Wednesday, May 31, 2017


 My all-time favorite recent picture of Bubba and I.
This is a pencil sketch of us down at the ocean in Jupiter, Florida.
It captures who we are perfectly...
happy, blessed, and sill having fun.

Harry & Archie have been here two days.
We are still standing!
Having fun even.
Being the quintessential child at heart,
loving to play games and make believe,
I fit right in with the nine year old mindset.
Watched Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban last night with Harry.
We both hit the bed a little spooked.
He told me today that next time he watches it will be in the afternoon.
We had a rainy afternoon so we played several rounds of Ocean Bingo.
I suggested that we use real shells as our game pieces.
They loved it.

Harry LOVES to sit on our big, ole farm table.
I find him here so often,
What can I say?
He is our climber and he runs as fast as a cheetah,
I love him!
He makes me laugh and laugh.

David, Erika, and Lu are on their way to China as I write.
They ended up leaving from Dulles in DC rather than Chicago.
They got three seats together.
So many prayers have gone up today.
They will arrive in China sometime while we are sleeping.

Keep them safe Lord.....
and, thanks so much!!

One last thing...
I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that somebody is praying for me.

Monday, May 29, 2017

across the top of the world

The bunk beds are ready,
their bathroom is clean.
I splurged on some toothpaste
and bought them some things.

The beach and the pool are calling our names,
the pantry is stocked with all sorts of goodies.
Movies and Lego's,
new markers and drawing pads,
a trip down to Disney!!
Everything we could think of to show them a good time!
It's time to parent our grand kids for a while!!

David and Erika leave in the morning.
They are going to China to pick up Walt.
Harry & Archie are staying with us,
Gus will be with his grandparents in North Carolina,
and Lucy is off to China.
She has a passport and will get it stamped!
We are all so excited.
the time has finally come.
The high chair at our table will be in use once again.

Lots to ask of our God right now.
We need patience and guidance, safety and health.
That all will go well,
the time will pass swiftly,
no homesickness at all for this little family
going their separate ways.

Yes they will fly over the top of the world.
The trip from Chicago to Beijing will take thirteen hours....
then a six hour train ride to where Walt resides.
And yes...they will go to the Great Wall of China.

Godspeed to our loves....
see you at the airport in a couple of weeks
 so that we can meet and love on our seventh grand baby....
Little Walter Bookman Cleland.

Blessed beyond measure!!

Friday, May 26, 2017

a little glance away

"So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, 
and he slept; 
then He took one of his ribs, and closed the flesh at that place.
And the Lord God fashioned into a woman
 the rib which He had taken from the man,
and brought her to the man.
And the man said,
'This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; 
she shall be called Woman 
because she was taken out of Man.' "

"For this cause 
a man shall leave his father and his mother, 
and shall cleave to his wife: 
and they shall become one flesh."
Genesis 2: 21-24

God ordained.
A covenant between a man, a woman, and God Himself.
A promise to remain true...
to let nothing or no one intrude into this mysterious union.
A vow taken before God and witnesses.
A trust not to be broken.
Note the unbroken circle of the symbols ~ the rings. 
a beautiful union that brings forth life.
Two like-minded souls brought together until death does them part.
A life filled with blessings and sorrows,
sustained by the power of God that raised Jesus Christ from the dead.

God's word tells us from beginning to end that believers have an adversary.
His name is satan.
He is evil,
he is a destroyer,
he is opposed to God.
He lies to us and tries to convince us that God's way is burdensome.
Sometimes he approaches us as an angel of light.

A little glance away.
How many Christian marriages have been destroyed by satan's whisper...
"Looking with longing at this person who is not your spouse is okay...
you need a little change up, 
more fun in your life,
something different and exciting."

You start out by saying to yourself,
"I still love my husband/wife, but this other person
looks so good,
makes me feel so good....
what harm can possibly come from a little glance away?
Before you know what hit you,
you can think of nothing else.
You become discontent,
consumed with lust,
wanting more and more of this thing that only brings despair.
You think if you are not with this person in a physical sense that you are okay.
That is a lie!
If you are thinking lustful thoughts of anyone besides your spouse
you are committing adultery.

Oh Christian brother or sister....
Maybe this has happened to you.
Maybe you are filled with despair, depression, hopelessness.
Maybe you think you are unfit, unsaved, tarnished beyond repair.

Good news!
We have a Savior....
 Jesus Christ who deals in grace, mercy, and forgiveness.
He died so that we could be brought back into a right relationship with God the Father.
He died so that we could be forgiven and made holy and fit for His Kingdom.
He died so that when we make mistakes there is....

The Bible give us hope.
If you are a Christian the Holy Spirit WILL convict your heart.
You will recognize your sin.
You will desire to repent, to turn from.
God will help you.
You will suffer,
It will be for righteousness sake.
 It will be worth all of the pain you will endure.
God's forgiveness covers all sin.

To Christian men and women young or old who are married...
No one is immune.
This can happen to anyone,
innocently maybe (the angel of light thing),
but then you are hooked.
God knows what's best!
Leave and cleave!
Keep your marriage as God intended.
Do not glance away not even for a moment!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

weather related

A friend and the manager of  our condo property
sent us these pictures this morning
of a tornado over the water in front of our unit.
Nature's fury is so awe inspiring.

Thankfully there was no damage.
I think I would have had to commit Bubba if there had been.
Our trek back from Hurricane Matthew 
is still a work in progress with the insurance company.

We decided to go to Pearl's for dinner last evening.
Kind of a "just the two of us" celebration
of his birthday.
Pearl's is one of our favorites.
It is all windows overlooking a tidal creek and marsh.
Yesterday the creek was full because of high tide.
Bubba got crab stuffed flounder and I chose shrimp and crab au gratin.
Just after we got our food the storm descended in all of its glory.
What a sight to see the wind and rain running up the creek.
At some point, all of the cell phones in the restaurant
sounded forth with an ear splitting tornado warning.
It was kind of funny and kind of scary.
We all chose to stay, though.
It was the right thing to do!

I just want to say...
they have these little hush puppies,
fresh out of the fryer,
that taste like donuts,
served with honey butter,
that are to die for.

We stayed for those and so much more.
Thankfully we were spared.

I love storms!
I love storms with a view!
I love storms when I am home cleaning our home.
I got some of all of that these last two days!


Sunday, May 21, 2017

the sweet may birthdays...

Jake turned twelve.
Granddaddy is now 73.
What a joy to have a big, fun birthday weekend.

Grandaddy got a shout out for being the 
world's best Grandpa.
He Is the best!

Jake wanted a Star Wars Rebel birthday party.
I made my famous Coca Cola cake.
Bubba got to pick the dessert.
Amanda and I got up early yesterday morning to get it made.
It was delicious.

The party game was this BB8 pinata.
The kids get to whack at it until it bursts open
and lots of money falls out.

Lining up to take the first try to bring the goodies in BB8 down.

Jake first then youngest to oldest.

Lucy knocked it off of it's perch so Amanda had to help
get BB8's loot emptied to the ground.
everybody got six dollars.

I just love this picture!
These kids have such a good time together.
Thank you Lord for these past few days.

Friday, May 19, 2017

the start of something wonderful

Jake turns 12.
Granddaddy turns 73.
Big birthday weekend starts today!!
All the grandkids at Get Air.....
jumping to their heart's content.
Jake says his birthday has gotten off to a great start!

Just now we celebrated with the family at
La Parilla Mexican Restaurant.
Jake got treated to a real Mexican birthday celebration
 complete with a sombrero,
singing and clapping,
and a delicious desert to share with everyone.

I love birthdays!
Always so much fun!
More tomorrow!

Happy Birthday Jake & Grandaddy!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

beach dreaming

Lucy and I were at the condo pool Friday evening last.
This shrimp boat was anchored just steps from the beach.
 I'm always looking for the perfect picture
so I took this shot.....
so much going on here.
The days work over, the shrimpers were hauling in their nets.
The sea birds were hovering, looking for scraps.
The dolphins were playing close by.
I am never disappointed at Tybee Island.
So much much to see and hear.

Someone asked me today....
What would you like to do with the rest of your life?
My answer?
The beach.... I want to live so close to the ocean
that I can see it, smell it, hear it.....
every day and night and day.
Somewhere where it is never too cold,
somewhere that I can walk on the sand daily
and take a dip in the salty water,
riding some waves
and floating to my hearts content,

I want a really comfortable chair 
down close to where the waves break.
Lots and lots of really good books to read.
A small beach town 
where nothing I need is more than a few miles away.
A grocery 
with lots of fresh veggies and fruit reachable on my bike.
A porch where I can watch the sun rise and drink some coffee.
Comfy shorts and a drawer full of 100% cotton white J Crew T-shirts.
No shoes, but tiny little Crocs with barely there straps.
Some very simple swim suits 
and the best sunscreen money can buy.
I would have my quirky long skirts and funky tops
for those rare times when I go out on the town.

I would praise and worship God every single day,
all day long and into the night.
I would read His word.
I would tell everyone I meet about our Savior
 and what He has done for all of us.

I would hope to find a little church 
nestled in the sand dunes 
with views of the ocean 
with a preacher man that would preach the truth boldly 
in a way I can understand.
That church would be a place where I could serve others.

And when I come to die,
I know it will be a joyous time,
because all of the pain and suffering will be over
and I will be escorted by my angels into the presence of my Lord
to worship and praise Him and enjoy Him forever!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

mother's day musings

I love Mother's Day!
I love Mother's Day at church.
David brought God's word to us this morning.
What a blessing that was.
I love my family and their thoughts toward me...
the kids with their handmade cards and their sweet whisperings of
"Happy Mother's Day Grammy!"

I received 21 beautiful tulips,
some sweet essential oils,
some Chanel nail polish with the name "ballerina"
and a couple of those absolutely fascinating cards I mentioned earlier.

The first card is from Gus.
He and I are at the zoo looking at a giraffe.
The giraffe is remarkably like us....
the arms are definitely an anomaly
but you can tell it's a giraffe by the coloring.

The second card is by Archie.
His is very detailed and well thought out!
I am always taken aback
 by how God arranged for this little guy from China and that little guy from Ethiopia
to be my grandsons.

I put this picture on facebook today.
These two call me mom.
They are, along with my husband,
the greatest blessings of my life.
Always sweet, kind, respectful, loving children.
God, thank you for choosing these precious souls for me.
I love them so much.

That's me with David in the first few minutes of motherhood.
Oh the joy of that moment.

Lastly tonight me and my mom.
She had the magic.
She gave it to me.
It's what makes life beautiful and exciting.
I love her.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

me and my mom

I was seven years old.
She was expecting my brother Frankie.
We were in New York City...
at the top of the Statue of Liberty.

She gave me so much....
my love of travel,
my sense of humor,
my love of getting all dressed up.
I was # One for seven years.

Mothers are gifts from God.
He knew we would need their tender love and care.
I am thankful that I had 82 years with mine.
I am glad that I was by her bedside when she died....
 my hand was on her pulse
 and I felt the last pump of blood through her body.
She was at peace.

hardest job on this earth, also the most rewarding.
Thank you God for my mother!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

hello again....

This morning the port of Savannah 
welcomed the largest container ship 
to ever dock on the east coast.
photo @ Visit Savannah on Facebook

I'm hoping it made its way safely under the bridge!
I love watching these big ships pass by our condo on Tybee Island.

The Statue of Liberty and the Washington Monument 
would fit end to end along its deck.
That's a really big ship!!

Today, for the first time in a while, I feel good.....really good.
I had to take some medicine that took away my will to do anything.
Just the thought of writing my blog was abhorrent to me.
Thanking God just now for healing and a clear head.
So often we take being well and feeling great for granted.
Actually, wellness is a huge blessing from Him, 
He, who is our healer and the One that sustains us in life.
How often we forget that truth.

"It's Your breath in our lungs
and we pour out our praise...
we pour out our praise to You only."

Congratulations to Ivan....

Saturday, May 6, 2017

piano recital

Archie Cleland playing Yellow Spaceship & Mary Had A Little Lamb.

Harry Cleland playing Fortune Cookies.

Lucy Cleland playing Ode to Joy & Old MacDonald Had A Farm.
Today at 3:00 pm.
Independent Presbyterian Church Chapel
Savannah, Georgia.

What a joyful time this was!!
Gus was their biggest fan and will hopefully take next year.

"Make a joyful noise unto the Lord."

Thursday, May 4, 2017

the beach by our condo....

....leading down to the convergence
 of the Atlantic Ocean and the Savannah River.
One of my favorite spots in the world.

I found this today....
For anyone that is a believer,
for anyone that is hurting because of the ways of this world,
this is encouragement just for you.

"All of your afflictions are totally meaningful.
Every millisecond of your misery in the path of obedience
is working for you an eternal weight of glory.
Cancer or criticism,
Slander or sickness ~
None of it is meaningless!"
John Piper

It is raining and lightning and thundering.
One of those sit on the back porch and marvel kind of rains. 
Thunder storms make me very happy!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

100 years...

 Bubba's mother,
Vera Barbee Cleland, 
would have been one hundred years old.
He started months ago 
asking me to do a blog on this day.
As I thought about what picture to share I chose this one.
She was still a young lady,
Very beautiful.

Actually she lived a very long life.
I think she was relatively healthy her whole life.
She worked hard.
She was ninety when she died.

We were talking about her this morning....
Remembering her life and times.
Bubba would have to write this to recall his childhood memories
as he does so often with me.
Some of my fondest memories are the times we were gathered around 
a table loaded with delicious food she had cooked with love.

I know beyond a shadow of a doubt 
that this is Bubba's favorite picture of his mother.
She raised him.
She sacrificed for him.
She rejoiced to see him married.
She dearly loved our children!
she was by his side the day he got pinned as a Colonel in the
United States Air force....
a very proud and happy day for all of us.

Bubba loved his mother well.
She loved him well too.
To God be ALL the glory!!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

my yard makes me happy...

It is a gorgeous spring day.
There is a warm breeze.
We had much needed rain last night
and today....
everything is glowing.

These are some of the flowers that the deer ate on the first day I brought them home.
They are thriving now.

If you look closely,
on the porch is a spray bottle of deer deterrent.
I use it faithfully.

These grace the front porch.
These too were eaten by the deer but have staged a comeback.

Look at the top left of the chair.
They just love to taunt me.
The lizard repellent that I paid a fortune for online
did no good whatsoever.
I was hoodwinked for sure.

I have a simple little garden this year.
That's okay,
it makes me very happy!

This morning when I went outside
 the air was heavy with the scent of Jasmine.
Only God can scent the very air that way.

"Sweet days of summer,
the jasmines in bloom."

Summer Breeze
Seals and Croft.

Monday, May 1, 2017

when you have a friend....

....who sends you this book,
in the mail,
on a day when you're sick as a dog,
and your thinking is stinking,
and you feel like you may not even make it to the next day....
all I can say is....
"I needed that, it couldn't have come at a more opportune time."
It brought many smiles my way and just made me feel...
I am thankful for you.

And here is something I bet you didn't know....

I have two packages of peeps left over from Easter.
I don't stockpile them.
They are available at other holidays now.
One Peep is just enough to satisfy that need for
"a little something sweet"
after dinner.

I am getting better!