Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Making Mountain Memories

The Blue Ridge Mountains were beautiful! Having the entire family together at the same time in the same place was wonderful! It really doesn't get much better than that. We rented a beartiful log cabin called the"The Sunset" in Ellijay, Georgia. Ellijay is a quaint little mountain town full of little antique shops, cute family style restaurants and friendly townspeople. The town is decorated for Christmas with wreaths and bows on the light posts that line the streets. A quartet was singing one night in the town square while local merchants were serving hot apple cider. It was almost like stepping back in time to a simpler life syle. It's interesting that when we plan a vacation we like to go to a place where life is simple and just being together is what it's all about. We had a four bedroom cabin with a stacked stone, woodburning fireplace inside and outside. The cabin was at the top of a mountain ridge that was two miles up a very rough dirt road. There was a beautiful mountain view on both sides of the road and the trees still had some color in their leaves. It got a little crazy at times with all six of us and four dogs in the cabin but that's what makes it fun. We took turns cooking dinner, kept a fire burning in the fireplace since the temperature was in the 20's most of the time, and played games. The kids got caught up on their sleep, I drank about 2 gallons of coffee, we shopped in Blue Ridge and Ellijay for Christmas ornaments and had a foosball tournament. We spent time reading, taking walks with the dogs and the kids enjoyed the hot tub. Since I don't sleep much these days, I was up by six o'clock and enjoyed starting the fire in the fireplace and drinking coffe while enjoying the view. It was so quiet in the mountains, we weren't always in a hurry and could take our time to do whatever we wanted.
I read "The Last Lecture" on the way to the mountains. It's a wonderful book written by a man diasnosed with terminal cancer, that writes about reaching your childhood dreams. It was his way of leaving his thoughts and advice for his three young children. The most important thing to him, after his terminal diagnosis, was to spend as much time as possible with his family. None of us know how long God plans for us to be on this Earth and we need to be spending each day of our lives as if we have a limited amount of time left. Life is too short to be wasted on worrying about material things and staying busy with unimportant demands. Take time to plan how your time will be spent so that you have no regrets when your time is running out.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Blue Ridge Mountains

I don't think I could be more excited! My family is heading to a cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains this weekend. It's a rare thing to be able to have all of the kids together in the same place at the same time. Memorable moments don't just happen when the kids grow up and go away to school and get married. It takes planning in advance. I spent about two weeks in July looking on the internet for the perfect mountian cabin for our family trip. We have been to a cabin for the last three years the weekend before Thanksgiving. The Alabama v. Auburn game is always the weekend after Thanksgiving and we definitley couldn't plan anything that might interfere with the big game. This is our first time to go the Blue Ridge Mountains. We have been to Mentone that last two years and loved it but I thought we'd try something different this year. The cabin looks awsome! Outdoor fireplace, four bedrooms, great mountain view, hot tub and pets go free. It's going to be great! We'll cook, sleep, play games, watch movies, hike, roast marshmallows, make Smores, read, go shopping and sleep some more. It's so much fun when we are all together on one place! One night Katie and Ben will cook dinner, Larry and Matt are cooking another night and Cara and I will cook one night. We will have tons of food! Last year we made pictures of all of us lying in the leaves in a circle with our heads together. It was hilarious until we realized the next day that most of us were covered in chigger bites! It was pure misery for the chigger infested! Can't wait! Good times!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Celebration Without Food? No Way!

Have you ever celebrated a holiday, birthday, wedding or special occasion without food being a part of the celebration? I doubt it. We expect special food to go along with the special occasions. It's a given that we will eat turkey and dressing on Thanksgiving and Barbcue on the Fourth of July. We're going to the Blue Ridge Mountains in two weeks and I'm already planning my menus. It's all about the food! Good food, good times and good memories. Just the smell of fried chicken makes me think about my great grandmother. It seems that no matter when we went to visit her she would have fried chicken and gravy and biscuits.
Have you ever thought about how strange it is that we celebrate by eating? Why not celebrate by going for a run or going fishing or flying a kite? I can just imagine my aunt calling to invite us to meet on Thanksgiving for a 5k run! Why not celebrate this way? Who started this eating tradition anyway? What about the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus? What if they left some brochures on learning to speak Spanish in our baskets and stockings instead of candy? Why do we feel the need to eat until we're sick on special occasions? It all started with the Clean Plate Club. Boy, I really wanted to be in that club! Then I grow up and find out there is no Club, or Clean Plate Prom or anything! What about eating everything on your plate because there are children starving in other countries? I thought that if I didn't eat the peas and other yucky stuff that there would be that much more food for them. I just never figured out how my eating habits had an effect on starving children. But why change now? I just feel like I'm doing my civic duty by eating everything on my plate!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Six Inch Heels? What Are We Thinking?

Seriously, do you think men would walk one mile to a football stadium wearing six inch heels and then another half mile to get to the upper deck? I don't think so. We were in Tuscaloosa over the weekend for Alabama's Homecoming game and I have never seen so many girls wearing heels that were at least six inches high. I admit that I do like to wear heels but three inch heels are enough for me. After wearing boots with three inch, spiked heels with pointed toes all day, I really should have my head examined. There's absolutely nothing at all that could be considered comfortable about wearing shoes like that. But, we wear them because they look good. What are we thinking? After wearing these heels with pointed toes all day, I can barely walk for the next six hours after taking them off. It's not easy cramming a short, chubby foot into shoes with long pointed toes. Plus, walking on spiked heels while having your toes squeezed in a vice and trying to walk around like you're not suffering, is just ridiculous. There have been times when I really thought my feet were on fire but I didn't dare act like I noticed! I just kept on walking until I reached my car and then started screaming while pulling off the tortuous shoes.
How did it happen that women started wearing shoes like this and men never did? It kind of makes me wonder about our intelligence. Men's fashion's have pretty much stayed the same. They have been wearing khaki pants, a golf shirt and comfotable shoes for as long as I've been alive. Women's hemlines change fourteen times in one year, along with the necklines, sleeve lengths, fullness, fabrics, colors, patterns and collars. About the time I have figured out what is "in" and finally get around to buying some cool, new "in"things, I find out they are now "out." Girls will wear tiny, little strappy dresses with six inch heels when it's 30 degrees outside, and walk five miles to a football game without ever complaining. But don't ask us to tell you what the score was or who was playing because the whole purpose of going to the game is to be seen in a cute, trendy little outfit while pretending to not be in excruciating pain. I hope the guys appreciate the sacrifice!