The Header Picture was taken in October of 2016 and shows the CHIMNEYS area (all decorated for Autumn) of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee. This was BEFORE the horrible WILDFIRES which began here in November and destroyed SO much.

Monday, September 4, 2017

A PERFECT Solar Eclipse --August 21, 2017

Both George and Jeff put together their total views of the Eclipse... This is George's picture....  Isn't it fantastic?  (Jeff's composite is at the bottom of the post.)  
As many of you know,   here near Crossville,  Tennessee,   we had a nearly perfect view of the Solor Eclipse this past month (8/21/17)......    So--my son and beautiful daughter-in-law came to see us that day..... Had a great day with them --and we all thoroughly enjoyed seeing the ECLIPSE....

Both Jeff and George are fantastic photographers  --and Dawn and I were lucky to have them with us that day.....They took some fabulous pictures for me to share today!!!    Hope you enjoy some of our pictures....

Son Jeff --who brought all of his fancy equipment --including his telescope...  We got to see the eclipse 'up close and personal' looking through his telescope....  AWESOME!

Another picture showing some of Jeff's special equipment!  Wow!

George (using his tripod, glasses and special lens) set up shop on the back deck......   He had been practicing ahead of time; therefore his pictures came out TREMENDOUS also.

Jeff and Dawn and I worked from the front yard.   Jeff was smart enough to bring us a tarp for shade (on that hot afternoon).   He just backed their car into the driveway and we had a perfect place to view this very very special event.   Dawn and I took pictures with our iPhones --and I got some with my Canon while wandering around.

I love this picture of Jeff getting some pictures with his camera....

Of course,  the four of us just HAD to have special shirts for the occasion.  Here is what the back of our shirts said.   Dawn (who is from Georgia) chose Georgia for her shirt instead of Tennessee. 

AND ---here are the four of us with our special shirts on!  We are all SO happy to be here.

Here is a picture I took with my Canon.   I called this our Crescent SUN.... ha

Also from my Canon,  there's just a sliver of light left before total blackout!!!!

TOTAL DARKNESS for 2 minutes and 32 seconds!!!!   I took this picture with my cellphone (using the flash)....   It got so dark that the solar lights in our yard lit up!!!!!!

Another picture (using cellphone and flash) showing our total darkness about 1:30 in the afternoon!!!  AMAZING...

And one more I took (with cellphone) --without flash!  Everything got so QUIET and STILL during that time.  I'm sure the wild animals didn't know what to think... I know that the birds must have taken a short nap because none were singing or flying around at that time!!!

This is one of my favorite pictures that George took...  The darkness was ending and the light was coming back.  This is known as the DIAMOND RING.....  Isn't it terrific?   Unbelievable!!!

Finally,  this is Jeff's great collection of the eclipse --from beginning to end.... For your information,  the eclipse started about 12 noon (our time --CENTRAL) and totally ended about 3:00... Darkness happened at about 1:30.  
I am so proud of both George and Jeff and of the awesome pictures they both got on that fantastic day.   I am still excited while thinking about it...  For me,  it was and will be a lifetime experience.  It's so nice to be at the right place--at the right time,   here at our home!!!!!!

Hope you enjoyed this half as much as I did as I shared it with you....  It was such a joy (after the sadness of the week before) to be home with such talented people.   Thanks Jeff and Dawn for coming here!!!!  I LOVED every minute of it.

Have a great month...  On another note,  I am taking a few weeks off from blogging and commenting---but will be back soon....


Monday, August 28, 2017

The Love that Debbie Brought Us

October 17, 1966 -  August 13, 2017
(This beautiful picture of Debbie was taken in October of 2016 during her 50th Birthday Celebration.  Mark took her to the beach in Galveston for a few days to celebrate and have a great time together..  Those two always had tons and tons of fun and so many fabulous memories!) 
If you missed last Monday's post,  click HERE to read about the tragic death of my beautiful Daughter-in-law,  DEBBIE WILHITE, on August 13...  Now it is a week later since I wrote that post, and this news is still fresh in my heart and mind...  Time will continue to heal --but now,  just the little things get to me.

For instance,  as most of you know,  George and I share a devotional together each morning as we start our day.  In that devotion,  we pray for family and friends.  One of our prayers is to ask God's blessings on those who are brought together in Holy Matrimony.   As you know,  son Mark and his "Baby" (as he called Debbie) only got married on June 12 this year.. They had been together for a little over 2 years --but the actual marriage was recent.   I was SO happy to add them to our list of family members who are married.... Needless to say,  having to take their names off made me cry... Like I say--it's the little things....

I tried, for the week I was in Texas with Mark,  to stay as STRONG as I could for him.  BUT--there were a few times when I just 'lost it'... One of those times was when I got to see their adorable little home which they had moved into in early 2017 when Mark got transferred in his job.  (Mark is a Home Builder --and a GREAT one for sure!)   They were so happy to find their new home ---and when I went inside last week for the first time,   I was blown away seeing and feeling all of  the LOVE in that home...

They (mostly Debbie) had decorated their home ---and the love was so evident in every room...  I just cried and cried...  I could feel Debbie all around....  There were even some new recipes in the kitchen which Debbie had printed on Friday --so that she could make some new dinners for Mark...

WELL--you get the 'picture'.... There was just so much future for the two of them...  I'm sure that God needed that friendly, happy, joyful lady in heaven more than any of us needed her on Earth... It's hard to explain but now we know that Debbie is totally out-of-pain and with her Mama in heaven.  That doesn't mean that we don't miss her like crazy here on earth....

Today --I am sharing some cute pictures I took with my cellphone the day we were at Mark's  townhouse while walking around the various rooms.  You will be able to feel the love also... Hope you enjoy them.  No explanation is needed on the various photos.


This picture of Debbie was taken when she and Mark were on their Honeymoon Cruise in June.  Mark has the picture displayed in their home now.  Debbie's wedding rings and the necklace which she NEVER took off (which Mark had given her) are now displayed in and around  those gorgeous wedding glasses which were a gift from Mark's father and his stepmother.   I cried again when Mark sent me this picture/display...   

I cry every time I see this beautiful picture sent to me from Mark and Debbie after their June wedding.   The framed picture sits in our Living Room on an end table.   Debbie was so incredibly special to me...  Sob Sob.

Finally,  I love this picture of Mark and Debbie taken in April of 2016 .   (As you can imagine,  I have a huge collection of Mark/Debbie pictures--and am so glad for all of these memories.)
Thanks for all of the wonderful comments I received after last week's post...  Your thoughts and prayers mean the world to me.   Being able to write down my thoughts and share them on my blog and on Facebook helps me so much in MY healing... I'm not sure what I would have done without all of my friends/family these past couple of weeks....   As you know,  I needed your love and felt it... Thanks so much and please keep it coming...

Mark is doing remarkably well ---thanks to so much family/friend support.  He is back at work and able to get out and take walks...  A friend of mine sent him a book on Grief--and he said that he is really enjoying it also --and that it is helping him get those deep emotions OUT.   He is also seeing a counselor and going to a support group --all of which are helping him take that horrible step forward in his life... Keep him in your prayers also.  I'm so proud of him and how he is handling all of this...