angels

Pause and Revitalize #22: Watching Hurricane Matthew

It’s raining Tuesday evening as I check the weather reports on Hurricane Matthew. Tomorrow we’ll gas up the SUV and shop for bottled water, canned goods and batteries. Preparation plans advise stocking up on supplies for 3 to 7 days in case we lose electricity and water.

I just read that canned cat food is better than dry during these storms because it helps cats stay hydrated and they’ll drink less water, a precious commodity.

I imagine thousands of people along the southeast coast bordering on the Atlantic Ocean will be asked to evacuate. Because we’re about 12 miles from the beach, we’re advised to shelter in place. We’ll get plenty of rain and wind — and our creek may flood. Hurricane Matthew will visit us on Friday. Watchful waiting.

Let’s shift over to comforting and encouraging thoughts for all mental health. Remember, whatever you need to do, not only can you do it, but you can do it well. Two of today’s quotes deal with courage — we always have it, thought sometimes we must dig deep. The final quote asks us to imagine we’re angels.

John Wayne, American actor, director, and producer. 1907-1979
inspirational quotes

Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway. John Wayne
Sir Winston Churchill, British Statesman and Prime Minister. 1874 – 1966
inspirational quotes
Success is not final. Failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts. Sir Winston Churchill
Luciano de Crescenzo, Italian writer, film actor, director, engineer. (1928 – )
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We are all angels with only one wing. Only when we come together can we fly. Luciano de Crescenzo

See you next week,

Ann Marie

Here are a few previous Pause and Revitalize posts, if you want to immerse yourself in encouraging words as I prepare for Hurricane Matthew.

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Pause and Revitalize #1
Pause and Revitalize quote
Pause and Revitalize #3
Everybody needs beauty as well as bread . . .
Pause and Revitalize #4
Thomas Merton quote
Pause and Revitalize #14

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Christmas Ornaments, Index Cards, and Memories

Our Christmas tree explodes with ornaments. In the weeks prior Christmas I see magazine pictures of other trees, simply trimmed with lovely themes. I know that less is more, but that doesn’t apply to our Christmas tree.Christmas Tree 2014

Every year we pull out ornaments — we have quality levels of A, B and C — and memories come flooding back. We have remembrances of our many travels, elementary school creations by our son Michael, my mother’s and grandmother’s ornaments, handmade creations by me, acquaintances, and Michael before he started school.

I’m going to let you in on a secret: I make index cards for each ornament. I’ve cataloged cards for decades. Don’t judge me. Just know that I was an excellent student.

Each Christmas I take an index card and record the year we acquired the ornament, where we got it, and anyone related to it. The weakest part is my poor drawing skill. But the card really helps jog the memory.

We have eclectic decorations, yet we seem to have a host of angels on our tree. I want to  share a few of them, along with their cards. I made this angel, before I met David. Of course, it predates my index card collection since I made it in the 1970s. Egads.Frabic Angel by AMB

This next angel, made from a Bavarian Wax process, joined our family in 1988 after our Christmas in the South excursion.

Bavarian Wax Angel

Index Card Bavarian Wax AngelSome of our ornaments don’t need cards because their dates appear on them, like the ones Michael made. From left to right, pre-school angel, 1st grade, and 2nd grade angels.

Angels by Michael

On our family trip to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC, we bought this sweet handmade angel. She once clutched a bit of pine, but that’s almost gone,Biltmore Angel

Biltmore Estate AngelIn 1993 David travelled solo to a conference at the University of Pittsburgh, where I went to graduate school. He took a tram to a mall and saw this angel in Kaufman’s Department store. Claiming she reminded him of Heinz Cathedral on campus, he bought her for me.

Angel from Pittsburgh

My son, in 2nd grade, acquired this angel ornament at his school’s Christmas shop:

Fabric Angel by Dale Penland 1

Index Card Fabric Angel by Dale Penland

The year we hosted Kyoko, our Japanese exchange student, we spent a few days during her Christmas vacation at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel in Georgia. The island, magically decorated for the holidays, was built by Gilded Age millionaires as their private winter getaway. The hotel is glorious. Posh Victorian furnishings, high tea, and superb food.

Angel from Jekyll Island

Index Card Jekyll Island Angel

 

That last sentence continues on the back of the card: “We stayed a couple of nights with Michael and Katie, our Japanese exchange student. We ate two dinners at the Club Dining Room and enjoyed a decadant high tea at 4 p.m.”

My ornaments, my angels, speak to me each year, bringing vivid flashes of our lives together.

Speaking of sharing, here’s the link to my Angel Banner with free downloadable pictures that you can cut out and string with ribbon.

Angel Banner

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas,

Ann Marie and David

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