Forward - From the Heartland of Carolina

This is a continuing story of the journey Forward shared by 2 people, Lynne and Tom. Both love to LIVE life to it's fullest, which currently means spending lots of time outdoors, working on various projects from gardens to patios, flowers to vegetables, sunrises and sunsets, birds and woodland critters, and spending time with family. Don't forget to check the monthly archives, and please feel free to leave us a comment so we know you stopped by.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Night Lights and Snow Scenes

Just a little addition to our Christmas decorating - we wanted to share some of our outside Christmas lighting, and a few snow pictures taken after the December 26, 2010 snowstorm. It's really a shame that, just as our obsolete camera is starting to die, and a replacement battery for it can't be found, not to mention the model is no longer in production, that the camera user is finally figuring out how to adjust the settings for non-typical photo ops, like after dark snow pictures.

It's not often that we get a decent snow here in this part of North Carolina, and this year, we 'almost' had a white Christmas... except that the snow started a half a day late, when it began falling in the early morning hours of December 26th. For this area, it was a really good snowfall, officially measuring 10" when all was said and done. Of course, it's a snow like that that you really hate to walk in, because you leave footprints in the pristine palette  of whiteness. That had to be done, though, to get the pictures... and a week later, when melted, there were no footprints.

Daytime was just as pretty, only brighter

The 3" branch above eventually broke off the tree, just barely brushing the front of my car.

The photo below is one of our favorites from this storm... a puff of wind stirring the pine boughs 60 feet up, causing a cascade of powdered snowdust to gently drift down in the appearance of a crystallized waterfall in slow motion.

So, now, we're a couple weeks into the New Year already!!  We hope your holidays were full of all the good things you wished for, and our wish for you this year is for good things to continue come your way. Thanks for stopping by!

Peace and Love,

Tom and Lynne

Monday, January 03, 2011

Christmas 2010 - Traditions continue

In this home, Christmas season starts on Thanksgiving weekend, mainly because of Lynne's decorating abilities, and the fact that she has a willing husband who's task each year is to 1) bring all the decorating goodies down from the garage attic, and 2) do whatever he wants when it comes to outside lighting and displays.

As many of you know, Lynne's Mom, who lived with us for almost 5 years, passed away last February, so this was really our first Christmas together, alone. Much of the decorating, inside and out, had been focused on her, and what and where she could see things. Interestingly, since her passing, very little changed. Where the outside displays could be seen from her bedroom window, looking into the back yard, now, those lights have moved around to where our view was better, or people driving by could share Mom's special angel, or 'her' special trees. Same lights or figures, just a new location. Still Mom's Angel, or her trees. We'll post those pictures in the next update.

Inside, still, many trees. 14 this year, I think? What qualifies as a decorated tree? If lights are added, or ornaments are hung, it's a decorated tree, right? Some are 3½'  or 4' specimens, most are various 6 footers. All are decorated with love. All have a meaning, a purpose, a place, a history.

The previous blog mentioned the misfits - leftover ornaments and unused light strings. Next to the misfits is a tree that holds only ornaments that are 40 years old or older... our antique tree, if you will. If you enter the house, you must walk by this tree. Ornaments that have been passed down in the family for generations.

There's two kinds of history, though. The ornaments that have been passed down through the years, and the ornaments than are handmade and collected through the years. Again, this year, the handmade tree was a focal point in our family room, still holding decorations that span 4 generations... Some of Mom's last ones, and our grandchildrens' most recent ones.

The Christmas villages were scaled down to just one area this year for the most part, although there were little vignettes scattered around.

The recently built corner cabinets provide ample decorating possibilities.

Also in the family room was the angel tree, that last year had to grow in size due to the addition of more ornaments that we had come across and that Mom had made in recent years.

Somehow, in the area leading to the dining room from the family room, we found room for the red and white tree, and our new last year 'main' tree.

There's the Victorian look in our bedroom.

Even the top of the fridge wasn't safe from being decorated ;-)

Off to the main living room, where Lynne did the color themed trees. Teal, red and gold, and gold decorations.

There's also a tabletop alpine tree and the garland wrapped mirror.

Of course, there's the back porch nature tree, which uses among other things bird nests found on the property over the years.

Other decorations around the house...

There was one misfit tree that was so out of the way that it didn't get mentioned the previous entry. This little guy is tucked away in the misfit room, hiding next to my recliner.

This entry is titled "Traditions continue". This year, we've continued a tradition that Lynne's Mom started many many years ago, setting up her aluminum tree, still stored in its' original box, with instructions, each sleeve tucked away in its' paper wrapper. I love decorating, but even more, I love watching Lynne decorate. This year, it was with a special silence that I watched Lynne set up and decorate Mom's little tree from the 60's.

Traditions. They're easy to start. They're easy to carry on. They're easy to pick up and pass along. They suddenly become full of meaningful memories.

Traditions. Why not start one today?

From our house to yours, we wish you the very best as we embark into a new year, a new decade.

Peace and Love from Tom and Lynne.