Ho! Ho! Boo!

My sister is moving to Amsterdam before Christmas. Since this may be our last opportunity to have a family Christmas for a few years, we thought we would celebrate on Halloween.

I think God loves her a lot. Because this weekend we had a HISTORIC  Halloween snow storm.

I shoveled a foot of snow Saturday night. Then Sunday morning I had another foot to shovel!

 

So today is Christmas and Halloween. We have decided to greet all our trick-or-treaters with a mixed greeting “Ho! Ho! Boo!”

Have you been effected by our HISTORIC world weather? What do you think it is?

Hallowinter?

It snowed today!

 

I know it probably won’t last.

Still it’s not even Halloween.The leaves aren’t even off the trees! That makes this Hallowinter!

And these aren’t footprints in beach sand.

Hallowinter is a truly frightening time!

To coin an old New England saying “I’m wicked scayad!”

How do you feel about Hallowinter? 

 

Autumn Trek Pt.5: The Audubon Loop

     My son saved me hundreds of dollars in hotel costs by letting me sleep in his dorm room. He let me have the bed while he took the floor, because I’m old (according to him) and he’s going to be a missionary; So he needs to practice. I, of course, was entirely compliant not wanting to rob him of his missionary training. 🙂

     We slept well and by next morning we were both ready for action. After donuts and coffee we decided to head out to Mill Grove to walk the trails before Joe had to be back to work at 1 P.M. 

       When the kids were little Tina and I went camping at Lamb City in Phillipston MA. They had a loop trail there too! It was a beautiful trail around the lake, but poorly marked.

    Tina had gone shopping in town. Joe and Amanda were really needing something to do. So leaving Melanie with my brother and sister-in-law I headed out with my three and four-year olds for what was supposed to be a short jaunt around the lake. I knew we were in trouble when I wandered into an apple orchard an hour or so later some two miles from the camp ground. By the time a van loaded with strangers offered us a ride, two hours further into our walk, I really didn’t care if they were axe-murderers the kids and I needed rescuing.

      I share that little story because history has a way of repeating itself. At first Joe and I were only going to walk half the trail and turn back the way we came. Half way in we changed the plan and decided to do the whole loop which was a four and a half mile walk. I thought “I can do this. Let’s impress the whippersnapper!”

The forest trail was beautiful. We found the remnants of an old lead mine and stopped for pictures.

     Of course, being part of the Audubon estate the trail was dotted with bird houses and duck blinds like this one.

      It was all going so well until about here. Then we lost the trail. Oh, we were on a trail all right. We just didn’t know it was the wrong one until we came to a dog park where we asked some friendly dog owners where the Audubon Loop picked back up.

    To which they replied “You walked here from the Audubon loop? Bummer!”

    So…Yeah…Four miles turned into more like eight or ten. The biggest difference between getting lost with my son at four and getting lost with my son at twenty-two is that this time I didn’t have to carry him. Oh, and this time I had a camera. 

Long story short. We lived. We made it back. Joe was only a half hour late for work. But, I’m thinking  maybe that look he gave me when I first arrived was prophetic.

Autumn Trek Pt. 4: Let’s Get There Already!

Yesterday I left you all at the border of Pennsylvania.

I may have mentioned it took me ten hours to get there. Still, I am sure you are wondering how come I could make it in ten hours and it has taken you three days. Well you can only do so much in four hundred words. Besides we have to take some time for the sycamores.

I had to ask an artist on the street what kind of trees they were because I really liked them. He gave me an “Are you entirely stupid?” look. Followed by a “How dare you disturb the heir of Van Gough!” look.  Then an eye roll… a loud sigh…Then he shrugged and turned his back on me like I had disturbed his nap! I think I broke Mr. Crankypants’ concentration.

He was standing right outside of this shop painting the trees. So honestly I thought he would be the best one to ask! How wroooong I was. Still I liked the trees. I finally found out what they were from a shop keeper who didn’t have anger issues.

I shook it off and bought myself a pumpkin coffee at Dunkin Donuts for comfort and went back to the road.

 In a little over an hour I was close to finishing my drive. I still had plenty of daylight so I opted to stop at Mill Grove, the John J. Audubon estate, just ten minutes from my son’s home in Phoenixville.

It was a great little road trip, and only a tank away! I learned that when you are living the slow, constant, and intentional life it’s your moment. Most people aren’t living the experience with you. So when an artist (or a non-artist) gets cranky with you don’t sweat it. He’s just having a moment among the sycamores. So just keep slow. Keep constant. Keep intentional. Maybe someday the rest of the world will join your joy! 

Oh by the way here’s the reason for my trip!

I know, I know he kind of looks like he’s been hanging out with my tree-artist friend. But I was embarrassing him in front of his boss, going all paparazzi on him…sorry Joe! 🙂 

Autumn Trek Pt. 1: Muddy’s Birthday

     So I am on a journey of discovery this week-end. I started planning this autumn trek in August. A prophetess, named Julie, told me I would receive a deeper revelation this trip, about something I already knew and practiced;  But it would be reinforced and strengthened so that I could teach it to others; Maybe you can help me come up with revelation knowledge out of this hodge-podge. “In the mouth of two or three witnesses let a thing be established!”

It all started with a party

     Thursday was Muddy’s 75th birthday! She asked that we not have a party. She wanted to order in Chinese, and asked us to buy a Pepperidge Farm Chocolate Layer Cake along with Neapolitan ice cream. Of course my sister and I tried to convince her to go out to a fancy restaurant (you only turn 75 once after all) but she would have none of it. So we bought the rice and the Rangoon and the boxed cake and made a party of it! I did tell you Muddy didn’t want a party didn’t I?

   

    

I bought hats and  made everyone wear them!

And we invited a few guests. This is Muddy looking annoyed at the unwanted visitors. Before you pass judgment hear me out. They were very special guests:

We invited a gnome

 a dwarf

Princess Leia

(She’s saying “Help me Obi Wan Kenobi. This party is really dull!”)

There was a unicorn

a parrot

Hercule Poirot

And an alien bug

Muddy was a little upset with the guest list until we brought out the cake. Then it was all good.

     So that’s how the autumn trek started. Anyone getting any deep spiritual lessons for me yet?

Pooh Is Dangerous!

    Last week, my sister asked me to go to see Winnie the Pooh with her. I agreed as long as she consented to come see , Cowboys and Aliens with me. She said she wanted to see it anyway….So I was stuck.

     As we approached the ticket booth I felt my palms get a little sweaty as I realized I was going to have to tell the teenage ticket sales girl that I wanted tickets for the kiddie show. I handed her my money and felt slightly cheated by the fact that I was paying full price for a movie that was only half the length of every other show in the theater. But you can’t fight city hall as they say; So  I bought my Blue-ras-cherry slushy and my raisinets and prepared for an hour of cartoon frivolity.

     Little did I know Winnie the Pooh is dangerous!  Something happened to me in that show. I think I was hypnotized by subliminal messaging somewhere between the loss of Eeyore’s tail and the fight against the Backsun! I haven’t been able to stop looking up Pooh quotes since! They keep rattling around like fluff in an understuffed pillow!…See?!? I find myself going to the internet and looking up new Pooh thoughts  compulsively. I don’t know what I am going to do!

     Anyway I now realize that Pooh is a philosopher on an equal plain with Socrates and Plato and he makes better use of multi-media. Here is my favorite quote so far…

When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.
— Pooh’s Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne

Go ahead and see if you can find a better quote for an inspiring writer!

Moxie Day!

      I have learned that people like to celebrate, you know, take time off from the normal hum of life. Even if we really like our work, there is nothing quite like departing from the day-to-day for a break away.

     The people of “Vacationland”, Maine have come up with another reason to celebrate and relax: “MOXIE DAY!

     Never heard of Moxie? I’m not surprised it’s a New England thing sort of like fat back or fried okra for you southerners or poi for you Pacific oceaneers.

     Moxie is a soda you will only find in New England and it’s one of those things you either love or hate…there is no middle ground. I grew up drinking Moxie so over time I acquired a love for the curiously strong beverage. When asked about the flavor I usually remark “It tastes sort of like sweetened pennies!”

     Anyway the people in Maine have dedicated a whole day to the celebration of moxie. if you google Moxie Day you will find out that they are calling the soda “Maine in a bottle”.

     In Waldosboro they are celebrating by having free give aways off the “moxiemobile” that will travel through town. Lisbon Falls has a whole day of bands and dance troupes planned, finishing up with fireworks! It’s a big deal! I was a week early for the festivities…too bad I love Moxie!

     Last weekend I learned celebration is a necessity not an option. If people can’t find a reason to kick back and enjoy they will make one up!

     What crazy things does your part of the world celebrate?

Mainiac For A Weekend!

  I am always surprised by how God grants me exactly what I need, when I need it. Recently I needed inspiration. Here’s my story:   

  On the 3rd of July I left Massachusetts to go Down East. For those of you not from New England, that means I went to Maine. How that ends up being down and East to anybody other than Canadians I have no idea… but there you have it.

     I began feeling a push in my spirit to visit my northern brothers a few months ago. So when my brother-in-law invited me up, I decided it was time to go. I wasn’t really sure about the why. But I did plenty of praying about it on my journey up, and as usual the Spirit answered full measure, pressed down, shaken together and overflowing!

     My Brother-in-law Cliff and his wife Andrea live on a tree farm in the little town of Waldosboro.

     As you travel north along the coast, the sandy beaches of York and Ogunquit give way to the rocky ocean outcrops Maine is so famous for. Here in the bays of Camden, Waldosboro, and Wiscasset the great ship building industry of Maine was born early in our nation’s history. This is where I travelled too…though when I started I didn’t really know why.

     Holy Spirit began to show me almost as soon as I left that this was going to be a weekend of refreshing for my heart and a time of inspiration for my mind. 

     As I started out, God told me to take my time. Then He proceeded to make sure I would obey His command by sticking me in a traffic jam for three hours! 😎 When my arrival time came and went and I hadn’t even reached the Maine border I called Cliff and told him I would be along as soon as I could leave the NH parking lot.

     Through it all I felt so much peace. I prayed and God was my driving companion. He shared His thoughts and I descended deeper  into His presence even as He and I had a heart to heart that evidently was long overdue.

        I’m so thankful that God always knows what we need and when we need it. As a Maniac for a weekend I learned so much and I have much to share with you all!

     See you tomorrow!

Killing Judgy

     You have heard about my sarcasm bone, but have you met my alternate personality? I call him Judgy and every once in a while when my ire is up he comes out.

     For most of my life I was unaware of his existence. I really thought I was a sweet person. Then I started writing.

     I have come to know this Judgy character pretty well as I have reread my drafts. You may think my wit is a little biting in print…but you should see the things I don’t publish!

     The pieces that don’t make the cut have titles like “Sorry or Just Plain Sad”  or the piece I was working on today “Until It Happens To You”. I got the blog finished. Then I proof read  it and said “Oh surely not!” I trashed it realizing Judgy had struck again.

     It’s not that I totally disagree with him, mind you. Sometimes Judgy makes good points; It’s the way he makes them that leaves a little bit to be desired. Just an aside, anytime you read a blog and things around you begin to spontaneously combust, it’s probably not a good thing.

     So Judgy has to go. He must be assimilated and his more vitriolic qualities must be done away with. I want to speak the truth but with love alone. I suppose he’s not just going to keel over dead tomorrow though. So if everyone once in a while Judgy pops out please accept my apology in advance!

If you had an alternate personality what would it be called?

I Am Become Disney World!

     There are many interesting changes which come with mid-life and the empty nest.

     Some of the changes have been rather jarring. For instance: the inability to get back to 200 hundred pounds without amputation of limbs, or this new thing about not being able to drink coffee after 9 without getting heartburn (truly terrifying).

    Certain changes, on the other hand, have been very gratifying: The idea that I am no longer “the rookie”. The respect that comes with that perception is truly wonderful. Then there’s this whole thing about becoming Disney World….

     When the kids were growing up Tina and I tried to give the kids a wide variety of exposures to the world. We took them all over and showed them as much of our country as we could. The kids have been to Maine and Maryland. They have travelled as far away as Texas and Florida. We have pictures of them bathing in the Gulf waters in Galveston and walking the humid pathways of Valley Forge Park in Pennsylvania.

     All those years vacation to our family meant going to a destination. Now suddenly two years into the empty nest I have become the destination! I am Disney World! Go me! Granted, I am not exactly Space Mountain or the Tower of Terror. I am more like It’s A Small World but the kids don’t seem to mind. Then there’s the added bonus that vacations no longer cost an arm and a leg. Hey! Maybe that’s why I can no longer lose the weight…hmm.

What changes has life brought you recently?