Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Tuesday to Tuesday: Snapshots of My Crazy Week

Such a crazy busy week!
Join me for some pictures!

Tuesday, November 10

My daughter and son sang in the
the Veteran's Day chorus concert at their high school.
(I picked him up from ROTC athletics
a mere one hour before call time,
and that was after home schooling my youngest daughter,
visiting two of my grandchildren,
and going to my chiropractor appointment.
Right before the concert, one of my adult daughters
called to say she had been rear ended.
She was injured and her car was totaled. Oh my.)

Wednesday, November 11

Breakfast at Bagel King
with a BOGO coupon -
but apparently I left
my wallet at home and
had to go back and get it.
Lots of errands and home schooling
 that day, as always!

During a late night grocery run,
I bought these flowers for a friend
whom I would be visiting
at the beach the next day.
But I accidentally left them at home!
What is it with forgetting things at home?

When I got home from the store,
I saw on FB that one of my friends' daughters
 was unconscious in the hospital after a seizure.
I stayed up late to make sure she didn't
need me to come down and be with her.
Thursday, November 12

My grandson and newborn granddaughter
visited for an hour in the morning while
their mommy shopped at the
Boutique for a Week consignment sale.
Their ten year old aunt loves to play!

These photos of my granddaughter
were taken and posted on FB by
one of his other aunts -
When the little ones left, we raced off to a consultation with my spinal neurologist, but apparently I left 
my MRI disc at home so we had to reschedule. 
I had forgotten something again!

Then it was off to Daytona Beach
with my youngest daughter. 
A friend had invited us to visit for a 
couple of days during her week at a timeshare.
Two other moms and their daughters 
came the next day so we could all hang out.

On our way to the beach,
we were practicing spelling and math.
And cutting up with a silly conversation of
"Oh gee, I forgot..."

Oh gee, I forgot the flowers!
Oh gee, we forgot to bring the house!
Oh gee, I forgot my hair!
Oh gee, I forgot my toe nails!
Oh gee, we forgot the road.
Then what are we driving on?
Crocodiles and lava!
Oh gee, we forgot the microwave!
What will we cook with?
The lava!
On and on, roaring in laughter.

And then she really remembered:
"Oh gee, I forgot my bear blanket!"
Not so funny.

Stephanie and I in the hot tub -
I am so grateful for her kindness and hospitality
through the 20+ years I've known her!

In the Shark souvenir store,
she did not forget her zany sense of humor.

Friday, November 13

We spent the day with our friends
 relaxing on the beach,
in the pool, in the hot tub, in our room.

But I needed to go back to the Orlando area
Friday evening for my middle school son's 
All County concert.

Driving westward into the sunset 
in traffic is not my idea of fun!
At the All County concert,
my son is on the right in the front row,
wearing a black shirt and red tie.

My phone died during the concert
so I didn't get our usual "after concert"
pictures, but one of his adult sisters
snapped this selfie with him.

As soon as I got to my van and plugged my dead phone
into the charger, I got this text from my 18 year old son.
I reeled in shock and I sat in my van and cried.
I logged on to the news sites from my phone to read more.

Andrew posted this image
that he found on Facebook. I agree.
I know I am very Euro-centric
in my own style and my sentiments,
even though I keep up with what is
happening in Africa and Asia,
especially with oppressed women and children.
He also wrote his own heartfelt thoughts.
I love how deep he is.

I thought back to my son's concert.
The boys Malestorm chorus had just sung 
the traditional African song "Salaam Aleikum" 
about peace "in our hearts, in our homes, 
in the land, and in the world."
Yes, peace in the world.

I don't have time to edit and upload the video of them
singing it, but here is one from YouTube of another
middle school boys' choir in Florida singing it.

Driving back to Daytona Beach that night,
I noticed from the temperature gauge that
my van was starting to overheat.
Apparently, the radiator fluid
was leaking from somewhere.
I pulled off the highway and
stopped at a gas station to let it sit
and then add a whole gallon of coolant.
I didn't get back to the hotel until 10:30,
emotionally and physically exhausted.
 Saturday, November 14

My daughter and I drove back
from Daytona Beach in the morning.
We had to pick up her brother and sister
after their ROTC unit marched
in a Veteran's Day parade.
We stopped at yard sales on the way,
and she bought this small camcorder for $4.
She loves to take pictures as much as I do! 

Sister and brother selfie

 Sunday, November 15

In our church, the elders love to 
spend time with the congregation.
Bart and his wife Judy invited about 
50 of us over to their house for lunch.
Seriously. That's what I call hospitality!

See another visit here: Welcoming Touches

After a long nap into the early evening,
I got up and tackled the mess on my desk.

I also synced my bedroom calendar
and the kitchen calendar with the
Google Calendar on my phone.
So much to do each week!

All tidy again!

Monday, November 16

I had to take my van in to be repaired
at 7:30 Monday morning.
The mechanic replaced the water pump.
It wasn't done until 10:30,
so I walked several blocks to
Winter Park Village to eat and browse.

I hadn't intended this huge interruption
to my day, but I remembered to
enjoy the quiet moments by myself
to appreciate some of the finer things of life.

Pancakes at Another Broken Egg

I love this sign in the restaurant.
This is how I live.

Just enough time to stroll through
Adjectives Market after they opened at 10.
I had been to the Altamonte Springs
location before, but not this one.

I love antiques and pretty things!
I didn't see anything I needed to buy,
but I just love to look and savor the experience.
 After Monday afternoon appointments,
I picked up my daughter to take her to 
the Indian Market for a geography class project.

She had to take pictures
with her text book to
prove she had been there.

A Coke refrigerator -
filled with Indian food!
Again, I am very Euro-centric.
It was culture shock even walking
in to the store. I wish I'd been
prepared with some Indian recipes
so I could buy ingredients for a meal.
I did buy a few things, like a spice mix
for chicken, and some snacks.
My little girl and I are just finishing up
our unit study on Asia.
I should have brought her along.

Tuesday, November 17

I don't wear makeup often,
so I decided to take some selfies.
This was one of the more amusing ones.
 A bit of a mischievous look?
That's me.

Back in the doctor's office,
waiting for my daughter's
well check.
She took this one of me -
a little more sedate this time.
Then it was off to the chiropractor
and a quick visit with
two of my grand babies
before heading home to clean house.
Do you get the idea that we spend
a lot of time at appointments?
Yep, several a week.
Then add on the after school pickups,
grocery trips, special events, and everything else.

I am always on the go.

I appreciate my quiet moments.

I got home on Tuesday and found
this waiting for me in the day's mail:

The Christmas edition of The Cottage Journal
my favorite magazine.


Grace and peace,
Virginia Knowles

Sunday, November 1, 2015

What I Have Seen (A Poem)

"What I Have Seen"
by Virginia Knowles

I have seen the fog floating low
Over young orange trees
In a grove once killed
By a hard freeze.

I had thought all of it was gone
I had not freshly noticed
The grove or its new growth
Until I saw the fog.

I woke on Friday morning at 7 AM, after the 6:30 alarm did not go off. But the second alarm did: "Spinal injection 8 AM." Just enough time to put on some clothes and brave the traffic for 38 minutes in hopes that this shot (unlike the last) would abate the pain. I tucked a protein bar in my purse for breakfast.

It was in the stop and go traffic on Maitland Boulevard that I glanced to the right, where groves once dominated, now taken over mostly by new development. Then I saw the fog. And the trees. And I thought right away of things that I do not always notice coming back to life, or to my life, in the midst of all of the other new things.

I think metaphorically. All the time. I am a philosopher at heart. And since I am also a poet, the lines came. I had thought of another line: "It is in the mist and the mystery / That I pause and ponder / What I have seen." But that seemed too moralistic, to obvious, to put in the poem. Yet it is true, so here we are in my end notes.

I borrowed the title of this poem, sort of, from "What I Have Found" by John Leax. I read it in his book Grace Is Where I Live a long while back and put it in my blog a few years ago, and linked it on Facebook even later. Facebook brought it up again Friday in its memories feature, so I had just read it that morning before I drove to my appointment. It still speaks to me in my own midlife, which is at times a place of trial and heartache and pain. Here it is for you.

"What I Have Found"
by John Leax

This place that claims my midlife
labor is not an Eden I have made.
It is a place of trial.
My hope resides in yielding
to what calls me still to stay.
No charming serpent curls
about my arm and whispers
in my ear. But I am tempted
nonetheless. Like Homer
I take the stories of my people,
I give them shape, and hand
them down. What I pass on
is truth made new--half-truth
spun through kind invention.
The world I make is finer
than the world I know. How else
contain the bitterness, the pain,
the grief? I have not lied.
I say my words; I seek
the wholeness of the world.
Like Homer I am blind.
I see what is not here.
I see this place by word
and grace a new creation.
That word is what I've found.
That grace is where I live.

Art credit: water colors by Melody Knowles, 2012 

You can read what I wrote about his poem in 2012 here.

Grace and peace,
Virginia Knowles

P.S. My other poems from this year - 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Bar Harbor (New England Road Trip #5)

Bar Harbor Maine
October 16-18, 2015

Friday evening

Cottage Street Restaurant and Bakery -
a quaint little restaurant and
I'm a cottage lover
so I love the name -
two thumbs up for food and
very friendly and helpful waiter
happy customers ~
the beef brisket was delish
and my sister and daughter inhaled
the lobster sliders and chowder

amazing strawberry rhubarb pie
Saturday morning

We went to Thunder Hole
in Acadia National Park
first thing in the morning
to scatter my mother's ashes
in the ocean.

Then we went back to Bar Harbor
for a yummy breakfast at Two Cats.

hot chocolate, just right

Good thing I had bacon and eggs
to balance out the carbs in the
hot chocolate and the delectable
raspberry almond pancakes!

quaint shops in Bar Harbor

Blueberries for Sal,
along with Make Way for Ducklings,
is a Robert McCloskey favorite
set in New England.
I remember my teacher reading
this aloud to our second grade class
on my first day in a new school -
a warm lifetime memory

blue water, blue sky, white clouds, ahhhh

Ha! They claimed I was the
one always whipping out
my phone to take leaf pictures!

Well, who could resist this?
After our breakfast and shopping,
we went back to Acadia National Park 
for the afternoon and sunset.
Then back to town for just a little bit!

Saturday Evening

Sunday Morning

We hadn't taken much time to enjoy
the hotel grounds, which were beautiful.
Just a few moments on Sunday morning
before our long car ride back to Maryland...

holding my big sister's hand ~
a sweet moment 

and a cold one, too

Just a one more autumn picture?

What a road trip!
I'm so glad it worked out!

Here are my photo posts so far!

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