Tag Archives: friends

The Heart Not The Shell

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Bittersweet – adj.  pleasant but tinged with sadness

I have heard this word close to a dozen times in the last few weeks.  I guess you could say that it’s the word that fits the circumstances best.   Pleasing to the mind that we have one less wasted expense, yet sad that something we hoped for as our future and enjoyed in our past is now being passed on.

We’ve sold three homes and now two cottages, the last of which was to one day be our retirement.   It was the place we actually lived, without the hustle and bustle of everyday life, without phones and with minimal distractions.  We shared our time with friends new and old, enjoyed nearly 10 years of Christmas memories, and submerged ourselves in the beauty of the northern woods.  Hence the bitter…..

We rejoice in the plans that God holds before us, in the future we know not.  We know that His plan is greater than ours and that He will provide for us a retirement filled with even greater blessings than a house made of wood.  Ahhh…. the sweet…..

As the kids and I pulled off of the expressway two weeks ago to begin the packing and moving process, we each silently, without words, wept.  We drove the 8 -10 miles with tears streaming down our faces…. up the driveway, knowing what was yet to come.  When we first got there, we sat at the bottom of the driveway looking around at the cottage that silently waited our return, looking then to the leaves that have taken on their new look with brilliant colors of yellow, orange and red.   A memory not soon forgotten.

We managed to pack enough up that what was left over was significant enough to attempt a rummage/garage sale.  So, at 4 p.m. I went out to buy signs, put them out for the next day and we loaded up the garage.  I was stunned to see that by the next day at 4 p.m. we had sold more at that sale than in any sale I’ve had in my 20 years of hosting them.   We took the leftovers to Goodwill, filling an entire bin.   In two days we had cleaned out and packed up the basement storage room, two bathrooms, all the linens, the basement living area, one entire bedroom, 85% of another bedroom,  2 closets and all of the decorations/wall hangings except those on the mantle.  It took us one more day to finish two more bedrooms, one closet, and the garage.  We also packed a trailer, my truck and at the end of the trip another car.  There is still more to do, yet we are hoping that we will enjoy a little bit of our last week up there when we go up to close.  Knowing how much we can accomplish in such a short time, we are thinking a week will provide the closure we need to this chapter in our lives.  Prayerfully this time with fewer tears.  🙂

After we had packed up most of the house, we looked at the empty rooms and realized that it is just a shell… a beauty of a shell, yet still a shell.  The heart of the house is in those who dwelt there and the memories that were made there.

Some of the memories this trip:  Packing, rummage/garage sale on last minutes notice piggy backing on someone else’s advertisement without our knowledge, Elk farm where we saw the babies, taking senior pictures in the woods and in the beautiful leaves, leaf crafts …. we really like Pinterest! and all of the animals that came out to say goodbye!

Leaving, God blessed us with some amazing sights.  We saw the doe who gave birth to triplets this year walking through the yard, the wild turkeys walking by the driveway and in the yard (too many to count…)  we saw a beautiful orange fox with a huge fluffy tail and a bald eagle that soared over our heads.   It was as if they were all saying goodbye to us as we left our native state.

Bittersweet…a word that made it’s debut in the early 1600’s to describe something pleasant yet sad.

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The heart of the home!

Traveling Memories Week 2

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Riding one of the “child friendly” roller coasters with our son.  Front seat wasn’t so bad as it was well tolerated.  Yesterday I rode the Rockin Roller Coaster with the kids.  You could say I had a brain lapse and got on the ride thinking “Oh there aren’t any drops it just goes fast.. I can handle this..” I knew that I was in trouble from the moment it went from zero to sixty… Yes, this is what this ride is all about.  Okay, to stop any additional adrenaline rushes and cortisol waste, I closed my eyes and did Lamaze breathing.    As my friend reminded me it was already dark in there.  I told her I hadn’t noticed as my eyes were already closed.  ha ha  Hey, it worked and I walked off without any screams leaving these lips and I wasn’t spent from cortisol use.

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Selfie with Cheshire.

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Notice anything?  The Hat is gone… Boo hoo!

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Although we do like the new look it’s a little strange….

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A little too close for comfort.  Believe it or not he was actually under my chair.

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To be my friend you have be able to take a joke or be the butt of one.  So if you’re camping with me and you wake up with a red eye that lasts for 2 days you deserve to wear what I buy you.   (Okay, I didn’t buy it, but I was ever so close and the kids almost made me… )

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Yes this is the real carriage from the movie.  And we got to hold the glass (plastic) slipper.  Look at those two queens and their ladies in waiting.  🙂

Traveling Memories

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Visiting with an old friend who was a wonderful mentor walking through my early years as a Christian.  Thankful for the afternoon spent in her new home in a new state.

 

 

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Now, the two Mickey Mouse beds are enjoyed at home and since Disney is on the itinerary it was appropriate that the beds came with.  Tell me what is wrong with this picture…. The basket was the “catch all” basket for papers, keys, etc.  Hmmmm….. I’d say it caught more than expected!  🙂

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We learned that when your car is old enough and the gear shift doesn’t shift properly all you need is a good old fashioned screw driver.

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I have a beautiful picture of my great grandfather, whom I can still remember from my early childhood, playing the violin.  The picture is of him fiddling while his sister plays the piano.  My grandmother has always shared of her joy of hearing him fiddle.  It has been a blessing that our daughter has picked up the love of the violin and has been fiddling for a few years now.  With great joy and many tears, our daughter was able to share her passion with her great grandmother.  It was a special moment to always be remembered.  A generational passion that continues to play on…. 🙂

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My grandmother is turning 90 this year and she doesn’t travel back to her home state nor up to our state to see us anymore.  So knowing that she hasn’t heard the kiddos play their bagpipes and drums in a while, it was a must to bring them down and to play for her.  Another moment or two… to be remembered.

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Eating lunch out at our favorite eatery on the waterfront.  Something grandma and I have done for many many years, every visit.  Now the kids ask if we can eat there at least once when we visit.  Who doesn’t love a good Ahi Tuna or Crab Lobster salad… Mmmmmm!

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Mother daughter picture (yes a selfie) on the pier.  Watching the dolphins chase the Jack fish toward the shore, watching the fisherman pull up their catch and just enjoying the beauty of the ocean and what it has to offer.

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And to top off the visit with grandma was learning how to make plantains!  Thank you Ken!  I have tried and failed until you shared how it is done.  We all thank you more than you know for the blessing of instruction in cooking this delightful treat.  We have made them at least every two nights and are trying to figure out where to get more.  🙂

We thank grandma and Ken for their kindness and love during our visit.  Memories made during a week of fun… We will never forget and we look forward to doing it again.

Two more weeks to report on coming up next…. 🙂  To be continued….