Gordon Moments

I attended Homecoming at my alma mater last weekend.  It was wonderful to be back on campus and see how much the college has grown.  There was a vibrancy on campus – an excitement for all that God is doing in and through the college.  There are many new buildings since I was there and the facilities are quite impressive.  The college has kept up with education trends and the needs of the student population.  At the same time, they have kept the natural beauty of the campus intact and there are beautiful places to walk both on the perimeter of the campus and in the heart of it.  The sense of place and of mission is very strong on this college campus.  Even the older buildings are filled with the energy of staff who are enthused about the direction and goals of the college.

We walked through the woods to the large pond and I remembered walking and cross-country skiing on these paths as well as canoeing and swimming in the pond.  I saw a few old friends and met several new ones.  The college motto is “Lives Worth Leading” and they are intentionally shaping students to be tomorrow’s leaders.

Natural Beauty on Campus

Sailing to My Destination

I recently took an inventory of my spiritual gifts.  My number two and three gifts were Nurturing Leadership and Faith.  My faith is central to my life and I seek to love and serve God in all I do.  My primary spiritual gift of Visionary and Managing Leadership can best be described with an analogy from my love of sailing. The owner of the yacht decides where it will go, the navigator determines how to get there, and the helmsman actually gets the boat to its destination. I am a skilled navigator and helmsman both on the water and in life.

In Narragansett Bay
In Narragansett Bay

Island Adventures

Had a fantastic day trip to Block Island this past weekend.

North Lighthouse

We rented mopeds and rode, then walked out to the North Lighthouse,

Northern most point of Block Island
Northern most point of Block Island
Mohegan Bluffs
Mohegan Bluffs
Southeast Light
Southeast Light

swam, walked around the point, and then rode round to the Southeast Light and Mohegan Bluffs.  Went back into town for lunch and then another swim and some frisbee in the ocean.  A sun-filled, salty, sandy day was just what we all needed.  Refreshing to walk along the shore and see the ocean, which was very clear and a beautiful turquoise blue.

Serenity restored.

My Daughter’s Thoughts on Christmas Day

White Christmas that was melted before (a lovely) sunrise.
Thoughts about being wholehearted and obedient and seeking simplicity. Waking up laughing.
Cuddling with the whole family starting at 6am.
Long morning wanders on the golf course with my mom & aunt.
Dark espresso & eggs/bacon.
Joy from giving & seeing delighted loved ones.
So many blessings in return – Sunlamp alarm clock, baby crockpot, beautiful sea glass jewelry made by my sister, comfy jean shirt, Patagonia jacket, lavender…
Accidental naps on the couch.
Paddle tennis.
Cozy fire & reflection on Christ’s gift.
Champagne cocktails.
Family movie night w/ blanket beds on the floor.
Christmas celebration at it’s best!


This is for anyone who lives in Atlanta, who has ever lived in Atlanta, has visited Atlanta, ever plans to visit Atlanta, knows anyone who lives in Atlanta, knows anyone who has ever visited Atlanta or anyone who has ever heard of Atlanta, Georgia.
All directions start with, “Go down Peachtree” and include the phrase, “When you see the Waffle House.” 
Peachtree Street has no beginning and no end and is not to be confused with Peachtree Circle, Peachtree Place, Peachtree Lane, Peachtree Road, Peachtree Parkway, Peachtree Run, Peachtree Trace, Peachtree Ave, Peachtree Commons, Peachtree Battle, Peachtree Corners, New Peachtree, Old Peachtree, West Peachtree, Peachtree-Dunwoody, or Peachtree Industrial Boulevard.
Atlantans only know their way to work and their way home. If you ask anyone for directions they will always send you down Peachtree.
Atlanta is the home of Coca-Cola. That’s all we drink here, so don’t ask for any other soft drink unless Coca-Cola makes it. And even then it’s still “Coke.”
Gate One at Atlanta’s Hartsfield International Airport is 32 miles away from the Main Concourse, so wear sneakers and pack a lunch.
It’s impossible to go around a block and wind up on the street you started on. The Chamber of Commerce calls it a “scenic drive” and has posted signs to that effect, so that out-of-towners don’t feel lost…they’re just on a “scenic drive.”
The 8:00am rush hour is from 6:30 to 10:30am. The 5:00pm rush hour is from 3:00 to 7:30pm. Friday’s rush hour starts Thursday afternoon, and lasts through 2:00am Saturday.
“Sir” and “Ma’am” are used by the person speaking to you if there’s a remote possibility that you’re at least 30 minutes older than they are.
A native can only pronounce Ponce De Leon Avenue; so do not attempt the Spanish pronunciation. People will simply tilt their heads to the right and stare at you. (The Atlanta pronunciation is “pahnss duh LEE-on”).
The falling of one rain drop causes all drivers to immediately forget all traffic rules; so will daylight saving time, a girl applying eye shadow in the next car, or a flat tire three lanes over.

If a single snowflake falls, the city is paralyzed for three days, and it’s on all the channels as a news flash every 15 minutes for a month. All the grocery stores will be sold out of milk, bread, bottled water, toilet paper, and beer. If there is a remote chance of snow, and if it does snow, people will be on the corner selling “I survived the blizzard” t-shirts, not to mention the fact that all schools will close at the slightest possible chance of snow.
If you are standing on a corner and a MARTA Bus stops, you’re expected to get on and go somewhere.
Construction on Peachtree Street is a way of life and a permanent form of entertainment, especially when a water line is tapped and Atlanta’s version of Old Faithful erupts.
Construction crews are not doing their jobs properly unless they close down all major streets during rush hour.
Atlantans are very proud of our racetrack, known as Road Atlanta. It winds throughout the city on the Interstates – hence it’s name.
Actually, I-285, the loop that encircles Atlanta and has a posted speed limit of 55mph (but you have to maintain 80 mph just to keep from getting run over), is known to truckers as “The Watermelon 500.”
Georgia 400 is our equivalent of the Autobahn. You will rarely see a semi-truck on GA 400, because even the truck drivers are intimidated by the oversized SUV-wielding housewives racing home after a grueling day at the salon or the tennis match to meet their children at the school bus coming home from the college prep preschool.
The last thing you want to do is give another driver the finger, unless your car is armored, your trigger finger is itchy and your AK-47 has a full clip.
The pollen count is off the national scale for unhealthy, which starts at 120! . Atlanta is usually in the 2,000 to 4,000 range. All roads, vehicles, houses, etc. are yellow from March 28th to July 15th. If you have any allergies you will die.
But other than that, it’s a great place to live!

[Source unknown – found it on Facebook!]

A Blizzard, the Flu, and a Flat Tire

Ahh, the holidays.  Wonderful times, wonderful memories.  The joy of family and presents.  And then the trials and tribulations.  A road trip the day after Christmas this year began late and without a check of the weather.  Alas we were heading directly into a blizzard with 12-16″ of snow expected.  What should have been a 7.5 hour drive turned into an overnight odyssey with over 16 hours of road time.  Then we had a marvelous visit with my sister and her family … A great time was had playing in the snow and enjoying snow sports:  snowshoeing, sledding, cross country skiing, and for some snowboarding.   Unfortunately her husband was sick and unfortunately he passed it on to my daughter.

Time to travel home – complete with one sick person.  A roundabout way and a stop to pick up mom – now we are traveling in 2 cars.  And then a missed turn … at dinner time on the road on New Year’s Eve and we ended up with a flat tire.  Murphy’s Law I guess.  Fortunately my wonderful husband quickly put on the spare and we were on the road again.  Finally got home about 11:15 pm.  An 11 hour odyssey this time.  Vermont seems very far away.  I think next time we will opt for a summer visit!  A very tired foursome celebrated at midnight with some sparkling grape juice and retired for the night.  Goodbye 2012, Hello 2013.

My Daughter, the Nomad

My oldest spent this summer between her junior and senior year of college doing a 5 week long internship and then leading 4 mission trips.  She ended up traveling over 5,000 miles this summer all over the Eastern half of the U.S.

This does not include a flight from Atlanta to Providence, the drive back to Chicago or the flight home for Labor Day Weekend.

This is what comes of being raised in a mission organization and spending childhood traveling!
One summer we drove from Georgia to Maine [Acadia] and then to Orlando.  This time she was behind the wheel and did most of the driving solo.

A Season of Travel

Where have I been?  I am beginning to lose track of all the places I have been this year – it’s been hectic. Fun, but crazy.

Rhode Island [4 or more times]
Norfolk, VA – Feb
Virginia Beach, VA – Feb
Philadelphia – Jan onward
Brewster, NY – Jan
Stuart FL – Mar
Gainesville – Feb, Mar, May, June twice
Boston – Aug

Washington DC – April, November
Jersey Shore – Sept
Seattle – Sept
Chicago – November

I don’t know about you, I get tired just reading the list.  Some of the travel has been for work, but mostly for visiting family … it’s been a huge blessing even though it has been exhausting at times.  I’ve been delighted to get to see so much of our beautiful country this year and tried to spend time outdoors enjoying it.

Will we stay home for Christmas or go to Florida ??

Places: Lighthouses, Small Towns, Farm Stands

“People need to know where their place is, and lighthouses acknowledge a sense of place that resonates in a real primal way.” said Jennifer Radcliff, president of the Michigan Lighthouse Fund in an interview for the New York Times.  There is something about place that pulls us. 

Yesterday I walked down to the bay and visited a small organic farm stand before walking back through town.  How I miss that small town experience where the gal at the farm stand called my mother by name and chatted with all her customers.  Last night at a fund raising dinner, my dad knew many of the donors and guests.  Today watching a boat race, he could identify various boats and their owners.  Mom has cousins here, dad spent his summers here growing up; everyone knows everyone else.  Yet, they are open and friendly. 

There is only one blinking traffic light in this whole town.  Yesterday I went for a bike ride and enjoyed the warm sun even as I struggled to peddle into the wind.  There is a familiar smell when I return to this town and so many memories associated with being here.  The views and fresh air are invigorating.  The sun sparkling on the water, the breeze rustling the trees and picking up to create white caps.  I feel alive in this place.