Monday, October 5, 2015

You Can Keep Your Curve Balls!

We made plans for a trip to the beach and started anticipating the enormous amount of laughter, fun and friendship to come. However.....

Life happens! Hurricanes happen!  Storms happen!

With the anticipation of a brewing storm, messages started flying in via my cell phone, Facebook, email and more.  I'll admit it now, but I was a little concerned, especially when the prediction turned saying that Hurricane Joaquin would be upgraded to category 4. I knew I still needed to go!

I needed to be drawn closer and being up close to God's magnificent ocean put in perspective just how small I am in the scheme of things - but yet, I'm still very special to Him.

Gayle took a picture of me holding on to a fire hydrant and I wasn't only holding on, but had to lean into it as well to keep from falling over.  The winds were crazy and blowing from every direction with gusts of 45 mph, while my feet were sinking in the wet sand! 

It was in that very moment, that I was reminded just how much I need Jesus in my life. I was still drenched.....sand was weighing me down....I didn't know what was coming up behind me....but I was anchored onto something I knew would not fail me.  And, because of that I was able to live and enjoy my life and enjoy that exact moment!  No fear....Salt air....beach hair and all!

Hurricane Joaquin-2015

I need to not only live in the moment, but cherish every single second with those I hold near and dear to my heart. Tomorrow is not promised and ...I don't want any regrets.  Even as hard as it was to say good-bye to Dad, I said 'I love you' both with words and actions and have no regrets.   

Death and struggles with health concerns seem to be all around. Friends and family battling cancer, dementia, disabilities and just heartache in general of what will or will not be. It's tough!  Really tough at times.

I learned that above all else, I need to guard my heart! EVERYTHING I do flows from my heart and I want each of you to know that I love you and look forward to what God has planned! 

I read a quote this weekend that said...What if tomorrow only gives you what you were thankful for today? 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

A morning view that just might just be enough.....just enough!

Morning View....

One would think that a post about a morning view would consist of......the balcony of a hundred year old hotel in Tuscany.....a  beautiful sunrise peaking through the mountains of Virginia, better yet, a perfect view of the ocean from your little beach open and the white sheer curtains are blowing just enough.....j-u-s-t  e-n-o-u-g-h....and sharing a cup of coffee with ...your person.  It's all good!

And, as good as it sounds and as much as I'd like to be nestled into that beach bungalow, getting ready to soak in some rays......this is my morning view - and it's beautiful!
My view is usually from this beautiful glider and still mimics the perfect sway of being rocked by Papaw's foot.

Relocated recently from the front porch of Bob & Myrt - aka Nan & Pap, she has found a new home on my own front porch.

As you can easily spot, the cushions need replacing and honestly there isn't much cush left at all! Your tush has a place to sit, but not necessarily a comfortable place to sit. 

The safety pins are probably from the early 1970's having lost their once shiny silver sheen and now painted with rust. They've done their job and even though the fabric is slightly torn, they survived four grandchildren, twelve great-grandchildren, five great-great grandchildren and when number six comes for a visit, he/she will rock on it to!  (T&B, I guess that means I can't replace the cushions until after Christmas!)

Love the matching seam binding used to decoratively tie up the cushions! 
With this morning view.....I nestle in with my cup of coffee, take in my surroundings and I think.....I worry.....I reflect......I wish.....I reflect some more.....and I pray.

I love my view and if I could, I pack it up and take it with me for a visit to the hotel balcony in Tuscany, cabin in the mountains of Virginia and o-h y-e-a-h....that bungalow at the beach!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Just another memorable Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day!

I had the pleasure of being surrounded by wonderful mothers on this bee-u-ti-ful Mother's Day! Mom, Joyce, Nannie and Kathy joined me (along with others) as we enjoyed burgers with all the fixins for our Mother's Day lunch!

As we were preparing for lunch, my nieces decided to put on two dresses that Nannie gave them.  Yes, they are made of the highest quality double-knit polyester and even though I offered them both $50 to wear this as their back-to-school outfit, they passed!  Nannie of course, told them they looked beautiful and Nan was right!

I asked Andrew to take some photographs and for about an hour, they posed using props, scenery and laughter to accomplish what turned out to be a pretty awesome afternoon!

Below are the fashionistas in their natural colors before I post the aged and retouched photos.
As you can see Bailey and Jenna already found my wooden flowers as their first prop and before taking the picture they asked, "How did they pose way back then?"
Aunt Robin, do you have an old purse? I have an old purse! Can we use this suitcase?  I just love their imaginations and laughed to tears as they told stories to match their photos!
Most of their stories revolved around 'waiting for their husbands to return from war' and I found this to be very touching since they've experienced the long anticipated wait of having their own father return home from war.  So sweet!

In the last two photos, Jenna was starting her journey to meet her husband and then turned to run back home when she realized he was home.....He's home! 

Of course, they were bellied over with laughter, but I just love their creativity and the story telling in between the laughs.  Little did they know, they were making their own memories today!

Of course, Andrew had to sport one of the props and be a part of the fun!
Family gatherings are supposed to be memorable.  Fun and memorable! 

Thanks to these three, we can chalk today up as a memorable event and I'm so thankful they were raised to always express their creativity and not be afraid to be yourself. 

I had more fun going through all 72 photos and at one point, laughing uncontrollably to tears! Reminiscing back to the fun Kathy, Cindy and I would have telling our own stories and then laughing to tears at ourselves (after charging 50 cents for the rest of family to experience the memory - haha).

Thank you Bailey, Jenna and Andrew for the opportunity to live through your story telling today......this beautiful Mother's Day!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

A Penny for Your Cornbread!

How many of you say this little rhyme before picking up a penny.....See a penny, pick it up...all day long you'll have good luck? 

I'd said it thousands of times until one day feeling completely overwhelmed and convinced that MY world was about to crumble like an overcooked piece of cornbread, I decided to wash my car. A mindless activity as long as you have the right music thumping from the speakers and the perfect temperature outside.... allowing those cornbread crumbs to temporarily disappear!

With the assistance of Motown and a little elbow grease, the car was spotless (Dad taught me well). With Armourall in one hand and a faded red shop rag in the other, I decided to tackle the interior too.

Compliments of Al Green, Jackson Five and a little CCR,  I was one drink cup holder away from being finished. All the loose change I'd conveniently dropped into this perfect space was now …....nasty! I scooped out all the coins and placed them in the bucket of car wash suds to let them hopefully clean themselves.

I fished out all the coins, mostly pennies and started rinsing them off. I kept seeing the same words over and over again......In God We Trust.......whether a new shiny penny or laced with sticky Diet Coke drippings.....they all had the same message.....In God We Trust!
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.

How many pennies have I picked up, handed over, tossed into a fountain and ignored this message? On a penny for crying out loud and here I sit, trying to escape my crumbling life with an entire cup full of reminders.

This had nothing to do with luck, this had everything to do with God doing whatever was necessary to get my attention. I knew where I was falling short. Prayer! I believe in God and years ago put my trust in Him, but I'd allowed life's circumstances to take over and I found myself using every excuse imaginable to avoid prayer or quiet time.

Sitting right there on the concrete, eyes closed, sun shining bright and wearing my most unattractive car washing get-up, I had a long conversation with my Lord and wrapped it up with my own penny rhyme.......In God I trust....Faith, I must!

Skipping forward, I've never intentionally walked over a penny. I pick it up and remind myself that I have a God that I can go to and I must have faith in Him at all times, in every situation. Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.

Why not take it one step further and pass that penny along? Pick up the penny and pray for someone. Someone at church, in line at the grocery store, the cashier at the grocery store, a co-worker, family member, spouse......there really are no limits on who we can pray for, or how often!

It doesn't have to be a long prayer. It can be as simple as “God, I lift this person up to you in prayer and ask that you will bless their lives in a mighty way. Be with them and I pray they will seek you in all they do. Amen. “

Following your prayer, give them the penny and share with them...“Today I found this penny and I prayed for you. As you can see, there is already a reminder there for us.....In God We Trust. Have faith, I must!”

You might be wondering about my cornbread! Well, I learned to use ALL the key ingredients and sometimes that includes the cast iron skillet that needs to bonk upside my head to get my attention! Life is good and so is the cornbread!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

A Gallery of Art and One Proud Mama!

Allow me to introduce you to my son.....Andrew Fox!  Andrew with the head of curls that women pay high dollar to have.....Andrew with the facial hair that surpasses most No-Shave November attempts....Andrew with the great sense of humor and ability to debate just about anything.....and Andrew the Artist!

The last semester of school as a Sophomore, Andrew took drawing as an elective. I loved art in school and even as a little whipper-snapper drawing dinosaurs, Clone Troopers or just doodling... I knew Andrew was going to be very good.  

I've been anxiously waiting to see his portfolio and today I finally did.  It's been in his room since the end of school and I could have taken a peak, but I wanted him to show me and be proud of his accomplishments.

Let the Art Show begin........commentary by the man himself!
We had to take an object from the class and incorporate fabric into the drawing. This is some sort of Buddha thing with fabric around the bottom.
Once again, we had to draw objects in the class. This is a chess piece. (Hands are hard to draw - I think he did great!)
Here, we had to photograph items and then draw them from the photo.  It is some kind of origami paper.
This is an eraser drawing.  I used the eraser to get the lighter values.

Again, these had to be drawn from photographs.  It's different images of a copper pot.(I thought they were photographs!)
Gosh, it's hard to choose a favorite, but these last two are right up there and I've asked him if I can frame the copper pots to go in my kitchen.  I just love them.

We also had to do a self-portrait and I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out.  He drew himself from a photograph and then added the rest.
WOW!  I'm going to frame this one for his room.  

Andrew - Please don't let this talent go to waste!  Use it....use it....use it! 

I'm so proud of this young man and can't wait to see what's next! 

Love you Bud!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Is there any chrome left on that bumper?

Father's Day is approaching and I've purchased my card!  I also tried to think of a good way to remember Dad without being all mushy mushy (although just typing this will for sure bring on those kind of tears that you don't know whether you are happy or just cry.

If you knew Dad, you know he loved his vehicles.  A lot of his old stories even revolved around his love for cars and trucks.  

When I was looking for an old picture of the Red Fifty Six, Mom found a plastic pocket photo album that Dad had started and of course he'd titled it...of course you guessed it....
The contents of this booklet don't by any means capture all of his vehicles, but there are a few.  I may not be able to remember exact stories about each one, but I'll give it a shot....
I'm not certain, but this may be the car that Dad got caught drag racing.  He left home, met somewhere to race and didn't know (of course) that Pap left home shortly after just to see what the boys were up to.  As Dad pulled back in the drive-way, Pap pulled in behind him.....walked up to the car with the dreaded hand out...........the keys!
I know absolutely nothing about this vehicle.  I remember the black car next to it only because it was in more photographs.  The house it is parked in front of is where we moved to when Kathy was maybe around 1968-69ish. I love the headlights and grill.
This one looks familiar!  This is the Red Fifty Six that I drove a many miles. Another item on my bucket list......take Roy Richardson up on his offer and go photograph the truck (since he won't sell it to me). Dual exhaust, mirror shine all the time and probably a bat bag or lawn chair in the back. Ahhhh....loved that truck!
Dad bought this truck after they moved to Fenton Mill Road.  I don't quite remember the year, but thinking '49 maybe.  He also had a black '49 before this one and traded it to a guy named Jerry for a fireplace in our old house. What a trade!
Robbie was Dad's shadow and loved to ride in the trucks, working and making 'stuff' in the shop and just being boys!

A few more 'Oldies but Goodies'...and I mean the trucks!  However, you might recognize a those love-birds too.

I don't know why, but the darker blue/green truck was probably my favorite of the newer models he had.  Maybe because he had it for such a long time.  He had this truck with Bailey & Andrew were born and I always wanted to drive it! He'd wash it and then park it where it would get the most shine.

These were the last two red trucks he owned.  The license plate....IOK-RU2 moved from truck to truck.  AND....hold on to your hats because as you can see....these trucks are NOT Fords!  We all thought it would snow in July for sure when he bought something other than a Ford!  I did have the privilege to drive the Dodge.  My car was in the shop and Dad offered me the keys.  Of course, I got the look and then the talk.....Treat it like I would! (Just call me Nervous Nellie for those few days). But, I so enjoyed the roar of the mufflers and the looks on all the teenage boy's faces when they'd pull up next to me at a stop light, driving their own trucks.  I'm sure they were thinking how good the truck sounded, yada yada....Aw man, it's a woman driving....It's somebody's Mom!  That's right Eddie Haskell and I just left you behind trying to figure out what just happened!

There is one picture missing and it's the yellow Ford Fairlane convertible. Another car I had the privilege of driving while in high school.  I remember parking it at Murphy's Mart while Dana and I ran in. When we came out, it was nose to nose with a truck.  The guy was cool because there was no damage.  No damage!!! There was a scuff mark on the front bumper and I'm doomed!!!  
We went back to Dana's house and I swear I used a whole can of wax trying to buff off that scuff mark. I knew what I had to away!  Just kidding. I knew I had to tell the truth.  I drove the ride of shame home and slowly walked up the sidewalk.  Only Mom was in the house, so I told her. Daggone, she agreed that I needed to tell him. Ugh! Why can't YOU tell him?  He's outside pulling weeds, go on out there and tell him. Can I go live with Nannie & Pap?
I took a deep breath....Dad, Dana and I went to Murphy's Mart and I parked the car and I know I put it in park but when we came out the car had moved I don't know how it moved, but it just did The guy was pretty cool because there was no damage to his truck and he said more than likely it jumped out of gear because older cars do that sometimes but I just wanted to tell you the truth even after trying to buff is out a-l-l-d-a-y long........SILENCE......he never broke rhythm pulling weeds and said in a very calm voice...but it was THE voice....there's no way that car jumped out of gear!  I wanted to scream. Do you know how long it took me to get up the courage to tell the truth and my arms hurt from buffing so much.  I'm surprised there's any chrome left on the bumper! And, now you don't believe me?  I don't remember him saying much more about that car........until I backed it into a tree leaving a friend's house.  THAT caused a little more damage than a scuff.  Ummmm...sorry!

Dad......(OK, I said no mush...tough!) I feel like the luckiest girl on the planet because of the opportunities you made happen for me.  I love you and miss you terribly each and every day.  I'm not perfect and I may not be able to brag about being able to wear the same clothes I did in high school...but when someone says to me.....You are just like your Daddy!.....I smile with joy and say....I hope so!  I sure hope so!

Happy Father's Day! And a special hug to all that have heavy hearts this Sunday....Love you all!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Life would be better if we wore more tutus....

If you had told me this morning that by the end of the day, there would be a video of me on Facebook in the shower.  I would've laughed you out the door!
Melinda...I guess you are right!  Welcome to the age where you really don't care what people think!  I received the challenge from Ashley and it's for a good cause, so there you go!

To back up just a little......Nannie Bailey called me at 5:30 am to wish me a Happy Birthday and asked the same question she does every year.....Do you feel any older?  Love her to pieces.

After the boys were off to school/work ....I hit the highway, cranked the Motown on XM Radio and headed to Chesterfield to meet Cindy (aka-Melvina). We met in the parking lot, sharing a few favorite dance moves...step-shuffle, step-shuffle and of course....step-ball change!  People watched.....we did not care!

The day consisted of beautifying, lunch and what else.....a visit to The Lazy Daisy and thrifting.  My bargain of the day.......22 pieces of beautiful silver-plated silverware and 3 pieces of silver....yes ma'am, I said silver!  All for the bargain price of $3.60.  Cha-Ching!  As I was digging, and I mean making lots of noise (like Andrew when he used to dig for hours in his Lego bin) there was a man lingering and I'm sure waiting his turn.  With nothing left in the bin but stainless steel, I smiled and in my mind wanted to do a cartwheel!  Whoa-Sistah....don't even think about it! Just walk away with your loot and be satisfied with that!
Goodwill also had for the bargain price of $6.99 an adult-size tutu!  Hmmmmmm....

I arrived home to find the guys already home....I video taped myself in the shower (d'lawd!) and we left with 3 items on our list.
  1. Dinner
  2. Sweet Frog
  3. Sparklers
It really didn't matter to me where we had dinner, as long as we went to Sweet Frog after.  What a treat!  I opted for B-Dubs because it was within walking distance. I wish the sparklers were that easy.  I wanted a photo for my 50th holding sparklers.  Call me weird - I'm OK with it.  I bet I buy some and save them for 51!

Who's meeting me at the batting cage?
Thanks everyone for allowing me to share some of my bucket list with you!  I have the most amazing family and friends.  My bucket is running over with such beautiful memories....backyard dance performances, the old wooden bridge, dancing with Dad to CCR, sewing and life advice from Mom, growing up and still laughing ourselves to tears, a wonderful job that inspires me and touches my heart to the point of tears and a wonderful husband, children and grand babies!  50 years of goodness....just plain and simple goodness!  Who needs a list?

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