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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Customer Centered Service

img_5971.jpgI have been a customer service advocate for many years. I have spoken on it, consulted on it, and written on it. My family and friends would say, I have been insufferable about it! It is in my DNA. So of course, I was excited to see new and different examples of exceptional customer service on my recent trip to Maastricht in the Netherlands. If these examples are present in the US, I have not seen them. Continue reading

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It Could Have Been Worse!


Raveena, British Airway’s Customer Service Expert at the Amsterdam airport

On Sunday morning when we were scheduled to fly from Amsterdam through Philadelphia to Raleigh, arriving home a little after 5pm the same day, Mike was awakened at 4am by a text from American Airlines with the news that our flight out of Amsterdam was delayed; a couple of hours later it was cancelled! Several phone calls to American gave us no good options, some options worse than others. There were no options at all on any airline out of Amsterdam that would get us both home on Sunday. One option (the worst) would get us home three days later after flying through LA.! What seemed the best option would have Mike and me flying separately on different airlines. We put the best of our options on hold to protect us with a flight, then headed to the airport to see if other options became available once all of the rebookings of the Philadelphia flight settled out. Continue reading

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