On August 26th, 2017, I turned 43 years old.... my first birthday without my mom calling to sing me happy birthday, her not being there to celebrate with cake and ice cream and her not being the first person at 12:00 AM to write on my Facebook wall a special birthday message. My little Kathleen knew this year would be difficult so she knocked on my bedroom door at 12:00 AM after I thought she was asleep and gave me a hand made Happy Birthday note so she could be the first one to wish me happy birthday this year. I hugged her tightly with tears in my eyes... grateful to have her to help me through this. I'm grateful to have Kathleen, Hayley, Jerry, my dad and my sister. They all made my day special for me. My dad didn't want to go out with us for the day yet, but he did come over after we got home for cake and ice cream and gave me a beautiful card that he still signed all our love mom and dad... then I cried some more. My sister sent me two beautiful gifts that I will treasure always and her and my niece called and sang happy birthday to me. Meant the world to me to have my family help me get through this day without my mom. I also received messages, texts, and phone calls from family and friends. I am blessed indeed!
Jerry and the girls took me out to see the historic Reynolda house and gardens. They were also featuring a Georgia O'Keefe exhibit that we wanted to see. I love this picture of the 3 of them, I am in some as well but I woke up crying that morning so my eyes were very puffy... I decided to keep those pictures just for me, lol.
Kathleen started out by giving me this gift she found for me, a little goat and I just love him! Made me smile :-)
This home is absolutely beautiful inside and out. I really enjoyed touring it and learning all the history behind it.
These beautiful fresh flowers were on the sink in the bathrooms. Just had to get a picture of them.
Georgia O'Keefe was an American artist and has been recognized as the "Mother of American modernism" We were excited to see her exhibits being featured. She is most well known for her paintings of New York skyscrapers, New Mexico landscapes and large flowers. She was a strong individual bot afraid to stand for what she believed in.
This is the pool area inside the Reynolda house. Would be lovely to have an indoor swimming pool!
We came across part of this old time phone, not sure what happened to the other part of it.
We entered the tour in the basement and this was the game room area, the kids just loved it and Kathleen said the furnishings reminded her of Where's Waldo! ;-)
Bar area with mirrors all around, was really pretty cool to see. Hayley said "dad, you can build this in our basement right? LOL
They even had their own bowling alley!
Someone must have really loved their wine! I thought it was a bank vault until I read the sign showing it was for wine, ;-)
It was also really neat to see this little room built in under the stairs that was the skate closet! How cool!
There were several grand spiraling staircases to climb that definitely had to be done single file.
Upstairs we learned we could take as many photos of the gardens and Georgia O'Keefe's exhibits but not of the rest of the house. :-( A shame I wanted to so badly as it was absolutely wonderful inside!
Some of Georgia's actual clothing on display.
I really liked this portrait of her Andy Warhol created.
Apparently when she found a shoe she really liked, she would buy it in several different colors to match her outfits. :-) Primarily she wore black and white.
There was wonderful photography displayed of her as well. So much can be seen in a great photograph.
This was a really neat thing. An old cigarette dispenser was transferred in artist's pieces of work on a block you could buy. Then the proceeds go back to the artist. The lady gave Hayley information on who to contact to get hers featured in there as well. :-) The girls each got one that they liked.
This statue brought tears to my eyes......
Another one of her paintings that I liked. One of Hayley's favorites.
The gardens were just as lovely as the grand home.....
I loved the fountain and mom would have too. I kept thinking of her and how she could have gotten around the place pretty easily in her wheelchair and been able to enjoy it. There were elevators inside also. I was emotional all day......
Lovely old grand trees.....
A lovely place to sit and reflect.....
My mom loved roses and so do I and they had a gorgeous rose garden and the fragrance from them was amazing!
Mom was definitely there with me... I could sense her and this butterfly was one of the signs that day.
This was the greenhouse area and you could purchase plants and other garden items in there. When I walked in and saw the wind chimes and all the things mom loved and had in her gardens as well I started to cry... right there .... in public... no stopping it.... straight grief.... I had to leave and go sit out on a bench in the gardens with Kathleen and try to compose myself. :-(
Gardens were plentiful and well maintained. How many years have they been this way!
So much to see and explore and enjoy and appreciate.....
Kathleen found a snake skin and Jerry picked it up... thankfully no snake was seen! LOL :-) You may have heard me screaming no matter what state or even country you are reading this from, lol.
"Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns; I am thankful that thorns have roses" Alphonse Karr
These 3 people are my whole heart and world.... they helped me get through a really hard birthday and I love them so much for it.
"A rose's rarest essence lives in the thorn. A thorn defends the rose, harming only those who would steal the blossom. Do not watch the petals fall from the rose with sadness, know that, like life, things must sometimes fade before they can bloom again. The rose is a flower of love"
"Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get" H. Jackson Brown Jr.
"The most lasting and pure gladness comes to me from my gardens" Lillie Langtry
At the gift shop I picked up some books about the history of Reynolda and it's owners. The garden shop I also got 2 wind chimes, one butterfly and one hummingbird, a steel water bottle with bluebirds and flowers on it and Jerry got me hummingbird earrings. All treats for my birthday.
For lunch we walked down to the little village of Reynolda and ate at the Bistro. It was an old dairy barn where they used to keep the cows. These are the original doors. sadly the food, service and cleanliness left something to be desired.... but we didn't let it ruin our day.
Kathleen being silly and pretending Jerry's beer is hers, lol. don't worry no sips were taken!
Here's her real drinks, water and hot chocolate on a 90 degree day! LOL
We had a little taste of "home" with the crab dip, pretty good, but Jerry said not as good as mine, lol. We are originally from the Baltimore area so we are pretty picky about our crabs! ;-)
The sign on this shop reminded me of mom too.... I will never forget you mom or stop thinking of you and missing you.....
"A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots have withered. Carve your name on hearts, not on marble." Charles Spurgeon
When we arrived back home the girls, Jerry, dad and I had cake and ice cream. They had them spell Jill with extra L's since here in the south they drag out my name, lol. If it's not dragged out they simply think my name is Joe! ;-)
I was able to be 8 again ;-)
OK, super puffy eyes and messy hair, but I had to have this picture with my dad. I had to post it and remember the moment. I love him so much and I know how badly he is hurting... God received an amazingly beautiful, kind, caring, loving angel when he took my mom home. But our hearts are hurting....
Thank you for being the best readers and friends a blogger could ever ask for!