Buy Cheap – Sell High – Eat Free

Good Morning to you!

Having finished the latest project, I thought I might post a few of the projects I have completed in the past 2 months. All of the items in the clip were purchased for anywhere from $5.00 to $ 20.00 other than the last trunk in the video which I spent $ 100.00 on at an auction due to the provenance that came with it and the obvious possibilities I saw by restoring it and flipping it for around $ 350.00 – stay posted I will let you know how that works out!!

Years ago, I started doing EBay as a way to make a few extra dollars to fund backpacking and hiking trips and have an income that would allow me to splurge on Ultra Lite Gear. I remember my first hikes/ learning lessons, heavy packs, heavy tents, heavy sleeping bags etc. Ultra lIte is expensive! But at 68 years old, I do not want to carry a 40lb pack. Think if it came to that I would stay home and watch your you tube videos!! ”

I write this only to encourage those of you who are anticipating a long hike this summer, and I know that 40%  of those hikers are recent college grads with out jobs yet, and 40 % are like me, retired and on a limited income. The other 20 % are working and can afford to do what they need to do including staying at the Hampton Inn. I know, I see you there when I pretend to be a guest and go in for the free breakfast!! That was me reading the paper that wasn’t lying outside your hotel room door!!

I started off with $ 25.00 and headed out to garage sales and became a world class haggler, of course I also plied my marketing and sales skills in building a relationship with the seller, Dale Carnegie style. ” Oh there is a boat in the backyard. are you a fisherman? I fish ….and ….” or  ” are those golf clubs I see hanging in the garage…did you watch the Masters last week ? etc etc…” Usually that would ease the negotiating slightly, if only because they wanted to get rid of me!!

Auctions became a place to find EBay items and usually at the very end of the auction…sit on your wallet!!! wait wait wait…and the end things go cheap..

The third spot is estate sales. Usually the 2nd day things go for 1/2 off the marked price. Then you may also be able to negotiate that as well. You will have to find the estate sales companies that you can build relationships with and stick with them.

After selling for a while and learning what sells, you can start to do drive by’s at the thrift stores and every once in a while you will hit the golden nugget.

There is a book out titled ” 100 things I have sold on Ebay. ” I found that helpful in my beginning stages.

Anyhow…just throwing out some ideas for those interested in trying to pick up  few dollars for that Ultra Lite Equipment.

Happy Trails to You

 

 

Brian Williams – Bruce and ” Ole Growler” a Bear story

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My father, William Kehoe, was a, no, scratch that …he was ” the ” master story teller…the best..he could turn a story about a guy walking across the street into a 6 hour narrative….and me with ADHD and a very active imagination believed a lot of what he shared in story form….after all, I was the kid that stood up in the Cleveland Heights, Ohio amphitheater / outdoor theater in front a few hundred people,  in the middle of ” The  Wizard of Oz  ” play, and Screamed at the top of my lungs ” watch out !!! ” wanting so much to warn the good witch as she approached the house that fell on the wicked witch…thereby…stopping the show as people and actors gathered their thoughts and wits so they could  continue on. ( Disclaimer: because of my active imagination there may have only been 4 people there…or you never know ..possibly a  1000 or thousands …depends on my audience )

I am sure the Bruce / ” Ole Growler ” the Bear story had..facts but mixed with a large measure of dreams and imaginations…He may have had a  bar buddy who’s name was Bruce and I am equally sure that there are Bears in Alaska…maybe Bruce and a ” Ole Growler ” were in Alaska at the same time..but his friend Bruce going to Alaska and slaying a bear, bare handed, may have a little of Brian Williams attached to it. I figured all that out later in life!! Way later!!!

So, Brian Williams? People floating upside down on dry French Quarters Street ? Your helicopter hit with a sidewinder missile ? You felt good when you took your first steps on the moon ? and when you discovered the  polio vaccine where were you then ? Is it true that you, Brian Williams , knows where missing flight MH370 Malaysia Airlines is? Whats that ? you saw it?

The thing is ” all ” reporters are only relating what they may have been told as fact – do you think their editors slant the stories to fit any personal agenda? Liberal or Conservative News Media ?  …but are they fact?  really? Fact or Fiction that is ours to decide. Pretty sure there were bodies floating somewhere in New Orleans, that disease was rampant and that there were helicopters shot at in war. You just got caught up in the story…we story tellers do that Brian!!  Hey maybe after all these years you have discovered that you are storyteller and not a reporter ? Part of being a story teller is having people believe you…and they did!!

When my mother placed me on the porch at 4 or 5 years old and told me that the garbage men were coming for me because she had had it!! I believed – fact!! My eyes must have been like a disney comic strip, popping out of my head, when the garbage truck actually rounded the corner. Having grown up and listened to these truths, stories and tales mixed with imagination – I learned at an early age to question ?  Brian Williams …I like the fact that you were exposed…but don’t be ashamed of it…own it and use it…I do….

We all question the ” facts ” hopefully!!! Facts are disputable…Appalachian Trail is 2000 miles…NOT….depends on what and who is telling the story…it varies 200 miles depending on the story teller….Ideal weight for the backpack on the AT 30lbs…again..a fact…but for others it may be 45# and others 18 #’s – again, I am very aware of hiker’s / backpackers coming off the trail, any trail and ” tales ” that follow. many humorous, many scary, many informative, but all slanted with a measure of the person’s truth, telling the story, facts as they saw them. I usually weed through them, having hiked and backpacked I have learned certain truths. When a person says that it is an easy trail, generally it is NO and When they say it is difficult, usually NOT. Although with every step, I am building my own tale to tell.

The ” only truth ” that I know for a fact …” Jesus Loves Me ” everything else is up for discernment.

OK…now your thinking…oh Yea what about death and taxes knucklehead? …,…lol…really…see Dad …this all started with the Bear named ” Ole Growler ” and Bruce, you thought those stories were just amusing…but they have me second guessing Brian Williams and others ? Think I will research Bruce and ” Ole Growler “story…I always wanted to meet Bruce!!! To my brother Bob, who continues this saga with his children and grand kids…throw some facts in there Bob….

Happy Trails to you

In Honor of ” Charlie ” & all the French Hero’s – Taking in the beauty of the trail I am on.

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This might be my favorite. All original Hardware and Wood. 300 Years old as I sanded through 3 layers of paint, I wondered what history this piece held?  I think the proper description is ” Pennsylvania ” Blanket Chest. I have seen them described as Seaman’s chest. The hand painting is really taking me to places that I had not been before. In thoughts, imaginations and wonder. Just like the trails, mountains and canyons that we wander. So much history, who walked here previously? Are there signs left behind ? Scanning as we hike to look for treasures on the trail. With each stroke of the brush, I wondered about the bruises on this chest.

Because of the recents events in Paris I decided to put a French theme to the chest.  I never stenciled anything previously, but found some chalk paint at Michael’s and then practiced on a piece of plywood. Seems I can now turn pieces around in a 24 hour time frame. Selling them seems to take a bit longer!!

I picked it up during the closing hours of an Estate Sale for a bout $ 20.00 It has sat in my basement for nearly 5 years. Filled with other treasures that I thought would make me my fortunes. Now, it will be packaged up and sent on it’s next adventure on a Greyhound Bus to whomever buys it!

Ok so now where is the Aleve and how long does it last.

Happy Trails to you.

French Country Pastry Table / sewing table & Why I don’t drive to the top of the mountain?

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First picture is what I started with and the rest are of the finished product. I call it a ” Distressed French Country Pastry Table “. You may call it a farm table, sewing table or simply a desk.

I have learned a ton in this past week. All from a female employee, whom I thought was going to be a mistake. After all, I am superb at judging people from first sight appearances. She was older, hardly construction man material, not macho looking at all. What knowledge could she have that would help me. I scanned the aisles of Lowe’s for a male counterpart and realized they must have been trying to evade any contact with customers. So, I sheepishly acknowledged the lady and told her, in low, whisper, that I kind of don’t know what the h…I am doing when it comes to furniture preparation and painting.  Inside my brain I am thinking, If this didn’t work out I had 13 cans of spray paint sitting on the shelf at home. My reason for being at the store, because I, Macho Tim, did not want to spray paint in the garage. Too cold!!! I was looking for a way that I could paint in the bowels of the Kehoe House at 204 Creighton Lane.

With a cheerful smile, she looked at the paint swatches I had in my hand and told me all the legitimate reasons that I had chosen wrong. She did it with grace and made me more inquisitive as to her knowledge. Evidently the paint I had chosen wasn’t washable and would not hold up long. She talked me into eggshell and then quizzed me about the tools I would use. I had to admit, I was thinking about a rag and sponge. She went on to tell me about her grandfathers gift to her. He took the time to teach her the art of painting, and suggested I invest in good brush like grand dad had left her. Then she said are you aware of the Hot Dog roller ? ” No ” i whispered, tell me about it. Again she convinced me to get one and I immediately reached for a foam rubber roller to attach to it!!! She grimaced and asked ” do you want bubbles ? ” ” No ” I whispered again. She politely handed me what seemed like a roller with sheep hair.

I put all my new purchases in the cart and headed to the cash registerer and on the way out, I saw the tool guy in the tool aisle. I have been sanding my a… off and am actually sore. He was a young guy, maybe 25, what would he know, again my keen judgement can pick these guys out a mile away. After he asked me what I was doing with the sanding, I was amazed at the information and knowledge he had as he walked me through the ins and outs of a ” palm ” sander and the papers I should use.

Yesterday, I put all the 13 cans of  spray paint in a bag and returned them to Lowe’s. Spray painting in my estimation and experience now after 2 weeks of furniture work, is like driving your car to the top of a  mountain. Big hurry to get there and the whole experience of climbing the mountain is missed, the sound of the running water of a stream, the flowers as they bow gently in the breeze, the effort it takes and when you arrive, climbing the mountain is most awesome experience.

Now, I take the sander and see each dimple, break, chip, grain in the wood, I slowly take my brush, or roller and apply the most beautiful colors. I feel it, I sense it, and my nose isn’t plugged with spray paint!!! I really think I like working with furniture!! After admiring it, touching it and turning the lights low, I slip over and sign my name to it.

Thank you to peeps at Lowes, you have converted me and I love it.

The table was a child’s desk from a child center, where I had purchased lots of furniture a few weeks ago. I sanded it down, applied a layer of sky blue eggshell paint, sanded that down and then painted it with white eggshell and painted that, then sanded it to expose the blue eggshell as if it were wearing through.

And the old became new!!! I might like this!

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Hi

It is late afternoon on Wednesday and I am finished with the first of about 8 or 9 pieces I will be repurposing and distressing. I now know the guys at Lowe’s by their first name and my repitoire of tools, paints and sand paper is growing by day. The aroma of paint in the house has dissipated and the paint washes off my hands fairly easy. Still unsure how this painting in garage will work out in this cold.

This was piece was purchased for the grand sum of $ 3.00 and it is a solid maple book shelf from a pre school, signed / marked  ” Child Craft ” 36″ wide x 27″ tall and 15″ front to back. Has 4 drawers / 3 shelves.

I started Antiquing 15 years ago, flat broke and I would take $ 25.00 a week and visit garage sales seeing how much I could negotiate the owner down. I just got a note from EBay telling me that I have nearly reached $ 500,000.00 and that isn’t chump change. The profits from that have financed many a backpacking trip and the high end gear I was able to afford because of it. If you are backpacker or hobbyist of any kind, I would encourage a similar path.

I think it might be time for celebration with  glass of wine. All 4 of my siblings, Jerry, Mary Ellen, Bob and Anne are gifted with an art talent. I wasn’t so sure that this would be a thing for me.

Unsure of what the next piece will be, although I have all those pieces in the first picture and I am heading out to 3 Estate Sales tomorrow to look for items either to restore or use to repurpose the other pieces. Any thoughts air ideas are always welcome.

Till then, Happy Trails to You.

Eyes glazed over looking at tools and such

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Good Day to you:

As previously mentioned I have walked up and down the aisles of Lowe’s, Builders Square and Antique Architectural Hardware this week. My eyes glazed over staring at the plethera of tools, parts and carpenters clothing. Wondering to myself, ” How much is left in my 401K ? I can not sleep at night as my brain starts smoking as I think of ideas to make this furniture look unique.

Jan woke this morning and as we are sipping our morning coffee, Maxwell House, as we do everyday, she says, ” I dreamed the house smelled like paint fumes “. I think to myself, that is exactly what I am doing this morning, once she exits the house, I have 10 cans of Rustoleum Semi Gloss Black paint that I am going to unleash on 2 pieces of newly sanded furniture. As I said yesterday, I don’t claim to be an expert in anything, but I write in the framework of one hobo telling another where he found food to eat. I made some mistakes already!!!

It is under 20 Degrees F outside and the garage is, maybe 10 degrees warmer. I made a decision to paint the furniture down  in the basement. I was so proud as I emptied 3 of those cans while moving the spray like a ballerina in concert. Wasn’t long before I had my hands in and on the paint. Probably should have purchased some gloves. I noticed that my throat was getting raw and when I coughed anything up it was like i had inhaled an asphalt plant. Now I have a new list and reasons for running back up to Lowes. Mask for breathing, More sandpaper, I am using # 400 sandpaper for the project.

As I walk around the house, I feel as if I am getting high. OMG the house is flooded with the smell of paint!!! Jan is a saint, I never see her get upset, but I ” know ” this, I am in deep doo do if I don’t get rid of this smell. I throw open the windows to ventilate, and the gas company must be thrilled at that sight!! and now I head to Lowes, hoping it will settle down and out when I return. On the way to Lowes I had a brilliant Idea and I ask myself ? ” why in the wide world of Timville , did you not turn on the 3 toilet  exahaust fans in the house.”

Once I got to Lowes I picked up the needed items and circled the power paint sprayers aisle 3 times, I didn’t buy one, but I may back in hours, after a little research. So far the cabinet I bought for $ 3.00 has over $ 120.00 of Lowes’s purchases attached to it’s name. I got home and turned on the all the ehaust fans, carried all the loose pieces to the garage and finished spraying them in the 30 degree garage. I can not stop thinking about two things! The smell, will it be gone by Jan’s return and that %&^$# paint sprayer. It was, no, they were like looking at the view at the top of a mountain. Written forever in the images of life. I have to get to a mountain top and I need a paint sprayer!!

In my opinion the cabinet looks good, but it doesn’t pop yet. I will post pictures of the finished item as soon as it dries. As I write, the paint fumes are still at a level that may cause the EPA and or Jan, to shut down this furniture repurposing project.

Stay tuned, I will keep you posted. Going on line to research paint sprayers. By the way, if you have experience with paint sprayers, let me know your thoughts.

New Year – New Agendas

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Good 2015 To you:

As 2015 kicks off I am retired for 18 months now and still seeking my ” fit ” into this retired world. There are a couple things I know for a fact. I need to be seeking God and His direction on a daily basis, I adore my wife, my children and grandchildren and want to spend time with them and close friends.  I love hiking/ backpacking and Veterans. I write this mostly in an attempt stay ” focused ” and to block out those demons that come with my ADHD introducing new ideas and imaginations each and every day.  2015 brings our family 2 new grand daughters, Devin and Christine’s daughter will be born late February and Tim and Deanna’s daughter will arrive on the scene in May, although at the rate that baby is growing in Deanna’s womb, thinking she may arrive for President’s Day and may want to vote!!

Having written those thoughts, I am now introducing 3 other thoughts / goals into my 2015 daily agenda. Having tried to fill my time in retirement by doing something productive,  retail and delivery jobs. Lasting 4 hours at the delivery job and 8 days in retail,  I am now focusing  on three more items:

1. I love to write, so I am going to commit to writing 3 or 4 days a week, about my daily activities. Not so much as I ” know ” a lot, or have the map to the exact trails you should take in life. I have survived nearly 70 years despite myself. So, I will write in the framework of one hobo telling another where he has found food to eat and how he got away with it!! Those subjects will be spiritual, outdoors and backpacking, stories of veterans, family and whatever else those ADHD demons through my way.

2. Years ago, broke and wanting to purchase backpacking equipment in my quest to conquer the great outdoors. I would take $ 25.00 and see what I could buy at garage sales and sell on Ebay for a profit. That lead to auctions and estate sales to find product. I sold nearly $ 100,000.00 in a single year a few years ago.

After retiring,  I did a lot of traveling and pretty much laid those things aside. Now, after watching a few episodes of Lara Spencer’s Flea Market Flip on Netflix ( 2 years worth in a 2 day period ) I am inspired and  have returned to my roots, of antiquing and I am throwing in a ” twist “. In an effort to restart a viable business, I purchased quite a bit of furniture from a recent auction and am intending to repurpose that furniture and flip the pieces for a profit. I have never spent any quality time refinishing and wood products. I have been watching a lot of you tube videos, listening to friends and hopefully if you have any suggestions. I am open. This venture has every opportunity to turn into a new reality TV show such as ” Tim the Tool Man Taylor ”

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There is more furniture, much more! In an effort to keep peace in Rochester Ny, I am only showing limited pieces!!! I have purchased sandpaper, paint and searching high and low for unusual parts and pieces that will make these pieces stand out.

3. Planning a John Muir Trail hike in August of 2015 and will be writing about the preparation and trail as this vision unfolds. I am excited about that, as the heart surgery last year, through a huge wrench into any back country backpacking. If you have an interest in hiking that trail with me, contact me, the exact dates are not set in stone – yet!

Till the next note, if you say on the trail of life, stop and say hi, If you see me on the John Muir Trail  , say hi then quickly step aside, for adventure usually follows in my footsteps!!! happy trails to you!!!

 

Charlie and Catherine

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Happy New Year!!

People who know me, know I have special place in my heart for veterans of any war, but when I run across a WW2 Vet my interest soars to new levels. I have met so many who laid down all they had to go off into a war and protect us from those who would seek to harm us.

Since retirement I have been trying to figure out a direction in this post retirement world. Tried part time retail, part time delivery service, while turning my back on a lucrative antique and resale business that I have been in for the past 15 years. I made a decision to fan the flames of antique business for 2015. Part of that involved me heading off to an auction to purchase products of interest to sell. I sold my cargo van earlier in 2014 and am now driving a pocket size car ( Nissan Versa ). The auction went well, but I needed a way to transport all that I purchased, so I rented a U Haul, not bad, by the time I gassed it up, it took about $50.00 out of my wallet. After 3 trips hauling furniture and then returning the van to U Haul, I walked across the street and ordered a Carmel Flan Latte as I waited for Janice to come retrieve me after she got done working.

As I sat there in front of the low burning, computer generated fire, watching the news and sipping my latte, an elderly gentleman takes a seat by the fire as well. I have 90 minutes to kill so I strike up a conversation by asking him if he was retired? Charlie was his name and he told me had been retired for 30 years from Kodak and that his 2 sons were retired as well. “ retired 30 years ? your not a World War 2 Vet are You ? “ He cracks a smile and for the next 90 minutes he told me his life story. How he took a troop transport ship out of Boston Harbor in 1945 and went over to Italy and he worked with others to resettle towns that we had taken over.

He told me about Catherine, the stray puppy, that was so small, he picked her under his hat as he transferred him back to his tent. He brought back to the states, and he told me how upset his mother had gotten when he said I have a surprise, I am bringing Catherine home with me to the states!! She thought he had gone and married a young Italian girl!! He reminisced about how he stole mess hall food to support his Catherine and how bad he felt when young boys would line up outside the compound in hopes of getting “ good garbage “.

It was as if I hit a play / record button as he shared 70 of the 88 years of his life and how he met his wife and how much fun they had in life. She passed

 

about 8 years ago, surprisingly he never once mentioned her name!! They met when she was 13.

He was proud to be a vet and proud to share his involvement, glad he wasn’t summoned to the battle of the bulge, which was happening as he fed and played with Catherine.

He was and is world class Ping Pong player!!

It was a great way to spend my last waning hours of 2014 and I look forward to meeting more guys and gals like Charlie in 2015.

I never got any more info than his first name, I pray that his remaining days will be filled with grace.

Have a Happy and Blessed New Year.

He watches over me

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Picture above was taken this summer while my daughter and her family were visiting. In the moment I saw my grand daughter, full of energy, walking at full speed with her father ( my son in law ) following close behind, ready to catch the fall and rescue her if needed.  I was reminded that my Father watches over me in a similar manner, if not even more so. There are actually numerous verses that support this statement. My favorite is:

” I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go….” Genesis 28: 15

Good Day to you:
Again, I hate to repeat myself, but many of you are reading this for the first time. I started hiking the Appalachian Trail in early March 2014 during an Ice/ Snow storm that shut the town of Harpers Ferry down for a few days and was quickly forced off the trail due to the snow/ Ice and sub freezing temperatures. During that down time, I ended up in the hospital with a triple by pass and am now recovering, setting my goals for an April 15th 2015 start out of Springer Mountain and heading North. – now you are up to date.

That is why the verse above means so much to me. As scary as the thought of bypass surgery was, He was watching over me. Not shook up by any of the events surrounding my life. Yesterday I completed the Cardiac Rehab Program and I found myself with similar thoughts that fill your mind when you complete a hike/ trip, after spending months preparing and now accomplishing the task, sensing some emptiness, for me, it is a sense of relief , awe, wonder but being ADHD I immediately think about the next ” thing “. Now what ?

What Next :

I am  sensing those thoughts and feelings of stepping back into the real world.

We have a family wedding this weekend, my daughter her husband and my Grand  daughter Mia,  will be arriving tonight from Ohio. It will be great time as friends and family  gather to celebrate my step son’s ” Tim’s “wedding.

Then Monday I catch a plane to the west coast to catch a plane to Australia to spend a couple weeks with my Daughter , her husband and Noah and Hanna Kate my two oldest grand children.

When I return, Jan and I will be celebrating our wedding anniversary. We got married there in the shadows of  Glacier National Park.  Then I may head west to just ” sit ” and photograph, small hikes and flyfish near Jackson Hole/ Yellowstone area. I am guessing the Aspen will be golden, the sounds of the Bull elks calling for a mate and the scent of lodgepole pine will be intoxicating.

Have I told you that I love retirement! 

Upon my return in mid October, I will get serious about my planning for the 2015 hike on the AT trail. Make my reservation for Amicola Falls and do a new 2015 equipment video. Although my 2014  pack was only 32 Lbs with water, food and all other provisions. I will be trimming pounds off, lessons learned from a short visit to the trail in March of 2014. Not sure I need all the battery backups and bear protection that I had in March of 2014.

As I do think about the time from now to April 15th 2015 and my hike on the trail, I do so knowing that all the while, like the picture above, My father will watch over me ! how cool is that ?

Once again:

Heading out from Springer Mountain April 15th 2015 heading North!

 

Nearer My God to Thee

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In light of the untimely passing of Robin Williams, I had some thoughts…

There is an awesome feeling of excitement as you head off on a trail. The anticipation of breathing in the intoxicating smells of lodge pole pine, wild flowers, campfires etc. The beauty of a mountain lake or streams with boulders that have been tossed about over the millenniums, seems to take your soul and caress it as you look to heaven, sensing a nearness of God and His glory revealed in nature far from the ills that life seems to bog us down with.

I have found such things can abound in the dirtiest and foulest Ghetto’s of America. Comming off the interstate in Cleveland, a few years ago, in the midst of a ghetto was one of these events for me. 12 Hours previous this area was lined with gangs, discarded people, prostitutes, drug addicts, young kids roaming the streets just wanting someone to hug them, a wife or husband battered by emotional abuse all evidenced by the blanket of discarded wine bottles, heroin needles etc, that filled the grassy area of the cloverleaf style exit. Then I saw a scene that actually made me stop my car and get out and breathe in the beauty,  a field of wild flowers, untouched by the horrors of the community that surrounded them. Hope in the middle of, what many could say was devastation. I actually got back in my car and put in a CD – Charlotte Church singing ” Panis Angelicus  I stayed there for a few minutes and thanked God, just as I would on any mountain top.

Having seen so much beauty and being refreshed by those things that soothe the soul on a backpacking trip. I reminded of the Scripture ” to them that have been given much, much will be required, Luke 12: 48

So my prayer is that God might use me as He would a wildflower, river, stars etc to show just a glimmer of hope to someone who’s glimmer is flickering out.

Nearer My God To Thee

Praying for comfort for those close to him.