Sweet Memories…Sad Realities

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Driving along listening to my favorite radio station when a Whitney Houston song filled the car with her melodious voice. Couldn’t help but think about how she and her daughter died so tragically.  While the Nation might never know what really happened to either one of them, we will always remember how they impacted many lives – especially their fans.  While Whitney’s daughter never lived very long, passing away at age 22, we’ll never know what contributions she might have made, perhaps following in the footsteps of her famous mother.  I began to ponder the following:  How sweet it would be if Whitney and the daughter she loved so much would have had an opportunity to sit on the sofa watching a film of their life portraying to them how they would both die early deaths, tied to bath tub scenarios and reportedly abuse of drugs and alcohol, fame and fortune – and immediately jumping up from the sofa proclaiming that they would not become two more statistics of “lives wasted” needlessly and selfishly.  It seemed as if they might have given little thought and consideration to living lives of blessedness and thankfulness for richness in talent and material wealth.  God must be crying tears from heaven, just as we are, thinking about two young women whom He showered with His love.  How sweet it would have been if only they could have fast forwarded and rewritten the film, deciding not to leave this side of heaven…not yet – realizing they had much to do, giving back and helping those less fortunate.  None of us will ever know…and so we mourn and remember them for what was and what might have been.

Escape to Loveliness

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Need a getaway?  My husband and I sure did and included the Biltmore in Asheville, NC, as one of our stops.  Having been there before, during this visit we did not take the comprehensive tour but I definitely suggest you experience all the property has to offer.  Their famous tag line is “America’s Largest Home.”  The self-guided visit allows you to tour at your own pace.  It is a lovely reminder of an era filled with breathtaking landscape including magnificent gardens, a huge house that is beautifully decorated and filled with masterpieces of art.  The collection of antiques is stunning.  At the risk of sounding like their “talking billboard”, the timeless beauty you’ll find on the property is breathtaking. Please note that there is also a winery.  In fact, the Biltmore boasts that they are “America’s most visited winery.”  It seems to have everything to assure you of a splendid escape with a backdrop of Blue Ridge Mountain beauty.  Check it out; we did and we’re all the better for it with our awesome memories of such charm and hospitality.

More Blue Ridge Parkway

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Still celebrating my August 19th birthday that began on Tuesday morning, the day before.  Thanks to my husband for a surprise gift he announced on “early morn” that I was to pack my bags and get ready for a birthday trip he had planned for me. I jumped to my feet, grabbed some items and was ready in less than an hour.  One of the surprises included completing our drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway that extends 469 miles long.  This past May we began our journey on the parkway but had to prematurely end it due to inclement weather.  However, we filed away in our minds that we would someday return and complete what had given us so much joy.  The day before my birthday we reentered the Parkway in Cherokee, NC and drove until the sun began to set.  Stops along the way yielded interaction with the animals, enjoying the view, appreciating the wild flowers and other natural settings, taking advantage of the many picture-perfect overlooks, and so much more. Then, on my birthday, we actually completed it where we left off three months ago, in Roanoke, VA.  Truly a time to remember that included the above as well as our visit to the Biltmore in Asheville, NC, shopping, and most of all an enjoyable birthday dinner celebration with my husband.  Feeling happy!   Stay tuned for details on the parkway and our drive to the Biltmore. Also, please check out my May 28 blogpost entitled, “A Sensational Day on the Blue Ridge Parkway.”  An update coming soon.