Saturday, August 5, 2017

Faith, Family, Friends...

Yesterday afternoon and evening, I was able to spend time with my cousin, Ramona. She recently lost her husband, and it's been a rough time for her. She came by my house and suggested we go visit her mom. Just driving through her old neighborhood, where I'd spent many happy childhood days, was emotional and wonderful. My mom lived across the street from them, for several years. Her house is still there, still the same color. The only real change was, the rose arbor that went over the front gate was no longer there.

As we walked around to the back of Mary Ellen's home, to go in through the back door, I glanced up at the little window of the garage apartment. We lived there, when I was very young. I remember looking out that window, seeing my cousins playing in the yard below. This was when I first really got to know my cousins, five girls, what fun we had!

Walking through the house, memories kept washing over me. We had a lovely visit with Mary Ellen. Even with extreme health issues, her smile and her sense of humor was still strong. She and my mom always kept us laughing with their stories. I miss those times. I'm so thankful for them.

Next, Ramona and I went to one of our favorite Chinese restaurants, Golden Star. It was just as good as I remembered! That place is filled with memories as well. My grandparents took us there often, beginning back in the late 60's. My husband and I, along with our families, shared our wedding day meal there before leaving for our honeymoon.

Ramona and I talked about so many things. There were tears, some from memories and some from the hot mustard, and there was a lot of laughter. We talked about the past. We talked about what her future may now hold. When life changes the plans you had for your retirement years with your husband, you have to begin thinking about what you will now do. One thing I do believe, she will be blessed beyond what she can even see right now, and my cousin is a woman of strong faith and vision. I'm praying and believing it will be better than she can even imagine.

Before we left Golden Star, I heard a hello, and there was another cousin's wife, Dorrine! She was there with a big group of family. After hugs all around, we chatted a couple minutes. Then another friend of Ramona's walked in, and she got to share a few moments with him. As we were leaving, our cousin Mark was just arriving to join the family, so we got to say hello to him as well. I guess we picked the perfect night to eat at Golden Star.

We decided to text one of my best friends, DeAnn. She hadn't been able to join us for dinner, but she was now available to visit, so we headed to her home. What a fun time we had! More laughter, a few more tears. We talked about everything from family, loss, life, church, our homes, and even clothes. DeAnn showed us her new LuLaRoe clothes, purchased from the lovely Jenn Schram, and even offered to let me try on a couple of her new shirts. Such fun! We took photos of her in one of her new outfits, which led to some laughs because neither Ramona or I were very adept at using the smart phone for photos.

After Ramona dropped me off at my house, and I sat in my family room going over the events of the evening, I felt so blessed. Having family and friends to travel through this life's journey is what it's all about. We can share our sorrows and our joys with each other. We are reminded we don't have to walk it alone. We have our faith, our family, and our friends to make our journey a little bit easier, and a lot less lonely, and that is a blessing.


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Gatekeepers...

In my last post, I mentioned a book I was reading. The name of the book is Gatekeepers, Let's Talk About Teaching by Tammy McMorrow. I've known Tammy since she was born, and I'm excited to be able to share her first book with you! You may also enjoy visiting her blog, Forever in First.


Although the intended readership for this book would be teachers and educators, it's a book which may also give parents great ideas for helping their children develop a love for learning and for reading. It made me wish all children had a teacher with such a heart for their students.

I enjoyed the entire book, but the two final chapters, Listen to your Heart and Surrounded by Greatness had a powerful impact. I had tears in my eyes as I read them. The author is a teacher with high standards, along with love and positive expectations for her students.

I highly recommend this book for any of the teachers and parents in your lives!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Staycation, the Budget Version...

Our week of "Staycation, the Budget Version" is quickly coming to a close. We slept in a bit today, then Paul headed out in the heat for a car show. He took one of those neck scarves you soak in water and said it kept him very cool. Enough to enjoy a couple hours of classic cars before heading home to the air conditioned house.

While he was gone, I cruised the internet, listened to some programs I'd recorded, and read for a while. I'd caught up on my laundry and ran the dishwasher last night. It was nice to have that out of the way

This is what I'm reading! It's a wonderful book for teachers, parents,
or anyone else in the business of working with or educating children. 
This afternoon, with our outdoor thermometer reading 107, we ditched the idea of cooking indoors or out, and splurged on an Idaho Pizza delivery. Delicious! Then Paul and I enjoyed two movies, for the second time this week, which we rarely do anymore. We watched Tom Hanks in Inferno, which was filled with action and intrigue. Continuing on the intrigue theme, Paul selected Alfred Hitchcock's Notorious with Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman. It's one of our favorites and it had been a long while since we'd seen it. The classics definitely hold up over time, and it was as great as we'd remembered!

Classic Hitchcock, a great movie!
It's been so nice having him on vacation this week! He got to attend a couple of his favorite car shows, even though his Chevy is out of commission. He did a few projects around the house and in the garden, and we mulled over ideas to improve our front patio and flower bed. We also spent time talking about life, our thoughts about the future, and reminiscing. Sometimes life gets so busy, we forget to enjoy the simple moments. Conversation, relaxation, laughter, and just enjoying each other's company. It's all part of the glue keeping us connected and enhancing our lives together.