Pomp, Circumstance, and a long-shot

I have been so obsessed with the Coronation that I paid little attention to the horses this week-end, but in the end, I did my usual win-some, lose-some with my wagers without even over-thinking.

I am still in a daze over the opulence of the Crowning of King Charles III and Queen Camilla. I was up at 2:00 am, donned my tiara and thanks to YouTube got to watch the BBC coverage. They didn’t talk over the service like the Americans do, so I truly felt like I was in church.

I love High Church Liturgy, vestments, soaring ceilings with walls of stained glass, choirs and trumpets, and especially Handel, my favorite-of-all-time composer – and not just because we share a birthday, or because The Messiah is brilliant. Indeed, I just love the movement of an Amen or Alleluia that can be made to last measure upon measure! Andrew Lloyd Weber had composed a lovely setting of a Psalm, Debbie Wiseman contributed new music for a gospel acapella group, and there was plenty of Boyce, Rutter, and other quintessentially British tunesmiths.

I cried a couple of times, but big tears were flowing as Handel’s “Zadok the Priest” filled the Abbey. The King had stripped down to his undershirt (surprisingly not a wife-beater) and gone behind a stunning screen to be annointed; he was looking a little fragile yesterday and the sight of him so bare was a lesson in the humility of this good man. I share this with you, and I hope you watch it with a tissue handy, and remember this is Live, just before Charles and Camilla were crowned. (The dude in the kilt is Lt. Col. Johnny Thompson, the King’s equerry, and a very popular man amongst us Royal Watchers)

After a little nap and some lunch, I got dressed for the Derby and made my bets via TwinSpires. I talked with my kids and the name Mage came up, but I only bet him to show…at 18-1, I thought he’d be doing well to get that far. Congratulations to Mage, who did return about $13 on that $2 bet; it was my favorite, Angel of Empire, who almost made it, but cost me… I’m down $7 going into the Preakness, second race of the Triple Crown.

It was Thursday before we finally got my tomatoes in the ground and they were very shocked with the transplant. I fussed over them and they seem to have pulled out of it, especially with today’s rain.

The bell peppers, basil, yellow squash, and zucchini were planted on Friday along with some watermelon and cantaloupe seedlings.

We did a little re-arranging and I now have a spot for potted herbs in a partial shady spot that I think they will love.

I’ve been so wrapped up in all of the above that I feel quite relieved to have it all behind me. May is a busy month, as usual: #2 grandie will have her 15th birthday on the 9th, Mothers’ Day is the 14th, Samantha’s Dance Recital is the 20th, and Jojo’s Academy of Music will have the 1st Annual Piano Recital on the 27th.

I have to plant more seeds, and I’m planning another trip to Ronnie’s for extra plants just because. I’m still looking for anise hyssop; there’s a native plant nursery over in Posey County that has them, so that will be a nice little outing.

Somehow the gloom and rain don’t seem so bad today, though I’ve got to get outside and tie up the squash. Have a great week!

Peace

Birthday Day

Disney World is Not just for kids, as I have shown you. In fact, we’ve walked nearly 12 miles since we arrived and I haven’t had anyone carry me, so far, like I see all these little’uns.

Yesterday we broke camp at Fort Wilderness and moved over here to Pop Century — our home-away-from-home. The weather is very hot and humid, so I’m glad we’re not camping the whole trip.

And now the Big Day has dawned and I’ve completed yet another trip around the sun, my 70th. Park Hopping is my cardio and I’m feeling pretty fit. We’re scheduled to ride Guardians of the Galaxy – Cosmic Rewind around 4:30 at Epcot today and have most of the day free to do whatever we feel. Celebrate!

It seems appropriate to quote Walt Disney…

To finish up the Judith Viorst poem, quoted in Sunday’s post, re: turning the big 7-0:

……In the meantime,

Let us consider

Drinking wine,

Making love,

Laughing hard,

Caring hard,

And learning a new trick or two

As part of our job description

At Seventy.

That’s a pretty good job description for any of us, don’t you agree? I’m so grateful for all of you, truly appreciative of all my readers, whatever your age… Join the Jamboree and celebrate with me!

Hope you youngsters are able to keep up with us Class-of-’71-ers…

Peace

and the Jubilee Jamboree begins…

After a particularly gray, gloomy week here at the Acres, we’ve escaped, driving south toward sunshine and balmy temperatures. As if that weren’t enough, it’s Birthday Week!

We were off to a great start Friday evening with a Game Night Party to celebrate Samantha’s 8th and my 70th. We played the new Life Goals card game and learned the Clue card game. Both of us Birthday Girls won, and though the Pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey game was very competitive, the victory went to me.

If it’s noon, we’re driving through Chattanooga, a highway that makes me nervous. There’s something about runaway truck lanes that puts me on edge. If you’re reading this later in the afternoon, we’ve hopefully made it through Atlanta without too many stops and are cruising down the looong state of Georgia. We’ll stop tonight around sunset and spend the night in a campground. Goldie has been remodeled since our last outing and I believe we’ve got the layout just right for our needs.

I recently discovered an old (2005) book of poems by Judith Viorst, titled “I’m too young to be Seventy And other delusions”. She so perfectly put into words so much of what I’m feeling about this aging thing, and I’ll probably be sharing some of the poems with you this year. The title poem, “At Seventy”, starts like this

Instead of “old”

Let us consider

“older”

Or maybe “oldish”

Or something, anything

That isn’t always dressed in sensible shoes

And fading underwear.

Besides which, seventy isn’t old.

Ninety is old.

And though eighty is probably old,

We needn’t decide that

Until we get there.

I’m considering this trip a reset, a re-boot, a rejuvenation, a kick-off celebration of my long-ish life and overflowing blessings. I’ll be in touch, and we’ll see how that poem wraps up.

Peace

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! ‘Tis a Jubilee Year!

Time, Time, Time…see what’s become of me: in February of this year, I’ll turn Seventy…

I’ve been planning a year-long celebration of this momentous occasion ever since last February when I turned 69, wading bravely into my 70th year. At first, I thought I’d begin the festivities on my actual b-day, but now have decided that the entire year must be one of Jubilee. I share passing this landmark with nearly everyone who went to high school and nursing school with me, so I’m in good company. I’m hoping that all my friends – regardless of age — will come together for a Sonnystone Garden Party in July. Mark your calendars for that second week or so, and watch this spot for more info. If that doesn’t work for you, let’s just meet up for lunch sometime this year!

In addition to planning this gala, I’m looking forward to finally taking that Long Drive in Goldie, visiting the New Yorkers on St. Paddy’s Day, and more WDW (of course). I hope to get the Family History printed and there will be changes to the blog. It’s time to pull out the mandolin and brush up on some chords. Bring on fresh piano music! Refresh my reading challenge and strive again for 24 books this year. Maybe Windsor, England? Amtrak sounds like fun. Jubilee years are packed with pleasure, so here we go!

Resolutions? Ha! I plan to stay healthy, happy, and Curious… There’s still so much I want to learn, especially the stuff I thought I already knew…

Peace

Looking Back

We had our Family Christmas Wednesday and the Love was Everywhere!

It has been a wonderful year here at Sonnystone! Various and sundry ailments kept us from traveling as much as we would have liked, but we did go to London, a long-time dream! Our gardens weren’t award-winning, but I’m proud of the “new” firepit area that we designed and planted. Most important, we enjoyed the company of Family, Extended Family, and Friends throughout the year. I hope one of them was You, dear reader, and if not, why not?

Onward to 2023, my Jubilee Year!

Peace

Breaking News: #2 grandie graduates 8th grade

How bittersweet it is to watch your grandchildren grow up! As I watched the graduation ceremony, a montage of images slid through my mind, beginning with the first time I ever held her, hopping through 14 years of smiles…and some tears…and plenty of growing pains…and achievements beyond her own expectations.

Covid wiped out Olivia’s 6th grade year and she was home-schooled for 7th, so her experience of middle school has been brief, but full, as she was active in choir and on the Math Academic team. She received the Presidential Scholar Award and some other Civic Award. She was chosen to speak on “Looking Ahead” at the graduation ceremony; she seemed so grown-up as she delivered her remarks. She had also spoken at her 5th grade graduation, so I couldn’t help but compare and contrast. She is Remarkable, Super, and My Grand-daughter, so I’ve been tearful for the last 24!!

Olivia Mayne Casey, my sweet little buddy and occasional sparring partner, has been known to read this blog, so here’s to you, Nova!! I know you know, but I’ll say it anyway…

Peace

Boxing Day

It’s the Second Day of Christmas and I’m expecting the delivery of my turtledoves anytime now. Boxing Day in the UK was originally about opening the alms boxes to give to the poor, but has devolved into a shopping day. It’s also St. Stephen’s Day in the Catholic church, the day that Good King Wenceslas looked out where the snow lay round about…

Last Monday was the anniversary of my daughter’s birth and we were in NYC to celebrate. After luncheon at The Community, we proceeded to the movie theatre to see “West Side Story”. (We Loved it, we cried, we marveled…you really should see it.) Then we trooped back to the apartment to sing and blow out candles; I’m Sure her wishes can come true.

We had a super time on Christmas Eve with the Jrs. After a good meal replete with mashed potatoes and gravy, we opened presents. Then it was off to the movie theatre to see “Encanto” which was encanting…(insert punny emoji)

We called the grandies on Christmas morning; beyond that it was just us, two old kids, exchanging presents, drifting through the day, content with grazing the leftovers, amicably sharing. The Day was balmy, so we walked through the woods, planning a pruning spree next month; walked around the gardens discussing plans for the 2022 upgrades; walked down to the campfire circle and envisioned a wall of forsythia between us and the neighbors’ pond… I hope your Christmas was just as heartwarming as ours…

We may or may not have visitors from Manhattan this week, depending on Covid testing. I think Emma may have gotten caught in the blizzard out there…

Peace

Happy Birthday, dear Casey!

He’s still younger than me, so we don’t dwell on how Old he is, but this is the 67th Anniversary of his Birth. We’re not doing much to celebrate this year, just hanging out here at the Acres, putting up Christmas decorations.

Advent is upon us, the season of getting ready. Last year we weren’t able to be with our New Yorkers, so we’re Super Excited to return to our custom of watching the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall with the Jose’ girls. We’re planning to watch a few Christmas Parades in the Eville area with the Jr. girls, too. My children and grandchildren all still Believe in Santa Claus, so the Wonder never ends…

Here’s to my husband, my companion, my partner-in-crime; Be Happy! Be Healthy! Long Life!

Peace

The Sunday Scoop

It seems like forever since I bid you adieu. It felt like a good time to step away from the entire internet thing, go outside and clear my mind of the slime. I hoped to bring myself back to earth, focus on the Now. So I did, sort of.

It was late August when I changed my ways and I threw myself into the garden harvest, as well as pruning and moving shrubs around. By mid-September we were able to pull away from it and take a trip.

Casey has been steadily improving our campervan, Goldie, so we were anxious to take her on the road and try out our new canopies and storage. The Smokies is one of our go-to places, particularly Townsend, TN, “the peaceful side of The Smokies”; it’s only a 6-hour drive and it sits at the Cades Cove Entrance to the National Park. I managed to snag a riverside campsite for a couple of nights and we tooled on down, even though we knew that it was going to rain. Rain it did, damn near the entire time we were there. Because we were able to set up during a dry spell, it was a great test of our new awnings. It rained and rained and rained some more. We spent most of our time sitting watching the Little River flowing around the rocks, changing with every downpour. We watched squirrels and birds and walked around the campground watching people when we could. The last evening the skies began to clear, revealing a full moon rising above the mountains. The next morning the sun slowly rose in the same spot.

It’s always nice to come back home even if the trip is short and we got busy with the garden again. We’ve put a rock path from our Edible Garden to the firepit. The view is still weird since our neighbor dug a pond last summer and it’s only half full. By mid-October we were done, so we traveled down to Disney for bit. It was an impulsive trip, trying out something I’d been mulling for a while. We spent two nights camping in Goldie at Fort Wilderness and then moved over to our “home” motel, Pop Century; doubtful we’ll do that again as you lose a day making the move, even though they are only 15 minutes apart. From Fort Wilderness you can take a quick boat ride to Magic Kingdom; we wanted to see the new Castle Wrap and Fireworks. We had some inside information that Disney allows 100 people to watch the show from the top of the train station and we managed to be the first people up there! The next day we moved over to Pop; from there it’s a 15 minute skyliner ride to Epcot where we rode the new Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure (very cool). We’d never been over to the Boardwalk, which is just a nice boat ride from Epcot’s exit. It was lovely. As we returned, the full moon rose over Epcot.

All this time, I missed the blog. I did publish some genealogy stuff and have done a lot of research (so much for staying off the internet). I started planning a comeback a couple of weeks ago, hoping to give the site a whole new life, but was feeling a little shy. This is it, though. I’ll just upgrade my media space and slowly work on deleting any unnecessary photos and Sonnystone.com ought to be good for another ten years… We’re back!

Just in time for the holidays…

Peace

The Final Sunday Report

Last week I spent some time staring at the campfire and contemplating. Something inside me kept saying “I’m done” in a loop. I’d been feeling my age lately and this year’s Camp Sonnystone really brought it home as I cope with my grandies growing up in what seems the blink of an eye. But there’s no reason to think that I’m done, not at all; with so many good times to look forward to and our health still strong, I couldn’t justify that sort of morbid thinking. So I examined it more closely, listened more intently.

This blog means so much to me; it is the Chronicle of my Life. Including the defunct blog, for the last 16 years it has witnessed the birth of all my grandchildren and my evolution as a JoJo. Through two organist jobs, two nursing jobs, Christmases, Birthdays, Camps, and plenty of Disney Trips we’ve watched the grandies grow. But there were also lots of topics; I did interviews, reviewed every “Best Motion Picture” Oscar winner, went through my CD collection with comments, occasionally talked politics, often talked about Peace. There were some deaths, as well: Aunts Thelma, Almeda, and Shirley; Uncle Jr; my friends, NuNu, Lois, Chuck, and Beaver. I’ve taken you on lots of trips with us, kept you apprised of what’s growing in the garden, what birds are at the feeder, and sometimes just blathered.

Even though I upgraded my WP account, I have now very nearly filled up all the allotted media space for Sonnystone and for the garden blog, Growing Every Season, which I started around the same time. At first I thought I would do a whole lot of work to download and delete old posts, but I kept putting it off. The next upgrade costs quite a bit more money and is more for a monetized blog. I believe the voice that was saying “I’m done” meant that I’m done with this particular blog and the obligation that I feel to keep it going.

To give The News a proper send-off, I compiled a video of photos. In order to not make it an hour long, I concentrated on just the people, then had to pare it down more to mostly grandies growing up. The music that I chose is poignant; Over the Rainbow and Wonderful World by Iz, the wonderful Hawaiian artist. He speaks in one part, almost unintelligible, but he’s using two Hawaiian words: “kuleana” has multiple meanings, including “land divisions”, but represents your space or spirit; “pono” which means “to make correct” or “to make good”. So what he means is that kuleana pono is an “automatic plan”, that if you make your space, your spirit good, “stuff” is just waiting to come to you, waiting until you are ready.

It makes me kind of anxious to think of not blogging every week, so I remind myself that I’ll still be keeping up the ancestry blog, and our trips will still be recorded over at the travel blog. The fact is I need to let go and open my mind up to new things, especially regarding my writing. By letting go, I will open up my spirit for some of that “stuff” that has just been waiting until I’m ready.

Thank-you for following along with me. I have truly enjoyed your company. Now I’m taking one long look back, then turning out the light, closing the door behind me.

Peace