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Navigating the Rippy Branch

This week I was set free from the university because of the Thanksgiving holiday, so I was able to travel home to Texas and spend time with my family. Today was the last day of this break since my sister and I are heading back tomorrow, so today my father and I went to Lake Mineral Wells State Park in western Parker County to go canoeing. I wish I had pictures to show for it, but we didn’t bother about taking the camera with us this time, so I shall have to describe it with words.

Lake Mineral Wells, like most lakes in our grand state, has only existed since a more linear waterway was dammed up by people who needed drinking water. It was the fortune of Rock Creek to be dammed in 1918, so that the folks across the county line in Mineral Wells could use it as a water supply. It’s a nice enough lake, as lakes go, but we were bound for Rock Creek, since floating around a lake in a canoe is simply not as interesting as navigating a creek or a river.

There were some kind folks who allowed us to embark from their campsite along the lake, and from there we headed across the short distance to the mouth of the creek. We had some difficulty with the stiff wind blowing us repeatedly into a stand of ominous cattails, but we finally made it into the creek, where the water was more tranquil. The last time I had been up Rock Creek was in the summer, so now in the late fall things were hardly as vibrant as I remembered them. Read More

Hymn of the Week – In the Morning of Joy

Words: Mrs. R.A. Evilsizer (1895)
Music: Anthony J. Showalter (1895)
Sheet music

When the trumpet shall sound,
And the dead shall arise,
And the splendors immortal
Shall envelope the skies,
When the angel of death
Shall no longer destroy,
And the the dead shall awaken
In the morning of joy;

In the morning of joy,
In the morning of joy,
We’ll be gathered to glory
In the morning of joy;
In the morning of joy,
In the morning of joy,
We’ll be gathered to glory
In the morning of joy.

When the King shall appear,
In His beauty on high,
And shall summon His children
To the courts of the sky,
Shall the cause of the Lord
Have been all your employ,
That your soul may be spotless
In the morning of joy?

Oh, the bliss of that morn
When our loved ones we meet,
With the songs of the ransomed
We each other shall greet,
Singing praise to the Lamb,
Through eternity’s years,
With the past all forgotten
With its sorrows and tears.

Cricket on the Hearth

From Ailenroc’s Book, by Cornelia Alexander

Twilight o’ershadows us with dusky wings,
And now around the hearthstone gay as kings
We gather, while the cheerful cricket sings.

We hear the sheep bell, with its ting-a-lings;
We hear the oak tree as it, groaning, swings;
And still the tireless cricket sings.

As one who harps upon the sounding strings,
So memory to the golden past still clings,
Even while the cricket sings and sings.

But, look! Slow creeping where the firelight flings
Its deepest shadow ruthless kitty springs;
No more the little noisy cricket sings.

Sheet Music – Voces Tacitae

Picture 1I have begun a personal project to digitally type-set all of the music I’ve written using Lilypond, a music engraving program that prints very elegant music.

This is my first offering: “Voces Tacitae,” the first true song I wrote. I had fiddled around with Music Ace, but those compositions could hardly be called melodic. This song, on the contrary, I wrote for soprano and bass (so that my sister and I could sing it), and is a minor version of a tune that had been floating in my mind for some time before I wrote it down. The lyrics are in Latin, and based on the refrain of a bilingual poem I had written (you can read the original poem on my Spanish blog).

Although this song is simple, it means a lot to me. It expresses the emotion one feels when looking at ruins left behind by ancient peoples, and thinking of how they lived and how their previous grandeur has diminished.

Here is the music, in PDF: Voces Tacitae
You can listen a decent recording of it here

Smart Little Paul – Discussion

Mrs. Alexander’s tale entitled “Smart Little Paul” is a true story, as she seems to indicate at the end (this is also supported by the fact that she only revealed to us the initial of the family’s last name, a common practice in classic literature when a name was not known or the author wanted to conceal it). And it illustrates, I believe, one of her “pet peeves” if you will. However, I am having a little difficulty in figuring out what exactly bothered her about the situation.

I can certainly say that I disagree with Dr. and Mrs. F——’s parenting methods, and I agree with the conclusions Mrs. Alexander and her friend made at the end of the story:

“I don’t think that boy will make a good man,” I answered. “His parents brag on him so much, he will be all conceit by the time he is grown, and a swindler and gambler, most likely, as his father says ‘he will do anything for money.’”

However, it’s clear that it is not only the greed, selfishness, and love of money that shocked Mrs. Alexander and her friend. It also had to do with the fact that this money-making was being done on the Lord’s day:

[M]y friend remarked as the door closed behind them: “Now you see what makes bad children; and that is just the reason there are so many bad men in the world. Children are brought up with no regard for the Lord’s day, and parents are to blame for it.”

Did they consider this work, and thus not appropriate for Sunday? I am not really sure. It is clear though that this all had something to do with it being the Lord’s day. What do you think? Can you give me any insight on this unique story?

It was partially because of things like this that I was attracted to Ailenroc’s Book. She was a member of the Lord’s church, and I find it interesting to see her beliefs through her writings, and see how they differ from those held today. Of course, she was incorrect to think that certain things are forbidden on Sunday; this belief tries to borrow from the old Jewish law. But all in all, those things she believed were based on the truth of Scripture, and I am comforted to think that even then, 110 years ago, there were God-fearing Christians in this country, serving Him as He specified in His Word.

Now, discuss! That’s what this post is for, after all.