Tuesday, July 25, 2017

In memory

Over two years of life have blown by, but somehow, turning back here seemed appropriate now.  While there are house updates to share, today, I write about a special visitor to Turnberry Love - almost 3 years ago.

I won't be going north for the funeral - will make the fourth funeral of grandparents that I have missed.  Formal goodbyes have never been my thing.  

I'll be saying goodbye, in my own way, here and when I land in Vermont in 4 weeks and a day.  For a trip I scheduled because every part of my being told me I didn't have much time to see him.  I've got the intuition, it just happens to be a little off.  So, today, in memorial, I share:

We were arriving late one night in early June for our annual two-month summer stay.  We snuck up the front sidewalk, which was never how you went into their house, to the screen door.  Inside, they played a word game at the kitchen table.  My father listened a moment as his mom argued the validity of her word before teasingly interjecting that she was cheating.  She fought back for a moment before realizing who she was arguing with, and they excitedly came to welcome us all in. 

The next morning, while everyone else slept, the two early birds in the house met in the kitchen.  He was sitting at the table, massive hands handling the newspaper and a cup of coffee, empty plate next to his placemat.  He whispered good morning and asked me about breakfast. Instead, I crawled into his lap as he turned the paper, whispering the comics section to me and talking me through the crossword puzzle clues – a padded click accompanying his inhalations. 

The summer Grammy died, I couldn’t bring myself to go to her funeral.  After the funeral, our family had a big gathering, and once again, I crawled into his lap, allowing him to cut my food, finding mutual comfort.  At family gatherings, especially as I got too big to crawl into his lap, I would sit at his feet, and he would rub my head, almost absent-mindedly playing with my hair, as the family sat around the living room and talked.  When I was older, I went to visit him alone.  Those nights I was there, he sat in his chair across from me, while I sat in the chair my Grammy occupied that last summer of her life, and told me, with a sad longing in his voice, about the mistakes he’d made, about his love for Grammy, and how the walls in his house would sometimes feel as though they were talking, full of memories. 

I’ll miss those hands – for whatever reason, I have strong images of the hands of each of my grandparents stored in my head.  Watching them tie flies, make pies, or kill a bug headed my way.  I’ll miss the pep talks – I’d call him weekly (and catch him about every other time), tell him what was going on in my life, and he’d tell me what a special girl I was, how amazed he was by what I was doing.  He wanted me to come back up and run the Maple Leaf half marathon again, and he always asked about whether we’d “been down to the coast” and how Winston and my husband were.  I don’t think he ever quite figured out that I could be working full time AND back in school (honestly, I’m not sure I have either).  I’ll miss the hugs that always reminded me of crawling into his lap and feeling the love.

But what gratitude I have!  Ninety-six years of opportunities, challenges, and love.  Thirty-four of my years in the presence of two generations before me.  Health up until the very end.  Memories of fly fishing, pie making lessons, cheesecake and strawberry rhubarb pie, hiking, fixing those stupid runners in his living room every two seconds, raspberries and garden bounties, the constant reminders to drink water, shooting BB guns in the back yard, non-fiction book recommendations, stories of fly fishing at 85 and pushing blocks of snow off his roof at 89, special dinners, dancing at my brother’s wedding… And the stories of "you're never going to believe what Grampa said" (well, she ain't no spring chicken! has got to be my favorite) -- hah...  And incredible love still – now, the love of friends and family enveloping us, just like his arms did many years ago, quietly providing mutual comfort in our time of grief. 

So Grampa, after 25 years without the physical presence of love of your life, I hope you are reunited in God's presence and that you have ultimate peace - I look forward to feeling the energy of the love of 5 amazing grandparents from my life, sending us unconditional love.  I'll miss you terribly.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Fingers Crossed (hubby's title interpretation: OMG you're blogging? It should be "Lazarus rises")

Good Lord.  I pulled up Turnberry Love to discover that my last post was just short of SIX MONTHS AGO.  Well, just when I thought life could not get any more crazy... it did.  What a wonderful blur of life the last 6 months have been.  And I seriously mean that.  Wonderful.  We are so fortunate to have each other and our family and friends and the beautiful Turnberry Love... but fingers crossed... may we be almost ready to move on?

Family here was wonderful - and how special to have a picture of 4 generations?  Grampa was enamored with little Jack-Bo, as well all are =)  It was so special to get to host him in our home while he was here.  He had his own suite!  

And then there was Christmas, and I was sick for New Year's, and Valentine's Day, and birthdays, and  work trips to new cities, and trips to NYC, and puppy snuggles, and baby snuggles - oh the baby snuggles!

And sunny days, and rainy days, and work all day days, and work all night days, and snow days...

And pretty soon, I was running in the Hospice Hope Run...

Which, after trying to ignore the pain for 5 weeks, I am currently sporting "the boot"..

Which has made being helpful at all around Turnberry Love infinitely more difficult.  And while all that was going on, hubby flattened all our ceilings, and while that is very exciting... let's face it, it's not super exciting to see lots of pictures of ceilings.  Oh, and we got new windows, which look great, but again... not very exciting to look at.  And we got gas installed (they're installing our gas water heater next week)... not very exciting.  SO.  I stopped blogging.

And then.

And then, hubby saw a house.  And Lloyd took us to tour it last weekend.  And, well, we fell in love. All over again.  And hubby came home and the next thing you knew...

We were planning to finish our renovation so that we can move.  Because the house we walked into felt like home.  This house has been fun and has been host to so many wonderful and challenging memories, but...  well, so here we are.  De-glossing the cabinets for the 3rd time.  

And picking out tile and vanities, and all things necessary for the final room remodel.  All with our fingers crossed that no one else feels that house we fell in love with = home.  Turnberry Love, work your magic and let us give you the last little bit of love... and be ready to hold the next family with love as we move on... with our fingers crossed.

Friday, December 12, 2014


Nothing like the promise of visitors to kick house-fixing into high gear!  When we found out 3 visitors would be coming to see the new addition to the family, hubby went into overdrive.  Finally, I can show you what he's been doing (and what I've been cleaning up) because the house is FINALLY clean enough to show pictures =)

First, we have the table that has been refinished.  I got this from his mom's basement when I moved into Lawndale.  It was in good condition but the finish was rough, so I painted it black.  That paint didn't hold up too well (tip: check to see the base of your paint prior to attempting to wash out an oil based black paint bare-handed in a brand new white sink, kay?), so it lived with a table cloth at all times.  In a breakfast nook with off-white cabinets.

Well, those cabinets are now white (note random colors we've been testing on black cabinets), and hubby stripped that table, stained it mahogany, and sealed it.  It's beautiful and better looking than most of the tables we were considering (which were not cheap by any standards).

Next up, he wanted to make the peninsula a little more fancy so our cabinets looked more custom.  We tossed around putting on beadboard, but that would have required pulling the shoe moulding off and all kinds of adjustments.  Instead, he got some posts and a board and made legs and a skirt for the front of the peninsula (which is now painted the color all our cabinets will be).  Pretty darned talented, if I do say so myself.

The blog has been quiet because, while he's been doing a lot of work, it's been concentrated to ceilings, and, well, sloughing off popcorn isn't super exciting.

But the yellow office is now grey (it looks green on my computer.  Weird.  I need to take daylight pictures, probably...

This is the same room.. looks way more grey.  WEIRD.

While we were choosing a color for the front office, we also chose a color for the guest room.  A week before our guest arrived, hubby took on scraping that ceiling and re-painting.  Talk about down to the wire!  I think it looks great now, though.  Very masculine (which is good, since it's currently Grampa's room) yet soft...

And I've been working a ton, cleaning up, and working on some Christmas crafts.  And decorating for Christmas, too!!!

The stockings are hung by the fire with care!

And even the dining room got a little extra fun this year!

The second tree got upgraded (there are like NO white fake trees around - what gives?), and we sprung for fun lights to go with the Christopher Radko ornaments even though it was a pre-lit tree.

So, that's about it!  Hubby has been working on finishing up renovations at his mom's old house, and we're planning our next, post-Christmas, tasks.  The kitchen cabinets and our bathroom are high on the list.  OH, but before that happens... we're getting new windows!!!  I'm SUPER-excited about that. It's happening next Friday (funny story, they actually called yesterday to do it tomorrow - we had been hoping they'd be done before everyone got here... I actually thought twice before turning them down =) ).  

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Our 5th Anniversary - for the birds.

I have some very exciting news.  So, remember when I said we visited an artist in Charleston and commissioned a piece?  Well, it arrived yesterday.  OH. EM. GEE.

OK, first, you have to see the back, where Kevin signed it to us!

And then, we hung it up.  The whole mood of the room changed.  It's so fresh, young, different... and there are the 5 birds, one for each blissful year of our marriage!

Kevin LePrince's birds are in our LIVING ROOM!  And because I love these birds' attitudes so much, ladies and gents, ready for your closeups?

Oh man, they make us happy =) And a little excited, as noted with the excessive use of exclamation points here...

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Too long...

It has been too long, and promises of sharing everything we've been working on abound... but in the meantime, I just have to say happy due date to our beautiful nephew =)  We're so glad you decided to join us a bit early!  We've enjoyed every snuggle these last 2 weeks!

And while I get myself back together and start the update process, little sampling of required updates...

Let there be light...

Come to the table...
And a recharge by the sea...

And more - more soon, promise!!!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Garden Gnomes

I know, it's been a while again.  It's not that we haven't been busy on the house, it's that we've been busy with life.  I've taken time in the past to write something about our anniversary, but this year, I put down the computer and just enjoyed celebrating the here and now that our anniversary offered.  We've been pushing through life - work, house renovations, race training - at the speed of warp-life.  We needed a little downtime to sit back and just be for a while, before life gets absolutely insane again.  So, we ran away to Seabrook Island last Wednesday.

The sun decided to hide the entire time we were there, but it still afforded us breathtaking views, amazing food, awesome retail therapy, laughter, and a lifting of our spirits. 

While out running, I got to visit with a number of deer, coming within a few feet of some of them - quite an awe-inspiring feeling, being so close without a barrier! 

Winston enjoyed some long strolls on the beach.

We watched lots of "Shark Tank", caught up on some magazine- and book-reading, and I think I fell asleep by 9 or maaaybe 10 every night (yeah, so when I say "we watched lots of Shark Tank," what I actually mean is hubby did while I fell sound sleep on his shoulder). 

We are inspired, once again, to work on the house, and talked about what would be our next projects and how we might accomplish them.  We even visited an artist, who does these birds I love, and commissioned a piece on approval - he sketched out 5 birds (one for each year of marriage) on a canvas for us.  I was so artist-struck, I forgot to take a picture.  Whoops.

Most importantly, we got to enjoy each other's company and the love that makes Turnberry Love so special. 

And then, we got home.  The Garden Gnomes had been to our courtyard! 

Mom and Dad surprised us for our anniversary by finishing up my clean-up job (that had left a rather large brush pile in the middle of the patio after some heavy pruning a few days  ahem, weeks ago) and planting some fall flowers in all the planters!!!  What a wonderful, wonderful surprise.  The photo below looks a little funny because I panned around the entire courtyard.  It looked so amazing, I wanted to try to get it all in.

Winston fully approved of it as well.