Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Dad's 90th birthday

We celebrated Dad's 90th birthday Monday night! This picture above is us the morning after I got married. All our parents met us for a fancy breakfast and sent us off to the mountains of North Carolina for our honeymoon. 

In attendance was Trish, my sister who lives here, her son Devin, my brother Paul and his wife and son Theresa and William and my sister Terri—via Zoom. That was Dad's first Zoom call and it made the party extra special. 

This is my oldest son Graham and Dad. Dad had been admiring Graham's truck.

Left to right in this picture are Drew, Noah, Graham, Dad, Jonah and Devin.

And you know I had to take a picture like this with the Zoom folks. That's my brother Paul that you see on the screen, doesn't he look JUST LIKE Dad?? It was wonderful hearing all of their voices. 

It was a fun night! We had a great dinner, a delicious cake for dessert and he was made to feel loved and dearly treasured. I need to be more intentional with this blog...I always forget about it and neglect it for months at a time. I will cherish having the memories to look back on! Happy birthday to my sweet Dad, the first man I ever loved and the one whom I looked for similar qualities of when I met my husband. I found those same traits in my husband, by the way, and I know that's something my dad is grateful for. He always says he loves that he never has to worry about me. Isn't that sweet? 

Monday, December 21, 2020

Thursday with Dad (instead of Friday)

Dad and I had our "Friday" together on Thursday of last week. I had forgotten I had told him I would pick him up because Sandy had an appointment, but Noah had my car at work. Thankfully when Dad called me, Noah was almost finished making deliveries (his current job right now is making deliveries for a bakery), so he just went to Dad's and brought him to my house. I had lunch ready the minute he walked in, because I knew he would be hungry like I was.

As usual, we enjoyed our afternoon and I took him home around four. This picture below was him reading his card I sent to them for Christmas. Have I mentioned he is legally blind? He can read using special tools like this magnifying glass with a light, but this is why he no longer drives. We're doing something new and different for us one day in the early part of this week, but I'll share about that another time.

 I am so thankful to the Lord for all of my family, the relationships we have with one another and for blessed times like these. I pray that I never take one moment of precious time for granted. 

Saturday, March 21, 2020

the golden years

I read a quote recently about these days being the golden years, and how we wish we had known these days were the golden years so we would enjoy them more, instead of them just sliding right by and us not knowing that it would never be the same again.

Oh, the fun we have had together. 

In the summer months, we went somewhere fun every single week.  Sometimes it would be the zoo, or the children's museum, the Pink Palace, a movie, a park, a trip to a waterpark downtown.  It didn't matter what we did, we all had a blast.  Quality time is our love language, needless to say. 

This was a day at the zoo, and what I remember most from this day was the butterfly exhibit.  The boys loved that exhibit and feeding the butterflies.  We spent what felt like hours inside that hot terrarium area. 

I mentioned before that Dad probably started coming over to help me, and help me he did.  When the boys were all in elementary school together, every single May, he would help me out by attending Field Day with me.  If I hadn't had him to help me, I would have been running around like a chicken with its head cut off, because they were never together.  One kid would be at one end, and the other at the opposite end.  We perfected this, though, and by our last year of doing that together, he had a lawn chair to sit in and an umbrella as shade.

We didn't have a lot of money, though, and had it not been for him doing these fun things with us, the boys would have missed out.  He always paid for our little excursions to the movies, or the zoo, or the children's museum.  I'm so thankful to him for that.  I know the boys are, too, because most of their childhood is wrapped in memories with Dad in them.

Christmas traditions

Every year for as long as I can remember, we've had "Thanksgiving" with Dad and Sandy on Friday after Thanksgiving.  We would meet out at their house, eat early, ooh and ahh over all the lights we hung, and then we'd leave for the zoo and Zoo Lights. 

In 2018, though, we got rained out.

I'm so glad that this year, we went, and we wouldn't let Dad pay for it.  Todd bought our tickets online this year, and this is Trish, Dad and me at one of the trees at the entrance.  We weren't able to ride the tram much, because of all the crowds, but Dad did great.  We went nice and slow, and Trish and I loved hanging back with him and talking and laughing.  Sandy didn't join us this night, and she didn't in 2017 either, so it was just us and my hubby and boys.  I'm sad she didn't go, but I surely understand needing some recouperating time from cooking a huge meal.

This was a fun, fun night.  I love traditions. 


I'll never forget the day that Dad told me his best friend had died.  We were in Chick Fil A with all the boys having lunch, and when he told me, I burst into tears.  In the middle of the restaurant, and not in a quiet way.

It's interesting, how things hit you like that.

I know my reaction was strong, because my dad is not getting any younger. 

And also, because all of his friends are slowly dying.

Not this one, though, this handsome fella beside Dad in these pictures.

This is Larry Croft, my childhood best friend's dad.  Larry's wife Barbara died about a year ago, and Stacy took these pictures of him and texted them all to me.  He is a wonderful man, and his laughter is infectious.  He told Dad once that he might as well go ahead and add Stace to his life insurance policy.  And he blamed Dad for her new and expensive taste in food.  (Can you say crab legs, anyone?)

I love these guys.  I love their friendship. 

About Dad's best friend, though.  Billy died a few years ago now, and Dad gave the eulogy at his funeral.  He actually shared a copy of it with me, and I have it put up in a cabinet.  (I always keep everything he writes, and yes, he writes.  I suppose that gene came from him.)  I prayed for him during those days, because I cannot imagine how difficult that would have been.  Billy and he were in the Korean war together and they were stationed in Japan together for a few weeks.  (Dad was in the Navy, and he served in that war as a hospital corpsman.)

I can't even count how many stories I've heard of their younger days. 

What a gift to us, our friendships are.  May we never take them for granted.

Christmas Lights!

Dad loves Christmas lights.  They've always been his pride and joy every year, but once he started getting older, Trish and all my boys and me started doing this for him.  He used to help some, but for the last few years, we've only let him supervise and bring us things via his John Deere riding mower.

This year, our lights crew was this many strong.

Two of my boys were out of town, one was sick, and the other one got a free pass.  It took longer, but we outdid ourselves and the lights looked better than ever.  I love doing this for him and with him and Trish, and it's an honor to be able to serve the Lord by serving Dad. 

His prayer every year is that they wouldn't just be something pretty to look at, but that the lights would be seen as a reflection of the light that Jesus is to a lost and dying world.  Here is the verse he bases that on:

Jesus spoke to them again: "I am the light of the world.  Anyone who follows me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life."  (John 8:12)

Lord, let that always be so...not just in Christmas lights, but in every part of our lives.


Since we're all on lockdown thanks to COVID19, I figured now is a good time to update this blog.  I kept forgetting I had it, and just let all that time go by. 

This was Dad and me at the beginning of this past December.  I had a choir concert at church, and he and my stepmom came.  I remember thinking on that night, that no matter how old I get, he loves to support me in all my endeavors.  He does this by coming to concerts I sing in at church, and in reading what I write.  I'm so grateful for his influence.

It's crazy to think this handsome fella will be eighty-nine years young on the 29th of this month.  He still looks so great!  I have really good genes in my family, both in him and in my mom.  Neither one of them look their age.

I had grand plans to celebrate his birthday by having them over for dinner, but I suppose we will postpone that.  Trish and I are cooking up an idea, though...

We're still hanging out on Fridays, though not during all of this crazy time.  I am looking forward to getting back to it, I feel like it's been weeks since I've seen him.  We've been talking on the phone every couple of days, though, and texting all the time.

Such is life, for now.  I am glad he texts and that he and Sandy are staying well and keeping to themselves.  (You should SEE his emoji usage.)