Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Most Wonderful

"It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year". When you hear that, can't you just hear Andy Williams crooning it on the radio? I don't mean to sound like Scrooge or the Grinch, but I beg to differ. Christmas can be a lot of fun, but it's also stressful. The demands we put on ourselves and the demands we think others are putting on us. Deadlines and trying not to forget anything. Making ourselves find time to stop and enjoy it while we're in the middle of it.

All that to say that I think spring is the "most wonderful time of the year". No pressures. No demands. The warm days, blue skies and sunshine draw you out of the house and out of your rut. You can relax on the front porch with a book or get ambitious and dig into some yard work. Just walking around and enjoying the sounds of the birds and the signs of much loved plants and flowers coming back to life gives your spirit a lift.

I always enjoyed spring time when we lived in Illinois, but up there it is tempered with fickle weather, mud and a lingering damp chill even on nice days for well into May. But here in Georgia, spring is usually getting here about this time...late February...and it is just perfect. I don't care what Punxsutawney Phil, General Beauregard Lee, Staten Island Chuck, or any other rodent has to say. I know spring is here when the Daphne Odora blooms and I see the sweet faces of the flowers on my Georgia Blue open up to face the sun. As much as I enjoy those, they are just the beginning. Riding around town, we see several types of pink trees start to bloom as well as jonquils and thrift. Very soon now the white blossoms of the Bradford Pear trees will be bursting open like popcorn. I never realize how many of those trees are around until they are blooming. So the next several weeks will delight us with an array of renewed annual color...and it all comes to a crescendo for me around the 3rd week of April when our huge azaleas show off. They take my breath away every year.

So, with all due respect to Christmas and it's sentiments, I don't see how anything can be more "wonderful" than spring.

"Consider the lilies of the field.....Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these."

-Matthew 6:28-29

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Happy Birthday Hugs!

I'd like to give a shout out to my friend, Ardis. She's a fellow quilter and one of the Batty Babes. Last year her church acquired an additional facility to use for group gatherings, meetings, etc. She quickly approached them about a quilt ministry and "Healing Hugs" was born. The first Thursday of February, 2010, several quilters got together to sew quilts to give to cancer patients who are undergoing treatment. We make them and she takes them to the local cancer treatment center and they hand them out to new patients. These quilts are theirs to keep and there is a note that goes with them that says we are supporting them by wrapping them in quilts as well as our prayers during this difficult time in their lives. She has also given a few to other people she has heard about who are going through an illness.
The first Thursday of every month we gather and enjoy an afternoon/evening of sewing, snacking, laughing and fellowship while we create these quilts. We usually average about 8 to 10 workers. This year we had a lousy, sleety day and we had one of our biggest crowd of sewers ever! Can you say "cabin fever"? :)
At first she and Page, her "right-hand", would lug ironing boards, irons, batting, etc. in from home every month. But a few months into it, she talked the church into giving her a space in the back room for a supply room. Now she can keep those things, as well as donated fabric, etc. right there on the premises. That has made it a lot easier.
Some of us will sit and sew quilt tops while others put on bindings or attach labels and cards. Others take the tops home and quilt them and bring them back the next month. In this first year of "production" she has been able to give away 155 quilts! I think that's an amazing number from a group that only meets once a month and I'm so pleased to be a very small part of this productive group.
Thanks, Ardis, for including us in your ministry. It warms our hearts as it warms the cancer patients' bodies -- and hopefully their hearts as well. Well done, my friend.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The House of Mouse

The whole family went to Disney World last week and had a GREAT time. The kids and grand kids have been a few times before and my first visit was in May of 2009. After that, I told Jerry he HAD to go. He wasn't crazy about the idea, but after 40 years of marriage, the man knows when to give up and give in. He enjoyed it, too, and was very impressed with it all.

The grandies were at perfect ages for it this year. Emery was finally tall enough to ride the roller coasters with Jess (and Grandpa) and all the other somewhat scary -- at least to me and Savannah -- stuff. So he was pretty much grinning from ear to ear for 4 days. His favorite was Test Track at Epcot and a close second was the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. He also enjoyed watching the filming of stunt shots for the Indiana Jones movies at Hollywood Studios. He even picked out an Indiana Jones action figures set at the gift shop and in the car on the way home, he buckled Indi into a seat belt in the back seat and told him, "Keep your arms and legs inside until the car comes to a complete stop." But he still had his favorites from before like Toy Story Mania and Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin.

Savannah had a terrific time, too. She (like me) is not at all into the big rides. So while the rest of the family went Soarin' (at Epcot) we were browsing around the gift shop. I bought her an autograph book and she was very excited to go about collecting characters' autographs the rest of the time. One of my favorite characters was Cinderella's step mother. She was dripping with condescension as she signed the autograph book and told how she was responsible for Cinderella's success. Then she pointed to Emery on the other side of the table and said to Savannah, "So, what's with your little brother he married?" Savannah giggled and said he was not. Then she said, "He's kinda cute. I need to find someone for Drusilla."

And speaking of Cinderella and crew...the dinner with them was at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. What a beautiful place!!! Inside and out. And the food was some of the best I've ever had. It was buffet style with crisp salad fixins', tender, juicy salmon, prime rib that melts in your mouth, etc. and then they brought out our "special" dessert (there were others on the buffet that Jerry had already sampled)...several scoops of ice cream with various toppings for all of us to share.

Our last night there, we went to a dinner show at the Fort Wilderness Campground. It was a lively little place and one of the cast members, a ditzy blond, named Claire duLune (or Clair the Loon...I'm unsure about the spelling) came and sat on Jerry's lap and was hugging on him. Righ...he LOVES the spotlight! :) But he was good sport.

The rest of us just enjoyed the time together, seeing the kids get so excited, the park itself, and so many "little" the tornadoes in the area that missed us, catching a bus back to the resort before it started to rain, the beautiful day time temperatures, the food, etc., etc, etc. Disney World really is a "Magical" place.