Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Tea time nevertheless...

 I am in love with my tea cup!  And how did she know that I collect pink depression glass and that pink is my all time favorite color?  Thank you, Christy, for the lovely tea package you sent me!  
 I had to take a picture of everything Christy included in my tea box--homemade scones, a pretty pink votive candle, a box of orange spice tea, a bag of chocolates, lovely book on friendship and of course, the beautiful tea cup.  And with it all came a very special handmade card!  I felt so special!

This was my first time participating in Stephanie's tea cup exchange here and I know it won't be my last!  Thank you Stephanie for hosting this delightful event.

Also the package came at a most needed time as my husband and I had just returned from a trip to Puerto Rico where we visited our daughter and her husband.  Mary had minor surgery and we had gone to support her.  On our return from 78 degree weather and bliss, we came home to 5-6 inches of snow and no water!  Yuck!  But to my surprise there was a package on my doorstep. What a delight it was to open my tea box and savor the contents....that is until I had to go outside and help my husband and daughters pull out 265 feet of well pipe!  

Sorry this is not a pretty picture and is actually the day after we arrived home and some of the snow had melted, thankfully.  But God is good and Hart was able to fix the pipe and by Sunday evening we had running water again.  I am truly thankful for running water and flushing toilets!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Nana time

 I drove down to Atlanta to see these precious girls and their parents.  Nan and I babysat sweet Piper and her equally sweet and adorable sister Gabriela while Lauren filled in at the office.  Jered's secretary went on vacation, so Lauren took over her job and I got to do Lauren's job.  Or at least I played at it!  

The weather was warm enough for us to spend a lot of time in their backyard.  The girls love to run and chase each other.
This is Nan and Ela's creation.  A purple snowman?

 Ela would get in bed with me in the morning and we'd read a few books before everyone else got up.

 We read lots of books, went for walks, cooked dinner, washed clothes and played games.  And the girls were "good as gold". 
All smiles as we celebrate her daddy's birthday!  Happy birthday, Jered!

He had an assortment of delicious dessert choices.

I'm looking forward to seeing these huggable girls very soon as they are coming up for a visit in April!!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

from paradise to arctic...

All my life through, the new sights of Nature
 made me rejoice like a child. 
Marie Curie

A  glimpse into my visit with Mary and Andrew in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

My first sight of the Caribbean was one of awe..  Honestly it is the most beautiful beach I've ever seen.  Blue ocean with aqua waves, white sand.  The ocean was cool at first but soon felt warm and soft on my skin.  And the ocean is quiet because the waves break far off in the distance.  We did see some surfing.

Just a thirty minute drive and we were on the winding roads of the mountains and jungle. Our destinations was El Yunque National Forest, (it is the only rain forest in the US National Forest System) Here we hiked through the rain forest, heard the sound of the Coqui, the little tree frog and strange bird calls.  Climbing up was laborious because of the altitude.  We climbed stone towers to see views like this. Afterwards we stopped at a roadside stand and bought whole coconuts that the tops have been lopped off and with a straw we drank the cold coconut water. Refreshing.

Old San Juan has a majestic beauty because of its cobblestone roads, old buildings and harbor.  This picture was taken from one of the forts that used to guard the city from invaders, built in 1535.   The old and new are mingled together. 

Colorful street in Old San Juan.  My eyes feasted on all the color, flowers and green trees.

Dorado is a small town on the northern coast of Puerto Rico and about 15 miles from San Juan. The beach here was just a lovely. Many wealthy people have lived here.
I'm standing by a fern covered wall in the Fort in Old San Juan.  What a joy to wear sandals!

We went snorkeling here.  Mary and I saw a baby sea turtle, fish with bright yellow fins, and one very large spotted fish with whiskers.  The water is very clear and not as salty as our east coast ocean.

What a treat to escape the cold of NC and bask in the warmth of Puerto Rico.  The best thing was spending time with Mary and Andrew.  Their apartment is very nice and even though it's not air conditioned, the many fans and open windows kept it cool.  Hart and I got to see the island from a residents point of view, bypassing many of the touristy attractions.  One day in Old San Juan there were four cruise ships in harbor and boy was Old San Juan crowded. We ate at local hangouts, experiencing pinchos (chicken on a stick), monfongo (mashed plantain, seasonings and different fillings ), tostones (fried plantains),  and much more. It was the perfect month to visit as it didn't rain once and the temperature stayed about 84 degrees with a nice breeze blowing.  Thank you Mary and Andrew for a lovely visit!!


This is what we came home to!  Fortunately we did have power, (but no water) and our kind neighbor had cleared our driveway for us.  Spring can't get to NC soon enough for me.  I've been thoroughly spoiled!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Escaping winter...

As I sit in my kitchen sipping the last drops of my hot chocolate, I think, soon  I will no longer be cold. What a thought and treat!! Hart and I are heading to the Caribbean, Puerto Rico to be exact. How blessed we are to have Mary and Andrew living there. I will be able to give them big hugs and see their apartment  for the first time. While the men work during the day, Mary and I will visit the market, tour some of her favorite places and just  sit on the beach. How blissful! Ten special days set apart for this trip , I can't wait!! I've always said wherever God leads my children I will come and visit. Of course if I had MY way , they'd all live next door, but not my way but God's. So Puerto Rico, Mary and Andrew, here I come!!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Saying good-by

 A lot has happened this Spring.  I don't even know where to begin.  Since last summer we have been planning for a May wedding.  Mary and Andrew did walk down the grassy aisle in a gentle spring rain May 11th.  It was a lovely wedding, with beautiful homemade decorations, all the ideas from Mary's Pinterest.  After the gentle rain, once we were all safely under cover, the sky poured buckets.  But the music kept playing and the guests ate and danced and talked.  The rain did let up for a send off with sparklers as the newlywed couple ran for Andrew's grandfather's convertible.  As we waved good-bye a few drops of rain fell or maybe it was tears.

I know I'm not supposed to be sad at a wedding but it's not everyday that your daughter moves to Pueto Rico.  San Juan, in fact, for the next 3-5 years because of her husband's job.  I like adventure and new things, but I also like to see and hug and talk to my daughter. I will miss her.

Before Mary got married on the 11th, Cate graduated from high school on May 5th.  She had a special graduation ceremony in Winston Salem with FHE.  There were six girls graduating which made for an intimate ceremony.  I liked everything about it, from my husband saying a few words about Cate, to the rose she presented me, to the speaker and especially the slide show.  A few more tears fell  as pictures of Cate as a baby, toddler and finally young woman appeared.  I am losing another daughter, I feel.  This time to college as she prepares to do the things God has in store for her.  The changes in life are hard at times, good and proper, but still hard.

May 15th the hardest thing happened.  My husband's father died.  Granddaddy Gordon had been sick for five weeks and after a while we knew he didn't have much time left.  But it was still hard to lose him.  We had seen him the day before and he still knew Hart and asked for me.  I held his hand as he struggled to keep awake and to lay still.  It was painful watching him.  Hart stroked his father's head and spoke comforting words to him. We told him we loved him. The next day Hart's sister called and said that her dad was gone, gone home to heaven.  Relief but sadness overwhelmed us.  It is so hard to say good-by.

May 5th, May 11th and May 15th are dates I will never forget.  These days are ingrained in my memory forever.  The days I said good-by to a part of my life.  I know it will never be the same.  While my tears have dried, I am trying not to be sad.  How can I be when it is all good.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A long distance relationship

Living six hours away from my daughter and her husband was already hard enough.  But add two darling granddaughters to the equation and I cannot not tell you how my heart aches to be near them, not to mention my arms that want to hold and touch them.  Knowing that the Hull family is where God wants them,  gives me peace of mind.  Our intention is to visit once a month, but we don't always make it, due to varying, busy schedules.  So what does a grandma do?  Facetime.  I love it.  It isn't the same at all, but I do get a glimpse into their home and a good look at the little faces and bodies that are growing and changing. I can hear my toddler's voice and the cooing of the little one. All as I hold my phone.  And I do get kisses, albeit long distance.  For that I am thankful.