked at His Father and said, “There is nothing else that needs to be done. I’ve done it all.”

The Judge lifted His mighty hand and slammed the gavel down. The following words bellowed from His lips. “This woman is free. The penalty for her has already been paid in full.”

“Case dismissed.”

As my Lord led me away, I could hear Satan ranting and raving, “I won’t give up, I will win the next one.”

I asked Jesus as He gave me my instructions where to go next, “Have you ever lost a case?”

Christ lovingly smiled and said,  “Everyone that has come to Me and asked Me to represent them has received the same verdict as you.”

~”Paid In Full”~

Stop telling God how big your storm is. 
Instead, tell the storm how big your God is! 

Wow. Just wowl.

Let me know what you think.

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Dis’n and Dat’n

Sarah Barrett Moulton: “Pinkie” by Thomas Lawr...
Image via Wikipedia

This Morning’s Storm

I got up before the storm hit this morning, and I was pleasantly surprised when it happened. Molly, being the storm quaker she is, was a little anxious. She’s not the rain lover that my baby boy and I are.


Since my pinkie problem, I haven’t filled my hummer feeders. I was afraid I’d crank down and rupture my other pinkie tendon.

Two gilflirted pinkies aren’t what I had in mind when I thought about what I’d wear to my middle son’s wedding next month. I’m still trying to think of a way to decorate the first messed up finger.

I’m considering feathers. Or maybe I’ll go all out and cover it with bling.

Hummer Feeders

I finally got brave and talked G-Man into helping me fill the feeders. I was afraid the hummers had given up and gone looking for greener–or sweeter–pastures.

Happily, the birds don’t hold a grudge. I spied one during the storm this morning. (No storm quakers in the hummingbirds’ camp.)

SSMT #12

So I’m a day late for my SSMT. Finally found the one that felt right. Col. 3:3. Look it up and tell me what you think. Could you use that scripture if you had it written on your heart?

BTW: Beth Moore invited people to come over and read the comments on her blog from the SSMTers. This time we were suppose to post our verse and tell what God’s done in our lives since we started memorizing.

Go ahead. She has some real blessings from God to share. Living Proof Blog.

Here’s a picture of Beth from her website. If you look closely, I think you’ll see Jesus.


My Favorite Tombstone

I didn’t know the Johnsons, but I know of them. I’m really sorry I didn’t get to know Glenn and Modena.

I’m most familiar with two things about them.

Their headstone. It’s famous in C-Town’s Woodlawn Cemetery.

At the top is the brand they used. I don’t know what it was called or meant (anyone know?) but it’s different. Down lower they put the names of their sons. Can you read it? Their names are Tally, Muggyown, Coyote and Woodly. I absolutely love those names. Especially Muggyown and Coyote. Aren’t they fantastic?

Here’s the back of the stone.

Don’t you love the longhorn? I don’t know if Glenn and Modena raised only longhorns, but it would be interesting to find out.

Here’s a closeup.

Can you read it?

I was laid to rest on the old Perry Trail that leads toward Tod Holler in a narrow grave just 6-3 where the hungry coyots will howl over me. I have roam these hills for a many year but I’m afraid I’ve turn my last long horn steer.

Modena–just think of me as the days goes by and I will meet you and the boys in heaven in the sweet by and by. Glenn Johnson.


The other thing I remember about the Johnsons is the Long Horn–their bar? Saloon? Hony-tonk? I was never there, but if I remember right it was a hony-tonk, a skating rink and a church all at the same time. 🙂

There’s a family story about a couple of my (much!) older cousins who went there one night. One got into a fight, the other jumped in to help and Glenn, thinking they were the instigators, broke the fight up and loaded up my cousins to take to jail.

Before he drove off, someone stopped him. “You can’t lock up those boys, Glenn. They’re Ray Spess’s grandsons.”

Glenn didn’t hesitate or question the guy. He just opened the truck door and stepped back. “Get on home, boys.”

BTW: Granddad would probably have left them in jail. He didn’t hold with such goings on.


Wedding Horizons

Have I mentioned there’s a wedding coming in the Shay household? Two, actually, but one isn’t until next spring. One is this summer.


Did you hear that? It was my heart hurting.

This is what they should look like. They should still be little and playing, having a great time. That’s #2 in the back, lying down and yelling his head off. #3 is squinting at the camera, being very quiet. (Stayed out of trouble that way.)

Really, don’t you think kids should just stop aging when they get to such a cute age? If they did, I think this is the age I’d choose. They were so fun and innocent! I remember being kind of tired all the time, otherwise, it was a perfect life. (They say memory is the first thing to go. LOL.)

I swiped this pic from Matt’s facebook. I’m not sure of his age here, but the black and white makes him look so extremely young.

I love this boy!

In school he played the sax and piano, but rarely plays either these days. He loves to work, though. I used to keep him from going to work rather than grounding him back when he was in middle school.  One other thing he loves? Sports.

 OSU’s sports are the best. (Just ask him.) He tries to get season tickets to the OSU football games each year. He got caught by the camera at one of the OSU games.

And I love his sense of humor. (He’s wearing orange in the big fist here.) I love the way he teases me about his “other” mothers. I love that he’s there when I need him and doesn’t mind asking if he needs a hand. I love that he succeeds where other people are afraid to even try.

The Meet– Miracle of miracles, he met Nikki at a New Years Eve party he went to with a friend from college. (Isn’t she gorgeous?) She’s cute and funny and has an infectious laugh that makes you want to join in, even if you don’t know why.

And just like with the women in my other sons’ lives, we all fell in love.

Aren’t they sweet? My wish for them is that they have a marriage as perfect as the one my parents had. And as rambunctious as the one G-Man and I’ve had. (Never, ever boring!)

I think they have a pretty good start. 😉