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Monthly Archives: July 2011

Charleston, when I grow up…

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Our family trip consisted of a very short trip all the way down to the coast. We had never been to this side of the ocean and it was a treat.
We arrived in Charleston and headed straight for a plantation. Knowing which one to hit was the tricky part. We had talked to others who have been there, looked online and at ads as we decided which would be most interesting to our family.
Well it finally came down to this. We were closest to Boone Hall and since it was so widely advertised..Including being on american idol and several other movie sets we decided on this one.

We learned a lot. I am always very drawn to the Victorian era.
It’s good to be reminded that the books and movies depict much of it in romantic ideals but really there was a lot of hard work done. Kitchens had to be detached from the house. Many times the kitchen would burn down several times a year. Plumbing and running water was not the norm.
The boat house. Where people of Charleston would travel by ferry to get to this particular Homestead. Our guide told us it would take around 12 hours to get here from Charleston..Which is now about a 15 minute drive.
And worst of all… many of the beautiful structures, roads, fields were built on the backs of slave labor.

Gullah...The language , the food, The African people.

A wonderful monologue this lovely lady did for us. She gave us a great picture of life for her people on the plantation.
She told us how the slaves would use songs to send messages to each other. The root doctors and the natural remedies they used. How the slave would eat off the masters table from a trough. They were timed and so they would eat as quickly as they could until the second shift of slaves would get their turn. She explained that the master would let them eat low on the hog..this included things like the foot.Which is why they are known for making foods such as pickled feet. “But now, she said…We eat high off the hog”.
The house pictured above would sometimes house numerous families. They weren’t allowed to have church weddings so they would jump over a broom stick on the thresh hold of the house to signify their union. Whoever landed first was the boss of the house. The term “I worked from can’t see to can’t see” meant I worked from before sunrise to after sunset.
As I listened and walked through the slave houses I couldn’t help but wonder what people were thinking. Treating other humans as less than who God had created them. His precious possessions.
This truly is a dark spot on our nations history.

The tree lined lane was planted by a son of the owner years later. There were so many old beautiful trees.
How small does the little one look?

Micah and Sophie in the hobbits house

We enjoyed this very much. And after about a 3 hour tour and sweaty backs we headed down to look at the coast…We also visited Fort Moultrie….

My boys.

Yes…please don’t look down the barrel. It makes me nervous.
They crack me up~
After we drove around on Sullivan Island, and Saw Ft Sumter, we traveled across the bridge to downtown Charleston for seafood.
We ate stuffed hush puppies at Fleet Landing. It was recommended to us by a local. We sat out with the birds and the heat. But seafood is always better on the deck.The waitress suggested the Shrimp n Grits…
After this we decided to head for our hotel. As we passed the Battery our mouths fell wide open. It really was something to see! House after House, street after street of the most gorgeous houses! With porches and flickering lamps. Rod Iron fences and beautiful landscaped court yards. Wide trim with Large welcoming front doors and porches.We were amazed that even at night many doors stood wide open.

Cobblestone streets and brick of all breeds. It was just fantastic. The architecture was so extravagant.

The next morning we woke to rain. Rain all day. We went to the market downtown to acquire some goodies. It’s so interesting to me what my children choose. It gives me a window into who they are. Malaina took the longest…In fact, all day. She finally settled on a sun dress that she liked. Jalen Saw what he wanted instantly. It was $30 over the allotted cash prize given by the Father. He didn’t care. He said he’d pay the difference. It was a Knife that had a stand and a sheath. Micah saw a rock with a Gecko carved in it and wanted that. Sophie…A small sweet grass weaved basket and a Fancy Oriental style fan. All went over the allowance given except for Micah. He, for the most part, is a saver. In Fact he had $2 left over.This is the old slave market which is now a museum.
After eating lunch at the Crab House with the upside down Sign we  headed out to the beach. It had stopped raining long enough and it was plenty warm enough to play in the ocean.And I had to once again tell myself to breath.I used to love the ocean with the kids. I sat on the shore and watched and decided I was going to try to understand what had changed. I LOVED big waves all the way up through my  20’s. Now I felt completely different as I watched the water crash on the shore. As I was pondering I heard yelling coming from the ladies beside us…”Watch out”! I looked over to see this little Crabby pants scurrying around…They had dug him out of his hole. After he was safely back in his hole I went back to the thoughts swirling in my head.. And then it hit me. Of course! I had once again forgotten when this changed… 6 yrs ago when Sophie was 2 we lost her for a few minutes on a very crowded Siesta Key. Jason had been sitting closer to the water with the boys and Sophie building something. I was about 10 feet away on the blanket with Malaina. Sophie decided it was time to take a walk. When we realized she was gone we both went into full panic mode. The threatening ocean was just steps away and we weren’t sure how long she was missing. I was sure she had been overtaken by the water. I ran into the ocean desperately trying to  find her..I remember scanning the vast shoreline to see if there was a bobbing head.  I screamed…Has anyone seen my baby? I was frantic..It felt so surreal! A few moments later…which felt like hours…the crowd helped us spot her..she was headed off the beach away from the water. OF course I wanted to leave as I clung to her crying.

Tears streamed down my face as I thought of the emotion of that day. Jason wisely had strongly encouraged me to go back the following day…He knew if I didn’t I would never return.

So even now…that emotion fills me.

I always say…I just want to bring you all back home with me. So Please be careful.

Remembering That Jesus has his eye on them where ever they go helps me through the times when worry wants to crowd out peace. Asking his presence to overwhelm the fear is what helps me relax. I do enjoy the water. Especially from the shore. With my kids beside me…building sand castles.

Some of the Observations and Lessons I learned on this trip…

~ Prejudice is an ugly sin no matter who it’s against.

~ We teach with our words…We LEAD with our lives.

~ Never set a mouse trap and then leave on Vacation!

~ There is a shortage of good grits and biscuits in the North.

~ BoJangles rocks the house! It’s Bo time!

~ The Ocean is dramatically noisier than the Mountains are.

~ It seems fittin to talk with an accent at about the Kentucky line.

~ My husband is an amazing sacrificial human being and I love him!

~ Hotel rooms with 4 growing children have become smaller.

~ I’m not gonna lie I am thankful not to wear petticoats in 97 degree weather!

~ Someday I would like to catch shrimp down in the river behind my house.

~ Our God is a magnificent God. The majesty of his creation overwhelms my senses~

~ Boiled peanuts are growing on me.

~ In my garden the weeds grew like thunder while the flowers drooped..How does that happen?

~~ There is no place in the world like home. (even with the yummy smell of dead mouse :()

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Christmas in July.

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Well guess what?
I still blog.
Let me introduce myself… My name is RosyRose and I like to write in this little blog and sometimes I record events that I want to remember.
This past week was one of those. Every July we look forward to spending time with Jason’s family.
He comes from a tribe of 9. And let me tell you it’s a noisy mess when we all get together. But I think it’s pretty cool how the nieces and nephews still try to come…I love the stuffing out of those kids!
Who many by the way are no longer kids. It’s the weirdest thing but they are catching me…Almost 30~~Some of them are! Having babies… I love it! We are missing 5 of the grandkids in this picture. We missed you Monica, Janae, Jeremy and Kim! Sharon was already gone when we took this.
So this year Jason’s oldest brother Steve and his wonderful wife Deb hosted in their new home town in North Carolina. When they said we could come we very quickly accepted. We made our way across the country up through the hills of West Virginia.

It was a scary night. Mountains + Torrential rain + Hail + Dusk = SCARED.TO.DEATH!

Very tense driving for awhile. I was praying for all I was worth and encouraging Jason that I wouldn’t mind if he’d stop. He seemed to think he could follow the tail lights in front of us and be fine. I doubted. And sat white knuckled. But he was right we did make it. But an hour later than we hoped because of the weather.
When we arrived it was dark. But if it would have still been light this is what we would have seen.

If you notice up above it says…”You’re gonna LOVE this place”.
And we did!
It was simply breath-taking!

In the morning I got up early to see the sun rise. Well there were a couple early birds already up…making some yummy muffins!

Look at those little honeys! How can you resist that?

So after sitting on the balcony (which is pictured above) a spell. Some of us decided to go pick blueberries in the 80 + morning temps…Yikes!
We talked about missing Jason’s mother and how much she would have loved picking. We figured she may be picking for the king’s table right then.

We drove to this sweet little place to pick. It had this shack at the patch which I was tempted to dig up and take home with me..It was that cute! I also considered retaking my senior pictures but decided against it when I remembered an elderly lady asked if I was my mom’s sister last week. Really? What is that about?

It was a Very cute barn.

And we got such a chuckle out of this sign…encouraging people to “blow their horns”.

We picked blueberries until we started passing out like Tennessee fainting goats and decided it was time to head home.
What a lively group!

We spent several hours at a mine finding  some pretty rocks. They told us we could find some Very expensive gems… Did not happen. But it was a ton of fun for the kids. And Rocks travel well.  They make great pets. So it worked out okay.

In the evening we hung out and initiated the new guy…Jonathon.Well he’s not really new. I mean he married Jason’s niece Amber 2 years ago and they now have this sweet sassafras, Jada, who everyone wants to hold, talk to and squeeze… I mean good grief can you blame us? She is such a heart stealer! She made Jason a great-uncle.
I think she probably liked me best. The reason I know this is because whenever I held her she said “mommy” most of the time. Which some could interpret that she actually wanted her mommy. I decided it was because she liked me that much! 🙂
There is always so many conversations and games going on. You just need to pick which one you want to jump into…Watch out!

Jalen and James.
Zaundra…aka…Julia Roberts and her dad Jon…my lone brother-in-law on this side.
With Jason’s sister Zonya.
Jason and his oldest nephew Justin….

And of course there is always work to be done. The little one was a busy bee..stirring the pot.
These 2 have been friends since birth. They still love to hang out with each other. I love that! Malaina and Neil.

And before we knew it..it was time to pack back up and take off.
We certainly did love it there.

North Carolina is a little piece of heaven! I think we may need to go back soon.
After we left we traveled on down to the low country. But that’s for another day.

Jason and I feel so very blessed to have come from 2 family’s of rich Godly heritage. I take it for granted far too often. It’s times like these that help us remember to pause and thank God for this blessing. I love how the next generation is serious about the important things. They are running their races in different places but all for the same prize.
Until next year…when we will be making more memories in Pennsylvania!

A good start to the day.

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Its 5:30am and I hear the door to my daughter’s room creaking. She is heading over to the neighbors for her summer babysitting job. I roll over but sleep won’t come. I grudgingly plod to the bath and soon the big guy follows. After a bit I decide to try once again to get  a few more winks so I head back to bed. He heads down the steps. I lay there asking God what he has in store for today. Talking with him in the morning has become my favorite thing to do. I hear my phone alert me that I have a new text. It’s from J. He’s downstairs inviting me to join him on the front porch for a 20 minute coffee date. The smell of coffee is strong and I am delighted to think of sharing a cup with him on our porch. I pad down the stairs and head to the coffee machine. There’s nothing like that first sip of coffee in the morning. MMMM! That’s good!As we sit in silence for a few moments I watch the birds do their morning routine.Chirping and fighting for worms. I hear the distant sound of a whistle… A factory is beginning production. I smell the freshly cut hay. I feel the slightly cool but sticky air and I know it’s gonna be a good day in Indiana.

I love these days. I wish they would last all year. But for today I am grateful to sit on the porch with the man I married. Knowing the little ones are snoozing in their beds and realizing how blessed I am to have been given so many rich gifts. I mentally check off my things to be grateful for list in my head.

~ Children who are growing to be more responsible and considerate.

~ Helping my mom get ready for her company…Many times while I was at my mom’s house yesterday  I was thinking and praying for my friend Leslie who is sitting at her mom’s house beside her mama as she fights for her life.

~A husband who has worked long hard days this summer providing for us.

~ A God who is not distant.

~ Friends who have been faithful in their love and loyalty through the years.

~ A front porch.

~ Food in my cupboard.

~ Music that ministers to my soul.

~ Green Grass..Trees…Shrubs. Everything is so green!

~ Knowing that it’s Friday and Sunday is 2 days away. I love Sunday!

~ Realizing that I have 6 more months until I’m 40. That’s a long time to live!

I Like this start! I think its gonna be a good day!

Never Once

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He is with us today.
Never once will you ever walk alone.
He is not against us. He is with us.

Faithful to the end.

Love God. Love Others. The end.

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Isn’t it cool how the words of long ago are still alive today?
I love that I can read something in the word and it beams a light on situations I may be facing.
It’s one of the best things about following Jesus.
He speaks through his written word.
If I let him.
Sometimes…. I confess I don’t want to hear it.
It may hurt.
I may have to change.
But when I surrender and realize he is speaking to me….
I do change.
And everyone is pleased. 🙂
Especially him.
And really shouldn’t that be who I want to please?
This morning he spoke to me from these words of old…
The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[e] 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[f] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[g] There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12

Love God.
Love others.
The end.

Sounds simple right?
So why is it so hard?
We, of course, say we do… And we may try. But when it’s so cut and dry I wonder if I’m doing it right.
And I see that I have room to grow.
What Does loving God look like?
Dependence. Obedience. Relationship. Trust. And….Faith
Not just a law keeper but a true believer. Someone who walks by Faith.
He says “step out” and I say “I will”.
He says “be still” and I say ” I will.”
He says “wait” and I say “how long”…what? I meant “I will”.
By Faith.. looking to the one who began a good work to complete what he has started. In his time.

And then we’ve got the tricky little loving others as we love ourselves.
What does this mean?
It means my speech will include only things that I would want someone to say of me.
It means I will recognize needs around me and reach to help.
It means I will share your burden as I would want mine to be carried.
It means I will forgive you as I would want you to forgive me.

If I focus more on how I am helping others than how they are helping me…I will not fall into the snare of  loving others only so they will love me.

If my perspective remains on speaking only things of others outside of their presence as I would with them in the room… It helps me to remain pure in my speech.

The heart issue is this…do I have pure love for God and people I rub elbows with?
They go hand in hand.
Remember that Sunday School Song…
JOY JOY must be…JESUS first…Yourself last…Others in between.
It’s true.
When I live my life like this…it brings joy.
When I live to please myself first and then squeeze everything else in when I get around to it, I become selfish and me centered.

Living in  this way…
Waking up with the thought, “God what can I do today that will bring you the most Glory?”

This  normally, automatically brings others to mind.
Who does he want me to love on today?

What pleases him is that we have a listening relationship to him that recognizes his great love for all mankind and we in turn can love the people he created.

God,
Today this is my hearts cry…Make me a lover of all people. Not just the nice ones. But the hard ones to love. The ones who hurt me. And the ones who smell. The ones who I don’t get. And the ones who don’t get me. Let me love with pureness of heart. Forgive me for my lack of love. Forgive me for my self focus. Fill me with your power that I may love as you do!
Give me a heart like yours O God!