Thursday, December 18, 2014

Way Back When.....

....I was still a bun in my mama's oven...... Well, that sounded stupid, but I'm leaving it in because my posts are for posterity's sake, remember. HaHa!

Anyway, today is my birthday! And I plan to do just what the heck I want to, which includes going to the grocery store, baking, making beds, laundry...'cause....a woman's work is never done. But I'm seriously enjoying all the Birthday Wishes I'm receiving on Facebook. I don't need presents....nah....but those two words just make my day!

Again, way back when I was still a bun in my mama's oven, this world was a different place. I thought it might be fun to Google the highlights of the year 1959. Yeah, I dated myself. I don't care that you know how old I am. I'm hip like that.

In 1959:

1)   Alaska was admitted as the 49th U.S. state and Hawaii as the 50th.
2)   Ben-Hur was the movie of the year.
3)   Exodus by Leon Uris was the number one best seller.
4)   Two monkeys, Able and Miss Baker are the first living beings to successfully return to Earth from space aboard the flight Juniper AM-18.
5)   CBS made The Wizard of Oz an annual tradition.
6)   Smoke Gets In Your Eyes by the Platters topped the charts.
7)   In the 50's The Korean War took place and the Vietnam War began.
8)   Bonanza was very popular on T.V.
9)   Dwight D. Eisenhower was President.
10) In 1959, a cure-all vaccine for diphtheria, polio, and whooping cough was released.
11) I share my birth year with Simon Cowell, Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson and Magic Johnson.
12) Mary Ann Mobley from MS was Miss America.
13) Frank Lloyd Wright died that year.
14) Cliff was 4 years old.
15) Daddy was in the Army, stationed in Ft. Ord, California. He had only been there 3 weeks when I was born and it was 6 weeks later before he met me for the first time.
16) I was born at 2:18 a.m., weighed 8 lb. 9 oz., it was cold and rainy. Mama said, "You've gained a few pounds, since then". HaHa! .
17) Mama was living in Spartanburg with Granny and PaPa, since Daddy was away. Spartanburg is listed as my birth city, but I was actually born in a little community called Cowpens in Dr. Crow's clinic. How about that!

 

My oh my, how times have changed. Progress continues and is needed, but sometimes I wish I could go back and experience what it was like to be a teenager and/or an adult during the 50's. I bet I would be wearing poodle skirts and watching American Bandstand with Dick Clark, listening to Chuck Berry or Elvis and doing the twist in my black and white saddle oxfords at the local sock hop. Or, I would be doing my shopping, baking and cleaning in heels and pearls.

Hang Loose,
Laurie





Saturday, December 13, 2014

It's Nearly Over....

2014, that is. It's been a crazy busy year. I've found myself putting things on the backburner and this blog caught the brunt of it. I was even asked the other day if I had quit blogging.

No way!

So.....to avoid making this novel length, I'm going to sort of bullet the last month's or so memorable events with pictures. And it will be picture heavy, I promise.


Remainder of October 2014:
 
Sawyer turned 8! Here he is in his Korean Tae Kwon Do Dobak (uniform)
eating birthday cake in a sombrero at a Mexican restaurant. He's multi-cultural!
 
 
One week after my last half marathon, I'm pretty sure I broke my toe.....so I haven't run since then. Bummer! I'm actually going in the morning. I think it has healed pretty well. Could have been because of the great care I took of it with the cast and all...

 
Lidia was Cat Woman for Halloween and Sawyer was some sort of Action Figure. I couldn't tell you which one, even if you tried to beat it out of me. And from the looks of that thing behind him, he may have to do some....well, you know....action.
 

Lidia's class went on a three day field trip to Seabrook Island near Charleston, SC 
concentrating on environmental education. She's a smart girl!


Lidia and Sawyer's last fishing adventure at the lake. It looks wicked cold, doesn't it.
 

Sawyer has been practicing with his bow and arrow. He's pretty good, too. Bless it, he's still sort of snaggletoothed. I love him!
 

In case you don't know where I've been......Sawyer wanted you to know.
 
 
November 2014:
  
It snowed at the lake on November 1st.
 

It was gorgeous! But only lasted a few hours.
 
 
Sawyer's artwork was chosen as one of twenty from hundreds of students at his school to be displayed in the Chapman Cultural Center. It's of a superhero, of course. He's very talented!
 

Lidia and Sawyer took away some major trophy's from their Tae Kwon Do event. I wouldn't cross them, if I were you!
 

Lidia and Sawyer earned their Green Belt with Blue Stripe. Black belt, here they come!
 

Remember this picture from this post? The cotton popped! Isn't it beautiful? I just love living in the "land of cotton"!
 
 
December 2014:
 
Alas, we are in December. I love December for many reasons......
1) It turns cold.  2) It's my birthday month.  3) It's Christmas, and 4) It's family time.
I'm so excited because all of my children will be home for Christmas this year. And then, there is Ms. Bones. You remember her, don't you? Please don't get the wrong idea....I am not macabre! 
She's just been a part of our family, since I was in x-ray school.
Her outfit changes seasonally. Ha! Here she is.....dressed for the holidays.
Isn't she elegant?
 
 
Unfortunately, we did have some sadness just before Thanksgiving. Cliff's step-father passed away. The family, though sad, is celebrating his life and memories. And we know he is in a better place.
 
Speaking of Thanksgiving, Mama spent it with us at the lake. I really wanted her to just rest and take it easy. Y'all, the woman wouldn't sit still. She has helped me cook, washed every dish in the house, swept and taken out the trash. I had to make her go sit down and rest. Hope I'm that active in my 70's.
 
And finally, Lidia was baptized the Sunday after Thanksgiving. We are so proud of her and her decision to follow Jesus. She is so sweet. I can't wait to see how the Lord will use her. She was a little nervous that morning. On the way to church, she asked us if the water in the Baptistry will be warm. We assured her that it is heated and she said, "Alright then, I'm good to go". I love her!
 
 
Merry Christmas,
Laurie
 
 
 
 


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Nothing on my calendar.....Except rejuvenation

Just sharing a bit of fall from SC.
Cotton fields, like this one just down the road from my house,
will pretty soon, will be a sea of white.

I made a statement many, many years ago that has haunted me to this day. No one probably even remembers it. But, I clearly do and I think about it often. I often wondered what would make me just blurt out something like that. I was young and didn't know how to express what I was thinking in a way that didn't sound boorish or insensitive. And as we have all been warned at times, you can never take back your words, once said. I do feel bad about that. No, I'm not going to tell you what I said because those words are not the point of this post. The point is that years older and hopefully, wiser...I now understand why I would make such a comment. The truth is....I'm an introvert! I love my alone time. Too many social commitments send me into a tizzy and I have to recharge by retreating into myself for a few days. Now, don't get me wrong....I love spending time with my family and friends. And y'all know as well as anybody how much I love a good adventure. I'm just wired a little differently than most. It took me a long time to realize this. And now that I know, I can better manage it. And now that you know, you'll understand my next statement.

I'm really in a state of bliss right now. NOTHING on my calendar! Well, there is just one more thing.....but, it will be fun.

And to boot, it's fall! It's time for relaxation and rejuvenation! The spring is a time of renewal and new growth and hope for the year. Summer is a hot mess of activities. All good for memory making and I've loved every minute of it. But, laws-o-mercy! A girl needs some downtime.

My racing for the year is over, pretty much....or at least for the races I registered for. There may be a 5K here or there that I'll do, but I'll run them on the spur of the moment, you know....when the notion hits. The weather is gorgeous. It's cooler and practically no humidity. Sitting on the porch at the beach or the lake has never felt better. You can't beat a cup of coffee, a cool breeze and a rocking chair. Now is the time of the year I begin reflecting back over the course of the year.....checking that list of goals and whether or not I met them. I, also, reflect back on the adventures and good times Cliff and I shared with our family and friends. I don't know what it is about this time of year that elicits that in me. Maybe it's the, soon to be, Thanksgiving season. Most likely. I do love Thanksgiving.

Well, I can see you scratching your heads and wondering, what in the world..... Had you going there for a moment, didn't I? You thought I was going to go all insightful and binge the conscience, didn't you?

Ha!  Ummm, no!

As my daddy (otherwise known as Confucius) used to say, "Don't tell all your business".

And on that note.....me and my inner voice are going to go rest, relax and rejuvenate.

Peace Out,
Laurie

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon

Sorry for the quality of this picture.
I snapped it with my cell phone without much thought. I was tired, ok.


Y'all are not going to believe this, I can barely believe it myself. Today, I ran my 4th half marathon....the last one just two months ago in Colorado. Even though I think my training has not been up to snuff, I have actually made improvements. I had a personal best today. I ran this half in 2:52 hours/min. There were 3122 runners in all and I finished 2581 out of the 3122. I am so pleased.

This race took place in Myrtle Beach, SC. Just a little less than half of it was on Ocean Blvd. with the beautiful Atlantic Ocean within plain view. My friend and running partner, Christie, and I road together to the start line...Coastal Grand Mall parking lot. There was people coming out the wazoo and it appeared that a good portion of them were lined up at the porta potties, which is exactly where Christie and I were headed. About that time, I had a great idea. Let's go to the Burger King and bypass all those people at the porta potties. So we walked across the parking lot and wouldn't you know, they were closed. So we were doomed to line up and take our turn. We only had like 20 minutes before the race started, but it had to be done. Holding our noses, we took our turn and then left the area just a couple of minutes after the race started. The good thing was that runners were still going across the start line and we just fell right in behind them.

And we were off. We ran a loop around the mall and exited to take Grissom Parkway for the next 7 miles. Once we made the right turn onto 62nd Ave., Christie and I were like....home turf, yeah! Our training runs last year were run on this route.  One more mile and we were on Ocean Blvd.  Now it was straight on for the next 5 miles. Christie did an awesome job. She ran today with a cold. I know exactly how she felt because I ran the Revel Rockies in Colorado with a cold. You certainly don't feel your best, but I'm sure adrenaline helped us along. I felt great the whole 13.1 miles. I didn't really start getting tired until around mile 11 or 12. We had such a great pace going, I didn't want to let up and I actually thought it might be possible to finish in 2:50 hours/min. So we pushed on. The last water stop was around mile 12 and it was sponsored by the Grand Strand Running Club. Cliff was helping pass out water. It was good to see him there. It gave me a little pep to my step. About this time I picked up the pace just a bit. And let me tell ya, by the time I rounded 6th Ave. and made it onto the board walk, I was practically heaving. I think that may have been the fastest I have ever run across a finish line. Just shy of the 2:50 hours/min that I thought I might make, but I was happy just the same. I had accomplished another personal record. Of course, I have no pictures to show. I just didn't have time for that. I may post a picture or two when the official race photos are released.

Now this may be boring to most of you, but for those of you, like me, who want to pick the brains of all runners, I thought I might tell you how I handled nutrition and hydration. Personally, I like GU Gels. Espresso Love is my favorite and has 40 mg of caffeine. I, also, like Tri Berry and the Salted Caramel. I carried all of these with me today. I have a 12 oz. bottle that I carry in my hand and it was filled with Gatorade. I took one gel about 10 minutes before the start. I took another gel at about 3.5 miles, 7 miles and around 10.5 or 11 miles. It was very cool today...in the 50's at the start and rose into the 60's by the end. So, the Gatorade lasted me until about mile 10.5-11 miles. And then........there was Cliff handing me a cup of water at mile 12. I found this to be enough nutrition and hydration.

****Edited 10/22/2014 - I need to make a clarification here. I know the recommendations for taking a Gel with water and I usually do that. Although I carry Gatorade with me and drink it during my run, I try to take Gels with water at the water stations. However, I didn't study the map to know where the water stations were this time which led me to taking the gels with Gatorade. Not a good idea, apparently. So from now on, I will do my research on the water stations before I begin the race.

I was kind of dreading this half. I don't know why. I never was nervous or anxious....and it turned out to be my best. I've grown to love the half marathon. It's short enough that you are not dying for days afterwards and long enough that training is very necessary, which keeps me running. I have some goals, as far as the half is concerned, that I'm working on. I'll share them with you when I get them ironed out. I don't have another race anytime soon. I'm going to take it easy for a couple of weeks. I'll continue running through the winter, hopefully keeping my long runs, well....long. There is a half I'm looking at that takes place in March 2015...more on that later. Tomorrow, I'm getting on the bike to start training for a bike ride coming up in November. For Cliff and a couple of friends of ours, the ride will be many, many miles over several days. For me, I will only do a couple of short ones...maybe 30 miles.

Well, I'm calling this day to a close. I've got some serious resting to do. But first, I'll share the following pictures with you. I took these a couple of years ago...but, I just wanted you to see how beautiful it is here in Myrtle Beach.



 

 

 
Running Happy,
Laurie

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Lake House

The Lake House. Lidia and Sawyer on the front porch looking towards the lake.

Cliff and I met this last decade with some life changes. Our girls are grown and out on their own now and we've found ourselves at the proverbial crossroads, where decisions are made to take you into the next decade and beyond. With the girls gone, our home seems so empty these days. Whitney and Jason are still in Colorado. And since Emily, Lidia and Sawyer moved to the upstate last year, it really seems empty. We don't get to see them on a regular basis, like before. Our home used to be filled with energy and chatter.

So, in our search for something, I came across a house on Lake Greenwood. It was only 40 something miles from Emily, Lidia and Sawyer and it was on the water. Sweet! That was on a Friday night. By Sunday afternoon, I was on the phone with the realtor and had an appointment to see the house on the following Friday. Friday came, we saw the house and that was it. We made an offer and the owners accepted it that same day. Talk about something falling into your lap....well, it did. It was meant to be.

We still have our primary home, we still have our little place at the beach and now we have a place at the lake. We feel so fortunate. I am happy that we have a place closer to the grandkids. It cuts out a lot of driving time.....just to be able to see them and be ever present in their lives. We've already been spending time there learning the area, getting to know the neighbors, visiting the local farmers market, checking out local restaurants, exploring places to run and for Cliff to bike. Lidia and Sawyer have been swimming, knee-boarding, kayaking and fishing. Cliff just bought them wetsuits and you would have thought it was Christmas. They were so excited and couldn't get them on quick enough. The idea is that the swimming season may be extended a little and the wetsuits do offer a little in the way of floatation. When Lidia and Sawyer come, they literally spend all day outdoors, at the dock, doing something. We have chosen not to have television service for now and there's no internet service, either. So we spend our time outside, mostly. It's wonderful. By the end of the day, we are so tired that bedtime can't come soon enough.

I'm excited about doing a little remodeling here and there...making it our own. I'm sure I'll share some of those projects as time goes by. And there's tons of yard work to do.  But for now, I'll leave you with a couple of pictures.



View from the screened porch;
my favorite place to have my morning cup of coffee.



The screened porch.



The view from the lake.

 
There's great potential and we love it!
 
Be back soon,
Laurie



Friday, September 19, 2014

A Colorado Cemetery

The Dillon Cemetery
Dillon, Colorado

Whitney asked me the other day what was my obsession with cemeteries. HaHa! I don't have an obsession.....I just frequent them, doing ancestral searches. That eased her mind, but wonder what she's going to think about this post? The one where I show you that unusual cemetery I found in Colorado.....the one I promised to tell you about.

I call it unusual because our cemeteries here in SC don't look like this one in Colorado. The cemeteries here are flat and have grassy lawns that are mowed often and families of the people buried there, place flowers at the headstones.

This particular cemetery is in Dillon, CO. And unless you pay very close attention or know it's there, you will miss it. It's back off the road a little and it's on the side of a huge hill or small mountain, whichever you choose to call it. Coloradoans (is this a word?), take great care in preserving their environment. They reduce, reuse and recycle with the best of them. And, they leave their open spaces untouched as much as possible. So when you see the state of this cemetery, you will understand the reason it looks unkempt. It's scruffy with sagebrush and tall grasses, but look closer. It's a controlled unkempt, I think. You see native grasses and beautiful wildflowers. No doubt, just how these dear souls wanted it to be. And as unusual as it seems, it's also a beautiful place to be. Dead or alive. Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Anyway, here are the pictures. Hope you enjoy.


A soldier from long ago.

Overlooking Lake Dillon and the Mountains.

Do you see the tiny little tombstones tucked snuggly among the sagebrush and grasses?


 
I hope not to offend this family, but it seems they have a great sense of humor. Their epitaph...."On The Road Again", is my theme song and has been for many years. I keep the roads hot. I might borrow this as my epitaph one day.


Wildflowers.....

Sagebrush......

......and, Native grasses.
 
So peaceful!

Just missed a chipmunk that was perched on top of this stump.

Love this fence. It looks like they are taking advantage of the dead pine trees in the background, repurposing them as a fence.

The fence seems to go on forever.
 

 
 
Looks eternally beautiful to me,
 
Laurie
 
 
 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Day My Childhood Came To A Screeching Halt


Mary Corrine Wall
1915-1974

It happened on a day in September of 1974. The woman whom I adored and spent summers with, the woman who cooked the best collard greens and cornbread, the woman who would go out to the garden and pick fresh strawberries for dinner, the woman who caused me to love quilts, and so much more, was gone. On an unassuming day, she left this world for a better place. That woman was my Granny. She was a place of calm and reassurance. She was a giggle in my frustrations. She was a hoot while on the phone with her sister-in-law Floy and a helpmate to my PaPa.

Granny worked for 31 years in Spartanburg's Cotton Mills as an automatic spooler. She was a whopping 6' 1" tall. Granny, no doubt, inherited her height from her father, Willie Poole, who was 6' 2" tall.  Not sure where she inherited her good teeth from, HaHa. But, she never had a cavity in her life.

In Granny's family room was a closet she called Noah's Ark because it had a little bit of everything in it and after the chores were done and dinner was served, we would sit in the family room and talk the evening away. I would sit in her goose neck rocker and do word searches. She would sit on the edge of her couch as she watched wrestling and acted out the massive headlock that Andre the Giant would put on one of the wrestlers. She wore thick stockings up to her knees and always wore dresses with an apron. Her hair was as white as snow. I can't put into words how much I loved my Granny and how much I felt love from her. I truly felt life would no longer be the same the day she died. My childhood came to a screeching halt that day. It was over....the making of summer memories with Granny would be no more. Life took a turn that day and having no choice, I entered a journey of uncertainty, of learning a new way to spend summers. It was a learn as you go time. But from the lessons I learned from Granny, I was a confident girl heading into waters unknown. I stepped into my teens with ideas of what I wanted out of life. I don't remember much of our conversations, but I do remember the feelings of love and safety, while in her care. I feel so blessed for having such a loving, caring Granny. I hope that I live the kind of life that creates an atmosphere of love and safety, of reassurance and confidence, of good food and crafting. And I hope that my days of being an influence on my own grandchildren will result in their lives being fuller and richer and that this world will be a better place for having lived in it.

I was not lucky enough to inherit one of Granny's quilts, but I did inherit her thimble.
I was literally in tears, when I used it to make my first quilt.
 
Granny's goose neck rocker, newly covered a few years ago.
I wouldn't take a million dollars for it. Oh the memories I have of sitting in this rocker all those evenings spent with Granny.

A close-up of the goose's neck.
 


Remembering my Granny,
Laurie