My daughter is taking classes from her American university in England for the semester. She lives in Oxford and gets to travel to London fairly often. She will also visit Bath, England and many other places in the UK during her semester. Here are 13 photos she has taken.
I went to my aunt's funeral Wednesday. It was a 7 1/2 hour drive up, and the same back. I'm grateful my DH offered to drive. I would have flown had I gone by myself. I don't do so well driving anything over an hour and a half. The road puts me to sleep.
It was great to see my cousins! I wish they didn't live a state away. I didn't get there in time for visitation, but I did get to socialize with my cousins that evening and the next day. The service for my aunt was held graveside and the preacher did a nice job. This is a photo of my aunt and dad when they were fairly young.
Something I realized is that when I talk about my dad to my children, I always forget that they were only 8, close to 9 years old, when he died, and they don't have the memories of him when they were babies and toddlers. They remember some things, but they don't see him the same way I do. I wish I could be The Giver in the book of the same niame who was able to impart memories to others. It would create such a warm, comforting feeling, but then again, it would create sadness that he is no longer here. My kids really missed out on getting to know him in their teenage and young adult peers. He was such a great Papaw and a wonderful man. Sometimes, I wonder, "What if?" But it's useless thinking like that. I just feel so bad that they never knew him as well as I did because his life was cut short way too soon.
My husband and I spent a night in San Antonio this weekend for his birthday. It was loads of fun! We didn't do anything "new," meaning we have been there many times and done the same things, but it was still enjoyable. We stayed at a beautiful, modern hotel on the Riverwalk, Hotel Valencia. We went to the Menger Hotel, founded in 1859. They are billed as the "...oldest continuously operating hotel west of the Mississippi." George Washington, General Robert E. Lee, Ulyses S. Grant, and Dwight Eisenhower were all guests of the Menger Hotel. The hotel also holds the unofficial title of "most haunted hotel in Texas." I wouldn't go to the bathroom while we were there this time because last tie I did, I didn't feel like I was alone although there were no other women in there. We love the bar. It's so unique! Here is what it looked like in early days:
When we left the Menger, we walked over to the Alamo and walked around the grounds. It is such a pretty, peaceful area, very unlike its original intention.
copyright 2016 DLA
We had dinner on the Riverwalk, yummy Tex Mex. And we spent hours at the piano bar at Pat O'Brien's. Needless to say, we didn't get much sleep that night. We checked out, had breakfast burritos for brunch, and headed home. It was quite relaxing.
Time for Coffee Chat
What is ONE GOOD THING about today?
For me, it's my twins, especially when they're being silly!
She's in England for the semester, and he is here, and they are actually missing each other. Witness this conversation between them today:
He's still taking care of her in his dreams! It melted my heart. That is DEFINITELY one good thing!
2. Bells - I used to have quite an extensive collection of bells. Pretty bells, a sterling bell that belonged to my grandmother, a bell my dad bought me, angel bells, a replica of the Liberty Bell, and bell made of cranberry glass, and so on. I don't know why I quit collecting them or why I only kept a few of them.
3. Betrayal - I've had a few of these in my life. I don't want to talk about them, but I believe they shape who we are and how we perceive the world around us.
4. Beverage - My favorite beverage is Coca-Cola Classic.
5. Blood - I don't give blood. There was a period in my life when I was having to give blood so frequently that my veins collapsed. In fact, I collapsed, just passed out, when I was having my blood drawn once not too long ago. It just freaks me out now.
6. Bologna - I ate a lot of bologna when I was a kid... until I got sick after eating a bologna and mayo sandwich and drinking a cream soda. I wouldn't eat bologna for a long time after that, but I do now. I'm the only person in my family that eats it.
7. Bones - I've had two broken bones in my life. When I was about 18 months old, my dad tucked me into bed too tightly (not a crib, but a big double bed). In the process of kicking off the covers, I fell out of bead and broke my collar bone on the metal bed frame. I also broke my wrist doing a back handspring when I was in 8th grade.
8. Books - I love books! I just finished The Crossing by Michael Connelly and I'm halfway through Deadly by Julie Chibbaro.
9. Brains - I consider myself a "smart girl." I don't know it all, though I sometimes pretend I do, but I know more than enough. I respect myself for my brains.
10. Bible - I find peace in reading my Bible each day. Last year I read the One Year Bible. This year, I'm reading the One Year Chronological Bible. It makes so much more sense when the events are presented in chronological order.
11. Brown - The color of my eyes (which I always wished were blue).
12. Bruise - Poke me on the arm, and I'll get a bruise. I've always bruised easily, but I'm not sure why.
13. Bubble Bath - I love a long soak in a hot, bubbly bath.
According to Wikipedia, A cousin is a relative with whom a person shares one or more common ancestors.
My sweet aunt Mary passed away this Sunday, and I'm distraught. She was my dad's last remaining living sibling. This opens up a whole new can of sadness for me.
However, there is some good that comes out of it. I get to see my COUSINS. They live a whole state away, and we don't see each other as often as we would like. So, I took a day and a half off work, and my dear husband drove me to Arkansas so that I could be there for them. Here are some scenes from when I last say my cousins in 2005.
Last Thursday, I wrote about my sister having shingles and about getting the shingles vaccine. Well, I did it. And doesn't it just figure? I would be in the group that not only has all of the "normal" side effects, but also some of the rare ones. The injection created a square patch of bumps, sort of reddish and sort of yellowish in color about 3 inches by 1 1/2 inches. The center was a knot. The redness spread, without bumps, to most of the rest of my upper arm, and it was itchy. Redness, swelling, headache, achy muscles, and joint pain. But hopefully, it will prevent shingles and the nerve damage that sometimes comes with it.
So, my sweet mother-in-law had to go to the hospital Sunday. She'd had a cold, and she was having trouble breathing. They were supposed to keep her overnight, but she improved quite well and was allowed to go home. I wasn't able to visit her while she was there due to my recent shingles vaccine. She has a weak immune systems from her previous cancer.Thankfully, she is back home now.
And to top it off, my aunt died Sunday morning. I'm leaving town today to go to Arkansas with my husband. It's a long drive but he doesn't mind driving too much, whereas I fall asleep at the wheel. The road hypnotizes me. My sister can't go (shingles), and my mom doesn't feel like she can make that long drive up one day and back the next, but there is just no way I can NOT go.
See, my dad passed away about ten years ago. I don't think I've really gone through all the stages of grief yet. My aunt that just passed is the last surviving sibling, and she was always my favorite aunt and my dad's favorite sister. I loved her so much. She was the sweetest lady, beautiful both inside and out, and she always cared for my dad and us. My dad's family name is completely gone now as none of his male siblings had male children, and neither did he. And with the last sibling gone now, I just feel an emptiness.
I have always wished I lived closer to my cousins. Both my mom and my sister are about an hour away, but my in-laws are closer. Do you live near relatives?
And now it's time for Coffee Chat.
Our dear host at Ink Interrupted asks us ... Do you have a personal theme song? Have you thought about picking one each year; much like how blogs choose One Word? I've thought about having a "theme song" before, but I can never settle on one song. So, I used this link that our hostess posted, and here is my result: