Friday, January 08, 2021

Sorrowful news

Last month the unthinkable happened.

We lost our precious son, Taylor.  He had battled drug and alcohol addiction for several years and we thought he was finally doing better.  He was staying with us to try to get his life together.  We found him unresponsive one morning when Jeff tried to wake him for work.  The EMT's did everything they could to bring him back but our boy was gone.

Our hearts are shattered.  Taylor loved us so much and fought to overcome his addiction.  He seemed to win at times only to fall again.

The narcotics officer found more of what Taylor had taken and said it was fentanyl made to look like Oxycontin.  It has been coming up from Mexico, likely made in China, and he said that "it's rampant right now."  Our small city is losing at least one person a week to fentanyl overdoses.  Please beware....

We love you sweet boy.  I know you are no longer suffering and are safe in the arms of Jesus, whom you loved.

Taken in May of 2020 when my mom came to visit.  He was bored during lockdown and colored his hair.  ha.
Last Christmas, Taylor spent all day in the kitchen cooking us prime rib.
Picture taken a few weeks before he died.


Saturday, September 21, 2019

A crazy few days....

We spent Thursday night in Nashville and got to the airport at 3:15 AM— all proud of ourselves for being the first ones at the United ticket counter. And then we realized they didn’t open until 3:30. 😡. Three thirty came and went and the ticket agents started showing up around 3:45 but spent the next 15 minutes doing something other than waiting on customers. Not that I’m bitter or anything. Ha.

Nary a word was mentioned about the hurricane/tropical storm hitting Houston which is where we had a layover. Figuring we must be in the clear—and perhaps the weather wasn’t as bad as reported, we carried on to our gate. We boarded the plane and sat. And sat. And then the pilot informed us that there would be a delay due to “some weather” in Houston. He continues to update us for another hour and a half when it was decided that we all needed to deplane until the situation in Houston improved.

We asked if it was possible to put us on a different airline that didn’t go through Houston but they said no. So we waited. And waited. Finally at 2:30 PM I again asked if we could be rerouted. This time the answer was yes but the best they could do was put us in Atlanta by 9PM and then on to Honduras the next day. After 16 hours in the Nashville airport we boarded a plane for Atlanta. The rest of the trip went well—it just meant that we missed the first day and Pastor Mario, our friend in Honduras had to drive three hours to come and get us.

We then enjoyed a drive over the mountains from Tegucigalpa to Choluteca. It’s so beautiful. I never get decent pictures from the car but I still try. 🙄

We arrived and joined the team for dinner. They had seen 135 patients and a local church some of whom were sick enough that they had to be sent to the hospital. 

Today we went to another church, only 4-5 blocks from yesterday’s. We again saw 135 patients. We treated quite a few for diabetes - some knew they had it but weren’t taking medicine. A few needed a nebulizer treatment and many needed medicine for parasites but thankfully no one needed to be hospitalized. Chloe got her first taste of being on a mission trip and she loves it!  Molly is an old pro so just jumped in where needed. Today she was working pharmacy all day. Chloe did intake and took blood pressures, temperature, etc. I helped her for part of the day and then did urine tests. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Off to Honduras! 🇭🇳

Molly, Chloe and I are leaving this afternoon to catch an early morning flight to Tegucigalpa, Honduras for a medical mission trip!  We have to be at the airport at 3:30 AM so we are staying in a hotel near the airport.

Excited to see our friends there and do medical clinics in Tegucigalpa and Choleteca!  We will be meeting my mom, sister in law, Meredith, and her daughter, Maddie, as well as some others from her church.

I will try to blog nightly if I can get a good enough WiFi connection.

Thursday, April 18, 2019


The yellow bottomed boat is the one we took over to Venice.  I didn't think we would all fit but it's roomier than it looks.

The wharf where the tourists disembark from a menagerie of different types of boats, as well as the area where some of the Gondolas are located.
The scenery is spectacular.

We toured St. Mark's Basilica.  It was beautiful but to be honest, I was pretty much Basilica-ed out at this point in the trip.  They all started to look the same.  

It was a beautiful Basilica with a lot of gold adornments.
I got more sidetracked with less opulent beauty like this series of arches.
The paintings were quite stunning to be sure.
 We were so excited about the Gondola ride!  It met our expectations for fun as well as for beautiful scenery.
It was quite crowded, as you can see.
Mom's laugh is quite contagious!  

In the narrow canals, we looked straight up the walls of the homes and businesses that lined them.

This shot was actually from one of the bridges and not from the Gondola.  Pictures don't do it justice. Venice is definitely a charming place.

It was an amazing trip!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Six months later...

...I am trying to finish blogging this trip.

The leaning Tower of Pisa is actually part of the grounds of the Catholic Cathedral of Pisa.  There is a Cathedral, the Tower, a Baptistry and a Museum.

This building, the Battistero, has the most amazing acoustics.  Normal reverb is a few seconds.  This building will hold reverb (an echo) for a full seven seconds!  It was demonstrated for us and was so cool.
"The Field of Miracles" is at the entrance.  You can see the leaning Tower in the background.  The grounds actually are host to several leaning buildings due to the underground water that makes the land unstable.  The Cathedral and the Baptistery are also leaning.  
 The Duomo (Cathedral), full of works of art.  The chandelier is known as Galileo's chandelier.  Legend says that Galileo's theories relative to the pendulum came to him while he was attending mass and happened to be distracted by the oscillating chandelier.  Unfortunately, this is only a legend because the chandelier was hung in the Doumo only four years after his discovery. 

Good-bye Pisa!  On to Verona!
 "Little Coloseum"otherwise known as Verona Arena is a huge 1st Century Roman amphitheater which currently hosts concerts and large-scale opera performances. 
 Beautiful streets and buildings
Site of the setting of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" the dumbest story of all time.  ha  This is a 14th century residence with a tiny balcony overlooking a courtyard said to be Juliet's house.  
Bah humbug.

Next stop....Venice!

Sunday, July 01, 2018

Florence, The David and Church

We woke up bright and early to walk down to the city center and get in line to see The David, Michelangelo's most famous sculpture.  The museum was built around it and includes other statues and paintings by various artists.  Additional statues by Michelangelo are featured.
A close up to keep this blog's G rating.

The museum also had the very first Stradivarius  violin, according to our guide, on loan from the Medici family.

Afterwards we walked to a small International church for Sunday service.  So fun to meet other Christians!  About half the church was tourists.
It was a very small room and it contrasted so much with the opulence of some of the churches we have seen on this trip.  I wondered if the early church met in small rooms like this.  Maybe - maybe not.
Lunch at an outdoor cafe--love them!  So fun!
We got a gelato in an unsuccessful attempt to cool off.  It was in the 90's and let's just say...Europeans need to learn how to use air conditioning.  First they leave all the shop doors wide open and then they must have the thermostat set on 85.  Ugh.  It's only 5 degrees better than outside in every shop.
So cute!
Next, my mom wanted to take me to see the famous Ponte Vecchio Bridge that she and my dad had seen years ago.  My dad was a history buff and loved the story of how the bridge was saved during the Nazi occupation in WW2.  A German consul stationed in Florence had written letters to the German Ambassador to Italy asking to him to try ask Hitler to protect Florence from destruction.  Hitler had loved Florence on an earlier trip so agreed to keep as much of the city intact as possible.  However, when the Allies were approaching, it was decided that all the bridges had to be blown up.  Here the story takes on several theories.  One is that Hitler himself decided to save the bridge.  Another is that the Germans always left one bridge to try to ambush the Allies when they crossed it.  And still another theory was that American tanks were too large to cross the Ponte Vecchio anyway so there was no need to blow it up.  These theories all have some merit and the truth is probably a mix of the three.  The bridge was originally built in 996 and destroyed twice by floods but the current structure has been there since 1333! It is also known for having shops built on the bridge.  The back shops have been there since the 17th century.  They were originally butcher shops but are now mainly jewelry and watches.

Since my dad loved this bridge we asked someone to take a picture of us in front of it.
We walked around Florence all afternoon, shopping and sweating.
Incredible street art
Since had already eaten gelato, we couldn't have these but mmmmm.....they looked amazing.

Good-bye Florence!
Tomorrow we go to Pisa, Verona and end up in Venice.