Holiday in Atlanta

As I sit here on New Years Eve, enjoying a wee dram (or two) of single malt whiskey and writing this blog post, I think how differently I now spend the final hours of the year. Between the fullness of life and an overly packed schedule, it is a joy to spend a quieter evening at home, catching up, relaxing, and oh yes, watching college football.  Whereas I used to stay up until midnight, I am now content to meet with friends on New Years Day.

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The past three years have found me recovering from a motorcycle wreck, running for state delegate, starting a new business, and just two months ago, starting another.  Even my time on WP the past few months has been limited.  No wonder I’m content to be still.

Many people will ponder 2016, and put into beautiful words what the year has meant.  Others will plan for the coming year and all that they hope to accomplish.  Me?  I’m about a week behind and am still glowing after a wonderful 48 hour trip to Atlanta to see my son and his family.

We enjoyed an incredible tapas style Christmas Eve meal at the Iberian Pig. Oh my goodness, the food and drinks were incredible!  This was our effort to take a selfie afterwards.

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I awoke the next morning to this lovely site.  What is it about a lighted tree that brings such a sense of peace?

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We spent the day opening gifts, enjoying our traditional breakfast souffle and Bloody Marys, and playing games.  My granddogs, Wilson and Tela, were never far from the action, or the food.

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Oh my gosh, I love these dogs!

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 The cheese plate was almost to pretty to eat.

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Another family tradition is the Cracker, and I was glad to have it continue in Atlanta.

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What a joyful visit!

On a personal level this coming year, I’d like to think that I will make an effort to volunteer a little less (doubtful) and exercise a little more (probable).  I also hope to spend more time with family and friends, and of course with my camera, and riding the bike.

What I definitely know is that I will do all that I can to join the resistance against bigotry, misogyny, racism, and hatred.

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Despite the fact that national and international politics have me entering 2017 with caution, I do know that there is much good in this world and I believe that goodness WILL prevail.

Welcome to 2017!  Thank you for the light you bring to my life, and for your friendships.

The Best

That’s what Thanksgiving is to me.  The Best Holiday of the Year.

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Family.   Friends.   Food.   Football.

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Enjoying the traditional Bloody Mary and Mom’s braided bread while watching the  Macy’s Parade, and the National Dog Show.

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No Gifts.   No Shopping.   No fighting over Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas.

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Just the colors and beauty of the season.

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Remembering the blessing of good health, and the opportunity to give to those less fortunate.

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Cheers, and Go Hokies!

It All Adds Up

Beach

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  Family

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 Storms

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 Food

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  Drink

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 Exercise

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 Photography

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Fun

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It all adds up to a fantastic family vacation at the beach, one where I used the cell phone more than the camera (but you already picked up on that, huh).  Blessed beyond measure!

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I spent a total of two non-consective weeks in North Carolina, a state I have boycotted since the passage of HB2.  What do you do when plans have been made for over a year, and deposits were paid before North Carolina decided to pass such a controversial law?  You keep your plans and contribute to Equality NC.  From here on out, like the NBA, lots of musicians and corporations, I will continue to avoid spending money in NC.

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And now, I’m off to visit all of you!

Life

As you view these images, I am off to see my parents for some Mother’s Day / Father’s Day celebrating.

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Following that, I’ll participate in a Saturday Board Meeting for the Virginia Council of Nurse Practitioners.

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Then I’ll get to spend the evening with a long time friend and fellow photographer.

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And hopefully, all of that work and play will be followed by a belated birthday celebration with my sister.

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These images were taken during an evening with friends last week.  Life, and all it’s gifts and challenges, has prevented this group of women from gathering lately.  On Friday, we finally got to sit around the fire, enjoy delicious food and drink, and the company of folks who know you well and love you despite your, shall we call them, less attractive, traits.

Enjoy the weekend, everyone!  I’ll catch up with you when I get back.

Crackers: A Family Tradition

This re-blogged post is about a beloved family tradition, and as you read this, I am traveling to Williamsburg to spend a few days with the whole fam damily (thanks Jan for that fun description!).  Not a day goes by that I do not reflect upon the fact that I am fortunate to have such a great family, and the most amazing parents.

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Life on the Bike and other Fab Things

For as long as I can remember, my family has celebrated the holidays with Crackers.  They adorn the table, and ultimately our heads, for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.  While crackers have become all the rage these past few years, my family has been celebrating with them for decades.

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According to Wikipedia, crackers are part of Christmas celebrations primarily in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Commonwealth countries such as Australia, Canada, NewZealand, and South Africa. 

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So how did my American family come to embrace the Cracker?  My Grandfather hailed from the Isle of Wight, and I am quite sure that he and my Aunt Christine brought the tradition to us.

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The Cracker was created in 1847 by Tom Smith ( http://www.tomsmithchristmascrackers.com/ ).  In its simplest form, a cracker is a small cardboard tube covered in a brightly colored twist of paper. When the cracker is pulled apart, a chemically treated card strip, similar to that…

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Gratitude II

It was a long time coming, but I finally had the chance to say thank you to everyone that helped me out after my motorcycle wreck.  Bad things happen, but good things can come of them.  For months I was showered with love and care and it has been a goal of mine ever since, to say thanks.

Family and friends gathered on the new porch this past weekend, and Tim captured the scene beautifully.

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Friends and family came from far and near.  For once it didn’t rain, and the sound of laughter was the only music we needed.

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Thank You.  Two simple words with a whole bunch of love all wrapped up in them.

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Grandma

When I think of Easter, I think of my Grandma.  Actually, I think of both of my Grandparents and the rest of my family,too.

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My sisters, parents, and I would travel to Pinehurst, NC for the holiday.  We’d participate in all the usual Easter things.

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Decorating eggs for the Easter Bunny to hide (and somehow, Grandpa always found the last one!)

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Attending services in the Chapel on the Village Green (where all the children received a potted Easter Lilly)

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Enjoying an incredible meal, which always included lamb and homemade mint sauce.

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It somehow just doesn’t seem right to not be with family this weekend, so I’m thankful that I have years and years of memories to make me smile.

Have a lovely Easter weekend!