Monday, May 29, 2023

Perseverance #2

 I am rested and hopefully have some time to do some neglected items this summer such as this blog. I deleted my previous post which was to notify my special friends that Lindsay's surgery had been canceled. What are the chances of strep throat 4 days before a surgery that you have waited almost 19 months for? Challenges! I was so nutty, that I misspelled perseverance in the title. Oh dear, the school teacher in me shuddered when I noticed and the old me would have instantly changed it, but I am learning perfection doesn't work, so I left it until I had time to really write a post. We are always a work in progress.

Jeff and I slipped away to Auburn for Memorial Day weekend. It was empty of students and we spent a VERY QUIET Saturday and Sunday up there. I know that we both needed it and it was just what the doctor ordered for us. We ate at 2 of our favorite places with no waits and did some yard work and strolled through the antique store. Other than that we sat outside, watched some TV, read and just rested. 

We haven't been to Auburn since New Year's, so we arrived to realize the sweet jasmine on the wrought iron fence that provides a little isolation to our side yard porches had take a beating from the deep freeze. We pulled it all off the fence, but think it will live to grow again at the ground, so we will wait and see before we do anything else. We freshened the pine straw and called that a day.

It looks a little bare with the jasmine gone, but I still enjoyed my porch sitting outside under the oaks. By the way, it was chilly up there. I wore pants both days all day. 
While here, I would say May has been the most wonderful of spring days. 

Here is the view of our Auburn house from mine and Gus's walk around the neighborhood. 

And here it is out front.

I freshened up the pot on the porch. Of course, if we lived there all the time, it would need some red geraniums and some real ferns.

We also drove out to the cabin that we owned prior to this home at Lake Martin. You may remember that a friend I grew up with in Brewton bought it from us. Their children mostly live up that way and they wanted to have a place to be with their kids. We saw that they were there so I called them and we got to see the old place. I am so glad that they were able to purchase it and they have really cleared it up around it which we always knew we would like to do, but didn't get it done. They are a wee bit older than us and are able to go up way more than we ever could, so I know they love it with their grandchildren.

We loved that cabin and had so many good times there. I have a label on my sidebar for the cabin. We purchased it in 2006 and have a long story about how that came to be, but towards the end of our time there it just became known to us that we wanted to be in Auburn. We called the cabin "Serenity" because the family property that had been sold that gave us the money to buy it had been on Serenity Lane. I always prayed that anyone who visited or stayed there would feel peace when they drove up to it. I think God answered that with a "yes" in spades.

My mother and I used to go the first week of June every year as soon as school was out for me to decompress. We have good memories there. In May of 2013, life began to change. She fell and broke her femur and she had just gotten back on her feet to go mid July that year. As early as March that year, I noticed my stepdad had a lack of energy and just chalked it up to getting older, but while she was down with her leg I really noticed it. When we left for the cabin on July 14th, 2013, I knew deep down that something was wrong. I got up there that evening and did all the cleaning that I would do at that time. The next morning at 6:00 we got that "change" phone call. We would rush home and over the next few days find out that he had cancer that was too far gone to help. We began palliative chemo which would give him 10 months. During the course of that 10 months, I planned a wedding for my daughter, drove back and forth the hour and a half every weekend to my folks' home and mixed that in with midweek trips to Pensacola for the chemo treatments. I spent many hours on the road in the little triangle of Fort Walton Beach to Brewton to Pensacola to Fort Walton Beach in tears and praying. 

I tell you all this to let you know that real life happens to us all. It may seem like all is rosy with some, but you never know they have a lot going on as well.

I came out tired and depleted, but it set me on a health journey and for that I am thankful. 

So, when I show you pictures of the Auburn house and all its goodness, don't think all of life is perfect here.

Here is a picture of the comfy cozy living room that brings rest to me.

This month has been very pretty here in Fort Walton Beach. We are getting a new seawall. It is almost finished. They should finish tomorrow. I will share the views. 

Standing out on the dock here is the left side of the new seawall.

It is higher than the old one which means......

that there is going to have to be fill dirt brought in. That is going to be hard work.

I am looking forward to summer. Katie is a schoolteacher so that means I won't be keeping Miles for the summer. Now, I know I will some of the boys or all of them on certain days, but I should get some free time. I hope to do some special things for Mama and for myself. 

I have an ambitious list of summer things to do, but I am going to prioritize some quiet time on the deck mornings and evenings and some beach walks. I am going to read and rest between those summer chores. I know that I have to slow down. 

I have even realized I can't do all that I do at church and for the first time in ages I am not going to be teaching littles. Jeff and I lead a small group on Wednesday evenings and will keep our role in a thing called Starting Point. For the last 2 years we have been trying to train some younger ones to help us and think that we might have that done so that we only have to lead that once a year. It is a 8 week course for those that have questions about faith. Stepping down from the littles was hard for me, but I felt at peace about it afterwards so I know it is the right thing. I think my role is to mentor the younger leaders and not do so much of the energy draining things. I am getting there. 

I have been pretty drained as of late, so it is time to change course. 

Lindsay's surgery has been rescheduled for June 20th. She also got a bit of bad news from one her best college friends. Taylor has been diagnosed with breast cancer. She went in January thinking something was not quite right but it was dismissed as a cyst. Then her daughter that is the same age as Tucker began to have seizures. The little girl is doing better. Taylor and Drew had decided to move back closer to home from Huntsville to south of Montgomery. She still didn't feel right so before they moved back to the country she went to the doctor once more. She faces 22 weeks of chemo before a full mastectomy can even be done. They were to move on the May 31st. Drew has asked us to pray for returning to old jobs and getting all the insurance kinks worked out. I am boldly praying even further that that....

I am praying that Taylor will respond to the chemo in record time and that she can have surgery after 11 chemo. I am praying boldly that all it would be half the scheduled time. 

That puts things into perspective very quickly.

Life is a gift not to be taken lightly. 

I am ready for my summer and will count e.v.e.r.y single blessing along the way.

I will leave you on a positive note. Look at this thing of beauty. I put the last stitches in on Saturday night.

I will turn it into a pillow over the summer. 

I hope to check in with all of you over this week.
Let's get summer started, 


  1. Glad to see you again though life seems to have been coming at you top speed lately. I hope you follow through on your self care this summer and beyond.

  2. Your sunflower finish is beautiful, Sandy. Will add Lindsay's friend to my prayer list. Enjoyed your picture walk in this post. Thinking of you!

    1. Thanks so much, Robin. I have been a praying girl as of late, not that I am not one anyway. BUT, I have felt a strong need to spend lots of time there.

  3. I think you have a sun flower project of some kind just about every summer and my heart skips a little beat when you share it. They are just so cheery! I prayed while reading this post, especially for Lindsay's friend, Taylor. May we see God's glory displayed with blessings all along the way to complete recovery. Love your Auburn house. It looks like a wonderful retreat and I'm so glad you were able to get away to it for some refreshment.

    1. I know what you mean about those sunflowers. They draw me in every time.Thank you for the prayers. I know they will be heard.Our weekend was just what we both needed. I think we are ready for a new week.

  4. The sunflowers are beautiful. Your Auburn home looks like a wonderful oasis for you and the family. Lindsay remains in my prayers. I'm glad her surgery is rescheduled. Taylor and her family are added to my prayers list. The power of prayer is amazing. Sending love & hugs!!

    1. I mentioned it because I know many of you are prayer warriors. I am and when you guys tell me something like that I pray too. The Auburn house has been such a good place for our family. My son and his little family are going up this weekend.

  5. So glad y’all got away to Auburn. It nourishes the spirit to step away from daily commitments even for a brief time. The sunflowers cross-stitch is beautiful and will make a wonderful pillow.
    Perseverance is such a valuable trait. I call it “grit.” ­čśŹKaren

    1. Yes, that is true. We called it grit growing up. Why don't we use that term more?!

  6. I loved seeing your house in Auburn...yes it was a cool Memorial Day Weekend here as well. I will be praying for Taylor and for Lindsay as she waits once again. You are right, none of us are promised a life without care. I am glad you got some rest and we must prioritize things as we age. It is hard to admit we are slowing down but we are. Hope you have a good week at home.

    1. I am realizing with each passing day I can do less. I saw an article on the age when people thought they realized they were no longer young and it was 43. I think that is probably true. It said people begin to realize they are old at 53.  I think it was little older for me. I am realizing it now. I am taking it easy this week and slowly easing back into some of my chores next week.

  7. Sandy: I am so sorry about Lindsays surgery being changed, strep throat is horrible and take all your energy to heal.
    Your photos of Aubern House are lovely.
    You have such lovely memories of your childhood, it is always so refreshing and fun to go to the cabin, its a blessing that your friends bought the cabin and kept it in good condition.
    Mike started a few young people who now are involved in teaching Bible Study at Church, one is in high school and the other is in collage, its a blessing for sure.
    Your Sunflowers are beautiful.
    Please take some time for you, and rest and relax, you have been so busy taking care of everything else you need to have some you time I do this s couple times a month it refresh's me.


    1. I really am going to rest this summer. I think I need it after taking care of littles for so long.

  8. Self care has a very lovely freeing sound to it. Prayers your self care is the best ever to the fullest!

    1. I am saying yes to some self care this summer. I am really bad about doing for others and not myself to the point I wear myself out.

  9. I think I have caught up on reading a few posts I missed earlier. I enjoyed seeing the new sea wall. This is something totally unfamiliar to me so I find the concept interesting and new. It sounds like you have a good plan for finding a balance of rest and doing what needs doing this summer. I'm praying for Taylor. What a blow to a young mother.

  10. I missed this post as my grandson was visiting and no stitching or blog-related activities were happening at all :)

    I love your Auburn house--the wall colors are wonderful and it looks like a great place to unwind and just get away from it all. And your newest finish is just perfect--love those colors and it will make a great pillow.

    So glad Lindsay's surgery has been rescheduled! The waiting is so very hard...


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