The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. ~ Psalm 16:6 nasb

Thursday, September 7, 2017


September 3-5.

Well, we made it.  We stopped in to Thomas' new place of work to look around and of course, to snap a pic.

We had one visit with old friends from long ago who live southwest of Austin (Thomas' work is northwest) for the afternoon and evening, a great time of catching up and asking tons of questions about the Austin area.  We spent Labor Day Monday driving around peeking at various apartment complexes, not able to go in because it was the holiday weekend and the offices were all closed.  The rest of the day flew by, and then early in the Tuesday darkness Thomas drove us to the airport.

 I hope Thomas can learn the crazy Austin road system!!

Fernando had enough hotel points to put Thomas up for the week, and then he was on his own.  We had to trust that the Lord already knew the plan, because we sure didn't.  A way-too-short goodbye at the airport, and Fernando and I had breakfast together then had to go to our separate gates--Fernando to fly back to Rhode Island to continue training at Y., and I back to Chicago and home.

Goodbye, Fernando.  <3

Just drop off your son in a strange city and take off.  Only the Lord knew what would happen after we left.  And we had to leave; life goes on and I have to take the next step, onto my plane and home to reality and uncertainty.  Each of us was in the Lord's hands.

Back to life,

Visit my photography blog
Visit my photography website

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Onward to the New

September 2.

The day after graduation, Fernando, Thomas, and I drove over to Thomas' apartment to finish packing up his stuff, do some last-minute cleaning, and get moving on to Thomas' destination.

After packing most everything, we met up with an old Navy buddy of Fernando's, and went out to eat, us two couples and Thomas.

Then it was back to the apartment, finish up, and take off.

 Goodbye, Orlando!

Typical scene as we drove north then west through the Florida panhandle.

Driving west along the Gulf through Louisiana.

Time to gas up and clean off the bugs.

Up and over the bridge, then more driving along the Gulf...

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey a week earlier, much of the low-lying areas looked like this...

More aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

Finally, we drove into Texas!

There's a reason the houses down here are built on stilts.

Pumps were pushing out the floodwaters from the oil refineries and other areas.

On and on, and finally into the setting Texas sun, we drove what seemed like forever.  The sunset was beautiful, even through the front windshield of Thomas' car.

Late that night, we reached a new place, a place of beginning for Thomas.  A place of hello and goodbye, a place of promise and hope, and newness.

Back to life,

Visit my photography blog
Visit my photography website

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Orlando, Thomas, BMW, and Graduation

August 31.

My turn to fly again, down to sunny, hot Orlando.

It was Thomas' turn to pick me up from the airport, and drive me to my hotel!  I couldn't believe he had been down there for four months, and that graduation was the next day.

After we dumped my suitcase at the hotel, we seriously needed dinner.  Thomas asked me if I'd like Puerto Rican food, because he knew this food truck (one of his instructors is Puerto Rican, and turned on half the class to his native food!).  I said sure, and he said it was a 45-minute drive.  I said, "I don't care; let's go!"

It was amazing, and so much food for the price.  They didn't speak English, but Thomas was a seasoned pro at this food truck so he ordered tripletas for us.  Yum!

Our view from the parking lot where the food truck was located.

Friday, September 1.

Thomas stayed the night in the hotel with me, and then we got ready and headed to UTI Orlando for his graduation ceremony.

Thomas, Eddie, and Juan.

1986 BMW, on display for Class #FL86. 

Thomas and Micah.

 Proud, happy mama!

Micah grabbed several of us, and we headed out for celebration drinks.  No food, since they catered a huge meal for us after the ceremony!

We celebrated a little too much, but we managed to make it back to the hotel.  Both of us took a nap--does three hours qualify as a nap??  I woke up, and realized we needed to head to the airport to pick up Fernando!  Which we did, then spent the evening talking before going to bed and getting ready to help Thomas pack up and move out of his apartment.

Back to life,

Visit my photography blog
Visit my photography website

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

End of August

After coming home from Rhode Island, the next two weeks have passed pretty quickly.  I've been working my retail job, even with pain in my Achilles tendons--especially by the end of the day.  Jake continues to make messes in my kitchen...

...the end-of-summer spiders created their masterpieces around the outside of our house...

...and then Thomas called me.  (I'm blogging this way after the fact, since we kept the following information under wraps until events actually happened.)

"Hey, Mom, you know I was hoping to find a job at a BMW dealership in Florida, right?"
"Well, what do you think about Texas?"
(Um, wow.  And where is this going?)
So I let go.  "Thomas, I want you to go where God leads you.  If that's Texas, and you go there, I'll be happy that you're following the Lord."
"Where in Texas?"

So there it was. BMW of Austin would fly him in to visit the dealership, give him a tour, and interview him.  As the weekend approached, my ears perked up at the mention of Hurricane Harvey.  Hmm.  I Googled it, then widened my eyes, took a screen shot of the map of its patch, then texted Thomas...

"You're flying in to Austin tomorrow, right?"
"Yep, in the morning."
"What about the hurricane?"
"What hurricane??"

I texted him this:

So, he flew in that Friday morning, August 25, and Harvey moved in that afternoon.  Thomas spent the entire weekend either at the dealership or in his hotel, with torrential rains.  I think he said they got 17-19 inches overall! 

 Danny chatting with Thomas (in Austin) on the house phone.  Yes, a corded phone.

Thomas flew back to Orlando on Monday to finish up the last week of the BMW STEP training program.  I took the long Labor Day weekend off so I could fly down for his graduation--more money spent.  Y. company was going to fly Fernando home that same weekend, for his one weekend home per month, so they worked together to fly him down to Orlando instead of Chicago.  Now that our weekend was planned, I finished harvesting some things in the garden, mostly carrots.  I fermented them with some of the rosemary I grew.  Yum!

Tomorrow, next stop:  Orlando!  And Thomas!!

Back to life,

Visit my photography blog
Visit my photography website

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Rhode Island, Part Two

August 20.

Fernando wanted to visit the Beavertail Lighthouse, so that was our destination for the day.

One look out into the bay, and I knew I could stay for hours.

 This is my favorite image from our weekend together.

After lingering on the rocks and watching the sea, we meandered into Narragansett for some food.

Yelp proved to be our friend, and it brought us to another out-of-the-way eatery that was fabulous.  I was stuffed!

Behind that eatery lay the rocks, and the ocean.

Tripod, camera, and wireless remote shutter release gave us half an hour to stage an oceanside photo session.

Treasure the moments.  We did.

Back to life,

Visit my photography blog
Visit my photography website