This morning we sang a song in church that I have not heard in a long time.

It took me back many years – to August 1968 – when it was sung at my Grandpa Hawthorne’s funeral. (He is my mother’s father.) It was mentioned as one of his favorite songs.

That is when the song Ivory Palaces also became a favorite hymn of mine.

Hawthorne - Grandpa & Grandma-001

Ivory Palaces

  1. My Lord has garments so wondrous fine,
    And myrrh their texture fills;
    Its fragrance reached to this heart of mine
    With joy my being thrills.
  2. His life had also its sorrows sore,
    For aloes had a part;
    And when I think of the cross He bore,
    My eyes with teardrops start.
  3. His garments, too, were in cassia dipped,
    With healing in a touch;
    In paths of sin had my feet e’er slipped—
    He’s saved me from its clutch.
  4. In garments glorious He will come,
    To open wide the door;
    And I shall enter my heav’nly home,
    To dwell forevermore.

Out of the ivory palaces,
Into a world of woe,
Only His great eternal love
Made my Savior go.

When looking up the lyrics I found this interesting information:

Henry Barraclough wrote the words and Donald Paul Hustad composed the music.

In the summer of 1915 the famous Dr. J Wilbur Chapman was preaching at the Presbyterian conference grounds in North Carolina. With him was the pianist Henry Barraclough. Barraclough was twenty-four year old fellow from England. The evangelist spoke one evening on Psalm 45.

Psalm 45:8 All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad.

The spices and perfumes mentioned here were used for many purposes. They were poured on clothes for a perfume. ‘Myrrh’ was an exotic perfume. ‘Aloes’ was bitter herb used in embalming. ‘Cassia’ was a spicy perfume that was also a medication.

After the evening services, ‘Charlie’ Alexander and Henry Barraclough drove some friends to the YMCA a few miles away. Sitting in the front seat of the car, young Barraclough thought about the Psalm 45 sermon and three short verses of this hymn began to shape in his mind.

When they stopped, he quickly wrote down the words on a ‘visitor’s card,’ the only thing available. Once he returned to the conference grounds, he wrote the tune to the words, and the next morning Mr. Brown and Mrs. Alexander sang the new song at the conference meeting. Dr. Chapman then suggested that Barraclough add a fourth verse.

Back to my grandparents

Hawthorne - Grandpa & GrandmaThis is how most of the oldest grandchildren remember them.

Another memory: each time we visited them, grandpa served root beer floats, pretzels, and bologna pieces.

1a Grandpa Hawthorne's TombstoneGrandpa died nine days short of his 75th birthday.

Grandma died at the age of 71 years and nine months.

Oh, wow. In 2 1/2 months Cerwin will be 75. Tomorrow I will be 72.

The Big Snow – Evening

Saturday, January 23

1 (1)I opened a garage door to see the back yard – facing east.

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1 (5)Another garage door – facing north.

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1aLooking out a front window – facing south. The birds are standing around a tray of birdseed – on a bush – already covered with snow.

2A snowdrift sliding off our roof.



3 (1)The large tree trunk is almost covered with snow. This is one of the trees that we had cut down in December.

3 (2)Our mailbox.

3 (3)Jesse and Jared decided to trudge through the snow in our yard.

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3 (12)It was still snowing after sunset – and we were already at two feet.

Update on Mother High

Mother has gone through several ups and downs since her hospital visit in early January.

Her “trouble spot” right now is her toes where she has severe pain due to lack of circulation. That is happening because she can no longer walk.

  • The nurses and caregivers at Landis Homes are doing a fabulous job of caring for her.
  • They are great at taking time to explain her condition and meds when we ask.
  • Her medical team is trying to find a balance between pain meds and the extreme pain in her toes. They dress her toes a couple of times a day.
  • Because of the medication, there have been days during the past week and a half when she was quite “drugged” and did not wake up or was confused when she was awake.
  • You can only imagine how delighted we were to find her quite alert yesterday and today. (She was 98 in September.)

DSC_7787Cerwin visiting with her this morning.

Today is the best we have seen her in the past few weeks.

  • She is doing much better as they adjust her meds and her body adjusts to stronger meds.
  • We have not seen her out of bed for the past 3 or 4 days.
  • They began pureeing her food earlier this week.
  • A caregiver fed her lunch while we were there today. I understand that it was pureed fish, red beets, green beans, and sweet potatoes.  Each item was separate. Mother asked what she was eating. The caregiver called the kitchen to ask. The fish looked like thin mashed potatoes. Everything was of the same texture, but a different color. When the caregiver asked her if she wanted her chocolate milk, Mother said yes. The caregiver asked if she wants to hold her cup (a sip-cup), Mother said yes, reached for it, and slowly moved it to her mouth, but the nurse had to help her tip it up so she could drink.

DSC_7790Talking to her Minnesota son-in-law, Bob Stauffer

Because she cannot receive phone calls, we try to call Bob and Doris in Minnesota when she is alert. Doris was not home today, but Bob was delighted to have an opportunity to visit with her.

The picture is a bit deceptive, because she looks very good, but her hand often shook and we were afraid that she would drop the phone. The mouthpiece started at her mouth and gradually went lower and lower.

Her 100-year-old brother John is concerned about her, so we stopped at his apartment (also on the Landis Homes campus) to update him on her health. He was relieved to know that she is doing a bit better.

Thank you for praying for her and her caregivers.

The Big Snow – Early Morning

Saturday, January 23 – 5:45 AM until 11:00 AM

Snow (1)The first thing I did when I got up was turn on the patio light to see if it was snowing.

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Snow (2)This one had the makings of a real blizzard – and I love blizzards.

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Snow (8)By daylight, the birds were busy looking for food.

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Snow (10)I put a tray of birdseed on a bush just outside a kitchen window, but it didn’t take long before it was covered with snow.

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Snow (14)Our crepe myrtle bush looks pretty in the deep snow.

Snow (15)The birds could no longer find seed in the feeders because each one was covered with many inches of snow.

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Snow (17)It was difficult to get any work done, because I kept watching the snow and the beauty it was creating.

Snow (19)The snow on the ground multiplied by the hour.

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Snow (31)There was very little traffic except vehicles that were opening the road for someone.

Snow (32)More pictures tomorrow.