FAITHFUL TO OUR POST  By Lori A Alicea

It was just an ordinary weekend almost two weeks ago.

Beginning Saturday, a training session for the serve team volunteers at my church, although most would agree “A Day at the Emmy’s” minus the fanfare.

Awards…
Trophies…
Prizes…
Speeches…
Catered lunch…

Glam table touches of Valentine sparkle and chocolates…

Obviously missed were the couture dresses, swag bags and the paparazzi…

But great appreciation overflowed from leadership hearts towards those diligently committed each week for the sole reason of honoring God by serving his people.

Then Sunday came…

The serve team took their place as they do week after week; not for accolades, not for fame; just a servant’s heart to be found faithful to their post.

Chuck was no different.
He attended the Day at the Emmy’s.  E0E058B9-5B47-434E-9705-2224B3E5D3E0Facebook photo from Rachael Tucker

He was seen serving the very next day at church.

A true patriot; Chuck was faithful to God, family and flag, who never went AWOL to his post.

Chuck could always be found…

Leading worship in our life-group on Tuesday evenings…

Keeping the church safe through the undercover security team on Sundays…

Fathering and loving his family no matter the day…8E28E386-42CF-4AE0-AA18-A355E49E70E9Facebook photo from Ken Steorts

If Chuck was needed for any reason at all, look no further than at his post.

Yet, when Tuesday came only two days later, his post was found unattended, unmanned by our patriot, as Chuck had taken a brand new post in heaven.

With no warning to prepare for, God received a committed servant for Himself.

During the home-going service honoring Chuck as a veteran of the faith that he was, I kept remembering a man who showed up week after week, with my final sighting of him standing at the sanctuary’s entrance, praising God while keeping his post.F14E4995-A149-48E3-B25D-DD6322F16F5F

When our appointed time comes as it did for my friend, 

Let it be said of us from those who’ve been watching…

Our heirs…
Our family…
Our co-workers…
Our friends…
Our God…
Those unaware to us…

That we have been found faithful.

(an excerpt from a song echoing the same)

Find Us Faithful
By Steve Green

May all who come behind us find us faithful…

May the fire of our devotion light their way

May the footprints that we leave lead them to believe

And the lives we live inspire them to obey…

Yes, our brother in Christ was remembered faithful.
Chuck left behind his footprints for others to believe.

Chuck’s life was a true inspiration for those left behind to continue their journey of faith reflecting the character of God as He is faithful.

Even still, the presence of Chuck is terribly missed though we are comforted in our confidence we’ll see him again.

Life is a vapor; our time is accounted as a mere breath.

a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
James 4:14

Our days are already numbered and we know not when the Lord will stop counting.

Singers Bill and Gloria Gaither wrote and said it best in this song regarding the fleeting of time, a handful of moments in our hands.

We Have this Moment
By Bill and Gloria Gaither

We have this moment to hold in our hands
And to touch it as it slips
Through our fingers like sand
Yesterday’s gone
And tomorrow many never come

But we have this moment today…

May the moment we have in front of us become a great memory.

May the fullness of our heart be love, peace and joy with those in our circle of influence.

Because when the unexpected time comes and the Lord is ready to receive us…

May the examination of our life be found not wasted…

But found faithful…

Loving…
Serving…
Running after God…

Faithful to our post.

THE DIVA IN YOUR FAMILY! By Lori A Alicea

There’s a Diva in every family.

You know who she is.
She knows who she is.

You can’t help yourself but feel the love when Diva enters the room, as her little girl on the inside lights up and takes center stage as well as your heart.2 disney ears 6

Diva’s live to the full for which we might want to take notes from her effervescent personality.

Divas are confident and self-assured in her lane, with “Minnie Me” watching and keeping score.

Diva’s stand out among the crowds who notice her on and off the field as a cheerleader in the stands of this game called life.

She loves to laugh and for whatever reason, others embrace the fun no matter their age.

Wherever Diva goes, the little girl who refuses to grow up is following along as well.

Adults, who left behind their wonder and fascination in a child’s toy chest, can reacquaint themselves with their inner child again by hanging out with a Diva.

Diva’s love the spotlight and why not?

Where there are dark clouds and gloomy skies in a person’s day, why not be a bright star to cheer to them up.
5a winter 2

Oh risk the fun and take a ride with a Diva.

You’ll discover your happy place the moment you take your seat.6 amusement park

Class is always in session with a Diva.

Their cuteness is contagious and these little Diva Darlin’s graduate in the Sciences of Smiles.

There’s a Diva hidden in all of us.

You’ll find her crowned in “bows and sparkle”, even among our furry friends;

Celebrating each other on Diva Day.

Look no further than your own back yard for a Diva.

A lamppost of love that never dims…

A fountain of joy which never runs dry…

A smile for days…

A ride for a lifetime…

Someone who brings out the best in all of us…

A song was even written with a Diva in mind…

(an excerpt)

Who can turn the world on with her smile?

Who can take a nothing day, and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile.

Well it’s you girl, and you should know it,

With each glance and every little movement you show it…

Love is All Around
By Sonny Curtis

Intro song to Mary Tyler Moore show
(Made famous when I was a teenager)

11 winter 1

I must confess, this blog is a request by my Diva daughter for her birthday we recently celebrated a few days ago on January 18, yet Diva birthdays last for days.8 mom and daughter

Divas are confident in what they want.

Quite opposite of her mother, I laughed when she blurted her request without blush.  But how could I refuse?  My daughter blessed me in the asking.

While I could write a book about the amazing mother my daughter is to her three children, living in color with them through the traditions she’s created throughout the year, the illustrations of memories they’ll keep for a lifetime.

This childlike gift about my daughter is one of the characteristics I most hold dear about her. She opens my eyes to see the world from a little girl’s point of view, always at play, enjoying her life.

If my Diva daughter bottled this recipe which holds the world captive in her hands; she’d be rich.

Although, we’re all rich aren’t we when we celebrate the love, the laughter, the joy and the smile in each of us.

Because…

Who can take a nothing day, and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile.

Well it’s you girl, and you should know it…

By Sonny Curtis

THINK ON THESE THINGS!  By Lori A Alicea

Here is written a tribute to the simple touch of a mother to her daughter; a memory only they could understand, remember and cherish for a lifetime.

THINK ON THESE THINGS!
By Lori A Alicea

A mother’s moment with her girl,
Each morning does prepare.
Creates a bond between the two,
While brushing through her hair.

The mirror reflects a princess heart,
In both, though one is grown.
Inside you find her noble crown,
Where royalty is known.

With bows and braids and pony tails,
And polish on her nails.
A storybook of mother’s hands,
Is penned in great details.

This simple act of washing hair,
Her nearness valued much.
A child remembers thru the years,
A mother’s tender touch.

A mother’s hand keeps hold of you,
She’s close beside your chair.
Recalls her smile while looking at,
A clipping of your hair.

Oh daughter, you are beautiful,
No one can dare compare.
Oh listen to your mother’s words,
Each time I dry your hair.

My little girl, sweet princess one,
With bows and matching socks.
Record these memories of us,
The days I dried your locks.

Your eyes, the windows of your soul,
Reflects a heart burned bright.
Your hair, a princess crown to wear,
These mother’s words I write.

Your smile of bright and sunny skies,
At night, a light show made.
I love our mother / daughter time,
Your pony tail I’d braid.bristol 1

My daughter’s grown before my eyes,
Our clothes and makeup share.
But like a little girl she sits,
To let me brush her hair.brooke

I pray you’ve heard the Father’s love,
These mornings just us two.
The honest things, the pure and just,
The lovely things of you.

In words of doubt recall these days,
Our time around your chair.
And think on things of good report,
Each time you brush your hair.

Finally, brethren…
Whatsoever things are true…
Whatsoever things are honest…
Whatsoever things are just…
Whatsoever things are pure…
Whatsoever things are lovely…
Whatsoever things are of a good report…
If there be any virtue…
And if there be any praise…

Think on these things..
Philippians 4:8 KJV

BEHOLD, I DO A NEW THING!  By Lori A Alicea

Where to next Lord?”

In my walk with the Lord, I’m always asking for directions, waiting for the red light to change green across the street of my journey; standing still for the next instruction of my destiny travels.path in woods

Because God has a plan for our lives.

A great plan of prosperity, of hope and a future already determined for us.
(Jeremiah 29:11)

But we dare not get ahead of Him.

We dare not take matters into our own hands.

We must trust Him in the waiting.

We must not succumb to discouragement in the silence?

For His sheep hear his voice and they know Him and follow when He speaks.
(John 10:27)

Because God will speak again, and may this moment find our lamps filled with oil in anticipation and ready to move in our next instruction.

photo of lighted lamp
Photo by Vlad Bagacian on Pexels.com

Until then, we must stand still in the timing, be confident in the strategy, be excited in big picture God has already prepared and planned out for us.

——-

When my mother was still with us and comfortable in her Lazy Boy recliner, I recall like yesterday her enjoying a reality TV show called “Amazing Race.”

This show was a race full of teams following one instruction leading to another instruction, taking them all around the world and awarding a million dollar prize to the first successful team who crossed over the finish line.

The instructions were complex.

The instructions had to be followed exactly.

One instruction was a precursor to the next instruction.

There were no shortcuts.

There was no possible way to hurdle the finish line without every instruction completed.

The million dollar prize was waiting to see who would finish their
AMAZING RACE.
Day 16 Running
The Bible re-tells amazing races of instructions, keeping us gripped in the narration to see if these characters would follow the “next steps” which God had given them towards their destiny.

Abraham’s instruction went like this:

1The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. 2I will make you a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those you bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse, and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
Genesis 12:3 NIV

Abraham’s instruction required him to leave everything behind without knowing where God was sending him. But if Abraham trusted the instruction, God would make him a great nation where his name would be great and be a blessing.

Abraham followed the instruction.england journey walking on tree

David’s instruction went like this:

17Now Jesse said to his son David, “Take this ephah of roasted grain and these ten loaves of bread for your brothers and hurry to their camp. 16Take along these ten cheeses to the commander of their unit. See how your brothers are and bring back some assurance from them. 19They are with Saul and all the men of Israel in the Valley of Elah, fighting against the Philistines.
1 Samuel 17:17-19 NIV

All David’s instruction required him to do was take a lunch to his brothers. How many times do we become annoyed by meaningless tasks, not realizing they are actually setups by God to test our obedience.

Little did David know the next step of his destiny was waiting in the slaying of Goliath.

So interesting how God had already prepared David’s confidence to meet the challenge with Goliath, when David had previously slain the lion and bear behind the scenes of his life.
(1 Samuel 17:36)

David followed God’s instruction.

man walking in the forest
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Preacher and Author Dr. John Tetsola once quoted:

The instructions you are willing to obey
will determine the destiny God brings into your life.

In my own walk with the Lord, His instruction and Word for 2023 in my life is this:

BEHOLD, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.
Isaiah 43:19 KJV

Towards the end of the year 2022 this “new thing” has become more evident and confirmed; but will I obey?

I confess “kicking and screaming”, and “digging my heals in the sand” to this next instruction, complaining in my inadequacies, “Not me!”  But I know the amazing race of my life with come to a standstill and my destiny and His instructions waiting ahead hinges on my obedience.england journey walking on path

Dr. John Tetsola’s words push me forward as I know they are from God,

The instructions you are willing to obey
will determine the destiny God brings into your life.

God is doing a thing in our lives.

Don’t you see it?

He’s making a way in the wilderness…

Rivers in the desert…

Let us all obey the Word of the Lord.

landscape photo of pathway between green leaf trees
Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

GOD WITH US!  By Lori A Alicea

The double doors of 2022 are soon to be drawn and the lights will dim to darkness on the past twelve months of our lives.

green christmas tree with string lights
Photo by Jeswin Thomas on Pexels.com

Standing still in the doorway while looking over my shoulder one final time as the past three-hundred and sixty-five days of the calendar bid their good-by, I find it a gift to close my eyes and seal into memory the joys and the sorrows, the victories and the trials, the wins and the defeats, the highlights and the lowlights; remembering after retracing the steps of another year, I traveled not alone, but with Immanuel, God with us.

When the clock strikes midnight to a brand new year, and celebrations all around the world transform into snow globes of confetti and balloons; yes, there’ll be cheers, hugs and kisses around the room to those which we love in great hopes of new beginnings; and after those years which proved to be difficult, we all can believe and hope, can’t we?

Which is why when the unknowns of our itineraries are handed out for the year with the mountains still standing before us, as do the valleys, the road blocks, the detours and finish lines; we fear not because we forget not, we travel with Immanuel, God with us.mountains

Peering thru the Christmas windows of my life in 2021, and continuing into the hallways of the New Year’s festivities of 2022, I had to fight feeling alone when I was sick and by myself during the holiday month of December and into January, with my husband fighting for his life in the hospital alone.
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The calendar reminded me about dinner during Christmas that year of 2021, where our children and grandchildren should have been seated around the table with us. Yet God was with us still and took his seat around each of our tables, regardless of the miles which separated them.2018 alicea xmas 5

God was with us during those weeks of telephone calls, midnight text messages, groceries left at the doorstep and grandchildren peering thru my Christmas windows with their smiles of cheer.62A6A18C-43F3-4214-81D3-15E8290A974E

Yes, we celebrate God in the good times because our memories dare not forget, and bring to our remembrance His nearness against our tears in the difficult ones.

There were tidings of great joy this Christmas of 2022 when David and I found our seat at the holiday dinner table once again. While our December season together has been a winter wonderland of ornaments and white lights in every room of our house, there have been moments when we’d shake the snow globe blizzard from a year ago in our conversations, though counting and naming our blessings thru the valley with Immanuel, God with us.

My calendar of 2023 is a blank slate where God will begin to pencil in divine appointments, opportunities for reaching neighbors, reminders to call that someone you’ve been putting off.

coffee notebook pen writing
Photo by Negative Space on Pexels.com

There’ll be fishing and sledding dates with our grandchildren regardless of Papa’s hip, craft time with my glue gun and glitter, coffee dates, cousin camp for those who still want to come, gym time with my circle of friends, and Friday night dates with my love.

Let’s not forget those hours set aside to dream new dreams and dust off old ones still vying for my attention, remembering also to reserve time with myself for pampering, resting and window shopping my goals.

Most of all, might my mornings be blocked and penciled in with appointments of prayer and reading his Word as God awaits us in the early hours of our tossing and turning and inability to sleep; His way of starting the coffee and setting an early table for two, where His presence is near, and sensed in the seat close beside…God with us.

photo of flower vase near coffee cups
Photo by NastyaSensei on Pexels.com

OUR CHRISTMAS PHOTOGRAPH By Lori A Alicea

A Christmas Greeting Card
From Our House to Yours…

Our Christmas past, though long ago,
And Christmas almost here.
The magic of this day the same,
Ring in, Oh Christmas Year.

KEEP KIDS xmas kids houle kids

KEEP family alicea 1

The guests are soon to all arrive,
The hustle’s always there.xmas 2017 4

The tree is decorated grand,
The gifts are picked with care.

KEEP tree hollis decorating treeKEEP presents tree

The music plays around the clock,
Those Christmas tunes of cheer.
The cookies baked and cards sent out,
Just like we do each year.

Such secrets kept inside each gift,
And placed beneath the tree.
Our snooping kids who try and guess,
Just what’s inside for me?

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Such fantasy this Christmas day,
Alive, the kid in us.

KEEP KIDS XMAS GROWN CHILDREN

So worth the wait throughout the year,
So worth the added fuss.

And though we think that Christmas ends,
December twenty-five.
There is a place where joy remains,
And Christmas stays alive.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

It’s after all the lights unplugged,
And tinsel put away.
And everyone returns back home,
No greetings left to say.

KEEP HOME

The place where Christmas stays alive,
You hear each other laugh.
You see what truly matters most,
That Christmas photograph.

KEEP papa lito alicea kids

From Christmas many years ago,
It seems like yesterday.

The faces of the ones we love,
All froze in time this way.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

KEEP kids denise tessa talen

Our kids beside the Christmas tree,
We parents gaze awhile.
And long the days of Christmas past,
Their little hands and smile.

KEEP kids xmas picture audra candy 1KEEP KIDS xmas picture jake candy audra 1

And best of all the pictures ‘round,
The table that we sit.
Together as a family,
And candles specially lit.

From year to Christmas year is best,
When gather ‘round to eat.
To give our thanks to God above,
For those in every seat.

Though looking back in Christmas time,
Some faces not aware.
Though how our lives were richly blessed,
The year we saw them there.

For those who live away from us,
We celebrate apart.XMAS MY KIDS DAVID AND AUDRA XMAS 2020KEEP KIDS 2014 jake cova xmas treeCD44F88E-A7DA-485B-88ED-03703C754B73When eyes we see an empty chair,
They’re seated in our heart.

This Christmas family photograph,
Is more than family strings.
From friends and neighbors more beside,
What gift their presence brings.

KEEP KIDS SANTA

Though Christmas comes but once a year,
May every day we laugh.

KEEP kyle ayva on ride kyle can't fit

And celebrate the ones we see,
Our Christmas Photograph.

KEEP papa and gaga with kids

Be blessed this season our friends,
Neighbors, relatives,
The family of God we were born into.

A Christmas poem I sent in our greeting cards
The year of 2004…

A message still true today…

BENEATH THE CHRISTMAS TREE!  By Lori A Alicea

The Christmas of 1989 it was just the three of us.

Our first December holiday without the trimmings we were accustomed to and the relocation from the peaceful acreage of our country life to a noisy city apartment in a subsidized housing community would be quite the adjustment; yet we were thankful for the blessings of family and for Jesus, a baby born to us at Christmas.CANDY JAKE 007

A newly single woman and unemployed a few months prior could have dashed my hopes for a season merry and bright, but when you celebrate the gifts beneath the Christmas tree of your life, you recognize it’s been a joyous Christmas every day since they were born.CANDY JAKE 011

Christmas is a season of giving and the packages exchanged come wrapped as different as the sentiments from which they came.

Raising small children, I wanted them to catch the spirit of giving by putting a new song in their hearts for others, where the lyrics reminds them that as Jesus is God’s gift to us at Christmas, might our bountiful hearts overflow beneath the Christmas tree of neighbors or strangers; even if your mother is unemployed.XMAS GRANDS brooke playing piano

With the curtains drawn from the sliding glass doors of our living room, one could see into their neighbor’s home (and vice versa) when their curtains are opened for the day as ours.

Just a few steps between the back doors of our apartments, it was just the three of them also during this Christmas of 1989; a mother, a son and her baby girl.

Sadly on my part, our families hadn’t been introduced to each other and their story, those unread pages of a mother raising children on her own.

But living in a subsidized housing community is a giveaway that money might be tight at Christmas, so I encouraged my little elf’s to find their song of giving to this neighborhood family, and what we might be able to secretly place beneath their tree come Christmas morning.

There’s always something to give at Christmas; whether baked, made, sung, written or bought; even for a few dollars at the local discount store.

Down the road from our humble apartment and within a short distance on foot, we three took a holiday journey together through the snow covered walkways to Christmas town, pretending Santa had picked us up for a ride on his sleigh.XMAS Jake and Candy 2

Christmas shopping that afternoon was a bigger gift to us as we left our hopes beneath the Christmas tree to renew the hopes beneath theirs; as my daughter picked out a doll for a little girl, and my son a truck for the boy his age next door, remembering the single mom with a pink sweater for a cold winter’s day.CANDY JAKE 011

It was almost midnight that Christmas of 1989 when the lights finally went out from across the yard a few steps away.

Wanting my young son to experience the joy of giving, he stayed awake during the midnight hours with me, filled to the rim of our hearts with excitement, much like the Christmas bag of our wrapped gifts we were about to secretly leave at their back door while the family lay fast asleep.

Waking up that first Christmas morning as a family of three brought a deeper meaning for giving when we terribly longed the memories of Christmas’ past the beginning of December.

We could only imagine a little girl’s smile captured as her eyes noticed a doll beneath the Christmas tree waiting to be held and loved by her; the same joyous smile for the neighborhood boy and his mom.cova xmas

Nobody knew but us when Christmas came next door as a song from my children’s heart echoing one winter night in December.

God multiplied much from the little we had, when we three were willing to give it away.

One Christmas memory from 1989 is a greeting card I love to mail to our loved ones from time to time; as its inscription and message is timeless for every December 25th of our life.vintage-christmas-cards-for-family-and-kids

A TABLE SET BEFORE US! By Lori A Alicea

During the joyous season of the holidays, we all find ourselves sitting in a seat at a table set before us.

Taking our seat where every place setting represents a life in the family, friendship or meaningful relationship around the table.USE 2018 alicea xmas kids 14

While Hallmark movies present a picture perfect table for the holidays; in reality, the table of gathering is uniquely set from every heart of the home.USE xmas table

The simplicity of our father’s Christmas table served homemade cookies and cakes prepared from the hands of a widower of many years.

Missing my father and his modest traditions so terribly, I continue to drive by his house every December 24th in the evening, opening the greeting card of Christmas past from across the street, reminiscing through the kitchen window and listening for laughter still baked in the walls when we daughters shared a few hours with dad around his table.

In mother’s later years of life in the nursing home, we girls would join her and the other residents and their guests for a Christmas meal together.

The love of the host overflowed onto her decorated tables for those she served everyday throughout the years, regardless that many of the residents had lost their capacity to appreciate the thoughtfulness in her details.

But God sees the unnoticed and receives it all as if you had done it unto Him.

Somebody loved our mother as we sat with her around the table those remaining December’s of her life; a gift we will treasure for Christmas’ to come.

Some tables set in December have a few tears of sadness sprinkled with the faux snow spread around the winter centerpiece scene, when those seated next to them are thousands of miles away in thought with those they’re unable to be together with during the holidays.

One Christmas, our son ate his holiday meal on the other side of the world from us, actually a day in advance from us while serving his country in the military; although the miles were bridged when a homemade gift from our officer’s hands arrived in the mail the day after Christmas.

A mother’s heart was full during a long and lonely year she hadn’t hugged her son for months.

How do you set a table of Christmas for a mother you’re unable to reach when the doors aren’t opening to visitors?TABLE Ate Alone

Where do you find the magic of Christmas when mother’s seat at the table is void of her being; well, at least at her earthly table? Mother found her reserved place at heaven’s banquet table the moment she opened her eyes to Jesus.

Mother’s presence remains in the traditions she created for her children and grandchildren, and in her seat at the card table I now sit at when she left us for a better place.  

My husband and I are like little children waiting to wake up on Christmas morning together, believing God to redeem the season from one year ago when David ate his holiday meal from the tray of his hospital bed, while separated from me as I sat alone at my table that December evening because of sickness too.ava at xmas

Regardless of every table set before us…

Christmas will always be about a baby born in a manger, and the joy that filled the earth when our Savior cried for the very first time in His mother’s arms.

God is faithful to us during the holidays, and every day.

God is near to the brokenhearted whose covenant love will reach a thousand generations.

Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments. Deuteronomy 7:9 NIV

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:18 NIVUSE church

For Christmas this year, I’m setting tables.

While I love the sparkle and twinkle of a beautifully set table, I won’t miss the unexpected opportunities to set a table of simplicity as my father once did for us daughters each Christmas Eve, serving cookies and love on a plate for those seated around his table.

USE xmas at dads

HAPPY IN HIS WORK! By Lori A Alicea

He seemed so happy in his work.

An unassuming window washer brightening up the view of rooms overlooking an ocean through the crystal clear panes he sparkled that day; performing a task most prefer to hire out, yet doing so with a notable smile.4CB60941-5C85-4D22-A9A2-CD616CEC1C78

Exhausted from the weeks of our packing and barely mustering a smile while deep cleaning the stove, the joy of a window washer caused me to re-think my bad attitude with a comment of curiosity, ”You seem so happy in your work.”

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The son of a window washer responded as a high school sophomore beginning his career.

Charging a dollar a window back then to a business attorney, this student would pass an exam he didn’t know he was taking, and reap the rewards of a hard day’s work.

Impressed with a young man’s ethics, the honest attorney revealed a market place estimate of $800 for washing his windows; a salary he then paid to a high school sophomore.

Going forward as a regular customer, the attorney mentored this entrepreneur in the matters of business.

Now recently graduating with a degree in engineering,  I inquired of this young man’s business of washing windows.

Referring to the two apprentices he brought along that day, the window washer warmed my heart when he stated the business was being gifted to them; a husband and wife team he’d been mentoring in the matters of business; yes, sowing in another man’s field as an attorney once did for him.121F4CE7-1713-4723-974D-F0C2053AFE61

The seeds of a generous business attorney was now reaping a harvest into a third generation of window washers; all happy in their work.

I once read:

”If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”

Words I believe must have been inspired by a high school sophomore washing windows.13B564DF-A1FF-490C-9AFD-4571EA96F134

LEAVING THE ISLAND By Lori A Alicea

All I had was twenty-one days to unpack those stowaway hugs and kisses with not a moment to spare.  The pendulum of a grandmother’s clock would sway and tick in perfect harmony with the seconds I had remaining with those four precious grandchildren I flew ten hours over the ocean to see.

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Such has been the the life while visiting my military children and grandchildren, where an hourglass of sifting sands measures our borrowed time together; a constant vigil in plain sight from the mantle of a grandmother’s heart.

The mirror of our portraits taken reflects the passage of more than a decade, yet fails to reveal the months we’ve sadly missed and spent apart due to the long and winding miles which separate.

growing up dc kids

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But following your military family from “move to move” has given me a Tom Sawyer adventure I wouldn’t have sought out on my own.  The orders of our officer son has taken him from the mountains to the islands, with the nation’s capital in between; and this grandmother has been blessed to go along for the ride.world jake and baby cova with mountains behind 1

england jake surfingThe islands have been a page torn and written from a place so different than my own.  Most kids ride their bicycles to school; or walk the twenty minute stretch each way as I did with my grandchildren.  Shoes are optional (seriously); at church, at school, even at Starbucks and chickens run freely and are an unassuming part of the landscape as squirrels are where I live.

The breathtaking view of our son’s back yard is the once-in-a-lifetime sandbox for our grandchildren.  The memories they’ve made with a pail, a shovel and an afternoon in the sun.

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The islands haven’t been my favorite place to visit, but now as the moving boxes are being packed once again, I’m almost sad for myself that I failed to see the beauty of this tropical place.

My private moments along the sandy shores of the ocean will be terribly missed as the music of the waves comforted my lonely soul when I longed for those missing me on the mainland.  This song will forever play in my mind.The final sands of the hourglass have all sifted into a mound of borrowed time and the pendulum of this grandmother’s clock has struck midnight for the final evening with my military babies.
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In a few short hours they will walk far from my view and even further from the reach of my hugs.  The thought is almost unbearable at times.
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I went to each of my babies rooms to have one final moment before kissing them good-night. 

How do you keep it together when your little boy begs you to stay for five more weeks? 

My oldest granddaughter had no words but her moistened eyes spoke volumes.

Then there’s those little girls who didn’t really understand I was leaving until they woke up crying when they couldn’t find me that following morning.

The dam of my heart almost burst at the airport when my son inquired how the kids did during our final good-by.  But the floods overtook me as I gazed out the window during an early morning phone call with my husband, wishing for a return flight into my grandchildren’s arms.
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With layovers and connecting flights, I arrived back home on the mainland almost a complete day later (at least it seemed), with a bit of my husband’s heart waiting for me upon my return.  I wouldn’t see him until later that afternoon when our reunion took place in the parking lot of his work.
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The void of my heavy heart will linger for days until I reacquaint myself with the daily steps of my routine. 

I long though for the island where my Hawaiian babies continue to live at their new address until next summer.  The thoughts of my grandchildren will consume me until I release them back to God and reach for His peace until we are back together once again for an hourglass of borrowed time.

My son’s new orders will relocate his family in a few short months and the Tom Sawyer adventure of this grandmother continues, wherever the military ride will take me.7CAA05CD-0A2B-4F87-A44A-82BF525E163C