Tuesday, June 15, 2021

An Unexpected Adventure

 A couple weekends ago we drove up to Anacortes, about 90 minutes from us to go to a memorial for a friend we hadn't seen in years. There were a lot of old friends there, it's always good to see everyone but so sad that it has to be under those circumstances.

While we were there a friend told us about the Washington Park Loop. It's a 2 mile road that goes along the waterfront and it was just a few miles from where we were. There's camping and picnic tables and then this single lane, one-way road.


Then there'd be a small parking spot nestled between the trees and bushes just big enough for one car. I got out on one of them and after stepping over a fallen tree and walking down a tiny dirt path I came across this huge overlook!

The wind was just howling but the views were so pretty! I was out there so long that by the time I got back to the car my ears were sore! Have you ever had that, where the wind makes your ears so cold, that they almost hurt on the inside?

Back in the car and we continue driving. I couldn't get over how pretty the scenery was.


Then we pull up to another open area and of course I hop out, phone in hand. I walked across some flat rocky areas to another incredible view.


I'm so glad our friends recommended this place. On our way out, we spotted two deer! It's a little hard to see them in the tall grass but as we pulled away one of them lifted it's head and looked right at us. "See ya next time!"

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Grandparents, It Hit Me Like a Wave, and a Purposeful Re-creation?

We were texting Diana the other day about wedding plans and she said something about riding with Peter's grandparents and right there in the middle of our office area, I began to cry. The grief came over me like a giant wave as I realized - again - that my girls no longer have grandparents.

My dad died in 2019 and Chuck's mom, the last of their grandparents, just died in February. 

It hit me hard and I let the tears flow.

I've had this picture hanging in the living room for many years. It's one of those iconic photos that are a part of your family. It's my dad at around 3 years old, sitting on the hood of their car.

I've seen this next picture a hundred times but never really thought about it. A few months ago I came across it again and it hit me! Was my dad purposefully re-creating his photo? This is me around 2 years old, sitting on the hood of our car.

All these years and I never made the connection!

I've re-created photos:

Me and my sisters

Our girls

Sharaya getting ready to ride on my dads motorcycle

Allison standing next to my dads motorcycle

And my girls have re-created photos - many photos! Here's one:

But to think my dad did it way back in the early 1960's, just makes me miss him even more.

Do you have a family photo that means a lot to you?

Have you ever re-created a picture?

Monday, June 7, 2021

Hard Work, Perseverence and Blood, Sweat & Tears

Sharaya's spent the last few years as a single mom, working full time and getting her teaching degree. It hasn't been easy and she's taken breaks to go to Denver to help Chuck's sister recover from surgery, to San Diego when my dad died... but when she gets home she gets right back to it. Well, she sent us these pictures the other day:

Her diploma!! She got a Bachelor of Arts in Education Studies. And graduated Magna Cum Laude! What an accomplishment! She's worked hard and we're so proud of her!

I have school pictures around here somewhere but for now here's her Kindergarten picture:

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Relaxing, QR Codes, and It Was Inevitable

Not too much going on around here lately. I worked all weekend and had Monday off. Chuck and I did some yard work in the morning and then relaxed the rest of the day.

At work our Facility Director is on vacation plus 3 of the custodians were out of town this weekend. And wouldn't you know it, the elevator quit working. I went in on Saturday to call the tech, thankfully he got there pretty fast. The 1st floor coffee machine has been leaking so they decided to take it out to be repaired. Hopefully it won't be too expensive. These machines are pretty old and it's hard to find parts.

The pastors did a panel-type meeting so I set up all the stools for them, there were 14! And they wanted to be on the lower platform. I got them all on there but they sure were cozy! Next time I may try our big chairs and put them on the main platform.

I learned you can return your Amazon packages at Kohls so I gathered up my 4 or 5 items and walked up to the clerk. She asked me for the QR code, "I'm sorry, the what?" Yep, I'm that person! So she took the time to explain that I had to go on-line to get the code and then bring it back and show the code on my phone... ahh, okay. I turned around - with all my packages still in my arms - to see a long line of people waiting. Sigh. It sucks to get old.

After Prayer Meeting tonight I fixed myself some tea and sat out in the backyard until it got dark. There were so many different types of birds, I couldn't count all the different bird calls I heard! It was like being in an estuary!

 We live in a suburb, a beautiful location with forest areas all around. I love having a yard where we can sit and enjoy nature.

Where's your favorite place to relax?

Have you ever returned Amazon packages at Kohls?

What did you do over the Memorial Day weekend? 

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Heaven on Earth

When we were heading to the airport a couple weeks ago I opened the front door and Ally was behind me, then Sharaya, Chuck, we had our luggage... and I whispered, "Stop! Stop! Stop!" 

One of the baby birds was perched precariously on the edge of the nest! I put down my suitcase and tried to get my phone to take a picture but he flew away. The other birds were hunkered deep down in the nest and I knew by the time I got back from Pennsylvania they'd all be gone.

And I was right. The nest was on the ground and there were leftover twigs and sticks hanging from the wreath. The Junko family has moved out. It sure was fun watching them grow!

Sharaya and Ally came over for dinner on Saturday. After we ate we played Uno, and then went out back to sit and talk and play some more.


Sunday we celebrated Pentecost. We had food trucks out in the parking lot for people to have lunch after church which meant me and my crew arrived at 7:30am to cone off the parking lot and set up the round tables and chairs. It was a very early start but it is one of my favorite Sundays of the whole year! We have many Internationals at our church and they each carry a flag from the country they were born in. One by one they walk through the Sanctuary and then they go up on the platform and say, "Vietnam exalts the name of the Lord!" "Nigeria exalts the name of the Lord!" But they say it in their native tongue. Nation after nation after nation, there isn't a dry eye in the place by the time it's over!

Waiting in the foyer for their cue to start

A friend of mine took this picture

People wear their national dress. The church is filled with so many nations, tribes and tongues. It truly is heaven on earth.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

A Whirlwind, 20 Years, and You've Got Mail

The day after Diana found her dress we decided to go to New York. We drove to the Rahway Train station and rode into the city. We walked around Central Park, that place is huge! We walked with Sharaya as far as the Met. She could probably spend all day there! Then Diana and I turned and headed out of the park. There was a bakery she wanted to take me to and we decided to go there for brunch.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Diana actually has a drawing of this hanging in her house!

On our way to the bakery we stopped on a sidewalk and Diana goes, "I think this is where they filmed You've Got Mail. Near the end when he says, 'As long as we both shall live.'" I go, "Yes! And where he tells her 'he' could be the zipper man. 'She'd never have to buy new luggage again!'" I think you're right Diana! This has to be the street! We got to the bakery and Diana was so disappointed that it was closed for renovations. Then I realized why. It was the place in the movie when they decide to meet and she waits inside with a rose and a book... "If you don't like Kathleen Kelly you aren't going to like this girl. Because it IS Kathleen Kelly." That's the bakery!!! Oh my gosh!! And then I was really disappointed too. And we had just watched it on TV the night before! Amazing! (Little did I know the girls had planned the whole thing. They streamed the movie, it wasn't actually on TV!) Have I told you how much I adore my daughters?! 💖


We finally found a place for lunch and Sharaya met us there. Then we took an Uber to One World Trade Center. We had visited there back in 2004 when they were just beginning to rebuild.

I just saw this picture in my scrapbook...

 And realized Sharaya took this one last week from the same angle.

We wished we'd had more time so we're planning to go back again in September. We got another Uber to take us to the train station, then rode 45 minutes back Rahway and Diana took us to the airport. It was a whirlwind weekend but one I will always remember!

This year marks the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 attacks

Did you ever see the Twin Towers?

Have you been to the 9/11 Memorial in New York?