Sunday, August 13, 2017

Into the Misty Mountains

(Written sometime last week ...)
 I'm in West Virginia. It was a sprinkly drive up here.
 Aren't the mountains gorgeous?
I stopped at Chick-fil-A for an iced coffee along the way.
 I believe it was a flash of utter brilliance that a restaurant selling chicken should choose a cow as its spokes-animal. Seriously -- if you go to Chick-fil-A dressed up so they'll give you a free chicken sandwich, what do you dress up as? A cow! What's with that? I do wonder who came up with that idea, but it was genius.
This Chick-fil-A store was very pretty. A long wooden table was front and center in the eating area. This plaque was on it:

"Love, compassion, and grace are powerful tools." They have more than just the world's tastiest chicken sandwich in that store.
(As I write this post now on Sunday, I'm struck by the fact that this table plaque is in Charlottesville, Va., a city rocked by violence, unrest, hatred, and conflict. "Love, compassion, and grace are powerful tools." I believe they are more powerful than hate and violence.)
I stopped at that same store on Friday, the day of the violence and death, and redeemed my coupon for a free sandwich, not knowing what was happening so close by.

But -- more about my visit with my family. I have rather random photos and didn't do a good job of photographing everyone. Here are a few:
Katie and Anne
me, Marshall, Mother

Abraham and Grandmother

 This is my parents' front porch. It is prettier each summer. They sit here in the evenings together.
 My sister-in-law, DeVona, has this sign by her kitchen door. Her house, however, has been immaculately clean and beautiful every time I've been there :)
 The hydrangeas by her porch:
 The delicious salad she prepared for us for lunch.
 The wedding shower centerpieces she made by hand for a friend.

These flowers were not purchased at Michael's. They were made entirely from scratch by hand -- cutting the pedals, gluing on the tiny black beads. Everything DeVona makes with her hands (and she is gifted and makes many things) is perfect, beautiful, a treasure.

White Oak Farm, Max and Anne's home:
 Part of one blueberry field.
 The selling shed on their barn. The picking season is over for this year.


Max and I picked two 5-gallon buckets of Wolf River apples for me to take home.

I'll post more later on how I turned just one bucket of them into over 7 quarts of beautiful applesauce.
The cows were jealous.
 This is the view from my parents' porch. It is unparalleled, in my opinion. The mystical beauty of those mountains lures me back every time I go.
 Max and Anne's garden.


My brother Mark continues to soldier on with his life in spite of crushing hurt and pain from his wife, who has taken his children from him and used the family court to do so. It's horrific to watch, but it has become, in his sorrow, a time of enormous spiritual growth for him. Life as God's child is often that way.
When his house burned down, he began building this "tiny house" (less than 100 squ. ft.!) as a temporary shelter. It is mobile. Another post on that later also.
That's all for now! I'm home safe and glad to be so. I love my West Virginia family so, and each trip there I ponder how I am still a child and a daughter and a sister in those mountains.


Pom Pom said...

Oh, your parents view is LOVELY! I like those misty mountains!
I was at Chickfila with James early Saturday morning and I sang along when I heard "Here I am to worship. Here I am to bow down . . . "

Lisa Richards said...

Such a beautiful place your family lives in in West Virginia! I pray for your brother Mark as my son Josh is going through something similar. So much heartache. I do believe my son and his wife will eventually reconcile, but it points us to the realization that God is our rock and the only One we can trust in completely. Tiny houses rule! :)