Birds

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Happy New Year


As I planned in my head what I wanted this post to be about... I found this quote by Charles Lamb that pretty much said what I was thinking.



                                                                              

Monday, December 30, 2019

A Beginning, A Homecoming

                                                                    

Yep, time to get back to the Memory Monday thingofamagig!

After my very short stay in San Diego, I was once again train-bound for Alabama.

It was a long, hot summer!
Me pregnant, alone all day long
I slept a lot. 
Mama didn't have air-conditioning! 


And, then I woke up one early morning with pains.
Little Linda Marie arrived, all healthy and beautiful.
A telegram was sent to her Daddy who was busy fighting war in Korea.

She was this age (3 1/2 months) the first time he saw her.


Yes, here I was again headed back to San Diego. I was getting to be quite the traveler by now
however...
I had never been on a plane before.
Scared out of my wits to get out of my seat! 
It was a long flight, needless to say.

I did have some interesting fellow passengers. Broderick Crawford sat across the aisle from me. I know, nobody knows who that is anymore. I'm older than mud so I remember. He was an actor and tv star, big burly guy.
And, Rory Calhoun and his wife Lita was farther back in the cabin. 
Again, a very popular actor, handsome, too. 
So, it's my first plane ride and my first actors.
Pretty cool.

Elbert met us at the airport. There were sailors everywhere! And, I just about walked right past him. He had a mustache! 
The first and only time I might add.
It was gone the next morning.
I took care of that!


And, so we start our life as a family of three. 


Sunday, December 29, 2019

Tidbits

I have some tidbits to share this morning. Just cleaning up the Xmas aftermath of ideas for my blog. 

First, here are some outdoors lighted displays (a few of many) at the Greenbrier Resort.




As we left the Greenbrier, the bus driver took us by a house made of coal. The gift shop closer to the road was made of coal, as well. First time I ever saw anything made of coal... but then we were in West Virginia, coal country. 




Me with five of my 6 great-grands. #6 lives in Oregon and could not be with us this year.


My daughter having fun after Christmas lunch with her grandchildren popping open the English poppers. 





Saturday, December 28, 2019

I Knew It Would Happen!!

I knew it would happen.... 

                                    One of these days..........

                                                         And, when it did, I was so upset I nearly cried. 


Yep, I left my purse in a restaurant we were eating at yesterday. Got all the way to my daughters before I realized it was not with my things. 

I knew it would happen....

Someday. The first time it happened for my Mom, she was 76 years old. Hey, I will be 86 in a few days. I made it ten years longer than she did. 

Thank God, my purse was still there, all intact. God is good. Some nitwit could have picked it up and took off. I can't imagine the trouble cancelling credit cards, renewing driver licenses etc, etc might be. 

You can bet your sweet patooty I won't forget it again. I'll just tie a string around my finger...

 and then forget what the string is for! 

Thursday, December 26, 2019

The Chapel and A Gingerbread House!

Christmas 'ain't' over... not yet, not with my family.

It started Monday and each day since has been a gathering here, a gathering there, here, there, everywhere... I am about worn out.

However, Let me continue with my trip to the Greenbrier...
Day two later in the day.

It seems that Mr. Justice (the owner of the Greenbrier) had a daughter getting married and so he had a chapel built on site so she could get married there. (gee whiz, at the money that man must have spent on that wedding).

There was a 'cantata' at 5 p.m. so the tour director and I headed off in search of more Christmas spirit. We were early so had our pick of seats. Up front for sure. We didn't want to miss a thing.



The stained glass window depicted a mountain scene. The Greenbrier is in the Allegheny Mts.



The six singers who performed for us.



And, me standing near the stage.



Once that was over it was time for my dinner so I had a feast of chicken pictata. Oh yum. 
And, then I headed down a long hall lined with huge conference rooms. Finally found the one I wanted. 


This was the stage decoration


and the gingerbread house was off in one corner.


It was built in 1991 and has been a steady attraction ever since. Nope, no gingerbread here, just plywood but the size and the decoration were worth me walking down that long, long hall looking for it. 

One of the kazillion beautiful staircases in the resort


I got to bed early since our luggage had to be packed and outside the room door by 8:30
We left the next morning. 

Friday, December 20, 2019

Sorbet and Chocolate! All in One Day.

                                                   Day Two at the Greenbrier

I woke up in that so comfy bed and just lay there enjoying the pleasure of just BEING and being at this place, as well. Finally I picked up my Kindle and read a chapter in "Best Self", a book I am currently reading. It's written by Mike Mayer, a life coach and I am finding it very informative and helpful. I am always trying to figure out who I am now. You do that when you become a widow, I think.

My tummy finally gets me out of bed. So, I headed out in search of the Main Dining Room. Well, I thought I ended up in the right place .. It certainly looked MAIN to me.



but the next morning, I did have my breakfast in the Main one. This one had a buffet set up... oh my gosh... everything your heart desires. My favorite thing was the mini pumpkin-walnut muffins. Wish I had that recipe. 

There was a nice, warm fire going....


I guess you can figure out that I enjoyed my meal and the atmosphere! 

I really wasn't hungry when lunchtime rolled around. So, what do I do?

I go back to Drapers to their adorable ice cream/soda shoppe

and I get a dish of lemon sorbet.


Sitting on that stool, just taking in the ambiance of the moment, the place, the independence. 
It was great. 

Just outside of Drapers there was a sitting area and to the side of that was a fenced in place maybe 9'x9' and enclosed was this mouth-watering display. 


A close-up


And, be sure to read this sign which was placed next to the fence.


That's a ton of CHOCOLATE!!

(more on Day Two later)




Thursday, December 19, 2019

Greenbrier - I Could Get Used To This!

I am home!
            What a trip!
                    Wish you all could have been with me!

However, since you weren't I will take you along with me through blogging. If you are a facebook friend you might want to skip this. They're pretty much alike.

I had heard of the Greenbrier ever since we moved to Virginia 20 years ago. And, that place has been calling my name ever since. I finally got the opportunity to go when Royal Tours (who I go places with) had a Christmas trip planned for there.

I could not believe my eyes when we pull up to the entrance. We unload and there is this cutest little elderly doorman with a smile on his face and a hand stretched out greeting each and every one of us. His name is Frank and he has been greeting guests there for over 65 years! 



The Main Lobby is up a short set of steps and it takes my breath away. So beautiful. I know this is my 'spot'. I am here to relax, read, eat and enjoy a lifestyle I probably won't get to experience but once or twice in my life. I am working on upping that number, by the way. I sort of like this!!



My room .... isn't it just lovely. My kind of room.  But, I don't stay in it but very little since there is so much to see outside my room.



When it starts getting dark I head outside to see the large Christmas tree. They do just like Rockefeller Center and choose a tree, cut it down and use it in for display. I would have thought they'd grow their own but no, not this one.

There are over 100 decorated Christmas trees on site
not counting all the other lighted trees, figures etc. 


Dinner Time

So many restaurants to choose from! What's a girl gonna do. I just sort of eeny-meeny-miney-moe it and chose Drapers. Dorothy Draper was the interior decorator who decorated the Greenbrier. She loved bright colors, cabbage roses, bold stripes and black and white checkered floors. It's evident in every twist and turn you make in the place.

Dorothy was born in 1889 and was a well-known decorator working on major hotel and other large projects until her death in 1969. 

I ordered peach tea which came with a little pot of sugar syrup to sweeten it with.
Now, why didn't I think of that?
Would save trying to dissolve those sugar granules in the bottom of your glass! 


The banquette across the table from me has Dorothy's cabbage roses on the fabric. And, a signature single rose bud which I find on each table in the restaurants I go to.
Can you imagine buy that many roses every couple/three days?

The menu is varied and lots of dishes catch my eye! But, being a southern girl I could not turn down the Fried Green Tomato Sandwich.


Imagine, if you can, fried green tomatoes on a bun that is slathered with black-pepper mayo then topped with barbequed bacon, gruyere cheese, carmelized red onion and baby spinach!
I am in heaven!! 

Rather satisfied....
I wander around a bit and then head off to bed. 

That was Day One. 

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Another Adventure


I am busy packing!!

Leaving on a bus tour in the morning.

Can't tell you where I am going...

It's a surprise. 

And, a early Christmas gift to myself. 



Thursday, December 12, 2019

Joy To The World off-key


 I don't know when I've had a more enjoyable evening than I did last night.

Only 5 of us showed up for the caroling.... guess the cold weather kept the rest in their apartments.

So, we 5, along with our Director/Manager (Christel) and our Life Enrichment Director (Sarah), just settled in on the couches and started singing. It was quite obvious right from the start that we'd never win "The Voice". We were so off-key!! But, we really had fun and it put us in the Christmas spirit.

We munched on cookies and drank mugs of steaming hot chocolate.

 I took mine plain. The rest topped theirs off with marshmallows and whipped cream. I didn't want to end up with a white mustache.😀

And, laugh!! I knew our Directors were sweet, kind and all that. But, what I didn't know was how much fun they were. I don't know when I've laughed so much. Christel get's giddy and silly when she gets tired, according to Sarah who has known her for years.  Christel had had a very long, hard day yesterday and she was TIRED. On the fun Christmas songs like "Rudolph The Red-nosed Reindeer" she'd add silly stuff into it and we would just crack up.

I came home, crawled into bed and just lay there thinking about how much fun it all was. I couldn't go to sleep!!

I feel so blessed to be living in a place like this (55+ apartment complex) and to have our new staff who is so caring and fun-loving. Joining with Thankful Thursday

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Reflections


On December 10th, 1950 my sweetheart and I were married. So, yesterday would have been our 69th wedding anniversary.

In another month I will be having another anniversary. This one not a happy one. It will mark 9 years since his passing.

I know that some of you are widows. And, you know what I am talking about. The pain does get a little less but it never goes away. As I posted a picture of us on facebook yesterday, I started to cry. Crying is good. It releases all those buried emotions, the ones you keep shoving back down deep inside. It cleanses the soul.

All I have are memories now. And, of course, my kiddos. Grown now... dang, most of them are getting old. Well, old like I used to think people of 50 or 60 was! Oh, wait a minute... all my kids are in their 60s now, no 50s. Not so much now as I am half way through my 80s. And, I don't consider myself old. Well, at least some days.

I never thought I'd be left alone at the end of my life. I always thought that we'd be like the picture below, two old people sitting on our porch just enjoying being together. And, yes, there would be flowers. Elbert got me a few florist flowers over the years but what I cherish and remember most is that, as he would stroll over our farm early in the spring, he'd often bring me one tiny little bluette blossom held so gingerly between his fingers. I'd find my thimble and put a little water in it and place it on my kitchen window sill. And, once he handed me a dried, curled up leaf... nestled inside was a wild violet that he had dug up down in the woods. Those things I remember.


If I had one piece of advice to all you who are lucky enough to still have your sweethearts with you, it would be "Enjoy every day. Enjoy the little things. And, be very careful about what you pick to argue over. Some things are so petty and can do so much damage. Love one another and show it."




Monday, December 9, 2019

The Scary Snake House


                       There is nothing any more scary than the snake house at the San Diego zoo.

                                                                    I kid you not.

While I was in San Diego for those three weeks before the ship pulled out, we had rented 'one room'. (For the story about why I was in San Diego click HERE.) There were 2 or 3 other rooms along the hall that were rented out, as well. Perfect for short term visits. Would not have worked long term.

Millie and her husband (another sailor) lived in the room next to us. We girls started hanging out together while our husbands were busy doing sailor duty.


(me and Millie on the roof of our building having a fun time)

I mean what can you do all day long in a bedroom? Make the bed, pick up the clothes, .... well, that took 15 minutes of a live-long day. So, we'd walk around the neighborhood, go to the store and one day Millie got the bright idea that we girls should go to the zoo.

So, we hopped on a bus and go to the zoo. We walked all over the place, saw the bears, the monkeys, the birds ... and then Millie says "Let's go in the snake house".


That wasn't the greatest idea anyone ever had. I have always been afraid of snakes. I don't like them and they don't like me! But, being a good friend, I went along with her. I mean there were some big snakes in there. My skin crawled just seeing them through the glass. I could tell she was pretty creeped out looking at those big old snakes, too but we both were acting brave. I mean you don't want to admit to someone else that a snake that can't get to you... scares the beegeebees outta you.

Our guys had duty that night so when Millie and I got back to our little side by side abodes we each went into our own place. I was asleep when I heard someone banging on my door. What the dickens? It's Millie. She's white as a sheet.

"There's something or someone in my room. I'm scared to death. Can I sleep with you?"

So, I crawled over. Here I am, sharing my bed with a girl I haven't known but a week or two. That was weird. By daylight she cautiously headed back to her room.

Soon she's back over at my place, looking rather sheepish, if I do say so myself.

In her search for what had scared her the night before, she found a picture on the floor behind her bed, broken frame and glass everywhere. There was no buggar, no snake, no nothing. We sure didn't dare tell our hubbies what scaredy cats we had been. And, we stayed away from the zoo from then on. 

Friday, December 6, 2019

Deck The Halls



I just got back to my apartment after helping decorate the community room. It was harder than I thought! Maybe next year I'll let some of the younger ones do the decorating. But, it's so important to participate as long as you can. That 'can' is getting more like maybe, not so much, well, I am old so I won't sort of thing.

There were five of us. Not too many, but we maybe could have used a little more help. I had double duty - hanging ornaments and taking pictures. We sang carols as we worked. It was just a fun time.

                                                        Here are some of the pictures I took.

Sarah, Evelyn and Michelle trying to get the tree topper to stop leaning! 

The topper is on, finally, so we started hanging ornaments. 

Sarah, our Life Enrichment Director. She's a sweetheart!

Junie, our maintenence guy, hanging the outside wreath

Our stockings all hung by the chimney with care
and 
a gingerbread house (my contribution, my daughter
makes them in her bakery)