Saturday, June 28, 2008

Home from Clare's

I'm home! I am so glad to be home with my sweet family!  I think I have been gone most of June. Both trips were incredible and I wouldn't change a thing, but I am sure tired and very glad to be on home soil.

We left Clare's this morning early, flying out of Manchester, New Hampshire, stopped through Newark, New Jersey and arrived in Nashville about a hour and half late.

Last night Clare and Elaine grilled hamburgers and grilled veggies for us and they were delicious! After we got in from lunch at 'Pickety Place' in Mason, New Hampshire, we got busy cleaning things up for Clare inside and out. Cleaning the house up so she could relax when we got out of their hair and weeding her sweet garden outside.  These are my 'forever' friends who are the best friends a person could ever have!  We will do ANYTHING for each other.

I can't wait to load my pictures and share some very soon.  I have so many to show!  We went non-stop to some really great places.

It was so good to get those hugs from DH (dearest husband) and Sav.  They both wore favorite shirts to the airport. (Green on Sav because it's my favorite color and aqua polo on DH because it matches his gorgeous eyes)  Harvey and Azalea were happy I came home too.  Harvey was a little upset at first with me, but he has forgiven me and been in my lap for a while.  

All is well and I am so thankful!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Monhegan Island

We have returned to Clare's after spending one night away on Monhegan Island.  Monhegan is located 10 miles off the coast of the Booth Bay Harbor region in Maine.  We arose around 4:15 and left at 4:45 to drive the 3 hours to the ferry that would carry us to Monhegan.

The coast was fogged in on our way out, but once we arrived on the island, we were enchanted. Beautiful lupine flowers growing wild on and around the craggy rocks, and the sea roses climbing everywhere.  No cars are allowed on the island, so the peace and quiet of the island was wonderful!  We found ourselves whispering most of the time because it was so very quiet.


Our accomodations were very simple, almost like a boarding house.  The bathroom/shower situation was a little different with everyone in the house sharing, but it all worked out.


Returning home, we worked our way down the coast stopping in some adorable towns like Edgecomb, Wiscassett and Ogunquit.  A coastal town by the name of Hampton, we stopped for dinner at Brown's, an authentic lobster/fish house where you order at the window, wait until your food is called and then you carry it out to this HUGE screen porch where everyone sits on picnic tables and eats.  It was so much fun!!


We were silly and laughed all the way home and woke up sore this morning from all the laughter!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

To Clare's House We Go

Presently I am blogging from my dear friend Clare's laptop.  She was kind enough to let me blog here in Massachusetts for all my readers.  Jodie, Elaine (Clare's mom), Debbie and I arrived yesterday and already we have had such a wonderful time!

Clare had a delicious Greek dip waiting on us, followed by boiled shrimp and then homemade lasagna for supper.  She is a wonderful cook like her mom! Our bedrooms awaited us with fresh flowers, a lavender bundle on our pillows, bottled water, chocolates and every kind of reading material we could want. We slept with our windows up and felt the cool New England breeze throughout the night.

Today we took the subway into Boston to visit the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum.  It is unlike any museum I have ever been to.  It is housed in an Italian villa and it was stipulated in her will to leave everything just like she left it when she passed.  So we wandered past Degas, Matisse, Rembrandt, Sargent, Fra Angelico and the list goes on and on...and viewed them like we were visiting her home.  Fabulous!!!

Tomorrow morning we depart here at 4:45 am for the Monhegan Island ferry that departs around 8:30.  So a bit of a drive is expected.  Another adventure awaits.  Must run for now, I hear the sound track for 'Pride and Prejudice' playing in the kitchen.  What joy to be with kindred spirits!!!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Where Home Is??

With all the beautiful places I am blessed to visit, I am always ready when it is time to come home. I am grateful for the home I live in, but without my loved ones nearby, it is just a shell. 

We always think we need all these different "things" in our life, but the truth of the matter is, we don't.  When I was sick with cancer the first time, we started researching all these special hospitals all over the country that specialized in the type I had, the research they were conducting, the doctors, and the success rate.  When it came down to crunch time and a decision had to be made, I decided that the most important thing for me at the time was to be close to my family, friends and my faith.  I can say that we did happen to have an incredible teaching university hospital close by and I was blessed to find the perfect doctor for me.

Saying all that, I love to have adventures and visit new places, but there is NO place like home. Home is with DH, Sav, my parents, sister, in-laws, best friends, church family, school friends...etc..  I can easily do without certain things, but I cannot do without having my family near me.

I guess I say all this because my heart is heavy because a friend of mine is trying to decide whether they should move or not.  Should they go where their family members are, should they stay where they are, should they move closer to family but not too close? She is dealing with homesickness and truly trying to do the right thing.  I dearly love this family.  They are always thinking about what is best for their children's future and how to get them all to heaven.  But she is torn like so many young families are in certain stages of their lives. Of course, I want to be selfish and say please stay, we need you.  But, I know what it is like to live a state away from your mother.  My heart is sad to think they may leave, but I have faith that whatever they decide, and where they are lead, those sweet children have a very bright future with their precious parents.   

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Beauty of England

It is hard to do justice with pictures to the beautiful countryside that England has to offer.  These shots were made out the bus window.  The views were breathtaking!
The hills seemed to go on forever and there was every color of green imaginable.  
The cottage gardens were there for food as well as pleasure.  With so many chores to be done, the people still made time to plant beauty around themselves.  
The buildings blended with the countryside and seemed to knit the village together as a whole.  There was never a harsh color that pulled itself away from the rest.  
The brightest colors were in the garden.  

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

My 5 Favorites from Jolly England

1. Walking 3 miles one way over fells (hills) and dales (valley's) to Beatrix Potter's Hill Top Farm
2. Rydal Mount- Home of William Wordsworth in the Lake District
3. Abbotsford- home of Sir Walter Scott in the borderlands between England and Scotland
4. The Bronte Parsonage-home of Charlotte Bronte and family, author of Jane Eyre
5. Sheep!  They were everywhere!

Savannah's Top 5 Favorites in England

1. City of London
2. 'Lord of the Rings' Musical on Drury Lane
3. Warwick Castle
4. Walking to Beatrix Potter's Hill Top Farm

5. The city of York

Home from Jolly England

After 12 delightful days in the United Kingdom, we are home!  I'm not sure where to start.  Old friendships were renewed, and new friendships were made.  It was a trip of a lifetime!  I asked Savannah to give it a rating from 1-10 and she gave it a 10!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Meetings and Goodbyes

Yesterday DH drove Savannah and I to Georgia. Seven of us were at church last night and we discussed where we would meet before we head up to Hartsfield airport. Carl will drop Carolyn and Cindy here at mom and dad's house at 9:40, and they will drive us all over to Charlotte's to meet up with everyone else at 10:00 so we can all be together at check-in. Hopefully all 6 of us and 4 big suitcases will fit in mom's trunk. The fun begins!!

I was up at 5:20 this morning to run up to the grocery to get some snacks and fruit to take. Things are ridiculously expensive over there, and Charlotte said last night that she was taking a lot of snacks. So, I now have apples, nectarines, peanut butter crackers, nutty butty bars, protein bars....and also more weight to carry. Oh, and on the menu for our first dinner is Indian food! You should have seen the look on Cleo's face! Classic! She planned on vegetarian all week. Savannah clapped her hands with joy! I imagine they have vegetarian Indian food. We are going to expand our horizons on this trip!!

DH headed back to Tennessee a little while ago and it was a little hard to say goodbye. He has a pretty busy schedule with work and sports activities. Two softball games tonight, golf with Chris, Ryan and Brian at Forrest Crossings tomorrow and then next week he will come back down here to get the dogs. He will go into work every day like usual too. So hopefully he will be busy enough for the time to pass quickly.

Dad is weighing our suitcases to see if we are under limit. Me-46 pounds, Savannah-35 pounds...I am cutting it close. If it was a 70 lb weight limit, I would probably have 68 lbs..

I hope I will find a place to blog while over there, but if not, DH said he would try to post pictures that we send via phone.

Love to all!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Suitcase is Packed Tight

This was our group last year.  This year we have only fifteen going, but it will be just as fabulous, I'm sure! I'll still miss Mom going, though. Twenty-nine have already signed up to go next year to Paris and the Chateaux region!  Lots of High School graduates, so Sav is excited about that.

The suitcase is packed tight and we are ready to go!

Savannah's summer reading requirement is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and The Tempest by Shakespeare.  How appropriate is that!  We are going to try to find the books at a London bookseller, so reading them will be extra special!  I am enjoying Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.  Sorry Emily, I still tend to favor your sister's Jane Eyre.  Both are wonderful reading though.  We are traveling to Haworth, where the Bronte family lived.  Lovely countryside!

I have 2 duffle bags folded and packed in the suitcase just in case we find books and more books!  Leslie and I found out they get quite heavy when we hit that mystery bookstore in Boston.  Of course I will also be looking for some great tasting tea and a pretty tea cup! 


Sunday, June 1, 2008

Blessed Assurance

Today in worship our song leader Chris, who is home from college, led some incredible songs! But when he led 'Blessed Assurance', it was like the entire congregation was truly listening and truly believing the words as we sang them.  I had tears in my eyes when it finished and DH said he teared up too.  Words, hope, and promises like that are what help me make it through the day.

Blessed assurance, Jesus is  mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
born of his Spirit, washed in his blood.

This is my story, this is my song,
praising my Savior all the day long;
this is my story, this is my song,
praising my Savior all the day long.

Perfect submission, perfect delight,
visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
angels descending bring from above
echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

Perfect submission, all is at rest;
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
watching and waiting, looking above,
filled with his goodness, lost in his love.

Wow! The author of the hymn, Fanny Crosby, who was blind, is said to have written approximately 8000 hymns.  She said, "With sight I would have been too distracted to have written thousands of hymns."  Now that is real faith.