Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The 12 Days of Summer

(or so it seems!)

Just made a "last minute" decision to take some time off from work. My boss tells me that dryday.com is not forecasting much better weather than this for the summer so I figure I best take time while the taking is good. He approved. So I'm taking Wed-Fri which means as of now, I am on "vacation!"

It began stopping by the Wine Outlet - I won a glass for answering trivia. I figured since Nick just broke one of my older ones, I best go get it's replacement. The chica didn't know how to redeem my winning as she was new so I left, but not empty handed. I picked up a summery bottle of white wine to enjoy over the next couple of days on our wonderful deck. Which leads me to wonder, is the deck the best place to spend my Days 3-7 of Summer? Certainly not.

I rang my girly Melissa A - I can always cound on her when I need someone to relax on the sand with. We're hitting the beach tomorrow, bright and early! *Cue Flo Rida.* So now, as I enjoy my first glass of...whatever it was I bought...I look forward to enjoying the sun like the good ol' days. But really, that would mean heading to camp to enjoy the sun on the lake (Ambejejus) back home. Should I beg Nick to take time off??!!

It's super quiet here in the woods. Laura is working at a summer camp until Sunday and Nick is helping at the farm every sunny day. I have been buried in a book every evening - Christy. Skip the following if you have no interest... But if you enjoy the description, which I am sure very few will, I suggest you pick it up. Written in the 60's, it may be hard to find. I enjoy that it's written by a daughter from the P.O.V. of her mother who actually experienced what's described in the book. And the romance resulted in her birth...how cool!

"Christy" is the story of 19 year old Christy Huddleston who is in search for something to fill her soul and give her a purpose in life. So volunteering to teach in a mission school, Christy journeys to the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee, more specifically the area of Cutter Gap. Along with her, the other missions workers are a Quaker woman whom Christy looks up to Miss Alice Henderson, the handsome and charming Reverend David Grantland, and the reverends spinster and dour sister, Ida Grantland. As she begins to get used to living in the primitive surroundings, her heart reaches out the highlanders, especially to the children. Another person Christy begins to bond with is Doctor Neil MacNeil who has a strong desire to help his people. And as Christy struggles through hardships and heartache, joy and victories, she learns to have faith that God will take care of each and every one of them through good times and bad times.
"Christy" was written by Catherine Marshall in 1967. The book is under the category of 'fiction', but in actuality Catherine Marshall had written the story based on her mother, Christy's, life. An extremely uplifting and spiritually filling book, "Christy" is sure to please both young adults and adults.

The characters in the story are what really draw you into the book, making it a turn pager not in the sense that it's suspenseful, but in that you just want to read more and more about the characters. Christy Huddleston has all of the qualities of a young woman, intelligent, charming, yet a bit innocent. She also has a very curious mind and is always pondering about life and God's mysterious ways. Miss Alice Henderson is so well described you can just picture in your mind her 'queenly stature and beautiful poise'. I would sorely have liked to meet her in real life and discuss God with her as she has such a close relationship with Him.

Then there's the two men in Christy's life, the reverend and the doctor, both possessing unique attraction and strength. Reverend David Grantland is everything a girl dreams of, young, handsome, and incredibly romantic. But at the same time Christy finds he doesn't seem to have such a good relationship with God. Whenever Christy tries to ask him deep questions, his answers are vague, unfulfilling, and he also tries to avoid any discussions. Then of course we have Doctor Neil MacNeil, a man of science and not one of God. Though a highlander himself, since he had graduated from a prestigious college he is incredibly smart and sharp. His quick wit, quiet and calm ways, and cool attitude draws Christy towards him. But at the same time she can find him annoying and feels uncomfortable with him. Who is she in love with? I can't tell you the answer though I can assure you that Christy DOES find the love of her life, a man who loves her so very much.

Catherine Marshall puts into her story many instances where Christy questions God's mysterious ways, for example where is God when a close friend dies? How can God's mercy be taught to the people of Cutter Gap who are very poor and whose lives are very hard? Catherine Marshall writes so vividly and so well that you begin yourself to ask questions and as you read find the answers. Also, the end was SOOOOO well-done! I must admit that whenever I read the last two pages, I do get a bit misty eyed and I feel so uplifted! It's not the romance (though it does include romance) but it's the eloquence of this person's (I'm not telling who!) prayer to God. Whenever I finish reading the book, I always think, "that's how much faith I want to have in God!"

*Sigh* I'm about halfway through it now. Looking forward to finishing it this week. If anyone has any other reading suggestions, let me know!

So, Nick and I are in a "crossroads" with work, or at least the consideration of our future. He's got some things in the works. I continue to develop my skills and look forward to some new experiences whenever they happen to come along. Lots of change at work.

And life? We're moved in - Standish = wonderful. Out in the woods! Finally have DSL. No T.V. (well, converter box.) Power has gone out about 5 times in 2 months. Looking forward to following Dave & Emily in their blog on the Appalacian Trail. We're meeting up in August to hike with them. Family reunion.

My trip to Boston for Laura's birthday is high on my list of things I am anticipating! Her 21st birthday is Thursday (for which she desires strawberry milk,) a surprise from me for her Friday in Portland, Boston for the SOX vs. Yankees on Saturday and church on Sunday in Mass., party on Sunday with the Foleys... Woo hoo!

Second on the list is a camping trip with Nick and Dudley to Branbury State Park in Vermont. It's an hour south of Burlington *dolphin squeal!!* Other than hiking to Falls of Lana and other sites, we'll spend second our anniversary in Burlington at Vermont Brew Pub (dogs allowed) and Lake Champlain Chocolate Factory! Perfect! We are gone for almost a week!

These things I look forward to, along with God's mercy, get me though the weeks...waking up at 4:30, work, home, eat, bed...repeat. On top of that, Nick is working 2 jobs and contemplating a third! I'm picking up photography here and there which I LOVE. I heard someone talking on the Early Show, discussing women working a second job that they love. Well, I'm headed in that direction. The best part is that in many cases, it becomes their full time work. So, if anyone needs any photography, CALL ME! You can jump start my journey to that goal. We are diligently paying off our loans. Car is paid in April, moving on to some other bills... hoping to get to the point where my hobby can supplement our income just fine.

And so, Dudley barks at Baxter and I must stop it before I throw this very keyboard at them. Thanks for reading my venting, as boring as it may be, and as small an insight into our mundane lives... we are happy! All is good. *zaps Dudley with the E-collar* and *sip of wine* we are enjoying *zap* life.

Xo - Alana