Family Time

This past week, we loaded up our Yukon and drove 989 miles in searing heat with no air, except for the wind whipping around in the truck with our windows down. As humid and hot as it was, and all the perspiring going on, we should have melted the pounds away.

When you travel with a child that has special needs and an adult with respiratory problems, you feel like you’re packing the entire house for a weekly excursion. Loading the truck with suitcases, a medicine bag for several people, mobility devices and a bag of toys/books to keep everyone satisfied….checking lists off twice, it’is not as easy as it sounds. It takes almost an hour to load everything and then you pray you didn’t forget anything.

Our family, except for our daughter and fiancee, secured in our seatbelts and car seats made the normal 15-18 hour trip in 21 hours. Longest 21 hours of my life so far.

I love the state of Florida and someday when I’m old and gray, I hope we can call Florida home again. Ok, I’m old and I do have some gray strands peeking through, but Tyson is doing so well in Ohio and is all set up with his therapists and specialists that moving is very daunting. I’m not sure I could talk his mom into leaving her friends in Ohio and I know I couldn’t handle being too far away from him or our other grandchildren.

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Tyson loved the pool and we tried to go every day while there. At first, he was hesitant, but once in, getting him out was almost impossible. His Uncle Mike made it fun, taught him to close his eyes and hold his nose to go under the water. He loved jumping from the steps with his swim vest on and spinning in the water. This was a great way to expend his energy before our nightly dinners and almost always ensured he would drift off to dreamland.

When your only living parent lives almost a thousand miles away, you cherish the time you have and if you are even a little bit emotional like me, find it hard to say goodbye. I kept my tears inside and thought about how blessed I am to still have our mother here and so very thankful to have spent the 7 days with her. Great memories were made and all of her neighbors doted and loved on Ty. Providing him with toys to use while there and yummy snacks any toddler would love.

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We visited a great Thai rolled ice cream shop in downtown St. Petersburg called Ice Burg. We watched as they made the specialty treats. It was worth the drive downtown just to try it out! Very filling for low prices.

We ventured to a fenced in play area near Gulfport beach in Pinellas County and Ty was able to access a small beach area with sand and shells. For the past few months all he has talked about was going to the beach and building sand castles but as it turned out, that was the only beach he would visit. He didn’t want anymore to do with beaches only the pool. Maybe one day he will relish the sand and surf.

You never realize how much you miss your mom’s home cooking until you are eating it. We ate out twice while there..the rest of the time was savoring the smells wafting in the air as she prepared meals. My mom is an amazing chef!

As we embark on the road trip home, I’m so very thankful to Jesus for keeping us safe. We’ve been on the road for over 8 hours now and thankful my husband and sweetheart is good at driving and navigation; he used to drive for a living.

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The biggest takeaway from this post. Enjoy the time you have with your family. Love one another, laugh and cherish each moment you are blessed to have.

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Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.
Romans 12:9 NLT

May you know how much Jesus Loves You~right now wherever you are!

Blessings~Carlene

#HopeAlwaysHaveFaith

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Summertime

I remember hearing a song growing up, part of the lyrics were ‘summertime and the living is easy…….Summertime  by  Ella Fitzgerald, that’s all I remember of the song, but I remember the memories that come back when I hear that song. Memories of school being out for the summer and the fun of going to summer camp, spending it with my friends and learning a new craft or riding horses, singing songs by the campfire, telling stories, some true and some not.  Summertime always was a time to gather with friends and family, go to family picnics and reunions and catch up on the news of each family.

As I reached adulthood, it seemed like Summer was just another season, and nothing special happened or at least not very often. Times have changed where everyone is in a hurry now, there are deadlines to meet and the thought of making special plans to get together with family and friends isn’t as easy as it once was. It’s no longer a 9 to 5 world, where your weekends are your weekends to use how you see fit. Everyone works different schedules and times and as much as all of us want to connect and reflect on our lives and where we have been, what we’ve been through, where we are headed-it’s not as simple as it sounds.

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Summer also signifies the hot season for most of us. A time to go to the pool  or water park and cool off after a long day of work; cooking meals on the charcoal or gas grill, sipping iced tea or lemonade on the front porch and waving to the neighbors as they go by.

Summer is one of my favorite seasons of the year.  If I could escape winter and spring I would; however living in Ohio does not afford me that luxury at this time.  So when summer temps hit the area, I get excited. No more wearing bulky clothing.  I can drag out my skirts and capri pants..  And the best part is hardly any shoes.  Just flip flops.  Pull my hair up in a ponytail until I can decide how short to get it cut and feel free. We have bonfires in our backyard area, roast marshmallows and enjoy time with family and friends when we can. It is so peaceful to hear the fire crackling and the crickets chirping. Chasing fireflies with our grandchildren and seeing them get so excited as they place them in the jar for a bit!

Summer is also a great time to go to amusement parks or zoos and see the sights and sounds.  Going fishing and just spending time in nature. Not that you can’t accomplish these things in winter or spring, but for me it’s all about summertime.

When the first day of summer hits, summer solstice, the longest day of the year, it signifies days where the sun is up longer than in the winter. Winter time can be a time of the blues, if you don’t get enough sunshine in your life, depending on where you live, of course.

So, now you know why I enjoy the summer months. Autumn is my other favorite. Seeing the changing of the colors and enjoying the beauty God gives us each day.  What is your favorite time of the year and why? I would love to know.

Thanks for stopping by. Blessings to all of you and remember Jesus Loves You!