The Gift(s) of Friends


Decorating for the holidays was easier being snowed in!

This is the most wonderful time of the year! And when I say “this,” I am referring to Thanksgiving to New Years, with Christmas a very important part of the season.  Our family hosted 64 family members for Thanksgiving, with the people, tables, and food the main event, and that order is intentional! The food is wonderful, of course, and all of our family makes it so, but the people who grace the turkey decorated tables are what I love more than even the food. And as soon as the tables are cleared and some of the tables and chairs stored for next year’s event, it is time to decorate for Christmas. We have a much smaller number for Christmas Eve dinner, which is the meal function we host for our nuclear family; only 16! Continue reading

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Let the Words of My Mouth Be Acceptable


What we all need!

This week in our country we have witnessed an almost miracle; the return to civility. The death of George H.W. Bush, America’s 41st President, made most people stop the negativity and reflect on the life and legacy of this man for a few days this week. We were given many glimpses into the values, behavior, and loves of this one term President. His values of Faith, Family, and Country were obvious in his behavior, and in the words about him by those who knew him best. When asked by one of his granddaughters what was most important to him, he replied, “family.” Not power, not fame, not glory. Family. What a legacy. Continue reading

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Home Alone


Just a few of the dishes!

My last blog post was about our wonderful Thanksgiving with 64 family and friends. They all left Friday and Saturday. Sunday was a quiet day. Mike and I went to church, and our pastor’s sermon was on Mary and Martha. I felt like Martha, yet hoped I showed some of Mary to those who graced our home and tables for the holiday. Monday and Tuesday, I was clearly Martha, home alone. Continue reading

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Blessed and Thankful


This is our group photo of most of us present for our family Thanksgiving celebration. 

The last of our 64 family and friends who graced our tables and our lives at Thanksgiving this year just departed. I made the comment to some this morning that everyone leaves between yesterday and today and Mike and I are left with the memories and the remainder of the mess! That was a comic relief comment, made out of sadness that after several days of being together, we are once again saying goodbyes to many of our loved ones for another year. While Mike and I certainly spend many hours preparing for this annual event and more hours putting the house back to normal afterward, our entire crowd makes the event what it is. There are many cooks, dishwashers, and helpers doing a variety of chores, so none of us should get the credit for making this work. It is indeed a family affair, and “family” includes our friends who are our chosen family. It is a labor of love that warms our hearts and feeds our souls as much as our tummies. We are so blessed and thankful. Continue reading

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A Reason, A Season, or A Lifetime


The best thing in life is relationships

You may have heard of “A Reason, A Season, or A Lifetime” before seeing it here, but this phrase was new to me when I heard it last night. Someone I had just met mentioned this phrase, and although I did not have a “textbook” definition of it, I immediately understood what it meant. We were talking about relationships and the fact that all relationships do not last, and are not even meant to last. As one who holds onto everything, including people, I initially had difficulty accepting this. But after thinking about this more deeply, I realized that it is true. Continue reading

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Out of the Mouths of Babes


Mary Grace (L) and Elsie (R)

Our oldest granddaughters, Mary Grace who is 13, and Elsie who is 11, were having a conversation recently about one of their leaders. I decided to listen in, and I am so glad that I did, for there was a good lesson to be found in their conversation. They were comparing the behavior of one of their current leaders to that of the previous one in that same role. Regardless of our roles as adults, we can learn something from these wise young people. Continue reading

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The Doors of Maastricht

What does a writer do when the well is dry? One option is to dig deeper. Another is to go within oneself, searching for the message that needs to be delivered. Another option is to post more photos, fewer words! I decided on the latter approach for this post. So, here is one last blog post from our recent wonderful trip to Maastricht in the Netherlands, this one is about the beautiful doors of Maastricht. Continue reading

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