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Covid Impressions from our Road Trip

19 Oct

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

September 24th my husband and I set off on a three-week road trip. Due to my husband’s health challenges we chose to do a fairly short trip in miles,  over an extended time period.

 I will be writing about the places in we visited in future blogs. Today is just about Covid and it’s effects on travel. 

We began our trip in Western North Carolina and our first overnight was in neighboring Alabama. According to news reports Alabama had a low vaccination rate and high Covid numbers. Our small town was enduring a rise in Covid numbers and although not mandatory many were wearing masks when out in the community. To my surprise only a handful of the Alabamians that we saw seemed to feel masks were needed. We chose to take our meals in local restaurants when possible, and they seemed to have adequate and cheerful staff.

After Alabama we moved on to northern Mississippi, very close to Memphis, Tennessee. Once again, low mask use but unlike Alabama, finding restaurants that were staffed well was a challenge. One evening we tried two national chain restaurants. One had an hour wait due to lack of staff, the other wasn’t allowed to seat diners unless the hostess cleared all of the tables first. No one was busing tables. Kind of gross actually. We said no thanks and moved on. Another restaurant was drive through only. After three tries we found a local restaurant that was open, staffed, clean and the smoked beef brisket was delicious. Most disturbing, in the chain restaurants, I sensed a feeling of dark heaviness.

We traveled further west to Arkansas. We like to stop at McDonalds on road trips as they usually have clean restrooms but several of them were drive through only, although their bathrooms were open.( Travel tip-chainstore pharmacies tend to have adequate restrooms as well)   Once we arrived at our VRBO in Arkansas we set out to explore the town. We found an excellent BBQ restaurant where one orders at the counter and the food is brought to your table in disposable  containers. When finished, the diner throws containers, cups etc into the garbage. The food was good and the atmosphere was cheerful. Masks were worn but not in great numbers. We drove through a high tourist area and there were a lot of people exploring historic sites and checking out shops.

Our next destination was in north central Arkansas. When we arrived at our rented time-share the road was blocked due to the communitie’s October Fest. We spent a week exploring the area and except for one crafter, no one seemed concerned about Covid. Shops and restaurants were open. Staffing was not optimal but it was adequate.

The first legs of our road trip were fairly short due to my husband being the driver and tiring easily. A week into the journey our daughter and a friend flew into Arkansas to share our trip. Fortunately our daughter was able to help my husband with the driving as we traveled to Franklin, Tennessee to tour an historic home from the Civil War era.

Masks were not required. After leaving the historic home we had planned to indulge in Krispy Kreme( Husband’s vice) doughnuts and coffee. Sadly the indoor seating was closed and a limited variety was available in the drive through. We made the best of it by finding a shady place to park and enjoy our treat. Then it was on to Kentucky, our final leg of the trip.

During our McDonald’s stops we found it interesting that most that allowed inside dining had disabled the self ordering kiosks to prevent the spread of Covid. Imagine our surprise when a McDonald’s in Kentucky asked customers to use the kiosks to prevent spread. We visited The Ark Encounter and The Creation Museum and masks were worn by around 25% of the people. The Ark philosophy was for guests to respect individual decisions.  We found restaurants open and staffed.

Now that I have talked about masks and restaurants, I want to mention hotels. Consistently the hotels appeared to be understaffed with the front desk clerk working on folding towels and managing the breakfast room. I’m not sure how they didn’t lose their minds. More than once we saw housekeeping trying to clean rooms with a small child in tow. 

If you are pondering a road trip, I would encourage you to do it. Life has to go on. Take the precautions that will make you feel secure and safe. We wiped down our rooms with alcohol  wipes and used hand sanitizer obsessively.

Take your spirit of adventure. Some places will delight but others may be different, but isn’t different part of the adventure?  We usually opt for free outdoor activities over crowded  indoor ones. That made it easier to manage our expectations.  Find joy in being with people you love. Build memories to savor.

A Quick Trip

18 Sep

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

What a couple of weeks this has been. First my husband’s sinus infection that I worried was Covid, then a quick trip from North Carolina to Florida, which seems a little crazy since we have a late September road trip to prepare for.

But and it’s big….I love free and we were gifted a free one night stay in a family suite at a Disney World resort and we would get to spend some days with our daughter. Plus, since Covid, I have been building up a nice nest egg of credit card points that would pay for our food.

What I didn’t factor in was Florida heat in September. We were spoiled with the cool mountain temperatures.

Florida does not have fall. Well at least not until December.

We chose to visit our favorite park, EPCOT and arrived there around 12:30 pm. This is our first trip to Disney with a handicap parking pass. I am so glad my husband has one or we would have never made it into the park. I’m not sure if it was due to Covid or shortage of staff but the trams were not running. We had to take a lot of rest stops. I think my husband is now ready to accept a motorized scooter that was offered to him.

I enjoy the fabulous landscaping in all of the Disney parks. This trip I was surprised at the flower choices. Coleus in different colors were used liberally, accented with caladium, canna lily and penta. There were also plantings of flowers that reminded me of field flowers. They were all beautiful.

I forgot to mention that Disney World is limiting attendance at the parks and requires advance reservations for entrance. We were pleased to be able to reserve both the entrance and lunch in one of the country themed restaurants. We chose Germany. I had checked out the restaurants online and noted that the Biergarten Restaurant was currently serving an all inclusive buffet, minus alcohol. That was extra. With online check in using an app no lines were necessary and that was a plus. The Disney dining app even gave us a count down to check in time notification. That was quite helpful and we resting at a table with an umbrella after the walk to get near the restaurant.

Once our name was called, a funny thing happened. Our party and another one were booked for the same time and had the same first and last name! Only ours was a party of three and they were a party two. It took some paper shuffling for the cast members to straighten it out.

The meal was delicious. I enjoyed the beer and cheese soup and their version of Mac and Cheese. The desserts were yummy too. I filled a plate with one each of the desserts (they were small) and we tried them all. My husband enjoyed a couple of them so much he had to have his own slices. He is very sweet to let me share pictures of him with food.

Our sugar binge is over, done, history. For now.

The Biergarten also had entertainment. Here is a short clip. I imagine this would be a fun restaurant with a large group of friends or family. How do they manage to blow those long horns?

After lunch we received notification our resort room was ready. Once again, check in was done in the app so no line to wait in. It took us awhile to make it to the park exit. When we were close to the parking lot, our daughter went ahead and brought the car to pick us up.

We stayed at The Art of Animation. By the time we arrived there I was too hot and tired to take a photo of the outside. Our building theme was Cars, as in the movie, Cars and the room decor was cute. Along with a queen size bed, the suite had a queen Murphy bed that by day, masquerades as a table.

Thoughts about Covid and Disney. Masks are required at all indoor spaces and some people wore them outdoors as well. It was easy to be socially distant for us, but we did notice that people waiting in lines were not maintaining distance outside. Since I didn’t go into the buildings, I don’t know what it was like indoors. There were a couple of rides we would have enjoyed but we decided to pass on them at this time.Except for the area around Mexico (which I am pretty sure was because people were trying to find a way to get a cold Margarita) we didn’t feel crowded. In the evening, we visited Disney Springs, the restaurant and shopping district. Masks were worn outside there, more so than in the park.

This trip was planned several months ago. The morning after arriving in Florida, we learned our son in North Carolina had Covid and was admitted to hospital and was placed on a vent. We were scared. I cried a lot the first day. Yet I was thankful to be in Florida with our daughter so that we could face this together. So we could pray together. He was in a small local hospital and they were looking for an ICU bed for him in a large facility. We prayed for that bed, thinking he would go to Mission Hospital in Asheville. We were kind of stunned when we learned he was transferred by air flight over 280 miles to Duke University Hospital in North Carolina. The number one hospital in the state. I am thankful God’s ways and thoughts are higher than mine. Yesterday was 10 days on a vent and the reports had been up and down. Then we received the call. Our son was off the vent, breathing on his own and talking. We almost had church in the parking lot of Sam’s Club. His wife is going to be allowed to visit him soon and that will be good medicine for both of them.

Our son may have a long recovery ahead and we will continue to pray and give thanks. Through all of this, we have been blessed with comfort that for us, can only come from God. One of my favorite passages in the Old Testament is about the twelve spies sent to check out the Promised land. Ten of them returned saying no way, no how. Those dudes are big. But two, Joshua and Caleb said yes they are but our God is bigger. The Israelites went with the opinion of the 10 and that didn’t turn out too well. A month ago, I made a magnet for my refrigerator that reads, “The Israelites saw giants but Caleb and Joshua saw God.” Daily and sometimes, minute by minute I prayed, “The doctors see Covid Pneumonia but I see God.” That was my comfort, is my comfort and it is available to everyone.

My final thought. I am trusting that our son will recover completely. I grieve for the many, many who have lost people they love to this horrid virus. I like this verse in Romans12:15

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

May our days soon be filled with more rejoicing and less mourning due to this virus.

I'm a winner

After my retirement, I decided to re-learn the canning and preserving skills I learned from my mother but hadn’t practiced for twenty years. I titled the blog Old Things R New to chronicle my experience.  Since then I have been blessed to have six other bloggers join me, DiVoran Lites, Bill Lites,  Judy Wills, Louise Gibson, Janet Perez Eckles and Melody Hendrix

In addition to blogging, I work as the publicist/marketer/ amateur editor and general  “mom Friday” for my author daughter, Rebekah Lyn. I also manage her website, Rebekah Lyn Books  

My 2021 goal is continue touse my love of photographs and words to be an encourager on social media. You can visit Real Life Books and Media You Tube Channel if you would like to view some of the mini-videos I have created for our church, Gateway Community in Titusville, Fl.

Just a Little Talk with Jesus

7 Sep

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Of late, I have been singing myself to sleep with the song “Just a Little Talk with Jesus” One of the many seeds of faith planted in my child heart that now sustains me as our child faces a difficult decision. Oh parents, isn’t it the hardest when we have to stand by while our child struggles?

Isaiah 55:11 is a frequent verse that I have often associated with those turning away from God, praise God it also means the seeds of His truth planted in our hearts will not be lost, but will grow. They will multiply. They sustain me.

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

I have precious memories of my family and my mother’s sister’s family singing this song. My uncle Connie could really hit the low notes. My dad sang tenor and played guitar, mom added her unbelievably beautiful alto and my aunt Della her clear, high soprano. How I wish we had the modern recording abilities then, but memories live beyond every new technology.

I listened to two versions of the song on You Tube. One with Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash The other an unknown to me group of African A Capella singers, Jehovah Shalom A Capella. The celebrity rendition was snappy and upbeat but I loved the smiles and blending voices of the African singers.

The days we are living in are hard and some days hope seems to have vanished. Even friends who have remained positive during the season are weary. I am weary. And yes, there is a song from my childhood for that. Come Unto Me. To keep my mind from dwelling on the negative I try to fill my mind and heart with God’s peace.

When churches were closed, so many went online and that has been a huge blessing to me! I regularly watch First Baptist Orlando. The pastor, Dr.David Uth is kind and loving and teaches in an easy to understand manner. The congregation is diverse and the church cares about the community and devotes time and money to it. The singing is wonderful. The 8:30 service music is a blend of traditional and contemporary and I enjoy it. The old songs soothe my heart and the newer ones lift it!

My Florida home church, Gateway Community is also online. The pastor, Clay Stephens is totally different from David Uth but they both love and serve God and although both can be called Doctor, neither uses the title. We call ours, Pastor Clay. He doesn’t have the smooth delivery of many, I am 100% positive the man has serious ADHD but a pastor doesn’t have to be perfect to serve God. Our small church is blessed to call him pastor. He is currently doing a series on Revelations available on You Tube. I have heard this preached many times but I appreciate that Clay admits to not having all the answers.Each week he stresses God’s love for all through the difficult times. Although, unlike the Orlando church we are small, we operate a food pantry to assist our neighbors.

All of the above to say, there is hope and there is peace to be found. You don’t have to venture into a church to find it. You are not alone and you are loved.

I'm a winner

After my retirement, I decided to re-learn the canning and preserving skills I learned from my mother but hadn’t practiced for twenty years. I titled the blog Old Things R New to chronicle my experience.  Since then I have been blessed to have six other bloggers join me, DiVoran Lites, Bill Lites,  Judy Wills, Louise Gibson, Janet Perez Eckles and Melody Hendrix

In addition to blogging, I work as the publicist/marketer/ amateur editor and general  “mom Friday” for my author daughter, Rebekah Lyn. I also manage her website, Rebekah Lyn Books  

My 2021 goal is continue touse my love of photographs and words to be an encourager on social media. You can visit Real Life Books and Media You Tube Channel if you would like to view some of the mini-videos I have created for our church, Gateway Community in Titusville, Fl.

Is It Ok to be Lazy?

4 Sep

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

My burning question of the day: is it ok to be lazy?

The weather here in the North Carolina mountains has turned Fall-ish. The last two mornings I have savored time on the porch, enjoying coffee and leisurely conversation with my husband. Morning porch times has extended well into mid morning.

Hurricane Ida tracked through our area as a tropical storm dropping a fair amount of rain. Reports on Facebook of the local falls being full, compelled me to see them for myself. So we did. And they were beautiful.

We have been enjoying Dry Falls for 40 years beginning during our annual vacations. During drought it still flows but not with such vigor. In years past one climbed down several levels of stone steps. At the bottom you can walk behind the falls. It’s refreshing on a warm summer day. A few years ago the park service added an handicap accessible viewing area and that is where we viewed it today. One winter the temperatures dropped very low for several days and we were able to see it with frozen ice surround ing. It was awesome.

Bridal Veil Falls, just a few miles away, was another summer favorite. Its flow is usually gentle and our children enjoyed “mining” for gem stones at the bottom. One year they found several small stones that were either garnet or rubies. I put them in an empty can of Pringles potato chip for safe keeping. Ha ha. In the process of cleaning out the car after vacation, I threw the chip can in the trash.

Now as I write this in mid afternoon I am watching a girl’s television show with my daughter. We watch together using FaceTime. I loved the moments in this day.

I didn’t accomplish anything at all, except for a couple of computer chores for church. I was lazy today, but I’m retired, so that’s ok-right?

I'm a winner

After my retirement, I decided to re-learn the canning and preserving skills I learned from my mother but hadn’t practiced for twenty years. I titled the blog Old Things R New to chronicle my experience.  Since then I have been blessed to have six other bloggers join me, DiVoran Lites, Bill Lites,  Judy Wills, Louise Gibson, Janet Perez Eckles and Melody Hendrix

In addition to blogging, I work as the publicist/marketer/ amateur editor and general  “mom Friday” for my author daughter, Rebekah Lyn. I also manage her website, Rebekah Lyn Books  

My 2021 goal is continue touse my love of photographs and words to be an encourager on social media. You can visit Real Life Books and Media You Tube Channel if you would like to view some of the mini-videos I have created for our church, Gateway Community in Titusville, Fl.

Our Covid Tests Were Negative and Other Things.

28 Aug

My Take

Onisha Ellis

On the 12th of August my husband began to feel unwell. I fretted, and he insisted it was a sinus infection. By the weekend he wasn’t feeling well at all and I had begun to have sniffles. On Monday morning I called the county health department and we went for tests in the afternoon. We didn’t get the results until Thursday. Meanwhile my husband’s sinus pain worsened but my symptoms disappeared. Our local hospital has a fairly good urgent care center and as soon as we had the results, we drove to the center armed with his report. My husband was right…sinus infection. Thankfully the medicines are working and he is on the mend.

Our daughter was here for a short visit and was supposed to fly home on the 16th. A few days before her flight, she received a message the airlines had cancelled the flight. That turned out to be fortuitous as around 1 am on the 16th the electricity went out for 10 hours. None of us slept well after that. It would have made for a very long day for her.

Once we were all up and about, I wanted to go into town to get coffee. We have a Coleman camping stove but it was buried in the garage and I didn’t want my still recovering husband to have to dig it out but, well, you know men. He found it and set it up. Our daughter went upstairs and brought down our ancient stove top percolator. As I prepared the coffee pot I wondered if I would still be able to make a decent cup of perked coffee. Once the pot began to bubble, it all came back to me. I adjusted the flames and watched the color change in the glass knob on the top. I told my daughter I was passing on to her the ancient art of making coffee. It turned out quite well.

While our daughter was here we managed to visit a couple of waterfalls in between rain showers.When we arrived at Whitewater falls after an hour and a half drive it was raining and we were starving. Fortunately there was an empty picnic shelter that we could pull up to and unload the food.

We visited this waterfall a few weeks ago with our cousins and were anxious to share it with our daughter.

Our next stop was Silver Run falls. I think of this as a friendly waterfall. The trail is short and well maintained and the falls, while not majestic are pretty and is a favorite place for locals to let their children splash.

Our daughter had rebooked her cancelled flight for Thursday but when our Covid tests results weren’t available on Wednesday she asked for and received permission to work from our home in North Carolina until Monday. We of course, were thrilled to have her with us a few extra days. Before she left, the two of us had lunch at an interesting restaurant near downtown. All of the seating was outdoors, some under a shelter and others covered with large umbrellas. Those umbrellas were came in handy as yet one more rain shower passed over.

On Monday we had to be up at 5 am to take her to the airport. i am not fond of arising before the sun but I do enjoy a nice sunrise. From our home in the mountains, we seldom see sunrise so I was looking forward to a spectacular one! I forgot about fog. I had resigned myself to no sunrise and then we rounded a curve in the road and there it was.

We enjoyed her visit and the house feels a little lonely now.

I'm a winner

After my retirement, I decided to re-learn the canning and preserving skills I learned from my mother but hadn’t practiced for twenty years. I titled the blog Old Things R New to chronicle my experience.  Since then I have been blessed to have six other bloggers join me, DiVoran Lites, Bill Lites,  Judy Wills, Louise Gibson, Janet Perez Eckles and Melody Hendrix

In addition to blogging, I work as the publicist/marketer/ amateur editor and general  “mom Friday” for my author daughter, Rebekah Lyn. I also manage her website, Rebekah Lyn Books  

My 2021 goal is continue touse my love of photographs and words to be an encourager on social media. You can visit Real Life Books and Media You Tube Channel if you would like to view some of the mini-videos I have created for our church, Gateway Community in Titusville, Fl.

Girl’s Day Fun

13 Aug

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

My husband and I share our birthday month, August and exactly two weeks apart. Our daughter in Florida plans to visit between our birthdays to celebrate both. Husband’s day was on Tuesday and our daughter arrived from Florida on Wednesday. Not even close to half way between, but who cares? She is here and we are happy

Wednesday was a long day for my husband, what with the trip to the airport, a late lunch, some shopping and then an hour and a half drive home. After a long day, he needs a full day to recuperate, so I planned a fun girl’s day adventure, locally of course.

Someone recently asked in the what’s happening in Franklin Facebook group, where to find a good bakery. I was surprised at the number of bakeries in this small town. I decided our girl’s adventure would be a spin off of the well known pub crawl. We would do a bakery craw

Armed with the phone GPS I typed in the first bakery address, Cinnamon Hill Pastries and Gelato. We wouldn’t have found it without the GPS. I am pretty sure the previous building tenant was a tattoo parlor and I would have driven right past it. Actually Rebekah would have driven past, as I was navigating. Once inside there was no sign of its possible tattoo history with it’s gleaming wood floors and large, bright windows. The owner had a large assortment of homemade gelato and a small assortment of European pastries. We decided to share an Italian pastry with a long name. The owner suggested simply calling it a seashell pastry due to its shape. The outer texture was similar to an italian bread loaf yet flaky like a croissant. Inside was infused with orange flavor and ricotta. It was delicious. For our gelato, we chose hazelnut. I haven’t been a fan of hazelnut, it always seems to taste blah. But this hazelnut was good

Our next stop was Brooklyn Bagels, a recommendation from a friend who heard about our adventure. She spoke so highly of it, we had to try it. Situated on a corner in Franklin’s downtown, it is a good location for those looking for a quick treat or meal. I was impressed with their menu which included sandwich bagels and even a pizza bagel! The owners are friendly and definitely from New York. Their goal is to give their customers good service with wait times under 5 minutes. Rebekah chose an Asiago bagel to enjoy for breakfast Friday.

A customer in Cinnamon Hill recommended Bend Willow Bake Shop for its breads. It should have been s straight shot down from Brooklyn Bagels and it was, we simply didn’t see it. After passing it, GPS rerouted and suggested we turn the wrong way on a one way street. With two failed attempts we decided to move on to La Toluca, a Mexican bakery that had rave comments on Facebook for quality and price. We did make a quick stop at the library used book store so Rebekah could dash in to search for books by two of her current favorite authors. That girl reads so many different genres I can’t keep up with her favorites.

La Toluca did not disappoint. As soon as we entered we inhaled the tantalizing aroma of fresh baking. I admired the lighted display cases with their overwhelming assortment of pastries. After a lot of oohing we decided on a pineapple pastry and planned to stop at a local park to eat it but plans change.

Since we would be approaching Bend Willow Bake Shop from a different direction, we decided to give the GPS one more chance. We found the bakery but not without some difficulty. The bakery is in a lovely, well landscaped. two story house. Everything color coordinated including the sign. Tasteful blending is admirable but blending in so perfectly a business is unrecognized, not so much.

This bakery is all about the ambiance. A wide front porch invites one to sit a while. Inside is trendy with conversation friendly seating and the baked goods tastefully displayed.The assortment of baked items was limited, but it was getting on to mid afternoon, so definitely might have been a contributing factor. We chose an interesting pastry, peach hazelnut, that seemed to have a biscuit type bottom and a course muffin type top.

Standing behind the house is a wooden gazebo and we decided to eat our pastries there, rather than driving to the park. The pineapple pastry from La Toluca was by far the better of the two with a crunchy and flaky outside and an inside muffin texture that was light and fluffy. The peach hazelnut biscuit didn’t have much flavor.Definitely no pop. This may be due to the burnt bottom. The burnt biscuit flavor wasn’t distasteful to me as I enjoy the depth of flavor the burn adds but in this case it obscured any other flavor. La Toluca also impressed with its pricing. Our pastry there cost $1.25 and the one at Bend Willow cost $3.50.

Although rain was predicted, we enjoyed partly cloudy skies with a few rumbly clouds. What a fun way to spend an afternoon. Maybe next time she visits we could do an ice cream crawl.

Lava

25 Jul

youtube.com/watch

Beauty from Ashes. A Mountain Sunset

23 Jul

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

The smoke haze from the western wild fires created a stunning sunset here in our mountain town, nestled near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. A local weather watcher captured it on video and added music. If you have attempted to capture the beauty of a mountain sunset, you know it can be challenging.

In 2016 our region was struck with devastating wildfires. We are familiar with such trauma but find solace that out of tragedy beauty can yet be found.

Worth a Second Look

22 Jul

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Have you taken pictures at a festival or of people then within a few days forgotten about them? Life happens. This happened to me with pictures from a local Spring festival in May. Traditionally the town holds an Airing of the Quilts festival Mother’s Day weekend. Due to Covid, the festival was moved to May and combined with a Spring festival. I was slightly disappointed with the number of quilts on display. I am not a quilter, but I have heard friends talking about it and my impression was that quilters enjoy gathering and comparing their projects. Covid restrictions would have put quashed that.

My favorite quilt was done in an old style, with a knotted thread either in each square or as in the one below, in the border. I don’t remember seeing this quilt at previous festivals.

I love this small mountain town. It was life affirming to see smiling faces, hear children laugh. The canine population of Franklin was was out in force, strolling Main street with their human family, patiently stopping to be admired.

There were several jewelry vendors and I chose two fun pairs of silver earrings, flip flops and sand dollars. I still have Florida sand in my shoes and my heart even as I adore the mountains.

Our daughter was visiting from Florida for a combination vacation & work. Unfortunately, the festival was a work day. A local bakery I had seen recommended on Facebook (And Facebook is always right<wink>) displayed a tempting array of treats but I resisted them. I did purchase for our daughter’s lunch, a chicken salad croissant. Who can resist a freshly made croissant?

Returning to our car which was parked in a church parking lot, I took this picture.

The trailer is part of the Baptist Disaster Relief program and with Spring storms and Hurricane season approaching it appeared to be ready to roll.

I spied another gem in my pictures. The back of our house butts up to a steep hill that required being weed whacked a couple of times a year. I snapped this picture of my husband taking a rest break. I was so proud of him for thinking to place the stool on the hill.

Shortly after I snapped this picture, he came inside and told me I needed to go and see a tree. Ok… He directed me to the hill at the side of our house where a small tree had fallen.

After his rest break, he lost his balance and began to slide down the hill, grabbing onto the tree. He said the tree slowly pulled over, supporting him as he slid. I am thankful for the tree! On a side note, during his childhood, my husband and brothers would climb to the top of a tree while the others chopped away at the base. They called it riding the tree down. Thankful this was a gentle ride.

One more picture. We enjoyed visiting with my husband’s cousin and wife last week. It was almost like a vacation for me. We enjoyed sharing our mountains with them and we dined out every day. No cooking. No dishes. We went on a back roads adventure to Whitewater Falls, the highest waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains.

I’m glad I looked back over my pictures, I believe I felt my muscles relax as I remembered. They were definitely worth a second look.

I'm a winner

After my retirement, I decided to re-learn the canning and preserving skills I learned from my mother but hadn’t practiced for twenty years. I titled the blog Old Things R New to chronicle my experience.  Since then I have been blessed to have six other bloggers join me, DiVoran Lites, Bill Lites,  Judy Wills, Louise Gibson, Janet Perez Eckles and Melody Hendrix

In addition to blogging, I work as the publicist/marketer/ amateur editor and general  “mom Friday” for my author daughter, Rebekah Lyn. I also manage her website, Rebekah Lyn Books  

My 2021 goal is continue touse my love of photographs and words to be an encourager on social media. You can visit Real Life Books and Media You Tube Channel if you would like to view some of the mini-videos I have created for our church, Gateway Community in Titusville, Fl.

Cousins, Saw Blades and Pity Pits

13 Jul

We have more cousins coming to visit today and we are looking forward to sharing memories and a lot of laughter. My husband turns used circular saw blades into knife blades The last time we visited with these cousins, they gave Mike a whole box of used blades. They had belonged to his recently deceased dad. Mike will be demonstrating to him how to do this. I think repurposing some of the blades will be special.

Family visitors and laughter are good medicine for the heart. Something else that is good for the heart is Philippians 4:8. Many years ago as a young wife I found myself frequently fuming over petty slights or comments my mother-in-law made. The verse has raised me out of my pity pit many, many times since.

Tomorrow is the 28th anniversary of my dad’s move to Glory. He was a good and imperfect dad. Sometimes it seems I miss him more as the years pass or maybe, I don’t remember the depth of loss from that time.

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