Tuesday, February 24, 2009

50th Birthday Celebration Continues...

So, on my real birthday, we had a simple dinner, since LH had confirmation classes that night. I had a frozen chocolate mousse granache cake from TJ's which I defrosted and there was a 5 and 0 candles on it. LH sang Happy B'Day and I blew out the candles and we ate cake.
When LH returned around 9 pm, we broke out some bubbly (fine champagne)and had a toast. I unwrapped my present - a Nikon camera with an extra lens!!! Wow!! I'll have to start snapping away and working on the art of photography.
My BIL & SIL sent a box with fun things - a tiara, a sash that read Princess, shoe vamp clips to dress up my boiled wool slippers, Beautiful by Estee Lauder which I spritzed on, a lovely journal, shower gel, 50 Something Word magnet set, an inuksuk cross rubber stamp, and Clodhoppers!!! (How I wish you could get them here and not have to import them from North of the Border!!!) I put on some 50's and Luau music and danced around with my tiara and all much to the consternation of the greys!!!!!!
The next night, LH treated me to a nice dinner out. Thus ended the celebrations, or so I thought.
I came home last evening and LH said a box came for me. I couldn't remember ordering anything and LH said it's from Apple. Apple? With great curiosity, I opened the box and found a hardcover book entitled "Cruising the Carribean" - A 50th Birthday Celebration! My niece S, put together her Mom's and her pictures and with her computer and program put this wonderful book together along with some text on the flaps of the cover and on the first page. What fun!!! I knew they took many more pictures than I did and it was neat to relive those three days together.
I do think this is finally it! The Celebration lasted nearly the whole month.
I have the best sister in the world and I love her dearly as I do my niece. I am so very blessed and graced with the family I've known and loved all my life. It is so very humbling to have had such a fuss made over me. I could do with so much less and still be just as blessed and graced. I am so thankful for my sister and family, for LH and yes, even his family who still have something to learn about caring for one another.
As we approach Lent, I will savor being loved, being loved by LH, by my sister and family, being loved by God, being loved by Christ. There is nothing greater in all the world. Our retirement portfolio may have taken a huge hit, our furniture old and mismatched, LH drives an old car, but I am rich and wealthy beyond compare, for I am loved with the greatest love that ever was, is and shall be. And that is the best birthday gift ever.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

It is so good not to be in the single digits!!! Even if it rains, I'll take the 60+ degrees today. I know we'll be paying for this next week, but a break from the deep freeze of January.
Our Christmas tree has been revealed on the tree lawn of our house. I hope the city will pick it up before it snows again!!! It's been snow and ice covered since the Monday after New Year's Day! And had the city picked it up that week, it would have been gone and not snow and ice covered for over a month!!!
I can't imagine what the neighbors think!!

First off - my RGBP's page is somehow corrupted and I can't access any blogs through the RGBP's page. If anyone has any ideas on how I can deal with this, please let me know! I miss everyone, terribly.
Now, to the Birthday Surprise. My dear sister planned a get-away this past weekend. Through the past 4 weeks she would email me weekly with little hints:
weather between 60-80 degrees, what to pack - sandals, swimsuit, dressy dress, casual wear, and finally last week - my itinerary to a point: Miami.
So, last Friday I boarded a plane which flew me to Atlanta and then on to Miami.
I arrived in Miami around noon and waited in the baggage claim area for my sister.
My cell phone rings and by 12:30 pm, my sister and my niece are with me in the baggage claim area. I'm the only person on the flight from Atlanta to Miami without a clue where I'm going from there.
At long last, I know! We were going on a cruise to the Bahamas!!
The three of us took a cab to the ship and checked in with is quite a process. We found our room and stashed our bags. The whole thing seemed so unreal and I was just thrilled to be with my sister and my niece - an entire weekend together!!! Just us girls!!! Whoo Hoo!!
It was rather cool in Miami, too cool, in fact. We never were able to get off the ship on Saturday at the private island where we planned to snorkel and lay on the beach sipping fruity drinks. The water was so rough that they weren't allowing the tenders to make the trip from the boat to the island. We landed in Nassau later that evening.
The three of us sat in deck chairs reading and talking and sipping fruity adult beverages wrapped up in sweaters and our beach towels. We lasted until 2:30 pm when it simply was just too cold.
We enjoyed the shows and the great Latin music in the one lounge. We spent a beautiful day in Nassau walking to the Fort and Water Tower, then past St. Andrew's Presbyterian Kirk - it was afterall, Sunday! From there we walked to the public beach and put our legs in even though it was very cool. The water was beautiful green and blue and beckoned me, but simply too cold to really go in. We sat on the beach a bit anyway. Then it was further up the beach to where there were local Bahamian snack huts where we lunched and sat and soaked up some sunshine. After lunch, we walked back a stopped in a couple stores. The Straw Market was somewhat disappointing unless you were in the market for fake Prada, Coach, D & G, B & R, purses.
We had a most wonderful time together. What I had longed for most, some time with my sister and my niece was the best gift. It was the most precious, extraordinary, most treasured birthday present ever. And somehow, turning fifty, doesn't seem quite so traumatic. A little celebration seems to help make more acceptable.
Too bad that I could not have a gentle week ahead just to savor.
Our oldest member passed away Monday as I returned home. So, on top of writing a sermon and all for Sunday, I have a funeral service to work on and I am simply exhausted from not enough sleep. I will lose my day off on Friday and will have to work Saturday, have a 12 hour day today and I'm supposed to be at 3/4 time. Sigh. Maybe, I'll be able to take my birthday afternoon off next week!
In the meanwhile, I'm still getting my land legs back!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

POST 285!

With a wing and a prayer, I have lined up 4 Lenten Breakfast speakers beginning Ash Wednesday. Thank you, God! The Methodists grabbed the School Superintendent before I got a hold of him and another retired minister is out of town as is another layperson. I feel relieved!!
On my commute home, I brought home some of this country county's finest aromas: cow manure. Some farmer had a leak in his tanker or just dumped some on the state route and it went up under the carriage and/or in the wheels. Ohhh,how the garage smelled and even this morning. I'm hoping the cold air outside will freshen up the van today!!!
The things we bring home with us at the end of the day - some just stink, some are very sad, some are uplifting and encouraging, some are exciting, some are issues that linger with us far longer than we would want or because they cannot go away in just an hour's time. I have often made my commute to and fro the church a time of prayer lifting up people and situations, and the church into God's care and keeping. So much is so beyond my control, my gifts, my wisdom, my inept attempts.
God's shoulders are so much bigger than mine and God's hands are far more capable than my puny hands. But, still we let them linger on our hearts and in our spirits, and some linger longer than others. Yet, that lingering is a continual reminder to pray through it and to keep offering it up to God.