Monthly Archives: July 2008

“Working the Wait”…and our “Explore…”

Usually while in the mountains I do a lot of reading. I am reading a book and will get to that another day. Today I want to share about an article in Today’s Christian Woman; mayybe there is someone else who reads this that also needs these reassurances.

The article called, “Work the Wait: How I Make the Most of God’s Delays”, by Stephanie Voiland, caught my attention. You see, for several years John and I have felt God had something else for us. We have walked through doors God has opened (5-6 to be exact), to see what it was HE wanted. Every time we felt the opportunity was not right, until a few months ago. We really thought we had found what HE had planned for us…but it was not to be. It was a perplexing few weeks. We had many questions, mostly for God, but in the end we knew HE was in control. We are back in the “waiting” mode and wondering what is next for us. I’ll be the first to admit that I am not the most patient person – “waiting” mode is not my favorite. While the situation in the article was different from mine, she made some points that helped reassure me that God is there even in the disappointments and waiting times. Here are a few quotes:

“Waiting seasons are still painful . But deep within me, God is at work, assuring me He won’t waste my heartaches. That even if He doesn’t make my situations better, He will somehow make me better through them.”

“Often a wait seems long when life doesn’t unfold according to our agenda. But sometimes God has amazing reasons for a delay.”

“…God sometimes doesn’t give us what we request because He wants to give us something better.”

The author used the example of Mary and Martha when Lazarus died and that even though Jesus arrived in their minds, late…He had things under control. When He saw their pain He also wept…”He doesn’t orchestrate broken bodies and hearts as some sort of spiritual boot camp, while He stands aloof shouting orders. He doesn’t insist we get over of waiting ache. Rather, He aches and walks with us to help us navigate our fractured world.”

And when we feel alone in our wait, He promises, ‘…Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.’ Hebrews 13:5b”

SO…while I “work the wait” I’ll practice His presence and make sure my “wait” mode doesn’t go into “sleep” mode. I needed the reminder that God keeps His promises and that HIS timing is best.

Melodie headed back to Charlotte yesterday, unfortunately she got stuck in traffic with all the Jonas Brothers fans and it took her over and hour longer to get home…sorry Melodie and Wonka. After she left Lindsey and I went to Price Park to meet up with our friend, Karen White and 3 of her 5 children. It was great to spend time with Karen. God has blessed her with a wonderful family. We also met Annette and her darling daughters. Lindsey didn’t remember being at Price Park before, but I told her that her Grandpa Roland used to bring her there a lot when she was little.

This afternoon Mom, Lindsey and I went on what John and I call an “explore” (thank you Winnie the Pooh). Actually, I had been on these roads many times before, but it had been years since I had made the trek up the Blue Ridge Parkway to Little Switzerland and Spruce Pine and back to Boone. It was a beautiful drive and we got a few nice photos. We finished our trip at Café Portofino in Boone. I expected an Italian feel, but was “welcomed” by a Hawaiian theme with many other eclectic items thrown in. The food was good. When we asked about the name and then the décor we were told that the owner loved the town of Portofino in Italy and that also he was from Hawaii…guess that explains it. If I had to chose Italy or Hawaii it would be Italy, hands down…Right now Mom is down at the service at Family Camp – I went down last night. The weather has been great and I am enjoying my last few days here…Enjoy the pics…

View near Linn Cove

View near Linn Cove

Lindsey with the Linn Cove Viaduct in the background

Lindsey with the Linn Cove Viaduct in the background

While I was taking this picture Lindsey set a can of Sprite on a rock. When she went to pick it up it had become a bee magnet. She tried, unsuccessfully, to get the can so she could throw it away. In the end, the bees had a feast and Lindsey didn’t get stung.

View near Altapass Orchard

View near Altapass Orchard

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Lovely Days…

I am enjoying being with family – even though it is crowded. Andrew arrived late Thursday PM. It’s good to have him here. Yesterday I made a BIG buttermilk pancake breakfast for everyone. It takes longer to get it all together up here, but it was nice. Andrew’s observation of me and Mom in the kitchen together…”it’s like 2 Generals in a battle…”. That’s why I tell her, “Stay out of my kitchen.”…(LOL – love ya Mom).

Hilary wants Andrew to see all she can show him of “her mountains” while he is here. We made a BIG loop yesterday. We went over the Viaduct and then headed to Linville Falls. I don’t do a lot of hiking (ankle just can’t take it – 3 breaks years ago will do that). I wanted to hike this with them and I made it. There are pictures of us below. After the hike we went to the Mast General Store in Valle Crucis. Lots of looking, and 3 pounds of assorted candy later, we headed to the Golden Corral in Boone for supper. When we got back to our place, Melodie, and Wonka, her chocolate lab, had arrived. We taught Andrew how to play “up and down the river” with Rook cards and then everyone crashed.  The gang just left to go see “Dark Knight” at the movies and I stayed behind; I will meet up with them later today.  God is good to have created families.

Into the Woods...

Into the Woods...

Lindsey saying, "See ya Mom!"

Lindsey saying, "See ya Mom!"

First stop viewing the falls

First stop viewing the falls

Andrew, Hilary, Lindsey and John at Chimney View

Andrew, Hilary, Lindsey and John at Chimney View

View from the Top looking back at where we were

View from the Top looking back at where we were

Sweaty ole me got in a picture at the top

Sweaty ole me got in a picture at the top

Perspective Shot

Perspective Shot

Hil and Andrew

Hil and Andrew

The photographers eye (4/5 of us carried cameras in...)

The photographers eye (4/5 of us carried cameras in...)

Leaving the Falls

Leaving the Falls

AND HERE IS KATIE – SHE’S IN NH WORKING, BUT TOOK TIME OUT TO GO SHOPPING WITH KENT…THIS IS A TYPICAL KATIE SHOT…

As Animal on Sesame Street would say, "Put down the ducky...you got to put down the ducky...put down the ducky if you want to play the saxaphone..."

As Animal on Sesame Street would say, "Put down the ducky...you got to put down the ducky...put down the ducky if you want to play the saxophone..."

NC – my heart lies here…

Our trip to NC did not exactly go as we planned…tourist traffic was AWFUL! We took an alternate route and pulled into C & J in Portsmouth as our bus was leaving for Logan (2-1/2 hours to make a 1-1/4 hour trip)…the next bus put us arriving after our plane left for Charlotte…We were put on another flight to Charlotte – which was delayed. We got to Blowing Rock at 1 AM Monday instead of 9 PM Sunday…at least we made it.

I don’t remember much of yesterday except going to the most wonderful Christian bookstore in the world – Cornerstone. It is always a stop on our first day here – we buy some things, admire some things and make at least one more trip before we head home.

John and Lindsey headed down the mountain this afternoon. Lindsey has to help with Hispanic Kindergarten assessments tomorrow, so John is going golfing with a friend.  They’ll be back tomorrow night. Hilary is here and has been down at G.A. Camp in the afternoon to help with games. It is good to have her around. I wish Katie was here too.  Hil made a trip to Shoppes on the Parkway this afternoon. When she was ready to come home her key broke off in her car door! Thankfully, I had one of her keys with me. We’ll find a locksmith tomorrow to dig the key out.

I have been coming to this spot for 50 years. My family has always been around here for Family Camp. John and I continued to do that and have always brought the girls. These two weeks are sacred family time. We have memories of so many places, sites, trips we have taken from here. We all have wonderful memories of my Dad and things we did with him here. (Hilary wants to share our home and memories with Andrew, so he is driving in late Thursday night for the weekend.) I drove by one section of the Parkway today and remembered the “secret” place Dad would go to pick blackberries. I miss my Dad, especially when I am here, but I have many wonderful memories. This place is as much home as Charlotte is. John and I have been praying for 5 years that God would allow us to move back here – back home…we recently thought it was going to happen…but it did not. As much as I love being here, it makes it hard to go back home…my heart will always be in NC!

Quick note…

John and his folks went to a family reunion in Kennebunk today. John’s Uncle will take his folks back home. I stayed behind to clean, do laundry and think about packing to leave for NC. I have had a headache for 2 days…comes and goes…I’m ready for it to stay gone. Nothing much to report – enjoying the quiet here.

It’s the little things in life…

I amazed by how a few words can brighten or darken your day. John blessed me with words and I’m not even sure that he knows how they touched me. When I found out I was going to be the one going to CT to pick up his folks, I smiled and said, “You owe me…” He hugged me and said, “I already owe you for several lifetimes, I guess you’ll just have to put this one on my tab…” It may not seem like much to most people, but it spoke volumes to me.

We had a nice service at church. The Pastor’s sermon was amazing, as always (LOL). Katie headed to Old Orchard Beach with friends and we took John’s folks to JoGreen’s for lunch. It was breezy, but we decided to sit out on the deck. The food was great, but the view was amazing…

After a short nap I did a little work on the computer. John took his folks to Alton Bay Christian Conference Center for the evening service. I opted to stay here and enjoy the quiet.

Well, the gang just returned, so I’ll get some food out for them. I hope you had a great weekend!

Excitement in every day life…

Before we went to Alaska I told John I thought we needed a new grill. His reply was something to the tune of “that one is fine, it isn’t that old…” (I calculated – it is 11 years old!) It was still working so I continued to use it and had done so several times since returning from Alaska. Yesterday I put some chicken and squash on to cook. I check on it every few minutes…the first time the flame seemed high and hot, so I turned it down. The second time the flame was still high, so turned it down again…but the knobs felt hot. The third time flames were pouring out from under the grill!! I didn’t dare go near it…was afraid it would explode (John told me that wouldn’t happen…he delivers propane so ought to know). I watched the knobs melt off and then the flames burnt through the propane line. Then I felt safe in going near it and turning off the propane. John thinks we need a new grill…

I went to a few places last night and found a wonderful grill! It cost $70 more than the one I bought 11 years ago and this one is huge! It barely fit in John’s truck!

Old Grill

Old Grill

Melted grill - knobs gone - line melted

Melted grill - knobs gone - line melted

New SUPER Grill

New SUPER Grill

I will be making a 7 hour round trip tomorrow to pick up John’s folks in CT. We weren’t sure if they would come tomorrow or Wednesday. Jack called and said they were “packed and ready for pick up.”They will be staying for a week and then ride home with Uncle George after the Spencer Family Reunion in Kennebunk next Saturday. John is on call, so can’t go…he’ll be staying home to finish his message AND clean the house. In the 6+ years we’ve lived here I don’t think he has ever cleaned the house from top to bottom…should be interesting…It will be good for them to get away. Have a great evening…Pray for a safe trip for tomorrow…thanks.

It is HOT!!! And…a few more photos…

I finally feel like I am back in the right time zone. It has been extremely hot and humid here the past few days – upper 80’s and low to mid 90’s! That is not unusual for the South where everything has a/c, but it is not the norm for here. Thankfully, we have 2 small window a/c units and the house has been OK. John and Katie both work outside, so yesterday they were wiped when they got home…although they did a little fishing behind the house before supper and then Katie headed to Lake Winnipesaukee to swim with friends.

We had internet issues yesterday (maybe it was my long photo post LOL). Actually, they are coming to put a new line in sometime this week; I guess we are getting very low signal levels. I found a few more pictures that I wanted to share so they are below. ALSO, John does NOT have to have another hernia operation, so I just made flight plans to head to NC in a few weeks. It was $75 more to fly than for us to drive…go figure…

I also made good use of a few photos when I made these desktop calendars for me and John…

Click on the photo and it will make it larger for you..

Long Post – Lots of Pictures…

Well, I have managed to get the house somewhat back to normal – still a few things to put away. John and I both feel like we are still on Alaska time…I’m forcing myself to go to bed at 11 PM and up by 7 AM tomorrow to see if that helps. I don’t know about anyone else, but Lindsey has been ancious for me to get some photos up. I told her that John and I had over 700 photos to upload to our computer and then sift through. Here is a sampling…a large sampling.

Boarding in Vancouver BC

Boarding in Vancouver BC

View from Mt. Roberts Tramway in Juneau

View from Mt. Roberts Tramway in Juneau

Juneau and Beyond...

Juneau and Beyond...

The downside to Juneau was the rain and most trails on Mt. Roberts were still closed due to avalance possibilities and snow!

Eagle in captivity on Mt. Roberts - he had been shot in the beak and eye - that\'s a glass eye.

Eagle in captivity on Mt. Roberts - he had been shot in the beak and eye

From the Captain William Moore Bridge looking back towards Skagway and headed to the Yukon

From the Captain William Moore Bridge looking back towards Skagway and headed to the Yukon

Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Veil Falls

John, Me, Melodie and Mom on the Cpt. William Moore Bridge, Skagway

John, Me, Melodie and Mom on the Cpt. William Moore Bridge, Skagway

Views headed into the Yukon towards Carcross and Caribou Crossing

Views headed into the Yukon towards Carcross and Caribou Crossing

The Tutshi River - pronounced too-shy

The Tutshi River - pronounced too-shy

Flower photo for Hilary

Flower photo for Hilary

The different mountain colors and cloud formations were amazing.

The different mountain colors and cloud formations were amazing.

A black bear and brown bear beside the road!

A black bear and brown bear beside the road!

What are YOU looking at?!?

What are YOU looking at?!?

The YUKON! Wilderness!!

The YUKON! Wilderness!!

Bove Island

Bove Island

Carcross Desert - in ALASKA! Created by silt from melted glaciers.

Carcross Desert - in ALASKA! Created by silt from melted glaciers.

We ate a BBQ chicken lunch with homemade doughnuts for dessert here - yum!

We ate a BBQ chicken lunch with homemade doughnuts for dessert here - yum!

Emerald Lake - north of Caribou Crossing

Emerald Lake - north of Caribou Crossing

View headed back to Carcross

View headed back to Carcross

We stopped in Carcross, but I didn’t even get out of the bus – there wasn’t much there. What caught my attention was the school – grades K-9. That is all that was required by the government. If a child wanted to go to High School they had to drive to Whitehorse – 50 miles NORTH! It makes the 22 miles my kids drove to Wolfeboro look like nothing. They had snow, but didn’t have to worry about avalanches!

Getting on the White Pass Railroad to go back to Skagway.

Getting on the White Pass Railroad to go back to Skagway.

From the train looking back towards Skagway. Our ship is in the water in the middle of the photo.

From the train looking back towards Skagway. Our ship is in the water in the middle of the photo.

The front of the train headed around the bend.

The front of the train headed around the bend.

More flowers for Hilary

More flowers for Hilary

Heading into Glacier Bay National Park

Heading into Glacier Bay National Park

Looking at Margerie Glacier

Looking at Margerie Glacier

We spent an hour in the horseshoe of this glacier
We spent an hour in the horseshoe of this glacier

Melodie on the back deck of the ship

Melodie on the back deck of the ship

The amazing blue ice. We could hear the glacier \

The amazing blue ice. We could hear the glacier talk and saw some fall into the sea.

Incredible! God is an amazing Creator!

Incredible! God is an amazing Creator!

John and Mom looking at glaciers from the Explorers Cafe and Library.

John and Mom looking at glaciers from the Explorers Cafe and Library.

Leaving Glacier Bay

Leaving Glacier Bay

Watching for whales
Watching for whales

There were 4 whales that kept spouting near the ship and I finally caught this one\'s fluke.
There were 4 whales that kept spouting near the ship and I finally caught this one’s fluke.

30 PM!!!
An Alaskan Sunset – at 10:30 PM!!!

Melodie in Ketchikan looking back at our ship
Melodie in Ketchikan looking back at our ship

We went to the Alaskan Lumberjack Show  width=
We went to the Alaskan Lumberjack Show – here are the 2 man saws

Axe competition
Axe competition

The end of the pole climbwidth=
The end of the pole climb

The log roll
The log roll

Tlingkit (pronounced Klin kit) Totem Bight

Totem poles were not for worship, but were an Indian Scrapbook of sorts – they told the story of a life.

Community Gathering House

Community Gathering House

A gnarly root

A gnarly root

We ate most meals on the Lido Deck, but did get dressed up for the Rotterdam Dining Room one night.

Sisters...(Doy and Ding Lee -hahaha!)

I love this one! /img0233.jpg?w=227

So, for some reason this is doing weird things…but anyway…This was an amazing trip! What wonderful memories! We enjoyed Alaska – the Last Frontier…

M – I – A…

I’ve been MIA (MISSING IN ALASKA!!!) for the past week or so. I am home now and have tons of pictures (John does too). I hope to get some up tomorrow. It was an AMAZING trip! More info later…