A Celebration of Life

oakislandgolfclubMost of us have just finished celebrating the 4th of July, and time with family and friends. Since the holiday fell in the middle of the week, many could not travel for there was only one day of the holiday, unless personal time off was included. Given the schedule, neither of our daughters and their families could be with us at the beach. So, Mike and I took our elder statesman Uncle Barry with us to the beach for the week. We had a wonderful time. We never take our time with Uncle Barry for granted, for at his soon to be 88 years of age, we know he will not live forever. But then again, given his energy and zest for life, he might! We can all learn a lesson from Uncle Barry about how to appreciate every day, take nothing for granted, and be grateful for whatever is given to you.


On our way from the beach back to Raleigh on Sunday, Mike and I went to a memorial service for a friend from Southport. Mitch Hall, who worked at our golf course for seventeen years, died on July 1 at the young age of 77. His celebration service was held on Sunday, July 8th at the Oak Island United Methodist Church.  And a celebration service it was! There was beach music played throughout, and it was a fitting tribute to the man who loved beach music. The scriptures that were read were more traditional and also very appropriate. Mitch’s son, Gavin Hall, gave a moving tribute to his dad, mentioning how he loved his life at the beach, his years working at the golf course, and his beloved wife, Jean.  Mitch and Jean were a true couple, and although they did not have enough years together, the years they shared were precious to both of them.


At the service, I was struck by the people in attendance. Mitch worked with the last three of our golf course managers, and two of them were present; the other passed away several years ago. There were other golf course staff there as well. There were also many Oak Island and Southport residents, many of whom are regulars at our golf course bar and grill, and some who are more infrequent guests, but still a part of our golf course and area family. While Mitch had not been at the golf course for several years, the locals remembered how important he and Jean were to us and came out in his honor. There were people present who waited to attend the service before leaving to travel elsewhere, and some who came from elsewhere to attend the service. There were also some who I thought would have been there but who weren’t; I assume they had reasons that precluded them from being present.

Sweet, Sweet Spirit

As we sat in Mitch’s service, I felt the message of the song, “There’s a sweet, sweet spirit in this place.” I looked around and felt the spirit of the faithful Oak Island family, people who took their time to come and be with Jean and Mitch’s family and say a respectful goodbye. I felt gratitude for those who still know how important it is to show respect when one who has been a part of their larger circle passes, and who changed their schedule to be there. Although Mike and I are part-time residents of the area, I was proud to be a part of this community at this time.

Mitch was a veteran, so it is fitting that his celebration of life occurred during our Independence holiday.  God bless America, and God bless Mitch Hall.

Patti name


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American Pride


Another 4th of July has come and gone. Many are still celebrating at the beach or mountains, or in their backyards. Whatever fun and festivities this week has held for you, I hope that you have enjoyed the holiday. This is one of the weeks in the summer that many of us slow down, barbecue with family and friends, and enjoy the bounty of our country.

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How Is This Year Going So Far for You?



In just a few short days, 2018 will be half over. Amazing. Yes, amazing, but true. Perhaps it is time to do a quick analysis of how the year is going so far. For if we have not yet accomplished or done what we wanted to do at the first of the year, we still have time to course correct. But not much time, only six more months. And we know how fast time flies, especially when fall comes and the holidays kick into high gear. So maybe with July and August bearing down on us, we can make some progress with changes we have said we want to make.


Sweet granddaughter Virginia who is now 6 years old, as of 6/27/18!

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More Seeing and Being than Doing


Looking out at New York from 33 floors high

When the week was in front of me, I wondered what I would do with all of the time.  I should not have worried. There was plenty to NOT do.  Continue reading

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How to Make Sense of it All?

Two popular celebrities, Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, commit suicide three days apart, both suicides apparently coming as a surprise to many people. As more time passes, there will likely be some people close to both who knew of their mental condition, their despondency, or whatever range of emotions they were experiencing. Whether there was any indication of the possibility of suicide will be a harder question that may never be answered. Regardless of any of this, it is so very tragic when someone gets to the point of no return and decides that they can no longer bear whatever demons possess them. Continue reading

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All of the Comforts of Home


This is what vacations should be about!

My husband Mike and I travel a lot and experience many different kinds of hotels, condos, and houses.  Much of this travel is for business, and some is travelling for pleasure, often with family. Although I certainly prefer to stay in properties that are five star or luxury, and we sometimes do, much of the accommodations we stay in are mid-level as far as price point, especially when we are travelling for business and the client is paying.  (Mike and I make it a point to spend the client’s money as if it were our own. Well, to be most accurate, I must admit that Mike is better at how he spends his money than I am. While I am careful as to how I spend the client’s money, I am not so careful as to how I spend mine! To know more about this, read my recent book, A Year in the Life of a Recovering Spendaholic, available from Amazon.) Continue reading

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Is Service Getting Worse Everywhere, or Just with Me?

IMG_4149Our water service is with Aqua, and it has been poor for years, with many people in our area having brown water fairly regularly.  And the rates keep going up. Now the quality of the service and the service, in general, is even worse. Just a few details to explain. Continue reading

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