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Posts tagged ‘family’

From Gold to Green

I left the gold colored landscape of Northern California last week for the Green Mountain State. Summertime in Vermont is quite glorious if you can avoid the man eating mosquitos. Yesterday, my dad, mom, brother, and I headed out to a new adventure. We decided on AuSable Chasm- an attraction in New York’s Adirondack Mountains on the other side of Lake Champlain.

This was very, very special because I hadn’t spent a whole day with my brother since he left California back in September, and my time with my dad is limited when I visit because he works. When I was told they were taking the day off, I felt like I had won the lottery! What a treat.

We headed out across Lake Champlain on the Grand Isle ferry. It’s a quick trip, but the sun was shining and the views are lush and soothing.
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And then a wave comes and soaks you!!
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We drove south down routes 9 and 22 through gorgeous little towns filled with brick buildings, past old stone walls separating farms, and incredible limestone homes. These houses made me so jealous considering what we can buy in San Jose for the same amount of money.

I’ve only ever been in this area one other time, and Chris and I saw Rainbow Falls at AuSable Chasm from the road. Growing up, I had seen the photos and really wanted to check it out, but we got there after closing that day.
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The old bridge and pump house are majestic.
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Little did I know as we started down the trail that I’d soon feel like I was back West again!
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We hiked down along the trails and couldn’t believe we were in the Northeast.
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We then rafted lazily down the chasm eroded over time by the river.
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After our journey, we headed into Essex, NY for lunch right on the lake and a little bit of antiquing which is one of my favorite things ever!!

Then, back on the ferry.
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We were so beat! It was a great day exploring with some of my favorite people.

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No, It’s a Good Thing!

My sister, Sarah, is coming to visit next month.  She is coming because she loves me and wants to spend time with me.  The trip was spurred on by the fact that I didn’t go back for Christmas this year because it was too big of a push for me mentally; I just needed some down time.  Chris and I got it by staying in California, but we really missed being with our families for the holidays.

Sarah decided to come visit, because she knew it would bless me, build me up, and care for me.  We and I are super close, can tell each other anything, and love each other immensely.  She is one of my best friends, and I couldn’t imagine my life without her.

I explain this, because it got kinda twisted last week in my mind.  All the sudden, I started thinking about this future visit as a stressful time.  It was actually really strange, because she’s really low key and just wants to be with me.  Honestly, even if we sat on the couch all week, I’m sure she would be happy to have some time to relax and talk in person without two little munchkins (the cutest kids on earth, Elijah and Norah) running around.  Plus, she’s coming over my students’ break, so I don’t even have to juggle work!

But my odd response to the visit was another sign that I had my head on backward (see this week’s previous posts if you don’t believe me).  So I changed my mind.

In this situation, that change was really easy to enact.  I’ve been thinking about the fun things that we can do while she’s here (Año Nuevo’s elephant seals, Sonoma wine tasting, Santa Cruz, walks to take in all the California flowers in bloom, antiquing in my neighborhood), the way that we’ll stay up way too late chatting like we always have (since we shared a room when we were young), and getting to meet her little boy, Benjamin, for the first time.

Maybe we won’t do any of the activities that I’ve envisioned…  but who cares?!?  My little sis, who knows me better than the entire world, is coming to visit!  Maybe we’ll just cook and drink her yummy margaritas.

I am so excited now for her trip, but it took me realizing that the time together will bring joy and love and life instead of added responsibility.  And what little extra duties are required of me, I’m willing to take on, because that time together is totally worth it.

Even if I give up my bed for a few days.  But you would, too, if you knew how cute Benjamin was!

Oh, That Makes Sense

Today, I learned where my dad and aunts got their grit (read “stubborn determination”):

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I am her namesake, and I don’t think I’ve fallen too far from the tree, either…

Which makes for an exciting day.

And that’s all I’m going to say about that!

Grandma’s Time

I forgot about a great tradition that my grandparents have always had- a cocktail before dinner.

Maybe I forgot because I was never old enough to take part, but I remember watching my Grandpa make spritzers each night when he’d get get home from work. He’d make me one, too, if I begged a bit- orange juice and tonic. Yum! Even now, I like adding bubbles to juices to make them a bit sparkly.

Tonight, I finally got to share in the long-standing tradition. After working hard all day, my Grandma (who seems tireless and graceful no matter what she does) suggested that we “sit down and act like ladies.” This included talking over cheese and crackers and a glass of wine.

The wine was refreshing and well deserved… I should also mention that it was from a bottle. This is significant because I also have many memories of boxed wine on their fridge shelf. (Apparently, I took a strong interest in drinking from an early age! I wonder why…). The spout apparatus was especially intriguing, and sometimes I was able to pour the glasses if Grandpa would let me.

Anyway, it was a really sweet thing to be able to share in something that I can remember from all the way back as a little one at 401 Laurel. Celebrating the end of a day of hard work always seems worth it! Celebrating with Grandma is even better!

The Joys of Travel

Hello dear friends. I’m sorry for my absence, but I’m back- mostly because I wanted to share this amazing photo that I took today:

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I hope that you found the illustration as delightful as I did!

I had NO idea that flight attendants would get helmets if/when our oxygen masks deployed. I know this is horrible, but this knowledge actually makes a little piece of me want to see it happen!

I’m in North Carolina this week, visiting my grandma. I brought a digital recorder to preserve some of her great stories. Maybe she’ll let me share some here!

Something Old Turns to Something New

Alanis Morrisette’s Jagged Little Pill came out in 1995.  I was 16 and absolutely infatuated with her music; she was hard but emotional.  She called herself a bitch but still sang about heartbreak.  She talked about doing things in public that no one should do- let alone tell people about!  She even made playing the harmonica look cool.

I thought she was a total bad ass, and my sisters sat upstairs on Wildwood playing “Head Over Feet” over and over and over.  Sarah and I sang lines from “Isn’t it Ironic” while riding up Smugg’s Madonna chairlift behind Travis and Kyle.  All these memories came flooding back to me tonight when I heard “Hand in My Pocket” at Randy and Susan’s tonight.

 

I turn 33 this month, and it’s been 17 years since I first heard this song.  Somehow, though, this song stuck a chord tonight and resonated in a new way.

“I’m broke but I’m happy
I’m poor but I’m kind
I’m short but I’m healthy, yeah
I’m high but I’m grounded
I’m sane but I’m overwhelmed
I’m lost but I’m hopeful baby
What it all comes down to
Is that everything’s gonna be fine fine fine…

What it all comes down to
Is that everything’s gonna be quite alright…

And what it all boils down to
Is that no one’s really got it figured out just yet”

It’s reassuring that Alanis is still able to break through all the layers and reach to the heart of the matter.  And though I don’t have it all figured out, I’m doing fine fine fine.

Romans 8:28- And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

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