Thursday, October 28, 2021

Our Fall Colors Trip to New England

 An unexpected joy for us in this season of life has been to take several trips together with dear friends of ours. And this month we were so very blessed to travel on our third trip together, this time to see the gorgeous fall colors in the New England states!

We drove about 4,000 miles altogether on our 11-day trip! Our main destination was the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Vibrant, gorgeous fall beauty captured us at every turn ... we could hardly take it all in! These first two photos were taken during our 3-day stay in New Hampshire.

Since we weren't that far from the coast, we decided mid-trip to drive all the way to Bar Harbor, Maine! This was such a treat for us ... to be right along the Atlantic, re-visiting this beautiful spot that we had been to as a couple, back in 2012. A short overnight stay, and then the next day we began the journey back west, traveling the back roads of Maine for the first stretch. We were fascinated by the glimpse into that part of Maine ... winding roads, isolated homes scattered here and there, white churches nestled in the hills and trees, even more beautiful in the fall.

We continued our journey back home through New Hampshire, Vermont, and then enjoyed a meal right along Lake Champlain. The next day we drove through the beautiful Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York (photo above), stopping at Lake Placid where we saw the famous spot of the Winter Olympics of 1980. 

Our last night on the road was at a peaceful, beautiful retreat spot (a surprise, as it just randomly came up as we searched lodging under Travelocity)! The next morning we drove to nearby Lake Michigan (photo above), before driving the final stretch home.

We are thanking God for this "retirement trip" with like-minded, kindred heart friends, enjoying the incredible beauty of autumn in the New England states! (Thank you, Jack & Linda, for the joy of traveling together!)

Monday, September 20, 2021

Celebrating Our 50th Anniversary!

August 14 was a very significant day for us in 2021 ... our 50th Wedding Anniversary!! As the time of our 50th approached, we could have suggested a public celebration, an open house, or something similar. And though we would have loved to see many of our friends, we knew that the best celebration of all would be if we could be all together with our family, especially with our six children. It had been an extra lengthy time since we had all been together, which made us long for this even more. And God granted us our wishes ... we had a very memorable time together with 21 (out of 26 total) of our family the end of July!

We have loved receiving anniversary wishes from you, our friends and relatives, as well, and here in this post, we want to share some of the photos that capture our time together with family! Thank you for your love, prayers, and congratulations to us at this mark of 50 years!

We'll share a few of the many digital scrapbook pages that I (Cherry) have created, preserving memories of our time together in a beautiful rental home in Missouri. It was in a beautiful, wooded area, with its own private dock, paddleboat, kayaks, etc., and the large home slept all of us!

Here are a few of the pages capturing the great fun we all had ...

Our dear family designated one evening for our 50th Anniversary Celebration, and made it so very special ... complete with an amazing grilled steak meal, a bouquet of flowers, a beautiful and delicious cake, cards, gifts, and a sharing of memories! It was just the sweetest time with our precious family!

We also were blessed to have some family photos taken in the very beautiful setting!

We are thanking God for the gift of 50 years together, and for the gift of time with our dear family. We are cherishing the memories of our 50 years, which we also captured in a 30-minute slideshow that we prepared and viewed together as family. Such a fun time that was ... filled with laughter and so many memories! So many, many things to thank God for! And most of all we thank Him for His love, grace, and mercy through all the joys and also the trials of life over the past 50 years. 

Saturday, May 15, 2021

March Memories

We must be really enjoying our retirement ... so much that we haven't even been able to keep up with posting here on our blog! Actually, life continues to be full even during retirement, as we are blessed with a big family, and also many friends. These past few months have also been filled with helping with arrangements and much prep for Gary's brother, Neum, to move to Assisted Living. We're thankful we have been able to help out, and now that the big move has happened, we're back here with another post. 

We do desire to keep in touch with our friends! Here are four digital scrapbook pages filled with memories from March ... from early spring memories, to a granddaughter's birthday, to a dream come true of putting up a border fence on the west side of our big yard, and more.

We also had our first dose of Covid vaccine the end of March, mostly done in anticipation of being with all of our family this summer. We are so excited to finally all be together again, and this time, for a big occasion ... to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary! We've reserved a big VRBO rental home, with room for all of us! It will have been over two years since we have been all together, extra long because of the pandemic. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

February: Christmas Memories, Snow and More Snow, and a Few Good Reads


Greetings from a cold, snowy, winter wonderland! As we begin writing this update to our family and friends, the weather app on my (Cherry's) iPhone says it's 3 degrees, with a windchill of -12 degrees. Wow, that is cold. I think it's a good day to be indoors! We're also in a "Winter Weather Advisory", with more snow falling as I write.

Also, as I am writing this, the sounds of a snow blower have just started up out on our driveway. We have the most amazing neighbors, who have been clearing our driveway through each snowfall. On one recent, significant snowfall, they cleared our driveway about four times during the snowfall, keeping it from accumulating too much. One time was at 7 am. How amazing is that? Thank you Todd & Lynn, you are such a blessing!

Well, here we are in the second month of 2021. We'll start with a look back at our Christmas, as we haven't posted here for a number of months.

This past Christmas was a most unusual Christmas for us, as we were not able to host our usual big family gathering. How we missed that, a highlight of the year for us. That just couldn't work with the unusual pandemic season we are living through. But surprisingly, it turned out that we could still be with part of our family. Our daughter Carrie & husband Tyler invited us to join them in McCook the week between Christmas Day and New Years. Two of our other daughters, Amy from Beaver Lake, and Cristy from TX, and some of their family members also joined us there. Though we missed those who couldn't be there, it was such a fun, blessed, memorable time together! We absolute loved it! The two digital scrapbook pages below capture some of this joy! Thank you, Carrie & Tyler, for your amazing hospitality to all of us!

We're entering our 9th month of retirement now in February! How can that be? How can time go by so fast? We have yet to have a day when we are "bored", and both of us do not really know what that word means. Our lives are so full ... keeping up with our big family, spending time with our CityGroup (small group) friends, Citylight Midtown services on Sunday mornings, caring for our home, doctors appointments, taking care of some of Gary's brother's needs, keeping up daily with current news and concerns to pray for, and seeking to find time for multiple projects that are on our hearts and minds. It is a gift and a joy to be experiencing retirement together.

Christmas Eve was a very significant time for us as a couple, as we celebrated 50 years from our engagement! 50 years!! And this also means that this year 2021 we'll be celebrating 50 years since our wedding day in 1971! We are blessed beyond measure to be sharing life together with the one we love for almost 50 years now! Thank You, Lord, for leading us together, and for caring for us all these years.

And thank all of you who sent us Christmas cards, and for all the other multiple ways that you connect with us, and encourage us. It is always a joy to hear from you over social media, email, mail, etc. 

My Pursuing Heart blog has been fairly quiet over the past months, but I do love to put up a few posts each month. My first one of 2021 was focused on "In the Kitchen" - you can click here to read it.

And my other post last month focused on "In the Word", and "In Community". It is so very important to keep these essentials in place, even, and maybe especially during all the concerns going on in our country and around us. Keeping our hearts in the right place is essential. Click here to read the post.

Last of all, we both thought it would be fun to share a list of a few books that we each have read recently. It's a great time of year to curl up on the couch with a good book. Here are a few of our favorite recent readings:

From Gary:

Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery -  by Eric Metaxas

Uncle Tom's Cabin - by Harriet Beecher Stowe

If You Can Keep It: The Forgotten Promise of American Liberty - by Eric Metaxas

From Cherry:

Becoming Elisabeth Elliot - by Ellen Vaughn

It's Not Supposed to Be This Way: finding unexpected strength when disappointments leave you shattered - by Lysa Terkeurst

Hidden Among the Stars - by Melanie Dobson

Along with our love of reading, you'll also often find us watching a movie together in the evenings, close by our new electric fireplace stove warming up the room. We've recently had fun watching a few good ones from past years: "The Hiding Place" (1975), "The Sound of Music" (1965), and "The Fellowship of the Ring" (2001). We're also currently enjoying two series airing now from Masterpiece Classic: "All Creatures Great and Small", and "Miss Scarlet and the Duke". 

We'll close off this winter update with a quote from "The Fellowship of the Ring". Gary shared the image below recently on Facebook, with these words:

"I love how Gandalf answers Frodo here. It really blessed me as we were watching The Fellowship of The Ring once again last night. Frodo went through so much and Gandalf was such a wise counselor... J.R.R. Tolkien gave the world such great insights through his stories."