Thursday, January 31, 2013

The End Of An Era

I love books!  I love the feel of a book in my hand! And I love bookstores!  There's something special about being surrounded by books and quiet, little spaces where I can browse and read - and maybe find something special that makes its way into my bag to come home with me.  I've shared before that my sweetheart and his siblings have an annual Labor Day reunion at the Oregon Coast.  We meet in Tillamook - famous for Tillamook Cheese - and the time we have spent there has always included a stop (or two) downtown at Rainy Day Books.  Recently I was sad to learn that Rainy Day Books closed their doors forever at the end of last year.  After twenty-six years in business, it was time to say goodbye to the community and the travelers who always found their way into a place where everyone was welcome.  Independent bookstores are closing all around our country.  No matter how hard they try or how many changes they make, they have a hard time competing with electronic readers and online book sales.  That's what happened to this sweet, little shop that was a haven for many people through the years.  Shortly before the store closed, the owner reflected, 'What people can’t get shopping online is the chance to wander the aisles and discover books that you never knew existed, to find a treasure, and encounter an author you haven’t read before. That’s what is lost in the digital age. . . It's sad. I never imagined books would go out of fashion. Independent book stores are like the canary in the coal mine. When we’re gone it will mean something drastic has happened, something is lost, and it will be too late to bring it back.'

I could never just walk through the front door of this special place!  The building was old and quaint, with angled bay windows on each side of the entrance.  In the angles of the bay on each side of the door were huge chalkboards that always captured my heart.  In the window on one side of the door - this. . .
On the other side . . . this.
Inside you never found the latest decor.  It was an eclectic mix of historic things from around the area.   It was a charming and personal place to spend a few minutes or a few hours on a rainy day - a place filled with local furnishings. An antique table and book cases from an old tavern in a nearby coastal community. A huge glass-fronted case from a long-gone local jewelry store. A pitcher and a clock from a laundry and glass cases and book shelves from an old creamery in a town a ways to the south. The wainscoting on the walls was from the old city  hall.  It was a place of treasures and history and memories.  Filled with nooks and crannies. . .
 And room after room filled with books from floor to ceiling.
But the dearest treasure of all when I visited was Webster, the resident cat!  Webster often met you at the door - or you could find him curled up nearby on a chair or a comfy stool.  He was a gregarious fellow.  He lived for greeting the customers and usually talked them into petting him. Some folks came to visit him often - and he seemed to remember every one of them.  Some of them brought gifts of catnip but what they didn't know was that catnip didn’t excite him at all!
Webster died about a month before the store closed. The local paper said he was the heart and soul of Rainy Day Books - and he was. The article went on to say that he was an extraordinary spirit who was loved so very much. He was eighteen years old.  He had lived his whole life at the bookstore and he made many friends from far and near. I wonder if he died of a broken heart.

The end of an era has come and gone.  My next trip to Tillamook will be bittersweet.  The joy of being at the Oregon Coast will fill my heart but something special will be missing.  Webster and Rainy Day Books won't be there to greet me - but they will always be treasured memories of time spent in a world away from the noise outside the door.  It was a world of books that took me to far-away places and a friend I always looked forward to seeing again. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Roses For His Lady

Yellow Roses
I want some red yellow roses for a blue lady
Send them to the sweetest gal in town
This old song comes to mind every time I think of the sweet surprise from my sweetheart a few days ago.  He left home on a mission.  He went to buy flowers for one of our granddaughters.  It was her birthday and we were about to attend her birthday party.  Last year he gave her flowers for her birthday – because it was something she really wanted.  The night before her birthday last week I received a text message from our daughter.  It said, ‘Miss E. is hoping Papa will give her flowers for her birthday again.’  Now how could he ignore that? 
A while before we planned to leave for the party he left home to buy flowers but when he came back I could hardly believe my eyes – he had two bunches of roses.  Yellow roses.  My favorite!  I thought maybe he had gone a bit overboard.  I thought he planned to give them all to her but he handed one bunch of roses to me.  When I asked why he bought roses for me he said he just couldn’t buy yellow roses for Miss E. and leave me out!  The next morning I walked through my yard to find something to add to my roses so I would fill a vintage glass – now a vase – that I found recently at a favorite thrift store.  There isn’t much of interest in my garden this time of year so I clipped bits of Cedar and snippets of Douglas Fir.  And I just couldn’t help adding a few shiny holly leaves.
When Miss E. saw her Papa walk through the door with flowers in his hand, the smiles on her face was priceless.  This Papa is getting a reputation.  It’s a good one.  It’s no secret that he loves to give flowers to his girls.  And we aren’t complaining.  Not one bit!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Book Of Dreams

Alaska Book on Trunk 2For quite awhile my sweetheart and I have talked and dreamed about going to Alaska.  It’s something we really want to do but it hasn’t happened yet.  It’s on our list – near the top!  So, while we think and dream and plan, we love to read all we can about the beauty of our state to the north.  And when there’s a chance to see photos – especially those of someone we know – it’s an inspiration to keep planning to make our dream come true.
I have a friend – a dear blog friend – who has been to Alaska and brought it back through her photography.  Donna began to share Alaska photos shortly after I discovered her blog (Cottage Days and Journeys) - and I must say that I was mesmerized!  I was enchanted and as I studied each photo she shared I commented and told her of our dream.  She encouraged us to go – even suggested that we should join them on their last trip!  Since that wasn’t possible, I was content to see Alaska through her eyes.  Donna continued to encourage me and inspire me – and then one day last fall she announced a give-away.  She was giving away two photo books she had ‘published’.  All I had to do was comment often through the months of November and December – and hope and pray that my name would be drawn.  The first place winner would have her choice of books – one was a variety of photos from around Alaska and the other was all about the brown bears of Alaska.  I would have been happy with either book, but my heart really longed for the one with a variety of photos from all around Alaska.  The day came for the drawing and then – Donna sent me an email telling me that my name had been the first drawn.  Oh – oh – oh!  I could hardly believe it.  Soon the book was on its way to my home and when it arrived there was a sweet, little note tucked inside.  On one of Donna’s handmade notecards.Alaska Book PackageWhen I removed the tissue paper – there it was.  I’m sure I must have squealed with delight!Alaska Book Package OpenI knew exactly where this beautiful book belonged.  It is at home on my vintage trunk/coffee table – for everyone who comes by to see.  And it has been seen.  And admired.Alaska BookThe first page sets the scene for the rest of the book.Alaska Book 1 Then – pages and pages of gorgeous photos.  My photos of the pages can’t possibly do it justice.  There is wildlife and breathtaking scenery. . .Alaska Book 2Alaska Book 3And some of the brown bears of Alaska.Alaska Book 4Flora and Tundra and exquisite carvings. . .Alaska Book 5Alaska Book 6And the most fascinating rustic towns and photos of ice and snow so real you can almost feel the chill.Alaska Book 7Alaska Book 8At the end, a graphic and a few words that wrap it all up. . .Alaska Book 9And a sweet note and autograph.Alaska Book AutographI love beautiful coffee table books.  I’ve gathered a few – some by famous photographers.  But this one is the best.  It’s a treasure – a gift from the heart of a dear friend.  Given with love and a note that encourages us to enjoy the photos.  With hopes that we will see them in person someday.  Soon.  I placed two special pieces of my Willow Tree collection beside my new book.  One piece (Wisdom) was given to me by my dear, little mother – and one (Spirited Child) was from my daughter.  A mother, reading, and a daughter, listening.  And I smile every time I walk by.Alaska Book on Trunk 3Donna also made two desktop calendars to give away.  You can see one of them here.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Musings On A January Day

P1155580I know it’s been a few days since I wrote a blog post.  There has been a lot going on around here.  First of all I want to thank you for your sweet words to me when I shared about Miss Savannah.  I miss her a lot but I’m beginning to adjust to days without her.  This morning was the first morning I haven’t walked down the hall and expected her to meet me and ask for a bowl of milk.  We have such sweet memories of her and your kindness helped the hurt.

My sweetheart and I celebrated our forty-first wedding anniversary last week.  We wanted to do something special but we knew time away would be limited.  The weather was cold and foggy, snow had fallen all around us and roads to places we love were, at times, not the best.  We got up on our anniversary morning, had breakfast at home together and – on the spur-of-the moment – we decided to drive to the beach.  If you’ve been reading my blog for very long, you know how much we love the Oregon Coast.  That was the perfect decision.  It was a cold, gray day where we live in the valley.  About five miles from the beach – suddenly, the sun!  Shining bright – warming the car as it came through the window.  We laughed and talked about what we would have missed if we had stayed near home.  It didn't take us long to find our favorite place to have lunch.P1155617Mo’s is a well-known Oregon Coast restaurant  with six locations – famous for their chowder.  And that’s exactly what I ordered.  A bowl of clam chowder and, my favorite, their cabbage salad.  Shredded cabbage topped with bay shrimp and blessed with their house creamy garlic dressing.  My sweetheart and I sat at a window table (the third window from the left).  Our view was perfect – the water on the bay rippled with each wave that washed up on the ocean beach nearby.  The old, wooden pier outside our window is a wonderful viewpoint. (In the photo of the pier above, I used my round lens hood.  It was a trial to see how it would shield the sun and what effects it would give.)  After lingering over lunch we wandered out onto the pier for awhile.P1155600We weren’t alone – we had company!  Mr. Joey was with us.
P1155621And he was watching the other fellow who joined us!P1155616When we turned to walk back, in the opposite direction we could see our next destination.P1155597From the beach below we had a good view of the pier where we had been just minutes before.P1155631Sun, fresh air, the sound of the waves – just what we needed!P1155640Clouds began to drift in from off-shore.  We kept walking and loving every minute we were together in this special place.
P1155638Seagulls and gentle waves – all a part of the coast.P1155647
The beach beside the bay is covered with driftwood and logs that have washed ashore from stormy winter seas.
There’s more to share but I’ll do that another day.  Our day away together was great!  We stayed for several more hours – we didn’t want the day to end.  We wished we didn't have to leave so soon but we knew we had to return home after dinner.  We shopped a bit and walked on another nearby beach to watch the setting sun.  Then dinner and a nice trip home – relaxed and refreshed and ready for commitments and responsibilities waiting for us the next day.

The last days have been busy and filled with activity. I have things to share with you.  I won a very special give-away from a dear blog friend.  I can’t wait to show it to you.  Over the weekend I had a fun day away with some of my ‘Sisters’ from Sisters On The Fly.  I have photos for you to see and tales to tell.  I’ll be back soon. I can’t wait to tell you all about it.P1155663
(I don't know what Blogger is up to today - sometimes the font is exactly as I want it, and at times it becomes so small you can hardly read it.  Then, as it is today, it's huge. And it's adding spaces and wrapping text in ways I didn't choose!)

Monday, January 14, 2013

Birthday Wishes

Kerrie and BrynleeWishing a very happy birthday to my dear daughter-in-law, Mrs. K.  What a special gift from God to our son – and to our family.  Thank you, dear one, for the joy you bring and the beauty you’ve added to our lives.  We love you much!

This photo was ‘borrowed’ from my son.  Oh, by the way, the cute lady in pink is our youngest granddaughter, Miss B.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Sweet Savannah

Savannah 3
Miss Savannah
November 1999 – January 11, 2013
Yesterday we said goodbye to our sweet Savannah.  Our hearts are sad and our house seems a little empty without her.  She was the sweetest kitty and a little pal. It seemed she was the happiest when we were busy at home.  She loved the Christmas tree – even before it was completely set up.  I think she thought we were doing it up just for her!
Savannah and the Christmas Tree-001She never wandered far but she loved to be just outside the door.  When she chose to go out, she seemed to think that the backyard was her private domain.  On chilly days we often looked out the window to find her curled up asleep on the hot tub.  She knew where to find a warm spot for a long winter’s nap.Savannah 2This last Christmas Day she decided to adopt Mr. Joey’s dog bed that I had temporarily moved under the piano bench.  For some reason he didn’t seem to mind.  I think he understood that she needed it more than he did right then.  She was content to lay there and watch the festivities.SavannahThere is so much I could tell you about her.  She was just a few months old when I saw her sleeping in the sun in the window of a nearby Humane Society kitty shelter.  She saw me and came quickly to check me out.  And it was love at first sight – for both of us.  From that day on, she added a lot to our lives.  She was always here to greet us when we came home.  If she thought we had been gone too long, she told us exactly what she thought.  She greeted me early every morning in the hall and quickly began to demand her morning milk.  She often watched through the window to protect us from birds and squirrels and other dangerous creatures.  She was always looking for that scampy, little dog that we had the nerve to bring home – the energetic, little guy who turned her world upside down.  But we think she really didn’t want us to know that she thought he was OK.
Miss Savannah, you are missed.  Thank you for giving us so much love!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Whiter Than Snow

Whiter Than Snow
Lord Jesus, I long to be perfectly whole;
I want Thee forever to live in my soul;
Break down every idol, cast out every foe—
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Lord Jesus, look down from Thy throne in the skies,
And help me to make a complete sacrifice;
I give up myself, and whatever I know—
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Lord Jesus, Thou seest I patiently wait;
Come now and within me a new heart create;
To those who have sought Thee Thou never said’st “No”—
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Whiter than snow, yes, whiter than snow,
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Song: 'Whiter Than Snow'
Words written by: James Nicholson, 1872
Music written by: William Fischer, 1911

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

My Word For The New Year

My word for Two Thousand Thirteen is 'Delight'! 

Delight - a noun that means 'a high degree of pleasure, or satisfaction of mind; joy; that which gives great pleasure; that which affords delight'.

Delight - a verb that means 'to affect with great pleasure; to please highly; to give or afford high satisfaction or joy; as, a beautiful landscape delights the eye; harmony delights the ear; the good conduct of children delights their parents'.

My focus this year will be to:

Delight in the Lord - at all times -
Delight in Who He is
Delight in His Word
Delight in His will
Remember that God Delights in me!
Find Delight in things around me

Be Delighted - even in small things
that may seem insignificant
Be Delightful - not hard to please
Delightful to be around

Be a Delighter -
one who gives Delight (great pleasure) to others
someone who makes a difference

'Delight is a more premanent pleasure than joy; it's not dependent on sudden excitement.' - unknown

Have a Delightful year!  A year filled with Delight!