Broken Bones, Broken Hearts and Broken Promises…

After a bit of encouragement today from a lovely group of bloggers, my mind started to once more formulate something to write. It has been three months since my last post. I broke a promise to myself to be more consistent in writing. I was determined and I did not see it through. I realized today that for years I have been playing at writing. It is a life long goal of mine to be a writer. A serious one. Each new year I think to myself, “This is THE year. I am going to start that novel I have carried in my heart and mind for the past twenty plus years. ” And then, by the end of January those thoughts fade and I think to myself, “Well, maybe someday I will get to it.” This year was no different, I thought maybe this year I will do it. Surprisingly enough, I haven’t ruled it out.

The past three months have been eventful. They have flown by actually. The end of October I was blessed in being able to speak to a group of women whom I love dearly. It was a long weekend retreat at a beach house in Myrtle Beach, SC. The talk centered around forgiveness and a hard lesson I learned about forgiveness and faith several years ago. It was a cathartic experience in writing this. But, with experiences like this, I felt drained after sharing my thoughts and words and emotions.

During the time of the retreat I had to miss the memorial service for my dear cousin who had passed away. It broke my heart to not be there for him or for my extended family. We each have that one cousin (if we are blessed) that brings your heart joy with each thought. He was that cousin for me. My heart smiles with each memory of him, but, I feel his absence daily with each thought also.

After the retreat, hubby and I traveled to our hometown in Northwest Pennsylvania. It was a wonderful time, it is always fun to be with friends and see family. We had a wedding to attend and that made the time even more enjoyable. Our niece made a beautiful bride and her new husband is a wonderful addition to our family.

As we were celebrating in our niece’s joy we received word that a dear friend passed away suddenly after a fall. It made the cracks in our heart deeper as we realized once more that we would not be there for the memorial service. The separation of death hurts in ways you do not expect. We have the assurance that we will see one another again, both my cousin and our friend, when we pass through this life, but, it does not ease the desire for one more conversation, one more round of laughter, one more time to pray for one another.

On our last night in our hometown, my dear hubby decided to do a tap dance with a cat, at the top of a staircase. Guess who won the dance contest? Yep, the cat! Fortunately, no fall down the stairs, but there was a trip to the emergency room for a broken ankle. It fortunately healed quickly and he is back to normal and on the mend.

Yes, it’s been a hectic three months. But, worth it. In between all the chaos were the holidays and a trip to see Mickey and Minnie at Disney World. I have found that usually in life there is chaos and confusion at times, but in the day to day things there is always a place where peace and joy reside. It is in the little things. The memories of loved ones that make your heart smile. The laughter as you explain to doctors how an ankle was broken. The victory of being able to share things from your life you never thought you would be able to speak aloud. The sparkle of tree lights and the sparkle of grandchildren as they look and marvel at gifts under the tree. The gleeful laughter of grands as they play and chase one another around the house, dogs in pursuit and mothers yelling to slow down. Life, sometimes it needs encouragement, sometimes it needs quiet, sometimes a simple nudge to just write helps immensely.

Thanks for stopping by today, I appreciate you! Cathi (DAF)

My Brother…

1 Corinthians 10:24 New Living Translation (NLT)

24 Don’t be concerned for your own good but for the good of others.

I never had a brother.  I always wanted one.  Growing up with my sisters was wonderful and I cherish them, but, I saw my cousins who were, or had brothers and I envied them.  There is just something about having a brother.  I actually wanted a big brother.  That was just not possible.

Not possible, until we went to Japan.  When we first went to Japan we moved into a small apartment on the “economy”, which meant we moved into a Japanese neighborhood and lived like they did.   We were put on a waiting list for government housing, which is an American style home.  (Well, American as what the Occupation housing was like).

Several months after arriving in Japan we were contacted that we had worked our way through the housing list.  We drove from our little place in Kikoba, Hayama to Yokohama, Japan.  There we met up with two other couples, one a little older than us and the other, a couple our age with their baby girl in a little carrier.   There were three couples and three homes.  There was a ranking order and so we knew that when the older couple said which house they wanted, it was theirs.   We ended up with the houses we all wanted, so there was no strife in the decisions.

We moved in and a few months later while I was grocery shopping I ran into the couple with the baby.  They invited hubby and I to dinner that night and thus began a life long friendship.

But, this post is not just about them, it is about my desire for a brother.  The Lord heard my cry for one and He provided a brother for me in this young man.  After we all left Japan, they moved to San Diego and eventually we were there also.

It was during our time in San Diego that Mike truly became my big brother.  With hubby deployed so often, Mike stepped in and did the heavy stuff around our home.  Without asking, he was there faithfully to mow our lawn, build fences, move dirt, anything I might need.    His family is our family, we love each other and they are Aunt and Uncle and cousins to my girls and we are that to their girls.

Michael is not just a brother in a sense of taking care of things for me, he is the one I can argue with and disagree with.  He will challenge me when I am wrong, he will correct me.  He has words that are encouraging and words that make me spit out drinks from my nose in laughter.  As they say now, he truly is my brother from another mother.  I cherish his presence in my life.

Michael has taught me many things.  His life reflects his determination to be available for others.  He looks for the good in others, he brings it out in people.  He strives to expose in people things they do not see themselves.  He has done this for me.  I have grudgingly listened to him and mentally fought what he has said to me, eventually realizing he was right all along, thus giving me a firmer foundation.

Sometimes the desires of our hearts are not what we thought they were.  As a child, I saw an older brother as a mere protector, someone to guard against bullies, or to wrestle with, or to just hang out with.  The brother I received could be all of that, but, he is a voice that will beckon me to better things.  He will show by example consistency in his family.  He can be annoying in disagreements, and he will just smile when I realize he was right.    But, even though I do not see him much now, I know that he is a phone call away and if it is possible he would be at our side as soon as humanly possible.

Our Lord places us in families, those we are born with and those that just ‘happen’ to come to us.  My family was blessed to be placed together with theirs.  I am grateful for my brother.

Lord, thank you for Michael.  Thank You for the lessons You have taught me through him.  Help me to follow his example of You.  Those examples of seeing people as You see them, being consistent in my life.  Let my life be a reflection of You this day.

Thank you for stopping by…  Cathi (DAF)

Navy Family…

Military families are a unique group of people.  Separated from biological families, they have to make and become part of a new family with each duty station.  Their children have very little access to their real cousins, aunts, uncles, and even grandparents.  So, in the absence of having blood relations around, family units are formed and the bond is as strong as it would be if you had grown up in your hometown.

As is common in some families, though, there are times where there is little communication and days of not talking can turn into weeks, months and eventually years.  You think of them, you pray for them, but life continues and soon you realize that you have lost touch with them.  Their names are no longer on your Christmas card list, and their birthdays are no longer marked on the calendar.  You have the memories of them, you smile to yourself as you remember the duty station and the things you had in common, but, for the most part, you smile and once more tuck the memories away in the file in your heart labeled (for me) Norfolk, Yokosuka, Nagai, Bangor, Winter Harbor, San Diego.

And then…   your text notification goes off at 2:00 a.m..  My first thought was to ignore it.  My second thought, it may be one of the girls and you panic trying to figure out what happened and if the grand-babies are okay.  The third thought is, ‘Put on your glasses dummy and see who it was” .  So, at 2:05 a.m., I fumble for my glasses, and stumble into the bathroom, turn on the light and bleary-eyed read the text.  It was urgent sounding.  Prayer needed.  No name, just a phone number.    My next thought was, “poor thing.  must be a wrong number since there was no name attached to the text.”   I pray for this person and then the area code sinks into my brain.  I recognize the area code, I used to have this area code.  By now I am mentally awake.  I scroll down and realize it is a different number than the Maine numbers I have.  I pray a bit harder.

I get back to sleep after feeling like I had prayed enough.   It was a group text and honestly, I think people get up way too early on Sundays.  My notifications started to go off at 5:30 a.m..   One after another.  I finally put my phone under my pillow so it wasn’t so annoying, after all, I had my alarm set for 7 a.m.  and I didn’t want to over sleep!

In a nutshell, all of the texts and commotion through the night was for a ‘family’ member from Winter Harbor.  She is ill, and in the hospital.  She was one that had been lost for me.  It was her number that showed up on my phone.  Today I talked with her for the first time in I can’t remember how long.  We laughed and shared memories and prayed together.  It brought a smile to my face.

Then an hour ago, another unidentified phone number showed up on my phone.  I answered and figured it was a sales call.  It was not.  It was someone else that I had lost touch with.  She was part of that family in Winter Harbor.  I recognized her voice, as with family, you do not have to identify yourself when calling.  You know the voice.  Your heart recognizes the voice.  We visited for a short time and the call ended.

In hanging up from that call, I realized that our adopted families are just like our biological families.  We know we are there.  We can call, or choose not to.  We can message, text, write a letter, share a post, or we can decide not to.  But, when there is an event, or an emergency,  family comes together.  We may not be as close as we once were, and we may no longer see eye to eye on everything, but, we will come together to pray, to support, to hold one another up.

I am grateful for my adopted families.  My life has been shaped and formed through knowing them.  My mind and heart are filled with memories shared with them.  When I think of them, I am transported to the housing area that had a perfect view of Mt. Fuji, rice paddies, and yakitori stands.  Or, I am immediately put on the rock-bound coast of Maine, with the sea smell and lobster traps.  Images and smells and sounds of my life.  Littered with snippets of people who have encouraged me, challenged me, supported me and laughed with me.  So, to my siblings that have been on my mind and heart today, Mike, Cindy, Debbie, Dick, Maggie, Jackie, Bob, Susie, Vance, Ruthie, Neil, Rosalee, and so many more, thank you for making me me.  My life has been so blessed by you all.  I love you.  And, to my nieces and nephews,  Janna, Wendy, Cathy, Beth, Dawn, Paige, Kelly, Kevin,  and Aimee, I love you.  You are missed and your young lives made me smile in so many ways, thank you for the blessing of being you.    (Disclaimer: I failed to mention another Vance, who started as an adopted part of family, but became family, as did his mom, dad and sister and he became Little Man’s daddy)

Thanks for dropping by today and for reading my stroll down memory lane.  Cathi (DAF)

Looking Back…

In November, I had great plans for writing about our Thanksgiving visit with Little Man and his folks.  I took pictures and I may still use them and write about them, but, somehow, time flew by and nothing was written.

I had a wonderful holiday season.  I was so busy making memories that I did not take time to write about them.  I would not change a thing.  Sometimes it is so much more important to live in the moment and catalog each giggle, each smile, each sigh in your heart than to think of how to express those deep feelings with words.

We spent Thanksgiving with Little Man, like I mentioned.  We stayed with some dear friends and we celebrated Hubby’s birthday all in the same week.  It was a week filled with hugs, kisses, old movies, mini golf, lots of food and the comfort of being with friends who are family and family .  It couldn’t have been better.

We drove home from Thanksgiving and I dove into decorating.  I took my time and I have to say that this year’s decorations were surprisingly beautiful.  My ideas of what I would like to see actually worked!  I was amazed.

We had a couple of parties at the house and the house echoed with laughter and conversations and of course, there was plenty of food.

Christmas saw Little Man and his family here.  From the greeting with my obnoxious ugly Christmas sweater (which Little Man loved) to the tearful parting and good-bye the day after Christmas, our home and hearts were filled to the brim.  Laughter rang out and there was music and old movies and new movies, legos, games, puzzles and old stories filling our home.  These all outshined the decorations.  When your home is filled with loved ones they are the perfect decoration and make the gifts and ribbons and bows pale in comparison.

Shortly after Christmas, Hubby and I traveled to Florida to see Little Miss and her folks.  We spent ten glorious days with them.  Again, the time spent with them was time that we will cherish.  Seeing Little Miss be herself, complete with singing, dancing around, playing with her dolls and her legos, made our hearts glad.  She is full of life and she reminds us how fun it is to be three…  we laughed for ten days straight.

Looking back on this holiday season fills me with such a peace.  I was hugged and kissed by two of the most important people in my life.  Their obvious love for hubby and I melt our hearts.  Being hugged by sometimes sticky hands is the absolute best feeling in the world.  I was spoiled this year with gifts, but the two gifts I cherish most are my grandchildren.  Their smiles, their laughter, their stories, they are the things that make anytime special.

So, Happy New Year!  I hope 2018 holds the best for you all.  My year ended and started in the best possible way,  I look forward to the coming months.

Thanks for stopping by, Cathi (DAF)


Reflections in the Rain…

We have been visiting our hometown.  Today, I decided to go to a neighboring town to browse some shops.   Of course, the day I decide to go anywhere is the day that it is stormy.

I drove through town and started down the four-lanes, the closest thing there is around the immediate area to a highway.  I was watching the clouds and the rain coming up the river valley.  It is a wonderfully, familiar sight to see for me.

As with any visit to our hometown, memories, both good and bad, flood my mind.  Each bend in the road brings a new thought to me, a new memory.  This always leads to the next train of thought for me, which is: “I wonder what I would be and what I would have done if I never left home so many years ago?”

As if on cue after this thought,  I saw a bolt of lightning and thunder came close by…  just like those movies where the main character somehow finds themselves in an alternate reality of what if’s…..  I half expected to somehow be transported into a life where I had never left Oil City….

But, no, instead I kept driving and parked the car by the park in Franklin, PA….   I smiled to myself as I fed the parking meter and went across the street to  where the shops are.

Looking through several of the stores I remembered times when I had visited the downtown section with aunts and cousins.  But, no longer are there Isaly’s  (a wonderful place for ice cream and chipped/chopped ham), no Murphy’s (a five and dime store).  Those days are long gone, nevertheless there is a lingering trace in my mind of the times when you dressed to go to town and you would see women in hats and gloves.

Yes, the past few weeks have brought forth many memories.  I have seen people from elementary school, I have walked streets that I walked as a child, I have driven past the place where I had my hand held for the first time, I drove by the church where I married my hubby.    Times change and people change, but somehow buildings will echo things to you and memories spring forth.

No, I really don’t know how my life would be if I had stayed in Oil City so many years ago, but, I know how rich and full my life is because I did leave.  Oil City will always be a part of me, deep down, however I am now just a visitor here, someone who comes infrequently.

It is always good for me to come back home.  The time here causes reflection, and that is a good thing.  I think of my life and gratitude comes flooding in.  I have been blessed in my life.  I had a great start in a small town that was safe and secure.  We grew up being able to explore and go in safety.  I was then thrust into a life of adventure where I traveled, seeing sights that some only read about.  I experienced foods and places I never dreamed of.  I met people who have graced my life in so many ways.

Yes, on this rainy day in my hometown, I have traveled in my mind and have realized once more, that my life is good.   Thanks for stopping by.  Cathi(DAF)

It was a flight that never ended… it went on and on my friends….

Many of you knew that I spent a week with my wonderful daughter, son-in-law and our precious grandson last week.  I had an evening flight out of BWI (Baltimore) a week ago this evening.  It was with a sad heart that I hugged my kids good-bye and kissed my little grandson.  I headed into the airport, checked my bag and headed to the terminal to await my flight.

I kept an eye out on the weather, as it was supposed to turn nasty and there was a part of me that felt like I might be stranded in Baltimore.

My flight came and I boarded.  I had two delightful seatmates.  They were two friends who were heading to Charleston for a weekend get away.  We talked about places to eat and we shared a few laughs on our 90 minute flight.

Unfortunately, though, it was one of those flights where your legs get restless and you are anxious just to get off the plane.  My dear hubby would be there to meet me and we were going to have a late dinner and get caught up on what our grandson had done while I was with him.  I was looking forward to stretching my legs and seeing my hubby.

I kept looking at my seat mate’s watch.  It was one of those large ones that are so popular now, so I didn’t have to squint to see the time.  Our arrival time into Charleston was 9 p.m..  My first glance at the watch said it was 8:30.  Only 40 minutes left to the flight.  I eavesdropped on the ladies’ conversation and imagined the fun they were going to have together for the weekend.  I looked again and it was 8:45.  Getting closer!   Again, and it was 9.  Yay!  But, the plane was still in the air.  The next glance said, 9:20 and then we heard the pilot.  “Ladies and gentlemen, you may have noticed that we have circled Charleston for the past 20 minutes.”  He went on to let us all know we were being diverted to Raleigh/Durham, NC.    There was a groan from the plane.  But, it was less than 1% visibility and it was for the best we headed up to North Carolina.

At 10:30 p.m. we landed.  No one (except the pilot) knew we were in Raleigh/Durham, until we hit wheels on the runway.  It was that dark, cloudy and rainy.  As we landed and taxied to the terminal, the door opened.  In came someone from the airport.  The cell phones and texts were open and flying to people in Charleston as we listened to what was being said.  Our visit in Raleigh was a ‘gas and go’ .  We refueled the plane and were told we were heading back up to BWI!    Several people got off the plane, including my seatmates,  but after they left the plane, those of us waiting were informed that the car rental places were closed and the hotels were pretty full.  I stayed on the plane.

We landed in Baltimore at midnight.  All the passengers went to the desk in the terminal for our boarding passes for a special flight for our plane at 6:30 a.m..  It was 12:30 before I had my boarding pass.  I was offered a discount coupon for a hotel of my choice.  I chose to stay at the terminal, as did most of the other passengers.  The reasons being that once we left the terminal, we would not be able to get back in until morning, as there were only a skeleton crew for TSA and they would not allow us back into the terminal.  Also, we would have to find a hotel, check in, get settled (no luggage was allowed off the plane), and get some sleep.  I figured by time I did all that it would be 4 a.m. and time to get up, and head back to the airport.

So, a large group of us settled in for the rest of the night.  We all looked out for one another.  We sprawled out on the benches of seats and tried to stay warm enough to get some sleep.

The airport is a wildly busy place at night!  I had no idea.  There were maintenance crews all over, cleaning, picking up, vacuuming, listening to music and laughing and talking.  There were police on segways  whizzing through the terminal, driving them down the escalator.  Some officers were riding their bicycles all over the terminal.  Everyone was polite and kind, but it was certainly noisy.

I also realized that with those wonderful huge windows that we can watch planes landing and taking off also keep the airport very drafty and cold at night.

I managed to get about an hour sleep last Friday night.  It was an adventure.  One I have never experienced.  I hope I don’t have to have an adventure like that again, at least not without putting my toothbrush into my carry on!

This Date in History?…

January 14th, 2001 was a Sunday.  It was the last day of long weekend trip we took that year for our anniversary.  Being from northwestern Pennsylvania my dear hubby and I love being able to have some time in the snow.  We were married in a blizzard and we have this affinity towards the white stuff (me more than him).

While living in southern California, my dear hubby would try his best to get me to snow.  A couple of times we rented a cabin in the nearby mountains for our anniversary.  It was always a fun time for us.  In 2001, our youngest was a senior in high school, our oldest was in college.  We rented a cabin large enough that each person could bring a friend.  Our youngest brought along a good friend of hers, our oldest a young man she was hanging out with (you know, not a boyfriend, but someone she hung out with all the time never dating anyone else).  We invited a couple friend of ours who are dear friends of ours.

We left home on Friday and drove up to the mountains outside of Palm Springs, the San Jacinto mountains to the town of Idyllwild, CA.  It is a quaint little town and it’s altitude lends itself to snow, lots of it!

We arrived at the cabin, got dinner, got settled, had a fire and enjoyed being together.  The weekend was filled with going shopping and eating and playing in the snow, mostly for the kids.

Sunday morning came, we had breakfast and I put dinner in the oven.  The adults headed back into town to look around while the kids went in search of a place to sled.  The weather warmed a bit and in town the snow started to melt a bit.  We figured the kids most likely weren’t having luck finding a good mountain to sled on.  When I say sled, I really mean that we had one of those saucers, those round discs that have handles on it and the kids were sharing one for the four of them.  But, living in southern California, you really don’t have need for anything more in the sledding department.

The two couples arrived back at the cabin late afternoon.  The sun was setting and it was getting cold.  The snow that had started to melt in the afternoon was freezing over covering any snow with a thin layer of ice.  The four kids came in and our youngest and her friend wanted to go back out for just a few more runs.  Our oldest and her friend were in for the night.  So, I volunteered.  I love to sled ride, I was thrilled to go!

The kids had found a hill down the road.  They had spent the afternoon packing the path down and getting it just right.  I followed the two girls down the road and followed as they walked down a hill to get to the run.  It was getting slippery and I was nervous for the girls.  Our youngest has fibromyalgia and I didn’t want her to hurt herself or cause her to have even more sore muscles.  Her friend had a bad back and her mom had told me to watch out for her.  But, we were all determined to get a few runs in before I went back and finished getting supper together.

My daughter took the first turn down the hill.  It was fast and I watched as she flew down the hill.  There was a little jump at the bottom and she got some good air!  Her friend was next, I watched as she went down the hill.  She hit the little jump and her hat flew off.  She got up off of the saucer, grabbed her hat, laughed and came up the hill.

It was my turn!!  I was so excited.  I sat down, grabbed the handles and flew down the hill.  It was so fast!  I got to little jump, up in the air I went and up and smack into a big frozen bump.  My teeth rattled, my body landed and I thought, ‘That was a great ride!’.  My daughter yelled down, ‘how was the ride?’  At least I think I remember her saying that.  I went to stand up and realized I couldn’t.  I told the girls that I thought I hurt my back, and my youngest started up the hill to get her dad.  I got my feet under me and said, no, I’m fine.  Half way up the riding hill I realized that my first opinion was the right one.  I had hurt my back.  My youngest ran back to the cabin, her friend helped me up the other hill to the road way.

My oldest and her friend appeared shortly and when they saw me, the put me gently into a snow drift.  The college kids chided me for walking up the hill.  I sat in the snow drift until my dear hubby appeared.  He and our friend helped me into the car.  We drove the  block and half to the cabin.  I stayed in the car while they went inside to look for an urgent care.

While waiting, I realized I couldn’t breathe well.    So, instead of finding an urgent care 911 was called.  I was loaded onto a back board and into an ambulance along with my friend who was riding up front.  My hubby followed in the car.  Down the mountains we went.  You haven’t lived until you ride laying down going down the icy mountain roads.

We arrived at the emergency room and the staff set about to get my vitals and figure out what was going on with me.  They were at first very concerned thinking that hyperthermia was setting in as my temperature was well below normal.  I finally interrupted the nurses and told them that since I was set down in a snow drift and I was still in the same wet, cold clothes, that my temperature would most likely be below normal.  After getting some nice warm blankets on, I thawed out and had x-rays and I had broken my back.

The rest of the trip was a blur of being ill from the medications and getting back home.   It was later determined that I had a compression fracture of my lower vertebrae.  My ribs had all bunched on top of one another, which is why I couldn’t get my breath.  The little jump was a small boulder covered in snow and ice.  The mound that I hit was actually another boulder that I flew into.

The saucer was thrown out when we moved.  I didn’t throw it out.  For some reason my dear hubby was thrilled to throw it into the trash when we moved.  He has banned me from sled riding.  Me?  I am still looking for a nice long slope (boulder free, of course) and a nice sled, toboggan or even better, a saucer to take a few rides down.  Anyone who knows of such a place, please let me know!

Thanks for stopping by and reading about my great adventure!!  DAF


“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

I saw this quote last night.  I posted it on my Facebook page and this morning as I was walking my dear little puppy I was still thinking about it.

October is here!  Fall has fallen!  My sweatshirts are out and some are already in the laundry.  I am happy!

October is one of my favorite months.  I love the sky, it looks like a different type of blue.  The clouds look fluffier.  The trees move from having just a gentle hint of color on their leaves, to being clothed in reds and oranges and browns.  The leaves fall to the ground to do their dance and skip and hop across the yards and streets.  They crunch when stepped upon.  What could be more fun?

There is a house for sale down the road.  The front yard boasts two very large maple trees.  The yard this morning was filled with leaves.  I almost tied the dog to the mailbox and went into the yard to play in the leaves.  I contained myself and kept walking, just enjoying this fall morning.

My puppy loves this time of year.  He doesn’t just walk or trudge down the road.  His little Shiba  Inu tail curls tighter and he prances down the road, lifting his little head to smell the air.  It’s cooler out and easier to keep a good pace of walking.

The sun even changes to me.  It’s light is not so harsh, it is like it is tired from blazing all summer long.  It lights the day and the sky, but casts shadows that are longer and comforting.

The breeze teases you in the bright sun.  It tickles you with a slight briskness.  Not cold, but not warm, just that right amount of cool.

Oh, how I love the autumn.  I love how the world around me is turning and preparing for winter.  It is getting ready to rest from the long summer.  The birds are finding shelter in the evergreens where they will be safe.  The squirrels are scampering around finding nuts and shells of nuts to munch on during the winter days.  The air is fragrant with the remains of fires that have burnt the night before in fireplaces.

I come in from my walk and think of how blessed I am.  The house is cozy, it is home.  This week I look forward to my trip up to our nation’s capital.  I will see another side of autumn there.  I am anxious to experience the beginning of winter there.  I will see leaves die and the sky turn from the brightness of autumn to the dull gray of winter while I am there.

Changes are all around.  Fall, to me, announces the change coming.  The season announces the end of summer and beckons the beginning of winter.  I look forward to the cold, to bundling up in sweaters and coats, reminding myself that our Creator yearns to bundle us up in His arms.  Fall begins my yearly look inward to myself and I, for one, am so happy it is here.

Thanks for stopping by.  Enjoy this day whether it is filled with fall weather, warm weather, or for my blogging friend in Australia, especially enjoy the tulips of your spring.  As always, DAF

On Leaving Buddy…

Yesterday I flew home from my week with my wonderful little grandson.  He is not named Buddy, but was called Bud while still waiting to be born.  But, there is a part of him that will always be Buddy to his family.

My week was filled with so much laughter.  That much laughter should not be allowed.  I am spoiled, very spoiled, in fact.  I feel this way because I was able to hold him and see him when he awoke.

He has grown since I last saw him.  He is now 10 pounds.  He is taller.  He feels like a baby in your arms, not a newborn.  He smiles.  His smiles light up the world and melt my heart.  His cry changed while I was there.  Last week he still had that little newborn cry where it is sometimes loud, but always having a hint of mewing…  You know that sound that little newborns make.

This week we saw him start to squinch up his little face and out came a sound that ripped my grandma’s heart in half.  He cried and a little tear escaped his eye.  I thought I would collapse in sadness to see that little face.  Of course in the next minute he would look up at me and smile, forgetting what he was upset about.

My dear son-in-law described it best, “so many emotions to discover.”  Isn’t that true of all of us?  We are all learning daily how to deal with the emotions of our lives.

Well, I flew home last night.  This morning I was not greeted by that cute little face with those bright eyes and quick smile.  I did not have the little squalls from needing a diaper changed or needing to be fed.  It is quiet here.  No noise, just the washing machine running and the sound of keys on the keyboard.  Quiet.  My heart is sad for this, I miss my little Buddy.

It’s All in How You Look at It

Last week I read a post from a fellow blogger about her recent airline trip.  It was filled with humor and I enjoyed reading it.  Mostly because I was about to have my own airline trip to see my precious grandson.  I read the post last Friday and thought about it through the weekend.  My flight was for this past Tuesday morning.

Tuesday morning I got up early and eagerly to get ready to make the short flight up to see my little precious.  My dear hubby got me to the airport, I checked my bag, and got to my gate.  Piece of cake.  No problem.  The time approached, and as I stood to get into the queue to board the plane, I texted everyone to say I was about to board.  Again, piece of cake.  No post here.

As we were all standing in line the announcement came on.  You know, those announcements where you hear every third word even though the people speaking are no more than 10 feet away from you.  They are the  ones who have graduated from the drive through windows to speaking into the microphone at airports.

I stood and listened.  (It could be my ears)  I heard, Ladies and Gentlemen, something about a gate, something more and then I actually heard,  we will know more in an hour and until then, please take your seats and we will work hard to make sure you get to your destination.

That woke me up!  It appears that Baltimore was having some weather issues and runway issues and by that point several of my fellow passengers were just having issues!  I sat in my chair boastfully thinking that I was above all of this, I had plenty of time.  I looked beside me and saw a young woman with two young boys in tow.  She was patient and gentle with them.  She told them to go look out the windows to see the planes, only to make sure to hold onto each other’s hands.  They were well-behaved boys, very cute.  The woman smiled at me and explained that this was their first trip to the airport and their first flight.

From eavesdropping on the conversation these boys and this woman were having, I concluded that she was their aunt and they were going on an extended trip to stay with various relatives.  Photos were being taken for Mommy and Daddy and since we live in a military town, I am assuming that both Mommy and Daddy were deployed or deploying somewhere.

After an hour, where, I do confess, I did not keep positive (well, they were cutting into Grandma time!?!)  we began to board.  I ended up sitting in front of this trio, the aunt and two nephews.  The aunt was patiently and very cleverly explaining the take off process, the seat belts, the life jackets, the oxygen masks and what was in the seat pocket in front of them.  She showed them the fold down tables and even instructed them that if they played with the tables it would shake the person in front of them.  She did this by taking the back of the boys seats and shaking them so that they would know what it would feel like to have someone kicking them through the trip.  I thought that one was very smart!

You could tell all the other passengers were anxious to get on with their business.  It was the attitude we all can have when travelling.  Just get me there and get me off the plane.

As we started to taxi to the runway the boys, in unison began a sing-song, that grew with excitement, “We’re on a plane… we’re on a plane!” At first, it was quiet, but then they could not control themselves.  I looked around and the passengers who had thought that, but not singing that phrase started to smile.  They turned. and in an instant, you could see the plane full of people catch on to the enthusiasm of these novice flyers.    As we took off, squeals of excited laughter came from the seats behind me.  It was so much fun to listen to them.

They quieted as we reached altitude and then the descriptions of what they could see started to emerge.  I found myself looking more closely out the window and I, also, could see the cloud trees,  clouds that looked like a forest below us.

I spent the flight thinking how we can lose our joy over the simple things we take for granted.  I loved looking at the clouds and the sky on my flight.  It had been a while since I actually looked out the windows to see the glory of the skies.

The weather was bad in Baltimore, landing was a bit shaky.  One of the boys had fallen asleep and missed the turbulence, but when I saw them exit the airport, they were full of stories and well on their way to new adventures.

This week as I have watched my dear children with their dear child, I have thought of these boys and what their week has been like.  Families are so important.  Especially for those who serve our country, families to step in and help and love and care for.  I hope that the adventures continue for these two boys, that this time will be filled with love and comfort and that loneliness is small.

I am enjoying the time with my precious little grandson.  He is all smiles and joy and my heart laughs when I look at him.  I am grateful for the life lesson I learned on my way up to Baltimore.  Excitement and adventures go hand in hand.

Thanks for stopping by, as always, DAF