Saturday, December 9, 2017

Four Autumns

Nearly every morning in North Yorkshire I would begin the day writing out thoughts and events.  I would look out the window of the conservatory, and my opening lines would always be a weather report.  This always made me laugh at myself because it seemed to be a consequence of living in England where so many conversations begin with the weather, apparently even conversations with myself.  So this morning, from my parents' couch in Alabama, I report that it's 23 F, but the high is predicted to be 49.  I'd nearly forgotten the great swings in temperature here.  (That's -5 C to a 9-degree high for my European friends.)  We've experienced all sorts of weather, all sorts of landscapes, and all sorts of cultures in the past few weeks.  We left the perfect autumn landscape and muddy boots in North Yorkshire.


In Paris we traipsed through busy city streets strewn with leaves, tried our meager French at the local bakery, and looked in beautiful shop windows too intimidated to go inside.


We arrived in Florida, stripping off layers as soon as we stepped out the airport doors.  The days were longer, the bread was smaller, and the kettle took longer to boil.  I came kind of close to pulling out into the left lane leaving the grocery store.


Then it was on to Alabama where somehow, the skies really are so blue in a different kind of way, and the southern pines tower over you like old friends.


Autumn, or fall, is beautiful wherever you go.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

November, Moving Month

November 1 - Last Wednesday night for Late-Night Snuggles with this Precious Girl



November 2 - A million birds in an early-morning sky on the way to my surgery



November 3 - That Surgery Recovery Life (K.J. picked up Chinese.)



November 5 - Desserts (Pudding!) at our Farewell Lunch



November 6 - Golden Autumn Light



November 7 - Cake-Baking Friends


November 8 - These Copycat Starbucks Pumpkin Scones were so divine.



November 9 - A Glorious Sunset



November 10 - There were lots of good-bye coffees this month.



November 11 - A lovely day with friends + a family photo


November 12 - Good friends made us feel so loved with this chocolaty goodness!



November 13 - The Most Beautiful Meringues (I admired them each time I walked past this cafe.)



November 14 - Curry with Tamsin



November 15 - English Breakfast for Supper with Church Family



November 16 - A Rainbow-Filled Morning



November 17 - My foot gave out, so I had to pack with crutches.



November 18 - Windmills on the North Sea



November 19 - Preaching at Emmanuel International Church



November 20 - Fancy McDonald's Floor


November 21 - Trying to find kid-friendly sandwich bread in Paris



November 22 - A Beautiful, Sunny, Parisian Day


November 23 - So many hours awake, but we made it!



November 24 - Santa Fe Sunset



November 25 - Misty Santa Fe Sunrise



November 26 - Sweet Grammy and Ella



November 27 - Overwhelmed by Fall Beauty



November 28 - Festive Mornings



November 29 - Sunny Mornings



November 30 - Falling Leaves after the Rain


It was so nice to make it home just in time for Thanksgiving.  We're extra thankful to have the time to visit with dear family and welcome in Christmas together.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Thanksgiving Week

It's the day before Thanksgiving, and it's probably different than any other we've ever experienced.  We hoped to make it home in time for the big day, but when you find tickets that enable your family of four to travel for about the price of one only on Thursdays, you fly on Thursday.  So we'll begin our Thanksgiving Day in Paris, lugging our suitcases packed to the brim with things we won't need for the next year to leave behind in Alabama.  It will be a long traveling day, but if we keep our grateful hearts, it will be fun.

the suitcase situation the night before we left England:  Yikes.
I had a moment yesterday when I felt a little sad we wouldn't be sitting around the table with our family on Thursday, a little sad that in the busy process of moving, we haven't practiced our November thanksgiving traditions as we have in years past.  But you can always start again where you are, and I asked Ella to draw some leaves in our "adventure book" where we record family adventures, and we all filled our leaf with things we were thankful for that day.  Playing Pokemon-Go with Parker was top of James's list.  Netflix and tissues made Ella's leaf because she's had a fever the past couple of days.  

already made an honorary uncle
Ella's fever has made it a very quiet and slow two days in Paris.  It's been very "normal life mode," which has been good.  K.J. has had meetings, I've been to the supermarket, and we even did schoolwork yesterday.  We are staying temporarily with a couple in the city, so it has been good to settle in and feel comfortable, so everyone knows what we're coming back to in January.


Happy Thanksgiving to all!  Or, just happy Wednesday for those not celebrating Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Two Waterfalls

When you have a lot to do it seems natural to procrastinate over pictures a little bit, right?  Right.


My parents arrived off their overnight flight, and we set off on an outing almost immediately.  Cool air and waterfalls in the Yorkshire Dales are a good remedy for lack of sleep.  It had rained most of the previous day, so Cauldron Falls in the village of West Burton was living well up to its name.


With my injured foot I couldn't walk on uneven ground, but there is a small car park here and a path to the waterfall, so it is easily accessible even when you're not in the best of health.  It's a quiet village, and the kids enjoyed a little play while my dad took pictures around the waterfall.  

K.J. did his research beforehand and took us to Hardraw Force located in the little hamlet of Hardraw.  It's the longest single-drop falls in England, and the fall color made it especially beautiful.  Make sure you wear your wellies.


There's also a beautiful church and a 13th century inn, The Green Dragon, near the entrance to this privately-owned waterfall.  It's just a short walk up a path to the falls.


It's a great place to visit if you find yourself in the Yorkshire Dales.