Friday, October 31, 2008

My gulity pleasure of Holloween...

Okay, so Halloween isn't my favorite event of the year, but when the creative minds of my grandchildren (and children) kick in and the costumes are put together, I get a big kick out of their creations! The pictures have started to arrive for me to admire and enjoy and I get nothing but pleasure sharing them on Chatterbox. All I've got to say is keep them coming, they're GREAT and it makes this Mimi smile.
Emily, pink Puddle and Andrew, a Hippie....

What is William? Why, a puppet, escorted by a great puppeteer. Peace....


Mimi's Conservative, porch pumpkins
and Kate and Jeremy's,
"...rack O'Lantern!"

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Special Powwow

A quick trip to Northcroft this week gave me a chance to visit old friends and make some new ones. As I entered the valley I couldn’t pass up the farm house at the fork in the road, even though an extra car was in the driveway and I knew Evelyn had company. Of course I was welcomed and invited to stay and chat awhile. I so enjoyed the warmth of the wood cook stove as well as the conversation around the kitchen table. Evelyn’s son, Charles, was at the house and Gene’s cousin and her mother were visiting. We nibbled on home-made, fried apple pies and some freshly cooked cushaws (they taste a little like pumpkin and sweet potatoes mixed together) from Evelyn’s garden.

Some how the conversation got around to a full -blooded American Indian who came to Evelyn’s one day and brought some of the jewelry he designs and makes. After I expressed interest in learning about the guy, Evelyn gave me his card and gifted me a lovely pair of “jingle” earrings made by Chief Harry Dakota.

Well, when I woke up the following morning I couldn’t resist calling the Chief, introducing myself, telling him I would like to meet him and see his jewelry. He said okay, how about now! Well, within the hour, Chief Dakota and I were deep in conversation about his journey, Indian life, feathers from the great golden eagle, his award winning pow-wow dancing and looking at his handmade earrings and necklaces. He gave me a feather (bound at the quill end in leather) to protect me and a bundle of sage to burn as I pray over the land at Northcroft. He also gave me a CD of Indian chants to copy and protect until I returned it to him when I invited him to dinner and introduced him to my tribe. ;) He wasn’t kidding!

Odd, yes, but delightfully so: I again was treated to fulfilling moments that added to my collection of life-giving memories from Northcroft.

"Every blade of grass, every leaf on the tree has raised us.
We are children of Mother Earth, and we have a sworn duty to protect that."
Chief Harry Dakota
of the Oneida/Ojibwa Tribes

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Uncle Shuck's Political Maze

Fall is in the air again, the time of year to seek out dried corn fields, pumpkin patches and outdoor fun! This year Molly and Morgan joined the Sabonis-Chafees and Grandad and me at Uncle Shuck's for our Second Annual adventure in the Corn Maze. Check out the family fun and compare it to last year! Maybe next year, given more notice, you too will be able to join us! It was great fun! Happy Fall to all of you. I hope you too can spend some time in a maze of out door wonder too!

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Are you ready for Holloween?

I'm looking forward to lots of photos from all the family spooks, young and old. We'll see if we can guess who you are!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Accentuate the Positive

Today I received updated pictures of Ford and Morgan. What a delight to get something other than bills, political propaganda and catalogs in the mail. I smiled with delight at the sight of their sweet faces and felt good that Molly remembered me so thoughtfully. So this is for you, Molly, thank you for always calling to share your good news! I love hearing about the things the children are doing and remarkable things they say. I loved hearing about surprise encounters with those who touch your life and those who feel comfortable to park in your driveway. :)

Terr got an email from Mike about Joe's great game last week end. He enjoyed sharing every detail with me, including telling me what a good job Mike is doing as defensive coach! Kim called today after a conference with Emily's teachers and shared her glowing report. Kate called yesterday after a positive interview experience. Mary, Kristin and Shannon call every now and then just to check in and talk about what is going on with their families (and of course to ask about us).

I guess what I'm saying is that it is a treasure in this world of bad news, to have family and friends reinforcing the fact that life is good and moving upward. Never hesitate to share that fact with all those you meet. I know it makes me feel so fortunate and rich...even in a "bare" market. So, keep spreading your goodness. You're making the world a better place. (It's so easy to talk about the children, but I know you guys are all doing a remarkable job at home as well as you chosen professions. Bravo!!)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Cousins, making a plan. It's a beautiful thing....

Columbus Day gave me the opportunity to spend some time with four of my grandchildren. Boy, did I enjoy their spirit and smiling faces.

Andrew is going into everyday rehearsals for the next three weeks. His play "Legend of Sleepy Hollow", opens the first weekend in November.

Emily is hard at work making crafts in her new craft room. She made a weasel for her Dad on his birthday!

Joe is having a successful season with the Rams and Issy is the perfect cheerleader!

Morgan traveled to New York (alone) to spend several days with Kate and Jeremy. I understand that they are having a ball. Can't wait to hear all the stories and see pictures from your trip!

William spends much of his time on the computer and loving dot-to-dot books.

Ford is busy excelling in his AP courses and on top of that, playing football with guys a million times bigger than he is!

No doubt Keegan and Aidan are into everything that the Fall is bringing their way... I miss you guys. Can't wait to see you during the holidays! Send me pictures!!

Mid-year school reports were excellent here in Atlanta, and I haven't heard anything but good news coming out of California.

I want a Halloween picture from all my Halloween SPOOKS this year. I can make a nine picture collage to proudly display on Chatterbox! Can't wait to see your choice of costume!

(Okay, Shannon, I want to see your costume too.)

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

This I know: there is a God...

Yesterday, I took the scenic route from Ellijay to Northcroft, after leaving Logan's Funeral Home and a family visitation for my friend Gene Oliver. I was already filled with a great sense of community because of the people who had gathered there, giving loving, protective strength to each other. I had the same reflective memory that I did at my father's funeral: "He must have lived well, to have all this glory in death.”

Driving home, the rolling hills along Boardtown Road were another sight to behold. (If you have never driven that road, let me suggest that you do.) Among the neat farm houses, cow pastures, and tall trees turning beautiful colors, the pumpkin fields were popping with an amazing harvest. It was yet another sign of work well done: first planting the seed, nurturing during the growing season, and finally the reward of the harvest. Funny how God gives us all the answers, if we just take time to see them.

Gene's funeral service was something out of an old-time patriotic movie. It took place in the Boardtown Church of Christ, where Gene and his family have been members for many years. Every seat was filled.

A handful of dignified veterans from the North Georgia Honor Guard, marched down the center aisle, to perform an impressive ceremony reserved for the dwindling number of WWII heroes. They told the soldier's story of what binds them together; they fired their guns, saluted their comrade, folded the flag while describing what each fold represented, and proudly presented it to Evelyn, Gene's wife of 50 years. Wow. They had me with the beautiful old harmonic mountain hymns, sung without instruments or need of them.

Driving rain hemmed the service in the church building all afternoon. We so desperately needed the rain that no one minded much, and prayers of thanksgiving were offered for the life-giving water. Gene was buried in the church cemetery next to his daughter, who died at an early age in a car crash.

Down Bushy Head Road, everyone gathered in the blue Fellowship building to comfort each other and talk about Gene's life. The women of the church brought food enough to feed everyone who stopped by! (Countless times past, Evelyn helped fill these tables for others; now it was done for her and her family.) All our mountain neighbors were there, welcoming us as family, asking about Kate and remembering stories of her childhood. How lovely that so many remembered.

Terrence came from work to join me at the funeral. He, too, enjoyed the fellowship (and I could have sworn that I saw him sneaking desserts!).

Oh, one more thing, you won't believe it...

As we were leaving, the rain stopped and the sky opened up, revealing a large, perfect rainbow, distinct from one end to the other. We named it Gene's Rainbow. Everyone went out to see the glorious sight...

Another promise that God is near and all is well.

In every life come days of pain

When faith seems far, hard to retain:

But still His love shines through.

God works for good in everything,

His purpose sure is flourishing

To those who love the Lord.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Mr. Oliver, my mountain neighbor...

My friend Gene died today. Oh, he was old and had been sick for a long time but it is still a jab in my heart. Not unlike my own father, he was a gentleman, a man of integrity, a man of faith, a man who was always willing to help his neighbor. Gene was a man who was always reading, was interested in the world and had an opinion about how to solve it's problems. He fought for this country, worked hard and raised a loving, close family. He shared his life, interest and work with all those who walked in his front door. He loved his wife and was her life long helpmate. A man like this should be honored...and I honor him. I am a better person having known this fine man.

Good bye Gene. I'll miss you terribly.


Friday, October 03, 2008

Son-In-Law perfect

The men in our family are our ballast...and we have the tall dark and handsome type!
Happy Birthday Tom!
We are grateful for you, and all you bring to our ship, on this life's cruise.
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