Saturday, December 19, 2009

Mountain Mellow Thankful

Left: Loved this sticker plastered to the wall of a BBQ place in Asheville, NC. Check out Hebrews 11:13-16! (This is not a product endorsement--although I like their Web site and they may have a really great product. But I'm not a customer).

Decisions, decisions. Do I play catch-up with dated postings? Or do I leave vast chunks of my life unreported to my faithful readers and unrecorded for posterity?

Hmmm . . . oh, why not.

This last week of 2009 should be about tying up loose ends, right? Any left untied and that come unraveled after January 1st will leave interesting holes in the pattern.

Meantime, my last posting concerned our pre-Thanksgiving Circus of the Arts Pen Women conference in Sarasota.

We struck the circus tents around noon on Sunday, packed up and vacated the hotel premises. From Sarasota to Safety Harbor is about an hour's drive, and I arrived home at 2 p.m. to find Lee packed and waiting for me to unload the van, repack the bags, load up the other van, and head out. Which we did at 3 p.m. -- how's that for a quick transition?!

This time our destination was North Carolina and a week of mountain mellow with Lee's brother and sister-in-law. And Banjo. Can't forget their lovable Labradoodle.

Above: Dave and Lee enjoy a moment of brotherly bonding over a plate of BBQ.
(Mmmmm -- except we thought Dave liked BBQ and he was being polite. Wh
at a good brother.)

So what am I thankful for this season, this year? I'll let some pictures speak for me.

Left: Sign near Grandfather Mountain in NC.

Sons, daughters-in-law, and grandchildren who enrich my life in so many ways. Who can resist melting a bit when the eyes of a three-year-old light up in wonder when he puts a "CD" in a Sesame Street player, pushes a button, and hears music playing. This is the same grandson who played "have you heard this song before" all the way home from a Rays game -- and actually listened to each song I sang before answering 'yes' or 'no.'

And have you ever heard a five-year-old princess with the giggles? Or played clapping games with a nine-year-old? Or watched a thirteen-year-old play Ninja air hockey? 'Nuff said.

The beauties
of the earth above and below ground . . .

Left: Formations in Linville Caverns, NC

Right: Fall foilage in Asheville, NC

. . . and for the ones that come to earth from above.

Below: Fat, fluffy flakes of snow began falling just as we finished Thanksgiving dinner.

Left: Some of Lee's work as displayed at the Art Arbor Festival at Boyd Hill Nature Park in St. Petersburg.

Lee's continuing forays into the world of clay. Highlights of our trip to NC were visiting Highwater Clays in Asheville and attending a kiln opening outside of Boone. Read more about each of these adventures at Lee's blog, Formed & Fired Creations in Clay.

Left: Nancy's daughter-in-law, Shelley, and I put this puzzle together over Thanksgiving. One of the best designed puzzles I've done in a long time -- odd fittings and shapes. Not that I've had much time for puzzles lately, which made it doubly enjoyable.

Time to play . . .

. . . and time to reconnect with forever friends.

Right: We had lunch with Sandy Houser, a friend from our first days in Florida, and her brother Tom before heading home to Florida.

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