Monday, June 28, 2010

Summer Week Ends

Wow it is Monday yet again. The week ends just seem to fly by, especially in the Summer. We started the week end at a favorite Winery here in Redding, my and my wonderful wife, just the two of us. We ordered a 1/2 pitcher of Mango Sangria, OMG was that ever good!!! We also had a wonderful Strawberry and mozzarella Caprese, with just the right amount of balsamic vinegar and olive oil.... so refreshing. Then the week end just sort of spun out of control, now I know what you are thinking but not with just a 1/2 pitcher of Sangria between us!!!

We did chores on Saturday and then just enjoyed the day, but then on Sunday, our great friends invited us to go up to a wonderful Alpine Mountain Lake, Lake Siskyou, yes I wrote about it a few weeks ago.

We packed up a picnic lunch, and met them, their oldest daughter and her family, we love them so much, and our oldest son and his wife joined us also, and we love them even MORE =).

We had a wonderful time just sitting on the beach drinking Raspberry Sangria's , my personal recipe that turned out fabulous!! And watching Angie and Kirk's two children play in the water and sand.

All of us adults just sat and visited, and enjoyed the day, and I might add that the temperature in Redding on Sunday was 106, yes you read that right 106, and at that lovely lake up in Mount Shasta only about 78, with a lovely breeze blowing through to cool you just when you about thought you might get all flush and stuff. It was wonderful.

Nothing better than spending the day with great friends, your kids and a cool mountain lake to cool you off.

So I hope you had a great week end filled with those you love, and that you took the time to enjoy your self, I know I did.

Blessings to you and yours..... Curtis and Sherrie

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Lazy Summer Days

So it is officially Summer!!!! YEAH WHOOPEE!!! I remember as a kid loving summer and all that it had to offer. We always had a boat and would spend endless days out on Shasta Lake, skiing, swimming and just being lazy. Ahh those were the days.....

But then you grow up start your career, find that you don't always have the time that you want to do the things you want so you have to make choices. Not that making choices is a bad thing, it is just something that you have to do. When I first started college I thought I wanted to be a grade school teacher, not just to teach but for that wonderful Summer off you get, I know not so noble of me eh?

Anyway as we progress into this Summer, I am thinking about lazy days spent walking on the beach hearing the roar of the ocean, or camping at our favorite spot, smelling the camp fires. Isn't it funny how sounds and smells evoke such wonderful memories for all of us?

So we have already gone on one "camping or glamping" trip. But my wife and I are tent campers we actually like sleeping in a tent hearing the night sounds, and feeling the breeze through the fabric. We are planning at least 2 camping trips for the summer and I am so looking forward to them. So what are your Summer plans??? They do not have to be elaborate, or long, but it makes the Summer so much more fun when we make plans and get out and enjoy the great outdoors.

May your Summer plans be wonderful and the memories great!! Here's to Root beer floats, Bar-B-Que, and lazy Summer afternoons...... Blessing to you and yours Curtis and Sherrie

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

4th of July Memories

I am sitting here thinking about 4th of July celebrations gone by..... The ones where we dressed our boys in red white and blue, with their little hats on sitting in downtown Mount Shasta watching the 4th of July parade go by. When our boys were small we would go up to Mt. Shasta and "camp" out at our dear friends grandmother's house. We would set up a tent in the yard and actually sleep out there but then had the real " facilities" that we needed with two small children. Grandma Inie would always have root beer floats out on her front porch every afternoon the kids.... oh who am I fooling I loved that . The grown ups would sit on the front porch and have our root beer floats and watch our children playing in the front yard. Sweet memories....

As the boys got older we began to rent a beach house up on Bandon Oregon. To this day I think it was the boys favorite place to be. We could access the beach from a trail out the front door, watch the fireworks outside or if was too cold we could watch them from the house, it had wonderful floor to ceiling windows. We had some incredible family times there with our family and friends who would come with us. Bandon is a small fishing village and has a great Old town area where every year they too would have a 4th of July parade, and we would sit on the edge of the sidewalk and watch as people of all ages , walked, rode their bikes, rode in floats down the small short street with all of us spectators clapping as each one came by. Oh how I loved those times... now our "boys" are all grown up and making lives of their own. My wife and I look forward to seeing where their lives take them but every once in a while I find myself looking back and just for a moment wishing time had stood still on that small street in Bandon, or Mt. Shasta and that my "boys" were still that small sitting there with us watching that parade, asking all of those thousands of questions..... Sweet Memories

So as you plan your 4th of July celebration this year savor every moment, because those moments all too soon pass by and you wonder where the time went. Catch a fire fly, shoot of some fireworks, roast that marshmallow, or have a root beer float, but do all of this with those whom you love and remember that these times are what memories are made of......
Blessings to you Curtis and Sherrie

Monday, June 14, 2010

Great Weekends!!

Hello all I am back.... after a great week end with great friends, and an awesome setting.

We had our annual Family Camp at our Church. Now my wife and I have not always gone to Family Camp, for various reasons and just life, but we have gone several times over the years.

This year our wonderful friends Cesar and Tami invited us to share a cabin that they had rented so it was technically not "camping" but we had the outdoor experience that two empty nester couples wanted LOL, no dirt, no sleeping on the ground, and no smoke in your eyes!!

The camp this year was up at a small lake here in Northern California called Lake Siskyou, located in the beautiful mountain town of Mt. Shasta. The setting was great, you have the beautiful mountain lake reflecting Mt. Shasta which soars 14,000 feet above sea level and is still covered in a white blanket of snow, so beautiful. The organizers could not have picked a better place to have camp. Our family has camped here at this lake off and on for over 30 years so we are familiar with it, but every time I go I am amazed at the beauty of God's handiwork.

We had a great speaker, wonderful music, and awesome fellowship with people who we see on a weekly basis at church but really we do not get to know in the way that you get to know people when you are out in the wide open spaces, and sharing a wonderful experience with. It is always good to see people in different settings, and to get to know them the real them, who they are, what their life experiences have been. I am always amazed and even humbled when I hear testimonies from people about what their lives are about, the paths they have taken. We had people from the ages of 4 to 84 at this camp so all generations were represented.

The thing that struck me as a 53 year old empty nester, who as of this writing has not been blessed with grandchildren, were the grandparents who were there with their grandchildren, just the grandparents and the grandchildren, no parents. And some of the stories about why they are there with their grandchildren are heart wrenching, children in prison, or into drugs, or have lost custody of their children.... the stories go on and on...but Grandparents stepping in to help raise their grandchildren. I have been reading about this and seeing this more and more but it really hit home this week end seeing those grandparents some not much older than myself and my wife, raising another family, when they thought they would be retired.

Our lives take many turns, and who knows my wife and I might one day have to help our children raise their children, I just hope that I will be able to do it with the love and patience that I saw this week end with our friends, running after 2 year olds, making sure that junior highers have things to do to keep them busy..... my hat is off to those grandparents who are helping raise their grandchildren..... you are truly amazing people and you are leaving a legacy for your grandchildren of love, commitment, and family.....

So another Family camp is over , and I look forward to it next year, and who knows we may have a grandchild to take to family camp.... but more importantly we have shared with some of the most wonderful people we know an experience that will become a memory for all of us in this tapestry that we call our life.......

Blessings to you Curtis and Sherrie

Friday, June 11, 2010

Saying So long for now but never goodbye

Today I write with a heavy heart as I have just heard that a long time friend has died. In times such as this you just do not know what to do, say, think.....

My friend was a wife, mother, grandmother, and a wonderfully free spirited person who made all who knew her smile.

My heart goes out to her family, her son, her daughter, her husband, and her grandchildren. She leaves a legacy of warmth, friendship, love, and laughter to those of us whom she left behind.

We all face times like this when a person, friend, loved one passes on. It makes us all stop and reflect on their lives, how our lives were touched by them, and how are we going to make a difference in those people who we love?

I have lost many people in my life, some where in my life for a short period of time, others, my mother, grandmother were the foundation of my life. It is never easy to say good bye or to let go, but let go we must. I know and it is my belief that they are all going to a better place, and that someday we will see them again.

So for now I will say so long Pat, you always made me smile and laugh, and I know you will be doing the same up in Heaven. I am not going to say good bye because we will meet again in time. My grief is for your family not for you for you are in a far better place, I will hug your daughter and shake your son's hand and remind them what a wonderful mother they had, and that they need to hold tight to the wonderful memories and legacy that you have left behind for them. I will shake Terry's hand and offer him my condolences for the loss of his life partner his wife, and I will smile as I remember you.

So Pat I will say so long for now, my friend, thanks for making me smile through the years.....

If you have a friend that you love and you may have not heard from in a while, that you talked to yesterday, that you may have had a falling out with, call them , stop by, make time, tell them you love them, tell them how wonderful they are, and how much you appreciate them, what they have done for you. For we know not what tomorrow brings......

Sending prayers and Blessings to not only Pat's family but to you who ever you may be who is reading this today..... Blessings Curtis and Sherrie

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Heat is on well Almost....

The last couple of days here in sunny Northern California have been a bit hot and humid.. Now we are used to it being hot but HUMID??? NOT I do not like the humidity and do not know how people who live in parts of the country where it is humid all summer deal with it.

That said I do love the early summer, flowers are still blooming with abandon, it has not gotten too hot that we all retreat to our homes with our coolers and air conditioners on. We can still sit out on the deck and watch the birds, and deer, all the while listening to the creek rush by, it is now slowing down from the big run off from the winter storms and snow pack that we have here in our area, and in a few weeks it will be just a slow moving babbling creek but it does run all summer long never drying up. The kids in the area even damn it up with rocks from the bottom of the creek making a great swimming hole that the entire community enjoys, especially when it gets to over 100 degree's.

I love living here on the creek, being able to just while away the afternoon listening to it rush by; enjoying a glass of wine and the good company of my wife or who ever drops by.

My yard is still a work in progress so as I sit here I imagine my Tuscan style patio with the pea gravel floor and open pergola finished with grapes and trumpet vine intermingling on it. So much still to do, but for me the planning process is as much fun as the actual finished project. Are you like that too?? I love planning a project, tweaking in the process, making it better , or at least in my eyes better, and then when it is done I look at it and relish in the fact that this was once just a thought in my head and I made it come to life. Well I see some roses that need dead heading, and some other things that need to be done here in the yard so I will bye for now, Blessings to you Curtis and Sherrie

Friday, June 4, 2010

Seasons and the weather.... and worry .....

So I woke up at 3:30 a.m. to the sound of wind and rain, not just rain but pouring rain.... in our part of the world when it is June you do not expect it to be raining. Now I love the rain , the sound of the rain, the softness of the earth after the rain, but really.... in June???? I am a bit tired of the rain at this point, give me some SUNSHINE, and lots of it. Now next week I will be bemoaning about the heat, just do not listen to me, remind me of this posting and how I wanted it the SUNSHINE.
But it is Friday, and I have had a bit of a difficult week, I won't go into it here but the lesson I have learned, and I have had to learn it over and over and over and over again, because I am a bit of a control freak... is that if we give our cares to GOD he has broad shoulders and he can take them from us, and we can get on with life without stressing too much.... Did I mention I stress a bit? I am not a OMG freak out kind of stresser I just keep it all in, my stomach tied in knots, and can't sleep kind of stress person. So through the years I have had to relearn how to give things to God so that I do not stress so much.
Much like the weather, oh how I would like the Sun to shine, but I must take all that God has for me and just learn to enjoy every day to its fullest, rain or shine.
So how is your day? Are you worrying about things you cannot change or are you giving them to God and letting him help you ? I know I struggle with this, and am not the person to be even writing about it, but here I am , maybe God is using this writing to remind me AGAIN to let him do his job of caring for me and I am to do my job of telling others about HIM.
Something to think about, ponder...... wishing you all a wonderful weekend, Blessings to all Curtis

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

New Beginnings, Graduation Time

So here we are the first week of June, summer is quickly coming upon us. Here in the area where I live Graduations are happening all over. Graduation time evokes feelings of hope, new beginnings, optimism, feelings of I can conquer the world.

Remember back to your own Graduation, how you felt, feelings of relief that you were done with that chapter of your life, and you were beginning a new chapter that had yet to be written.

So many things to do, to experience, to enjoy... as a young person you have the world before you, so make your mark on this world. Go out and do the things that you have been dreaming about, go to college, get married, have children, see the world. Write your life song on the walls of the world, make the world a better place just because you are in it.

We all felt this way as we embarked on our own personal journeys into this life of adulthood, the rights of passage that everyone takes. We all want to make the world a better place, be the change we want in others.

So as I write today I am writing for those of you who will don cap and gown and take that walk across that stage going from childhood to adulthood in one small stroll. Go on make all us proud, do the things you have wanted to do, but don't forget in the process, who helped you get here, who you are, who loves you, who you love, and that you will forever be in a family that for good or bad is part of your story..... Congratulations to all the Graduates of the class of 2010!

Blessings to all of you, Curtis

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Vacations and the aftermath....

Well my wife and I received an incredible gift from my aunt, my mothers sister, she paid for us to go on a cruise to Alaska. It was wonderful, well most parts were wonderful..... see my wife has wanted to go on a cruise for ever, I on the other hand have always been um afraid... because I get car sick.... and when you are on a boat, oh yeah I was corrected several times it is a SHIP.... you just cannot get off whenever you want too.... Anyhoo, we go on this fabulous cruise, the SHIP is great, the food fabulous, we met some amazing people, and Alaska, well it is just beautiful. So the first 4 days were wonderful, we were loving this cruising lifestyle vacation.... the service, the food, the people all waiting on you... nothing better. Then the 5th, day well the 5th day, it was actually our 31st anniversary, we had planned a wonderful day on the ship just enjoying each others company, but mother nature had other plans. The weather turned bad, we had 70 mile per hour winds, and 40 foot seas.... well for this land lubber that was just a bit much, did I mention I get car sick??? It is nothing compared to what was happening in our little cabin on the high seas, I have never been so sick in all my life, it was awful, we could not stand up we had to grab onto the rails in the hallway and literally pull ourselves along in the hallway. This was my worst nightmare coming true, my fear about going on a cruise was that I would get sick and get sick I did... awful just awful, but then on the other had we have a story to tell about our 31st anniversary, our friends tell me that I will look back on this and laugh with abandon about it, and regale the story over and over... I think it will be some time before I can laugh about it, but it was truly a trip of a life time..... So if you want to go on a cruise by all mean GO, you will survive, you will have stories to tell, you will meet wonderful people and see great places.... just know that mother nature and the high seas are no match for mortal man ...... Blessings to all Curtis