Magnolia Mania

I live in a little quaint town called Newtown founded by William Penn.  Our area is all historical.  George Washington stayed and ate in many of the places that still stand in our area.  There are small plaques everywhere showing the dates and times where he and his soldiers were guests.  My home is only 2 miles away from the Delaware River.  Washington Crossing is officially where our home is nearest too and if you go down the road a bit you get to the actual spot where George Washington took the infamous photo of he and his men as they crossed the river. Our town gets it's charm from the countless little inns farmland and vintage shops.  We have one of the first movie theaters in the united States that still plays movies weekly and we also have a sweet hardware store that has been around forever.  It is a charming town so different from where I grew up.  M.Night Shamalan filmed the movie Signs in our town.  Many of the establishments where he filmed still have the movie posters from when Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix roamed our streets.
There are lovely trees all in bloom every where.  I know it's way too early but it still is breathtaking to see.  My iphone camera doesn't do it much justice.  I don't carry my real camera around so I had to take them with that.

I love how the branches cascade over the road dangling their small white bouquets.

This is the largest Magnolia Tree.  

It is my absolute favorite.  I am in awe of the scale of it's branches and the weight of the hundreds of flowers that grow on each.  

Beneath it, the flowers have created a blanket of Magnolia leaves.   You can smell it's sweet scent as you approach the tree and the color is absolutely mesmerizing. 

My little sweet Magnolia tree that has the same flowers as this one is so tiny.  I wonder if years from now I will be able to lay underneath mine and see such splendor.  
Here is my tiny little Magnolia.  Maybe one day when I'm old and grey and my time comes, I hope I can lay under this tree and be engulfed in it's full glory of cascading magnolias and I can rest knowing that I was a witness of something so beautiful, the miracle of nature.  


Life's Paths

One of my greatest fears is getting lost.  Lost on a highway, lost on a road leading to some highway, without knowing which way to go.  I know what your gonna say, "Don't you have a Nav in your car?"
Yes I do and I'm learning to use it more and more each day.  But I'm also speaking Metaphorically.
I'm paralleling Life's choices with a path or a road.  Robert Frost said it best.
I'm always intrigued by how much is predestined and controlled by fate and how much of our lives we control through our choices and decision making.
The other day I was driving and had to go somewhere that I had never gone.  (Keep in mind this is all only a few miles from my home.  I am highway phobic!)  I will go on them when and if I have to but prefer roaming the lovely country roads near my home.  I consider myself to be a good driver and love my car, but I have this fear of merging on highways and winding up taking "a road less traveled."
Anyway I took the wrong road that lead me to a stretch of a road that was leading to getting on a highway. I panicked.  Thinking how do I get off this and instead of trusting my handy dandy nav and staying on the road to see where it would take me I did an illegal move.  I made an illegal u turn over the raised division separating both sides of uncoming traffic.  You get what I did?  I went over the separator thingy.
Thankfully the angels were with me and there were no cars coming.  I was safe.  But my life has consisted of taking turns and going down roads that I've aways thought were safe.  What if I had taken one that I could not predict the outcome?
I recently reunited with my first boyfriend and dear friend Richie.  I knew him since I was 14 years old and his family. We figured out we hadn't seen one another for over 25 years.  Crazy huh?
Unfortunately we had to reunite during his dear brother's funeral.  His mother is also in the hospital and suffered a stroke consequently after her son was placed on life support.  A terrible and awful blow to his family, there are no words.
So after 25 years we were face to face once again.  We were young kids back then and now we were married and parents and in our 40's.  I'm 46 he's 49.  I stood there with him and his wife while I stood with my husband and I couldn't help but see him the way I remembered and at the same time a montage of stills flashed before me of the memories I had of us.
We made plans to get together with our families once his mother recuperates and we shared a few memories via email of humorous incidents that we remembered about the past.
The path we take in our lives may not seem pertinent at the moment we take it but the end result shall always be permanently different to another choice or the result of following another turn in the road. How much is predetermined?  How much is contolled by fate?  If only I knew.  Serendipity is a word I often wonder about.  Are there fortunate accidents that lead us to where we should be.  Are there accidents?  Or are there signs form some supreme being above.
I like to think that we are in control of our destiny to some extent.  That we make our own choices, pick our paths and navigate what course to take.  But along the way I believe there are signs.  Signs along each well traveled path telling us "try this?"
I don't know why my road has led me to where I am today, but what I do know is that I have enjoyed the ride.
Here is a picture of my dear friend Richie and Me.  I believe I was 17 years old at a friend's sweet sixteen.  Take a look.



As with all things, seasons, everything changes.  Two weeks ago I was freezing wearing gloves after there had been snow flurries and now my toes are out and I'm seeing my flowers begin to peek through the recently dormant earth.    Here are some tullips and daffodils, not from my garden but from our local market.  Lovely.
With Spring came some changes.  My dogs got a taste of the outdoors and sitting on the porch again.  All Wally, my king charles cavelier wants to do is have me blow bubbles so he can chase them.  It's true.  Take a look.

He loves bubbles!  Truly.
My youngest made the JV Tennis team for his prep school.  We were all thrilled for him.  Both my sons are musicians and have been taking guitar and piano since they were in the one digits.  Now Tim, my oldest no longer takes lessons but still plays both instruments on occassion.  Matt continues to take lessons but with Tennis there has been an interruption in our weekly music schedule.  I started taking piano a year and a half ago but recently stopped.  Well I started back up yesterday to hold the spot for my son while he is involved in Tennis for the next two months.  
Every Tues and Thurs for years, ever since I can remember, Matt and I spend one hour in the evening going to lessons.  We first hit Starbucks and enjoy our favorite drinks and then we go for his hour lessons.  It has always been the best part of the week for me.  I enjoy going and talking to friends I have met through the school and have known for years while Matt enjoyed his lesson.  Yesterday was the first evening that I spent alone without him going to the music school.
And it hit me.  Matt would be stopping soon due to achedemic overload.  He will be a junior next year and then a senior and then off to college.  He was my last, the son who didn't mind doing things with me all the time.  My baby.  
Changes.  I felt melancholy as I bought my coffee and walked down the street where I have walked over and over again with Matt by my side.  I missed him.  I missed the things we always did together.  And I know he will return to lessons once he is done with Tennis in a few weeks but this is only a taste of what is surely to come.  
Some mothers say that they look forward to moments alone without their kids hastling them and annoying them all the time.  I've never had that or felt that.  I've always liked who my sons were and the way they were.  I have always enjoyed their company and our time together.  
And now I realize that the time we spend will shorten as the days go on and soon they will both be gone.  
I hope I've been a strong influence in their lives.  I hope that they never feel like they can't spread their wings to fly because I have held them back.  That's not what a mother wants for her children. 
I speak as a mother of males.  I can only speak about what I know.  But being a mother of sons means that as their mother, there is a responsibility to give them their first impression of what a woman is like and how they should respect and be respected by them.  We are there first glimpse of the opposite gender.  I hope that I have stood by them at just the right time, and held them up just until they could manage on there own.  I hope that I never clipped there wings but helped them lift and soar higher than they ever imagined.  
Being a mother means to allow your most precious possession, your child to grow to believe in themselves knowing that when they feel as if they might not be able to go on, we can whisper in there ears and say "yes you can."  And at the same time be ready with arms wide open to catch them when they fall and whisper to them once more, "that's okay, will try again tomorrow.  You can do it tomorrow."


Ode To Magnolia! Ode To Spring Flowers!

Magnolia, Magnolia, I love you Magnolia.  
Magnolias are blooming every where.  Finally it feels like Spring is here.  Okay, so officially after this weekend but still.  Today was 69 degrees and sunny.  We decided to take out our adirondack chairs so we could sit out this week.  The temperatures are supposedly going to be in the 70's most of the week.  Yippie!  Our deck is going to be stained next month so we decided to wait before we bring out all the deck furniture.  Just had the house power washed and it glows.  Finally.  After all the construction it was looking pretty filthy.  
You can see one of the magnolia trees behind the fireplace in the stone addition.  
Here is the first flower from my pink Magnolia tree in the back yard about to open.  
I love these flowers more than the simple white magnolias.  
Rudy and Wally's first taste of Spring on the deck.  
First little Hyacinth peeking up to say hello.  The color is so vibrant.  I love it.  
Daffodils were in bloom too. Strange how yellow is the first sign of spring.  Forsythias and Daffodils.
Can you see the new growth on my Iceberg Rose?  The photo doesn't do it justice but it is filled with tiny leaves.  I'm so excited.  My dear friend KC and I love this rose and both bought the same ones together in hopes that one day it would fill the trellis and arbor with countless pale white blooms.  
I am excited to see so much growth and life awakening all around me.  



I don't think there is a need to even explain.  I got this off of Ashley Judd's blog.  It has touched me so deeply I wanted to share it with all of you.  Today.

My Lord God,
I have no idea where I am
going. I do not see the road ahead
of me. I cannot know for certain
where it will end. Nor do I really
know myself, and the fact that I
think that I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually
doing so. But I believe that the desire
to please you does in fact
please you. And I hope I have that
desire in all that I am doing. I hope
that I will never do anything apart
from that desire. And I know that
if I do this you will lead me by the
right road though I may know nothing
about it. Therefore will I trust
you always though I may seem to
be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever
with me, and you will never leave
me to face my perils alone.
~Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude.


A College Graduate

My son completed all college requirements today.  TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I can't believe that these photos were so long ago and now I have a soon to be 22 year old who graduated from College.  I'm so proud of my son Tim and wanted to blog about him.  He is officially a college graduate (well as soon as he gets his diploma) and has a degree in film editing.
How time flies!
I won't tell him but sometimes I wish I can press rewind and go back to these days (in the picture) and even back more, when he needed so much of me.  I miss that.  No one prepares you for when the time comes when they don't need that much from you any more.  Bittersweet!


March Madness!

Don't know if this is something you do at your house?  I have sons so either you watch sports with them or your kinda out!  March and Baketball is big in our house.  We have been filling out the brackets for years together.  I just filled out mine?
I'm going with Kentucky for the win!


Mother Son Dance , March 10

Today was my husband's birthday.  I felt terrible that the dance was on the same day.  We were not able to really do anything because I was busy with the mother son dance.  But I did manage to make him a birthday cake.
After much planning, working on a decorating committee and figuring out what to wear, the night came and went and I survived.  Although my feet are so swollen from dancing.

I found these stockings at Macy's.  The clerk at the hosiery department raved about them.  She convinced me that they would be a beautiful compliment to my comfortable and stylish open toe shoes that I bought.
I have always had problems with my feet.  Heels have never been my friend.  These looked harmless enough right?
I was so excited I even told my friend Dawn so that she could get them too for her brown open toe shoes.
Everything was going to be perfect!
Study the photo on the front of the hose.  Do you see how it stirrups around the big toe?  Now that little tie strangles the s#*t out of your toes giving you the feeling that you toes will automatically combust into flames while your walking.  It was awful!  The minute we got out of mass Dawn said to me, "Is your foot numb?"  Her left foot was and my right foot was.  What a pair we were?  We laughed holding on to one another going down the incline from the chapel to the fieldhouse where the dance was.
We were in trouble.  Here are some photo of the lovely evening.  I don't have alot due to the fact that I was dancing with my son all night long, pain and all.  I had hair issues and dress issues all night but I had a ball cause I was with my son.
Here I am with Dawn. ( My other sister) We are smiling and saying "Oh the pain!" under our breath.
Too funny.
Here I am with the most handsome man at the dance.  My son Matt.
Here is Dawn and her handsome son Jared.
Lovely ladies, Tracy and Begonia.
Here I am with Begonia.  We had a ball together.  She's a brilliant dancer and her and her son know how to have a great time.
See what I mean?  They are Amazing!

This was at the end of the night.  We are sweaty and tired and I am extremely frizzy.  Don't know where my make up went.  But I didn't care.  Was dancing with my guy.


The Wind

I've never really been a fan of the wind.  I'm not talking about the warm breezes on the beach or by the ocean but the heavy winds associated with storms.  Ever since I was a little girl the sound of the wind knocking on my window scared me.  I hated storms and any natural change with the weather.  Thunder and Lightning storms always found me under my bed or under the covers.  
Something about the wind when it howls that intimidate and frighten me.  It's a force we can not control and it can lift a home right out of the ground or a tree from it's roots.  
Yesterday was a windy blustery day.  All I wanted to do was to be inside locked away but instead my dogs decided on giving me a hard time to go out.  I know they were scared too.  
I stood outside holding each leash grabbing on to them for dear life at 9pm.  I held my coat closed over my chest and tried not to listen to the howling but it was undeniably frightening.  As I looked up I could see the clouds racing over the full moon and it looked so unsettling.  
I felt like a child afraid of the unknown.  
Finally they went one after the other and I was able to run inside, shut my door and feel safe and sound.  
Funny the things that scare us and make us insecure.  


The Sea Will Tell. . .

This photo of this schooner, my favorite sea vessel, is incredible to me.  I had to post it.  I am obsessed and have always been with the sea.  Rob and I often say that when he's retired we will learn how to sail. I don't think I'll ever own a boat like this, we probably would never be able to afford one and it is a high maintenance object to have, but I can see us renting one for the afternoon and sailing away to stop at some small port and have lunch or dinner.
The books I've written (2 not published yet) have countless references to the sea and the beach.
It is also a spiritual connection.  The ocean has always made me feel closer to God.  I love the comparison of the ocean and us, the vastness and the magnitude of deepth compaired to the size of a small vessel floating along trusting the sea will keep it afloat.  One of my mantras has always been "Dear Lord the sea is so wide and my boat is so small."  That's how I have always felt.
That's how I feel going through life.  As if we have no control we can only trust in our small vessel to take us safely through, navigate with the help of the stars and prepare ourselves for what might lie ahead.
Sailing into the unknown is our daily charted path, we can plan and chart out our destination but only the sea will tell where we will actually end up.
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