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…
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…
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!
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!
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.
There is nowhere else I’d rather be than with my grandkids, so the last two weeks have been heaven. As usual, Camp Sonnystone 2021 was a rousing success. Our Word was Believe, and our Theme was Rainbows. We ate well, swam a lot, painted, made suncatchers, sang, danced, laughed and had a few tears just to keep it real. My daughter has been making regular posts to FB, but for my WP followers, here’s a few pictures.
I’m just beginning to work on a video and hope to share that with you next week.
America is beautiful, just as the song says. As we travel to see the multitude of Wonders that make up the USA we are struck with awe; when we return we are more appreciative of the beauty in our own neck of the woods. I believe if you love this “country”, you should love this Earth, this lovely land of which we are stewards. I don’t think we’re doing all that well, “Murrica, but as individuals we must continue to care for this blessing and teach our children and grandchildren to do the same.
Enough Preaching! Have a Safe and Happy Fourth of July!
Happy Father’s Day to all the Super Dads out there, especially my son and son-in-law, Junior Casey and Eric Jose’. Hope you’re getting Mega Love and Attention which you surely deserve!
And it’s the first day of Summer, the Longest Day of the Year, the Solstice. From Ancient times the Solstice was celebrated as Midsummer and even today the Scandinavian Folks are partying like champs, drinking vodka and dancing around the Maypoles until they are dizzy.
We were out on Wednesday to feed the Budgies!
I love watering the gardens first thing in the morning, then sitting outside in my Thoughtful Spot and/or the front porch swing. It’s a great time to Praise and Thank.
I’m bemused by the hydrangeas…we have all colors growing side-by-side, a veritable rainbow. We’ve never put any lime or whatever it is people to turn them different colors. The pink one, by the way, was a gift from my old Bunco Club when my dad died 24 years ago; we call it “Dad” and it just keeps giving.
The Edible Garden is going to be actually edible soon…