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If you missed the beginning of this list you can find it here.

I’m realizing that this list could go on for days, so we’ll see what happens. I hope you enjoy learning about what a wonderful mother and person my mom was.

 J Perkins 90th Birthday

11. Saturday was usually Mom’s shopping day. She didn’t learn to drive until she was in her 50’s, so when we were young she depended on Dad to take her to the A & P grocery store on the weekends. Can you imagine only being able to go to the store once a week with 8 hungry mouths to feed? She did a great job of stocking up to make things last for the week, but I remember drinking powdered milk at times either because she couldn’t afford to buy more or she couldn’t get to the grocery store. I’m guessing her weekly trips were also a time of solitude that she looked forward to, but sometimes she’d allow one of us to go with her. Those were precious times when she let us help her choose food for the week and maybe even get a treat.

12. Mom would sometimes bring home delicious fresh rye bread, deli meats and cheeses on shopping day. They never lasted much more than a day because they were favorites for the whole family. That’s where I discovered my love for a good deli meal. We had Munster, Colby, Cheddar, Longhorn, Swiss and American cheese with fresh sliced Ham, Turkey, Roast beef, Braunschweiger and more. In the summer sometimes we’d add giant slices of Beefsteak Tomatoes and fresh lettuce from my grandmother’s garden. Mmmm!

13. As the family grew, Mom and Dad gave up their bedroom so that all of us kids could have one. They converted the living room to a sleeping area at night and added a sliding door for privacy. They kept their clothes in my oldest sister’s room. I imagine that was quite a sacrifice since they had no place to get away until we were all asleep in bed.

14. She often planned a once a year summer day trip as the sole adult with all of us kids to the northern Ohio amusement park, Cedar Point. We’d get up early in the morning and walk a block or so to the highway to catch the bus heading for Sandusky, then ride a ferry boat from Sandusky across the bay to the park. We spent the whole magical day riding thrill rides, seeing musical variety shows, and traversing the skies on the overhead sky ride. She always packed a substantial lunch for us, then later in the day she’d buy those famous Momma Berardi’s homemade French Fries and salt water taffy to hold us over. We’d stay as long as possible to squeeze out every drop of fun until either my dad came after work to pick us up or we caught the last bus for home.Vintage Cedar Point

15. Mom let us choose what kind of cake we wanted for our birthday and I often requested freshly baked Angel Food cake with strawberries and whipped cream. I can taste it now!

Angel Food cake with strawberries

photo by Lacy DeVeney

16. In August of each year she took each of us separately on a school clothes shopping trip – I recall riding that morning bus in the other direction this time – to the Midway Mall in Elyria – just Mom and I, eating lunch at the restaurant in the mall and buying new shoes and clothes for the upcoming school year. This was probably my favorite day of the year.  Not because I was shopping, but because I got to have my mom all to myself for an entire day!Midway Mall in Elyria Ohio circa 1970's

17. A limited budget and endless creativity brought forth unique homemade Halloween costumes for us each year. I wouldn’t be caught dead in one of those unimaginative store-bought ones.

18. Halloween parties at the Vermilion-on-the-Lake (VOL) Clubhouse were organized by her. She dressed as a witch and made witches’ brew using dry ice. I remember dunking for apples, fishing for prizes with a clothes pin on a string, costume contests and so much more.Vermilion-on-the-Lake Clubhouse

19. There was a Christmas play one year, written by my sister, Sharon and produced by Mom at the VOL Clubhouse with the neighborhood kids. The stage background was painted by Wayne Crozier, complete with his signature mouse hiding in the scene.

20. Each year she creatively decorated our 5 foot silver aluminum Christmas tree with matching colored glass balls. Since there would inevitably be breakage in the process of unpacking and packing the delicate glass, the following year she’d buy a set of a different color, then the 3rd year she’d use a combination of the previous years. The tree was often perched on top of a table up and out of the way of little hands and active pets. You can see a sliver of the tree in the background below. I remember spending what seemed like hours sitting in the living room gazing at the ever changing tree with the colored light wheel casting shadows on the walls and ceiling. It was mesmerizing!Jaye at Christmas

Looking over these memories I can see so many things that I learned from my mother. How to use my creativity in decorating, sewing, having fun. How to shop wisely, how to plan ahead for special activities, the importance of saving where needed, but splurging once in a while…so many lessons that I still use today. I’m so thankful for her giving and teaching spirit.  What a gift it was!

There’s a bit more to come, so stay tuned.  Thanks for reading!

Does this bring to mind some things that you’re most thankful for about your mother?

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Hey friends,

Thanks so much for stopping by.  In case you haven’t heard, I started a new blog and soon will have some other snazzy additions as well.  I’ll still be posting here periodically, but I’d love to have you come over and visit me at TravelingwithPurpose.com and tell your friends, too.

I’m sharing regularly over there on these topics and even more.

  • Learning for Fun while Traveling
  • Service-oriented and Volunteer Travel
  • Money-saving Mondays
  • Travel-related Gift Ideas (just in time for the holidays)
  • Travel Inspiration – Photos and Quotes
  • Travel Gear Reviews
  • Travel-related contests, giveaways, etc.

Please sign up for my newsletter there, so you won’t miss a thing.  I hope to see you soon!

You can also follow and like TWP on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.

Here’s a bit of autumn inspiration for today.

Robert Frost bench with leaves

This is a bench at the former home of the great American poet, Robert Frost.

View from Robert Frost porch

And this is the view from his front porch out onto the mountains of New Hampshire.  Now wouldn’t that inspire you to write like a poet all the time?

Do you have plans for Thanksgiving?  We’ll have lots of family time with both sides of the family.  Have a blessed holiday!

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Well, you’ve probably noticed that I haven’t been posting here much lately. I’m sorry to neglect this blog, but I’m happy to announce that I’m launching a new blog focused on Traveling with Purpose!

You can find out all about it here!

I will still be posting here occasionally, but for the near future my focus will be on getting the new blog going and building a community there.  I would appreciate so much if you would help me in any or all of the following ways:

  1. Visit the new website and share it with your friends who love to travel
  2. Sign up on the site to receive blog updates and/or the TWP newsletter
  3. LIKE us on Facebook
  4. Follow us on Twitter
  5. If you are aware of any great organizations that offer either service-oriented or short-term educational travel, please let me know so I can contact them and share about them on the blog.
  6. If you have suggestions or ideas for the site drop me a line as well.

I look forward to staying in touch both here and at TravelingwithPurpose.com.

View from the Mitiwanga Pier

Just for fun, here’s one of my favorite pictures from a recent trip to my hometown of Vermilion, Ohio. This is the view from the pier just a short walk from where we stayed in the neighborhood of Mitiwanga. It’s filled with “beach cottages” of all shapes and sizes. So quaint and nostalgic. I love being there. (click the photo to enlarge and see my sister on the steps)

And below is the cottage that we rented for an impromptu family reunion. We took the trip with my 88-year-old mother who wanted to go back one more time to visit our extended family (mostly from my dad’s side). We had aunts, uncles, cousins, 2nd and 3rd cousins and friends all drop in for open house gatherings. I’ll bet we had nearly 50 people there on a single day.  What a blast it was!

2012 Mitiwanga Cottage

Thanks for stopping by and for visiting my new blog and helping me get the word out. I appreciate you so much!

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While on a recent trip to Vermilion, Ohio I stumbled upon a quaint little shop that stole my heart.  Something about the warm wooden furniture and the subtle colors of the plaid woolens at The Chairmaker and Friends made me feel right at home.

The Chairmaker and Friends Store Vermilion Ohio
The owner, Garrett Aston creates amazing hand crafted Windsor chairs, tables and other finely detailed furniture and accessories.  The kind of pieces that stop  you in your tracks and make you want to run your fingers across their glass-like surfaces.  The quality and beauty of his works of art make my heart ache with appreciation.

Antique Table at Chairmaker

Wouldn’t you just love to have this cubby cabinet?  I can think of a million things that I could use it for.

Cabinet with cubbies

Katie Allman also offers a variety of reasonably priced rug hooking classes at the store.  They keep a stock of gorgeous woolens that can be purchased for the classes or other uses.

Woolens at Chairmaker and Friends

Rug hooking room

On the way back through the store I spotted these adorable patchwork cats.  Since we recently said goodbye to our favorite cat, I decided I could “adopt” one of these for our home.  The navy one now greets us when we walk in the family room.

Patchwork Cat Pillows

Take a look at this wood working shop.  A carpenter’s dream, I’d say.  I love the smell of sawdust in a place like this.  It reminds me that furniture is being lovingly created one unique piece at a time.  Garrett also mentions that he holds wood-working classes. How cool would that be!  He also offers refinishing and various types of furniture repair and restoration for your cherished heirlooms.  Chair building workshopI only wish I lived closer to this shop.  It’s 2000 miles away from my home, so I won’t be able to get there very often.  If you live in northern Ohio I hope you take advantage of your proximity to this wonderful shop and maybe take a class or two.  It’s a gem!

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On July 23rd I had the extreme privilege of attending a James Taylor concert at Red Rocks Amphitheatre just outside of Denver, Colorado.  If you’ve never been there, you should make plans to go.  There’s just something magical about listening to music outdoors, especially on a cool Colorado summer evening.

2012 Red Rocks View from the top

James Taylor just happens to be the ONLY musician that I like enough to sign up for his mailing list.  He’s so amazing!  You know, its not that he’s an outstanding vocalist or flashy instrumentalist (although he sure knows how to put a band together), but his songs come straight from the heart and he’s authentic.  Every time I’ve gone to one of his concerts, I feel like I’m sitting in the living room sharing good music with friends.  And since my husband is a musician, I really know what that feels like.  It’s pure joy!

So, several months ago when I got an email saying that he (James, not my husband) was going on tour and would be playing in Denver, I talked my husband into getting tickets for my birthday (which happens to be in July).  Our son lives in Boulder and we knew we’d be going to visit him sometime, so we planned to be there for the concert too…AND since I’m on JT’s mailing list, we were able to get tickets before they went on sale to the public, so we were in row 14!  The photo above is from near the top of the amphitheatre.  That’s a long way up!

This is the walkway that leads to the seating area.  It’s a bit of a hike, but not too bad.

2012 Red Rocks Amphitheatre

The pics below show our location in relation to the top and to the stage.  It was a perfect spot!

2012 Terry & Nancy at JT

2012 Nancy & Terry view to the stage

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to take in my camera, but we did have Kevin’s pocket camera to take these pics.  He and his date, Hattie went with us too.

Despite the fact that it looked stormy that night and was a bit blustery, we didn’t have any rain (like they apparently did the following night) and the concert was only affected by wind sometimes blowing through the microphones.  Oh, and one of the roadies had to sit next to the drum set to make sure the cymbals didn’t get blown over. (you’ll see that in the video below)

James and his band performed amazingly well considering the distraction from the wind (and potential storm).  I did notice though that he’s reminding me more and more of my dad.  You see, he’s tall and thin and built like my dad and he’s bald like my dad and this time when JT was “dancing”, with his somewhat awkward moves that make him so endearing, I could totally see my dad.  I LOVED it!  So he’s not only a wonderful performer, but also a fond reminder of my dad, who passed away over 30 years ago.

Just to give you a little taste of what it was like at the concert I recorded one of my favorite songs, “Sun on the Moon” with Kevin’s little camera.  The lighting is way too hot on JT and my hand is a bit shaky, but I love the rhythm, arrangement and the harmonies in this song.   And check out the cheers when JT starts “dancing”.  Gotta love this guy for his down to earth performances. Nothing flashy or overly choreographed here.

The last pic here is the band taking their bows.  It’s hard to tell, but it really is James Taylor and his band.

2012 James Taylor Final Bows

Funny thing too, we found out later that another couple we know from Phoenix was at the same concert.  Only we didn’t find out until after we got home.  It was a spectacular night and makes me smile just thinking about it.  Wish you could have been there with us!

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Did you know that the tallest sand dunes in all of North America are in Colorado?  Seems odd, huh?  I would think it would either be along the coast somewhere or maybe in the Arizona deserts, but actually you’ll find them in southern Colorado.  As you may know, one of the items on my Bucket List is to visit every National Park in the U.S.  On Friday we visited Petrified Forest National Park in northeastern Arizona (more on that soon).  Yesterday we visited Great Sand Dunes National Park!

Here’s the view from the visitor center!  Isn’t it gorgeous.  When we were there a monsoon storm was coming in from the east so the dark clouds cast shadows on the mountains and the dunes creating an ever-changing canvas of colors.

Great Sand Dunes National Park Colorado

Summer’s not the best time to visit the park because the temperatures on the dunes can reach the mid-100’s (F).  We were smart enough to stay away from walking on the sand, but since we were in the area, it was still nice to get a preview of the place in case we want to come back and visit again sometime.  If you have a chance to visit the NPS website, you’ll see that there is really quite a bit to do around there besides just running around on the dunes.  Looks like there’s a seasonal river, lake, waterfall, wildlife, beautiful fall and spring color, camping, hiking, etc.  I definitely think it’s worth another trip.

You can explore any part of the 30 square mile dunefield you wish; there are no designated trails in the sand. And there’s even a sand dunes-accessible wheelchair available for free loan at the Visitor Center for those who aren’t quite as mobile.

Here are a few of the photos we took during our short visit.  We saw Pronghorn and Mule Deer as well as the expected chipmunks and squirrels.  Let me know if you’ve been there and what was the most fun for you during your visit.

 

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Hey there friends,  I have been staring at the last post for much too long and I’m sure you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, so here’s a little sumthin’ for your summer inspiration.

I know, it’s way past time to bring out the summer decorations.  It will be Independence Day next week, after all!  Can I confess that I still have my Easter decorations on my branch in the living room?  Yowzah!  Hopefully, I can switch them out for summer decor this weekend.

Things have been quite buzy around here with a bunch of changes happening, as well as more on the horizon.  Sadly, my time to concentrate on the transitions are limiting my time to post.  No worries though, there will be more news and posting to come.

In the meantime, here are a few photos of my Summer Centerpiece.  I happen to use mine in the guest bath.  Yes, a centerpiece in the bathroom!  As you know I try to trick myself into believing that I live near the water, especially in these hot summer months when our temperatures are consistently in triple digits (this week it was up around 113 degrees F)!

I keep this simple centerpiece in the bathroom where I get ready every morning.  It fills my mind with memories of sandy beaches, coastal breezes and the sound of waves lapping on the shore.  Which reminds me…I may have a chance to visit my little hometown on Lake Erie in September and I can’t wait to walk on the beach and hear the sounds of the waves as I drift off to sleep!  I never realized what a blessing it was to live just steps from the shore until recently.

For this fun candle arrangement, just find a rustic container, fill it with sand, shells, a candle (or 3) and things that remind you of summer.  Try one yourself and post a link here so we can all see it?

More ideas for your summer inspiration:

Patriotic Slipcover Transformation

4th of July Beverage Ideas

4th of July – Summer Recipes

4th of July – Patriotic Decor

Let me know your plans for the summer and have an awesome holiday!

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