WPC: Holiday Season

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The photo challenge of the week is “It’s not this time of year without…”

Having just enjoyed Thanksgiving with my Virginia family, I can definitely say “family” “laughter” “good food”.  But thinking beyond that…into my existence as a Virginian these past 3 years, what is something that I enjoy about the holiday season?

I am still learning to embrace the cold, but one thing I do enjoy is a freshly fallen snow.  Some years we get a snowfall during the holidays, other years it comes later.

A new snow blankets everything.  It adds beauty and light to an otherwise stark landscape.

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The neighborhood becomes quiet.  The weather is crisp.  It feels like there is magic in the air.

A time for new beginnings.

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So when that first snow falls, I will embrace its beauty.  I will remember that it’s never to late to begin again.

I will remember that just like the newly fallen snow covers the deadness of winter, God’s grace covers my shortcomings.

I will remember that I began this journey, this writing down my thoughts, during a freshly fallen snow.  That I was called to step outside of my comfort zone, to push beyond boundaries that I didn’t think that I could.

I have become complacent.  I have become fearful of pressing farther outward.  Comfortable within my newly expanded boundaries.

As I reflect upon the holidays and on a snowfall not yet touched by man, I am reminded to continue growing…

Let your light shine!

Amy

 

Thursday Doors – Bagpipes and Church Doors

A couple of Saturday’s ago, Nov. 5th to be exact, I decided that I wanted to check out the “Virginia Room” of the main library. This is where they have a very large selection of reference material as compared to the branches. The main library in Roanoke is located downtown (it has no dedicated parking area).  Parking downtown is limited and costs money. Since I was just going to see what it looked like, I decided to wait until the weekend when some of the public lots and garages are free.

I convinced the hubby to go along even though I doubted he’d be amused by the research room. But downtown is always fun.  I don’t pay close attention to upcoming events so it was a delightful surprise when we parked and saw the Veteran’s Day Parade in process. We saw the Virginia Military Institute band in line so we went to stand along the route.  I love a good parade.  People in the parade were handing out little American Flags which I proudly waved. Many people in my family and the family I married into have served in our military, swearing to defend and protect us. I have a deep respect and admiration for the courage and sacrifice that they and many others give readily for us.

 

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I really wanted to hear the band because I love to hear bagpipes. I didn’t know much about the heritage of three of my grandparents and where their lineage traced prior to America before starting this genealogical journey. However, my maternal grandfather’s heritage was well known.

My grandfather, Andrew McLachlan Scott, moved to the United States from Sydney Mines, Nova Scotia, Canada when he was one. His mother, Annie Simpson, had been born in Wigan, England and his father, George Brown Scott, had been born in Plains, Lanarkshire, Scotland. They had each emigrated, when younger, with their families to Canada.  They had family in California that sponsored them to come to the United States in 1923.

Annie Simpson passed away when my Grandpa was 10. His paternal grandmother, Agnes McLachlan, came to live with them for a time. My Grandpa said that her Scottish accent was so heavy that many of the neighborhood kids couldn’t understand her. His father, George, played the bagpipes in local parades with the Canadian Army. He had served in the Canadian Expeditionary Force during World War I until he was shot in the thigh in Belgium.

Being Scottish was one obvious in my history. My Grandpa was always known as Grandpa Scotty.  Everyone always called him Scotty. I was probably double digits before I realized that was a nickname based on his last name. Up until then, I remember thinking it was peculiar that someone would name their child Scotty Scott.

I haven’t had much luck tracing the Scott/McLachlan line.  I do know there are some Baird/Johnston/ Munn connections, all out of Lanarkshire, Scotland.

Of course, no trip downtown would be complete without some doors. I’ve been eyeing taking photos of this church for sometime.  But usually I am just driving by.

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This church is St. John’s Episcopal church, built in 1892.  It is on the National Register of Historic places.  The gate above was the entry into a garden.  They happened to be hosting an art sale that day, another pleasant surprise.

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I loved the woodwork on this entry and who doesn’t love some stained glass!

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While I didn’t travel beyond the area holding the art sale, a quick google search will show that the inside is magnificent as well.

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It was the middle of the day, not the best time for taking photographs, but I actually loved the way the sunbeams cut across the entry. 🙂  Check out the host of Thursday Doors, Norm 2.0, for some other amazing doors.

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I’ve added the clip I took of the VMI band.  It’s about 18 seconds because I wanted to text it to my mom.  Enjoy! 🙂

Let your light shine!

Amy

Time Travel Tuesday -40 years 

A little ditty about Jack and Diane

Two American kids growing up in the Heartland….

Oh, wait…Wrong story.

But this is still a love story about two teenagers.  Only they were growing up in coastal, fishing town.

Today my parents celebrate 40 years since they stood before a judge and declared their love and commitment to one another.

Take a stroll back in time with me to see how it all began.

The year was 1976.  The  town was small enough that if you didn’t know another teenager that you might pass, then you knew somebody who knew them. My mom was at the teenage hangout of her neighborhood (the development’s laundromat).  16 years old with long brown hair that traveled down her back.  In walks this guy, a few years older than her.  His reddish-blonde hair reaching his shoulders.  He heads for the soda vending machine. She tells him that he has to get a 7Up.  She’s collecting the cans.  It’s the bicentennial and there is a can for each state.  He gets the 7Up, but then he appears to be leaving. She tells him that she needs the can when he’s finished.  And that is meeting number one.

They have mutual friends.  He finds out how to reach her.  He knows the owners of the local convenient store.  The owners wouldn’t mind if they look through the cans to find the states that she is looking for. She asks her mom if she can go.  “What’s his name?”, she asks.  My mom tells her. “What’s his last name?” She doesn’t know, but he is friends with one of her good friends, so my grandma says ok.  And that is meeting number two.

And so begins a love story.

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I love this photo because my dad carried it in his wallet (hence, the reason it’s torn…to fit)

They will go on dates.  They will sit at the beach while my dad plays his guitar. They will talk for hours.  They will become inseparable.  Their thoughts will turn to thoughts of marriage.  And 3 months after meeting they will stand before a judge at the county courthouse and declare their love and commitment.  My mother, 17, and my father, 19, out to begin this adventure of life together.

 

Building a future together.  Not having all the answers.  Not being able to see over the horizon to what is waiting on the other side.  Together, step by step, journeying forward. And 40 years of sunrises and sunsets later, they have come to today.

They have raised two children through all the aches and joys that come with parenting. They have taught us, directed us, counseled us, loved us, and created memories with us.  My father has walked me down the aisle and placed me in the arms of my husband.  They have sat at the hospital waiting to welcome each of their 5 grandchildren into this world.  They have shown us what it means to be family.

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The Bicentennial 7Up can collection displayed at their 25th Anniversary party.

 

For forty years they have loved the best and worst of each other.  They have traveled through sicknesses and deaths, but they have also traveled together through the miracles of life and the beauty of companionship.

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Today and every day, I am thankful that they have taught me about love and commitment.

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My parents’ wedding day

Let your light shine!

Amy

3 Day Quote Challenge – Day #3


Today is the day we elect a new president here in the United States of America.

I rarely talk about politics outside of my immediate family and I won’t be starting today.

I have witnessed a lot of hateful words and actions while watching this election cycle. I’m ready for its end. Unfortunately, no matter the turn out, there will still be lots of hateful words for some time.

I chose this as my final quote for the challenge because I think kindness is important. In deed, in action, in words…

And in this same vein- I’ll leave you with a bonus “southern” quote – “You catch more bees with honey” (which I discovered, when trying to find its source, is actually “you catch more flies with honey” from a proverb “you catch more flies with honey than vinegar).

Thanks again to rothpoetry and ontheland for inviting me to join in this challenge. Should you want to join in, you can find the rules here.

Let your light shine!

Amy

3 Day Quote Challenge – Day #2

I love this quote.  It is a great reminder on those days where you are frustrated about not being where you want to be on your journey.

I had this photo quote printed and then I framed it so I could keep this important reminder in front of me.

Remember: if you are trying, you’ve made some forward progress 🙂

Thanks again to rothpoetry and ontheland for the invitation to this challenge.  To see the rules, check here.

Let your light shine!

Amy