Wednesday, April 29, 2015

April Showers Bring .....

… Lots of pretty flowers and anniversaries. It’s been a blustery April in north Georgia with lots of rain and wind. Today, however, is one of the most beautiful days of the year so far. April and May are two of my favorite months – springtime days before the heat of summer settles in here in Georgia.

I had the wonderful opportunity to speak at a ladies retreat with the April Showers Bring May Flowers theme.  I shared my testimony and stories from my book Born Three Times.  We talked about how the tough times in life (those April showers) make it possible to bloom like May flowers and bless other people in the process.

There are other things I like to celebrate in May besides the pretty weather. It will soon be seventeen years since I received my second chance at life when a healthy donor liver replaced the diseased liver in my body. It’s with mixed emotions I celebrate my life as I still reflect on the family who made the difficult decision to donate their loved ones liver in May of 1998.  April is National Donate Life Month to encourage people to register to be organ donors and to tell their families about their decision. Please consider checking that box on your driver’s license. Currently, nearly 124,000 men, women and children are awaiting organ transplants in the United States.

My blog anniversary is also in May. In 2012 I started my twice-monthly blog and can’t believe how quickly the months have flown by. This is my number 72 post. I’ve had 15,251 clicks to this date. People from countries all over the world have read what I have written. I want to keep on keeping on and am continually looking for new ideas. Your input is always appreciated.

Mother’s Day is fast approaching and it’s another reason to celebrate in May. My own mother has been gone for twenty-eight years and the older I get find myself imitating her in some of my ways. Being a mother to two adult sons and grandmother to five grandchildren continues to fill my life with challenges and blessings. As a step-mother to Charles’ two children and his grandchildren, my life has grown in ways I never imagined.

Celebrate those April showers and May flowers God has placed in your life and share those blessings with others.

“For behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.”
Song of Solomon 2:11-12

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Home on the Range

Charles and I talked for weeks about taking a “Staycation.”  Spend less money, sleep in our own comfortable bed, ignore the phone, pray for no emergencies at work or with the kids, catch up on household tasks, eat out every night – sounded  “de-lite-full.”  I can’t believe we actually pulled it off.

We began our great adventure the week leading up to Easter. We each had a goal for the week—Charles was going to write more of his life story in preparation for his book. Frieda’s plan was to clean out her clothes closet, store winter clothes, and bring in the spring/summer clothes from storage. We didn’t want to spend all our time just relaxing, as tempting as that was.

By the end of the week, Charles actually produced 8,500 words for Frieda to edit into his manuscript. Frieda loaded up three big boxes of clothes to donate to the local homeless shelter. We ended up with our pickup truck full of odds and ends to donate. I felt ten pounds lighter when all that stuff was gone.

All work and no play was out of the question, so we took one day to visit Gibbs Gardens near Ball Ground, GA.  The Gibbs family has landscaped over 200 acres with beautiful trees, flowering shrubs, ponds, and bridges. Thousands of daffodils dotted the hillsides, and the pinkish Japanese maples were just starting to bloom. It was a beautiful 80 degree day-perfect for strolling on the garden paths midst clouds of yellow pollen unique to Georgia and its pine trees.

Picking a different restaurant every night was the frosting on the vacation cake. We decided to explore the USA via our food choices. We started out the week with Huey Lueys for a taste of south of the border foods similar to what we could find in Texas. Next we went to California Dreamin for some fresh vegetables and a taste of Los Angeles.  Our next stop was to Boston for Irish food at O’Charleys (use your imagination please), then to Chicago for Italian food from the local Parkside Grill. We concluded our week by eating Memphis BBQ at our BBQ Cutie, and finished our imaginative tour of the US by consuming Southern fried chicken and biscuits at the Whistle Stop.

I didn’t want the week to end, but Charles was ready to go back to the office. Doctor and dental appointments and a trip to see the tax man demanded our time and attention. Our week practicing retirement put a new spring in our step. Another staycation in the future is definitely on our  
“to do” list.