Friday, July 28, 2023

July is Almost Over

End of July.  Wow.  This month flew past us.  And so did the week.  It's already Friday again and Friday Fave Fives time.  Here are five events here at Willow's Cottage that have given me joy.

1.  Rain.  Some days, just a few sprinkles.  One night, a huge thunderstorm.  In this hot season, we'll take what we can get and be thankful for it.

2.  Errands completed in record time.  The Professor and I were able to have our new car registered at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles in record time and for Six Bucks!  Gotta love small town Ohio!  Then we stopped in at the Soil and Conservation building to ask for identification of a plant that is growing in our back yard.  Dean immediately took the plant and started his research and quickly came up with an answer:  fringed yellow loosestrife.  I had searched all over the internet to no avail.  He had the answer in under a minute.  And he didn't seem annoyed with our request.  I am thankful for errands done.

3.  On that same trip, we dropped off a few items at the local St. Vincent de Paul thrift store.  Then we popped in to search for a couple of things.  SCORE!  I found a large roll of drapery material that I can use to sew new curtains for our RV.  Ten Bucks!  And when we gave my phone number and name for their bonus program, the clerk recognized my name and declared, "You are 'older daughter's' mom!"  He has worked with Older Daughter for years as her manager (even when she was a new employee in Southern CA) and is now part time and she is his manager!  Love small town connections.

4.  Sunday afternoon, Younger Daughter wanted to take her dog on a walk and asked if we could join her.  Of course!  We will take any opportunity for a walk and time with our kids.  Her son loves finding hearts in nature and sending pictures to her, so when she found this leaf, she snapped a photo and shared it with him.  And sent it to me, too.

5.  The Professor did some magic with my cell phone.  My phone was completely out of memory, so he added an SD card and showed me how to move photos over on to it.  Now I can take more photos AND get the old ones organized in folders.  MAGIC!

And that is how July is ending... with magic and rain and air conditioning and joy.

Friday, July 21, 2023

It's Friday Already??

 Oh yeah, it's Friday!  We have had such a busy traveling week that I totally forgot what day it is.  Well, better late than never, right?  Here are my Friday Fave Fives...Willow's Week described in sharing five blessings.  The link takes you to Susanne's blog where you can read more or join us.

1.  On Sunday afternoon, The Professor, Older Daughter and I packed our bags and threw them into our new car and headed out.  The reason for our trip might not seem like a happy occasion.  We were traveling to attend the funeral for a beloved co-worker in Papua, Indonesia.  But truly, it is a blessing to know that the God we served in Indonesia had welcomed our dear friend to her eternal home.  She joined her husband and youngest daughter and one grandson.

2.  On the way, we stopped overnight in Michigan to visit another couple who also served with us in Indonesia.  They now live here:

What a wonderful time of reminiscing we had!  Their daughter was one of Older Daughter's best friends and roommates at the missionary boarding school. (you may remember that last summer we hosted a family who are missionaries in Thailand--that is the same 'girl'.)  Our friends live on a large farm and we had great fun tramping through their woods before we left and went on our way.

3.  Our destination was Wisconsin.

How do you explain to people that co-workers in places where we lived are really family.  After checking in to our hotel and grabbing dinner, we drove over to our friends' home and just settled in chatting like we had seen each other yesterday.  We got caught up on everyone's activities.  Out of respect for this grieving family, I am not posting any photos.

The next morning, we attended the service for our friend and met three more co-workers who also made the trip to attend her service.  Lunch was just the best catch-up time!  And we returned in the evening to hang out again with them.  Our hearts were full!

4.  You can't travel to eastern Wisconsin and not visit Lake Michigan.  It's 'almost' like being at the beach...

5.  Since we were driving through Illinois anyway, we stopped for lunch and conversation with The Professor's older brother and his wife.  We had not been to their 'new' house, so it was great to see it in person.  And our nephew brought four of his children over to visit.  It was so good to sit and talk with them before we headed out toward home again.

And of course, it is always good to be home.  Safe and sound.  Truly our week was stuffed full of blessings and wonderful memories.

Friday, July 14, 2023

Bastille Day Means...

 Good morning!  It's Friday, July 14th! Bastille Day! (an important date in France, commemorating the storming of the Bastille in 1789)  Fridays always mean Friday Fave Fives here at Willow's Cottage.  Join me in celebrating five blessings that have filled my week.  (link takes you to Susanne's blog, where she hosts us every week)

Here is what has happened this week at my little cottage.

1.  A hike is always a good thing.  On Saturday, all the family hiked at Black Hand Gorge with all the dogs, too.

Can you find Tall Boy?

ZG and her bio brother whom she had not seen for fourteen years.  He and his adopted mom visited us for the weekend.  What a celebration!  (These were the 'friends' we were with on our trip to Amish country.  I just didn't feel comfortable sharing that detail until my daughter and granddaughter made it public.)

2.  We have a new car!  I am so very thankful for reliable transportation after our old car decided to not start anymore.

3.  Trail Life is an important part of our two grandsons' lives, and The Professor's, too.  Trail Life is a faith based 'Boy Scouts'.  This week's meeting involved what is called 'cross-over', the advancement of troop members to the next level.  Both grandsons moved up to next levels.  At the ceremony, they literally cross over a bridge (at one of our local parks).

4.  After so many days of heat and humidity, this morning we had fog!  That cooled our morning down enough that we could actually sit on our back patio and sip our morning coffee.  The Professor and I reminisced about those Southern California June Gloom days and were thankful that Ohio's July Fry days had taken a short break.

5.  Today is Bastille Day.  It is also our wedding anniversary.  Fifty Years!  (yeah, we really are that old...)  It is also my brother and sister-in-law's anniversary!  Happy Anniversary to them, too!

Friday, July 07, 2023

July Has Arrived

 I am late but at least I am here posting my Friday Fave Fives before midnight. We had a busy day! And a busy week.  Here are the five blessings I chose out of many from this past week.

1.  My brother's birthday. We talked on the phone.  And at least we saw each other last month. 

2. July 3rd. We joined the rest of the family to walk to the university campus and enjoy the local symphony play lots of patriotic songs, and then we enjoyed lots of fireworks.

3.  July 4th.  A Day of Remembrance of independence.  July 5th.  More fireworks.  This time at the home of friends--out in the country.

4. This morning we drove to Amish Country with family and friends. On the way, the back bumper on younger daughter's car broke half off.  After we pulled off the highway and stopped to examine the damage, two different people stopped to check on us. One gentleman ran back to his car and grabbed some rope, crawled under the car and tied the bumper back on.  We were so thankful for his help so we did not have to turn around and abort our trip.  That is something we love about living in Ohio-- the kindness of strangers.

5.  The most fun part of that was that the man had a small python snake around his neck when he stopped.  As he stepped from the car, he handed the snake to The Professor.  Then others had to take their turn holding it.  Instead of 'hold my beer', it's 'hold my snake'.  Only in Ohio!

6. BONUS! There is a new dog in the family!   Our girls have an eight week old Bernese Mountain Dog named Athena.