Monday, March 28, 2011


When I looked out my window this morning, this is what I saw.  At first glace, you might say that you’d rather see sunshine.  Lol!  But, you cannot ignore the beauty that is before you.  When my children were younger I would love days like this.  Like many families, we led very busy lives.  But here in the Blue Ridge, things tend to slow down on a snow day.

On such days, we’d make some homemade cocoa and bundle up with a comfy blanket and put on an old movie.  We might even get out a jigsaw puzzle or two or a board game and enjoy long conversations with each other; these are the memories that I treasure.

It seemed like just as our lives got a little too busy and out of control, a snowstorm would come and make all of our plans come to a stop; no school, no sports and for some, no work.  It isn’t so pleasant for those who do have to go out to work on such a day.  But for us, it was like a Holiday.

Now my children are gone and living in homes of their own, but I did enjoy a phone call and some Facebook time with two daughters who are now home with their children on a snow day and that makes me smile.  : )

Thursday, March 17, 2011


My family has always celebrated St. Patrick’s Day, because I wanted my girls to not only remember their Irish ancestry, but also honor a man that was such a wonderful Missionary to Ireland; helping to preserve the Bible for us to enjoy today.  The funny thing is that after most of my girls had married I discovered that we weren’t really Irish after all, but Scottish!  Lol!

I was told that my mother’s Scottish ancestry goes all the way back to Lochbuie on the island of Mull in the Scottish Highlands.  The Clan Maclaine of Lochbuie is a fierce bunch whose family crest badge is of a Battle Axe with a branch of laurel and a branch of cypress on either side.  The motto above the axe is: Vincere vel mori (Latin for To conquer or die).  The Mull District tartan is plaid in colors of green, blue and black.  Legend has it that our Clan descendants fought beside William Wallace and against any who would come against Scotland’s right to rule themselves.

My descendants did eventually move from Scotland and settle in America.  My grandfather (Roy Calvin McLain) carried on that fighting tradition and was in the Army during World War II from 1938 – 1946.  He was a very handsome man and always stood tall and proud. I can remember him with a smile on his face, a spring in his step and he always whistled a happy tune.

My nephew is a Marine SSGT, currently serving in Japan.  I know that he continues to carry on the McLain heritage to fight for honor, justice and for those in need that cannot help themselves; as the Marine's put it, "Semper Fi!" (Always Faithful).  I am quite a proud aunt as you can tell!  Lol!  And just as proud of his lovely wife that is there beside him taking care of their children, even in this difficult time.  America will continue to stand strong as long as there are those willing to fight to defend her and for those who call upon her for aid.  As my nephew would say, "Oorah!" 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  : )

Thursday, March 10, 2011


To say that my husband and I do a bit of competing, that wouldn't be quite right.  For one thing, he is tall and I am short, so there's no competition when it comes to walking; running?  Never gonna happen!  Lol!  He made 9th in the Nation his junior year of High School for cross country.

When it comes to driving, he's quite crafty; I'm not talking about speeding, just quick minded on how to maneuver.  So last week we met up in town as we do on occasions to do our weekly grocery shopping.  I actually made it out of the store first and in my car; of course he was still at the check-out and then loaded the car.  So I decided to get a head start.  I had parked in a better row, so I knew I could get out first.  I made it to the light in time, but he still wasn't far behind and made it also.  When  I had driven some ways, I was pleased to see that I still had the slight advantage.  Then I was coming up to the light where we make a turn as it was turning red and I remembered what my husband always did, he turned into the corner bank parking lot (always after hours) and saved time that way.  So I did likewise, only to realize that I had turned in too soon and it was actually another parking lot next to the bank with only one entrance/exit.  My husband smiled as he passed me and turned into the correct lot.  I now had to turn around and go back.

On the way home, I thought about how much that was like me and God.  Sometimes I think I can get to a place in my life more quickly if I can just lead the way myself.  I know God must be saying, "Lol!  Never gonna happen!"  But, I try anyways only to find that I have to backtrack and begin again.  He's always teaching me some new lesson in patience.

How did my shopping trip end?  Just like me and God; my husband made it home in plenty of time to unload all the groceries and turn on the outside lamppost so that I could see more clearly when I got there.  : )

Sunday, March 6, 2011


I can't help but think of better weather on this dark cold rainy day.  I have to remind myself that this is just a passing season and that the sun will shine bright and warm again.  This week for #SampleSunday, I decided to post a poem that I wrote last July; hope it brightens your day.  : )

B L U E  R I D G E  M O U N T A I N  M O R N I N G

Misty covered mountains
Roll away with the dawn
The sun begins to rise
Now I stretch my arms and yawn

But the beauty holds me captive
As I stop to take a look
The view outside my window
Is worth writing in a book

To stop time frozen
For the beauty that I see
To hold onto this moment
It still amazes me

Green mountains rise up
Ridge upon ridge unfold
They stand firm and proud
And have since days of old

A bright red cardinal
Swoops down upon his prey
A caterpillar crawling
Who had come to greet the day

Now a black crow comes
And attempts to steal the prize
The cardinal is too quick
And away he swiftly flies

The butterflies and dragonflies
Are warming up their wings
They begin to circle my garden
Searching out tasty things

A brown rabbit slowly hops
From beneath a berry bower
He cannot resist the taste
Of a golden dandelion flower

As the sun warms the earth
A speckled fawn begins to play
His white tail mother joins him
And cautiously leads the way

They two enjoy a quiet moment
While the world is still asleep
They love my private garden
Where they find a safe retreat

It’s just a simple garden
With an archway painted white
Where oaks, maples, and pines
Encircle and keep it from sight

It’s a place I go to meditate
A place where I can be alone
I let go of needless worries
Sitting on my bench of stone

I thank my Creator
For the beauty He has made
I sing a happy tune
And there leave my troubles laid

On a morning such as this
There’s no place I’d rather be
Some do like the City life
But the Blue Ridge Mountains are for me

Sheri L. Swift