Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

A Dry Season

Tuesday, October 9th, 2018

Life without travel and adventures beyond can cause one’s juices for the unknown to evaporate! Meaning; I’m stuck at home with a kitchen remodel and I miss the wanderlust of being gone for weeks at a time. Help! I am investing myself in my volunteer work, and picking out appliances, and loving on my grandchildren BUT there is just something about heading into the unknown with your best friend by your side and delving into the history, culture, food and drink of a new territory.Added to that is total dependence on each other and prayer as you share these experiences.
In the mean time we are finding new trails to hike,looking for Autumn, following others on FB who are exploring, and thinking about walking the Way of St. Francis the length of Italy, God willing. (it’s gotta have Italy in it!)

Don’t Look Back

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

Something has been put before me multiple times in the last weeks, so I finally had to write about it and confess.

A month ago I heard a powerful speaker talk about Christ returning on Rosh Hashana. All the New and Old Testament verses he knew by heart and it certainly looked like a sure thing for this past September. And even tho’ we don’t know the day or the hour, Rosh Hashana is a 3 day holiday so there was wiggle room, and the speaker was pre-trib because Jesus would not let His followers suffer. Plans for the second temple, the coronal mass that was ejected from the sun that was headed to earth a week ago, the cell phones that would enable the whole world to see Christ return in the clouds, Psalm 27 that the Jews read everyday leading up to the Feast was my Bible verse for the day he spoke, the comic I was sent on Facebook showing the rapture…you name it, it was all lining up. But I was frightened, and every ounce of my being tensed and I was so puzzled by my reaction I was FEARFUL, but why?

I was afraid that like Lot’s wife, I would look back.

I’m supposed to look forward but what would make me turn?

Looking for family members?

If I was driving when it happened, what would happen to my cute little car?

I love my life, but if that was my speed bump, would God take it away? Our assets which would go to our kids but they were raptured too, so who would get it all? Who had I not shared Christ with? What good had I left undone? I have a trip on the books…

Each day leading up to Rosh Hashana were a terrible countdown for me, I didn’t even make a haircut appointment until the following week in case I didn’t need to spend the money. Shoot, I was looking forward to growing old and being a burden to my children.

Yes, the devil finds my brain a veritable playground. But maybe each of us is leaning out and holding on to something or someone.

I Googled and read “Overcoming Your Common End Time Fears.” What I learned was thru Y2K, 2012 Mayan Calendar, the blood moons, natural disasters, Jewish holy days…nobody who thought the end was near has been right so far.

God reveals in scriptures that we are given signs and warnings and we are getting a bushel of them but I see also where we are to pray and encourage above all else.

I am seeking to replace fear with comfort and approach this issue in my life with more wisdom and trust. Obviously it is a work in progress right now. I still check out the cloud formations warily.

“Trust in the Lord with all your might, and lean not on your own understanding” Proverbs 3:5

Mismatched Chairs

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

We have a lot of family moving in and moving out at this time in all of our lives. And at any one meal there are 2,4 and even 12 chairs around the table. Friends and friends of friends frequently join us and we sometimes are two rows deep because of highchairs. Some dear folk ask and bemoan how stressful it must all be. How disruptive? Messy? An imposition on this time in our retirement? My only angst is I long for a bigger table! When the gang assembles we round up all the chairs from all the rooms, and just like their occupants, they are a crazy quilt of styles and designs: directors chairs, oak antique chairs, needlepointed chairs, folding chairs, desk chairs! And all these unique faces, personalities, conversations are a wonder to behold , it makes you stand back and marvel. They are each a gift and so wonderfully different…just like the chair they sit in.

It may be Spring, but it’s Thanksgiving in my heart. xoxo

Standing On My Shoulders

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013

Quite a few years back I took lots of holiday photos to Kinkos (that should date me). They were open 24 hours a day and there I was at midnight a few days before Christmas putting this collage of Christmas pictures from over the years on the face of the copier machine . Then I laminated them into place mats to give as Christmas presents to our folks. The happy photos contained more and more little faces as kids and cousins were born and family traveled to be together. Joy was on every face around the dinner table, or in Santa’s lap, or coming in the door with armloads of gifts.

I have inherited those mats as our grandparents and parents are no longer here to physically share the day.

I miss them.  


I even wondered, as I made them part of the center of my dining table this year, if it was making me too sad to look at them. It was bittersweet viewing me hugging my grandmother, seeing the resemblance of a child to an Aunt that left us too soon, or the kids lined up around relatives who are literally ‘not in the picture’ anymore.

But I think I had an Epiphany (“a sudden, striking realization, a new and deeper perspective”)!

I look at the little faces currently sitting around the kitchen table or that I just skyped, or even at the sonogram of the little one that is growing in its mommy’s belly and I realize to my very core, that they are here! They are here, and they are here because the others moved on. And it’s ok. I miss the past Christmas’ with all my heart, but these current and future ones have such beautiful faces filled with their own joy and innocence. They just melt my heart. Spoken like a true grandma.

I am the oldest generation in the photos now (that’s scary!). I am also an important part of our family legacy because future generations stand on my shoulders and reach high into their own future, just as I did on those who came before me: those whose lives weren’t as easy, or came from other countries, who had other traditions, married us, and melted into what we know as our family today. (Gosh, I’m feeling wise.) Mom’s with us thru a recipe in her own handwriting, Grandad in an awful joke we retell, and we all bear striking resemblance to someone.

Joy never diminishes by sharing it, and I think that is not diminished by time. I am immeasurably thankful to the dear ones who aren’t at the table because they have scooted over for the sweet faces who now share this holiday’s joy. And when the time comes, I will scoot. But ultimately, I look forward to the heaven where Christ will entertain us ALL at His table…that will be some Christmas!!!


Click the thumbnail to enlarge, sorry bout the glare or cut-offs

Full Circle

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

We started this year of travel in April after all the cancer stuff was over; it was like a New Year’s celebration to head to Phoenix on our way to Colorado. One of the first photos I included in my blog was a saguaro cactus (they look like people to me), and here I am back in Arizona finishing up 2012’s travels.

It’s been totally awesome to think back at our time with Focus on Family, a European riverboat cruise, England friends and memories, family reunion on the Jersey shore. Disneyworld and Daytona, a retirement celebration, forever friends, DC Marathon, Hurricane Sandy, voting absentee on the road, a noreaster, humidity, wind, rain, snow, icicle-cold, and desert hot!

While at the family reunion at the shore, we fondly remembered cousin Sandy, who lost her cancer battle.I am so glad we had gotten closer over the last couple years. It seems like she might have had her hand in protecting her family’s beach house when her namesake hurricane came through and didn’t do any harm.

And while visiting Barnoldswick, England, we joined friends still mourning the death of my special friend Gail Usher. Some of her ashes are hidden in a crevice on the south side of the Grand Canyon because this was a special spot for her! We end our travels by way of this majestic natural wonder to be near and reflect on the gift of her friendship.

This journey, all of 2012, has shown us the glory of God in the sights, sounds, and tastes we have experienced, but most of all the people. It’s always good to come home, but if your heart is with God then it ALL feels like home.


Angel Quest

Saturday, November 10th, 2012

Newburyport, MA is the most picturesque and typical New England town! We got to catch up with brother-in-law Art and wife Phyllis Levine here and were totally charmed by this place and our walks to the Merrimac River and brick-sidewalked streets.

I found out they are famous for a particular angel. There is a weather vane in town that was originally created for the First Universalist Church of Newburyport. It later became immortalized in a painting illustrating folkart, and then became a postage stamp! The painting is in the National Gallery in Washington D.C. and the original angel is in the Smithsonian. A replica has been moved to the Peoples’ Methodist Church just outside of downtown.

After some sleuthing, we found the Angel Gabriel!


Saturday, November 3rd, 2012

I’m a California girl, but truth be told, I had my start in New Jersey. Little would I have ever guessed, that on my birthday, I would have the opportunity to stand in front of my first home, swing by the hospital of my birth, and reconnect with one of my cousins who hasn’t strayed far from home. Pretty cool.

My mom and dad and all their family came from these northeast jersey parts, but World War II and the Marine Corp gave them the bug to move to San Diego when I was a 4 year old. Up and left family and friends and moved to the land of opportunity. We lived in Bird Rock, and then the Muirlands of La Jolla so I haven’t strayed far.

So I am back to my roots, and ever so glad to reconnect but even more glad to be in the land of sunshine!

Waiting for Sandy

Monday, October 29th, 2012

Waiting for a hurricane is like watching paint dry: it will happen but not soon enough. But in the mean time we wait and watch the news and learn more about tidal surges and barometric isobars. Yes it is raining and it is windy but it is the tides that are doing the damage.

I am with my cousins in DC, whose New Jersey coastal town home is under water. It has been in the family for several generations and was the site of this past summer’s Family Reunion. It holds many of my mothers’ paintings and other family records. BUT, if you live at 6 inches above sea level and the sea is now 9 feet above normal, then something is gonna wash away.  All of those outer banks and barrier islands are mainly sandbars protecting the mainland and could just crumble and wash away. This is the storm that happens every 75 years and reconfigures the terrain.

So we wait, and watch as long as we have power, and pray.

Marathon Man

Monday, October 29th, 2012

Two years in the planning, a long way from home, and a lot of pressure to finish, and HE DID IT!  Steve Morales completed the 37th Annual Marine Corp Marathon (biggest in history) in near record time of 6 hours 8 minutes! YOU try running for that long (at 64 yrs of age to boot)!

The weather was perfect: gloomy and low 60’s. With a looming hurricane, it was miraculous that there was no rain. Praise God! And Captain Morales got choked up when the marine put the medal around his neck. “Well done, sir!”

You can imagine it’s quite a race with all the monuments of DC. There were bands and drumlines and lots of cheering spectators (and cute soldiers).

And speaking of spectators, let’s hear it for the dedication they exhibit in standing there for hours cheering others all in anticipation of ‘their’ runner coming by. Then running to the next viewing opportunity. This is not a job for the weak-willed. Way to go, Debbie, Carolyn, Jeff and super-Julie who ran some of the race at critical times. Well done, indeed!

Leaving Behind

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

I remember all those years when Steve had weekend Navy duty as well as two week stints each year. He would miss birthdays, ballgames and other events in our kids’ lives.  And he never failed to notice how much they had changed in his absence. Couldn’t be helped, but it was always the wrong time to miss out.

That’s the way with this longer travel. We would rather link destinations rather than make separate trips, and it really takes several weeks to serve a ministry, or even just unwind. But you always sacrifice something by being gone.

These are the kiddoes I will miss; their cherubic faces and cheerful personalities. And they grow like weeds. Can’t you tell that they are missing “Mimi” and “Poppi” already?