Sunday, May 29, 2016

Thoughts On Life & Death

This month has been hard, saying goodbye. This week has been hard. Two untimely deaths. Young people-that struggled with life.
This poem came across FB from Maurice Hagar, & it is a comfort to me.
Thank you, Evangeline Paterson.

I used to think--
loving life so greatly--
that to die would be
like leaving a party
before the end.
Now I know that the party
is really happening
somewhere else;
that the light and the music--
escaping in snatches
to make the pulse beat
and the tempo quicken--
come from a long way
And I know too
that when I get there
the music will never

Monday, August 11, 2014

August Happenings

Here it is a year & a half since quitting my Hallmark part time job, & I'm still struggling with what to do with myself. I don't have much motivation to clean all day, although with Seth & Cameron's help, we have cleaned out the garage this summer:)! No creative muse has overtaken me, but I am addicted to my laptop, checking emails & Facebook, and reading:)
Keith & I are trying to walk/bike as many mornings as we can. Through the summer we've been searching for & going to free evening outdoor concerts in the area--great fun:)

We're just back from a special vacation to Beaver Falls, Pa. to visit Jean & Ken, and especially Mom. Skye & Ben came up from Johnson City, Tenn., Cameron & Jen stopped in for two nights on their way to Canada, & Denny & Nancy came down from Wis.! Wish Seth & Kelley could have come, but otherwise we couldn't have planned any better to have a family reunion. (Only Kendall & Kristen & Korey, Molly, & Bryce, along with Seth & Kelley, were missing)

On our way home we stopped overnight in Harper's Ferry, which is a national park in the triad area of West Va., Maryland, & Va. We walked around the area for about an hour & a half:) The town is located at the scenic confluence of the Shenandoah River & the Potomac.

In November Keith's niece Molly is getting married, so we're excited about that:) And today Keith's nephew Kendall & his wife Kristen had their second child, a little girl, Kallie Mae! Her brother Korey will be tickled to welcome her:)

Skye's moving into another apartment not far from her present one. She may be re-located by the weekend. Glad she'll have a more up to date place-with AC & a good heater!:)

The weather's been nice this summer...warm a few days, then mild a few days. And the rain's been plentiful:) Everything is a beautiful shade of green:) The crepe myrtles are bending over with bountiful blossoms....blessed:)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

How I Love October!

“Anne reveled in the world of color about her.

"Oh, Marilla," she exclaimed one Saturday morning, coming dancing in with her arms full of gorgeous boughs, "I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. It would be terrible if we just skipped from September to November, wouldn't it? Look at these maple branches. Don't they give you a thrill--several thrills?”
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Monday, September 16, 2013

September Visit With Skye

Saturday, August 31st, Keith & I packed up & headed to Johnson City, Tennessee, to see Skye & check out her new town:) We hadn't seen her since May, so it was time!
The photo to the left was taken as we passed through Boone where she lived for 4 years & loved every minute. I've always loved that place too so it was sad not to be stopping:/

After meeting Skye & boyfriend Ben at her apartment(right on Main Street), we drove to Jack's Grill for lunch. The photo of the ceiling was taken here. Everything is so colorful & unique! A feast for the eye. And the food was a feast too--very good:)

Since the weather looked threatening, Skye & Ben thought we'd like to see Jonesborough, a historical town about 20-30 minutes from downtown JC. We checked out a few stores & a museum, then decided it was time for Keith & me to check in at the Red Roof Inn in JC--& get a nap before supper:)

In the evening we met at Cootie Brown's, where we ate outside & enjoyed the nice cool evening.
Sunday we met for brunch at Perkins. This Perkins looked pretty new & everybody was friendly:) Their pancakes are wonderful wherever:)
Next we drove out to Erwin to check out a railroad museum. We found the museum but it was closed. Still, Keith had fun taking pictures of a train working behind the depot. Then we drove a "back" way back into Johnson City. Skye & Ben checked out our motel room then we parted ways to rest before supper. In the evening we met at Logan's Roadhouse, where Ben's parents joined us--Dan & Terry. We really enjoyed visiting with them. Could have stayed longer, but it was getting late.

Monday morning we packed up & checked out, then met Skye at Hardee's for a late breakfast before heading home. Ben had said his goodbyes the night before. We stayed for a while & talked, then said our goodbyes. It was so good to see her & see her in her element:) Hoping all goes well with her in this nice Tennessee mountain town:)

Monday, September 09, 2013


“That old September feeling, left over from school days, of summer passing, vacation nearly done, obligations gathering, books and football in the air ... Another fall, another turned page: there was something of jubilee in that annual autumnal beginning, as if last year's mistakes had been wiped clean by summer.”
― Wallace Stegner, Angle of Repose

Friday, July 05, 2013

Our RV Vacation With D&N

Just back from a big "Go West" RV vacation with Keith's brother & sister in law Denny & Nancy. Our ride was a huge Greyhawk RV.

Keith & I flew up to Milwaukee Friday, May 24th, where Denny & Nancy met us. Saturday we picked up the Greyhawk, packed up, & headed West. We crossed the Mississippi River, traveled through Nebraska, & crossed the Missouri River.

Our first night out we camped at a KOA in Nebraska. It rained all night. The next day we drove by the Corn Palace, in Mitchell, S.D., an amazing building covered in corn & corn husks. A unique idea & surprisingly well done!

Next stop, Wall Drug. We bought some delicious donuts for breakfast the next morning--& Keith found Annie Oakley!

From there we entered the Badlands of S.D. Beautiful sandcastles rising out of the grassy plains. Before scouting out the Badlands we toured the Minuteman Missle Site nearby. The photo here shows Phil, our enthusiastic & fact-filled tour guide. He was so good! Check out:
This was one of my favorite & most informative sites!

Afterward we hiked a bit through some of the Badlands trails, ate supper at the National Park cafe, then camped right outside the park at Interior Campground. The wind howled through the night. I really thought we might be blown away. Didn't bother anybody else, it seems?:/

After having a wonderful supper at The Longhorn in Rapid City, S.D., we camped at Horse Thief Campground in the Black Hills. A chilly night, but a pretty site with a nice bathhouse--very important:) The following day we headed to Mr. Rushmore:) Such a beautiful place! Denny, Nancy, & I enjoyed a hike underneath the carved figures (lots of steps), while Keith stayed at the amphitheater to take photos. Next we drove to the Crazy Horse Monument, which was begun in 1948. Impressive, but it will take years to finish.

The next night we camped right outside of Custer State Park, at Custer's Gultch RV Park & Campground. The following morning we drove into Custer State Park & ate breakfast at Blue Bell Lodge, a beautiful log cabin style lodge with fabulous food:) Our favorite dining spot of our trip:)
After leaving the lodge we drove through miles & miles of the State Park seeing buffalo, pronghorn deer, & hundreds of prairie dogs--rolling grass-covered prairie as far as the eye could see.
Before leaving Custer State Park we checked out the cabin of Badger Clark, S.D.'s first poet laureate. He lived a simple solitary life, never married, yet loved people & traveled throughout the U.S. often.
Then Nancy, our scout & weather-watcher, checked her radio, & realized we needed to turn south because of threatening storms & possible flash flooding. So, we altered our route toward Hot Springs, S.D., where we camped for the night at the local KOA. A rainy night, the beginning of our weather turning gray & rainy & wind:/

Our next destination; Fort Robinson State Park in Nebraska. We toured the museum, the officers' living quarters, & ate supper in the dining hall. That night we stayed at Eagle Rest Campground, my least favorite spot of the trip:/ The next day we started back east through Nebraska & Iowa, as cloudy skies & rain & wind led the way. We camped in Sioux City the following night. I was so glad to see civilization again, city girl that I am. We arrived back in Reedsburg, Wisconsin, Saturday afternoon.

Heading further south we stopped at The Museum of the Fur Trade ( in Chadron, Nebraska, located on the original site of James Bordeaux' trading post. Beautifully decorated beaded Indian outfits were my favorites. This place was chocked full of rifles, guns, everything the early settlers & Indians used & traded. Also had a nice gift/book shop, something I had trouble finding in our travels. Items in various shops along our route were too pricey or too cheap, from Pendleton blankets to plastic water globes:/ Found some pretty silver jewelry here:)

One neat stop I forgot to mention, in southern S.D., was in a small railroad town in the middle of nowhere, Edgemont. It was raining pretty hard. We decided to get dessert late morning (crazy:)) & found a little cafe open. The owner had just baked a chocolate cake, so 3 of us had cake & coffee & hot tea. Keith had a brownie. The owner, nice & friendly, sat down & talked a while:) A special side trip:)

Nancy, our guide & map-reader & weather gal:)She's always thinking ahead:) And Denny was a trooper to drive most of our trip:)
We really enjoyed spending time with them:)

Monday evening I began feeling bad, had chills. I was very tired but figured it was normal after all our traveling. We packed. Tuesday Nancy drove us back to Milwaukee to catch our flight to Atlanta, then to Raleigh. I felt pretty funky the whole day but made it home ok. By Wednesday I was really sick, especially suffering with sweats. Friday Keith finally got me to the doctor. She diagnosed me with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Keith & I were both shocked. I'll never know when I was bitten by an infected tick, but I am so grateful for a doctor who recognized my symptoms & gave me Doxycycline, a miracle drug. (My mama's sister Margarette died of RMSF in the 1920's before Doxycycline) Even weeks later I haven't fully recovered, but am doing better. Was it a souvenir of my trip? Or was it a NC tick? It'll be a mystery.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

May Day

But winter lingering chills the lap of May.
Oliver Goldsmith
Posting this as we welcome in May with cool temps & late blooming azaleas. The trees have just put out their finest greenery in the last week.