My life is a journey...I never know who or what I will meet just around the next bend that will give my life experience!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Memories of England...

I don't know why,k but today my memories were flooded with thoughts of England and their beautiful gardens.  I was mesmerized by them.  The weather in England is much ,like the weather I have enjoyed here on the Oregon Coast for the past 12 years.  And it is on the coast of Oregon where we grow the most beautiful flowers.  Well, more on that later.  For mow I want to get back to my memories of England,

We traveled there in June of 2003, a year after my mom died and just months after my first eye surgery that left me basically with extreme vision problems.  My vision was not great to begin with, but after surgery my world was truly foggy.  My husband was worried that I wouldn't see anything...and in some cases he was right.  But, there is a lot of fog in England so it didn't really makje a huge amount of difference to me,.

We stayed with a Mason friend of Dean's on Chapel Lane in Urchfont in Devizis, England.  Their home was in the country where there are rolling hills, forests, remnants of ancient inhabitants... and gardens!  They called themselves the "woodpeckers" and had the cutest little woodpecker for a door knocker.  It was here that I fell in love with England.

The Pocock's were perfect English hosts.  They lived in an old cottage full of Antiques.  John was an Antique dealer and Jean was an incredible decoratot.  In the front entry of their home was the most unique desk I have ever seen.

"I'll bet you have never seen one of these before," John said to me.

 I could honestly answer that I had not.  "It is called a 'Davenport Desk!'"  I was astonished!  I had never heard of such a thing.  And then he proceeded to tell me the story of this amazing desk (much of which I have forgotten over the years).  As I recall, it was a sea Captain who wanted to make something very special for his wife, and so he designed this desk, full of little hidden nooks and cranny's to hide things...important things.  I loved that desk instantly, and not just because it bore my family name, but because it was the most charming desk I had ever seen.\\

John Also took us on a tour of the rest of his collection of antiques!  For instance, we would be dining on a 900 year old dining-room table for dinner!  Floored again!!

While Dean visited with John, Jean took me out to the back yard to walk in her garden!  Oh my, I cannot find the words to express the beauty of it all.  Lavender and Heather and Roses galore.  And all perfectly trimmed and "dead-headed" so there were no dead flowers anywhere.  I believe it must take a special skill or art to be able to accomplish such beauty.

After tea, we walked into the charming town and passed house after house of beautiful gardens.  On the corner there was a little plot set aside for more beautiful flowers and shrubbery.  Jean told me that a little widow lady who lived across the street devoted all of her time not only to her own garden, but to this little plot on the corner.  She was a crippled lady, who got around only with the aid of a wheelchair.  I wanted to cry!

How is it that a small little village in the middle of England can elicit such beauty?  It has to be inbred into their souls.  When Dean and I wer in Londonm we visited Kensington Palace and all of the beauty there.  We walked along well manacured walks to the lake in front of the Castle, where swans were lazily paddling their way through clear waters.  It was a beautiful scene.  We walked for what seemed like an eternity and came to another area of the property called Diana's Plasyground.  It was a park for children that Princess Doana had designed and oversaw the construction for the children who came to play there.  It was enchanting.

Across the street, we drifted into a little cafe with hundreds of pictures of Diana on every wall.  We learned from our waiter that it had been one of Diana's favorite "hang-outs" to get away from it all.  Everyone loved her and had nothing but kind things to say about her  She loved her children and she loved all children..  Hers was a tragic end and I felt sadness creep into an otherwise beautiful day.

We had an amazing time in England, but I think the beauty of its gardens  will forever live in my memory.  One day, I would love to return and stay longer in London.  But that will have to be perhaps for another lifetime.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Being Seventy-Eight...

Seventy-eight years!  Wow!  (Just pretend there are 78 candles on that cake!)

What is "78?"  It's a prety big number.  It's the number of years I have been privileged to live on this earth.  It is the number of candles on my Birthday cake.

I am so grateful for those 78 years!  I have been blessed with my greatest blessing... most of my memories intact.  All it takes is a word, a picture, a smell, a book, a smile, a face, a place, or anything familiar to call up to my memory the vivid pictures of the past.  I am grateful for that.

I recently received a telephone call from a friend I have known since I was 3-years-old!  We shared many memories during that call and a lot of laughter.  It was a wonderful day.  Another friend remarked on Facebook that we shared memories from our childhood of 70 years ago!  We remembered our years of dancing at Mahri's School of Dance in Santa Monica, CA and I smiled with those memories.

I live by the ocean on the coast of Oregon and the smell of the salt air mixed with fish takes me back to my childhood in Santa Monica (which is also by the ocean in California.)  I had so many happy memories back then.  Days spent on the beach tanning, swimming in the Pacific, walking the boardwalk or the Pier.  My favorite was riding on the Carousel on the Santa Monica Pier!

I recently attended a reunion of several friends from my Church in Santa Monica.  Some of them I did not recognize, but others came quickly to the forefront of my memory.  The faces have aged, but the eyes remain the same!  Reunions are amazing.

And so, as I celebrate another year, create another memory, eat a few more bites of a wonderful Birthday cake and live to love another day, I share my gratitude with all whom I have contact with on this day.  Thank you for being a part of my life and helping me to build more memories.

Here's to another 22 years, when I reach 100 and, hopefully, my mind will still be as sharp as it is today!  We shall see!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

An Unusual Sandscape...

My husband and I like to walk the beach on occasion and for the most part the sand is smooth, even and pretty easy to walk on.  Not so on one of our sunny days last week.  We drove to Agate Beach (a nice beach about 2 miles from our home) to enjoy a leisurely walk.  We had no idea what we were in for until we got there.

It was as though we just stepped off a spaceship onto the surface of the moon!  I had never seen so many dunes...hills and valleys...and really interesting patterns in the sand before.  There were little mounds perfectly sculpted by water and wind and blowing sand that from a distance looked like some of the sandstone formations I have seen in some of Southern Utah's canyons.  But these were not hardened over centuries of wear and tear from the elements; these were still just little mounds of soft sand that fell apart if you touched them.

Walking in the sand was a real work-out, too.  We tried to stay on top of the dunes, but occasionally we encountered a dead-end, requiring us to slide down the dune into the canyon (relatively damp and easier to walk on) and then up the other side of another one.  From the parking lot to the water's edge must have been about 2 blocks!  (Or, at least, it seemed like it!)  We were exhausted by the time we got to the water...and then we had to go back

 We shall never forget our outing to the beach on this particular day.  We are going to try and go back in a couple of weeks (when it stops raining) and see what has changed.  And change it will, because that is the nature or the beaches on the Oregon Coast...ever changing.


Hills and Valleys!

Alien Markings?

Moonscape? or Sandscape?  It was awesome!

Sometimes A Phone Call Can Make You Smile...

It was just another ordinary September day on the Oregon Coast.  It was a cloudy, off and on rainy know, the usual ones we get in September on the cioast.  I was busying myself with some crucial tasks, trying to organize our tiny space, when my cell phone rang.  I don't assign original rings to specific people, so I could not tell who it was just by the ring.  But the Caller ID gave it away!  It was my dearest childhood friend from Santa Monica, Joan Trent, and I am always delighted to hear from her.

We chatted about a number of things, including childhood memories, when she got down to the purpose of her call.  She had been going through some old Christmas letters that she kept in a notebook and ran across one from me.  It had been written in the year 1990.  It had madre her laugh and she wanted to share it with me.  Oh, she is so much like me--keeping verylittle thing that has some sentimental meaning to her.  She read it to me and we had a good laugh together.  Such a dear friend, that one!

I don't know how long we talked, but knowing phone calls from the past, it had to have been nearly an hour.  Seventy-five years as friends, and we still keep in touch.  I love that girl and am so grateful that she hasn't disappeared like so many others have.  Thank you, Joan, for turning an otherwise ordinary day on the Oregon Coast into a day filled with sunshine and smiles.

Monday, September 11, 2017

I Never Forgot,,,

September 11, 2001...the day the world stopped turning!  It was a pivotal point for the U.S.A. and the rest of the world.  It was a day that many...most... Americans lost their innocence.  It was the day we opened our eyes and began to see what was happening in the world and what was happening here at home.  It was the day the World Trade Towers came tumbling down, victims of a viscous attack by foreigners.  It was a day my life changed forever.

Today marks the 16th Anniversary of that horrendous day.  Sixteen years...and I'm still alive to see the aftermath!  Since that day we are at war with a whole nation of Islamists. Since that day, we have lost trust in our closest allies and Europe is falling apart.  Since that day, we are hated by those who used to love and trust us.  Since that day, even here in our own Country, we are pitted brother against brother, color against color, Political choices against Political Choices, Religion against Religion.  Our hearts have been hardened.  Our dreams have been dashed, our lives have been changed.

Even Nature is pumping up her calamities against a land that has turned sour.  This September, we have witnessed horrific million plus acre wildfires in the Northwest; we have felt and witnessed "earthquakes in diverse places;" we are witnessing the power of Category 5 Hurricanes as they blast the Southeast--even Houston, Texas and surrounding areas, and the entire state of Florida blowing apart and many areas are under water.

As I age, my senses are quickly fleeting and I don't know how many more 9/11 days I will be able to write about, but as I stated in my first Blog, all those years ago--I WILL NEVER FORGET!  Will yo?

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Another Shoe Drops...

Just when you think life is going to fix itself, someone drops another shoe!  For some reason, God has it in His design to lay the testing on heavy.

We are adjusting to the recent events in the life of Dean, but this most recent thunder storm came out of nowhere and blind-sided us with a vengeance.  A couple of weeks ago, we got a phone call (several, really) from our son, Billy stating that his wife of only a year and a half wants a divorce and has given him a week to get his things out of the house!  Needless to say, we were shocked and our son is devastated.

That week came and went with no change in heart, and Billy moved his things into a storage unit, but he has no place to live!  We invited him to come to the coast for a few days and re-group and we will try to figure out what to do about this whole mess.

This whole thing has escalated so badly that Billy (and his parents) is a basket case.  He wants so badly to reason with his wife and try everything possible to save his marriage.  But you cannot reason with the unreasonable.  She has snapped and she is next to crazy.  She plays him like a roller-coaster!  One minute she is all "OK, we will try and work things out" and the next minute, "I want that divorce and I am going to rent out our house for some added income."  But her thoughts as to what she is going to do are scattered all over the place.

Apparently her finances are in a bad way with all of her crazy spending...and now Billy is not there to help her out.

Let me tell you a little about her history.  She was badly abused as a child and just to appease her parents when she was 18, she agreed to an arranged marriage to an older man who  took her to the middle east to live in his culture.  Two beautiful girls were the product of that marriage.  But her independent need to be a woman of the world got in the way of her marriage and she was brutally raped to try and bring his control over her. Ultimately, she was able to flee the marriage and make her way with her two little girls to America and her parents home again.  And then she met Billy.

As a result of all of this, she became afflicted with PTSD.  She had horrible night terrors, is delusional, and has a terrible opinion of both the men in her life and just men in general.  Billy knew of her history and thought he could help her work through all of this.  And for a time he did help.  But one day she just snapped...over what?  A discussion of her decision to purchase a "tiny house."  Billy expressed his thoughts on how this was not a good idea, and that is where she snapped.  In her mind, Billy was being controlling.

As of today, Billy is the one who is being abused in this relationship.  She cannot resolve her issues alone.  We have told her she needs to see a counselor or Psychiatrist to help her resolve these issues...perhaps get on some medications.  But, she has refuses.  Whe will not face her "demons!

Billy is a basket case an the phone calls are causing a great deal of anxiety in our home as well.  Prayer is ongoing and the whole thing is in the Lord's hands.  Perhaps He will give all of us answers.

This drama is not over, so I will return to update from time to time.  We love our son so much...and we thought we had a lot of love for Alicia and her girls...but I guess love is not enough here.

To be continued...