October 30, 2006

Powered by God's Creation


Hello! It’s me Simon. I know I’ve been pretty quit on this blog, I have been requested to write something, so I’ll tell you about a little hobby I’ve picked up thru the past summer, “sailing”!

A few years ago, our “older” neighbors gave us a little 12' sailboat that they hadn’t the time nor the energy to use.

Since I wasn’t in to sailing It took some time (reading books about sailing etc) and repairs to really get in to the sport and out on the water. Fortunately we have an excellent sailing lake (Huntington lake) fairly close to us.

Huntington is known for it’s predictable winds in the summer mouths, and is the best lake for sailing in California.

Here I am sailing singlehanded (solo), usually someone is in the boat controlling the jib, (fore sail)

I love sailing because it gives you something to do, and to think about, while enjoying being carried about by God’s awesome creation, “wind”.

"Bleep di bloop, di bleep . . . Hello?"

Technology clashes with neo-classical architecture.

October 29, 2006

Monticello "The Little Mountain"

The day we began the car trek to Saint Louis, MI and the United Church and Family conference, we stopped for one more sight-seeing adventure. Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's "Little Mountain" is yet another place I would enjoy returning some day. With limited time, we were able to tour the house and some of the grounds but not the magnificent gardens. We saw they were magnificent because Mom and I ran to the entrance in a few spare moments and stood gazing in until the urgent calls of the men disturbed our wonder. :-)

Special mother/daughter time.

Monticello~Designed and enjoyed by Thomas Jefferson. When I toured this beautiful plantation, I was inspired to learn more about this fascinating man who decorated his home with his interests and inventions. When we stepped inside the door, we were at once struck with a variety of indian paintings, leather, animal bones, hides, and heads, dino bones and curious inventions of Thomas Jefferson. These indian treasures were brought back from the adventures of Lewis and Clark, and he arrayed his home with their discoveries.

With a finish carpenter who studies historical buildings and detail, and an architect/history buff in our group, Monticello was especially fascinating to Dad and Daniel. They had an eye for design and beauty, dicussing details that I didn't notice at all!

Architectural design . . .

A 1770's outdoor clock, above the original glass in the windows!

Tuesday was October 2. A very special day because it was Mom and Dad's anniversary! They enjoyed themselves together at Monticello, and celebrated by spending the night in their OWN hotel room . . . quite a privilage on that trip!

With our eyes full of beauty, we're ready to get back in the car again! I suppose . . . ;-)

October 27, 2006

Time for Reflection

Will You Jump?

You find yourself standing on a one thousand foot tower
Over the edge you see the world, its allurements and its power
The effect is like that of a double exposure photograph
The first, a wreathing lake of fire, of which you can’t see the half
But the second image superimposed, and now starting to hide the flame
Is altogether a different one and seems the fire to quench and tame
Your eye’s feast on all life’s pleasures you’ve wanted to indulge in
Like someone’s seen inside your heart, the selfish passions and secret sin
And spread out beneath you all that would consummate those desires
Gratification beckons and say’s "look, there’s no more fire!"
You look more closely and sure enough the fire is disappearing
Imagination clouds your vision and passion your heart is stirring
With only a fleeting thought of the disaster that awaits
You step over the edge and plummet down, eager to face your fate
Your direction is set, the magnetic force of sin pulls you down
It seems impossible to stop, even if you wanted to turn around
Then your journey comes to a sudden halt as you hit something very firm
You lift your eyes above the world to see why events have turned
Now you find that you are sitting on someone’s giant hand
"The hand feels softer now," you think, as you lift yourself up to stand
You raise your eyes even higher now, to find out this hand’s origin
Up the wrist, up the arm, then it disappears, into heaven
Your passion still burns within, and pleas for consummation
Yet as you look to heaven, you see you you were heading for damnation
Yet that second image is still there and calls with satisfaction’s voice
"You can revel in all these things, if for me you make your choice."
And now decision knocks quite loud, remember, your life is at stake
Every man and women must make this choice, what route to take
Will you bend your knee and cry to God that He will lift you higher?
Or close your heart to heaven’s call, and jump into the lake of fire!
–Max Parish 2004

October 19, 2006

Old Friends

After visiting the Plantation and having lunch with Janet Carter, we had the opportunity to visit some old friends. The oldest daughter in the Spicer family, Ivy, (second from left) was my dearest friend when I was three and four years old. We started writing a few years ago, and it was fun to finally meet again! They are missing the youngest child in this picture, their son Addison.

Evening found us in the home of Irving and Sandra West and their children. Brandon and Brittney, (married now, so we didn't see her) were playmates of Max and Daniel in the "good old days" and their youngest son Barry was my age. They are old friends also, and have been out to see us in California several times. It was great to share a meal with them, and spend the evening catching up. :-)

October 15, 2006

New Market Plantation

Just beyond the field of golden soybeans stands a very special house. Or perhaps it isn't the house itself that is special but the memories that saturate it. Monday was spent in much thought, walking and talking over memories, and soaking in the beauty of the plantation where Simon and I were born. The place where a three and four year old Max and Daniel spent many happy days growing and playing till they were exhausted with the effort. Where stood the old, creaky, fixer-uper plantation house which had housed three generations of "Sally's" before yours truly. Where grew a circle of ancient oak tree's planted in the eighteenth century. These were the woods that heard the cries and chatter of two little imaginative boys as they swung from the vines, exploring and having adventures of the sort rarely experienced today. The thick forest, ancient outbuildings, and superb climbing tree's on the plantation were easily transformed into whatever the fancy of a child could dream up.

Here stands the chicken house which was home to the most robust and unkillable roosters I have ever come in contact with. This was also the favorite resturant of Virginia's enormous black snakes, with eggs as the special every day. :-) Ah, the memories!

"The Fields of Home." New Market Plantation was a racetrack for horses in the eighteenth century, so was once dotted with horse barns and outbuildings of all kinds.

The old oaks were still standing! Thirteen of them were planted hundreds of years ago by the plantation owners, the Baylor family, to represent the thirteen colonies. George Washington, who was good friends with the Baylors, enjoyed the refreshment these tree's provided. Only eight remain standing, stretching their mighty branches out toward each other over the grave stone standing in the middle of the circle. The grave stone memorializes the members of the famous Baylor family who are buried there.

The memorial stone~

Okay, so maybe I am a tree hugger, but if you had a chance to hug something which was centurys old, would you?

Thinking back over twelve years . . .

Sittin' on the front porch.

If you look closely you can see the figures of four boys in what was the best climbing tree around.

Taking a stroll down Memory Lane

One of the highlights of our visit to New Market Plantation was seeing our dear friend Janet Carter. The Carters, ending with Janet and her late husband Jim, have been caretakers of the Plantation for generations. Janet, who is a real Southern Belle, is a member of the Daughters of the Confederacy. She would call us all out to the flag-pole when we lived there and string up the confederate flag to sing southern songs around. Once Mom gained her friendship, they would sit sipping tea on her front porch and talk about all sorts of things. Janet was like a Grandma to us kids and we were all excited to see her again.

Riding around the Plantation with Janet. :-)

This is the tabacco rods in an old tabacco barn that still stands on the plantation. The tabacco leaves were drapped over these rods to dry after harvest.

The boys had a blast visiting their old haunts and remembering their boyhood days here. We kids were all struck with the beauty of the place and dreamed of what it would be like to live on a Plantation like this as a family again.

Jaelynn, enjoying the grass. :-) She was such a little trooper the entire trip. Such a precious trip

October 12, 2006

A Cracker from the Barrel

Conversation buzzed merrily when we rocked in the surperb accomodations of Cracker Barrel after touring Williamsburg on Sunday night. Although we had never visited this magical giftshop/family resturant before, we spent a pleasant evening there. One of the highlights of the giftshop was a toy parrot who would mimic anything you told it in a high squeaky voice. We laughed until we felt like crying over the way it would respond to movie lines and other things. Laughter truly is the best medicine isn't it? :-)

Since our party was large, we rarely sat at one big table together in any of the resturants we visited. We had to rent two cars as well, so it was a normal occurance for each table/car to chafe at the inability to share in conversation with the other party. :-)

October 09, 2006

Virginia's Historic Triangle~ Williamsburg

The next historic town we strolled through was the quaint village of Williamsburg. The beauty and charm of this colonial town captured my heart. I LOVE WILLIAMSBURG! It was a pity that we only had a few hours to enjoy Williamsburg . . . we simply must go back . . . :-) How many times have you said that and never did? Hopefully this time will be different.

The boys in front of the Magazine.

The Governor's mansion

Enchanting colonial gardens~

Daniel was found clowning around in town and was promptly locked in the stocks near the courthouse. I can still hear his plantive cries.

The law administered justice to another person in our party also. They caught this one by surprise.

The shops that lined the street were filled with historical merchandise. This one in particular sold the best (in other words, most authentic) three cornered hats we had seen.

Hats, ribbons, and everything lovely.

Max discovered a fellow thinker in Williamsburg and enjoyed a lively debate with him there. :-)