Sunday, August 30, 2009

Week End thoughts

We have enjoyed a lovely week end.

Friday night we joined with family and friends to introduce some Texas friends to the fine art of eating crabs. If you have never seen a crab up close figuring out how to get inside can be a bit daunting. The friends caught on quickly and were using their crab mallets like experts by the end of the evening. The first person to eat a crab must have been very brave and very hungry to try to break inside that ugly shell for dinner.

We slept late and Saturday and moved slowly for a few hours. I finished re-reading “Pillars of the Earth.” Wow, that is a great a story. I had read it several years ago, but had forgotten a lot. I think I enjoyed it more this time. What books have read over again and enjoyed more the second time?

We went to see “Julie and Julia” in the late afternoon. Great movie! There is one scene in which the young blogger gets into a big fight with her husband. He is feeling angry and resentful because she has been spending so much time with her blog. Have you ever let your blog interfere with your life?

We came out of the movie hungry for good food. Not knowing where to find a French restaurant we found a lovely Italian place and enjoyed a well prepared, delicious dinner.

Sunday morning is one of my favorite times of the week. I love going to church. The singing is always good. The sermon was interesting. The people love each other. It is just a good place to be. Then this afternoon the church had their annual crab feast. More crabs and more friends. Maybe one day I will actually learn to like eating crabs. I eat a piece of chicken and enjoy watching the others picking crabs. It is just one of those events that is part of living in Maryland. Do you love eating crabs?

This evening we went to the pool for an hour. We both have been plagued with arthritis pain lately, but in the pool we can move without pain. It is so much fun to glide through the water and just enjoy the movement and not think about hurting. It was a lovely way to wind up a lovely week end.

What did you do this week end?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sunrise, Sunset

We had an end of summer family gathering last Sunday. The excuse we used for the party was to wish our third grandchild bon voyage as she heads off for college this week, but mostly we just wanted a chance to be together. We talked, we ate, we laughed, we played, and of course we took pictures. When I looked at my grandbabies I realized that they are not babies at all. The are young adults and teen agers. How did they manage to grow so quickly? My eldest granddaughter, our Disney princess, has just started a new job in a downtown law firm. Her brother has just signed all the papers to join the Air Force. He will be leaving in a few months for a new life. Grandchild number three is heading to Pennsylvania to begin college. The next three are all in high school and the little one began junior high school this week. How did this happen?

Could it be that I am getting older too?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Vacation Memories

It was lovely to wake up to an empty, quiet house today. Our Disney vacation with the boys was wonderful, but it is nice to be home to my quiet routine.

There were lots of wonderful moments on our vacation. One of my favorite memories was the Rockin' Roller Coaster. The boys really wanted to ride, but the line was ninety minutes long. As we stopped to talk about whether the ride would be worth the wait a young Disney cast member came over to us and asked if we wanted to ride. We said yes but the wait was too long. She replied that she had just been told to pick a family for a VIP tour of the ride and she picked us. We bypassed the long line and she took us onto the ride telling us all how she loved working on this ride. At the close of every day they enjoy an all-cast ride and everyone who works the ride goes on it together. She loved it. Grampa and I decided to skip the ride itself, but did enjoy the pre-ride show. The boys loved it and agreed that it was the best ride of the week. You can see their joy in this picture as they sped out of the starting gate.

Another favorite moment was from the day we decided to sleep late and skip the Disney crowds. We went to Gatorland for a couple of hours of alligator viewing. We fed the gators and watched an alligator show. It really was great fun with no crowds.

Vacations with grandchildren make wonderful memories!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Disney World

Last Christmas my sixteen-year-old grandson was diagnosed with diabetes. He was pretty sick and spent a week in the hospital. Life has been difficult for DQ. He has had severe behavior problems that led to major problems at home and at school. He now lives in a group home with six other boys. Last Christmas I made a deal with DQ. If he would follow the diet and get his sugar under control, get his school work on track and make the honor role, and keep his behavior in line, then I would take him to Disney World this summer. I really did not think he could pull all three of those off, but he surprised me. He is off insulin and controls his disease with a pill and diet. He is on the honor roll at school. Life is good and he is getting along with all the people in his life. I am very proud of him.

We leave for Orlando tomorrow for a week in the happiest place on earth. His fourteen-year-old cousin is joining us for our Disney adventure. Both boys are very excited.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I really do not like politics because nobody ever seems to listen to anybody. It is just people shouting and saying bad things about people with whom they think they disagree.

If I have figured it out right there are liberals and there are conservatives. The liberals think government should have a larger role in how things are done. The conservatives think government should do less and let the free market and individuals have more say in how things are done. That is an honest difference of opinion about what is the best way for the country to operate. One idea is not evil and the other good, but they are different opinions. People might want more government control in some areas of life and less in others, so there is some liberal and some conservative in all of us. I just don't understand all the screaming and shouting. It makes my ears hurt and does not help to solve anything.

Obama is a liberal. The conservatives say he is evil. If he could fix the economic mess we are in tomorrow the conservatives would find fault because they are convinced he can do nothing that is good. It seems impossible for them to listen to him. My conservative friends quote conservative authors and pundits to back up their point of view. Gingrich, Limbaugh and Palin are conservatives. The liberals seem to hate them and mock everything they say as hate filled fear mongering. The liberals quote other liberals to back up their point of view. It seems that nobody is really listening and there is great fear among us. It makes me sad and angry.

I tend to lean to the liberal side of things. I think the government needs to intervene to make things better. I have family and friends who disagree with that idea. I respect that we are honest, patriotic people who disagree. We do not need to shout. We need to listen and respect one another.

Is it possible for people to be more respectful of one another?

Monday, August 10, 2009


They sang my favorite hymn during church yesterday. We don't sing it very often, but every time it is sung my heart seems to swell up inside me and tears begin to fall. There is just something about it that has always touched the deep places in my soul.

I grew up in the Church of Christ. Sunday morning, Sunday evening and Wednesday evening were always times to meet for worship. I loved going to church. One of my favorite things was when occasionally on Sunday or Wednesday evening the congregation got to choose the songs we sang. As soon as the song-leader would ask if there was a request my hand would shoot up and I would yell out, “Number 299!” “OK, we'll sing your favorite song, Sue.” I would then smile and sing with all the feeling my heart felt.

I was an adult before I learned the story behind the hymn. It was written in 1873 by a man named Horatio Spafford. He was a successful businessman in Chicago. He and his wife Anna were blessed with five children. In 1871 their youngest child and only son died, and the Spaffords lost all their possessions in the great Chicago fire. Their faith sustained them as they recovered from their great loss. Then in 1873 the family decided to take a family vacation and travel to England. At the last minute a problem with his business demanded Horatio's attention and he sent his family on ahead, promising to follow on the next ship. The ship on which his wife and daughters were sailing was caught in a great storm and sank. Two-hundred twenty-six people, including the four Spafford girls, were drowned. His wife was rescued. As soon as she was able she sent a cable to Horatio which said, “Saved alone. What shall I do.” He sailed for England immediately to be with his wife. As his ship passed over the site of the sunken ship, it paused and Horatio looked out on the great sea that had swallowed up his precious daughters. When he returned to cabin he wrote, “It is Well With My Soul.”

Thursday, August 06, 2009


This week a total stranger inspired me to continue living life to the fullest.

My husband and I frequently go to the pool on Sunday evenings. We don't swim, but we walk in the water, talk and enjoy some peaceful time together. It is a pleasant way to finish the week end.

Last Sunday evening a little old lady inspired me. As we were walking in the water I noticed the door to the girl's locker room opening very slowly. A little old lady with a walker was pushing the heavy door open as she crept onto the pool deck. She plopped heavily into the nearest chair, appearing exhausted. She was hunched over with the weight of age and her wrinkled body made her appear crinkly. A man who I assume was her middle aged son came over and spoke with her. A moment later she pulled on her old white rubber bathing cap. Her son assisted her and they slowly began their way around the pool. There is a lovely, warm therapy pool with a wheelchair accessible entrance at the far end of the regular pool. I assumed they were heading there where this lady could stretch her old muscles. I was admiring her for knowing that the warm water would be beneficial when she stopped at the steps of the regular pool. Her son assisted her as she struggled down the steps and into the water. I thought they must not have noticed the lovely, warm therapy pool with its easy entrance. She made her way to the deeper water and began to swim. For the next thirty minutes this woman who appeared to be about a hundred years old swam laps. I was amazed. We assume when a person is old they can no longer do the things they once enjoyed. I just assumed she was too old. This lady could no longer stand up straight, she could barely walk, but she certainly could swim. She was smiling as she left the pool.

When was the last time a total stranger inspired you?

Monday, August 03, 2009

Make Up

Through the wonder of Facebook I found my friend Judy today. She moved away and we have not seen each other in many years. Our kids were good friends when they were teenagers and we shared a lot of the joys and trials of having adolescent children. We bonded.

Judy was, and probably still is, a Mary Kay lady. She almost got me to wear make up.

I have never worn make up. I always felt silly when I tried to wear it. I just figured it was not worth the effort for me. Judy thought I would like wearing make up and persuaded me to come to her house for a make up party. She assured me that it would be fun. I went and it was fun, but I was out of my comfort zone. We all received a sample of foundation cream and were told to apply it in the usual manner. I stared at it for a while and watched the other women. I just wasn't sure how to proceed. Finally I confessed I had never applied foundation cream and didn't know how. With a smile Judy instructed me on the fine art of applying make up. At the end of the evening all the women there said I looked beautiful. My cheeks were rosy. My eyelids were shadowed. My eyelashes looked long and lovely. My lips were rich and full. I looked almost stunning. I felt glamorous. Then I went home. I walked in the door feeling oh so pretty. My son looked up from his video game and stared at me. I prepared myself for his compliment. He said, “What's that stuff on your eyes. It makes you look weird.” I smiled knowing he was just an adolescent who did not appreciate beauty. I walked down the hall to show my beloved husband my beautiful new face. He stared at me and finally said, “What do you have all over face?” I sighed and asked if he didn't think I looked beautiful. He smiled and told me that I always looked beautiful. I washed off the make up and felt a bit relieved to just be me again.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Women of Faith

I have spent the past two days at a Women of Faith conference. It was wonderful. Great music. Inspiring speakers. Good friends. We laughed, we cried and we worshiped God together. We have already reserved our seats for the conference next year.

I can't really share all the good stuff that happened, so I'll just share a corny Women of Faith joke.

Once upon a time there was a gynecologist who had grown tired of his profession. He was a good doctor, but he no longer found gynecology fulfilled his dreams. He decided he wanted to become a mechanic. He apprenticed himself to a master mechanic and worked hard to become a skilled in his new profession. After much work and study the time came for his final examination. He thought he had done well, but waited anxiously for the final test results to come in the mail. The letter came at last and he discovered that he had scored 150% on the exam. Although he was happy with this score he did not understand how he could have scored 150%. He decided to call his teacher who explained the score to him. He was told that he had scored 50% for taking an engine apart perfectly. He earned another 50% for putting the engine back together perfectly. The third 50% was earned for doing it all through the muffler.