Sunday, August 31, 2014

Prep


A large part of the fun is found in the getting ready. I'm sure the Bride felt that way, too. All of the preparation was hugely fun! There was the shopping for just the right dress, with a sister or two hovering and saying encouraging words. ("Buy it!"). There was the consideration for the shoes - which went with what dress, best? Should they be black or navy? And the frequent discussions about how the family would get there, where they would stay, or what they would eat. It was a lot of fun just asking, and telling.

All the while a woman is preparing for a wedding, whether it be her own or someone else's, she is already living it. Did you know that? It's true. And not just for things like weddings. The same thing goes on when I, for instance, am getting ready to travel - especially to England. There is no ending to the thought process, the online scouting, and the vicarious thrills it all perpetuates. There isn't anything like it - that is, until the Real Thing shows up, and we are there. 

THAT is best!

I really wouldn't want a trip, or a wedding, where I was not involved in the planning. Picturing it all out in one's mind is wonderful, and terrifically rewarding. This morning I (unfortunately) awoke at 3:00 a.m. and experienced no further sleep. So I decided to think all through the upcoming trip. It started with take-off - that feeling of rushing down the tarmac at break-neck speeds when you think to yourself, "Ummm...when will the thing rise up?"). But it finally does do that, and finally gets you out and over the USA, eventually touching you down in beloved England. 

Then the fun begins.

And that is when you realize that all of the planning was only a minor taste of the Real Thing. The moment that beautiful Bride walked down the aisle with her father, she knew this was the real deal, and not just some daydream. 

I hope I am preparing well for that which means the most. That Place where I will spend every moment with the One who is preparing the Place. My trip there will be the Real Deal, and the cost of it was all His.


PREP - it's key. Don't forget, and don't get lost. The way is clearly signposted - you can't miss it!


See you along the Way!
the SconeLady







Saturday, August 30, 2014

My, How You've Grown


The cake was delicious, the Bride stunning. And then there was the equally stunning couple in the front row, radiating joy: the parents of the Groom. Every Groom should be so fortunate. And the proud father? my cousin!

I remember growing up with that man, that father who was then just a young thing. When we were teenagers he had introduced me, in grand fashion, to Disneyland. I had never seen Disneyland and could not believe I was going. This cousin, a California native who lived near that magical Place, knew all about it and felt the importance of being my guide. It was a day I would always remember.


https://www.flickr.com/photos/randar/9916042373/
Disneyland in 1968 was a thing of rare beauty. It has always been clean, but that day it was scrupulously so. There were the most uniquely dressed cleanup crew who surreptitiously came along behind everyone and removed whatever they happened to drop. And they all did it with the most amazing smiles. It seemed that all of the workers were perpetually cheerful. It was the Happiest Place on Earth.

And so that day my cousin showed me the ropes; got me around; introduced me to Thunder Mountain. But I was shocked to see him suddenly stepping out of the passenger canoe in It's A Small World. Right out of it, onto the scenery at the side. "Come on!" he said. "We can walk around behind the scenes and check it out."

I wasn't so sure I wanted to 'check it out', but he had obviously done it before so I climbed out to join him. Strangely, nothing bad happened. We walked along beside the canoe, which still held our amazed fellow passengers. "Quick!" said one. "Get back in here before you become arrested!"

This scared me. I figured I'd better follow her wise advice before our luck ran out. 

But we had underestimated just how long that would take. As I climbed back in and settled down, to our horror we heard a voice through a loud speaker saying, "Young man, get out of there. Make your way to the exit door to your left and DO NOT COME BACK. You are now BANNED from this ride."

https://www.flickr.com/photos/expressmonorail/3254218411/
And that young kid is now the grown man who yesterday stood witness to a marriage. Smiling to beat the band; happy as any proud father in this wide world. And through all of that, through the wedding, through the photos, through the music and the dancing, that smile never faded. It was the sweetest thing.

And I smiled too. Smiled as I remembered him as that bold and daring teen who had once been banned from a Disneyland ride. I may have been the only person in that room who knew.

We've come such a long way, Baby.


See you along the way!
the SconeLady


photo credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/randar/9916042373/">Tom Simpson</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">cc</a>

photo credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/expressmonorail/3254218411/">Express Monorail</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">cc</a>

Bride Catches Groom


It was after midnight when the bus pulled up, and let us all off. Too late to post! The SconeLady will be with you again tonight. 


The cake was delicious!
(notice the bride and groom)



Thursday, August 28, 2014

To Witness a Vow


We came from a variety of places, to be here. Why? Because a grand wedding is in the works! On the brink! About to happen! And tonight was the first of several fun and solemn gatherings of which we are privileged to be a part.




To look at us, you'd think we were a bunch of kids out of school, or something. Five siblings+spouses, suddenly let loose and kicking up all available heels. All in the same hotel on the same floor, it is a kind of mobile party that shows no sign of stopping. 
Selfie on an elevator!
And it will be a lovely wedding, tomorrow, this wedding of our cousin's son, a.k.a. our first-cousin-once-removed. Or, if you prefer, our 2nd cousin. Whatever. He is adorable and is marrying an adorable girl, both of whom are brilliant and beautiful and engineers. And I would like to just say, right here, right now: THREE CHEERS FOR MARRIAGE! Welcome to the fold! May God richly bless your union and bless all those around you. 

It is an honor to be in a place where young and old alike gather to honor the two who are looking at the future, together. It is the sweetest thing. And tomorrow, the wedding. 

The blessed opportunity for this bride and groom, after all of the planning, all of the choosing, and all of the working, to hear these electrifying words:





'Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to witness the union of this man and this woman in holy matrimony, which is an honorable estate, that is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently and soberly..'


We love you, Austin and Xixi!

The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord make His face to shine upon you
And be gracious unto you
And be gracious..

The Lord be gracious, gracious unto you.
Amen.


See you along the Way!
the SconeLady

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Fine Tuning Your Expectations


I must be honest here. It is harder to walk distances in the Asphalt Jungle. 

The shock of this settled in pretty quickly. One such hurdle was how frightfully HOT it all was. Is. And may I mention the noise? Walking along just inches away from cars barreling their way to work in L.A., Corona, San Diego, and so on is just plain intimidating. But I had done it all before, and hardly noticed. Must be the year and a half in that sweet woodland town that spoiled me.

But I won't exactly say We aren't in Kansas anymore, because of the obvious upside of all this. We are loved and welcomed. We don't need jackets or sweaters. We enjoy mega-bunches of uber-cute restaurants, coffee shops, and shopping malls or sweet main street stores (hello, Anthropologie!). How could one complain? I know. It's a first world problem. I get it.

But this morning after walking 7 miles (not terribly hot, yet), swimming through cars, trucks, semi's, bikes and Harleys, I wondered if I would ever rise up off my daughter's soft couch. The grandchildren helped push/pull me a time or two (giggling and laughing, because it really was just a joke) as they shoved me on up. 

              https://www.flickr.com/photos/maggie3/5558762171/
I know we will adjust and come out of this just fine. As we left the house tonight, the three stood on the porch and shouted goodbye as if we were never coming back. We said our own goodbyes and started for the car. But the smallest was suddenly distraught. He was saying something with a fair amount of urgency that I could not quite catch. What was it? I strained, turning to perhaps have it translated by his mother.

But then, loud and clear, out he came with it: "Wait! Don't go yet! I NEED A KISS!!" and he ran toward us, flinging his body against our legs, pulled our heads toward his, and kissed us both heartily.

Well. May I say? All weariness fled in an instant. As he raced back to the porch where his mother stood smiling, I felt light as a feather. 

What complaints could ever possibly overshadow such a sweet, small thing? "Goodbye, my darling.." I said, unwilling yet to desert that spot.

Not in a hurry anymore.


See you along the way!
the SconeLady


photo credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/maggie3/5558762171/">Maggie Mbroh, joeyjorie</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">cc</a>

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

It's The Music That Does It


As soon as I heard the music, I knew what was happening. Blaring from the upstairs speakers was something from (I think) Pandora, while the voices of small children piped down from the landing.

"Grandma!! Grandpa!! You're back!" (we had been gone two hours - but time stretches out when you are little!).

Down the stairs they streamed, the 4 year old girl in a pink and purple princess dress. "What have you been doing?" Grandma asked.

"Mommy has the music up LOUD and we are PACKING!" they shouted.

"Some moves are especially sweet":
First Home Buyers    
Up LOUD, huh? Well, that sounds familiar. I was taken quickly back to the years their mother and uncle were growing up. It was Spring Break, which meant five days of - who-knew-what? It was lovely to be off school for a week, but not so lovely to figure out what to do with two energetic kids who weren't old enough yet to drift off alone. So what to do?

Early on I had come to my own conclusions that five days of a loose-end was not all it was cracked up to be. Nope, too much of that kind of 'vacation' often created mischief. I needed something that would help them have fun but also some satisfaction.

I came upon the perfect solution: SPRING CLEANING. The house certainly needed it. What an inspiration! But instead of all day every day, I decided on this plan:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/clevercupcakes/3041280560/


  • four hours of daily work from 8am to 12noon
  • they could choose the music and turn it up as loud as they wanted, with no complaints from mom.
  • they would report for 'work' at 8:00 sharp, and look at their job list
  • fights or complaints would add time to the workday
  • they would be fed sumptuously at 12:00 sharp
  • they could do ANYTHING THEY WANTED UNTIL DINNER! (within reason, of course)
They reported. They set up the music. They read their lists. And then at 8:00 on the button, the music suddenly blared, and the scrubbing began. Four hours of work? That's quite a bit to get out of a kid every morning. Apart from a short break at 10, nobody stopped. 
https://www.flickr.com/photos/tgilheany/9153849022/
Every evening I adjusted the lists, and things got pretty seriously clean around there. You know how dirty windowsills can get? The trough the window rests in that gets grimy and is hard to extract? They got all the windows and troughs clean! The floors vacuumed! The cars spotless! Toilets gleaming! THE SILVER POLISHED!!

All the things I don't really like doing, they did. And it was fun - at least for me it was fun. And they seemed to be having fun, too. I think it was the music. There's something inspiring about LOUD.

And that is what was happening today. They are moving to a new house, so a lot of packing and organizing is in the cards. And kids are all part of the agenda. As a wise man once said, there must be something to gain, something to lose, and an element of fun.

But it sure helps if they like the same music you like. Otherwise? EARPLUGS.


See you along the way!
the SconeLady


photo credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/tgilheany/9153849022/">Terence Gilheany</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">cc</a>

photo credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/clevercupcakes/3041280560/">clevercupcakes</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">cc</a>

Monday, August 25, 2014

Girls Day Away


It was decided, rather quickly. Grandma was making a plan to drive out to Aunt Karen's house, and from the other room the small girl overheard. The decision was made before Grandma knew it. The girl must go along!

Every one of the three small people in this home know how fun it is to go to Aunt Karen's house. There is always something to do. There is never a reason to be 'bored'. No one would think of being bored, not at Aunt Karen's house.

And so it became a girls together day. There was the drive to the aunt's tidy and welcoming spot just down the road. There was the news upon arrival that the uncle would be out as soon as a much-needed nap could take place. AND there was Play Doh. Not just any old Play Doh but the kind with rolling pins, cookie cutters, and very important implements to make very important items. Cookies, and such.

This was all well thought out because Grandma and Aunt Karen wanted to visit. It had been a while and so there was a lot to catch up on. Sisters like that sort of thing.




https://www.flickr.com/photos/booleansplit/2445628211/

The Play Doh, along with some Lincoln Logs (and a tasty apple), meant the visit was a success. When it was time to go, the girl whispered to Grandma, "Do you think we could take Great Aunt Karen to get our fingernails done?" 



But her aunt had already had her fingernails done, so we two made our way to the Super Walmart to be taken care of by the kindly manicurist/pedicurist. 


Everyone there who saw this small girl, loved her. Heads turned. The waves parted. They all wanted to do her nails, so the Boss had to settle whose turn it was (several girls were disappointed). 



When it was time to go, she had the most perfect looking finger- and toe-nails. She proudly showed them to Grandma. Later her mother was wowed and impressed, her brothers slightly less so. But all thoughts of prettiness instantly evaporated when the fire pit was set with wood, and lit. No worries about 'spoiling' her manicure. This girl could handle fire sticks just as deftly as her brothers, nail polish or not.

It was a very satisfying evening, spent doing what every kid longs to do.


And when you're a kid, there can never be too many sticks.


See you along the way!
the SconeLady

photo credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/booleansplit/2445628211/">Robert S. Donovan</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">cc</a>