It seemed kind of strange this morning not to have a cup of coffee waiting for me on the nightstand this morning but it is good to be back. Roy went into the office this morning to catch up and get ahead of a few things before 2015. Buddy is happy to see me and has followed me around most of the time.
We left Asheville around 7:00 am and arrived at Hammond, LA around 5:00. We did the usual check in and then go over to East of Italy for dinner and then to Books A Million for a quick look around. I made it till 9:00 before falling asleep. Once again our room was located close to the railroad tracks and from falling asleep to waking up, five trains rumbled through and we could feel the vibration. All kinds of songs went through my head, mainly Johnny Cash and Gladys Knight's Midnight Train to Georgia. We decided to look at the positives to the room, at the end of the short hall so close to the elevators and only one wall connecting with another room. After a week with the vampires, that truly was a blessing. Remember back in the day when hotel rooms had those magic finger beds that vibrated when you put a quarter in? Well, we got that for free with those trains...although there was the cost of the room...but you know what I mean. We saved a quarter...a buck twenty five when you consider the five trains. The other positive is we overlooked the parking lot and we could see Sequisha from our room.
Up early on Tuesday, we left the hotel around 5:30 am. It feels like a great accomplishment when you get across the Mississippi River Bridge and the causeway across the bayou. Breakfast was at the Lafayette CB, which we kind of like better than the Sulfur one and we made a stop at the new Buc-cees in Baytown. For the record, their BBQ sandwiches are the bomb! And Buc-cees is one of the few if not the only place that carries bottled Diet Coke with Lime. Stocked up on a few of those.
Looks like we brought cold weather with us and for that I am grateful. There will be a few more days of feeling great before a warm spell comes back into the picture. This last day of 2014 holds some laundry, lunch with a friend, and getting a few things into place before tomorrow morning when Chris will arrive bright and early. We unpacked yesterday and got most everything put up, so we have done the majority of the work.
Last year on January 1, 2014 if you'd told me we would own a house in North Carolina, I would have been very surprised. Sure it was a dream but it seemed to be a far off dream not the closer than you think kind. There were quite a few surprises in 2014. My One Word for this year was Persevere and it wasn't the word I had from the list I was going through choosing the One Word for 2014 but it came to me right there in front of the fireplace at the Biltmore. It has proved to be a good word and very apt for the year. This year held many official investigations prompted by my father's delusional accusations and those investigations proved once again we had not taken anything nor had we been to his home harassing him. We had no fear that the results would prove otherwise but it is a bit of an emotional roller coaster answering questions from Adult Protective Services, the Houston Police and the Harris County Constables. Persevere was a good word for battling a few heart episodes. My toughest challenge by far was the whole box debacle thing that only hooked me because I believed one of those boxes held dishes my mother had promised me. The dishes held great sentimental value because they had been my grandmothers's but alas those boxes were filled with trash and not too much worth of meaning for me. The boxes held the hatred and contempt of my father toward me. Those days afterwards were full of weariness and processing but I can say boldly I persevered and came out better because of the experience.
2014 held a lot of happiness and joy. There were several trips to the Biltmore with my favorite being the week my niece Erin and I spent there together. We had a blast and enjoyed quite a few cheese plates and breakfasts together. This year my journaling was revolutionized by the book Journaling by Adam Feldman and as my journaling changed my perspective, the way to experience and seize life changed. I read many new authors and some favorite authors in 2014. Roy and I celebrated 37 years of marriage in 2014 and this has been one of the best years ever and not because of the house. No, we desire and practice walking in love with one another, encouraging each other, holding fast to each other in difficult times and clearly we enjoy each other and one another's company. Our projects together without getting too mad have increased. There has been a lot of laughter this year. There have been those days of prayer and pondering. It was a big birthday year wise and we had fun spending it with my cousins and their spouses in Blue Ridge GA.
Years ago when I taught an evening Sunday School class, I did a series on finding peace in chaos and junk. Each week I used Google Maps asking the class as they looked at an overview of an area, did they know what I was wanting them to see and to find. Each week the view was zoomed in a little more until the final week, the picture showed a covered picnic table in the midst of a landfill and recycling center in Baytown Texas. In the midst of junk, in the midst of chaos, in the midst of being surrounded by things no one else wants, in the midst of the cast offs of life stands a little covered picnic table... Now, I don't know of too many who would like to take a picnic lunch or your family there to spend a lovely afternoon. As much as we wouldn't, too often we find ourselves there by fault or no fault of our own. So in the midst of chaos comes change and you can find that little place of rest and peace to center yourself as you begin the journey out of the landfill, away from other people's trash and walk into newness of life and persevering as you do it. You can't do this kind of thing in your own strength, but God knows the map and the journey. He goes ahead of you and gives you strength. You might say really? How do you know? Ah, this my friends has been the journey of 2014....I've persevered. I have kept the course and the faith.
Proceed was 2013 and Persevere was 2014. Since I am Baptist and we love alteration, 2015's word will also begin with a P...I will be blogging about it.