Category Archives: seasons

Friday 5: Only 2 at a time allowed

I’ve discovered something about myself: I can only handle 2 crises at once (and of course I’d prefer only one crisis — or none at all — but life doesn’t seem to work that way).

Here, in current order, are the 5 crises I am juggling for those top 2 spots:

1. My mother’s cancer and continual decline despite her denial (definitely the top stressor this week)

2. Selling our house (trying to be top stressor but being trumped by Mom’s cancer)

3.   The logistics of moving (When? Where? How?)

4. The arrival of 4 more adults next weekend– bringing our household up to a count of NINE — for 2 weeks of graduation festivities and moving mayhem.

5.  The graduating senior who must be prepared for college (he will probably be fine, but his mother isn’t prepared to send him off)

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Friday 5: Hope

For those of you in the Northern Hemisphere who have yet to see Spring, I offer you hope:

Wishing for you a weekend of warmth. ♥

Today

SederAfter a week of ups and downs, where joyous shouts are followed by thoughtful ceremony, where meaning is found in simple, everyday items — parsley, salt water, wine, and egg…

A week that takes us through our own understanding of things like freedom and faith and sacrifice…

A week that culminates (for me) in a glorious morning that cannot be hidden by rain and clouds, as sadness and darkness turns to joy and light:

Sunrise

A morning like any other and yet like no other morning before or since…

New Life springs forth and glory is revealed!

HAPPY EASTER!

Sharing 42 out of 276 (pictures, that is)

My BFF came for a visit over the weekend.

Red Fox Inn

Peanut Soup at the Red Fox InnWe had a lovely lunch at the Red Fox Inn: peanut soup and crab cake sandwiches. Yum!

This historic inn located in the town of Middleburg has been in business since 1728.

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We spent the better part of one day exploring Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.

Harpers Ferry

Harpers Ferry

Harpers Ferry

Harpers Ferry

Harpers FerryAcross the Potomac River from Harpers Ferry is the C&O Canal and Towpath. The Railroad and the C&O Canal were in competition with one another. In the end, the trains were faster and cheaper. The C&O Canal Towpath is now a lovely trail for hiking and biking.

Harpers Ferry

Harpers Ferry

Harpers FerryHarpers Ferry is nearly the half-way point on the Appalachian Trail.  It is also the site of John Brown’s fort.

This town changed hands 8 times during the Civil War.

Harpers Ferry

Harpers Ferry

Harpers Ferry

Harpers FerryIt’s a long way up these steps to the place where Thomas Jefferson wrote eloquently about the view… but it’s worth it.  Along the way you will pass a church that escaped shelling during the Civil War by flying the British “Union Jack” flag, proclaiming that it took no sides — neither North nor South. You will also pass a church that did not have the same luck.

[click to embiggen]

Harpers Ferry

Jefferson Rock at Harpers FerryAbove is the spectacular view (from Jefferson Rock) that so moved Thomas Jefferson:  the meeting of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers amongst mountains and rocky valley.

Here is where we could travel southward on the Appalachian Trail, if only we had time…

The Appalachian Trail at Harpers Ferry

But it is time to leave Harpers Ferry.

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We had a busy weekend…

Not only did we visit Middleburg and Harpers Ferry, we managed to visit two wineries and attended a Guinness St. Patrick’s Day party.
Thank you, SuperDad, for being our designated driver! 😀

Jake & the Burtones
KCINNOTX actually liked Jake & the Burtones (above) better than The Acoustic Burgoo (below), but being up near the front and actually being able to hear them clearly might have influenced her impressions. The Acoustic Burgoo

On Sunday, we traveled into The City for a museum and a foot-killing, pain-filled tour of the monuments.

World War II Memorial
World War II Memorial (Atlantic)
World War II Memorial

World War II Memorial

[click to embiggen]

Vietnam War Memorial,
a.k.a., “The Wall”

[As with all pictures, click to embiggen]

statue of soldiers near Vietnam Memorial

Lincoln Memorial

The Lincoln Memorial
Gratuitous heads of school children being photographed by their leader, left in photograph for perspective.

(Below) View from the Lincoln Memorial toward Washington Memorial. The Reflecting Pool has been drained for maintenance since October 2010.

Korean War Memorial
I very much would like to see this Korean War Memorial at night,  on a dark, rainy day or a foggy, misty morning. The statues portray soldiers sweeping through field and brush in miserable weather. Our beautiful, sunny Spring day did not do this memorial justice.

Not that I’m complaining about the weather!

early cherry blossoms

In another week or two, the Tidal Basin will be filled with the reflection of Cherry Blossoms. For now, there is the promise of blooms in bud and a haze of pink on the distant trees.

Speaking of promise… here are a few photos from the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial. His message is appropriate for today’s world:
words of FDR

soup kitchen line, FDR Memorial

FDR Memorial
FDR Memorial

FDR Memorial

Thomas Jefferson Memorial

It was a wonderful weekend.

I treasure our friendship and I especially appreciated the good times together (and the good weather!) while taking my mind off other things.

Tomorrow I’ll be “flying the friendly skies.”
I’ll be silent from blogging for a few weeks while I am visiting my mother. She had cancer surgery last week and I am going to be her post-surgery caregiver.

Hope

Hope springs forth again —
in form of opening buds,
green pokes through soil

No longer an ostrich

Edited to add: I’m sure you’ve heard or read the news today about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.  It makes my own worries pale in comparison.
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Google Images is my friend :D|
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This weekend begins the long process of selling our house. We’ve set up a couple of interviews with Realtors and will hopefully be able to quickly choose which one to work with over the next few months. In preparation, I’ve been doing a lot of decluttering (I’ve written before about being overwhelmed by stuff) and sadly packing away some of my craft supplies in advance.

We haven’t done it yet, but since it is nearly mid-March, I think we can safely pack away and store all of the winter supplies in a rental unit somewhere  to  make the  house look bigger show off the amazing storage space we have in our house. (Really, we do have amazing amounts of storage space. We just have too much STUFF!)

I’m steeling myself for the changes the Realtors will suggest to make the house “show” better.  Criticism, even constructive criticism, isn’t easy to take, but I think I’m ready.

Change of Season

The Thanksgiving decorations are still in full view — the pumpkins, the Indian corn, the “Harvest” scented candle. I’m not ready to jump into December.

Yet today is the first Sunday of Advent, a day of expectation and longing for change.  So I will light the candle and read the scripture verses, and I will wrestle with the change and hope and expectation.
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.

Black Friday? No No No!

...visions of sugarplums...

1. We have made it past Thanksgiving here in the USA, so I am declaring it officially acceptable to deck the halls and over-play the songs that will be blessedly absent from the airwaves one month from today. 

2. Please don’t think that I hate Christmas music. I actually like it very much, the classier the better! But too much of anything — be it candy canes, chocolate, egg nog, or dogs barking “Jingle Bells” — is bad for you. I speak with the voice of experience.

3. That goes for shopping, too.  Too many people, too much focus on spending money and finding the “right” gift  (which of course seems to cost way too much money)… it makes me stressed just thinking about it!  The crowds and the greed take away from the joy, the lights shining in the darkness, the focus on God and family — and aren’t those the things that we truly treasure about this time of year?

4.  I’m not all Bah Humbug! I’m still enjoying looking for the perfect t-shirts for family members. This one didn’t make the cut, but it did make me laugh:

5. SuperDad and I plan to trek into The City this afternoon for one of those 90 minute presentations that supposedly will earn us free airline tickets and 2 nights free at some hotel/resort.  We have no intention of purchasing a time-share, which I assume is the purpose of the presentation; we just hope to score free transportation and/or a weekend getaway. Now that I am writing this and sharing it with you, it all strikes me as very funny (funny-peculiar, not funny-haha). If I recognize the contradiction here, does that keep me from being a hypocrite? Because while I am not out participating in the madness referred to as “Black Friday” and busily pointing out the greed that runs rampant this time of year, I fully intend on wasting several hours of my afternoon and evening trying to wrangle a too-good-to-be-true deal.  

Bright November

leaves become bright gold
camouflage for school buses
for one week only

Musical Monday: golden

I’ve probably said this more than once before, but I cannot get over how incredible the colors are this Fall. With the first bit of cold weather, yellow tinged the green leaves. The rest of the color seems to come in waves: orange, rust, red, scarlet, and gold.  A week ago, I was nearly a danger behind the wheel of my minivan, so arresting were the reds and scarlets.

The color I’ve been following these past few days has been a bit safer, since it perfectly matches the yellow lines down the center of the road, the caution lights of the school zone, and even the school bus that stops to pick the kids up for school.

Marc Cohn has a beautiful song called “She’s Becoming Gold” on The Rainy Season CD. I searched for a link on YouTube but since it never had the popularity of “Walking in Memphis” (from his first, self-titled CD) I’m unable to provide you with an easy way to hear it now.  You can listen to a very short bit of the song here, and the complete lyrics are below:

She runs down the staircase
And into the yard
And she goes down to the end of the drive
With her friends on the phone
And her angels on guard
She’s just recently feeling alive
After all of the tears and the changes
Now there’s something that’s taken ahold
She’s becoming gold
She’s becoming gold

She thinks of a boy
That she knew back in school
And she wonders if he’s doing all right
The man of her dreams
Isn’t all that he seems
And the baby don’t sleep through the night
Something is moving inside her
And the weather is turning so cold
But she’s becoming gold,
She’s becoming gold
She’s becoming gold (I’ve seen her)
She’s becoming gold

She can hear in the distance
The sound of the cars
And she sees the snow falling down on the hill
Now the trees and the houses
Are white as the stars
And she doesn’t wanna cry
But she probably will
As she thinks about all of life’s mystery
And how slowly the answers unfold
She’s becoming gold
She’s becoming gold

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Is there a song that you connect with this time of year?