Monday, October 2, 2017

Our Weekend! Family Reunion, Update on Mother and a Fellowship Kind of Sunday.....Welcome October!

Louis Dean and I both love Mineral Wells State Park.
We were first introduced to it when we began attending the Whitfield Family Reunions several years ago. These are more intimate reunions with emphasis on cousins......
In the end....isn't it the 'cousins' who keep the family connections going?

We were up early and on the road Saturday morning because we knew how important it is to stay connected to family.

This park is beautiful and Louis Dean and I have camped here often in years past.
Shelters # 3, 5 and 7 are amazing!

This is the dining hall and it costs $180 for the whole day.
It has a huge dining room and a complete kitchen. There is even a large stone fireplace for those using it in the winter.

Joyce and Anthony......the leaders of the Whitfield family.
Anthony is the one who started the reunions and his daughter, Toni Sue, is instrumental in keeping them going.

It was a day to celebrate!
How wonderful to have Summer and Sabrina and RAyne here with us!!
They had some amazing stories about surviving Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico......
actually, they survived Hurricane Irma, Tropical Storm Jose in addition to the 'Big One.'
She had lotsof hugs on Sunday!!!

Here's Lonnie, Nita, Sabrina, Pam,  Summer and Deanie with Rayne and Sunshine in front.

Add me to the photo!

Meet Sunshine! 
She is an Emotional Support Animal and an excellent one at that!

What a difference a week makes.
 Last Sunday was terrifying for Summer.

This is our cousin, Jimmy Dewayne! 
He was known in the military as JD but you never outgrown the name you were called by your couisns.
We all love him!
He is the oldest son of my cousin, Shirley.

Lonnie, Deanie and Tony - another of Shirley's sons - and Nita.
Shirley died way too early but the way she lived her life continues to influence mine.
I am grateful for that.

Everyone was so happy to see and hug Summer.
This photo is of Summer and her Aunt Gay.
Everyone loves Gay!

Family Reunions are full of love and laughter!

And well should they be!!

Pam....daughter of my cousin, Joyce, Summer, and Gay.
You can see our beloved Charlie in the background. 
Charlie is Deanie's husband and the kindest person any one of us will ever know.

Me and our one and only brother!

This photo is courtesy of Summer!
Rayne, Ricky....the son of our loved and departed Danna.

This is the way a family reunion looks like!
Everyone is engaged in conversation and the groups morph and change but by the end of the time - we all get to connect to each other. THAT is a 'Family Reunion!'

To cover the cost of the dining hall and supplies, we do an auction.
Nearly all of us bring 'something' and we more than cover our expenses.

See that awesome Halloween Hat???

I had a great video to put here but I can't find it now! If you are one of my Facebook Friends - it is in the album. Anyway - I WON this auction item! Yes, I DID!

We have such talent in our family.
The quilt on the left is a masterpiece made by our cousin, Pam.
It is worth hundreds of dollars and Sabrina won that and gave it to Summer who will treasure it and feel the love of family every time she pulls it up to her chin when she she goes to bed at night,

It was a FUN auction!

We visited. We hugged. We laughed. We ate. We shared our concerns.

Summer is holding her treasured quilt.
Summer shared several pics and I chose this one because I love the way Rayne and I are looking at each other.

As we all said our goodbyes.....Louis Dean and I lingered in the park. We drove around to all the places we had camped in the past. LD was still suffering from his recent dental work so he stayed in the car while I went down to sit quietly in one of my favorite spots at the park.

I have prayed and made some life decisions right here on these steps.
As I looked down......

and as I look up.

We left Mineral Wells and drove to Benbrook to have a short visit with with Deanie.

Louis Dean loves her so and they have had a special relationship ever since they drove back to DFW together after the quads were born.
Just so you know.....Deanie continues to improve....albeit slowly.
As good as she looks here - she held up well during the reunion - and then went straight to bed for the next 24 hours.
She is tough and steps up to the plate when family are involved but she does pay a price.
The doctor says she WILL improve but it will be years.....many years.
Deanie told him, "I'm 65 years old! I don't see how that will work!"
I am praying it will not take as long as the doctors think it will.....
Still.....she is looking good and we are thrilled.
The very fact that Mother is living in another place has undoubtedly added years to my sister's life and we are grateful for that.
There is a different feel when you walk in the front door.
This is Deanie and Charlie's  home!

I have been out of the loop in caring for Mother so I picked up the clean laundry from Deanie - and after we had a nice visit - I took it to the nursing home.

Mother was glad to see me.
Louis Dean opted to stay in the visitor's room since he was not feeling well.

I am happy to say that we had a good visit.
Lillian has been a wonderful friend to Mother.
Mother has been less so to to her but we are all actively working to encourage Mother that it is in her best interest to be nice. I think it may be working.....we can only hope so.

I then took Mother's dirty laundry to Nita - and we had a nice visit with her and Mike.
They have such a lovely home and we enjoyed catching up with all the recent improvements they have made.

Me and Mike!
This picture was taken after......

THIS one!!
It is no secret that Louis Dean loves my sisters!!

I was late getting home but thankfully my guests were patient.

You all know how much I love my hairdresser and friend, Yulisa, at K Hair.
I was so blessed to meet her mama!
We had planned  a tea party for Saturday night and that was what we had!
Chicken salad, crackers and cheese and TEA, of course.
It was a wonderful ending to a good day.

The ONLY problem with Saturday was the fact that I wore cute sandals instead of my 'sensible shoes.' I paid the price. I was in a good amount of pain when we got home. Next year I am going to address my foot issues which, at times, has me feeling crippled. 

When I went to bed last night, I knew I would need a day at home to recover from the past several days. Louis Dean had recorded Ed Young, Sr and we watched that.

We continue in prayer for this pastor who lost his wife a few weeks ago.
Ed Young, Sr is Louis Dean's all time favorite preacher.
We attended his church during the time we lived in our camper in Katy when the quads were babies.


The we tuned in to Fellowship Live.
We were members at Fellowship Church Grapevine for several years.
I admit - we have a yearning to reconnect to Fellowship. Perhaps we can visit there on Saturdays and still attend First Methodist on Sundays.

This has been a gentle and relaxing day.
I did some housework, some yard work, wrote some letters and prepared some packages to mail.

I changed out my Neil Diamond Cd's to Enya, Sarah Brighton, Kenny G and Josh Groban.

October first. 
September is over but I will continue to celebrate FALL!

I think I was way too tired to blog last night and I cannot remember when I wrote a journal entry with so many mistakes. I have come back more than once to edit it.
Posting earlier is a pretty good idea and one I'm going to try to embrace!


Nita said...

Linda, great job on picture taking and sharing the Family reunion. You have a wonderful way with words. It was a very fun filled Saturday. Thank you, sweet Sister !

Arlene @Nanaland said...

Can you believe it is October?? Loved all the pictures of your family being together! And that quilt....lovely. I hope your mama does learn to play nicely with others, it makes life so much easier. I have to admit I am curious about her life story from the things you have shared here Linda. It is a testimony to your family that you all take such good care of her.

Vee said...

Your family needed this time of fun and togetherness. Thank you for sharing some of the loose ends. I wonder about your mother and Deanie...praise God He is working in both situations. You take care of yourself and that handsome husband of yours.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

You got some wonderful pictures of your reunion. You can see all love and happiness radiating from the faces of your family. Being able to catch up with our loved ones is a wonderful blessing for sure. I love decorating for fall and it looks like you do too. It's great they can last for September, October and November too.Glad you had a wonderful weekend and hope the week ahead is a good one too !

Sandra said...

LOVE those steps shots! and we just did our cousin reunion and had so much phun we set a date next April for another. enjoyed seeing all your family and this was perfect spot for a reunion

jackie said...

Sounds like a great reunion! The auction is such a super idea. Know you cannot put pics of the quads on but how are they? Were they at the reunion too?

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

Sounds like your reunion was all you could hope for - joy in being together!

Your family are an example of God's Grace to your mother. Praying she will find peace and rest in Jesus.

Glad you had a restful October 1st!

Ginny Hartzler said...

All the fun, love, and bonding SHOWS! And the things they donated...I would have bid on each one! I am glad your little bit of quiet time led to some big decisions...after a lot of activity, it is always so good to come before God in silence, AND listen. Louis Dean looks better than ever in the last picture of him. You would never know he is so miserable. I am so sorry about your feet! I had figured they were fine after the surgeries! I know the recovery was so painful, and now this! I love each and every one of the singers on your C.D.'s!!

Judy said...

Wow. So many good things in this post! So happy for all the answered prayers.

Have a wonderful October...and take care of those feet!

Nonnie said...

Linda, there's so much here going on! What a wonderful reunion and I think I have to go back and catch up on you. Some of your family were in the hurricanes? I am thankful they are all right. I'm sorry to see Louis Dean hasn't been feeling too well. Dr. Edward Young Sr. is one of my very favorites to listen to on the radio. I'm sorry to read about his wife.

Debbie said...

It was good to catch up some with you...soo happy you enjoyed the reunion. I wish we could get our family to cooperate some on that. I's important to keep families connected. I must have missed something because I thought you had surgery on your feet already and fixed them up. Soo frustrating I know when you can't get around like we'd like to. Glad to hear Deanie is doing better and your mom well. Enjoy your week! Oh! and praise God Summer survived the hurricane! How scary!

Susie said...

Linda, I just love you so much. You are full of grace. I love how you enjoy your family and loved ones. I have to tell you this little story of my mom. She had a brain aneurism once and the wonderful doctor put a clamp on it ..which meant brain surgery...when he told her she would have to be tested before she could drive again...she got real mad. I looked at the Dr. and said , "I thought you fixed her." He said, " grumpy types get worse after the surgery...I said , "Oh no we are doomed. " Well we all laughed even mommy. She was really okay, just never wanted to stop driving. You mom trying to be nice and get along made me think of this. Blessings to all of you, love ,xoxo, Susie

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I'm so glad you got to go to this reunion and see so many of your family members! Time goes by so fast and it's important to stay close. Love the hat you won at auction and hope your feetsies feel better soon. I love cute sandals but I'm stuck with sensible shoes now! lol Hugs!

NanaDiana said...

I always love to come here and read what you are up to and to see the pictures of your family. Summer looks good in spite of all she has been through--she looks happy.

It really is hard when you have been connected to a really good church and then move. I have always longed to go back to a Fellowship church that we belonged to 20 years ago. The pastor left and it was never the same after that.

Hope you have a great week and October, Linda. xo Diana

ps...if you have the chance pray for our son-in-law. He is having surgery on his thyroid tomorrow. He has mestastic cancer and we are praying it is localized. xo Diana