The Bennett Family Blog

We enjoyed a trip up to Canada to visit our grandmother and gave a concert/chalk drawing at her church. We had a fine time fellowshipping with old friends, soaking in the vibrant foliage, savoring the maple flavor that shows up at every turn, some poutine (french fries topped with gravy and cheese--a regional favorite), meat pie, homebaked beans and more. As the French say, "C'est bon!" Here are some snapshots of the trip.

One of Kathryn's projects while we were there was to paint a farm scene on a saw as a wallpiece. Here she is prepping with all her colors close at hand.

Here is the finished product!

At the annual Cheshire Fall Festival this year, we and other Cheshire residents had a once-in-a-lifetime experience.Ever since we were little, we have heard local VFW Post Commander John White drilling into Cheshire residents the unique position Cheshire has of being the hometown of two Medal of Honor recipients: Sergeant Eri Woodbury of the Civil War and Colonel Harvey Barnum (USMC) of the Vietnam War. Mr. White worked with state & local officials to get a portion of the main road that runs through Cheshire to be named the "Medal of Honor Memorial Highway" in honor of these two men. At the Fall Festival, a dedication ceremony for this would include a speech by none other than Colonel Barnum himself! We were honored to meet him in person: he is a warm, personable man who wears his Medal well. He said, "I am a custodian of this medal and I wear it in honor of the Marines and Navy men with whom I was privileged to serve." 

Local VFW Post Commander John White 

Colonel Harvey Barnum

What a memorable day!

How have the Bennetts been lately? Just peachy!! Jonathan came home with 35 pounds of peaches from a guy who had too many peaches dropping in his yard.The girls spent an entire Saturday transforming them into a variety of tasty treats. 

Susanna, Julianna, Lydia & ElizabethBesides our peach products we also baked homemade bread/rolls, M&M cookies and zucchini bread.What a blessing it was to spend a happy day in the kitchen together. 

We were blessed to be part of Friendship Night at our Church (Olivet Baptist Church, Hamden, CT). We are praising God for His blessing as we saw many folks come out and the gospel was presented through song, and clearly through the chalk drawing.

Activities throughout June and July!               

"We just finished a season with our homeschool orchestra - we were glad to have our cousin join us in the brass section and as the trumpet soloist in Beethoven's Leonore Overture No. 3. "

The most unique experience of our trip happened at our Bear Creek Community Concert on Monday evening. During the afternoon while we were practicing with the Petricks, a severe rainstorm came through that bordered on a hurricane to us. It cleared up by the time we drove over to the Bear Creek Community Center, but when we arrived we learned that a tree had fallen and caused a power outage over half of the community, including the clubhouse where we were supposed to play. Providentially, we’d brought a bunch of flashlights on our trip down to Florida, something we’ve never done before. They were originally to be used just for travelling , but the Lord knew we would have a greater need for them. As it turned out, we hung them on music stands at each end of the bell table and played the first half of our concert by flashlight! The lights and AC came back on while we were playing our accordions and we finished off our concert in the now-brightly-lit clubhouse with joy. We later found out that further south they had a small tornado at the same time as our “rainstorm” and subsequent power outage. It became another memorable concert and another challenge conquered to add to our resumé! For all those who want to know, we did have time to “relax” and enjoy the beach and the pools at the community in which we were staying, so we got plenty of “vacationing” in. We rounded out our trip with a visit and concert in Lakeland and then a concert in Virginia on our way up north. It is always strange but sweet to come back home and settle back into the ordinary routine of things. After the first day at home, the trip behind us always seems so long ago and far away, but the memories of the times spent together and with brothers and sisters in Christ will always bring joy and refreshment and encouragement as we serve the Lord wherever we are.

Our family is back from our trip to Harbor Baptist Church in Ormond Beach, FL. I find myself so refreshed by the genuine love and warmth shown to our family by the folks at Harbor Baptist Church. We were overwhelmed with cookies and cakes and sweets from generous friends who wanted to do their part to make sure we were fed for the week. We were certainly taken good care of by everyone! We stayed with our dear friend, Sue Lamb, who is a wonderful hostess and spoiled us with her biscuits ‘n gravy and yummy honey mustard chicken for dinner!
One of the highlights of our week was meeting the Petrick family, missionaries who are staying at Harbor Baptist for a few weeks. They are also a musical family and during the week we were asked to collaborate and sing for the Senior Luncheon on Tuesday. Monday afternoon found us and the three Petrick boys around the piano figuring out which songs we could sing and play. Some people wondered if we weren’t getting enough rest with all this music and daily trips to the church, but we told them this isn’t work for us—it’s fun!
Michael Petrick and Matthew played a piano duet together and we made an ensemble of stringed instruments with flute and harmonica. For our final song we sang “Lord, Send Me Anywhere”, a beautiful song of consecration, with equally beautiful harmonies. At Wednesday night prayer meeting, we were told that the folks enjoyed the Bennett/Petrick music so well they wanted us to sing again for the people who weren’t at the Senior Luncheon, so we had the pleasure of singing with the Petricks all over again. ☺

I’ve always been glad I was from New England. As a child I loved each season on its own merits, each with its own unique set of things to do: the fresh freedom of springtime when one can rush outside without a coat, hop about to renew one’s acquaintance with a yard that seems altogether new; the sticky heat of summer providing ice pops, picnics in the living room, playing outside after supper and the exciting possibility of going swimming at a friend’s pool; the dearness of fall summarized in the snack of an apple that cracks satisfactorily when you bite it, raking a huge pile of leaves and jumping into it before bagging it all up, and culminating with our family get-together on Thanksgiving Day; the wonderful return of winter that features first and foremost Christmas with all of its wonderful nostalgia, and second most important, snow. The most exciting time of outside play for us throughout the entire year was when there was snow on the ground. And still, when the first snowflakes fly across our little state, we cheer.

Our family seems to like the cold weather. I know for myself that I love it most because its then you appreciate warmth the best. It’s when you feel chilled to the bone from the cold outdoors that you most enjoy walking into a warm kitchen to soothe your shivers. It’s when the howling wind is squeezing in through little drafts that you are most grateful for a warm and cozy bed. (You also discover a gratitude for 10o weather because it’s then that the snow is easier to blow and plow and heave. Did you ever say, “Thank you, Lord, that it isn’t warm”?) It’s in a swirling snowstorm that you remember to give thanks that you have a home to come home to, with food and heat and clothing and lights and running water. It’s on those cold days that you might think to wave to your mailman and be grateful that rain or shine, heat or cold, the mail must and does go through.
It applies in the spiritual realm, too, you know. It’s when you know the frosty touch of a harbored grudge that you most appreciate the thawing warmth of forgiveness. Isn’t that, in a roundabout way, what Jesus meant when he said, “He who has been forgiven most loves most”? Those who have been chilled to the bone by the ways of the world are most eager to be wrapped up in the arms of Christ’s love?

There are always those who prefer it that way, though. Like a man we met who recalled how, as a boy, he and his friends would go down to the river and each get on a chunk of ice and see how far downstream they could sail. “We’d fall in that icy water and we’d be dyin’, but we were dyin’ together, so it was wonderful.” My sisters and I just looked at one another in amazement. (Truly the god of this world has blinded their minds!) But isn’t that what the children of darkness say? They’re dyin’, but they like it that way. The Apostle Paul reminds us not to look down on ‘them’, for we too were once children of darkness (Ephesians 5:8), and sometimes still are drawn back toward the old icy way of thinking for why else would he persist in admonishing us to “walk as children of light”?
Knowing our ability to take a good thought and fly to the other extreme, our Lord warned us not to revel in the cold in order to appreciate His warmth. Romans 6:1, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid!” Galatians 5:13, “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.“

Is it, then, a gratitude for the hand of a benevolent God who reached out and offered warmth and light to those frozen in darkness? Not merely. He voluntarily entered our tundra of snow and ice and was Himself chilled to the bone so that He could offer us a springtime of new life, ironically, so that we would not have to experience the scorching heat of His just wrath.

So consider that. Consider…Christ. Hebrews 12:3, “For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself...” When the cold creeps in, run to His warmth, and be grateful.

-Susanna Joy