Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It's November 30! My day!

I always thought i had a special birthday, tucked in between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I loved that!

I volunteer in Renee's school library and the books are quite old. Libraries are hard places to fill here in Jamaica, books are extra costly and many of the books that the library has are from old estates and given freely. I label and shelve them when they come in.

This past week I came across one entitled, "Time Capsule/1956" which really got my eye since that is my year!

I learned some cool facts about what was happening around the world in 1956. The book is broken down into categories like National Affairs, Foreign News, People, Sports, The Theater, Music, Science and so on. It has really been a fascinating read.

In 1956 the top 10 television shows were:
1. The Ed Sullivan Show
2. The $64,000 Question
3. The Perry Como Show
4. I Love Lucy
5. December Bride
6. Talent Scouts
7. You Bet Your Life
8. The Red Skelton Show
9. What's My Line?
10. Disneyland

Looking at the list, I remember hearing about them or seeing them as a child except December Bride and Disneyland.

Another part of the book that captured my attention was a section in Religion. Apparently there was a question regarding Billy Graham and the validity of his message. The question in 1956 was, "Is ubiquitous Billy Graham good for Christianity?" Of course now in 2011 the answer is clearly yes. He was born in 1918 and by 1944 he was going strong. So by 1956 in his twelvth year of solid ministry people were beginning to take notice.

The article in the book I am referencing records that the Billy Graham debate was waxing hot in the pages of the Protestant weekly Christian Century.

It further states "An articulate anti-Grahamite is Union Theological Seminary's Reinhold Niebuhr. Niebuhr thinks that Graham is a throwback to the Theological past. He said, "Graham still thinks within the framework of pietistic moralism." He thinks the problem of the atom bomb could be solved by converting the people to Christ, which means that he does not recognize the serious perplexities of guilt and responsibility which Christians must face."

I find this section of the book interesting in that even in "the good ole days" there were those who despised the work that Christians were doing. So many times we "wanna go back" to those days especially when we look at the state of affairs today. But I would presume that this "attack" against what Billy Graham stood for was quite intense even then just without the added input of CNN and FOX news.

Funny how when you look back in the time that you are born you are amazed at what was going on around the world, I was simply living, growing up, being loved, going to school, enjoying my family and friends....simply living. I am grateful for my "cacoon of care" my family is great! I am blessed!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Did you know that:? Part 2

Some more interesting trivia!

1. Did you know that there are two major political parties, the Jamaican Labor Party (JLP) and the People's National Party (PNP) and whenever they are in conference or rallies the JLP wears green and the PNP wears orange? Hundreds of people in the same color.

2. Did you know that high schools are called college and colleges are called universities? So in reality Renee has already had 4 years of college!

3. Did you know that dancers dance with barefeet?

4. Did you know sliced bread is called hardo bread and it is quite firm and very yummy?

5. Did you know that many Jamaicans are afraid of the ocean?

6. Did you know that Jamaican music (Reggae) just makes you want to move your feet and in reality move your whole body even if it is Christian music?

7. Did you know that jewelry is made from beans, seeds, and nuts?

8. Did you know that the way to remove sea urchins spines from your limb is to soak it in urine?

9. Did you know most homes are built from cement?

10. Did you know that maybe that is why we hardly ever see a fire truck? just wondering!

11. Did you know that one reason for anyone in school of any kind wears a uniform is to get a better price from the taximan?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Did you know that:?

Here is a bit of interesting Jamaica trivia. Enjoy!

1. Did you know that hamburg and hotdog buns are not precut?

2. Did you know that sixth, eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth grades take government exams and that the entire school year is dedicated to passing those exams? The sixth grade exams are called GSAT, the eleventh grade exams are called CSEC, twelve and thirteenth are called CAPE.

3. Did you know that milk is sold on the store shelf and kept in the cupboard until use?

4. Did you know that jerk is not a derogatory term,it is a sauce for chicken and pork?

5. Did you know that when tourists come they say that Jamaicans drive on the "wrong" side of the road?

6. Did you know that Rastafarianism is a religion?

7. Did you know that taxi cars have red license plates?

8. Did you know that there are no "self service" gas stations?

9. Did you know that you can be fined for driving through a rain puddle and getting someone wet? The fine is 5000 Jamaican dollars.

10. Did you know that a horn is a very important car instrument. A driver will use the horn to say hello, say goodbye, come ahead, get out of my way, hey what's up and many more expressions?

11. Did you know that shopping buggies never leave the inside of the store unless managed by a store employee, that means someone always brings your bags to your car?

12. Did you know you can also be stopped by a police if you flash your lights? If you flash your lights here it means come ahead and turn in front of me rather than GET OUT OF MY WAY!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

forever grateful...

Today is our fourth Thanksgiving day in Jamaica. Since it is our last year here I decided to make a "Miss" list! We have missed these things for four years but next year Thanksgiving sights, sounds, and smells will be in our house!

1. fall flowers
2. Christmas radio music
3. pumpkins sitting on the porch
4. my Springfield fireplace
5. nip in the air
6. if not snow flurries
7. turkey centerpiece
8. school break
9. Springfield turkey trot
10. sweet potatoes with cinnamon and brown sugar
11. turkey stuffed to the gills
12. Black Friday alarm clock
13. football hoopla
14. special friends
15. Thanksgiving services and sermons
16. holiday goodies
17. Salvation Army kettle
18. large garden Chrysanthemums from Jones Farm
19. stocked frig
20. eggnog with a sprinkle of nutmeg
21. indian corn on the front door
22. corn stalks with beautiful fall ribbon bows
23. dried leaves and Lexsigirl running in them
24. cider
25. donuts
26. candy corn mixed with cashews
27. sweatshirts
28. Uggs
29. apples and caramel
30. cranberry sauce
31. Ryan's miada
32. cranberry sauce
33. family fun
34. cooking
35. festivity everywhere
36. craft fairs
37. Silver Dollar City in the fall
38. Silver Dollar City in the winter
39. Silver Dollar City anytime!
40. Thanksgiving Eve Service
41. Branson Christmas shows with my 2 violinists and Miss Starla's group preshow!
42. punkin' pie
43. grapes
44. long scarves
45. mittens
46. drying the wishbone
47. leftovers
48. Walmart on Sunshine and ByPass
49. butternut squash
50. elastic waistbands

Thanksgiving was never meant to be shut up in a single day so I will have Thanksgiving thoughts in my heart for always...

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The oddball of the family

Not quite sure why I am the oddball. The genes in my family are to stay put. Born in an area, grow up in that area, marry and stay in the area, die in the area and the cycle continues.

Me ... I left Mansfield at 17 and haven't lived there since. How come? My siblings all live near my parents. My cousin's, nieces and nephews live there and I am the oddball.

I don't get it. Maybe I was adopted!! no....just kidding. I look like my mom and act like my dad so I know I am a "Hall" and have their genes! I am just not sure why my life is full of boxes and shallow roots. My root system can be easily pulled up without too much pain.

Maybe someday I will understand why Jesus required me to be on the run. On the run in a good way. Always another state, another country, another group of students that need the Seler touch!

When I married Denny we never talked about "student ministries" and never in a million years did I think I was marrying a professor. We started out in youth ministries which lasted 19 years counting the missionary journey to Spain to teach in the Bible College-a different set of students! Then we pastored for 3 years and then returned to student ministries again. Students in Latin America and now Jamaica. So out of 33 years of marriage, 3o years of student ministries. My goodness, never would I have dreamed it!

This weekend we have started "boxing" again! Packing up things to ship back to the states come June. We are not overly anxious, just has to do with "If you give a mouse a cookie!" Easier to pack than to find a new place for the shelves that sell!

I don't regret this "boxing" lifestyle, I just wonder why He chose me and not my sisters or brothers!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

If you give a mouse a cookie....

What a crazy weekend! The plan was to have a yard sale in the house. The plan was to pull out stuff we can do without and sell it quick as a wink. Didn't happen that fast!

One of my children's favorite book series was If you give a mouse a cookie, If you give a pig a pancake, If you give a moose a muffin, etc. The moral of each story is that whenever you have a plan to do something, that plan leads you to another something, and another step takes place and eventually it goes full circle, resulting in repeating the original step again, which, of course, leads you back through the cycle. The books are great!

That has been the story of our weekend. When we unloaded a bookshelf to place in the sale, we had to find boxes stashed in a hard to get to place, to pack the books. When we went for another item to sell, we had to unload my special teacups and saucers. Then we had to find the china boxes in a hard to get to place and so on and so on!

At one point Den said, "I am getting to old for this!" The next field we go to, guess what? Nothing is going but the shirt on our back!! We are too tired to keep lugging and unpacking and packing and yard saleing!!

Life is full of work, work, and more work. Hope Den has the strength to preach in the morning!

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Something I love about living in another country is learning the differences in speech. What we call one thing in America is called another thing in Jamaica. What we call one thing in Costa Rica in Spanish is another thing in Spain.

At Renee's school and at the A/G College a snack bar is called a tuck shop. Another term is a cook shop. One time I had to drive to Montego Bay to do an airport pick-up so I took a student with me for safety and he said "on the way can we stop at my auntie's cook shop?" I was expecting a restaurant with seats. I didn't envision something big but rather a place for customers.

Coming upon a little community, he said, there it is. Stop right here. Stop right here? Whatever is he looking at? It was just a little stop off the road and if you blinked you would miss it. Certainly not a place to sit and chat, but rather a take out kind of counter.

There is a construction project going on right here next to us. I love their little "tuck shop"! A little lady comes up the road around 10:00 in the morning and sets up shop. Many of the workers are transient workers. They see a project going on, ask for the supervisor and ask to be employed at least for the day. So this little lady decided to get in on the "groundfloor"!

Soup anyone??

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Canned Green Beans...just what I needed!

It's taken over 3 years to find a can but we did it! Here in Jamaica the price goes down if you buy 3 of one thing so I didn't just get one can, I got 3!

I have a theory, way off, but a theory nonetheless. Shopping in Jamaica has been a real experience and that is where my theory comes from. I think that the storekeeper in any town gets a catalog from Customs. He pages through to the item he is looking for and sees one hundred of that item for a price. Finding the lowest price for those 100 items he checks it and goes to the next item on his list. When those items come in, he only has one hundred of them. If they are great, so be it. If they are bad, so be it. The item goes on the shelf 3X the price he paid, with the custom price added to it and the transportation price to get it from the dock to his store, adds the GCT (government tax) to it, which is 17.5 on most everything, all other costs like paying employees to shelve it, cash it, carry it to your car and wha-la, the customer pays the piper.

Do you know someone always takes your groceries to the car for you? It is not just for a job and a tip, but rather to protect the buggies. You never see a buggy outside the store walls. They would be stolen. An employee brings the buggy to your car and he is the one to return the buggy to the store. Interesting isn't it?

One week we may find sour cream, and then not find it for a month. Moral of the it when you see it! And when you do find something you really need all of the stores will have it. You can always tell when the new shipment came in or at least when it cleared customs!

This is not little America. My friend called me and said, "Now Debby you need to go to the Dollar Store and pick up some of these. You will love them!" ummm I don't have a Dollar Store. "Well then get to your Michael's and you will find the same thing, you will just have to pay more." ummmmm, I don't have a Michael's.

Now to my green beans! There are lots of things I miss, canned green beans is one of them. We were in Kingston doing our grocery shopping and for the first time I found canned green beans, not a cheapo no name brand, but Libby's, french cut!! Oh I was so happy. We have eaten 2 cans, I think I will save the third can for my birthday!
I am so happy to that store keeper for going down the Customs catalog and finding Libby's. He made my day, my week, my month!!

Man I would love to go down to Customs and check out that catalog for myself and see what order I could place or maybe see what China is selling today!