Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I have been in Knoxville for the past several days - without my computer. I have missed writing so much and kept thinking of all the things I would write about if my internet were available. Jim and I have spent so much time exploring the mountains and nearby areas. On saturday we drove the "dragon's tail" switch backs from Tennessee into North Carolina, and this picture was taken looking out from the Appalachian Trail.

We spent days in the mountains, me in a lawn chair reading, Jim wading the rivers and fishing. There is so much beauty to take in that at times it is mind boggling. I gaze at sky, at trees, at water, at mountains, and I can't get enough. I breathe them in - filling my lungs and my body with their beauty, and still I want more.

On Sunday I sat my lawn chair in the middle of a river, an old road that use to lead to a visitor center before they built a bridge, propping my feet on a rock, trying to read, yet finding it hard to take my eyes off the beauty that surrounded us. The water flowing fast over my feet - the sound of falling water filling my head.

I stand in amazement of my enthrallment of the mountains. Just as I never imagined living by the ocean as we did in Florida, I never imagined living by mountains. Yet in each location I find that I am captivated by the beauty, by the stillness - yet the aliveness of each area.

Last Friday evening we discovered Allison's Catfish restaurant and farm. What a thrill. The best catfish ever, gazing at the mountains and the waterfalls, and planning our next trip back to this place.

On Monday we walked the old World's Fair park in downtown Knoxville and stumbled upon a beautiful coffee shop called "Coffee and Chocolate". Love Love Love - at first sight. Delicious coffee with a dark chocolate expresso cookie. Love Love Love!

We found a smokey mountain brewery, a wood fired brick oven pizza shop, numerous ice cream places, theaters, a ball room dancing studio, (on my to do list) antique shops galore, an outdoor movie theater - right across town from us, (we're gonna put the top down on Alice, have popcorn and coke and enjoy a night like the good old days!)

We are eagerly anticipating more exploring, more discoveries, and so much more beauty. And we are so enjoying the ride!

Here's to the Ride! .....and it's a damn good ride!!!!!!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Highway 40

Highway 40 is the 3rd longest highway in the US running from California all the way to the east coast of North Carolina.

Jim and I will be driving a portion of this highway today and I am looking forward to the ride!!!!!

Sometimes - Joy is in the drive!

Here's to the Ride!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

At Last...

My love has come along.
My lonely days are over,
And life is a like a song.

Oh and then the spell is cast
and here we are in heaven
for you are mine at last.

Just welcoming my love home! At Last!

Here's to the Ride!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Day of Joy

It wasn't long ago that I unpacked all of our belongings in this house. Today, as I continue my re-packing process in anticipation of our move to Knoxville, I am reminded of the "things" I love. I love touching all my dishes again (even if I am packing them away). I like deciding what will go in each box, and then labeling the box - and knowing that when I read the label I will see in my mind the exact thing I packed. I will remember the history of the antique bowl that was a gift from Jenn, or the soccer games we watched that garnered Liz's medals. I will picture that beautiful wine glass that is my favorite and look forward to the day when I can enjoy holding it again. (It's the only box I marked Fragile)

All of these things I love. All of these things bring me Joy. To me, packing is A Day of Joy!

Here's to the Ride!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Life Is Good!

Fynn and I spent another day together. He loves it when I take him to Starbucks and when we shop for something fun at Target. But what he and I both adore is playing together. We have spent the past few days playing tennis, building forts out of my packing boxes, playing baseball (with tennis balls) and today playing "ping pong" in the garage. (One paddle, 6 balls and one wild swing)

We have both run with John Wayne in the soccer field. Fynn has ridden his tricycle around the neighborhood - all the time talking non-stop to me. We watched funniest animals on Netflix, made up songs to sing together, and hid from each other when ever we thought the other one wasn't watching. And even though Fynn was missing his Mom by the time I took him home tonight, he told me he would stay with me forever!

Life is so very good with so much love in it.

Here's to the Ride!

Monday, May 16, 2011

This Is Going To Be A Fun Day!

Fynneus was invited to his friend, Sophie's, birthday party today. Yesterday we wrapped the pink striped beach towel and adorable swim suit along with a mirror compact - all in pretty pink paper. Fynn has been excited all day today, asking to leave for the party at 8 o'clock this morning. When I finally strapped him into his car seat about 12:30, he said to me: Nanna, this is going to be a fun day! I had to agree with him!

Then I tried to imagine the wonder of a four year old child. Knowing that life is good. Knowing that he is loved. Knowing that he is going to have a fun day!

Darling Fynneus has helped me to see that knowing my day will be fun will bring tons of Joy!

Here's to the Ride!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Sleep Over at My House

Liz and Fynn invited themselves to a sleep over at my house last night - to my delight!!!!! This morning I made biscuits and we spread them generously with my freshly made Strawberry Jam! We all agreed that breakfast was delicious. And to me - time spent with my daughter and her youngest son is delicious too!

Here's to the Ride!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Music To My Ears

When I was a little girl my Mom did a lot of canning. As the lids would seal and make the little popping noise, she always told me this was music to her ears. It meant that all of her hard work was paying off and we would have some good stuff to eat later in the year.

I never fully understood her "music to my ears" saying until I started canning after I got married. Every time I hear that little pop I always think music to my ears. So today, after almost 23 years of NOT canning, I made some fresh strawberry Jelly and Jam. As the little jelly jar lids popped, I laughed out loud - thinking as always - that sound is music to my ears.

I am going to take some of this Jelly and Jam to my mom - but I do wish she could have heard my music today! She would have loved it!

Here's to the Ride!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Fynn and Me and Starbucks

I picked Fynneus up on Thursday morning and we headed straight for Starbucks. He is enjoying an Old Fashioned Donut and Organic Apple Juice while I have my old standard - Americano.

But the food and drinks were not nearly as important as the conversation. When I stop to listen to this child, I am amazed at his questions, his understanding and his beautiful soul.

While sitting there, Fynn asked me if I feel like I can fly. I didn't understand why he would ask me this, but he said, because you are so tall - do you feel like you are flying when you stand up? Everyone knows that I am not tall, barely reaching past five feet, yet I realized that to Fynn, someone standing 30 inches higher than he stands, well it might appear as though they are flying.

I began to think of how often I have wanted to fly. I have dreams of flying and I don't want to wake up. I look at the stars and moon on my early morning walks and as I stop by a grove of trees I so want to float above them. I remember as a little girl, looking at the sky and wanting to be there. And now, here with my grandson it looks like I am flying as I stand up here above his little body! And a part of me believes - Yes I am flying! As I take this Journey of Joy with so much love in my life, so much passion, so much beauty - I can't not fly!

Here's to the Ride!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Perfect Timing

Liz called me tonight because we are planning for Fynneus to come and stay with me for a few days while his two brothers go to Indiana. She wanted to let me know that his suitcase is packed and sitting on the front porch waiting for me to pick him up. (His Pillow Pet is nearly filling the suitcase) His brothers are leaving at 8:00 am and Jim says I should be there at 8:02. As for me, I am thrilled at his eagerness - which means I will HAVE to take him to Starbucks tomorrow morning. Joy is perfect timing for time with my grandson.

Here's to the Ride!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Bird Song

Joy is listening to the birds sing as I make my way around the neighborhood long before the sun comes up!

Here's to the Ride!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Without A Doubt

Today we decided to disconnect our cable TV. While I feel very good about this decision, I found myself wondering what I would do this evening. I normally watch very little TV. I will occasionally watch a netflix movie with Jim, I think I have only seen part of 2 episodes of American Idol this year, (I use to watch it every season) and I have watched Caillou with Fynneus on occasion. America's Funniest Videos was always a favorite with all the boys and well as Animal Planet.

But now, we will have more time for reading, riding bikes, walking John Wayne, baking bread and chocolate chip cookies. Without a doubt, we will have more time for conversation.

Joy is making time to talk!

Here's to the Ride!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Wonderful Mother's Day

I am concluding one of the most wonderful days - Ever! This morning my door bell rang repeatedly and when I opened the door, no one was there - only some presents spread out in front of the door along with a large Starbucks Americano! Pictured me thrilled as Rollin, then Tucker and finally Fynneus and Liz came running in to hug me! Thadeus joined us later for a picnic on the patio, and I am reveling in this wonderful day that celebrates so many beautiful women.

I look at Liz and I see so much a beautiful mom. I talk with Jenn, and I feel her beauty even across the miles. I talk with my own Mom and with my Mother-in-law and I know that I am blessed for these beautiful women in my life.

And as though that is not blessing enough, I have wonderful men in my life too. Starting with Jim who loves and honors my "motherlyness". For Thadeus, who brought me flowers and a card for mothers day long before I knew he would be my family - and hugged me tightly when Liz could not be there. For Tucker, Rollin and Fynneus who light up my life as a grandmother in ways that I never dreamed possible. And for my Dad, who called and honored me with Happy Mother's Day wishes.

I am blessed with a wonderful life and an opportunity to to express it on this Wonderful Mother's Day!

Here's to the Ride!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Rainy Day Baseball

Jim and I met Liz's family at the baseball field even though it was raining. Tucker, Rollin and Fynn were dressed to play, hat, mitt and batting gloves - and a winning attitude. We, assuming the game would be called, hurried out with our umbrellas only to find everyone gearing up for the first inning. The boys were so excited to be playing baseball in the rain and their excitement was contagious. We all stayed and watched two innings of the best Tee ball in East Memphis.

Joy is turning a rainy day into a baseball day!

Here's to the Ride!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cinco de Mayo

Day 5 of May, 2011!

With more wonderful days to come!

Here's to the Ride!

Joy, Joy, Joy!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Lightening the Load

I spent most of today going through our home files and pitching things that were no longer relevant. As I hauled bag after bag of old papers to the trash I felt lighter each time. I try not to keep anything too long, but after going through my files today, I realized that I had not thinned things out since 2007.

As I looked at some of the papers, I knew I did not want these in my house any longer. Letters, receipts, articles - so much stuff - so irrelevant today. And as I lightened the load of our file cabinet I thought about how easy it will be to get this cabinet down the stairs when we move toward the mountains.

Joy is letting go of the old to welcome in the new!

Here's to the Ride!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Just a Phone Call

Rollin called me today and asked me to come and pick him up. He wanted to spend some time with me. Then he asked if Tucker could come too! So, off I went to pick them up and the time with them has been utterly priceless.

At this moment, Jim is down at the cul-de-sac with Tucker, Rollin, 3 neighbor girls, and two neighbor boys and they are playing a game of baseball with one of our tennis balls. The kids range in age from 16 to 6 and I hear them laughing, yelling, and I can feel their smiles. Jim and I did not make any plans for this evening, and I marvel now how this one little phone call, changed our day, changed our evening and changed our life.

Joy is a phone call from a grandson followed by smiles and laughter.

Here's to the Ride!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Tennis Balls and 4 Year Olds

As I sit looking out my office window, I can see the top of the gutter that runs the length of the garage. It has been raining for weeks and the water has been overflowing onto my flower bed and driveway thanks to a beautiful little 4 year old who hit a tennis ball on to our roof and down into the gutter.

Tonight we drove to Liz's house to pick up an extension ladder to get the tennis ball out. Fynneus knew that we had a ball stuck in the gutter and he asked if John Wayne had put it there. I gently told him no, that it was a little four year old. He quickly held up four fingers, counted them, and said "I'm four!" No doubt! He's the cute little guy who hit the tennis ball into our gutter.

Joy is 4 year olds, tennis balls, and extension ladders!

Here's to the Ride!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Mountain View

Jim and I have spent the past few days in Knoxville. I woke this morning realizing that I have never lived close to mountains and hoping that some day I do. I love looking into the distance and seeing these beautiful sculptures rising high. I want to drive into the mountains - all the way to the top, I want to sit by a creek, hike their trails, and touch the beauty that is given to all of us. I want to stand facing the mountain, arms outstretched and know that the mountain and I are the same. We are one, we are made from love. We are Magnificent.

Here's to the Ride!