In 1993 while in the Air Force stationed at Fort Rucker, AL, I had a conversation on the phone with a former boss and mentor who shared a piece of technology news in the world of meteorology and she suggested I avail myself immediately. I researched this new technology, hemmed and hawed over jumping in to this particular technology because in the world of meteorology it was what I feared the most. Then I put on my big girl pants and approached my current boss with my desire to attend the brand new radar meteorology course at the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) in Norman, OK for the Doppler Weather Surveillance Radar (WSR-88D).
Stepping out like this was totally outside my comfort zone. Even more so because radar meteorology was the bane of my meteorology career up to that point. I feared the radar and I just did not get the concept of radar. However, I never let them see me sweat it, so my supervisor, without hesitation, submitted the paperwork necessary to send me to the NSSL and the civilian-based WSR-88D course where all National Weather Service and Air Force weather forecasters would attend the school.
Taking that course, being one of the earliest graduates of the program – I think I was in the third class – transformed my – understanding - of radar meteorology. Something finally clicked in my brain. I finally got it. Returning to my unit, and because I was the only person to have been trained, I became the program coordinator and trainer and certifier when our unit received the WSR-88D. When I changed duty stations, I would become the expert at radar meteorology and was always a part of the severe weather team called in, interrogating storms.
I attended a class in 1993 on the Doppler Weather Surveillance Radar. I bought a cup to remember - and maybe because I was a teensy bit proud of myself. It was the first cup I kept to remember. It is well-used, faded, yet every time I pick up that cup I remember the weather radar.
Technically, not a story of 2019. Technically, a story about me. Ali Edwards' Story kits inspire me to tell stories I'm sure I would never tell, but are so much a part of my story. This months story kit theme is LISTENING and I was inspired to tell my story about Barry Manilow, because as a teenager in the 70's and 80's, Barry Manilow was one of the primary musicians I listened to. I have long since 'given him up' but when I hear one of his songs it floods my senses with memories of sitting next to the record player, reading the words to the songs in my mind and belting out the lyrics along with Barry.
To celebrate our 25th Anniversary it seemed fitting that we re-visit our favorite city, Charleston. Just a short drive up the coast, Charleston has for years been our city of choice for quick weekend trips. We only had a couple days in our schedules but we made a celebration happen.
It was such a good trip!
The weather was perfection. Hot, yes! But, our carriage rides offered cool breezes coming in off the waters and gave us thankful respite from the heat. Plants, trees, and bushes were in bloom and everything was beautiful.
Of course, I visited Trip Advisor for our restaurant possibilities. First and foremost was pizza. I found a local pizza joint, De'llesandro's, off of King Street, and we were not disappointed. Great pizza. It will definitely go on our 'visit again' restaurant. We only have a few of those because we're always looking to try new-to-us restaurants.
After having bread pudding at Hall's Chophouse last year during our trip, then, we could not come to Charleston this trip without bread pudding being on the dessert menu. We had to get it to go, which we shared back in our hotel room, roomy, but off the beaten path and not in the historic district this trip.
We picked up an actual historic district map, visitor friendly, at the carriage house, Palmetto Carriage Tours, the big red barn, and relied on it to take us where we wanted to go the rest of the weekend.
Because of my hearing aids, we were given seats in the front of both carriage tours so I was able to capture some pretty decent photos this trip, unencumbered by other's taking photos. We are always interested in hearing, and capturing on film, the wrought iron story, especially now that John is taking welding and is interested in forging and blacksmithing.
We didn't mean to. We only meant to buy Jeff another pair of Sperry deck shoes because, while still comfortable they aren't really fit for even business casual and barely fit for summer casual. Instead, we left Charleston with - count 'em - 6 pairs of shoes.
Almost every time we've visited Charleston we've asked someone, this weekend it was our carriage driver on Saturday, "where do the locals eat?" With probing questions we found out that the Swig and Swine had fried pickles. I think when he said that, both Jeff and I were in agreement we'd be trying those pickles. We saved the 22nd Avengers movie in the series for this trip, knowing without a doubt it would still be playing in theaters, even a month after opening night as it was the highest grossing movie of all time. It was sooo good and made me want to watch, in order, all 22 movies, again.
Except for t-shirts for Jeff, we rarely buy souvenirs or memorabilia on our trips - well except for mugs, occasionally. There's that...
And, this trip I wanted a mug, of course. But, I also purchased a 'Charleston' map print. I actually found it on the internet (no shame!) and represents Charleston as I think of it. Colorful. Everyone uses an historic district map to get them around.
Although the pizza was amazing, my personal favorite meal was at Miller's All Day, Sunday mornings' breakfast. I had the best quiche I've ever eaten in my life - and I have eaten a lot of quiche. Silky smooth, fluffy, full-bodied flavor. Even now I am salivating! And, the décor in this place...
Fun! A retro, 50-ish décor in my colors! I was gazing at every square inch, taking it all in, because it was just so much fun. We leisurely ate, drank super-tasting coffee, and people-watched.
Two carriage rides under our belt and we toured just a small portion of the historic city. The city has broken carriage tours into 10 city routes which generally take about an hour, maybe a little more, as ours did on Sunday. We had two different routes yet didn't come close to seeing ev-ery-thing.
I didn't catch pictures of our Saturday evening meal but it was a little strip mall Mexican restaurant across the Ashley River, next to the Spencer theatre where we saw the Avengers, Endgame. We had decided on Mexican and after the movie we went back to the truck to find a restaurant with good reviews. Low and behold there was a highly rated Mexican restaurant right in front of our eyes. We were not disappointed! We both had two tacos of our choice - which were fantastic, full of flavor and chips and salsa. Both were quite tasty.
Kind of 'cheezy' by the numbers - but it was fun! And, it finishes off my album, celebrating our 25th anniversary.
I have mentioned often, recently, that I have taken this Spring - and now Summer - to bring the outside inside. To breathe in peace. And, breathe out love.
I have zero giftedness as a green thumb. While I have a smidgeon of desire to cultivate and grow a garden, I am realistic. I have little patience, little drive, to make something like that, happen which would require time, time I'm not willing to give. I am seriously jealous for those with the acumen for such... However, I have needed something. A breath of fresh air. Bringing the breathtakingly beautiful inside my home. It is pleasing to my eye, to my senses. The peaceful, yet exciting.
Bringing on simple joys.
So, when I head to the grocer - Publix or Kroger for the best - cheap - bunches of flowers - I pick up a bunch. Or, two.
Sometimes, three bunches will make their way into my basket. I don't know how it happens.
I recently read the book, memoir, by Kelly Corrigan, Tell Me More, the 12 Hardest Things I'm Learning to Say and one of the chapters, one of the 12 hard things to say, is Say Yes. The chapter was simply a running list of things Corrigan would always say yes to.
I was inspired to create my own list of saying yes. A running list of the things I will always say yes to. Go ahead, test me on this. I'll say yes. Ian asks me to play Yahtzee: Yes, in a heart beat. Jeff asks for sex even though I might have a headache: Yes, because I've learned that saying yes usually takes away the headache - or at the very least takes my mind off my problem. Can I make you some homemade tacos? Ah, Yes! See - I'll say yes, every time.
Digital speaking, I created this page using ingredients from Ali Edwards' digital Story kits
Okay, not really in one weekend, but Jeff and I have been watching Bosch, regularly, every night, or, whenever we have some down time. We have only been watching it for a couple of weeks and we're flying through the shortened seasons and we recently finished the episodes that are available on Amazon Prime. Love the show so much I'm going to give the Bosch series, written by Michael Connelly, a chance, even though I prefer reading books before I have seen television shows or series' - because they're - the shows - are just not the same.
The other day we were watching an episode of Star Trek Voyager (because we'd finished Bosch) and who did we spy in an episode - the actor who plays Bosch - very young actor who plays Bosch.
Design-wise circles are pleasing to my eye. My grandsons in one of those circles on a page makes my heart full. A page like this challenges me to think creatively outside my design box because clean and simple and minimalist is more of my design love language. Lots of white space, subtle colors, black and white. Ironically, I've got that with this page - just not so minimalist. Matching patterns are difficult for me too. It's only in the last couple of years that I've been able to mix plaids with florals and leopard skin with color - no, seriously!
Inside me is chaos when I have to design a page beyond clean and simple. Yet, I continue to try. Most of the time I love the results. Like this page! I adore this page. Every single circle, color, mix of color...white space, black and white...and depth.
Speaking of chaos...when these three come visiting it's chaos. Don't think of chaos in negative terms, instead think, 'bedlam, mayhem, commotion, furor, behavior so unpredictable as to appear random, owing to great sensitivity to small changes in conditions.'
The past couple of years Jeff has been part of a team of guys who have built sets for Compassion Christian’s Christmas production, the Journey. Through that ministry, a core of men, with like-mindedness, have built a bond, a strong friendship that has extended outside of serving together. These guys are builders, servant-hearted men who also love to shoot. One of the guys has a membership to an exclusive gun club and he can bring guests. Jeff has been several times, and this month he took John and Jarrod with him. There ended up being about seven shooting that morning. Two of the guys shoot ALL THE TIME! When John and Jarrod were shooting, one of those guys exclaimed to Jeff, “Your boys must get in a lot of time shooting your gun?” Jeff told him they’d never shot his gun. While John and Jarrod have shot other pistols and rifles, they’d never shot those particular weapons that day. Both boys, Jeff as well - have an eye for shooting. Impressive! This morning they spent until after lunchtime shooting everything from hand guns to automatic rifles and had a blast. Jeff took my handgun to the range with him and shot up a few targets with my personal SIG Sauer P930 and I haven’t even had the opportunity to shoot it yet. While the shooting is awesome. Not doubt. It’s this building of friendship, being there for each other that does my heart good. Jeff and this group of guys, through the week group text each other - it’s only about 5-6 guys (and it can get busy when they’re going back and forth) but I love that Jeff has those men he can go to when he needs to vent, when he needs to bounce off things, and them him, also. But, I also love that these guys welcomed our sons, who are 21, and while that is adulthood, these guys treated them with unreserved respect - as if they were one of them. Jeff is beyond blessed with this group of friends. APR ‘19
I don’t know if it is because John and Jarrod always had ‘older’ people, men and women, who gave them attention and mentored them - and yes, even played with them, but John and Jarrod seem to have a natural tendency to ‘be with' and play with their nephews and let them hang with them without any reservations.
From early on John and Jarrod had first their older sisters who played with them, regularly. Then, through Boy Scouts they were often with older men and teenagers. Then, people like Stacia, who became a big sister to them and so many others from church.
Now, the boys, young men really, are giving back. To their nephews. APR ‘19