Made it to South Carolina last night! 10 hours of solid constant rain, fog, accidents, and horrid traffic. It took 10 hours for a normal 6-1/2 - 7 hour drive. I resolve to be calm and enjoy this holiday with my son and daughter-in-law. I am SO happy to be here. Jake did well on his first long trip. He's never been any further than Roanoke. He was very good but would NOT leave my lap.He snuggled deep into his blanket and seemed content to be there. We made a LOT of stops for his sake, just to be on the safe side. I had hoped he would curl up in the back of the SUV, but no way was he leaving my arms. I know ~ we've spoiled him. I really didn't mind holding his 5-1/2 pound little body, knowing he was happy. After Casey finishes his morning run, we are taking off for downtown Charleston. There are 2 shops I go to when I visit, to reload on T-shirts ~Fresh Produce and Life is Good. They have the greatest colorful shirts. It is unusually cool and wet here for this time of year. I'm sure the storm that rolled across the country recently had something to do with it. I don't care ~ just filled with joy to be here. Signing off! Much to do today. Amanda and I have chatted away the morning and now it's time to get moving!
I'm sure you know, and understand why, the mail from Virginia will arrive in your mailbox late. ):
But, I can send you wishes right now that your day will be special in every way. Know that I will keep you in my thoughts while you celebrate the day you were born ~ a lucky day for all of us who know you and your big beautiful heart.
I hope you are enjoying your sister's visit. It's always more fun to celebrate a birthday when loved ones are there to share it with you. Sending wishes that your day will be joyful and the year ahead will be filled with all good things.
You graced this earth with your presence for 96 years, Mom. You were the best!! Your children and your home meant everything to you and you did a beautiful job of raising us and making a comfortable home for us. Your belief and love of God was of the utmost importance to you and you passed that on to us. You suffered financial pain and physical pain throughout the years, but you were always a fighter with a strong constitution. You always managed to bounce back.
It comforts me to know you are now with Patrick, Grandpa, Uncle Steve, Uncle Andy, and all the other loved ones who went before you. I will miss you so much, Mom. Please watch over me, guide me in the right direction, and pray for me that I remain strong in my faith and always make the right choices.
I hope the weather holds out up there in Ohio so you can enjoy one of your favorite things ~ golf ~ for a while longer before the snow flies.
Since it's your special day, I should tell you that I've enjoyed having you for a brother-in-law. Our trips to antique malls are such fun and it always brings a big smile to my face when I hear you rattling the pots and pans in the kitchen. This tells me that I have the day off from cooking!
We've shared 17 of your Birthdays together as husband and wife. It sure doesn't seem possible ~ happiness has a way of letting the years slip by without noticing. I wish for you a beautiful day with no worries and no pains ~ a day filled with sunny blue skies, laughter, friendship, smiles, many kisses from Jake, and all the joy your heart can hold.
I noticed these strange mushrooms the other day. Our mulch is filled with them ~ all different sizes. They seem to start out as a ball and end up opening into a star shape. The spores must have been in the load of mulch we received in the Spring because we never had them before. I picked up a handful to look at the different stages closely. They are quite interesting and once opened into the star shape, they are actually pretty. (Click on the photo to enlarge and see them up close.)
Mom enjoying the Autumn decor at the Care Center where she now lives.
Is she not the cutest 96 year old ?
This is one of the courtyards at the Care Center. They have a large porch in the front of the building. I take her outside as often as possible to sit. It won't be long before the weather changes and she will be inside for the long cold winter.
Mom's room is on the end. She has a beautiful large crepe myrtle tree right outside her window to enjoy. There is a large door/window in the hall outside her room and she likes to sit there and look out at the green of the mountains.
It has been an adjustment not having Mom at home with us. It took me a while to realize that I wouldn't be able to handle her on my own. After all the visits to the Care Center at various times of the day and evening, I can see that her needs are being taken care of. She is comfortable there and is well liked. She tells me often that they are kind to her. Hearing these things helps a lot. I feel blessed that she is able to communicate with us as well as she does. There are so many there who can't.
I visit often. There are some things that only a daughter can do for her mom ~ she loves it when I bring her cookies or some kind of sweet snack. She loves trips to doctor appointments, being on the porch, talking about family, visits from Jake, and knowing there will be return visits. I can tell she knows we love her and I can see the love in her eyes. I'm sure God is watching over her as she has been ever so faithful to Him all of her life. ♥
What more can I say other than I couldn't be any more proud of the man you've become? I couldn't possibly love you more than I do. My wish for you is a lifetime of love and happiness with little pain, no sorrow, success in all you do, and a continuing desire to strive for the best.
You will always be my little boy. All the love and joy you brought into my life during those growing years is in my heart to stay.
The peaceful beautiful place where I go to visit Patrick.
This crusader is 12' tall cast iron and priced at $12,000. It is at Black Dog Salvage in Roanoke, Virginia. I have a dream to purchase it and place it on the front lawn of Central Catholic High School in Canton, Ohio, my Alma Mater (our mascot is a crusader). This will continue to be a dream unless the lottery falls into my hands or I discover some very wealthy long long lost relative.
These gorgeous statues look like angels lined up.
Claw foot anyone?
On the floor at Black Dog.
Will and Audrey
My cousin, Will (lives in Ohio), picked up my sister and drove 800 (400x2) miles to come visit over the weekend. It was a wonderful surprise. We crammed a LOT into one day ~ Friday. Will wanted nothing more than to visit Patrick's grave and to go visit Mom at the Care Center.
When Will showed up in front of Mom, we all cried. She said his name, grabbed him and hugged him. They were both very happy to see each other. They have always had a close relationship.
Besides visiting Mom and Patrick ~ Will, Patty, and I had a wonderful lunch at Abuelo's Mexican Embassy compliments of Will, we visited Buy The Season where I have my consignment booths, we visited Black Dog Salvage, and we had nice long talks and laughs at home.