I have been in California for twelve days....tomorrow I head home. I struggled leaving my husband for so long...tomorrow I will struggle with leaving my daughter and her husband. I love it out here...yes, there is more traffic than I have ever seen...the land is brown and dry...on the other hand, the Pacific is breath taking....it is so powerful, rough, deep and exciting. This little town of Oceanside is charming...it has gotten a bad rap in the past, lots of testosterone with all these young Marines walking around in their spare time...but, there is new construction all around, new businesses and the tourist just keep piling in. Surfers are everywhere and I wish that I had had the opportunity to be a surfer in my younger years. The food options are great, lots of really healthy options with all the regular greasy options too. I feel free here...no air conditioned, closed up houses...temps in upper 70's and nice and cool at night....perfect! I can walk to the beach, 1 block, and to the grocery store, many restaurants, the movie theater and coldstone creamery. But most of all, I love the quality time I spend with Hannah...she is and always has been very special...so, I will deal with the bittersweet...it's worth it.
Just got back from the beach with the hubby and my son and his wife and daughters...so much fun...yesterday I made a trip with my girlfriend to an Amish farm about an hour away...wow...that was great...got all kinds of fresh veggies, some fruit and some relish, chow-chow and muscadine preserves...across a little path was a truck selling fried pies...the real kind...I bought two peach pies and they were just out of the fryer...man were they good. Today I'm going to sit on the front porch and shell peas...this will take me back about 55 years to a time of sitting on the screened porch with my Grandmother shelling peas...she had a way of including me in every chore.. ahh sweet memories! Have a blessed day and a wonderful weekend...make some memories.
Where did it go...I want it back...not all of it...just a few minutes of when my kids were kids...those little snotty noses, those hugs and kisses, those family get togethers when the kids were all having fun and we were gathered on holidays, ballgames, swim meets, birthday parties, school mornings...gone...poof...now everything is so complicated...I realize I set myself up by not being more demanding and always saying whatever....well, if I had it to do over again I would insist that my kids visit me on all holidays..I would make sure they valued family time right under worship time...there would never be a question of where are we going....it's funny when I look around...I know all families are dysfunctional....but it seems like my kids and our family had a pretty normal past...now I see that the ones that had a crazy messed-up past stick together more than us......makes me sad...I'm happy for my kids...all grown with families of their own and I know it's selfish of me, but I want just the five of us again, just for a minute...
This was a crazy weather week for sure....it was amazing at my house and we feel very blessed to have been spared the really ugly stuff....those all over our state and several neighboring states didn't fare as well....The lightening blew me away....I have never seen lightening strike for so long non stop...it was like a light show from heaven...We have friends that had damage to their homes and automobiles but nothing like those in Ringgold, Georgia or those in Alabama. GOD created the earth....GOD controls the weather...there is no such thing as mother nature...wrong , wrong, wrong...GOD is in control. Pray for the mercy shown and pray for those that are trying to figure out why...pray they will know that GOD has them if they will just trust and obey...for there's no other way....to be happy in JESUS is to trust and obey!
This is Holy Week....Holy means set-apart.......it is a week that is set-apart from all others...it is the week that had to take place to redeem us...the lost....the veil was torn....now our prayers go up! JESUS died for my sins...I am not worthy....I am grateful.....I trust HIM, I adore HIM, I love HIM...HE died on the cross for us all...do not turn away...you have heard the truth...we are all sinners and fall short...regardless of what you think or others say, there is a place called Hell...if you don't accept JESUS, you will go there when you die...you won't just go there to die...you will live in hell for eternity...forever...Run to HIM as fast as you can...find that peace that is unexplainable...Wishing all of you a Blessed Holy Week!
I did it...my trip was great! I had so much fun even though none of us felt too great the whole time...well, except for Kathryn and she smiled almost all nine days! She smiled so much her dimples got deeper and deeper...that is one happy young woman and it was so much fun being a part of that. As you can see from the picture I scored pretty good at the Spanish Town Mardi Gras parade...it was pouring rain and thundering and lightening pretty much the whole time...I get determined and my competitive side kicks in when those floats start rolling...I have been known to knock folks down and go up to a float and beg for certain beads! I love that part of it but my favorite part was just being there with Candy...I had quiet moments with her dad...moments of memories for him and wonderful life stories of family, sports and cars! I had moments with Candy's children and grandchildren...she shared...I loved it...it's all part of who she is and I wanted to experience it all. I got to experience a very moving Lentin Service with Candy at her church...my first time at an Episcopal church...different for this little southern Baptist girl...but very moving...I've thought about the service several times since that night. Of course I had great food...how could you not when in Louisiana...they for sure know how to eat way better than we do up here in these mountains! I'm counting the days till I can go back...when I'm there I almost feel like I'm home....I love you Candy!
Going away tomorrow...going to see my good friend Candy...can't wait...she's my friend...my true friend...she knows what I'm thinking and I know what she's thinking...we have been friends for 26 years...our husbands use to work together, we met on a business trip in Hawaii....we try to see each other at least once a year...sometimes more...we've been through ups and downs together..she's the kind of friend you can just watch t.v. with or sit around the pool with or better yet sit at the beach with and just be silent...of course we really aren't in silent mode too often...there are things we share with each other that we can't share with family...can you tell I'm excited!!! The drive will be a challenge...ten hours alone...but the payoff will be worth it!
Today is a great day for the Brown family....as of 5 p.m. yesterday, our family owned business was bought out by a large company here in town. There have been many prayers and tears about this over the pst few years....but GOD in HIS timing worked it all out....I could fill up this page with stories of how this all came about but you would be bored....just know that GOD has protected us from many bad deals and bad business partners....he has saved this exciting opportunity for us...my husband has worked soooooo hard over the recent years and now it is paying off....what does this mean for us...less stress!!! My husband will be freed up from running a business to get out there and doing what he does best...sell, sell, sell! He is chomping at the bit to hit the ground running...pretty good for a 60 year old! I am so happy for us all! Whew....thank you GOD for once again taking care of us...
Buying or creating Christmas gifts for grown children can sometimes be challenging...I love crafting for all but this year I have been out of sorts with crafting...we moved in October and this house is just not set up for crafting...I guess I could change that, but the crafting/creating bug just hasn't kicked in. I had been looking at another blog back in the fall and had seen some incredible canvases...so creative....not your normal set-up, posed pictures...unusual, inpromtu, life moments....so, one at a time, I started having them done...after the first one, the diving board, I fell in love with these....I have a whole folder now of our family snapshots titled canvas shots...my plan is to have all these snapshots turned into canvases and whenever I get my own home I am going to cover the walls with these memory makers...the bigger the better....I now look at all snapshots with a canvas making eye...I've even started telling my friends they should have canvases made of the photos they share with me ...sorry Ruth, but your G'kids are so gorgeous and you really should have a huge canvas done of just their eyes!!! I saw on another blog a snapshot of the bloggers children from their knees down...a great canvas shot and I told her so! So here are the canvases I had made...each family got the diving board shot and then the other two I had made for the little girls mom & dad and for me! These are 16" x 20". So get those cameras out and be creative....
I have been following a blog about a year that inspires and captivates me. The author of the blog just seems so real and has a wonderful way with words. During this past year she and her family moved into a home on the lake...it was with great anticipation that I looked forward to her posts regarding the remodling of this home. It was awesome...what an eye this girl has...I have even written down some of the products she used in her kitchen hoping someday to have my own kitchen just like hers....last week I read her blog...I cried for her....her home burned to the ground...everything gone....a couple of days before Christmas...Praise GOD that she and her family all got out....can you even imagine the complete feeling of helplessness as everything they owned vanished. All the "stuff" can certainly be replaced....but what they all saw happen to their "stuff" will be forever etched in their minds. I don't think she reads my blog....but Edie, I am so sorry this happened....I want you to know how much I care...I will pray for you and your sweet family....what you and yours have, nothing can take away....your love of GOD and of your family and home is so inspiring...thank you for sharing your life with us.