Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Babies, Bees and Baptism

I am still feeling the quiet, peaceful effects of such a lovely Saturday morning with many good friends and neighbors.  I mentioned a quote that day:  "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good" Its an adage I need to adhere to far more often.  I had planned over the last 2 years to have family members attending Toby's baptism, but the more I planned, the further it was pushed out.  As it ended up, I feel everything fell into place as though it was always meant to be just the way it happened.

The only real annoyance is with myself -- I was so caught up in the wonderful moment of seeing neighbors, friends from Alpharetta and our Baseball Team(s) and Toby's school; all taking time out to be with us, that I completely forgot about taking pictures!  Boo-Hoo!!!  Thankfully, I can still see y'all in memory ;-)

Program Cover

Back of Program

A few of you have asked me to post the talk I gave, so perhaps now my family can get an idea of what the day encompassed.

Babies, Bees and Baptism

As many of you know, for a couple years I ran a sewing business.  I used to make children's clothing, mostly for babies and toddlers.  I was completely in my element, as I adore the little ones.  Being able to use my talent to express my feelings of the innocence, playfulness and carefree moments of childhood took over in my designs and I did all I could to capture that attitude in my work.  As the love I put into my pieces were discovered, I had many return customers.  There is a great satisfaction in being able to put your own 'mark' so to speak on your work.  For example, my mother, husband and even Toby could probably walk into a boutique and pick out my designs -- because they have a way of expressing who I am -- they just seem to say, "Chimene made me."

Renny Clothing Customer Pics

After about 2 years of success and over 400 garments later, my amazing sewing machine stopped working.  It was an expensive machine, and because that meant an expensive fix, I tried my hand at repairiing it. After several failed attempts I became extremely frustrated and I recall, just sitting there staring at the machine and asking, "Why?  Why did you have to break..?"  Now, we all know sewing machines don't talk, however, mine seemed to stare straight back at me and said, "Because if I don't, you will..." 

Renny Clothing, Ginger Giraffe
It was true.  I was working  12-14 hour days.  I was exhausted.  My health was suffering.  It was time to put away the business and get back in touch with my family.  My husband is so supportive of whatever I do, but he and the children were missing my time and attention, and I had to admit, I was not comfortable with the unintentional neglect sewing caused.

So, I packed everything up and closed shop.  I rested and re-cooperated.  I think I lasted about 3 days before cabin fever set in.  I am just a person who likes to be anxiously engaged.  I decided I wanted to get into gardening.  It was something I had always wanted to learn.  I started with the Internet and began to learn the basics in gardening and what would grow in Georgia's red clay soil -- which must be a lot since everything is so green here and the pollen count enormous!

I learned about annuals, and although they die at the end of the season, they are fast growers with brilliant colors --  most quite easy to grow.  I became interested in the perennial, for although they can be more expensive and take up to a year before blooming -- they will reward you by coming back year after year with long lasting blooms.  Perhaps my favorite, is the evergreen.  Especially flowering evergreens.  These plants are just as their name - forever green.  Many can take the harsh heat or the bitter cold, and still they stay beautiful all year long.  Because plants and flowers bloom at different times and seasons, we can enjoy the beauty they lend the earth throughout the entire year.

Once you gain an appreciation for flowers and plants you can't help, but begin to love and appreciate
Nasty Tomato Worm in my garden!
all the elements that help them mature and carry out their life.  The soil, rain and sun all play their roles and follow the laws of nature to help bring a flower to life.  While bad insects might infect a plant, there are always good creatures to combat them - such as spiders and birds.  The bees and butterflies and even the wind carry out their jobs to ensure that each pant can reproduce it's own offspring and live the measure of its creation -- bringing its good to all mankind in the process.

One day I was admiring one of our cone flowers.  I had already known it's roots served as a natural antibiotic, but I had planted it because it was adaptable to most soils, was drought tolerant, deer and rabbit resistant.  After a heavy rain, I noticed how it's blossoms still stood bright and tall.  So, I began to talk to this lovely creature, telling her how she had brains, brawn and beauty.  It was then I stopped to look at the detailed patterns in her leaves, petals and center bud.  It suddenly dawned on me that I could not deny knowing the artist of this creation.  Every flower is filled with so much beauty, joy and purpose that each one seems to testify that Christ alone is the author of its creation...
Cone Flowers in my garden

So why is mom talking about babies and flowers and bees and butterflies on your baptism day...?  It's coming...hang in there....But first I need to share a story about a boy Emperor in China.  The story is called 'The Greatest Gift', by Demi.

As the story goes, there was a boy Emperor named Ping.  Ping loved to look out of his telescope at the stars and the moon and all the space in between.  He just loved how the heavens seemed to fall into perfect harmony and he wanted the wisest Prime Minister to bring that same harmony to his kingdom.  Ping decided in order to do this he must let the heavens choose the right person.  He gathered all the children in the kingdom and announced that whoever could tell him the greatest power in the world would be his new Prime Minister.  He told the children that a wise leader must be able to see the unseen and know the unknown.

As the children began to carry out their request some of the boys thought it would be easy, because, as they said, "Whoever has the greatest weapons has the greatest power in the world.  For whoever has the greatest weapons can conquer the world."

Some of the girls thought it easy as well, and said,
"Whoever has the greatest beauty has the greatest power in the world.  For whoever has the greatest beauty can command the most powerful commander in the world!"   ;-) 

Some of the more studious children felt that technology was the greatest power in the world - because "whoever has the greatest technology can rule the world."

A group of very practical children saw money as being the greatest power in the world -- because "whoever had the greatest amount of money in the world could buy anything in the world."

There was one little girl named Sing who remembered the Emperor's words.  "A wise person must be able to see the unseen and know the unknown."  Sing sat by a Lotus Pond and pondered about how armies rise and fall, how beauty fades, how money comes and goes, and how ideas are forever changing.  Since none of these things lasted, she didn't see how they could be the Greatest Powers.

Sing noticed the beautiful lotus flowers.  Born from a tiny seed sleeping in the mud, the bud rose through the water on a strong green stem.  It rose above the water to bloom into a glorious flower that faced heaven.  Suddenly Sing knew what the greatest power in the world was.

The day of the parade came, where all the children must present what they felt was the greatest power.  There were many colorful costumes of Dragons, Phoenix's and Money Gods.  All of the children dressed in their finest and paraded around weapons, money, beautiful clothing and technology.  The Emperor then noticed little Sing, just walking quietly and holding something very small in her hands.  "Stop the parade" commanded the boy Emperor and he commanded Sing to come to him.  "What have you got in your hands?" asked the Emperor.

Sing showed the Emperor a tiny lotus seed which she broke in two.

"What is there?" he asked.

"Nothing" said Sing.  "and the greatest power in the world".

"How can nothing be the greatest power in the world?" asked the emperor.

"The nothing in this seed is where life exists," said Sing.  "The nothing in this seed is what makes the seed rise from the earth.  The nothing in this seed is what is fed by water, air, and the fire of the sun to bloom into a glorious flower that turns it's face toward the heavens.  And when the flower sleeps again, it releases new seeds into the earth, which are fed by water, air, and the fire of the sun to bloom into new flowers.  The nothing in this seed is Eternal Life -- it continues from seed to seed, forever and ever in perfect harmony.  Eternal Life is the greatest power in the world."
Lotus Flower

Sing was named the wisest child in all the land and became the new Prime Minister, bringing harmony to the Kingdom.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 3:16

Today Toby, you are making a choice to follow our Savior and be born again, to take upon you His name and follow in His path.  I want to remind you that actions speak louder than words...
Thanks to Keith Bell

When you make good choices you will have the light of the Son of God to help you grow and blossom in your own time and season.  As your roots grow stronger and deeper, you will be able to share your gifts and talents with mankind.  You will be tempted from time to time -- just remember the insects that eat the flowers -- read your scriptures, say your prayers and keep going to church and you will be able to fight off those temptations.  I hope you'll be like an evergreen, standing tall and strong at all times.  Most importantly, as your faith in Christ emerges, His image will be found in your countenance, bearing testimony of the Author of your creation and helping you to fulfill the measure of your creation.

26 Sept 2015
And I say these things to you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

note:  some text quoted directly from book, "The Greatest Power"  (awesome book with awesome art too).

In closing, I'd like to express my gratitude for all those who made it out Saturday, for all the Facebook and txt messages, as well as the wonderful cards and generous gifts that were sent for our little Tobes.

I decided to add this little slide show of Toby.  I originally was going to show it when Toby was getting dried off and dressed -- but Matthew thought it would be nice to just let everyone talk and move around a bit during that time.  I thought it might be cruel to make Everyone suffer through so many family pics -- but in reality, they are mostly of Toby's friends -- you never know, YOU could be in this little slide show ;-)  Btw -- the video is about 10 secs longer than the music -- that's the best I could do ;-)

 God Bless.  My heart is full.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Tango's Alka Rockets Science Project -- Bam!

Need a simple, but great looking science project for school?  Try Tango's Alka Rockets.  We were able to email the slides to his teacher, while Toby (Tango) brought in the rockets to demonstrate.

There are a handful of teachers at school who can make extra homework, or extra hours in school actually feel like a reward.  I applaud their Jedi skills.  Perhaps in time I can learn to have that force with me.  When Toby handed me a pamphlet of 4th grade science projects and exclaimed with pride how he was the Scientist of the Week, I gave him that look, that tries to show you're thrilled for him, but inside you're exploding.  I had a lot on my plate for that coming Friday -- but somehow we made it through.

...And while we're on that subject of exploding, I will point out that "we" chose to make Alka Rockets.  I had hoped to actually make a bottle rocket, like the one I helped Tatum score an A+ with in her Senior year, but with 25 Jumbo Gummy Worm Cupcakes to make - (because having a birthday is what entitles you to be Scientist of the Week) I decided to be logical with myself.

After scouring the web for Alka Rocket Ideas, I just wasn't pleased enough and ended up making my own pattern up -- with Toby's help of course -- it is his project after all ;-)   Here are the end results:

You can print this pattern out here:  https://files.acrobat.com/a/preview/31db37a7-f616-4635-b346-4e2c9ebb8950

Did I mention I had to arrive at the school at 6:15 am to take pictures for The Early Birds Club that morning too:

By the way, the jumbo gummy worm cupcakes were also a hit.  All it all a great Birthday week for our youngest.  Love you baby boy!  (And I still managed to keep my sanity and my smile -- the real one this time ;-)

Jumbo Gummy Worm Cupcakes

I bought a cheap packet of oreo type cookies at the dollar store and scraped the 'creme' out and crushed the chocolate cookie in a large ziplock bag.  White frosting, green confetti type sprinkles and 3 large gummy worms poking through.  It's pretty self explanatory.  (P.S.  one cake package makes about 12 Jumbo Cakes.)

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Morning Prayers

Pic of Tango in San Antonio, TX  (at brother Luke's military graduation) August 2013
I sometimes feel I can  measure Tango's growth and maturity by the quality of his praying.  This morning as he said our family prayer he focused on 'Momma'.  "...and please help momma today when she works.  Help her to get everything done that she needs to get done.  Help her to work hard...but not too hard.  If she works too hard, please tell her to stop and rest and take a break..."

Oh, how I love my little boy.  And to think it was just yesterday I caught him sending a text to a friend, saying how mean I was to make him do his homework...  Hey.  I'm a mom.  I'm meant to be mean.  :-)

In all sincerity, as the day has now come to an end, I do believe his prayers were heard.  Matthew and I have been cleaning up our Rental in Alpharetta.  It's taken a tremendous amount of sweat from me and tends to keep me burning the candle at both ends.  I chose to stay in Loganville, as Toby had a game tonight -- but, I did work hard today--but not too hard.  I did get very tired and took a 20 minute nap.  It was refreshing and gave me just enough energy to make it through the rest of the day.

Thanks for thinking of me baby boy. xoxo

Monday, February 2, 2015

Toby's Design on a Dime Braves Baseball Room

Okay...maybe it was more like, "Design on a Dollar.."

When Toby wanted a Braves room--the snobby designer in me cringed at the thought of sports paraphernalia in our home. I cringed even more when I stumbled on the price of Braves Bedding and Curtain sets...So, I made my own and managed to please both of us in the process ;-)

The tablecover (although I didn't take enough time to spread it out perfectly for this picture) was something I made a few years ago and had packed away.  I would have a lamp on this table, except for the fact that mini basketball is constantly being played--and I know that lamps are magnets for mini basketballs -- right?

 I found simple red and blue reversible comforters on Amazon for $35 each--But Toby didn't like how 'rough' the fabric felt...So I made this minky blanket with baseballs using material from fabric.com.  Its incredibly soft and comfortable. I had enough red leftover to cover a small pillow. What a spoiled boy eh? (We won't talk about how much this extra large blanket cost to make...)  The banner is mentioned further down...

Found this large print bulldog puppy with Braves hat on Spoonflower.com I cut it out and made it into an applique by attaching to red canvas.  It's an envelope closure in back, so it will be easy to take off and clean if necessary.

I love Spoonflower artists. One day I hope to be creative enough to make my own fabric...but I doubt it--I often contact the artists myself and tell them what I'm looking for and then they create it for me -- Isn't that just awesome!

I made the curtains from Luke's old duvet cover. I had 2 extra flat queen size sheets in my cupboard, so I lined them to help keep the cold out and the heat in. This makes me twice as happy, because now I have extra space in my linen closet AND an attractive red/white/blue curtain set. Also--the Braves street sign above the bookshelf was $7 on Amazon.  P.S.  The duvet wasn't long enough, so thankfully, I had extra red fabric on hand to help lengthen them.

I made this banner using my cricut--took way too long and I wished I could have found the felt on sale. It was Toby's idea to hang up his two favorite shirts--I would prefer the boards be used to pin his favorite baseball players on--but there is always give and take when it comes to designing.  

Toby wondered where all his 'future' trophies would go--so I took care of that with a couple extra shelves from Lowes. The Brave Pennant was $7 on Amazon (with Prime shipping) yay me.

I spray painted a couple of inexpensive pegs from Lowes to hang all his hoodies on. I made him the little tote bag above. Daddy nicknamed him Tango quite awhile back. He can keep all his favorite baseball cards in this. I know, I'm ridiculous!
  Eventually I am going to find an creative way to display his game balls too.

I have to mention this miniature basketball hoop. I have to rate it an unexpected #1 Christmas gift. It has been the MOST played with item then any other gift he has EVER received! ($39 on Amazon)
  It's really sturdy and thank GOODNESS I can shut the door and cut down on the constant thuds.  We often have a whole basketball team in this room now...maybe you should think twice about getting one...

Here is what you will find for $263.79 plus 25.99 shipping on Amazon.  I do like that the fabric is made out of basket ball/jersey type material.  Since I had two beds and two windows...I just wasn't feeling it--

The BEST part about this new bedroom is that Toby actually keeps it clean.  He's almost fanatical about it -- especially if someone is coming over.  Not only that, but he actually sleeps in it -- as opposed to the sofa outside our bedroom (which he has preferred since the age of 5 ;-)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Stitch in Time at the Airlines - For Grandma Bea

Beatrice Mae Rowland May 19, 1918 - June 15, 2014
My grandmother passed away on Sunday, June 15.  I feel so blessed to be the age I am and only now have to say goodbye to her - however, it's never long enough.  I often called her the "Queen Mother" and frequently gave her my expectations in that of  becoming the centurion of the family.  I think 96 was close enough.

My brother and I had the privilege of speaking at her memorial in Seattle.  Renny gave an amazing eulogy, which I hope to soon incorporate into this blog -- but for now, and because none of my children were able to attend, I wanted to leave with them the talk I gave.  (Thankfully this post won't have my stuttering and stumbling that was included in the original ;-)  It is my hope, that by learning a bit of Grandma's life and character, as well as the influence she had on me, will rest itself in their own personalities, currently being chiseled into.

One Chain at a Time

Being the only grand-daughter of 7 grandchildren, was special for me.  Having the good fortune to  have been born on Beatrice's Birthday, gave a bit more depth to our relationship.   As soon as my mother phoned with the heartbreaking news of grandma's passing, I naturally had myself a good cry.  Somewhere in the middle of
A Part of My Crochet Frenzy
those tears I found myself searching among my crafts for crochet hooks, yarn and several patterns.  I began to crochet --  almost non-stop.  I'd awake early in the morning and crochet to midnight, stopping only to throw a necessary load of laundry in the wash or warm up a microwave meal for our 9 year old.  Everyone else in the household was fending for themselves at that point.  After about five straight days of this, and with my hand aching and almost too stiff to move, I finally braced myself with the question; "Why are you doing this?"  It may be difficult to comprehend, but for me, a ball of yarn and crochet hook, made me feel about as
close to grandma as I could possibly get...

During the summer months when I was 7 years old, Grandma looked after me.  I'd watch her day after day, sitting in her chair, immersed in her soap operas and crocheting for hours.  I recall one particular day seeing  her rip out several hours of crochet work in her lap.  "Grandma" I asked curiously, "Why are you taking all your stitches out?"

Grandma remarked that she had made a mistake and didn't find it until just then.  If she didn't fix it now, it would end up all wrong in the end.  When I remarked that it looked perfect to me, and no one could tell, she just replied, "Well, it's not right, and I know it."

Somehow in those summer weeks I managed to persuade grandma to teach me to crochet.  She hated to be interrupted from her 'programs' and her work, but after a pleading look and about the twentieth time begging, she finally let out a long sigh, and said, "Well...alright."

The chain stitch is the foundation of any crochet pattern.  When complete, it looks just as it's name, a 'chain'.  I chained and chained all day long until my work could most likely wrap completely around her trailer home.  I was so excited and was ready for the next stitch.  Once again, a reluctant grandma, let out her long sigh and began to teach me the connecting stitches.  As I grew older, I learned to follow patterns and teach myself new stitches.

The Love of Perfection

As a young mother, and pregnant with my first son, I attempted to crochet a baby blanket.  I got about half way through when I became just too pregnant and uncomfortable to do anything.  I asked Grandma if she wouldn't mind finishing it for me.  Rarely do any two people crochet alike, and due to this, was reluctant to take it on, but agreed she would.  A few weeks later Grandma brought it to me and exclaimed, "Chimene,
Luke's Baby Blanket by Beatrice and Me
look!"  I looked and saw her holding up the finished blanket and thanked her graciously for it.  "No, Chimene, look!" she said again, her face held a glint of pride and I searched among the neatly made stitches as if to 'Find Waldo' among the tightly crafted rows.  As I stared up searchingly at her, she announced, "You can not tell where you stopped, and where I started.  We crochet identically.  I have never known anyone who crocheted exactly like me!" 

Hmmm.  I wondered aloud and told grandma that when I crocheted I did not do it tight, and I did not do it loose -- but rather, I said, I do it 'Just Right'.  Grandma nodded vigorously in agreement and added, "That's right.  That's the way you do it, 'Just Right'.  That's what makes it perfect.

Toby, Chimene and Grandma - Seattle 2012
I tell this story, because grandma did not really teach me a craft.  She did more than that.  Grandma taught me a 'trait'.  What she really passed down to me was the importance of perfection.  So much of who I am today began in those first few chain stitches.  It is incredibly difficult for me to make a bed, or set a table without at least a touch of perfection in it.  In those first chains I learned a great lesson in life.  We can make mistakes and hide them or we can unravel them and do it right.  My life and who I am today has benefited greatly because of the time grandma took to put down her work and teach me who she was with a ball of yarn and a steel crochet hook.


With only 2 days to go before leaving for Seattle, I found myself missing my family to an unbearable point before I was even gone.  I had to force myself to pack and as each item was folded neatly into my small
suitcase, my heart sunk with unexplained sorrow.  The loss of grandma and her absence in my life was surrendering my soul towards a longing of desperation to see or call her on the phone just once more.

The night before my flight, I lay in bed and let my thoughts speak aloud, "What if I'll never see Grandma again?"  This unfiltered remark caused my husband to sit straight up in bed and turn to me asking, quite alarmed, "Honey, are you questioning your faith?"

"There's no such thing as accidental perfection."
I believe I was just puzzled -- like a 5000 piece jigsaw, trying to find the last piece that had fallen in the carpet--a deep shaggy carpet--and I began to panic.  I repeated the question to him and this time he could sense my fear.

In his calm and logical voice, he began to tell me of his own way of dealing with doubt. "Whenever there is any kind of doubt about this world and why we are here, I just look at anything in nature.  Look at a lake, look at a tree, look at the human body and all that it can do.  I remind myself, that there is no such thing as accidental perfection.  Perfection doesn't happen by chance.  We are not here by chance." 

I felt a flood of peace. The answers are always in front of us  -- they have not fallen on the floor or in the carpet.   There is nothing missing.  It is all there in one perfect picture.   It is just right.  And it is perfect.  Love is always the builder of perfection.  That perfect love is reflected in every creation.

Life is Like an Airport

With a stronger will, I strolled to the airport gate in Atlanta with plenty of time to spare.  I was pleased that I managed to get a weeks worth of clothing in my light carry on.  When the gate attendants offered to check my bag at no charge, I took advantage of the extra freedom it would give, allowing me to bolt to my connecting flight when landing in Chicago.  I was also grateful Georgia was forecast with rain for the next several days -- as I was not entirely trusting of a 9 year olds memory to water my potted flowers and herbs.  Just as I was giving such thanks to mother nature's conveniences, She decided to churn out a bit of thunder and lighting to go with it, thereby delaying our boarding for 2 hours.

Arriving in Chicago I managed to obtain a  reissued ticket to Seattle -- boarding in just under 5 hours.  My phone battery needed desperate charging and I spied an outlet, sharing it with a a little girl and her PS Vita.  I have been in many airports around the world, and it has been my discovery that whether you are in Sydney or San Francisco, there are just two types of travelers.  1) Those who are going places and 2) Those who are going home.

Just moments after finding a comfortable seat near my precious outlet, a women, and her little girl came
Hartsfield-Jackson Airport
marching towards my charging phone, peering around desperately looking for an additional outlet of their own.   Their flight home had been cancelled and they were having the unfortunate experience of being separated from an ailing mother and aging aunt while trying to make the journey back to Orange County.  She needed to get in touch with her husband and let him know the sudden changes that had occurred.  I easily gave into their needs and offered to let them take my spot in the outlet line for a bit.  She was so thankful and we chatted for a good while.  I learned of her new grandson and she glowed with joy in just mentioning him.  Her little girl was excited to get home to her horses and I learned of her joy in riding.

Before too long, another couple came searching for an outlet, and just when I thought I was going to have to take one more step back in line to accommodate their needs, a young man, dressed in complete western attire pulled a rabbit out of his saddle bag.  In actuality it was a 'splitter' out of his backpack, and it was just the kind of magic everyone of us needed at that moment.

We all sat around the splitter holding 3 mobile phones and one electronic hand-held game system.  I joked with the cowboy, telling him he must make a lot of friends by carrying that splitter around -- and that under no circumstance could he leave any time soon.  He just smiled and said his flight to England was delayed by
8 hours, so he had plenty of time to spare (Ma'am).  Having lived in the U.K. we were immediately deep in discussion about the places he must visit, the things he must and mustn't do as well as which direction to look when crossing the road.  This bright, enthusiastic 18 year old from Wyoming was heading towards 6 months of farm training exchange around the best parts of England, Scotland and Ireland.   He was full of excitement, ready to adapt to foreign ways and he most assuredly had the bull by the horns.

In the hours of conversation between grandchildren, horses, farmland and the exchange rates, my gate had changed and I found myself rushing off--only to be delayed once more at the new gate.  Seated on my left was an elderly man, from Toronto.  He was flustered and frustrated.  He too had missed his connection in Chicago and had spent several hours in his Indian accent trying to get the right ticket reissued on the right flight.  He was off to visit his son in Alaska and was worried now about missing a second connection in Seattle due to our new delay.  Trying to change the subject to something a bit more positive, I inquired of his family.  He was a widower and I was happy to see his pulse slowing as he spoke of his beloved wife with such reverence.  He exposed his feelings of being lost without her for the past few years.  At that point I happened to overhear another elderly gentleman, seated to my right.  He too was visiting a child in Alaska, and was making the same connection in Seattle.  I took that moment to introduce the two and observing their hearty conversation made the time tick away quickly.  I was so thankful this little Indian man had found someone to help him -- and hopefully, not feel so lost.

Finally seated in the plane, I sat back to relax, and jolted with sudden pain in my legs.  The hours of delay and just sitting with very little movement, coupled with the awkward and tight position of the airplane seat, was hitting a nerve and causing me a great deal of strain and hurt.  The pain naturally only increased over the 4+ hour flight and in the  last moments became so excruciating,  I nearly cried out.  Walking never felt so good, and with each step to baggage claim I could feel the flow of blood bringing me back to life.  Do you know what was really amazing?  My little red bag somehow made it through all the changes and came rolling out, holding everything I needed for a comfortable stay in Seattle.

while waiting for my cousin Christopher to collect me, I stood and paced in the midnight air. I began to dwell on my experiences over the past several hours and came to the conclusion, that Life is Like an Airport.  There are two kinds of people in life 1) People going places and 2) People going home.  Sometimes we get disappointed, and delayed.  We don't always get to where we want to go as quickly as we'd like.  Sometimes we get lost.   Yet, along the way we meet others.  We share their joys and their sorrows.  We share our wisdom and help where we can.  We make friends that show us the way.  Sometimes life is also very painful.  It makes us want to cry out now and again.  But in the end, we end up where we're suppose to be---with everything we need for our journey.

I know Grandma Bea has made her way home.  I know she is surrounded with loved ones in heaven, as she was surrounded by loved ones on earth.  And I know that place is perfect.

It hurts so much to be without those we love.  It has been said, "The only way to take the sting out of death is to take the love out of life." (and how can that be possible, when Life is made from Love so perfect).  

Chimene  xx

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