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Monthly Archives: November 2011

 

It has been years since the family, all of us, joined together in one place at the same time. My children, pictured above, along with their families, are scattered near and far, as are my siblings. This year we all made an effort to come home for Thanksgiving. 2011 has been an eventful year with painful losses that remind us of how fleeting life is. We all felt the need to get together to celebrate this life we are given, the family within which we have our being, the joys that we celebrate, and the compassion and support we offer each other over pains suffered. It was a joyous time that ended too soon, as usual. And as usual, I missed getting a lot of “essential” photos, but the ones I did get are priceless. Between us all, I am hoping that we can put together a family album that includes everyone. But whether we do or not, I am grateful for the kids and all my family coming home for the Thanksgiving holidays. 🙂

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This is my family. At the time of this photo Richard and I had been married for only two weeks (he’s not in this picture), and we were all in KY to celebrate Mom and Dad’s 50th wedding anniversary. It is the last photo we have of the six of us together. Gary, my brother standing beside me, died a few years later. My twin brother, Steve, the one on the end standing next to Gary, lives in Colorado with his wife. David, standing next to Dad, still lives with his family in Louisville. If you have been reading my posts on my other blog, Inspired Vision, you have probably read about Mom and Dad. As a family we have had our ups and downs, as any family does. But I am blessed to be a part of this family, filled with love, care, spiritual depth and social conscience, adventure and laughter. This Thanksgiving we will all converge on Louisville, along with our respective families, to celebrate the day of thanks for our blessings, and yes, even curses which so often (in hindsight) turn out to be blessings. May your thanksgiving be a time of recognizing your blessings, celebrating your successes, and being thankful for life in all of its ins and outs. 🙂 I am truly grateful for my family. Happy Thanksgiving!

For as long as I can remember, our refrigerator has been the message board, inspiration center, and magnet holder in our family. I guess it started when the kids were ankle-biters and the fridge was “THE” place to display their artwork, notes from school, schedules, appointments, etc. The kids left home years ago but we never stopped using the refrigerator as our message center. One of the habits we developed along the way was leaving notes for each other on our “message center,” and it didn’t take long for us to start leaving endearing sentiments and love notes. I love waking up in the morning, padding into the kitchen, reaching for the refrigerator door and by chance seeing Richard’s latest note to me. Not to be outdone, I will reply in kind. It is sweet. (Yes, I intentionally smeared the one in the photo . . .  🙂 ) When the air is tense between us, if I’m in the kitchen and happen to glance at the refrigerator door and see his love note to me, I am reminded that we may fuss with each other from time to time, but in his words, “the bottom line is I love you quite a lot.”  Nothing is better than that! I am grateful for love notes left on the refrigerator. 🙂

 

Visiting my daughters in Chicago has always proven to be problematic. The main reason rarely  visit is because the cost of getting there is prohibitive. Well, not anymore! When we moved to Cleveland, I was introduced to the Megabus! These two-decker beauties are fun to travel in. They stop in major cities and run express lines throughout the northeastern part of the US. Rides are comfortable, and the buses are wired for electricity so you can plug in your phones or computers. They advertise free wi-fi, however you will be lucky if you are able to pick up a server. I was able to do coursework off-line for the seven hour trip, so I’m not complaining. In fact, I am already planning a return to the windy city in March! The Megabus is extremely economical, too. I booked round-trip tickets two weeks in advance for a TOTAL of $35.50. If you plan far enough in advance, you might even luck out and get a $1 ticket!  Another couple on the bus with me got $10 round-trip tickets when they reserved six weeks in advance. In case you haven’t figured out, I am sold on Megabus. They have provided a way for me to visit my daughters three or four times a year as opposed to once every two or three years.  I am extremely grateful for the Megabus!

Jacob is an eight-year-old boy living in the suburbs of Chicago. I don’t get to see him nearly enough. He is precocious, gregarious, happy, energetic, a typical healthy kid who is surrounded by love, and he is my grandson. (He also loves to climb trees!) I am fortunate to visit him in the Windy City and we are having a ball. Last night, Jacob and I had a date to see “Puss in Boots” at a local theatre. Jacob’s mom (my daughter) and John dropped us off at the movie theater then left for two hours. Jacob and I watched this fantastic movie together (fantastic because I was with Jacob), ate candy and popcorn and drank pop, laughed a lot, and enjoyed hanging out together. I can’t think of a better date night except with Richard. Even then, a date with Jacob is something special! I am grateful for movie dates with my grandson!

My daughter-in-law shot this photo while she and my son were vacationing in the Bad Lands a few years ago. As they paused to observe “wild life,” this mule walked up to the car. Maria wanted a photo but neither she nor Tim knew what was about to happen. The mule stuck its head in the window and looked adoringly at Tim. Tim was a bit nervous and was telling Maria to hurry up with the photo, while she was telling him to be still because she was getting THE photo to beat all vacation photos! She is a smart gal! 🙂 Humor is not planned. It happens in ways and places we least expect. Humor is the spice of life. I love the humor in this photo, and in life. Humor helps us keep our sanity when the world seems to be going mad. I am grateful for humor!

I don’t think it will come as a surprise to anyone that I happen to love flowers. Fragrances and a myriad of colors~ what a gift! A world filled with flowers of every imaginable shape and color.  Flowers do more than just “decorate” our lives I know, but decorate and attract us and insects and birds, etc. is part of their job. Can you believe that there are folks in this world who actually do not like flowers????  Unfathomable! I will always have flowers in my yard, in my home and I will photograph flowers to decorate my walls. Sheer beauty. I am grateful for a world filled with flowers!

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