If there is one particular type of restaurant where hubby and I love to have breakfast, it has to be a diner!! Whenever we visit different cities we will ask local residents where their choice of hometown eating might be found and we have never been disappointed.
Just this morning we found another diner close to our home called "Alice's." Now, I haven't a clue why the name Alice, and I should have asked the friendly young people in charge, but I was too interested in my surroundings. It was simply a little space with several tables, a small counter with bar seats and the kitchen was fully exposed. The young man that waited our table was extremely courteous and polite and we were served our piping hot breakfast quickly. The coffee cups were filled several times and we were checked on frequently and asked if we were in need of anything. Service was delightful!
Gab & Eat is another of our local favorites , but and the seating fills quickly since they close at 2:00 p.m.. There isn't a lot of room to move around and memorabilia covers the walls from local sports teams and celebs. One pancake will fill you up, so be careful with your portions!
Then there is our Sunday after church favorite, Ma & Pops. We know the waitresses, the owners, the cooks and now a lot of the people who frequent the diner. It's a wonderful place to gather, eat and chat, but once again seating can be limited. However, those waiting to be seated are courteous to one another and take turns not jumping ahead which can be extremely refreshing!
So why might I be thankful for these small businesses? Because they are the heart and soul of our communities; blue collar people who work tirelessly to serve. It's purely a taste of home when you enter these establishments and smell bacon frying, coffee brewing and strike up a conversation with a stranger who happened to take a seat next to you at the counter.
If you ask me, we need a few more down home diners where we can gather and enjoy sharing in community spirit!
Our church has a group of ladies that get together twice a month to crochet and/or knit. The group is called God's Arms and it has been a true blessing. These ladies are talented and share their knowledge with those of us not so good at reading patterns or even know how to begin knitting and/or crocheting!
Plus the bonus...giving all we make to others! New babies born in the church, those going through serious illness, and anyone else needing some tender loving care. We do it to spread the love of Jesus Christ! It is a wonderful way to build relationships with our sisters in Christ, laugh, share and lift our cares and praises to our Lord Jesus. It's a wonderful life!!!
It might seem strange to be thankful for a window, but I am. My favorite view is from a window in my extended kitchen overlooking a pine tree. This pine tree has been home for many mama birds in the Spring and hubby and I have enjoyed watching as their little ones took to the skies. As early fall approaches and windows are being closed, many of our little friends come and perch in this tree allowing me to watch as blue birds and cardinals congregate on branches regrouping their next move.
I've never been much of a bird watcher in days past, but with life allowing a few more deep breaths and the opportunity to linger at my window, it's been a simple little blessing that I am grateful to experience.
(NOTE: This window is not the one written about, but you'll get the idea!)
I have always been an avid exerciser. Although my exercises have changed over the years due to my climb on the aging scale, I can no longer jog six miles, four times a week or do an aerobic class for an hour. However, I continue to find ways to keep it going. Last January I joined the local YMCA. It has been a joy - yep, a joy. I have met a group of ladies that have become fantastic friends and fellow workout partners, enjoyed the instructors who push us past our limits, and generally keep our bodies stronger and hopefully healthier!
Since I was out of town visiting my mother on Halloween, one of my workout partners sent me pictures of a couple of our instructors. It was a fun day of exercising and I was sad to miss it. They are only a taste of the great gals that lead us each day we enter the gym. So, if you need a place to work out your body, check out your local Y or join us at Spencer's in Bethel Park. You'll find us there three times a week, body pumping, body flowing, spinning and kickboxing! It truly is a fun time!
I'm also very blessed that my body can still move the next day!
I'm in the phase of life discovering mountains of memories, stored in photographs, which are filling boxes and needing an extraordinary amount of time to view and sort. There are simply years upon years of memorabilia stored in various containers since my parents moved out of their home and into independent living six years ago. Add to that my dad passing away and now my mother being in a facility and who is left to divide and conquer? Well, you're right if you guessed me!
It's been an eye-opener to see what mom kept all these years. My oldest brother will be 75 on November 24th and I found all his report cards and pictures from elementary school! Same for me and my younger brother. There are even VBS (Vacation Bible School) certificates from when we were little kids! It's been an amazing unearthing although I have to admit I have similar storage boxes with reports and pictures of my own kids who are now in their 30s!
But the best part of all these pictures is seeing Mom and Dad at younger stages of their lives. The saying, "a picture is worth a thousand words" is so very true. You can almost imagine the conversations surrounding the photo that probably one of the participants didn't want to be a part of! So in the midst of mounds of photographs and the sense there aren't a lot of people who care about these remembrances, I am thankful I get to sit in on imagined events of long ago...where I come from...just looking at a photograph!
The above photo is my dad and mom when they started dating in 1943. They were married January 9, 1944 and were married 69 years when dad passed away. Mom is currently 97 years old!
I absolutely LOVE music! I can listen to most any genre of music, but this time of year (yes, before Thanksgiving, sorry) I adore Christmas tunes! But my absolute favorites are Dean Martin, Michael Buble, Andy Williams, Bing Crosby, Johnny Mathis, The Carpenters, Pentatonix, Casting Crowns and The Martins...to name a few. It's amazing how a particular song and often the one singing it, can thrust you back in time.
So I am being thankful today for music and especially the Christmas songs and hymns as we sing about the birth of Christ; Silent Night, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, We Three Kings, It Came Upon a Midnight Clear and Gloria. There's nothing like it!
I hope you enjoy one of my favorites by The Martins, two sisters and a brother who I've seen in concert and are just the best....Enjoy, "Heaven's Child"
There are many blessings in this life and many we take for granted. But one of those blessings I hold close to my heart is the ability to live in a democratic society and have freedom to worship our Lord and Savior without fear. I simply love to study the scriptures, hear the Word proclaimed, sing songs of faith and be with the family of believers each week at our home church. It's like filling up my spiritual tank with Holy Spirit gas!
I don't take lightly there are many Christians in this world giving their lives because they admit they are followers of Christ. It's a scary scenario, but God has promised to be our strong tower to whom we can find solace. So with much to be thankful for, I praise God for freedom to worship, study my Bible and teach His Word!
It might seem strange to be thankful for glycerin scented soaps, but I am. Now, for the background story. Years ago I met a lovely lady, Terri (who I am proud to now call a friend), in a beautiful cottage-type store called Artemis Botanicals Bath & Body Shop. The cottage alone drew me through the door and it didn't take long before I absolutely fell in love with the smells of her various soaps. When I began using them I not only enjoyed the aroma, but the cleanliness of my skin afterwards.
One of the "treats" I began purchasing for my mom was the Rose scented soap and the Honeysuckle soap. Mom has adored the smell of honeysuckle as long as I can remember and, as she became hooked on both of these scents, I've kept her supplied throughout her time in assisted living and now the nursing home. Although I have one bar of each for her at this time, I am realizing that mom doesn't quite know what soap is being used to bathe her these days. However, when I mention that I've brought her another bar, mom always smiles.
The Rose scented soap used to remind me of my grandmother, but as I looked at it the other day with tears in my eyes, I realized that these two soaps will forever remind me of my mother. I will continue to purchase them and have them for the facility to use whether mom remembers them of not. But I am thankful for my friend, Terri, and her amazing talent for making these aromatic soaps. Although she makes numerous other items and has a website if you care to browse, I just wanted to share my appreciation and thankfulness to be able to give my mom something she has truly enjoyed and for the lovely friend that makes them.
Please check out Artemis Botanicals Bath & Body Shop at www.ArtemisBotanicals.com
You will be delighted in these products...just ask me! Thank you, Terri, for allowing me to use a picture from your website!
There is absolutely nothing better than Christian fellowship! This past weekend our Bible & Life Class met for a retreat at Alderson-Broaddus College in West Virginia. It was a barrel of fun! Now, if you have never been on a retreat with other Christians, well, it's an experience. Christians love to eat, let's just get that fact out of the way. There are three meals a day prepared by fellow class members and others on assigned schedules prepare tables for the meals and others clean up afterwards. So the kitchen/eating part is taken care of.
Then there are nightly games. Hilarious gaming that has many of us in tears due to off the wall answers and antics, but the greatest part of our retreat is having a speaker that loves the Lord share his/her heart as lead by the Lord. It's a different atmosphere in the mountains with no schedules or clocks; a prayerful time of drawing closer to God and our Christian brothers and sisters.
This year our speaker is our newest addition to our ministry staff at Peters Creek Baptist Church, Josh Kerr. Josh filled our cups with encouragement and a mission to investigate our calling in Christ. His lovely wife, Natalia, a native of the Dominican Republic, also gave us a look into how she grew up, her background and how God has merged this lovely couple together in ministry. Of course, having their five month old son, Santiago, for all of us to enjoy was a bonus!
Drawing apart in a time of retreat is a great opportunity to grow closer as a community of believers, examine where you are personally in your walk with the Lord and be encouraged. Isn't that exactly what God would have us do?