Sunday, January 18, 2009

My Cup Runneth Over

2009 is off to a wonderful start. Jessica is in love and on her way to an engagement. She may be a summer bride. (And a beautiful one at that!) And then, out of the blue, I get a photo-text of a hand with a diamond ring on it.....lo and behold....Rachel! (In her own words - "I didn't even know I liked diamonds until I had one on my hand!!") Charlie is home safe from Iraq! So as much as I miss having Michelle and Hope around, when they call and they are all together as a family, my heart is glad. Christa received an unsolicited scholarship from UF for her academic achievements. She has taken the role of student very seriously, and has grown up and matured right before my very eyes.
I say "my cup..." because the happiness that I feel equals the happiness that my girls are experiencing.
Jessica is glowing.
I would describe Rachel as being giddy. And she isn't even the giddy type.
The Mallards are relishing each other and their surroundings.
Christa is preparing to take on the world.
Happiness is contagious!

Monday, January 12, 2009


I've become a stalker. I'm fascinated with the condos around me. I love seeing glimpses in these people's lives. The way my building is situated, I can see into the living area of around 6-8 condos. The closest thing to city living without living in the city. I've just come from my bedroom window where I was closing the curtains. And down below, there was an elderly couple sitting at their dining room table having a candlelit dinner. Their sheers were closed, so the visual was muted. And it was very lovely sight. I couldn't help but to linger and watch for a moment, wondering was it an anniversary? birthday? or do they just make it a habit to just have dinner by candlelight? Above them, Joe, who earlier was sitting reading at his table now had a darkened condo. An early to bed person I imagine. Down below in the next building, a woman sits on her porch every morning having her coffee. Her porch is closed in with windows so we can't verbally speak to each other, but she has become my first wave in the morning. Also, in the next building over, during the holidays, I could watch two young people who must have gotten a Wii for Christmas. They obviously were playing one of the games and you could "see" the laughter.
My neighbors, on the other hand, can watch me petting Angel, the cat, as she sits on the windowsill. Then they can see me walking down my stairs on my way to walk the dog, Storm. And I know they must be sitting in their living room wondering, "Isn't only one animal allowed?!?!" :)
I use the word "stalker" jokingly. These are glimpses you can't help to see given the layout of the land. And in case you're wondering - no, I have not used my binoculars on that side of my home :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Means of Connection

The internet has become our "neighborhood". Blogs, photo-sharing sites, emails are what keep us together in this age of transient living .
Growing up in the late 50's / early 60's I had aunts and uncles and cousins living within the same block or just within miles of each other. Drop-ins happened all the time. Connections with each other were on a daily basis. Face to face connections with our family and friends were commonplace.
Not having that in today's world, I am so thankful for the www and the avenues available to us to continue our connections. I can receive a picture of Hope from halfway around the world within seconds, sharing in her daily life. I see pictures of my good friends, their children and grandchildren (actually their children are my good friends also :) so that I can tabs on what is going on in their world. Just a short sentence, or even a fragment, can be sent instantaneously to family and friends on a whim just to keep in touch. My sister uses icons quite effectively in her communications....they always make me lol because I can visualize her facial expressions being duplicated through these icons (i.e. the one pulling out its hair!)
So instead of walking around the neighborhood and having a face-t0-face as in the days of old, these blogs and my fotopics are my "drop-ins". I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoy receiving them.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Matanzas River

So here is some of the history of the "river" I live on...

The Matanzas River was named by Spanish forces for a massacre, led by Pedro Menéndez de Avilés of Spain, of a group of several hundred shipwrecked French Huguenots from Fort Caroline, lead by Jean Ribault. The Huguenots were executed somewhere near the present site of Matanzas Inlet in 1565. Menéndez had been ordered to kill all Protestants he found in the New World. "Matanzas" means "killings" or "slaughters" in Spanish. Matanzas is thus the tenth oldest surviving European place-name in the U.S. [1]

So much history surrounding this area. I want to learn it all.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

2009 has just begun. So has a very new chapter in my life. I have moved out of my home of 24 years and have drastically downsized to a beautiful condo with neighbors galore. I have the intracoastal (called the Matanzas River in this part of the world) on my east and live oaks and magnolias on my west. (I was going to share a bit of morbid history regarding the Matanzas, but I'll save that for a later blog.)
As of right now, I'm sitting on the floor, sipping hot tea, Stormie laying by my side, two of my girls sound asleep under my roof. It's amazing how well we have transitioned from "Hilltop Haven" to "____________" (still unnamed condo - any suggestions?) I look around and I am content and my spirit feels at home. Being the holidays, Jessica and Christa have been here quite alot, Angelo is calling this home at this moment in time, Sharon has been out quite often sitting and enjoying the view from the porch, Robert (Christa's special friend) is snoozing on the couch at this moment, and I have a couple of friends coming over later in the day to have some ladies' time. Debbie means "QueenBee", and I do hope that this place remains a beehive of activity. I want it to still be a haven to those I love as our old home always was. Maybe that should be the name...."Marsh Haven", as it sits right on a beautiful salt marsh. (no, doesn't have quite the right ring to it).
Anyway, I am so excited for this coming year. 2009 - the unwritten chapter. My prayer is that my life is on the path that God has laid out before me. The adventure is all ahead!