Saturday, November 26, 2016

Lake Cumberland

Before we headed to North Carolina for our Thanksgiving feast, Dr. M & I spent a couple of days at Lake Cumberland Resort State Park. We stayed in the lodge & had a lovely time. Because I'm a terrible blogger these days, my pictures are hit and miss. For example, did I get a picture of the lodge itself? Nope. Ah well - we've decided that we're going to go back next year, so maybe I'll remember then.

However, before you even read another sentence here you must go check out Dr. M's latest post here. It's all about our trip from Lake Cumberland to North Carolina. Such a glorious day!

When we got to the lodge I took a little walk around & found a persimmon tree! You may recall my obsession with the persimmon pudding that my Aunt Marilyn makes for Thanksgiving (and yes, I had plenty this week). I was tickled to death. I didn't try to eat any of these - if you've ever eaten an unripe persimmon you will totally understand!

That evening we ate in the lodge dining room. They were decorating for Christmas, and I had to laugh at the Very Special Bauble on the Christmas tree. Ha!

In the morning as we ate breakfast in the dining room we were able to see the gorgeous view!

Lake Cumberland is a reservoir in Kentucky & (to me anyway) resembles a dragon of some kind.

Image from here

We spent some time that day wandering around the park, checking out the local fauna.

Then we headed to Cumberland Falls. And, although I enjoyed the long twisty drive to the falls, I wasn't overly impressed. Then again, I've seen Victoria Falls, so I might have set my waterfall bar a little high. But I enjoyed spending time with Dr. M, and we crossed that destination off our list.

Plus, I got to see this cool bridge reflected in the water!

Kentucky really is a beautiful state. There was enough fall color remaining to make all of the hills look like a watercolor painting. I recommend checking it out if you have a chance!

Thursday, November 24, 2016


I'm usually asked to write a poem for the family gathering whenever Dr. M and I are able to be in NC for Thanksgiving. This year's poem was extra hard to write, as one might imagine. But it's done, and since I'm scheduling this to post during our meal, I am most likely eating corn pudding and pecan pie right this very minute. And I think that makes up for a lot of the hard things that have happened during 2016, don't you?

You may not know it,
But I have vicissitudes.
I hope it’s not chronic,
But it’s a pretty serious case,
These vicissitudes.

And my plate is full
Of things I’d rather not eat:
Bitterness, despair, anxiety, and Brussels sprouts
I blame those vicissitudes.

I’m looking back at the arc
Of this year and trying to find
A morsel of thanks be to God.

Was it in April when we lost Amy?
Was it in July when Mike became unemployed?
Was it this month, when Brandon shipped out,
My priest resigned,
And my candidate didn’t win the election?

Yes, yes it was.
Thanks be to God was there
On those days and all the others
Where there was joy and grief
And spreadsheets and the World Series
And your hand in mine in this circle.

You know how vicissitudes work, don’t you?
Picture a leaf, tumbling in the wind.
It goes down and up, around and around
Until it settles into
The cupped hand
Of God.

Let us Bless the Lord!
(and the people said): Thanks Be To God!

Dana W. Rhyne
Thanksgiving, 2016

Lake Cumberland Resort State Park
Dr. M & I startled a flock of wild turkeys - you can just barely make out the last of them, beyond the tree with the shadow, as they fled down the hill.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Almost Wordless Wednesday

Just a selection of recent pictures by Dr. M. To see more (and wish him a happy belated birthday), go here.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

What the What?

I didn't actually feel all that confident.
Had to be talked down off the ledge a few times.
And yet, secretly, in my heart of hearts
I thought that there was NO WAY.

And yet, way.

I can't really froth at the mouth in this space (I have family who read this whose consciences are apparently vastly different from mine. They are not surprised by this.). But I just want to say this: I got about four hours of very restless sleep last night. And as I tossed and turned, I realized that I felt the exact same way that I did when I found out that my mother's cancer had spread. And just like then, I think I'm going to grieve for a bit and then get back up and keep trying to make the world a better place.

Monday, October 31, 2016

I have no hair...

OK, not strictly true, but finally when I approached my hairdresser with a picture of a super short cut, she didn't want me to "think about it." She just went ahead & chopped. It only took three years to get to this point. I'll take a picture & share it soon (because that's who I am as a person), but today I have bits of hair everywhere & no makeup & just look really tired. So something for you to look forward to!

And why am I so tired? Because BASEBALL, that's why! The Indians are up three games to two (in case you haven't been paying attention). The Cubs are headed back to Cleveland to finish the series out so we get a break tonight.

In other news, I've been given the assignment of writing a poem for my dad's family's annual Thanksgiving gathering. And you know, I'm struggling with it, a bit. I haven't written any poetry worth reading in a while now, and it's a little bit hard to find the thankful with all the things going in the world right now. But a few weeks ago we sang a song at church (Now Thank We All Our God) written by a man whose life was much worse than mine is! From Wikipedia:
Martin Rinkart was a Lutheran minister who came to EilenburgSaxony at the beginning of the Thirty Years' War. The became the refuge for political and military fugitives, but the result was overcrowding, and deadly pestilence and famine. Armies overran it three times. The Rinkart home was a refuge for the victims, even though he was often hard-pressed to provide for his own family. During the height of a severe plague in 1637, Rinkart was the only surviving pastor in Eilenburg, conducting as many as 50 funerals in a day. He performed more than 4000 funerals in that year, including that of his wife.
After the war ended Rinkart wrote the hymn for a grand celebration service. So, come on, I can surely get it into gear & write something for our celebration service!

Today is Halloween. And right now Dr. M is outside giving candy to short strangers. I'm hiding in the house. So, for today, our lives are pretty darned normal for us. For that, I'm thankful.