Thursday, January 5, 2012

Mountain High, Valley Low: 2011 in Review

Part 5: Part 4 continued…

Some 37 years ago the O’Jays, a highly popular male R&B vocal group, released an album (we’ve forgotten about albums, haven’t we) entitled Family Reunion. Now I was only a toddler back in 1975, but no one can tell me I wasn’t born with the title track to this chart topping album spinning (amongst so many other tunes) in my heart. No kidding…:-)

As you can see, I’m still hanging out at the family reunion. Such good times….

As I worked on yesterday’s post, this heart warming old tune serenaded me repeatedly in my head. So, I did what I always do when I want to hear a song from way back when and I have a computer at my disposal.  You got it! I went on YOUTUBE!

So in honor of Friday, the weekend, and families all over the world, I have a little treat for you. If you’ve never heard the song “Family Reunion” by the mighty O’Jays, well just tack this on as an added blessing to your day. If you have, well, I hope you will hear it again as if it were the 1st time (the same way I did). The lyrics to this song are packed with so much truth that we STILL need to hear that truth now more than ever in 2012. Take a listen and you’ll hear what I mean. As I listened to this song I fell in love with the tune all over again. I’m sure you will, too.

There’s no actual video to watch, just the track that plays to the backdrop of the old 1975 album cover. Do yourself a favor and give the song all of the nearly 7 minutes it commands. You have my word that it will be time well spent.

Lastly, as you head into this weekend think about how you might spend a little bit more time with your family. Family may or may not always be blood relatives, and the gathering may be a party of 2 or 10. Just make some time – face time, not Facebook time – to reunite with someone you love. Feel free to come back here and leave a comment to tell me about it. 🙂

Until next time,

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Mountain High, Valley Low: 2011 in Review

Thank you all SO MUCH for joining me for this series. This writing has done my heart good, and your comments both on and off the site have done my heart even better!  So without further ado…

Part 4: Family Reunion

Not much in this universe (if anything at all) compares to family reunions or large family gatherings for any occasion. The assembly of generations of people – with varied shapes, sizes and personalities, boasting an array of differences and sneaky similarities all at once, united by the common stream of blood flowing through their veins – is a phenomenon that simply cannot be matched.

Last year, my paternal relatives gathered in the sunshine state at Thanksgiving for the first family reunion we’ve had in who knows how long. It was a time of shooting the breeze

Shooting the breeze

and enjoying the breeze.

Enjoying the breeze

A time for catching up with some, getting re-acquainted with others, and sharing love for all….

We hit the ground eating…

Straight from the airport to the hotel to the Cheesecake Factory!

and then we ate some more. And let’s not even talk about the WHOLE LOT of Thanksgiving eating in between the other eating.

Taboo anyone?

Taboo anyone?

How about a little White Elephant fun? I mean, who couldn’t use some toilet seat covers?!

Toilet seat covers

My brother-in-law can hook you up! I personally scored a nice bag of chocolate covered…wait for it….PRUNES! Don’t laugh. Let’s just say one of my family members thanked me for those prunes the next morning. LOLOL!!!

Then there was more food…

Prelude to the Friday Italian feast

and even a few awards. I won a writing award. They may not have believed me when I said it, but I really do LOVE pencils and any other writing instruments. Tools of the trade are always in fashion!

Me and my "trophy"

My friend tied for the “most entertaining” award (surprise, surprise). Check out his trophy!

Most Entertaining Award

I have 2 words for whoever came up with this idea – Absolute GENIUS! LOL

And after the festivities, during some free time there was some BEACH time.

The ocean

The 3 Beach Muskateers

This girl LOVES the ocean.

Daddy was VERY excited about this family reunion. It was something he wanted, and it goes without saying that he was greatly missed. But then again, he was there. Because we are his family – generations of people with varied shapes, sizes and personalities, boasting an array of differences and sneaky similarities all at once, united by the common stream of blood flowing through our veins. A phenomenon that simply cannot be matched…

My family

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

August 2, 2011

Ecclesiastes 3:1, 2 NASB – There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven…A time to give birth and a time to die.

Life shifts.

Sometimes the shift is so pronounced making “life as we KNOW it” suddenly and forever become “life as we KNEW it”. That moment, whatever it may be, becomes a virtual line in the sand that now separates the two worlds.

On August 2, 2011, my father passed away. Today, I’m remembering life as I knew it and trying to adjust to life as I now know it.

As a writer, the last place I want to find myself, especially at a time like this, is at a loss for words. My personal expectation is to be able to write a lofty post worthy of honoring the man I love so dearly and who loved me so unconditionally. If I’m not careful, not being able to do so could begin to  heckle me or mimic the act of pouring salt on my gaping wound. But I won’t allow it.

The other day, one of my sisters wrote an amazing post about my father, entitled The Greatest Man in the World. Her words capture, quite vividly, the essence of my daddy and the moment he left us to live forever with Christ in heaven.  Instead of lamenting over what I cannot write, I was able to blanket myself in the warm and beautiful words of one who shares my pain. I hope you don’t mind, but I’d like to share her words with you, as well. I invite you to click here and take a moment to read the post she has written.

I don’t know why, but I just love this picture of my dad.

Dad at his 70th birthday party

In the midst of it all, I am thankful for and find great comfort in the never-changing, never shifting word of God and presence of His sweet spirit to comfort my family and I and to bring us peace. Until next time.

Completely. missing. daddy,