Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Stamina

I seriously have had enough of winter, cold, damp, boots, ugly coats, staying indoors (because I don't do the outside play thing in the winter) and wearing socks. 


If my kids are reading this right now, they are likely huffing out an 'Oh, Pleeezzze'!   And it would be deserved. Richard and I did escape to the heat of the Dominican for two weeks at the end of February. If you missed the engagement island news, you can read that post HERE

It really has been a tough and snowy winter for anyone living in the north east. And we all have the welcome mat rolled out waiting for Lady Spring's beauty to grace our doorsteps.




These images are sitting out on my desktop to remind me of what warm and wonderful weather is like. 
The boat belongs to a man who lives in Samana, Dominican Republic. He rows every day - every day, from the mainland to the island. Each day he anchors just beyond the shore and dives for conch, then he rows back to the mainland. 




When someone at the resort told me his story I was amazed. I know he is conditioned to row the distance, dive for several hours (without a snorkel or mask) and then row back. But when we took the big motorized boat over to the island, the journey was ten minutes. His level of stamina caught my attention each morning. I kept him in my mind when we came back home and I had to shovel snow.



The boat, as you can see, had to be bailed out on a regular basis during the trek and diving expedition. This is how he makes his living and feeds his family. I don't know anyone who could row that distance and dive like that. I realized when I watched him, that our stamina has a different face. The diver might be shell shocked to shovel snow for several hours in freezing temperatures, and may look at us wondering where we get our drive.

 We all need a certain level of stamina to complete our journeys. We are fortunate to have services and tools to help make the trek easier, but I think this fisherman is stronger than most. 

I look at these pictures and I admire his drive and ambition.

SO -  

What gets you through the tough stuff and make you dig deep for your STAMINA ? 



 





Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Easter



This little Easter chick might have the right idea donning a winter toque. Our weather forecast for Easter Sunday is predicting possible wet snow - ugh.
I think the egg hunt may have to be moved inside.







Our traditions are adjusting with the changes of our growing family. For many years the holidays were quiet - my children and I alone. We built holiday traditions together that we now share with our new union. With the blossoming of our families together over the past seven years, the holidays have suddenly become celebrations of happy noise. 


Leading the happy noise and excitement is our granddaughter who is thrilled at the thought of the Easter Bunny arriving, but mature enough to question the meaning of Easter. But let's face it when you are just turning five, chocolate eggs and jelly beans get the most attention. 



Our granddaughter has recently discovered Egg Bread. Lightly sweet, soft, and incredibly delicious with butter - she's is devouring egg bread if it were a chocolate egg. It is the new after school snack.



I will be bouncing between the kitchen and the dining room as we celebrate Easter with family, and I wouldn't have it any other way. 


Are you cooking this holiday? 

What is on the menu?



Sunday, March 15, 2015

We Are Engaged

I can't believe that I just posted that title. But yes - it's true, Richard and I are engaged to be married.

Richard proposed on our recent vacation away to Samana. We always celebrate the anniversary of our first date - which was seven years ago. This year we were on vacation at the beautiful Bhia Prinicipe Cayo Levantado (more about the resort HERE) on our anniversary.



When we arrived late on Wednesday evening the hotel staff greeted us in the lobby with glasses of champagne as a welcome. We were barely in the door when one of the concierge asked 'are you Mr *****'. My immediate thought was that he knows someone wherever we go. Richard had told me the day before that he had contacted the hotel about our request for a specific room/view, so it made sense.
When we arrived in our room there was a large bouquet of flowers, champagne, chocolate covered strawberries and a note that said  Je t'aime Katherine. So the concierge speaking to him made sense - or so I thought.
There have been many times that Richard has arranged flowers in our room with the same love note to me. It's never expected and it is always a wonderful surprise for me.

Over the next four days we found our way around the resort, made friends with a wonderful couple from the UK, we bask in the sun, begin to breath at a normal pace and relax. Well, maybe I was relaxed - I'm not sure now if Richard was breathing at a normal rate or not. Sunday was a special day - our seventh anniversary together. We share cards with love notes at breakfast and the day at the beach with our new friends. In the evening we head out to dinner.



When we arrived at the Mediterraneo restaurant on the resort they seem to understand that it's our anniversary and there is something special on the menu. I anticipate a dinner table laden with flower petals and maybe the napkins morphed into the shape of a swan (island resorts love to do this origami thing), champagne and hand holding over dinner.
We are escorted to the beach for a 'gala dinner'. The pathway to our table is lit by red candle lanterns. Richard and I love dining al'fresco, especially when we are away in the warm evening air and this is the ultimate. From our table at the beach we can see the sun setting, hear the waves singing against the shore and it is pure romance. It is the perfect anniversary dinner together and once again he is spoiling me.

The waiter served five delicious courses and kept the wine flowing. One of the dinner features at the resort restaurants is to present the dinner course under a dome - then take off the dome for both dinner guests at the same time. And so - at the end of the meal our dessert arrives under a dome. When dessert is revealed I thought 'wow, chocolate something' - but I wasn't sure what it was (it was dimly lit via candlelight). I looked at Richards plate then back at mine and realized that the chocolate something was a brown leather ring box....... with a diamond engagement ring inside.

It seemed to me that Richard was so calm, and I was not. In a very serious manner Richard said, 'will you marry me. Will you be my wife'. I said yes.
The entire time a server from the restaurant was singing acapella and our waiter was standing by waiting to pour champagne. Then it all became a blur - maybe because my heart was brimming and the tears were flowing. It was a beautiful night together.
 
Making things even sweeter is the fact that Richard met with my thirty-three year old son ahead of time, and asked for his permission to marry me. Yes - he is so incredibly thoughtful to everyone.



And here he is - my fiancee, sitting on the veranda at the resort as we wait for the airport transfer to go home and start our new journey together.