Saturday, January 31, 2015

Saturday Lighthouse - Santorini

There were so many things to write about from our Mediterranean Cruise. One of the most outstanding stops was at Santorini Island near Greece. This picture is from the ship as we were either coming in or going out of the port. Actually the ship had to stay out quite a way from the island and we were shuttled in on smaller boats. There were three ways to get to the top of the island where everything was located, either by donkey, a special bus, or the lifts. Our tour had a bus lined up for the ascent, but we took the lifts back down at the end of the day visit. 

Just for a moment imagine the white houses with their blue roofs and the view from way up on the island down on the ship that looked like a small child's play toy in the blue sea. That was the view we had when we visited the winery with the olive groves.  

The Mediterranean trip was awesome on the Celebrity Cruise ship. I highly recommend it as a fantastic way to see a great section of Europe.

Have a special Saturday and a restful weekend.

Linda Kay

Friday, January 30, 2015

Friday Random Ramblings

It has been absolutely beautiful weather in the Texas Hill Country for the last few days, but cloudy for Friday, and a bit cooler. When you read this, I'll be working on the tree house with hubby as we continue this never ending project.  I'll post a picture later. Roof on today!

1. My son-in-law went hunting in the Dakotas last fall with some friends, and had this pheasant mounted for display among all the other creatures gracing their walls. My hubby who is from South Dakota mentioned that he had hunted so many of these, but never had one mounted.

2. Our friends George and Sue are stopping by this next week for a short visit.  We have been friends for many years and have enjoyed some great time traveling together. We lived just a short way apart in Illinois, and they are also members of the 'Culture club' I wrote about in the fall. They spend the month of January in Tucson near her sister, and sometimes stop by here for a visit before driving back to Illinois.

3. Our friend Joy knows that hubby collects walruses, so she sent us this picture puzzle for Christmas. This was a nightmare to put together, but we finished it last night. My problem with these is that I can't leave the puzzle alone until it's finished, so it takes a lot of my time!

4. Daughter #2 (Angel) is moving into a house from an apartment, so we are planning to help them get things put in place on Saturday. The will have everything moved in, but won't have all the dishes put away, etc. Hubby is assigned to hanging pictures. Because of her move, she will miss our visit to the Majestic Theater for the play "Chicago". Daughter #1's SIL is going in her place. Dinner out, then the Theater...doesn't get much better! In case you aren't familiar with this story:

 Set in the legendary city during the roaring “jazz hot” 20s, Chicago tells the story of two rival vaudevillian murderesses locked up in Cook County Jail. Nightclub star Velma’s serving time for killing her husband and sister after finding the two in bed together. Driven chorus girl Roxie’s been tossed in the joint for bumping off the lover she’s been cheating on her husband with. Not one to rest on her laurels, Velma enlists the help of prison matron Mama Morton and slickster lawyer Billy Flynn, who turn Velma’s incarceration into a murder-of-the-week media frenzy, thus preparing the world for a splashy showbiz comeback. But Roxie’s got some of her own tricks up her sleeve…

I've never seen the play, but have seen the movie with Catherine Zeta Jones.

5. And finally (Ta Dah!) the newest picture of the tree house before the roof goes on, the boards are in place and ready to install! Grandson Carson is getting pretty excited, as it finally looks like a house!

Have a wonderful Friday. Life is good!  Linking in today with Tanya at Around Roanoke for Willy Nilly Friday 5.  Check out the other entries!  Thanks for hosting.
Around Roanoke

Linda Kay

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Texas Ranch Fence

Today's gate is a pretty typical country gate in Texas, constructed of aluminum or steel and simple in design. But often, as in this one, there is a beautiful stone wall or pillars leading up to the gate, making the entrance more attractive.  Notice that there is a cactus planted there. The trees in the background are still pretty green, but actually stay green all winter in Texas. These would be the live oak trees. 

Ranches in Texas tend to be very large in acreage. This one has a dirt and gravel road leading back into the ranch, where there is probably a lovely ranch house, hidden from the road and secure in the trees.  Because of the usually mild weather, there tends to always be at least some green grass, as you can see in this picture. As I'm writing this on this January day, it is sunny and 70 degrees. We had a bit of frost last week, but the flowers are all trying to poke through to greet the sunshine. They could still get a surprise frost.

Have a wonderful Thursday.  Thanks for hosting the Good Fences Tex!

Linda Kay

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Red Building

Thanks to all who stopped by to join in last Wednesday!

Here's hoping some of you might join me in posting a story with a picture for Wednesday Wit and Wisdom.  The challenge is to post a picture, then write a short story or a poem about the picture.  When you have your story written, you can link up for others to read.  Feel free to also add this picture to another link of your choice. The link up is on my WWW page here.

Now for this week's story:

Come right on in folks and have a seat. I've stood here along this highway for many years now. Breakfast is served at six AM for all the farmers and ranchers in these parts. Tom and Edie rustle up some great food. There's bacon and eggs, pecan pancakes, and biscuits and gravy. There's grits and toast, too. The sausage in that there gravy is really spicy, so be ready to grab some fudge to cool down your tongue. Water won't do it, ya know. Y'all might want to grab some of that before ya order. It's for sale on the counter. Note that we have an air cornditioner installed in the window of the restaurant to keep y'all cooled down in the summer. For lunch we have the best burgers and fries you'd ever want. There's always chili made from fajita and brisket meat with no beans. It'll light you right up! There's plenty of chopped brisket with Edie's bar-b-cue sauce, loaves of white bread, onions, and dill pickles, charro beans and tater salad.

After ya eat, ya can wander over to the what-not shop. We have everthing there from soup to nuts. If you're car don't start, we have the solution. If ya flatten a tire, we can fix that too. We stock jars of the best Texas jams and jellies around, homemade by Edie when she ain't cookin' in the restaurant. There's horse tack, saddles, and blankets. For those of ya that's campers, there are lots of "just enough" items to pick up, like milk, cream, eggs and pop. Tom stocks Coca Cola and Pepsi, and cases of Dr. Pepper and Mountain Dew.  

What's that ya say? The parking lot is all growed over? How did that happen? Wait! All the stuff is gone from inside, and yous are tellin' me nobody's in the restaurant to do the cookin'? What happened to Tom and Edie? I'm feelin' really sad that I can't be there for y'all like in the old days, when I was painted all bright red and shiny. Folks would flock in here from early mornin' 'til late in the afternoon for Tom and Edie's cookin'. And we saved lots of folks with all the small things in the what-not shop they needed. It's a long ways to the city from here. If ya would, just close yer eyes and try to think of me in the good ole days. Tom and Edie and me, we were really somethin' back then.
Story told by a true old Texas relic in that Texas drawl. Some might need to look up some of the words to see what they mean. Did you know that fudge is the best remedy for a burning tongue from hot peppers? Just found that out. Hope you had fun.

Linda Kay

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

What is the Opposite?

Happy Tuesday to you! Linking in with Josie and Two Shoes Tuesday today for the word "opposite".

I did a little searching on Google for the word "opposite" and I ran across this explanation of the opposite of the word "victim":

In crime, the opposite role from the victim is the offender, or attacker.
In fatalities, the opposite of a victim is a survivor.
In terms of crime, the person who is robbed, hurt, harmed etc. is the victim.
The person who does the crime is the perpetrator.
The opposite of victim is perpetrator.
The opposite of victim could also be survivor.
This is true with diseases such as cancer or horrible events like the 9/11 attacks.
People who die of cancer are victims.
People who died on 9/11 are victims.
Those who recover from cancer are survivors.
Those who lived through the events of 9/11 are survivors.
Kind of interesting to think about. So here are a couple of other words to think about on this Tuesday. The opposite of "steep". The opposite of "benefit".  The opposite of "progress." What are your thoughts on the matter?  What would you consider to be the opposite of these three words?

Put your thinking cap on (or see what you can find on Google or Bing).

The second word for TST is "own". Guess what Google brought up on this? OWN is Oprah Winfrey's network. Does anyone watch it? The dictionary definition indicates something belonging to oneself. I'm happy to say that as opposed to a bank having a title, we "own" our home and "own" our vehicles. 

Guess I was being a little lazy today, just using the technology instead of thinking.  Thanks for the word for today, Josie.

Linda Kay

Monday, January 26, 2015

Monday - From the Times

Joining in today with Good Random Fun

The Good:
This is my old high school, Delavan Community Unit School District 703 in Delavan, Illinois. The reason I'm showing you this picture, an interesting article appeared in the Delavan Times a few weeks ago from January, 1923. It included the reception held at the "new high school" on New Years' Day. I'm always fascinated by these old articles back in the day. My dad graduated from DCHS in 1934, then me, then my daughter graduated from there in 1984, fifty years after my dad. Here's how he looked in his graduation picture, the same year he met my mother.

Some of you have seen this before if you follow my blog. Here are some facts noted in the article, among the mention of all the new amenities that will be offered: "The cost of the building including plumbing and heating, was approximately $120,000.  The site cost $10,000 and includes all the old fair grounds, thirteen acres in extent.  Furniture and fixtures, landscaping and other expense will bring the total to near the bond issue of $150,000, which was voted at a special election. The bonds mature in fifteen years."
"Also note that a basketball game was played in the gymnasium between the high school and a team from the Alumni Association. Dancing concluded the evening's entertainment."

Isn't that fun to think about all those years ago? Now it appears that the High School may be relocated. Hmmm. 1923? Think of the old buildings in Europe and how old they are. Hope they don't take it down.

And here is an item for you. I'm quoting from the Times on this ad from Red's Cash Grocery in town:

Sugar, 9c lb, 12 lbs for $1.00                               Now about 88c lb.
3 lbs our famous Peaberry coffee - 93c               $10.55 - a big increase!
1 doz largest oranges packed - 60c                     Now $1.98/4 or almost $6.00
4 pkgs macaroni or spaghetti - 29c                      $6.00
No. 3 can Libby's Roast Beef - 45c                      Not available
2 lrg pkgs Kellogg Corn Flakes - 25c                   $2.73

For my friends in countries outside the US, these prices from 1923 are so tiny compared to what we pay for food now here in the states. And the cost of building is many times more expensive. I'm sure you find these prices have increased in your countries as well. Please share with me if you can find an example in your neck of the woods.
We have to eat!


Here in the compound subdivision we often have special events as I have shared with you before. This Saturday we had a Soup Supper and White Elephant Gift Exchange, so I thought I'd share some of the fun with you. The rules of the White Elephant exchange are:
All those in attendance receive a number.
The first person selects a gift and opens it.
The second person can either select a gift or "steal" from the first person.
If the gift is stolen, that person gets to select another gift to open.
The process continues until all gifts are out.
Each item can only be in the hands of three in attendance, or it becomes "frozen."
The gifts can be nice, silly, outrageous or just about anything for the imagination.

Here's the layout with the folks starting through the line with 10 soups to choose from, crackers, breads and salads, and dessert.

One of the "hot items" for the evening was the dressed sock monkey. This one was frozen when my neighbor took the final "steal". I've shown a few other items in this collage. There were 40 items in total to be opened, stolen, or treasured. We had a great time with lots of laughter!

Happy Monday
Linda Kay

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sunday Reminder

Don't forget to join in on Wednesday with a picture and a story for Wednesday Wit and Wisdom writing challenge. Check out the page on my website for the details and join us there on Wednesday.

Here's a "Happy" song from the Pentatonix (and Pharrell Williams).

Have a happy Sunday!

Linda Kay

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Saturday Lighthouse - Santa Cruz

Today's lighthouse picture was taken in Santa Cruz, California, where the surfers love to ride the waves. Here's the website for the lighthouse.

There is even a monument to the surfers: Here's the story.
The sky is incredibly blue and the water even bluer. All the surfers are enthusiastic about riding the waves.

I think we need to go back to Northern California for a visit!

Linda Kay

Friday, January 23, 2015

Whew It's Friday!

Linking in today with Willy Nilly Friday 5 and Friday Fragments for a quick rundown of my week. Thanks for hosting these memes, ladies!
Around Roanoke

1. Our week started out on Sunday with a very full day. Our choir sang at the 8 AM service, so we were up and about early on. We also had our "Feeding John" day, where families take food from our kitchens out to people who are confined, so we got to visit with Donnie. He is an inspiration, confined to a wheel chair, but still living on his own with a debilitating disease. After a potluck at the church there was a celebration of the 10th anniversary of our Youth Minister, Clint Pluenneke. What an amazing man he is. The program was a toast or roast with lots of pictures of his ministry with children. Not only is he active in the church but has also been involved throughout the community. Here's the Facebook page link.

2. Monday is Bible Study day, currently on a Beth Moore series "Children of the Day". Great group and a fabulous study of Thessalonians. Tuesday is a special morning, working with the Needs Council, then lunch with my writing friends, the Women of Words for some honest critiquing and/or stroking. We even have our own website!

3. Still working on the tree house. Here's the latest picture.  We've started staining it, so it doesn't stick out like a sore thumb, but rather disguised amongst the trees.

4.  This picture was actually taken on January 10th, when we had some really frosty weather here in the Hill Country. These are the vines that line the sidewalk to my front entrance, and as you can see, they were a bit chilled and icy.  They seem to be freeze kill for them.

5. And finally, announcing the availability of my new book Sophie Writes a Love Story, the second in the series from the five stages of love.  I think you will find this to be a delightful story of puppy love.  Janie Junebug (Goltz) is my editor (thank you Janie) and her name is inside on the copyright page. The book is available on Kindle (Amazon) and almost all other e-readers. If you'd like a signed copy, please send me an email (in "about me"). Heres' the Amazon link.

Have a blessed weekend, and thanks for stopping by.  I'm so grateful for your comments, and have just surpassed 30,000 hits since the end of May 2014. Blogging is such great fun.

Linda Kay

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Gargoyle Gate

I'm not sure why someone would choose to select a pair of gargoyles to frame a gate, but here they are.  According to Wikipedia, In architecture, a gargoyle is a carved or formed grotesque[1] with a spout designed to convey water from a roof and away from the side of a building, thereby preventing rainwater from running down masonry walls and eroding the mortar between. Architects often used multiple gargoyles on buildings to divide the flow of rainwater off the roof to minimize the potential damage from a rainstorm. A trough is cut in the back of the gargoyle and rainwater typically exits through the open mouth. Gargoyles are usually an elongated fantastic animal because the length of the gargoyle determines how far water is thrown from the wall. When Gothic flying buttresses were used, aqueducts were sometimes cut into the buttress to divert water over the aisle walls.

There doesn't appear to be any water anywhere near this location, but I guess the owners of this gate just like them because they are ugly? 

The view from the other side of the gate is a mass of trees with vines twisted through them.  Really, the place looks a bit intimidating.  Not sure I want to enter here.

Have a great Thursday.  Linking up with Good Fences today.  Thanks for hosting!

Linda Kay

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

This Old House - Wednesday Wit and Wisdom

Here's hoping some of you might join me in posting a story with a picture for Wednesday Wit and Wisdom.  The challenge is to post a picture, then write a short story or a poem about the picture.  When you have your story written, you can link up for others to read.  Feel free to also add this picture to another link of your choice. The link up is on my WWW page.

This Old House -

Jimmy and Tina moved in with their parents when they were married, as they had no money to have a place of their own. Tina found a job at a local restaurant, and Jimmy was able to find employment with a contractor doing some unskilled work. Jimmy was hopeful that he would be able to learn skills and eventually make more money. They scrimped and saved until one day Jimmy had the opportunity to buy an old run-down shack near the edge of town. Tina thought he had lost his mind to think he could make the old shack look like something they could live in, but Jimmy wasn't deterred by her skepticism. They purchased the property through the bank with a very small loan. Over the next several months, Jimmy would bring home scraps of lumber to help work on the interior of the house. The biggest boon for him was when his boss gave him several tons of stone to use to spruce up the exterior of the house. For weeks Jimmy worked long hours attempting to lay the stone, but he was tired and felt he wasn't making much progress. 

One day his boss and foreman were driving by the house. They stopped to take a look at what was happening with the remodeling efforts and were in shock when they saw the house pictured in the photo above.

"We need to do something to help these kids out," said the foreman to the boss. 

They spread the word out to their builders and subcontractors. Finally, with a little coordination, lumber was delivered, roofing was secured, masons brought mortar and tools, and a crew of carpenters ascended on the property to help Jimmy one Saturday. Over the next several weekends, work went on to rebuild the shack. When it was finished Tina cried as Jimmy hugged her. For them it was a palace, a home of their own. The shack that no one wanted became an opportunity for many hard-working people to make a difference in the life of a man whose dreams were bigger than his means.

Now it's your turn:  Please join in with the link below to share your story with a picture.  I'm also joining Rubbish with Roan.

Linda Kay

Prim and Proper

She carried herself well and her clothes were pressed in perfect pleats and creases. After all, her parents had raised her to be prim and proper in their home. The guests had arrived and she walked among them, barely noticing each as she nodded a greeting and put on a smile. Despite any personal feelings, be they sad or angry, the world should never know, lest the image of the family would be tarnished. The oldest family friends noticed her and remarked at her beauty as they watched her moving toward the parlor door.

In the hall, she took the steps on the circular staircase slowly and deliberately so as not to draw attention to herself. She lifted the folds of her dress to keep from stepping on it. Finally reaching her room, she quickly closed the door and slid the latch in place. Then she slipped out of her shoes and discarded her gown, laying it out carefully on her bed. From her closet she retrieved a pair of jeans, a t-shirt, boots and a light jacket. Her bag was already packed. She unpinned her long hair and tied it back in a pony tail.

Silently she made her way down the back stairs, stepping on the outsides of the steps to keep them from creaking. In the barn, her horse was saddled and ready, having prepared him early in the morning. She fastened the bag to her saddle, mounted the horse and sped out across the field. The air was cool and her hair bounced with every gallop of her horse. She felt like laughing, finally escaping the confines of the house with all its rules and formality. He would be waiting for her over the rise, ready to take her in his arms. The pieces of their lives would finally fit together like a puzzle; she from her background of wealth and power and he from his life of poverty and hard work.  They would make a new life, one of love and happiness. Today she was free.

Linking in today with Two Shoes Tuesday and the words proper and puzzle.

Two Shoes Tuesdsay

Thanks for hosting!
Linda Kay

Monday, January 19, 2015

Cotton Harvest

Cotton Harvest

Some of you may never have seen a cotton plant or observed the process to get the cotton to the processing plants to make cloth for the clothes you wear. Excuse my shadow, I had to stand between the sun and the plant so I could see! 

We were driving to Eldorado TX, where we picked up the venison I posted about last week, when we noticed there was action in the fields.

There were several large pieces of equipment scattered about.  A large sort of combine machine was passing through the field, although it appeared he had missed a considerable amount of cotton still on the plants.  There was a huge rectangular wagon, which I am assuming was used to make the cotton bales.

For you farm and ranch folks out there, it looks like there is mostly John Deer equipment. Here's a picture of a John Deer Cotton Picker I found on the Internet:
This whole harvesting project produces huge bales of cotton to be taken to the processing plants. These were scatted around the fields, covered with a tarp and marked with a brand probably identifying their source, I'd guess.

My hubby and I did get a bit of chuckle, however.  If you can't make it growing cotton in Eldorado, just drill for oil!

This area near San Angelo TX is one of the newer sights for oil drilling in Texas.

If you would like to know more about the history of Cotton Harvesting, just click here. Since this harvesting used to be done by hand, I can imagine how the hands and fingers must have been raw and bleeding by the end of a hard day in the cotton fields. The thorns and stems on these are brutal! The "Song of the South" is a patriotic song from our history.

Words and pictures from the song and the Confederate armies. Please, I am not making a political statement!

Linda Kay

Sunday, January 18, 2015

New Writing Opportunity

Just in case you are looking for a writing challenge, I am starting a new link up for Wednesday Wit and Wisdom:

Many blogs have wonderful pictures posted: barns, old junk, abandoned buildings. Often comments will say something to the effect: 'that place could really tell a story'.  My challenge to my blogger friends who like to write is to share a story about a picture you might have. It can also link to other blogs as well. For example, you might post a Good Fences picture, but then write a story that relates to the picture.  You might also have a picture for Rubbish by Roan, and write a story about what you imagine the junk to be in its original state.

Keep the story a bit brief, but share the thoughts and imagination from your personal view of the photo. Here's hoping you can have some fun with this.  I'll be posting a picture story on Wednesday.  The link up will open on Wednesday morning early. Mark your calendar for this week or next and join in.  You'll also be able to link up and see what others have created. The link up is on a separate page on my blog.

Have a blessed Sunday

Linda Kay

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Saturday Light Houses

My second installment to Saturday Lighthouses is of Pigeon Point along Highway 1 in Northern California near Monterey. Please take a moment to read about this hostel/state park. Since I didn't have this in digital format, as this was taken with the old 35mm Nikon, I had to scan it into the computer and try to sharpen it a bit with PicMonkey.  The first shot gives you a bit of the surroundings of this beautiful place, while the second is closer and shows just the lighthouse and one of the hostel homes.

As you can see the view of this is breathtaking.  I love the rust stains around the walkways and on the metal parts of the structure. 

Have a wonderful Saturday and weekend.

Linda Kay

Friday, January 16, 2015

Venison in the Freezer

Last Friday we took a little trip to Eldorado, TX to pick up the venison from the deer my husband shot a couple of months ago.

This little business, Cactus Deer Processing, processes venison for the hunters in the area, and they are extremely busy this time of year. 

Just in case you are interested, this is a selection of jaw teeth to indicate the age of the deer.

These are mounts on display at the facility.  They also have a resident artist who creates beautiful lampshades from the mesquite that is very plentiful in this part of the country. Note that they also process venison jerky for snacks, also popular in Texas.

If a hunter doesn't have a 'deer blind' constructed in a tree or such, he can buy one of these metal structures to take to some acreage to give him a bird's eye view.

The deer was pretty small, but we brought home some burger, back strap, and sausage. I asked hubby how much it cost per pound, but he just laughed.  One has to consider the cost of ammo (to say nothing of the gun), the travel, the processing fee, etc., don't they?  Evidently not. But it's lean meat and really tasty. It would certainly be sad to not reap any benefit from the hunt!

Happy weekend,

Linda Kay

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Well Drilling in Harper TX

In the little town of Harper, near us along Hwy 290, there is a well-drilling business, Pickens Drilling Co., which has this very unusual entrance, so thought I'd share it with Good Fences.Thanks for hosting!

Note the color of the brick on the fence and the building and the mock drilling rig on the right. There is also a contrasting fence between each of the brick columns. There are also some sort of plant on each of the main posts, kind of hard to see, but notice the bloom on the left.  They aren't real.

Happy Thursday

Linda Kay

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Wednesday, Hump Day

Sharing some random thoughts with you today- fits my mood for this 'hump day'. 

Today is my writing day, and this cartoon was posted on Facebook. Sometimes as a writer it is hard to get the brain in motion, so this cartoon seemed like a great way to start my day, sympathizing with Snoopy!

We just had the most fabulous oatmeal breakfast on this chilly winter day. And it was so easy. In the crockpot, lined with one of those crockpot liners (these keep the oatmeal from sticking to the sides), put in four cups of water and one cup of steel cut outs with a bit of salt. Set the crockpot on low the night before and let it cook for at least seven hours. Stir and serve. Add in a bit of cream, some cinnamon, a few pecans or nuts of choice, and a packet of Splenda. Ta Da! Yummy and satisfying.

Last Monday, my committee was in charge of decorations (Winter Wonderland) and supplying food for our compound subdivision ladies at Heritage Hill Country. This event is monthly and about forty ladies attend for a bit of sharing time and good breakfast yummies.  We had two egg casseroles, two coffee cakes, some of those little quiches, and a bowl of fruit to share.  But following are the pictures of our layout:

 We served juice and a mimosas, and coffee.

Each table had a silver poinsettia, sparkly tinsel, and mirrors underneath the plant.

The Front Entrance was also silvery and white. 
Note that we found all the decorations for 75% off at WalMart!

I was the speaker and talked about preserving memories for future generations. Have you done your memoirs for your families? Check out the book 'To Our Childrens' Children' by Bob Greene.  It has lots of questions to stimulate memories.

Hubby has had a head cold, so I'm not kissin' him. I do not want that awful sniffles and coughing that makes you pee your pants. I'm pampering him, and we've been kind of holed up in the house lately.

Have a wonderful Wednesday.

Linda Kay

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Judy's New Life #9

Judy's New Life #9

Okay, let's see if we can decide how to end this short  long saga of Judy's New Life. Some great thoughts were shared in the comments last week either wanting me to kick Duane to the curb, or to let him back into the family. Some were not sure what to do.  So I've come up with a compromise.  Thanks to Val for posting the poem to the comments last week. It was so perfect!
shattered family-portrait Maddi Gillel

The next morning Gina and Sandra left for school and Duane left for work. Nothing was said between them about the previous evening. Judy was grateful for the silence.  He did not make an effort to embrace her or kiss her good-bye, saying that he would be back in the evening for dinner.

After making sure Carl was comfortable and had all he needed nearby, Judy called the office to assure them she would be there the next day. She walked to her small office and turned on the computer to catch up on her email and visit some blogs she enjoyed. There she found a poem that addressed her state of mind: 

Friendship (relationship) is like china,
Dainty, sweet and fair.
When broken can be mended, 
But the scar is always there.

Reading this gave Judy the resolve to talk to Duane. Later in the afternoon, she called her attorney, finished up some laundry, and prepared dinner. All her plans were in place. After dinner was finished, Judy asked the girls to clean up the kitchen, and invited Duane to the office to talk privately.

“I have made a decision. Having you in the house is not working out.  I want you to move out to an apartment, or live with your family; I don’t care where.” Duane didn’t try to interrupt her.

“Whether or not we can restore our family is not a hasty decision for me.  I’m hurt. I have a new life now, and I need space and time. I’ve talked to my attorney to draw up a legal separation agreement, and he will talk to your attorney to work out the details. We can continue to raise our children together. Counseling is a requirement, so either you or I need to find someone to meet with individually and together to see if you we can rebuild what we have lost.”

“Judy, I had hoped we would be able to put the past behind us.”

“Not that easy, Duane. I know the kids will be disappointed, but they will adjust and, hopefully, will appreciate our commitment to counseling. I’m making no promises right now. You have to leave the house for me to make sure I am making the right decisions.”

Duane nodded his head in agreement. They told the kids of their decision, emphasizing the fact that they would be working on their marriage and a divorce was not in the immediate future. Duane then packed his clothes and left the house. Tears flowed from Sandra’s eyes as she waved to him from the window. She brushed past Judy and ran to her room. Judy did not pursue her.

After watching some television with Gina and Carl, she helped Carl to his room and his bed for a good night’s sleep. Returning to her room, Judy felt a great sense of relief to know that Duane was out of the house. She also felt an increasing sense of power and independence for facing life in the days to come.

What do you think? Is this the right decision? How will it turn out? I loved sharing this story with you, and have so enjoyed your comments.

I'll start a new story soon! Not connecting today to any memes.

Linda Kay

Monday, January 12, 2015

Vacation in the Ozarks

Joining with Retired-Not-Tired for Monday Memories:

Back on the farm in Illinois, we didn't take vacations when I was really young.  First of all not enough money, but also because farming required my dad to be there all the time. But when I was in my teens, my parents decided to take us on a family vacation to the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. They rented a cabin with enough beds for my parents, my brothers and me, and packed up enough food to feed an army for a week. I'm sure this made for a fairly inexpensive trip the first week of August.  This is the time when the crops are all maintained and farmers are just waiting for that first chance to get into the field for harvest.

From our cabin we could run down the hill to the walkway out to the floating dock and jump off into the water to swim. Among the other guests at our complex, we met a wonderful couple with teen-aged children....and a ski boat! This was so far from our normal life experiences, that I can't tell you how excited we were, when we were invited to go for a boat ride.  Jack and Pat loved to take folks out on the water.  They also loved to teach kids who had never been behind a boat to ski. I never tried it. I was way too chicken. They would say, "Come on, you can do it. If you fall, it won't hurt!" Then I would overhear a conversation about someone falling and having their eyelids turn inside out.  Not for me!

We did have wonderful fun. There was a carnival at the main bridge with rides and a huge Ferris wheel. We got cotton candy and caramel corn to much on. 

Our families became fast friends, and from that time on we continued to travel to Missouri from Illinois (six hours) to our reserved cabin at the lake. My brothers and finally my children all learned to ski behind Jack and Pat's boat. I remember one vacation where a family was staying in our complex with a huge speed boat.  It pulled seven skiers out of the water at the same time. And it made a lot of noise!

I'll stick with this boat!

It was probably the only time in my memory when I saw my dad really relax.  I cherish that memory. Farmers have a really hard life, and he did custom work for other farmers as well.

Have a great Monday.

Linda Kay
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