Friday, February 17, 2017
Friday, February 10, 2017
I thought of the book's title when Nora remembered my shell basket yesterday and ran to pull it from under my bed. She loves to sort the shells and is most fond of the tiniest shells. We spent a long time handling the shells and talking about how beautiful each one is. She knows the names of a few. Later, she will learn more. For now, it is enough to delight in them, to touch them, and pretend. She is a little shell seeker.
Our sons loved shells and liked to keep them. Jeremy had quite a collection so many of these are his. Many of them came from the beaches on Sanibel Island, Florida, where our family spent time in 1980. The tulip shells came from a flat boat journey out to the mud flats.All of our sons talk about that trip and the fun they had being shell seekers. There are many years between their shell hunting and Nora's discovery of the same shells. The family story is still being written. I am grateful for the seeking and the finding and the keeping, of shells, and of story.
Sunday, March 20, 2016
We celebrated Nora's Birthday yesterday. She is now 2 years old. Grandparents from Tennessee and Texas (that would be us), aunts and uncles from both sides of her family plus her cousin Skye were all here to enjoy the balloons and bubbles that were floating everywhere. There was a chocolate cake, a candle to blow out, the birthday song, and of course, presents. Among our gifts to her was this apron with lots of polka dots and pockets.
I made it from 2 sizes of red and white polka dot fabric, so it was reversible. This apron is actually gift from 3 grandmothers. I, her paternal grandmother, found the valentine print in my own fabric stash to make tiny pockets. The other 2 pieces of fabric were cut from scraps of fabric from my own grandmother's quilting scraps. That means Mary Clyde Terrell, Nora's great great grandmother is part of the gift. Her daughter, my mother, Opal Terrell Teal, Nora's great grandmother (for whom she is named), contributed to my grandmother's quilting scraps from her own sewing although she did not quilt herself. Plus, she kept the box of fabric pieces for years before handing them down to me! She is the third grandmother represented in the gift.
I like thinking about the stories behind aprons and quilts and grandmothers. I am glad Nora's first apron has a story. She just likes wearing it!
Nora Opal Parker
Thursday, December 10, 2015
― Charles Dickens,
It is also good (wonderful!) to be a grandmother at Christmas. To share in the wonder of twinkle lights and cookie baking, to give even your tea table a Christmas dress and cover tiny trees with pretty decorations. Nora brings us the delight of her joy this season, making it all new again for everyone in our family. She runs around discovering every tiny manger scene, angel, and Santa. She loves dancing to all the sweet carols. I find myself being astonished and full of wonder in new ways and saying it just like she does: "OOOH! Wow!"
Friday, May 22, 2015
Joie de vivre is a French phrase often used in English to express a cheerful enjoyment of life; an exultation of spirit.
" `It "can be a joy of conversation, joy of eating, joy of anything one might do… may be seen as a joy of everything, a comprehensive joy, a philosophy of life, a Weltanschauung. Robert's Dictionnaire says joie issentiment exaltant ressenti par toute la conscience, that is, involves one's whole being." ` Wikipedia
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Saturday, September 6, 2014
I stood and watched her, smoothing the satin and fingering the tiny knitted stitches. I thought about how fast she is growing and prayed she will always know she is wrapped in love, covered in Grace.
Saturday, April 19, 2014
Mother sewed new dresses for my sister and me, which inevitably wound up being hidden under coats as we made our way to the Sunrise Service held. in our hometown. This service was early, and happened at a place called Love's Lookout where there was a large ampitheatre formed from red rock, a WPA project. President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Depression-era Works Progress Administration came to the hill in the 1930s and, using red rock mined from Cherokee County, built a park, picnic grounds and an amphitheater used for these sunrise services, plays and other events.
The scenic bluff which was the location of the ampitheatre was named to honor Wesley Love who in 1904 bought much of the surrounding area and planted a 600-acre peach farm. After Love's death in 1925, his wife donated 22 acres to the state for a state park. The state, however, failed to create the park and in 1934 the City of Jacksonville purchased an additional 20 acres and developed the two tracts as a city park. That's when the Works Progress Administration began its project.
In the Spring, dogwoods and other spring flowers are in bloom, making the setting even more beautiful. I remember shivering on the cold hard semicircle of rock on which we sat, but I loved this sunrise service, with its gathering of Christians from many area churches, the joy of singing "Christ Arose" and Alleluia, the feelings of newness and festivity in our Easter clothes, and our family traditions that would follow: church services at First Baptist Church, Easter Sunday dinner which would included having grandparents at our house or going to theirs. There was baked ham, potato salad, new potatoes with green beans put up in Mason jars, Jello salads and sometimes Coconut cake or pie - all homemade and delicious. I can almost smell the vinegar we used for die to color boiled eggs the day before so that we could hide them over and over again on Sunday afternoon.
Today our family includes some version of many of the same traditions as those I loved 70 years ago, but
we have added to these a deeper awareness of the season of Lent, and more intentional observance of Holy Week. Our church for 22 years now, First Baptist Church in Richmond, Texas is where we gather for services such as one we attended last night, Tenebrae. The church has a prayer garden with a small labyrinth where chairs will be set up for a Sonrise service tomorrow morning followed by breakfast with our church family served from dishes made with eggs and sausage made at home and brought as families arrive. There will be an egg hunt for children. I will sing in the choir and ring with the handbell choir as we express joy and praise with some of the same hymns I sang with my family all those years ago. Then we come back here to our house with all of our sons and their wives and children who can be here. That will include our newest granddaughter, sweet Nora Opal, who is exactly one month old and celebrating her very first Easter.
Saturday, March 22, 2014
Saturday, March 15, 2014
Thursday, January 9, 2014
Beginning Again: For Nora
2014: The year of Nora! In about 3 months, I will hold a new grandchild in my arms. This baby will be our 4th birth grandchild, but the first baby for our youngest son and his wife of 5 years. I find myself more excited every day. Just as I did for our other granddaughters, I began a letter, or journal, for her as soon as her conception was announced. This letter tells of our joy as we wait for her arrival, and chronicles family events as well as talking about how we look forward to sharing our family journey with her. The difference in Nora's letter and ones I previously wrote is that this letter is in the form of a password protected blog! The following excerpt is posted there on October 1, 2013, so this is written to Nora.