Shout-Outs are something I started a while back on my blog. Their purpose is to recognize people's accomplishments or to express my gratitude for their good and kind deeds or for just doing something awesome in their lives. It's a way to celebrate the little things that may otherwise go unnoticed to the human eye.
We still call it home...
We didn't get away too much this summer. Even with a shortened summer vacation next year, I believe that won't be the case. But, we made the best of it. Plenty of pool time along with our annual trip to Lake Anna supplemented by a couple of trips to PA - a place we still, and always will, call home.
Our most recent trip to Lancaster was to celebrate my youngest brother's 30th birthday. In observance of his day, my brothers and I played 18 holes of golf on the beautiful and wide open - this in fact saved many balls from being lost on my behalf - Honeybrook Golf Course. Although, you can only make a course so wide. I lost track after...well, that's not important.
We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day playing under a canopy of a perfect shade of blue sky, popcorn clouds accompanied by a bright - but not torturous - sun.
My feats for the day were not numerous and are rather difficult to proclaim as successes - but, hey, it was my first time. Let's see...It took me to the eleventh hole until I had to yell "fore!". I never swung and missed. And with ten being our maximum number of strokes...take that times 18 and...well, I scored under 180. I will not mention how close I was to this number, but the bottom line is that it was another great reunion - our first since our mountain trip in June - with my four brothers whom I am deeply and thoroughly blessed to have in my life.
I always had an appreciation for golf knowing it's not as easy as professionals make it look. I think my brother is right in affirming that golf is the most difficult sport to learn. There is so many things that have to be done at just the right time in order for the ball to go where you want it to. Playing golf magnified that appreciation, but I'm not so sure if it's something I can see myself wanting to learn and practice. With that said, I don't want the next time I play to be my brother's 40th birthday.
Coming home means needing a place to stay. We were close to calling Motel 6...because when we do something we do it in style. Upper class, high society style. The girls would have loved it, but fortunately, my brother Evan called and extended a warm welcome for all of us to stay at his house along with his wife and baby boy.
There are two things that you notice when walking into their home. One is the hard work and time they put into fixing it up. Their hard work has resulted in a very warm and comfortable place to stay. The other thing is their reverence and dedication to the Lord. The chalkboard scriptures make it known that they are grateful for all they have and give glory to God for everything.
We were so appreciative for their invitation. I think the best part for Evan was the chance to go buy cereal. I haven't had Trix in thirty years!
After our adventures on the golf course, we celebrated with some catered pork barbecue. My mom was gracious enough to host. It was great to be with family and watch the cousins enjoy time together. Our trip was only three nights, but we managed to see a lot of family. The girls got to see their Mimi Linda all but one day. We're thankful for her feeding us some meals - one of which included burgers on the grill. Compliments of Charlie. She also watched the girls one night so Angie and I could go out on a date to celebrate our 14th anniversary.
Thanks to my mom, my elephant collection has grown. She was able to find some while sorting through Grandpa's many, many things. Of course I would much prefer that he and Grandma were still around and I'd have to look at the elephants on their mantle or bookshelves, but life goes on. And the things left behind will always serve as reminders of their home.
My Grandpa, along with his dad, built their home back in 1952. In a few days, it will be auctioned and under new ownership. I only hope that the love shown in that house since the early 50s will be equaled by its new occupants.
It was strange, to say the least, walking into their home. We were last there in February shortly before he passed. Entering their home without them was a hard realization. I am thankful for my mom and her siblings for taking so much time in sorting through all of Grandma and Grandpa's belongings. Each one, whether junk or not, has a story. The important story however, is the one they told with each encounter and gathering. Love of God and family come first.
The trip home had a lot of rain. I am thankful for the Lord keeping us safe. We are now just a few days away from another school year. Lord, I ask for a shield of protection over all the schools and all of their precious lives they hold inside their walls. I ask for wisdom, patience and energy. Thank you, Lord, for your presence. May we glorify you in all that we do. Amen.