Monday, October 14, 2013

Season of Change

This pic is from a railroad trail in Piney River, Virginia.  It is not heavily traveled and has great views of nearby rivers, forest and foothills. I had three or four great walks there!

I just came back from visiting my mother and brother in Virginia.  I was helping my brother pack up things at his old house, since he has moved in with Mom after Dad died in May, and helping my mother pack up some of Dad's clothing for Goodwill.  And I'm adjusting to life without my father.  Since I'm 53 years old, I understand that I am at that point in life where more people I am close to die.  But how I wish I could hear him on the phone, telling one of his recent jokes, or be able to ask him advice on this or that home repair job.

 This pic is from the railroad trail also.  What a hunk a rock they had to blast through to put in the rails!
 This pic is from a trail in Lynchburg, Virginia, near the James River.  I thought it was pretty cool, for an entrance to a "city" trail.
 This is my grandfather's homestead.  Family still owns the property, though no one lives on it, and a family cemetery is located there.  In the early 1900s, a main road used by carriages and horses went right by the house.  Now it is very isolated, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge.  I always walk here, since it is so peaceful.
 Back in Savannah, Georgia, I walked on the Tybee railroad trail a couple of times.  I was actually almost bitten by a young raccoon, likely rabid.  The incoming tide can cover parts of the trail, so I had to wade back to my car one day.  That's what I love about hiking - you never know what will happen!
Of course I also had to get in some walks at Tybee beach.  I loved the "cotton ball" clouds we had this day!

I quit my job as a cashier/tech at the Walmart Pharmacy near where I live in August, in order to spend several weeks with Mom and just "catch my breath."  Now I'm job hunting again, hopefully for something that requires a college degree and uses my past teaching experience.  I could write an entire blog about Walmart...have to think on that!

Friday, July 5, 2013

For everything there is a season...saying goodbye to Dad

Last Sunday I got up at 6am and was out on Tybee beach by 6:45!  I loved it so much I plan to go again this weekend.  With the summer heat and evening thunderstorms, the early morning hours are the perfect time to walk.  I actually walked for three hours, but then, I had a lot weighing on my heart that I needed to "walk off."

My father, Alvin Christian, died on May 21st from numerous complications following heart surgery.  His quintuple by-pass was on April 24th.  He was diagnosed in January with pulmonary fibrosis, which led to a diagnosis of thirteen heart blockages.  Hard to believe in a man who was never overweight, always physically active, and ate pretty healthily.  His surgery lasted for about 10 hours.  He had many complications after surgery, starting with pneumonia and breathing problems.  At times he could communicate, but at the very end he was comatose.  After consulting with his doctors, we decided to take him off life support with the help of the palliative care team.  I know this is what Dad wanted.  He fought hard to recover, but his body was just worn out, and he knew it was time for his soul to move on.  He will remain forever in my mind the most courageous and most generous man I know.  He walked into the surgery center dressed in freshly ironed khaki pants and a blue button down shirt, as if he didn't have a care in the world.  My Dad knew SOMETHING about how to do almost EVERYTHING.  In retirement and even prior to retirement, he worked constantly to help family, church family, neighbors and friends.  He loved to tend his garden and work in his shop on woodworking and refinishing projects.  Here is a picture of Dad one December with his "giant" turnips.  He could grow everything bigger and better!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Year Resolutions/Past Year Remembrances

I haven't posted in months..time to get back to it!  My biggest news is that my husband and I (and possibly my 20 year old son) will be moving to Amherst, Virginia in 6 months - 2 years.  My husband is set to retire from teaching in two years, unless he leaves earlier than anticipated.  Due to changes in the educational focus at his middle school, his job as a computer teacher has been eliminated, and he has to find something new.  He may just decide to retire early!  I visited my folks in October, and we found a house at a great price (before real estate prices rise).  I'm thinking of moving there early if I can find a job.  Guess I will have to start a new "mountain" blog!  The only place I love as much as Savannah's shore is the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.  This picture is of my grandfather's childhood home.  He worked to maintain the basic structure while he was alive.  He is buried in the family cemetery on the land.

A pretty tree and old tractor I saw on one of my Virginia walks.

Back on Tybee, enjoying the ocean, whether rough seas or calm...

I'm not into New Year's Resolutions; rather, I like to review the year's accomplishments and challenges. 
 Sort of a way of patting myself on the back and saying, well, I'm still standing and I'm grateful for it!  My most fervent wish for each new year remains the same -  that I and everyone in the world can find some measure of peace and hope, and have basic needs met.  A tall order, huh?

For me, the biggest challenges of 2012 were the death of my brother-in-law, due to a sudden heart attack, and the death of my almost 14 year old Jack Russell terrier.  Living in a coastal area, my heart goes out to those who lost loved ones and homes in storms and floods this year.

Happy New Year and Peace to All!