10 Reasons to Bring the Kids to next year’s North Charleston Arts Festival!

Gallery

I can’t believe my firstborn son will be married in two weeks!!!  I had a great time visiting with Jason and his beautiful fiancee’ Vickie this week on their vacation to SC.  The time ended with a trip to Cypress Gardens where we took a boat ride through the black swamp.  We had a great time, even if they (that would be Pedro and Jason) did try to scare me by going off the boat “trail” to look for alligators!  Thankfully, we didn’t see a single one!  And we didn’t get lost either!  I guess they taught me a lesson about taking risks but I wonder what they would have done if we’d met an alligator!  One of my favorite pictures was the mandala bridge…or so I named it because the reflection in the water made a circle.  Now starts the countdown to TWO sons’ weddings (secondborn son, Corey, marries beautiful Sarah in 40 days!) and the bridges they will cross into their futures that I pray will be bright and full of love and adventure.  

Gallery

My Dad…the legacy of a life well lived, much loved, whose lessons continue and last from generation to generation.  Two years ago today he left us and oh how he is missed.  Blessed moments once shared are remembered with love and gratitude.  He wasn’t perfect, he never claimed to be, but he was kind, honest, faithful to God, witty, loving, and strong.  He could be stubborn but it was born of conviction to stand for what was right no matter who didn’t like to hear it.  He was a guiding light who loved beauty and captured it through the camera lens.  He loved music and planted the seeds of music in all his children through blaring records of many genres, classical and big band the most.  I love these pictures that show him as a young newlywed, patriotic serviceman, and then devoted Grandpa surrounded by some of his generational legacy.  Yep, this is my Dad and I am proud to be his daughter.   

Gallery

The Edge of America…The Edge of Life…

A winter walk on Folly Beach, SC, aka “The Edge of America,” is always a journey to see how the tides have changed the shifting sands of time.  The Morris Island Lighthouse teeters on the edge of existence because the ocean is literally eroding it to the point of collapse.  There is an organized local effort to Save the Lighthouse, a historic landmark, with fundraisers and lobbying for saving its centuries old life.  This grassroots effort seeks to shore up its foundation so that it will not succumb to the pounding waves and end up in an ocean grave.  Whenever I come here I do wonder as I trudge the sandy path, like stomping through snow drifts up north, if the lighthouse will still be there.  I always breathe a deep sigh of relief when I cross the dune threshold and see it standing, still taking the rhythmic and sometimes fierce beatings of the waves, and I echo a silent thanks to the Creator of the universe for allowing this landmark to withstand the forces of nature.

Walking this beach on a warm February day while most of the country is gripped by winter blizzards inspires me to appreciate the solitude of driftwood and dead trees that tell the story of time’s passing; that say “Hey!  Look!  I am still here!  I survive the storms of life and yet I stand strong!”  The shifting sands and the changing tides fill the gaps in my soul with hope that the gritty, salty stuff of life will not topple me but make me stronger.  I am still here and I stand tall because of the mercy and grace of God. 

Annie Dillard says it better about the gaps, the spaces between things: “The gaps are the thing.  The gaps are the spirit’s one home, the altitudes and latitudes so dazzingly spare and clean that the spirit can discover itself like a once-blind man unbound.  The gaps are the clefts in the rock where you cower to see the back parts of God; they are the fissures between mountains and cells the wind lances through, the icy narrowing fiords splitting the cliffs of mystery.  Go into the gaps.  If you can find them; they shift and vanish too.  Stalk the gaps.  Squeak into a gap in the soil, turn, and unlock – more than a maple – a universe.”

Gallery

25 years ago today I married this guitar man with a beautiful voice who I met in graduate school at the University of Louisville.  He invited me to hear him sing at an international dinner for students and that was it, the rest is history.  Seems like ages ago!  On this our Silver Anniversary, I am grateful that we are still together through thick and thin, ups and downs, and the many changes life brings raising three children.  He is a good and patient man, a forgiving and loving husband and father.  He sweetly sang his way into my heart then and still does now.  These photos are from Christmas gatherings with friends.  May God bless our journey for another 25 years….Thank you, Pedro!  

Gallery

Roofus, aka “Houdini”…thought I should mention Roofus (he’s the white dog) since he keeps my feet warm and protects me.  His nickname is “Houdini” because of his almost miraculous disappearing acts from the backyard.  He is the ONLY dog we’ve ever had that jumps the fence just to come to the front door because we took too long to let him in the back door.  Pedro is constantly trying to outsmart him and he finally found a collar the dog can’t wiggle out of when he is tied up.  Even Indie, Corey’s dog, gets in on the act and tries to help Roofus out of his collar by dragging him by the chain.  It’s hilarious!  But maybe dangerous so we have had to stop that magic trickster in his tracks. 

Gallery

Of Frosts and Fires…

Leave it to Queen Callie, the calico cat, to investigate the slightest change in her kingdom and make her disapproval loudly known.  A week or so ago autumn’s first night of frost warnings prompted her loyal subjects to make some changes in the palace.  Pedro built a fire in the den for romance and warmth, and I moved the plants in from the porch to avoid frostbite.  I am trying really hard to overcome my past history of plant neglect and I hope this first attempt will help me rehabilitate my not-so-green thumb and turn over a new leaf! (Pun intended, of course!) However, the indoor greenhouse in the foyer has caused a domino effect because the bench where the plants are is the spot I used to keep the Queen’s bowl of food.  The food was moved to higher ground on top of the piano, in part to keep three large dogs from emptying the bowl when we aren’t looking.  This change has been very distressing to the Queen.  She whines to her loyal subjects and throws herself across our path as we try to get out the front door demanding that her palace be restored to order.  So what if she has to jump up on the keyboard and play a few tunes to get her food?  It is more disturbing to us in the middle of the night when we hear her strange music like she’s the phantom of the opera, until we figure out that we are not having strange dreams, just living in a strange kingdom at the mercy of a finicky Queen.  I did see her laying on the fireplace watching the flames dance and looking quite content so maybe there’s hope for peace in the land once more. 

Gallery

Previous Older Entries