Sunday, June 24, 2007
Saturday, June 9, 2007
Today I was invited to play a game with some fellow writers. I have been "tagged" to write eight characteristics about myself... hmm. I've never been one to talk a lot about myself - other people maybe, but not myself! Anyhow, I'll give it my best shot.
1) I love to paint, not like Monet... I mean I enjoy painting big white walls, or ugly walls. I love the satisfaction it brings; taking something icky and turning it into something pretty. I love going to yard sales or antique shops and finding old furniture. I can strip it down and either re-stain it, or paint it and viola! It becomes a work of art in my living room. My husband thinks I'm weird but I love the smell of it too.
2) I enjoy talking to strangers in hospital waiting rooms. I love to scan the room, and look for the person who looks the most upset and who needs a friend. I've met some of the most precious people this way. Folks are always anxious to talk, but very few are willing to listen.
3) My bathroom is my favorite room in the house. Maybe this is because its the only place that I can truly be alone. I have a large garden tub, and it is my retreat every night after I finish the dishes.
4) I'm a 4th generation Roanoker. Ok, so I live in Boones Mill, maybe I should say the Roanoke Valley! My great grandfather was an attorney in Roanoke in the early 1900s. He also owned 80 acres here in Franklin Co. on the Blackwater River. My husband is also a 4th generation Roanoker. We were high school sweethearts, and dated 7 years before marrying in 1996. Both of our families settled in Virginia in the mid 1600s, and we've been here ever since. Maybe that's why we're both so stubborn, in runs deep in our genes.
5) I unknowingly participated in my first writing contest was when I was 12 years old. I wrote a poem for one of my favorite teachers at Cave Spring, and without my knowledge she submitted it to a contest. One day at school the winners were announced and I won 3rd place. Of course I was shocked since I didn't know I entered! Little did she know how she affected me that day. A good teacher can change lives, and a bad one can mark a kid forever.
6) I thoroughly enjoy being with people, but I go crazy if I don't have alone time. My husband always worries about me if I'm going to go somewhere by myself. A year ago, I begged him to take the children on a weekend camping trip so that I could unwind. He was worried that he did something wrong. Nothing could have been further from the truth! I talked him into going for 3 days while I had a blast painting my son's bedroom, watching Lifetime movies until all hours of the night, and treating myself to a pedicure over at Zees Salon!
7) I absolutely love Jesus Christ. He is more than religion, He is my life. You don't discover who you really are and what you're made of until you've hit rock bottom. I've hit some major boulders in my life in the past 10 years that made me question everything, and I mean everything. It is an unexplainable privilege to talk with the Creator of the universe, and if more people could grasp that, and let go of pious, ritual, and legalistic religion, the world would be a better place.
8) I absolutely love music and I listen to it everywhere. I enjoy all genres except for hip hop, I just can' t get into it. I love a song that moves me to tears. I think one of the greatest songs ever written is, I Hope You Dance, by Lee Ann Womack, and another is I Can Only Imagine, by Mercy Me.
Ok, there is eight. That wasn't as hard as I thought it would be -- That's sort of scary! I must be getting old. Now I've got to paint. I just got back from the new Home Depot store on Rt. 220. Its wonderful! I'm going to try a new metallic paint by Ralph Lauren. If I'm really in a brave mood, I may even try adding some stripes!
Good thing my hubby is out mowing the grass.
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
If you close your eyes, you can still hear the canon fire and feel the ground shake underneath. Many abandoned homes still lie along the wayside, with only the overgrown foliage to hide the tears.
Unlike any other field trip I've been on, this one was truly special. The scarred battlefields of Culpeper will forever be ingrained in my memory. Pictured above is a reenactment confederate soldier, guarding the mass confederate grave in Fairview Cemetery.
I crossed Kelly's Ford comfortably in my air-conditioned vehicle and looked below at the water. I heard the struggling horses splash as they carried the union cavalrymen across. I heard the fierce southern cavaliers yell, "CHARGE!" as they gave them a rebel welcome. It was truly surreal.
Later that day, we visited Brandy Station and the Graffiti House. The walls are covered with the soldiers names and hand drawn pictures of their loved ones. The men used pieces of coal to create the images. Those images will forever haunt me. One upstairs corner room bears the inscription, today the Yankees caught hell. It sent chills of southern pride up my spine. I can only try to imagine what my family lived through during those hellish years of the war. The homes were ransacked, the fences torn down and livestock stolen.
Major Pelham was struck by a piece of shrapnel in the base of his skull. He later died that night at the Shackelford home. The house no longer stands, but I did get to stand on the site and take a picture of the historical marker. I can't wait to get my hands on the last two boxes of letters, documents and pictures from my sister's house. They belonged to my grandmother and hopefully they will reveal even more clues to my family's past. I've never been more thankful to be a Virginian and thankful to God for allowing me the opportunity to visit these places.
As for my book, my brain is going crazy with ideas! I can't write them down fast enough. This trip was exactly what I needed to piece together the puzzle. Traveling to Culpeper this past weekend was the best Memorial Day I've ever had.
...and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us... Acts 17:26,27
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Saturday, May 19, 2007
We were supposed to travel up to Charlottesville this weekend for a family birthday celebration, but issues arose that prevented us getting together. I think it is just as well...I've been buried in writing manuscripts, running the children to soccer, swimming and school; and my latest task is putting together SWADA's program for the spring horse show. I had no idea that it would take me so long to complete, but it has been a learning experience and I'm always up for that.
My poem, THE VIRGINIAN, will be published next month in our local publication, Senior News. I'm excited about it, and thrilled that someone else gets to read it other than my family. Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful that they are willing to read my work, but I know they are biased! Not only that, but they are sick of it!
Next weekend we travel to Culpeper where I hope to conduct research on another writing project I've taken on. It will be fun exploring some genealogy and history along the way. My kids just hope that where ever we end up there will be a pool, and my husband just hopes we can find a great place to eat.
Well, enough work for today.... time for some R & R and family time. I love the weekend!
Friday, May 11, 2007
I've had to get creative in finding time to write, and I'm sure that will only get more complicated once the children are out for the summer. For Mothers Day we bought a 3 foot pool at Walmart for summer fun. It takes up my entire back patio but will be a wonderful babysitter! We've enrolled the children in swim lessons, dance lessons, baseball camp, and science camp too. Our hazy lazy days of summer will not be so lazy, but at the very least they will be entertaining!