Through Every Season

Tag: Getaway for Two (Page 1 of 3)

Rock City Gardens

If you’ve ever driven through this area of the country, you have seen a ton of barns like this one. 
We finished our Arboretum hike early enough that we had time
to drive up Lookout Mountain and see what the fuss was about.
It turns out that it’s aptly named.  Rocks, more rocks; big rocks
with a pathway that took you through
places with names like “Needle’s Eye.”
At one point, we got turned around and ended up going the opposite way of the crowd
which in a way made it more adventuresome.  Who needs maps?
While making our way up stream through the front end of
“Fat Man’s Squeeze” we unintentionally scared a bunch of people 
who thought we were unable to squeeze through and had to turn around.
I think a little laughter slipped out as I explained that we’d gone the wrong way.
There were places to sit.. 
Beautiful trees
 Gnomes hiding in caves and little fairy cities.
A wooden swaying bridge that I was happy we’d missed in our confusion. 
Then the highlight was a lookout over Lover’s Leap 
where it’s fabled that you can see seven states on a clear day.
Flags were hanging appropriately at half staff for the Boston Marathon victims.
Alabama’s stats.
A nice engraved stone showing where each state is for those of us who have gotten turned around.
Alabama 25 miles south and Georgia where we were standing.
South Carolina 80 miles this way
North Carolina 50 miles with the Smokys. 
Seeing the Smokys stand out from this distance made me love them even more.
Kentucky and Virgina 130 miles this way
And Tennessee half a mile this way.
Proof we were there squinting into the western sun.
More walk through caves.
A tree growing between the rocks.
Maybe my favorite photo.
Rainbow hall: lined with colored windows which allow you to walk through a rainbow.
I so want to do this in my house.
High Falls.. a man made, 140 foot, water fall that flows under Lovers Leap.
Us.  I tried to get the waterfall.. it’s in the very most right corner behind my shoulder.
A very beautiful day that I’d love to do over again. 

Relections on Heaven at Refection Riding Arboretum

Warning: Lots of photos
Saturday after lunch, we went to the Refection Riding Arboretum 
at the foot of Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga.
We so enjoyed walking it’s 3 mile loop which you can drive, bike or walk. 
 These horses reminded me of a Canadian TV show we’ve been enjoying, Heartland.
The cool spring breeze was so refreshing.
 Had to get one more with the mountain in the background.  🙂
 The Arboretum has a has a level 4 rating which means
 it has labled at least 120 different species of trees.
 Everything is colored with missing Joel now.  
We could not help thinking about how much he 
would have enjoyed the hike as we walked along.
He would have loved everything about it.. the beauty, the adventure, the history, the day.
Wild hydrangeas.
 As I snapped photos,   I wondered if Joel and Jesus went on hikes together
and if they ever had any need for photos or scrapbooks.  
One room cabin with spring feed water basin.
This cabin was dedicated to John and Margret by their grandchildren with 
Psalm 19:1-3
The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.  
Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge.  
There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard; 

yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.

 Favorite flower picture.
 I hear that the colors in Heaven are even more amazing than any we’ve ever seen.
 These flowers were growing on a Florida Anise Tree
These mushrooms reminded me of our very first real nature walk together 
at OP Schnable Park in San Antonio.   The Lord so blessed us that day with tons
of different mushrooms, bees and mating garter snakes.

Pages from Joel’s Nature Journal

 Joel was 10 years old.
 We all took turns using our first digital camera.
Joel’s version of what the snakes were doing below.   🙂
 We had to look up what kind of snakes they were
 We were all amazed by God’s creation.
The one below was from a different walk at OP Schnable.  
We went there often; there was so much to see 
and it was an easy drive from our house.
We met our good friends, the Chagoyas, there just last May.
Back to the Arboretum.. 
 We’ve been to St. Augustine.  Glad we didn’t have to walk here from there.
Cherokee monument.
 Joel so enjoyed taking nature photos.  
Will I get to see all the scrapbooks he’s collected when I get there?
About halfway through our hike we came upon this rock.. it amazed me.. 
I took half a dozen photos and still could capture the wonder of it so I took a video.
There was water springing up from the rock.. it reminded me of the water God provided in the wilderness for the Israelites and these verses from 
Revelation 21
1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away,
 and there is no longer any sea…3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, 
“Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be 
 His people, and God Himself will be among them,4and He will wipe away every tear from 
their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, 
or pain; the first things have passed away.” 5 And He who sits on the throne said,
 “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”
6 Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. 
I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost.
I’ve wondered many times how spending time with Jesus will work in Heaven.  
Will thousands of others be sharing my long, quiet walk with Jesus?    
 In Revelation 21:22 John says, 
“I did not see a temple in the city, because 
the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.”
 I was glad when I read in Anne Graham Lotz book, Heaven My Father’s House, last night 
that I wasn’t the only one who’d wondered.. and who’d selfishly not wanted to give up 
the wonderful, intimate, daily, individual, fellowship that we enjoy with Him now.
Anne believes that “There will be no place in Heaven 
where God is not physically, actually present!
  Because He is omnipresent, 
He will live fully and completely with me every moment, 
as though I were the only resident of Heaven!  
And He will live every moment fully and completely with 
you as though you were the only resident of Heaven!  
What a wonderful place Heaven will be!”
 Mike noticed, while on our hike, that sometimes the path would disappear beneath 
the forest overgrowth and we would have to look up ahead to find where to go next.
Mike at edge of a bamboo forest.
He said that in life we can get so focused on the here and now 
that we feel lost and have to look up to find eternal perspective again.
Beekeeper hives center right.
 I’ve been meditating on Colossians 3:1-4 lately. 
 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, 
where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things above, 
not on earthly things.  For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
 I meditated on it before.. to keep myself in check that I didn’t love earthly things too much;
now because earthly things are too unbearable.  
 Mike’s view.
My view.
Wild flowers and dandelions.

 Yet another view.. what’s that in the distance?
 Turtles enjoying the sun.
So nice to take time and listen to the heavens
 and the earth declaring God’s glory.
Dogwood tree.
And for a grand finale an Azalea bush.
Looking up,

Celtic Women in Concert

Mike and I had a very nice time away this weekend.  He took me to see Celtic Women in concert Friday night in Chattanooga.  He’d surprised me with tickets for Valentine’s Day.  
It was so sweet of him.  Celtic music is my favorite. 
 I love the clogging, the bagpipes, all the stringed instruments; it’s all so beautiful.
The stage was beautiful.  We had good seats.  The singers were very jovial 
which made the show all the more enjoyable.  The way the violinist danced and 
especially twirled around while she played was amazing.  
The climax of the show for me was when they played Amazing Grace on the bagpipes.  
I found a youtube video.. but it’s just not the same as being there. 
They sang some sad songs: “O, Danny Boy,” of course, “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Mes 
(I had to find my tissues).  Then towards the end they sang, “The Parting Glass.”  
I could just see Joel up on stage dancing around, smiling, lifting a cup of joy to us.  
He loves to dance and is always smiling.. and I know his cup is overflowing with joy.
Of all the comrades that e’er I had
They’re sorry for my going away
And all the sweethearts that e’er I had
They’d wish me one more day to stay
But since it fell unto my lot
That I should rise and you should not
I gently rise and softly call
Good night and joy be to you all 
Warning: cute video of Joel playing freeze dance with all the girls at
Judi’s 10th birthday party.  
 James is playing the part of the dizzying
camera guy. 

D.C. Birthday Trip: The National Zoo and Old Town

After breakfast at Chick-fil-a in Crystal City, 
we road the metro to the National Zoo station.  
 We were so glad that these escalators were working.. 
after riding this one up 3 stories..there was another one story 
escalator to ride before we reached street level.
 Hilton on the hill.
 Mega crossing at the zoo entrance.
We arrived early and went to see the pandas first thing.
This one was still sleeping and rolled over 
and covered it’s ears when the loud kids showed up. 
 This one was out for it’s daily jog.. 
 Down the hill and 
back up and around again and again.. it’s behind
waggled back and forth like a duck.  So cute. 
We were also just in time to see the Gorillas 
come out for their morning hide and seek game.
The zoo keepers hide their food and 
 they rush out to find it before the others do.
 This one chased down a younger faster one that found the one he wanted.
 The big one above found three balls full and ate every last drop..
ignoring the little one above that was asking, “What about me?”
The sun felt good.
After lunch in China Town we went to 
Old Town Alexandria. 
Saw the Potomac River and
Christ Church, where George Washington 
and Robert E. Lee worshipped.
And ate BBQ at King Street Blues
A nice ending to our D.C. trip.

D.C. Birthday Trip: American Art and Portrait Gallery

I spent my afternoon at the American Art and Portrait Gallery.  
I enjoyed it far more than I expected.  I thought I might see the whole thing
in a little over an hour.. but spent hours and hours there and arrived
 just in time to meet Mike at Fuddruckers for dinner down the street. 
 I actually came up out of the wrong end of the metro.
And was surprise to find myself here.
Happy to see our meeting place.
All the China Town signs are in English and Chinese. 
 It wasn’t far to the gallery.  
The building started out as the U.S. Patent Office in 1836.
They’ve done a beautiful job renovating it.
It has this beautiful enclosed courtyard where you can eat
lunch, hang out and listen to a live band playing.
Can you see the wave in the glass ceiling?
This Cadillac weather vain was my favorite in the Folk Art exhibit.
I expected the museum to showcase American artist and their art.. 
which it did.. but with an emphasis on famous Americans.  
 A portrait of Pocahontas.
 Benjamin Franklin
 Loved this little painting
 Thomas Edison
See the writing to the left of the painting?
Each painting of a famous American had a short biography next to it.
 Ronald Reagon 
 Will Rogers
 Love the bears.
Angel 1887 by Abbott Handerson Thayer from Boston.
 Elizabeth Winthrop Chanler
by John Singer Sargent  
 Cafe’ at Biskra, Algeria
by Frederick Arthur Bridgman
born in Tuskegee, AL in 1847 
 I loved this painting.. the little boy is reading the 
Bible to his mother, who has her hands folded in prayer.
Sunday Morning 1877
by Thomas Waterman Wood from VT.
I like his other paintings too.. Google him.
 Loved the movement in this sculpture.
 George W. Bush
Laura Bush – I thought if someone were to paint 
a portrait of me.. I’d like to look like this.
 Loved this photo of Orson Welles
by Harry Warnecke – The first photographer to use
color photographs.. He worked hard to convince
the New York Daily News that it was worth the
expense to publish a color photo once a week
in their Sunday News supplement.
Lucile Ball
photo also by Harry Warnecke
 Katharine Hepburn
Love this pose, too. 
Then on the 4th floor there was even more art to see.. 
in the Lunder Conservation Center.
These three floors make up the fourth floor.. instead of rooms 
of art they contain shelves and cases and drawers of art.. 
with just enough room to walk between and view the collection. 
It’s like the attic of the museum.  So wish I could see the NGA’s attic..
Then on one end there is Conservation Center.. 
Where you can walk down and watch their conservationist at work.
They have a room for everything from the frames (above) 
to paintings and sculptures.  Each room has a touch screen video 
player in front that explains how they do the restorations in that room 
and shows examples of wonderful before and afters.
What a fun job.

D.C. Birthday Trip: Botanical Gardens & American Indian Museum

Monday I had all to myself to go anywhere 
the metro and my feet would take me.  
After visiting the NGA a second time I went to the Botanical Gardens.
 I started at the side gate.  Enjoyed the azaleas.
 Love the color contrast.
View from the front.
Tulips for Mom.
Inside there was a orchard exhibit.
 This one’s named for Princess Diana
 Love the purple.
 And wow!
Next I went to the National American Indian Museum.
 The building was beautiful.
 They do the coolest things with beads.
 It took a family 9000 cover this VW Bug with beads.
The horse exhibit upstairs was my favorite.
 A chief.
Horse dancing sticks. 
 A horse mask..
And on another floor this amazing sculpture.
It was made to celebrate the friendship between 
the Oneida people and George Washington (the United States).

D.C. Birthday Trip: Natural History Museum and Library of Congress

On Monday, my good friend, Lee Ann and her family met me at the 
Natural Museum of History. 🙂  While Chuck took their precious girl to see 
the butterflies, Lee Ann and I went up to see the precious stones. 
I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would.  Their collection was 
impressive and I wished that Josh could have been there.  
You could probably spend half a day just looking at their rocks.
The Hope Diamond was the star of the show.
It’s blue color surprised me. 
 A sapphire and diamond necklace by Harry Winston – wow!
 A diamond tiara and necklace
 that Napoleon had made for Marie Louise.
In this room, the stones were divided up by mineral; some left embedded 
in the rock they were found in and some made into jewelry.. 
They showed how different impurities give the stones their color.
Did you know that rubies and sapphires are made up of the 
same mineral they just have different impurities in them?
And if they didn’t have any impurities they’d be clear?
All these museums have web sites where 
you can see much of their collections.
After lunch, we walked back up Capital Hill to the Library of Congress.
I thought I’d get to roam among the books.. but discovered
that only professional researchers are allowed in that part
of the library..  The part we did see was so beautiful that it was 
well worth the trip.  The hall is a work of art itself.

They have Thomas Jefferson’s Library on display.

Thomas Jefferson sold his collection of over 6,000 books 
to congress after the British burned their first collection.
Most of his collection also burned in a second fire.. 
but his detailed log of books didn’t.  So the library is 
working on collecting copies of his original books.

D.C. Birthday Trip: Sunday Afternoon

After visiting the NGA, we walked up to see
if the Library of Congress was open.
 When they say “up” on Capital Hill they mean up.
It’s quite a hill.  Cherry blossoms everywhere.
A red bud tree and through the trees you can 
just make out the Capital building.
 We joined a group that was praying in 
front of the Supreme Court for the nation.
Quiet a different group from the day before.
The following day was the beginning of
the Supreme Court’s review of Obamacare.
In the few minutes we were there, they prayed for Congress.
The Library is next door to the Supreme Court.  It was closed.
We had a little time left, so we went back to the American History Museum.. 
the President’s exhibit had been so crowed the day before we missed it.
Martha Washington’s dress.
We learned that not every First Lady was married to the President.
Some Presidents weren’t married or their wife
didn’t want to be the First Lady.. so they asked someone
else in their family to play host in the White House.
A couple were as young as 21 years old.
We found some of Mike’s work in this display case;
President Clinton’s Budget.  🙂

D.C. Birthday Trip: National Gallery of Art

My favorite place to visit in D.C. is the National Gallery of Art.  It amazes me that they have all that amazing art on display free for anyone to come see. 
I actually got to go twice this trip.  Mike and I went together on Sunday  
when it was pretty busy with all the Cherry Blossoms visitors.  
Then first thing Tuesday morning, I went again by myself when it was quiet.  
I actually had a few of the rooms all to myself for a couple of minutes.  
It was so quite that I could hear my own foot steps on the wood floors and 
thought how cool it’d be to have my own house full of beautiful art like that.
There were a couple of monks with a tour group there.
 The younger of the two was walking around with the widest of eyes.
At first I thought that he must have been amazed at the beauty of the art.
But later, in a different room, I realized why his eyes were so wide 
when after the older monk moved into the next room he took 
a quick picture of a large painting of a naked lady.
He didn’t even glance at the smaller painting of 
the nativity next to it that I was walking over to see. 🙂
I think he was amazed that men and women could look at 
large paintings of naked women together in public and call it art.
Although my eyes weren’t as wide as his, 
I am not sure it should be called art either.
I try to look past those paintings.
The monks wore a gray robes which made me curious 
about what kind of monks they could be since
  all of the monks I’ve seen wear bright orange robes 
like the Buddhist monks we saw in Thailand.
I googled them and found an article about them 
(the exact two monks from the Museum).
They are Korean monks who are visiting the U.S. as part of their 
English Language and Buddhism in the Western World studies 
at a South Korean university.
The younger one, “Great Wisdom,” is 21.
The older one, “Blue River”, is my age.
I hope they find Jesus in their quest for wisdom and peace.
The Smithsonian Castle.
Some of my favorite paintings from the NGA:
Two by Winslow Homer

 The Dinner Horn
Sparrow Hall 
 Still Life of Flowers by Dietrich
 The Cottage Dooryard by Adriaen Van Ostade
 Workmen before an Inn by Isaac Van Ostade (brother of above)
 A terrible “I was here” picture… 
A Lady Writing by Vermeer.
And two by Rembrandt – amazing
 Man in Oriental Costume
 The Apostle Paul
 The Adoration of the Shepherds by Giorgione
(the painting next to the one “Great Wisdom” liked)
A statue of David as a boy.
 Ginevra de’ Benci 
by Leonardo da Vinci
Did you know he left his finger print in the center of the painting?
He lived from 1452-1519
Can you imagine seeing art that old and older??
 The Alba Madonna by Raphael
And the last two by Murillo – 
 Return of the Prodigal Son
Two Women at a Window
More art galleries to come..

D.C. Birthday Trip: Cherry Trees

 After walking through the mall, we walked by the Washington Monument.
Joel asked if we saw the crack in it from the earth quake.
We forgot to look. :-/
 We tried this shot several times.. ha. 
Its fun taking “We were here.” photos even when you blink.
We were just a couple of days late for the height of the cherry blossoms.  

The rain and the cool breeze made it snow blossoms down on us.  

 It felt surreal to walk through so many pink blossoms; and baffled me how 
the atheists could have their rally at a time when God was so showing off. 
I got a new pin for my favorite Mickey Mouse back pack.
 I am not sure why they chose a beaver to hold the 
“Please, don’t pick the blossoms” sign.
 A nice guy offered to take our picture.
I think he was there just hanging out offering to take anyone’s picture.
Doesn’t that sound like a fun way to spend an afternoon?
At the end of our cherry tree walk we stumbled across the.. 
They had numbered signs for each tulip patch that matched up with a guide. 
We didn’t find where they kept the guides.
I think it would be easier and save trees if they just 
put the names on the signs instead of numbers. 
The tulips were beautiful even without their names.
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