Thursday, May 28, 2015

Happy First Birthday in Heaven, Mom!

You were smiling on your birthday in this photo five short years ago. You joined us in the birthday song: "Happy Birthday to ME," you sang.

When I think of you today on your first birthday in Heaven, this is just how I see you -- filled with joy, laughing, singing and happily surrounded by your parents, brothers and many others you love.

I know you're safely home with God, just where you're supposed to be. But that doesn't stop the pain deep in my heart that comes from missing you. 

I think of you in the morning, when each day dawns anew. I think of you in the day, remembering lunch time walks taken while talking with you by phone. I think of you in the evening and when I close my eyes to sleep. You're never far from my thoughts.

You dropped a penny down to me the day you went away. As the days have passed by, the penny pile has grown -- and includes nickels, dimes and quarters too.

Some days when I look up to the sky, I see angel clouds or clouds shaped like hearts and I know you're watching over all of us.

Sometimes I see butterflies -- often in pairs -- dancing in the meadow or flitting from flower to flower. Maybe you've sent them down so I'll feel your love surrounding me.

I can't send flowers to Heaven, but I'm sure that there's no need. Heaven must be filled with flowers much more beautiful than these. 

Heaven's the perfect place -- more beautiful than we can imagine. How fitting it is that my beautiful Mom is forever at peace in such a wonderful place. None of us knows just what it's like up in your eternal home. Perhaps Heaven is filled with all of your favorite things.

Maybe there are brownies for breakfast -- or anytime your heart desires. 

Perhaps there's a Jayhawk or two to keep you warm.

Heaven may hold a puzzle stockpile to last you through eternity.

There may even be a Snoopy or two up there in Heaven with you.

Maybe there's KFC up there for you to enjoy.

Coke in Heaven? Who knows -- but whether or not there's Coke up there, I'm sure that you're wearing that same big smile. Because to be in God's presence is certainly worth smiling about.

The streets of Heaven may be paved with gold, but maybe there's springtime flowers too.

We miss you here every day, but you're finally reunited with so many of those you've loved and missed for years.

Here's flowers for you to enjoy, Mom
All of your favorite colors are here
As I look at flowers in my garden
I feel your presence here.

Happy Birthday in Heaven, Mom
I'm sure the celebration's grand
I'll try today to choose joy over sadness
As I remember the warmth of your hands

You're always in my heart
Even if I can't see your face
I know you're up there waiting
For us all to be together in that perfect place.


On your birthday and always
You're loved and missed forever
With all my love

Monday, May 11, 2015

Fellow Bloggers Are Your Friends: Keeping Up with the World

There are lots of people I really love. Topping the list is my family. My parents, siblings, husband, kids, grandkids and all of the extended family are my favorite people in the world.

I also have lots of favorite places and things. I've loved books as long as I can remember. The written word was highly valued in our home when I was a child. We had long bookcases containing lots and lots of books for all ages, including several sets of encyclopedias -- my favorite books of all. I especially loved the "D" encyclopedia since it contained lots of photos of various breeds of dogs.

The internet is today's encyclopedia for many people, including me. I love learning new things and the internet's an easy virtual place to learn anytime I want. By the way, I love the Kansas Jayhawks and coffee too.

Cell phones make it easy to stay in touch with what's happening in the world. You can take a cell phone almost everywhere -- and people do. Some keep up with sports scores while others just text their friends or stay in touch with their Facebook friends and Twitter or Instagram followers.

By the time most news stories make it into the daily newspaper, I've already read them in what I call "the Facebook news."

When you write, you have to keep up with what's happening in the world. That's especially true for bloggers. Fellow bloggers are your friends, not your frenemies. Like many bloggers, I follow lots of other bloggers. My email inbox stays packed with newsletters and e-blasts from various sources. If I miss a big story, I can count on one of my fellow bloggers to write about it.

Some of the topics I'm currently reading about include: clutter busting (originally for an article, now for real life), Kim Kardashian West's book of selfies (because there's really nothing more 'now' than selfies), girls rescued from the Boko Haram terrorists (real life story about the horrors of war), a survival story about a journalist and photographer who were on Mount Everest when the most recent avalanche occurred (real life story of being in the wrong place at the wrong time but making it out), a book written by a former teen mom now raising a teenager (that's poetic justice -- and just sayin' -- I'd love to read the teen mom's mother's memoirs) and how freelancers are unhappy with their income (because I'm a freelancer). Check out the links if you're interested in any of these topics.

Some of the topics I'll be writing about soon include: the beach and other summer getaways...

Hiking and other cool outdoor stuff...

What to do if you encounter a black bear and other tips for hikers...


Where to find pretty flowers and why it matters...

My faith and how my belief in God continues to change my life...

Road trips to take and summer bucket lists to make...

Ice cream and other tasty summer treats...

Grilling and summer picnic foods...

Stuff kids like to do...

And what's happening in Lynchburg and Central Virginia -- because that's where I live.

Someone recently asked me if I take my camera everywhere I go. If you know me, you know that the answer is yes. Doesn't everyone?

I'm always up for adventure from sunrise to sunset and beyond.

I love when my adventures include my husband or the whole family, but adventures don't always work out that way. Sometimes my adventures take place on my day off during the week when everyone else is working or at school.

It's tough to choose between writing about adventures and living adventures (actually, it's not a tough choice at all. I'd choose living instead of writing about an adventure any time). I'm going to try really hard to write every week or two about my local adventures on my Central Virginia Blogger site. A special thanks to my friend Ashleigh for this photo, taken on the James River on a batteau. By the way, spending a week on the James for the Batteau Festival is on my someday bucket list. Hiking the AT is also on my bucket list.

Come on along and enjoy the adventures with me. You don't even have to pack a bag. Just follow my blogs or follow me on Twitter to see what's new in my part of the world.

Blogging Grandma Sandy, signing out for now.