Thursday, July 28, 2016

Family Matters

A lot can happen in a week.
Good things and not-so-good things.
A week ago today, we loaded into Jim's Camry and headed for Tennessee.
Oldest grandson, Dacey, rode shotgun and I was scrunched up in the back with Dylan...
...and two dachshunds in a crate between us.
I wish I was kidding but I still have swollen feet and ankles to prove it.
Why? Because my legs are shorter than Dacey's.
We always have a great time when we go to Adam's peaceful country place.

He cut down a few trees since we were there last and this is the new view from the back porch.
I wish I could tell you there were cool breezes blowing as we sat on that back porch.
But I'd be was hotter than all get out.
Here are some of the highlights of our time together.
It has taken him a while but the tree house he built is nearly complete.
There is also a second story with a loft.

Pretty cool, huh?

We went for a short four-wheeler ride down the drive and across the road... the meadow where we plan to build our farmhouse, Lord willing.

Give us a couple of years and hopefully we will have this new zip code.

The "X" marks the spot where we want the house to sit.
Exciting stuff!

We came across these lovely and unique wildflowers growing in the meadow.
I googled "purple wildflower with squiggley tines" and found it!
I discovered it to be Passiflora incarnata L. or Purple passionflower.

We drove through an Amish community and visited some country stores...

...and rummaged through a really cool old general store/vintage Greyhound Bus station.

The bus comes through regularly and it is the sole means of long-distance transportation 
for the Amish folks when they visit far-away relatives and such.
It was a great vintage place with lots to see.

We visited Davy Crockett State Park and it was a perfect day for cooling off in the falls.

There is a small museum there and these beauties were there on display.
The owls seemed to look a little forlorn, yet peaceful and their beauty was stunning.

We also enjoyed the best brisket known to man (or woman) at this restaurant along the way.
Oh. My. Goodness.

And hanging on the wall was an array of tee shirts that can be purchased there.
No offense meant to any vegans or non-hunters, please...I just got a little chuckle out of them.

And I would be remiss if I didn't post a photo of our friend who came visiting on Saturday morning.
I got within a few feet of "Army" :)

And there's always time for a little target practice...
...near bulls eyes for all of them at around 150 yards!

But just hanging out on the back porch (when it cooled off a bit) was most enjoyable.
Parker, especially, just goes to pieces when it's time for us to say goodbye.
The time flies by when we are together but you know what they say about all good things.
And let me just tell you, it was way too soon to be doubling up like a pretzel again for the trip home.
We traveled at night so I was able to sleep through most of it, making it home safe and sound.
The next time, we really must come up with another mode of transportation!
And now for the not-so-good...
I received a text from one of my sisters in Ohio shortly before arriving home.
Our next to the oldest sister, Ruby, who was in the hospital with some ongoing health issues,
was given the news that her husband had been brought in with breathing difficulties.
Clyde had several serious health problems but had been recovering somewhat and getting dialysis.
Things quickly went downhill from there and just as we arrived home, 
word came that it didn't look good for him.
That same Monday afternoon, my sister's husband of 56 years passed away.
As God would have it, she recovered and was able to leave the hospital the following day
 to take care of the necessary task at hand.
So we will be on the road again Ohio this time,
no grands in tow this trip.

There will be dachshunds in a crate though, due to no other alternatives on short notice. 
We enjoy road trips but the very last thing we wanted to do was take another so soon.
Arrangements and re-arrangements had to be made in our lives, with our jobs, etc.
Death never comes at a convenient time.
It was nothing that was planned, but it will be a bittersweet family reunion.
All of us will be together to say our final goodbyes to a soft-spoken godly man,
one who was as close as any true blood brother could ever be...
...a father who was reunited with two of his own children that were taken way too soon,
as Jesus ushered him into Glory.
Yes, we're on the road again...because family matters.

Stay cool, my friends and love to all.
Sharing at:
Mosaic Monday


  1. So sorry for your loss. The photos of your time in Tennessee are beautiful! Looks like a perfect place for a new address :)

  2. How good that you and your husband were able to adjust your lives to be able to support your sister in this loss. I know that she appreciates it.

    My! That discovered view after a bit of judicious cutting of trees is stellar! And these views are waiting all across the country. Most unfortunate that most people prefer to look at a tree...up close and personal. The old saying "couldn't see the forest for the trees" comes to mind.

  3. I am so sorry and will keep your family in my prayers. I thought of you when I woke up this morning...not sure why but I did. And I enjoyed your photos of the land! So beautiful! Safe travels my friend. Hugs, Diane

  4. Debby, wonderful post, great photos, and sad news. Hope your family heals quickly. Prayers from Utah.

  5. I'm so sorry to hear your sad news Debby. Glad you were able to make the necessary arrangements to get back on the road.
    The place in Tennessee is so beautiful! What a lovely spot. And that tree house!!! Oh my. I would take a stack of books, a thermos of tea, and some nice squishy pillows and be set for hours! What a wonderful place to move to. I hope those dreams come true for you.
    And those little doggies couldn't be cuter. xo Deborah

  6. I'm very sorry about the loss of your brother-in-law, Debby. It's so hard to lose those we love, even though we know we will see them again one day.
    You've picked out such a beautiful setting for your dream farmhouse. How lovely to hold that dream in your hearts.
    May the God of all comfort be with you.

  7. Very sorry for the loss,Debby. May God comfort you and the family.
    Love the view from that back porch, you will have a beautiful place to retire to.

  8. So sorry for your loss.I know you will meet again,but that doesn't make saying good-bye,that much easier.May God give peace and strength as needed.

  9. Hi Debby, So thankful that I stopped by. My deepest sympathy in the loss of your bil. I know your sister greatly appreciates you two driving to be with her at this time.
    I love the photos from your trip. I especially love the spot where you will build one day. I know you are so looking forward!
    Sending my love and prayers to you and your family.

  10. The pictures of your trip are just beautiful! I love the treehouse! Very cool!! We travel with our fur babies all the time too :-) I hope everything works out and you can get your home built in the near future! I am very sorry to read about your loss, how terrible! I will keep your family in my prayers and safe travels! A blessing you won't be traveling to Ohio in bad weather, I don't miss living there at all! Have a wonderful weekend!


  11. Sincere condolences. You will be in my prayers for a safe, bitter sweet trip. Take care.

  12. I'm glad you had a good visit with your kids but so sorry for the news you received after you arrived home. Prayers for your family at this time.

  13. No, death never visits on an open calendar day, it comes any old time it pleases. So sorry for your family's loss. It's hard to look forward to another trip when one hasn't recovered from the last. Blessings and travel mercies to you, Debby. How nice to have a not-too-distant future plan for a move. An exciting journey, I'm sure. And I did get a chuckle out of those t-shirts!

  14. I am pleased you had a good trip, your photo's look beautiful. I hope your future plans / house building goes well in the years to come.

    I am very sorry to read about your loss, and send my condolences to you and your family.

    Take care

    All the best Jan

  15. Your little plot in Tennessee does look beautiful. What a lovely spot to build your farmhouse. I did chuckle when I read of your travel arrangements. How sad to hear of your brother-in-law's passing, but so comforting to know he loved the Lord and is now in Heaven with his two children. What a terribly difficult time for your sister and indeed all of you. Sending you a hug. Xx

  16. I am so sorry for your loss but on a greener note what a wonderful place to build your new home!

  17. Hi Debbie Ray, I looked at all your wonderful photos and enjoyed them all. Then I read the sad news of your brother-in-law's passing. I am so very sorry for your loss. We also have had a bereavement in our family. My father-in-law passed away a little over a week ago. He had a good long life at 95 years of age. It is so sad to hear of a soul taken long before their time. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

    1. I came back to thank you for your sweet comments, and to let you know you are still very much in my thoughts, and I will say a prayer for your brother-in-law.

  18. I am so sorry for your loss, but it is so good that you and your hubby were able to drive to be there for your sister.
    Your trip (despite the pretzel position and heat) looks like so much fun. That view from their yard is amazing! And that treehouse..WOW! I hope you can build your dream farmhouse soon...I can just see it now! :)
    Thinking of you...

  19. The view from the back porch is breathtaking ♥

  20. So sorry for your loss Debby. It's funny how these times are bittersweet as they bring families together. You have been to so many places I have never been able to visit. Take care...

  21. Your post is certainly a bittersweet one, dear friend.
    I'm sorry to hear of the loss of your brother in law. My heart goes out to your sister. My prayers will be with you all.

    Your time away sounded lovely and oh that spot where you will one day build is beyond gorgeous!
    Love those dash hounds too. :-)

    Much love to you~~

  22. Your post is certainly a bittersweet one, dear friend.
    I'm sorry to hear of the loss of your brother in law. My heart goes out to your sister. My prayers will be with you all.

    Your time away sounded lovely and oh that spot where you will one day build is beyond gorgeous!
    Love those dash hounds too. :-)

    Much love to you~~

  23. Such sad news, Debby. I am sorry for your family's loss. I loved how you said about him being reunited with two of their children who've already passed.

    I hope you can build that dream farmhouse as soon as possible.

    1. Thank you, Deanna. We are looking forward to it!

  24. Sorry for your loss but what a happy reunion that must have been when he got to heaven!!

    Sounds like a great trip. Love the tree house. Looks like a wonderful spot for your farm house. : )

  25. Many thanks for joining me for my first time as host of Mosaic Monday.I so enjoyed taking the road trip with you, your lovely mosaics showed me a part of your wonderful country that was new to me.
    Sending heartfelt condolences to you and your family at this sad time.

  26. Oh, what a great post full of the good AND the bad that life hands us..loved seeing all the pics of family and where you will build your home some day...I have never been to Amish country but want to someday..I have been in so many little vintage bus stations in my younger life..I would ride the bus from my home to Dallas where my dad lived (Mom and Dad divorced when I was 7) and ea would slip the bus driver a few dollars to watch over me on the trip and my dad would be standing in the area where the bus would pull in so that the driver could see I was being picked up. Same, going back home to my I saw some pretty cute little bus stations but, at the time, I didn't see them as CUTE...:)
    My condolences to all of you in your sad when our loved ones pass.

  27. Im glad you had such a wonderful vaca in Tn and excited that you are moving there.

    On the other hand I'm very sorry for the loss of your sweet BIL. Thank God for the hope of seeing him once again.

  28. So sorry to hear of your brother-in-law's passing. Prayers for comfort for you and your family.

    The vacation sounds like it was a blast! Lovely photo of the passionflower! The old general store/bus station looks like a great place to visit. And I do like that t-shirt about there being room for all creatures--right beside your mashed potatoes! Good one...ooh, I'm getting hungry. Great shot of the armadillo!

    1. Oh, and I forgot to your new blog design!

  29. Debby, The tree house looks great. The falls must have been refreshing and looking through old things is always a hoot. Sylvia D.

  30. Hi Debby, So sorry for the loss of your BIL. Prayers for your sister and family. What an incredible tree house. Reminds me of that Discover channel show where they build them for families. Sounds like you enjoyed a wonderful vacation. Blessings on the spot for your future home. Have a wonderful rest of the week. xo

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  32. Dear Debby! I am SO sorry to hear of the passing of your brother-in-law! You have my deepest sympathy. I am from Ohio, too. I trust you have a wonderful trip, even though it is a very sad occasion. May the Lord bless you and keep you always in His care. Thank you SO much for your sweet comments left at my blog.

  33. Your visit to the country place looked like some good R & R and how exciting that you will be living there in a few years too. I can identify with swollen ankles, every day with this heat and humidity but my lazyboy chair is perfect for easing the puffiness.
    I didn't realize your sister was in the hospital when her hubby was brought in, a difficult time for her and sad for the whole family.
    You know you're in my prayers.

  34. Oh, indeed you do know the mix of sunshine and shadow as that is exactly what you have been living! Your vacation sounds like a delightful blend of family moments and good food and gorgeous scenery. Well, okay...there was the matter of being squished into the back seat and a grueling journey and that was not delightful at. all. That brings to mind a trip that our family took when my sister and I were teenagers. We drove across four states in the back of a Cutlass Supreme with NO leg room. We had to take turns stretching our legs diagonally while the other had her legs folded up under her. Oh, the agony! Longest trip of my life.

    I am sorry to hear of your brother-in-law's passing. May your sister, and your entire family, know God's peace in learning to walk life's path without him.

  35. My sweet and beautiful friend, I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your brother-in-law. How is your dear sister doing? Please know that she and your family are in my prayers.

    I so enjoyed your post, dear Debby, and my, what a lot of fun you've been up to! The shirts gave me a good giggle and I know my husband would like them as well :)

    Thinking of you sending love and hugs your way!

  36. Debby, don't ever be tempted to bring home a cutting of passionflower. Anyone who does *will* regret it! It will completely take over. We know from experience! :D

    1. Thanks for the info Jean...I'll admire them in the meadow and maybe in a mason jar filled with wildflowers :)

  37. I'm sorry for your loss. You're right - these big life events don't happen on our time.
    The site of your future home is beautiful.


Thank you for stopping by today! Your sweet comments are such an encouragement to me.

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