Thursday, January 29, 2015

Snoqualmie Falls Washington

I went to Washington state two weeks ago and visited a dear family that I have known for four years.  When they lived in Lancaster, I used to babysit their five children sometimes.  Plus, I would play the piano for the nursing home ministry they served in.  It was so amazing to get to see them all again!  On the third day after I arrived, we went to see Snoqualmie Falls, since the kids were off school on MLK Jr. Day. 
I had a great time with them, and seeing the 270 foot waterfall was amazing as well. 

One of the things I loved about Washington forests, was that all of the trees and bark was covered in moss!  It makes you feel like you are walking around in a fairy tale.  I suppose this happens because of how much moisture there is. 

Anyway, it was gorgeous and I had a lovely time.  I will post pictures later of my visit to Seattle and the flight I took in a Cessna 172 :)

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Taking life for granted...

I have been thinking a lot lately about how often I take my life for granted.  I saw this quote and it really made me think. Oh, and yes, I know; the quote ends with a preposition.  It bothers me, but is helping to prove a point for me. :)
This is by no means a new concept: that of not taking things for granted.  I have heard the phrase many times throughout my life...
But how often have I really thought about it?  How many times have I stopped myself from complaining about something in life that upsets me or that I don't like? 
As they say, this is where the rubber meets the road.  It is so easy to say "Don't take life for granted."  It is another thing completely to live without taking life for granted. 
Here is an example: my parents bought me a car last year when I graduated from college.  In my family, it's no big deal.  My parents made a ritual of buying each of us a car when we graduated from college.  That was the deal.  Maybe not a brand new Mustang, but a sensible, serviceable car.  My parents bought a 1999 Nissan Altima for me.  It had I think 87,000 miles on it...
Was I absolutely thrilled to have a vehicle of my own? And one with so few miles at that?  AND...for free?  No.  I'm being honest now.  I was glad to have a car to drive, yes.  But I was also skeptical, and annoyed because it was 15 years old. 
I was remembering all of this today as I was driving that very car over to the car wash.  Wow...
And then I thought about this.  How many people are out there are maybe praying to God for a car that is serviceable and decent?  Probably a lot of people. 
Today I woke up and thought nothing of it.  It's completely normal for me to wake up every morning.  But there is probably someone out there who is grieving because someone they love DIDN'T wake up. 
I ate yogurt for breakfast and thought nothing of it.  It's normal for me to fix myself something for breakfast...but on the flip side of that, I am certain that there is someone out there who would have loved to have a yogurt this morning, but didn't because they had none. 
Are these just silly examples? 
Maybe they are.  But thinking about these things really makes me try to live life more cautiously; with more precision and thoughtfulness. 
The next time my laptop freezes up (which it is prone to do), or next time my shower water suddenly goes freezing cold (which also happens sometimes) maybe I will be slower to get angry or grumble to myself.  
Just another random thought in the mind of Virginia.  

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Laurel Lake Skating Rink

I left Pennsylvania for California last week on Saturday.  My flight was supposed to leave around noon, so I wanted to do one last thing before leaving PA.  That whole week the temperatures had been in the single digits, and I was hoping it was enough to freeze Laurel Lake nearby the Appalachian trail.  So on Saturday morning at like, 6:30, me and Oliver drove over to Laurel.  Sure enough, it was frozen solid.  It had just snowed like, two days before, so it was a little bumpy, but otherwise, it was good skating! 
Oliver insisted on opening his car windows and trunk and blaring the music so that it would be most like a skating rink. 

You can barely see it in this picture, but I fell once and my knee was bleeding profusely.  Okay, maybe not profusely...but it was bleeding!  The blood was all over the was gross.

This picture took about 6 tries to capture correctly, but finally we got it.  :) 

It was a really fun morning.  Later, my dad drove me to the airport where there was a mix up with my flight...but I did eventually get back to California.  I was so glad I was able to go home for the Christmas break!  Spending time with my family was the best part.  Now I am ready to start this new semester of teaching piano.  Ready, Set...

New high tunnel!

Right now, I am back in California getting ready to start this next semester...but when I was back in Pennsylvania with my family, I took quite a few more pictures that I never posted.  I know...its terrible how behind I get on this blogging! 
So my dad and brother had been working on putting up a new high tunnel.  When I got home at Christmas time, they were just about ready to do the plastic.  I was recruited to help with that part, since it is hard to do with only three people. 

We were going to do it this day, but then the wind picked up to about 9 mph...which doesn't seem like much.  But when four people are dragging a HUGE piece of plastic over a high tunnel...its enough.  So we waited until the next morning to put the plastic on. 

When we were bringing all of the tools in, Oliver dropped his brand new Christmas present from his fiancĂ©e...this huge tool set with tons of little pieces.  So me and Oliver spent the next hour or so sitting on the ground outside, putting all of the pieces back in their places :)

The next morning we were able to get the plastic on.  It was really hard to do, and even harder to get all of the little air bubbles out. 

But when I left Pennsylvania, the whole project was finished except for the electric work.  So I imagine that by now, it is almost ready to plant in!  Pretty exciting!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Another Christmas come...

I had a lovely Christmas day with my family this year.  Honestly, I spent most of my day with my nieces and nephews.  But we had a blast!
I read quite a few fascinating stories...

And we played with Tabitha and Abigail's new baby dolls they had gotten for Christmas. 

When we just arrived, we were all supposed to have brought something.  I signed up to bring a pie...but didn't end up having time to make a pie, so I made a trifle instead.  My sister Lydia was supposed to bring a fruit tray, but didn't have time to cut up the fruit.  :)  So this was a picture of her, with her "fruit tray". 

Tabitha, showing me her new baby doll


Reuben was soooo cute on Christmas.  He was being fussy and kept starting to cry.  But as soon as he would see the camera I was holding, he would try to stop crying and smile...It worked, like 7 times in a row, and then when I tried to video him, he stopped trying altogether. :)

Hanging out with Hudson, Abigail and Tabitha on the stairs.

They were all pretty fascinated with my ipad I must say. 

Those are just some of the pictures I took.  I enjoyed my day, and ate a lot.  We had another celebration on New Years Day as well, but I will post those pictures later.  Until then!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!!!!!!

Happy New Year!  It's so hard to believe that it is now 2015.  I will post pictures later tonight from Christmas, and I will be sure to take a lot of pictures today at our family gathering as well :)