Posts Tagged ‘barnoldswick’

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.


Memorial Bench

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

With Gail’s untimely death, the brilliant idea of a bench for the town square came about. With donations from town folk, friends, and all who she touched, a design for a unique and touching bench was submitted and is currently being created. It will reside in the niche of the square where Gail could be found several times a day when she needed a quick break.

It’s the left corner of the square where she could look back at her shop. This is a view from the shop window and the current bench will be moved.

An unveiling and dedication will take place on Barnoldswick Day on Sept. 8, 2012.

Look Right!

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

I nearly did it, or rather did myself “in”.  I looked left when I should have looked right first as they are all driving on the wrong side of the road! Thank you guardian angel, I don’t know how I didn’t end up as a hood ornament!

Look Left

pic courtesy of andy

Tribute Trip

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

When making plans for this vacation, we couldn’t stop in Europe with out dropping in on Gail and Karl; they were even thinking of joining us on the continent for some travel.

So we locked in two weeks with them. Gail has the flower shop over here and has frequently helped me in my shop over the last 7 or 8 years when she has come for extended stays in the states.

But Gail died in her sleep the day before Easter and we are here and she isn’t. I can’t begin to tell you how such a vibrant, dynamic friend has left a hole in the lives of those who knew and loved her, as well as the entire town of Barnoldswick.

To be with her family and friends as well as staying in her home and sharing memories is special but difficult, healing but bittersweet. And the only response I know of when someone dear is gone to soon, is to live a bigger life and try to embody some of their passions.  We miss you, sweet friend.

A New Chapter

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

Front Desk At Focus On The FamilyThe experience at Focus on the Family was PERFECT; just what the doctor ordered. It forced me to get my stamina back with the schedule we kept, we made some great new friends, and enriched old friendships. It was a wonderful April!

Now we look forward to a whole bunch of anticipation to our “Rivers of Europe” river boat cruise.  From Amsterdam to Vienna on a ship that holds 150! I am trying to learn about the area, mostly Germany — Castles, middle ages, war trials etc. It’s kind of my “Jubilee” and victory trip over the trials of 8 months of Chemo and Radiation.

From Vienna we head to Barnoldswick,  England to see friends and family and from there to a family reunion in New Jersey.

So hold on to your hats, here we go again.  God is so good, and it is sooooo awesome to have my health back and that dark chapter of cancer behind me. The prayers, cards, books, and meals were so much appreciated. They got me through.  Amazing!

Cross At Focus On The Family

Barnoldswick, UK

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

andy is jealous because of this pictureThe most pleasant of English country towns you will ever find! The Kallas’ and the Morales’ dropped in on friends, Gail and Karl, and cousins Carol and Chris…friends and family!

Picture rolling lush green hills, dotted with fluffy sheep and frolicking lambs, stack stone fences and corner pubs, steak and kidney pie, and puddings, pints and pubs. “oh to be in England, now that spring is here (name that author).”

Daffodils line every lane and drizzle freshens each morning.  Tho’ we still bundle up as it’s in the 40’s and 50’s, inside it is cozy and the aromas of Karls cooking warms the soul.

Hoping to help Gail during her (English) Mothers’ Day rush,we found we were of most help staying out of her way in the teeny flower shop. Steve was a “runner” for some deliveries  but we depended on Karl to show us more of his neck of the woods.

Trip to Cancer

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Last year was an awesome year of travel; 22 weeks away from home and on the road!  The sights and tastes of the journey were incredible, awesome, priceless.  From Barnoldswick, England to Pisa, Italy,to Orland, Sweden the adventure far exceeded all expectations. And the people; oh the kindness of Raymond, Alessandro, Gunner and Dieter, Miranda, Giovani, Father Piernino, and many many others.

We returned home with some inklings that all was not normal, so doctor appointments started lining up. Sonagram, pap,biopsy, specialists, waiting, and then the day you have a date with an oncologist. How do you be cheerful as you walk in that door, the one at the very end of that long hallway?

But just like the adventures in Europe, the doctors, nurse-practitioner, staff and volunteers at Scripps-Mercy Hospital, Scripps-Green and RB joined with all my friends and family to hold me up in prayer. Betty and Mary and Andy babysat me after surgery, Donna cooked and Steve e-mailed updates. I was so loved and cared for that fear NEVER had a chance to take hold. Radiation zapped some strength, but not the knowledge that God loved me and had placed me amongst the most wonderful people in the entire world.

I need to get a map with some bright pins to mark all those special destinations I hold in my heart. Just not sure where to put the trip to cancer pin, cause  I don’t want to forget it…it too became a good memory.

Designing Woman

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009
Designing Woman

Designing Woman

Gail Usher

• Shop Owner
• Newly Elected Chamber  of Trade President (by a landslide)
• New Rotarian
Hollies Fan
• Good Friend
• Devoted Daughter, Sister, Mother, Confidant, Girlfriend.

Gail is THE designing force behind all that is good and creative in Barnoldswick! 

And right now she is one tired puppy, having survived yet another Mothers’ Day in England. Heading up a staff of 8, she served the community and handled 450 orders on Saturday and nearly 100 on Sunday (all while being hostess to two foreigners from across the pond).


Sunday, March 22nd, 2009


Carol and Chris Howarth live in Barnoldswick, they  have one son Warren, who is married to Michelle and they are parents to Owen! ( are you with me so far?) Carol and my Dad are cousins: my Dad’s mother (Marion Mc Nabb Fear)  is half sister to Carol’s dad, Sam(Nice). That makes us related! They are also the ones who introduced us to Gail (her favorite florist) when we were here 6 years ago. . . and the rest is history.

We have fallen in LOVE with Owen; rosy cheeks, blue eyes, spikey hair…and he even comes with the cutes accent. And his favorite sport is golf.  Owen turns 4 in May.



The Charm of Barnoldswick

Sunday, March 15th, 2009

A lot of this country is going wrong , but alot of it is so right and nostalgic,quaint,typically English! here are a couple shots of what I speak of.

New delivery van

New delivery van

sawley abbey

sawley abbey