2009…49 Years Old

2009…49 Years Old

The Donna half-marathon to raise funds for breast cancer research was on my birthday this year. Gregg surprised me at the start line and ran alongside me. It meant a lot that he didn’t mind going slowly so he could spend time with me.

We began getting bored with running so we joined a Sprint Triathlon training class. Finding time to swim, bike, and run each week was all-consuming yet we made new friends and had fun. The day of the race was brutally hot. We swam ¼ mile in the ocean, biked 12 miles, and ran 3.1 miles. I came in 3rd…from the last. But I finished and am officially a triathlete! And…that is checked off my bucket list.

While training for the triathlon, we were invited to train for the MS-150, a fundraiser for Multiple Sclerosis. I learned to draft in order to bike 150 miles in two days. The ride began in St. Augustine, we spent the night in Daytona Beach, and we rode back to St. Augustine the next day. That, too, is checked off my bucket list.

Not that we were obsessed, but we took our bikes on vacation to ride trails around the USA. We enjoyed riding Route 66 outside of St. Louis, Missouri. Also this year, Gregg led a group of 8th grade boys on a bike trip across Florida from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean.

I had the joy of watching my husband have the time of his life at Cedar Point, “The Roller Coaster Capital of the World.” He saw his third-largest smile that day, his first being at our wedding and his second at seminary graduation.

I’m convinced wallpaper was invented by the devil. It doesn’t help when the builder glues the wallpaper straight onto drywall – what a mess. Having removed the evil, our walls are now a happy yellow or white, and the master bathroom is lavender. Gregg painted his office a Steeler/West Virginia gold. It looks great with dark wood furniture. The project was a lot of work and it was well worth it!

I continued in Mending Hearts this year. Frustrated at my lack of memories, I took a trip to my hometown of Cocoa, Florida. It was special to see old stomping grounds and reconnect with friends. How ironic that both of my childhood homes are now painted yellow.

Judy and Dina Daniel, Jean Allen (aka Godmother), and Kristin Friend in Jean’s Highview Drive home.
Our first Cocoa, Florida home on Highview Drive in River Heights
First Baptist Church of Cocoa
Our 2nd home in Cocoa on Emory Lane
My friend, Donna Kates Meyer, from high school drove around with me to help me remember landmarks.
Gregg with Alyssa’s dog, Lily, at the Howalds’ lake house
Lynchburg, Virginia with Joel and Theresa Hesch and Steve and Sherri Pettit – friends from Derwood Bible Church in Maryland
At the JAX airport with Elisabeth Arnold
Fun reunion with our St. Pete friends – Mikel and Kathy Patterson & Chuck and Joyce Elkins.
Shuttle launch seen from Dad and Gladys’ Cape Canaveral condo
Gladys and Norm (Dad) Abell at our house
Golfing with Dad and Gladys in Arkansas
Outside of St. Louis, MO – Bike trail on the old Route 66.
Thanksgiving Day races – the girls did a 6K and the guys did the half-marathon
Lots of snow in Markleysburg!

2008…48 Years Old

2008…48 Years Old

Snippets from 2008:

“The Donna,” a local race to raise funds for breast cancer research was my first half marathon (I have done three.) Walking into the expo to pick up our race packets, I promptly told Gregg that I was going to cry. It made me think of Mom and others who had battled breast cancer. Participating in the race was also emotional; a sea of pink runners, each honoring someone and protesting cancer.

2008 brought fun travel experiences. Extending a business trip to San Diego, California, we celebrated our 20th anniversary with sightseeing, a hot air balloon ride, biking down a Mount Soledad, and kayaking. It was so enjoyable that soon after, we bought bikes and kayaks.

In the fall, I sensed Jesus inviting me to return to Mending Hearts, a survivors of abuse support group at church. I had participated the year after Mom died, then changed my focus to walking through my grief. 

I was a survivor and my coping mechanisms had been heroic and necessary. But they were no longer working for me. I yearned for more healing; Mending Hearts had visibly helped a friend. Dan Allender, author of The Wounded Heart, had helped write the material. If you are familiar with that book, you know it is not an easy read. Facing painful areas of my past was difficult, yet it was the lesser of two evils; the alternative allowed ghosts to continue chasing me.

Gregg and I took our fourth ministry trip to Peru in November. Bryn and Brad were also on the team. The four of us vacationed in Cusco before joining the JFYM Team in Arequipa. The highlight was touring beautiful and amazing Machu Picchu. The Inca mysteries fascinate me – how they transported huge granite stones to the mountaintop, how they built without mortar, and their astute observations of nature, allowing them to precisely predict cyclical events such as the solstice and equinox. Machu Picchu reminds me that ancient people were not “lesser” versions of us. They were intelligent, innovative, and their hearts longed to connect with God.

We ran the 1/2 Marathon in the inaugural 26.2 With Donna – the National Marathon To Fight Breast Cancer, now known as The DONNA.
I ran for Sweet Momma
A sea of runners, mainly in pink
48 Years Old – DQ Ice Cream Cake!
Precious St. Pete friends – Jim and Mary Ann Woods (aka MAW), Dr. Ruth Perry, Gregg and Kristin
I thought I needed to be brave to this…it was so smooth! If my eyes had been closed when we took off, I’d never have realized we were moving. An elevator goes up faster than this balloon. So fun!!
Morning bike down Mount Soledad
Ready to kayak! We won’t repeat our 10th Anniversary Hawaii mistake – we rented TWO kayaks.
Pacific Ocean kayaking. That may be Dr. Seuss’ home in the background.
What else would you expect us to do when we pass a Ghirardelli store?!
Rocky, cold, Pacific Ocean beach
Breathtaking Machu Picchu, Peru!
At Machu Picchu – Brad, Bryn, Kristin, Gregg
Machu Picchu – Kristin, Gregg, Bryn, Brad
Machu Picchu with Louis, our private tour guide
Cusco, Peru
Jesus Focused Youth Ministry Team and missionaries in Arequipa, Peru
Gregg, Eric VanPelt, Eileen Felton, Cynthia Sundman, Bill Griswold, Marty Hayes, Rosalba?, Brad, Bryn, Kim DelRocco, Kim Kutsch-Hayes
Aunt Lillian, Howalds, Friends, Welchs, Wilkersons, Mr & Mrs Howald, Dad and Gladys Abell, and dogs – Addy, Lilly, and Tiger

2007…47 Years Old

2007…47 Years Old

“My girls” and I would share prayer requests each week. My frequent request was to exercise consistently; nothing kept me motivated.

Jacksonville hosts The Gate River Run, a huge 15K race (9.3 miles), each March. Unbeknownst to me, this was on Gregg’s bucket list. The Jacksonville Times printed a daily eight-week “Couch to 15K Training Plan.” Gregg decided to follow it beginning December 2006.

In high school, I tried jogging with Dad in our Cocoa neighborhood. I hated it; it felt like my insides were going to drop out. So, when Gregg said he was going to try running, I was hesitant. Yet, I had been praying to find a new exercise, and having a goal with Gregg would keep me motivated. At age 46 I began a new “sport.”

The first time I went to “run,” I could not go the distance between two driveways without stopping to walk and catch my breath. Little by little, I built up endurance, although my Garmin always labeled my pace a “slow jog.” No matter – my goal was to get exercise…and eat ice cream guilt free.

The Strider’s Resolution Run in January 2007 was our first 5K. Our second 5K was surreal as we ran a 5K around the NASCAR Daytona 500 Speedway. In March we accomplished our goal, running the Gate River Run 15K.

Now that we were in a running routine, we both decided to continue. It was an answer to prayer for me. We transitioned to the Jeff Galloway Run-Walk-Run Method. For my slow pace, I would run one minute then walk one minute. Gregg stuck to his interval plan during his first half marathon at Thanksgiving, feeling good and finishing the race ahead of a younger running friend.

The Galloway Method helped me complete three half-marathons, several 15K’s and 10K’s, and many 5K’s. I was my own competition, comparing my times with previous races. We both enjoy the camaraderie of new friends we have made through running.

I’ve never really “enjoyed” running, aside from the friends and ice cream rewards. In May of 2019, I fell while jogging in the neighborhood resulting in a trip to the ER, 5 stitches, and a concussion. I have since stuck to walking, while continuing to indulge in my ice cream habit.

Resolution Run – my first 5K
47 years old
Daytona Speedway 5K
Gate River Run 15K
Gate River Run t-shirts
Tea Party Time! Kristin, Rachel, Bryn, Julie, Emilee
Kristin and Rachel Friend
Kristin, Bryn, and Mardi with Aunt Lillian. We love her SO MUCH!
Mardi, Aunt Lillian, Kristin, and Bryn
Howalds, Friends, and Wilkersons
Thanksgiving Day races – Kristin ran the 6K, Gregg ran the Half Marathon (13.1 miles)

2006…46 Years Old

2006…46 Years Old

Our big 2006 adventure was driving a rental car through nine European countries in eight days: Hungary, Austria, Slovakia, Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy, Slovenia, and Croatia. We began and ended our trip in Hungary; Cathy and Erika were marvelous hosts, as always.

Gregg loves languages and loves the challenge of being in a non-English speaking area. Me? That sets off my anxiety alarms. I really like control. You know, like being able to understand what a road sign says especially if it says, “one way” or “do not enter.” Europe has unposted rules such as speed limits and pre-buying a toll tag for certain roads. Don’t even get me started on traffic circles.  Cathy did a great job of giving Gregg a traffic-rules crash course.

We didn’t know how to pay Slovenia motorway tolls. Gregg stopped at a gas station before leaving Italy hoping to find out. A non-English speaker said, “Como Italia,” – pay the same as Italy. That was great fun for Gregg.

The big travel loop allowed us to connect with two sets of DTS friends as well as see God’s stunning handiwork. We had visited Brenda and Tracy in Bratislava, Slovakia with Mom. They had moved; we enjoyed seeing their new home and neighborhood. A good time was had by all eating lunch in their back yard.

We met Debbie and Dana and their daughter, Danielle, in Germany to vacation together. We visited Neuschwanstein Castle among other places as we made our way to their home in the Black Forest area. The four of us had a gelato obsession. I can neither confirm nor deny that we often felt compelled to eat gelato more than once a day. While in Kandern, we took a day-trip into France, a new country for Gregg.

From Germany, we went to breathtaking Switzerland, then on to beautiful Lake Garda in Italy. Heading back to Hungary, the traffic outside of Milan, Italy was absolutely nerve wracking and we got lost in Croatia.

It was refreshing to spend more time with Erika and Cathy, and meeting with other friends in the area. As much as I enjoyed the gelato, I am partial to Hungarian food – fruit soup, Chicken Paprikash, their bread, and anything that Erika cooks.

Bryn, Aunt Lillian, Kristin
Carolyn Philips – a special mentor
Corn Maze in Huntsville, Alabama – so fun!
We laughed so hard!
Huntsville, Alabama Space and Rocket Center – Bryn, Kristin, Mardi
Timothy, Jessica, Matthew, Reagan, Sydney
Hungary – our rental car on the street outside of Cathy’s house. We drove it through 9 countries in 8 days.
Brenda and Tracy Lesan in Bratislava, Slovakia
Pizza picnic in the Lesan’s backyard.
Dana, Debbie, and Danielle Cherry by Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany
Gregg, Debbie, Dana, Kristin with Neuschwanstein Castle in the background
Gregg is eating his gelato faster than Debbie 😉
Happy Man!
Dana, Debbie, and Danielle
When in Switzerland, eat fondue!
Lake Garda, Italy
Figuring out how to pay for parking
Studying the Slovenia map … how we navigated before Google Maps directed us turn-by-turn
Gabor and Lidia (in their home) with Cathy and Erika
Eating apples we picked in Lidia and Gabor’s yard – Gregg, Erika, Lidia, Gabor, Cathy
Erika, Cathy and Matches
Erika always cooking something delicious!
Anita, Cathy, Erika and Gregg in a Budapest restaurant

2005…45 Years Old

2005…45 Years Old.

In January 2005, we celebrated Mom’s life service in the Orlando area. She was loved by so many people there; in turn, they loved us through honoring Mom.

Being Mom’s primary caretaker was an honor … and … it was emotionally, physically, and spiritually exhausting. Having never raised a child, I was suddenly parenting – my mother. The responsibility of “keeping her alive” was overwhelming at times. Once the dust began to settle, I noticed health issues of my own including severe acid reflux and depression. I began seeing a counselor but declined antidepressants.  

Elisabeth and I continued getting together. She mentioned that each furlough they gather food, cleaners, medical supplies, and other things they might need the following four years. These items are packed in barrels and shipped to West Africa with other necessities. Rick built a large storage pantry in their home, but life stayed so busy, they usually just hunted for items when needed. I can still feel how my heart leapt as I thought, “I could unpack those barrels for her!” But, but, but… would I be courageous enough to go? When the Arnolds shared that they needed someone to set up their computers and a Wi-Fi system, Gregg and I decided to visit Senegal together to help them get re-settled.

The Arnolds’ home is a safe haven. In the evening, we would venture out; it felt like walking through a National Geographic magazine. The village people were welcoming and gracious, even giving us African names, Guy and Khadija Bathily. As we sat on a pretty floor mat in our adopted family’s house, eating with our hands from a common dish, we were overwhelmed by their friendship and generosity. I’m thankful I stepped out of my comfort zone and accepted God’s invitation to go to Senegal. I trusted God in a whole new way.

Two months later, we took our first of five trips to Arequipa, Peru, helping train Peruvians lead their church youth. I fell in love with the Peruvian translators and continue to keep in touch with several.

In December, Gregg’s brother, Doug, was diagnosed with melanoma. After several surgeries and a year of grueling treatment, he has remained cancer free. Thank You, God!

Elisabeth, Sagna, Maria (?) and Kristin in the Arnolds home
Alyssalyn by the barrels full of food and other necessities for the next four years
2005 Food Pantry after it was filled
Soaps cabinet after it was filled
Medicine cabinet after it was filled
Gregg working on the computers (Elisabeth is standing next to him)
Boat ride
Stopping for a cool drink
Dinner with our family
Dinner with our family
Our family had the local tailor make these clothes for us! Sagna and Elisabeth put henna on my hands and feet.
Christmas time at Dad and Gladys’ Cape Canaveral condo

2004…44 Years Old – Part B

2004…44 Years Old – Part B.

In June 2004, Mom was diagnosed with small tumors in her brain. She was offered hospice but opted to try other options. The tumors were removed by gamma knife radiation, a non-invasive surgery, on June 30. Whenever her blood counts permitted, she continued chemo.

In August, Mom attended a ladies’ Bible study. She made friends with Elisabeth Arnold and thought we would enjoy each other. She was spot on! Mom loved spending time with her, too, even offering Elisabeth her last smile here on earth. Elisabeth and I remain good friends – a gift from Mom and Jesus!

In October, the family returned to Destin for a repeat beach vacation.  It was a special time! Two weeks later, we received devastating news – new tumors in Mom’s brain “looked like buckshot.” There were too many to remove with gamma knife.

Mom was quickly losing mobility. On November 8, Mom had an oncology appointment, but she couldn’t walk. Even if I could get her into the car, I could not have gotten her out. With no other options, hospice was called. They were a huge blessing to Mom as well as to me.  

Mom was bed-bound and unable to speak her last week and a half. Pastor Tim Lusk visited, and his words stuck with me, “This bed may seem like a prison, but it is not. It will soon become a mysterious doorway into the next life.”

A few days before Mom walked through that portal, the Mandarin High Prayer Group visited. As they stood around her bed, Mom seemed to be intently looking at something that we could not see. Maybe the portal was beginning to open.

I checked on Mom in the middle of the night, attending her needs as she slept, telling her she was loved and beautiful as I kissed her head. In the morning, I awoke to silence on the baby monitor. Heartbroken, I knew before I got to her room – she was gone. Mom had peacefully left us and met Jesus. Life would never be the same.

Drs. Augspurger and Zeal preparing Mom for gamma-knife surgery
Mom being prepared for gamma-knife surgery.
Mom’s view from her bed
Jessica and Reagan try out Me-Mom’s lift chair
Our first formal goodbye was a graveside service on December 20 – Brad found a cemetery plot in a lovely old cemetery on Mandarin Road, full of huge trees and history.
Our second formal goodbye – Celebration of Life service at Christian Family Chapel
Mom loved cardinals and had many stuffed animals. Each grandchild picked out one of Mom’s cardinals and another stuffed animal to remember Me-Mom.
A Christmas poinsettia for Mom with a message written in the sand – Me-Mom, we love you.
If the headstones in this cemetery are any indication, this is going to be a happening place at the resurrection!
Mom’s daughters…grieving behind the smiles.
Have fun storming the castle, Mom! … Think it will work? … It will take a miracle!

2004…44 Years Old – Part A

2004…44 Years Old – Part A

Gregg and I went to PA for Christmas. In January, Mom moved in with us. We later emptied her house, storing most items in our garage, and she sold her Deltona home. Grandma and Grandpa built that house when they retired; it was full of family history, love, and memories.

In mid-January, my Dad had a brain hemorrhage. To be honest, I don’t have specific memories about it, which saddens and reminds me that our relationship was not as close as my daughter-heart wished we could have been. It also reminds me of how very, very thankful I am (we are) for Gladys and her constant love and care for Dad. Dad dodged that bullet and recovered well.

On January 26, Katie Wilkerson, an angel disguised as a Nurse Practitioner, gently shared bad news with us. Mom’s post op scans showed her cancer had become aggressive; the cancer was now in her lungs and adrenal gland, as well as having increased in her bones. Katie cried with us and reassured us that we would all be reunited with Jesus. She told us that if this was her mother, she would not “put her through” chemo. That was a hard pill to swallow, yet it opened the door for Mom to consider all her options.

In early February, a representative came to share information about Hospice. She explained that once you enter Hospice, you discontinue any life-extending treatments. After the representative left, I was taken aback when, uncharacteristically, Mom was livid saying, “she just wants me to die!” Her will to live was aroused, providing the motivation to take chemotherapy again. Mom had eight grandchildren to live for; she yearned to see them grow up.

On March 2, Mom started chemo treatments of Taxol, Carboplatin, and Herceptin. Two days later, she was admitted into the hospital for two weeks with blood clots in her legs and lungs. Thus, began a blur of doctor appointments, bloodwork, treatments, and scans, usually two or more times a week. Our traditional reward after an appointment was Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup and an I.C. Mocha.

We enjoyed visitors who returned as often as possible, including Mardi, Drajeskes, Davis’, Aunt Evelyn, and our Jacksonville friends. What a blessing!

Cocoa, Florida friends: Tom and Jean Allen, Mom, Dave and Judy Daniels
Anne Davis from Titusville with Mom
Aunt Lillian with Mardi’s girls – Jessica, Reagan and Sydney
Clark’s Fish Camp with Sydney, Mardi, Jessica, Kristin, Mom
Gladys and Dad Abell
January 2004 – Mom with Wilkersons, Howalds and Friends
Jean Abell and Martha Howald
Phil and Diane Drajeske. Mom and Diane were childhood neighbors and friends.
Mom watching from the car as Paige Murray gives Sydney a ride on her horse.
I moved to Jr. High with “my girls” in the fall. This is at the Extreme Excursion retreat.

2003…43 Years Old

2003…43 Years Old.

I’m almost a week behind schedule in writing my posts. It is no wonder. I just realized that the pit in my stomach is growing stronger each day that I try to write. Do I really have to write about these years? Can’t it have been a bad nightmare and I’ll wake up to Mom’s beautiful smile and laughter? My heart is breaking all over again. I hate this story!

As I begin this phase of the story, I feel like I’m jumping off a high-dive, hoping there is water in the pool…

Mom had retired, leaving her free to rotate time between Huntsville (Mardi), Jacksonville, and her home in Deltona. She kept up with her treatments and the doctor was amazed that she didn’t have more bone pain from the cancer.

Cortisone shots helped with her knee and hip pain. In typical Mom-style, her prayer request was, “Pray that my legs can keep up with my body.” She didn’t want to miss out on life. In July, she drove to Alabama. In August, she vacationed in San Diego with my Aunt Evelyn.

Mom casually remarked that she was “loosing her words.” She wrote an email saying, “Please keep talking to me, I can understand what you are saying.” Heart wrenching.

When Mom’s oncologist heard that she was having trouble retrieving words, he sent her for a brain MRI the next day. On September 19, Mom and Bryn heard the devastating news that there was a tumor on her brain.

Mom underwent 3 weeks of radiation. Immediately after the last treatment, Gregg and I drove her to Destin, Florida, joining the Howalds and Wilkersons for a family vacation.  Mom rented a large condo on the beach so the fifteen of us could stay together. We made special memories that weekend.

Radiation shrunk the tumor, but it still existed. On December 5, Mom had surgery to have the tumor removed. I was not prepared for the immediate toll the surgery took on her body. She was our strong Mom, a fighter, our rock. Now she was not even able to live on her own. I was grasping to stay strong for her, while reeling; struggling to hold onto hope while saying, “Thy will be done.”

Mom’s 67th birthday celebration with Orlando friends.
Sisters-in-law on vacation in San Diego, California! Evelyn Abell Goodell and Jean Abell
Chattanooga – Gregg, Erika Gyokeres, Cathy Thompson, Kristin – our friends from Hungary
In Chattanooga – Erika Gyokeres, Cathy, Ray and Jean Thompson
Timothy took our photo
Nashville – Mikel and Kathy Patterson, Chuck and Joyce Elkins, Kristin and Gregg Friend – Our wonderful St. Pete friends! We met at Elkins home for a fun weekend of eating, talking, and playing Shanghai Rummy!
Mom asked me to take her to JCPenney for photos before she lost her hair. The insightful photographer encouraged us to take some together. Even though our clothes clash, I cherish this photo!
Destin – Mom was beautiful with and without hair
Destin Vacation
Clark’s Fish Camp with Katherine Errion and Karina Drake who came to visit us.
Mom watching her boys ride dirt bikes. This may have been January 3, 2004 – on Matthew’s birthday.
Mardi came to Florida for Thanksgiving (Kelly kept the children in Alabama so that she could have focused time with Mom) Love this picture!

2002…42 Years Old

2002…42 Years Old.

As I peruse photos of 2002, my heart overflows with the sweet memories – birthday celebrations, hosting visitors, traveling, taking piano lessons, and enjoying time with family.

Mom’s health held steady, but we were in the eye of the storm.

Dana and Debbie Cherry were fellow seminary grads and wanderlusters. After they moved to Greece, we were delighted to visit them with Mom. It was special to reconnect with friends and prayer warriors. We also loved seeing portions of Greece and Turkey, a part of the world which was new to us but very old and rich in history.  

Our five-some enjoyed sitting outside at tavernas, eating, drinking frapes, relaxing, and talking. We took a short cruise to island-hop, and we drove to see Biblical areas. As we sat among town ruins, reading New Testament letters written to people who had lived there, the Bible came alive.

A day trip took us to ancient Corinth, an influential town in its time, with a busy court system. Paul lived here for a year and a half, beginning a church and later writing to them (1st and 2nd Corinthians.) Our cruise ship had a short stop in Turkey where we toured the ruins of Ephesus, a beautifully laid out city which included a hospital with a pharmacy across the street, a multi-story library, and a huge amphitheater. Paul lived there for over three years, later writing the letter to the Ephesians. We toured the island of Patmos, where John was exiled and wrote the book of Revelation. Athens, with its many philosophers and gods, was visited by Paul and is referred to in Acts 17.

We had the marvelously unique experience of celebrating Orthodox Easter in Greece. On Good Friday, church bells slowly and sadly tolled all day long. It was sobering. Saturday night at 11pm, we attended a small church service. The building was full, so we stood outside, holding traditional tall white candles. At midnight the bells began to joyfully peal, and the celebrations began. Jesus is Risen! On Sunday, we enjoyed Greek Easter traditions, including a game involving red hard-boiled eggs and rotating a spit-roasted lamb. We later found out that our “lamb” was a goat; it has more meat to feed a crowd.

Greece in the poppies
Mom Abell, Kristin, and Gregg on a beach in Greece
Formal Night on our cruise – Mom Abell, Kristin, Gregg, Debbie, Dana
Slumber party on the small cruise ship – Gregg on top bunk, Mom on bunk under the porthole.
On the ship deck – I just love this picture of Mom smiling!
Dana and Gregg next to an icon store on the island of Rhodes.
Patmos – our ship is behind us. The cave where John stayed and where he received Revelation is on the hill somewhere above the ship.
Mykonos – a beautiful island!
One of many frape stops! Sip and stir and talk and relax…
Greece – octopus drying. The date on Mom’s camera was off. This was 2002.
Picnic on Dana and Debbie’s back porch. Beautiful view! So relaxing!
Kristin on the Acropolis. If I remember correctly, I’m looking at the amphitheater below on my left and I can see the Parthenon on my right.
Athens amphitheater
Athens – Parthenon on top of the Acropolis
Corinth ruins
Taverna in Corinth
Ephesus Road – hospital on right, pharmacy on left, library straight ahead.
Trying out the state-of-the-art (for their time) public toilets.
Easter morning just after midnight – the bells began chiming to invite a joyous celebration to begin.
Kristin taking her turn rotating the “lamb” on the spit on Easter Sunday.
Mom traditionally spent the week of July 4th in Huntsville with Mardi’s family. Bryn, her children, and I joined her this year. Mardi is expecting Reagan. Jessica, Mardi, Alyssa, Sydney, Me-Mom.
My fabulous Great Aunt Lillian turned 80. We had the joy of visiting her in Wisconsin this past summer!
Bryn’s surprise 40th birthday party. Bryn, Mom, Brad.
Friends, Howalds, Wilkersons with Aunt Lillian and Phil and Diane Drajeske.
Me-Mom cuddling Reagan. Can’t you see the love oozing out of Mom?!
Kristin at piano recital after taking lessons all year with Bryn’s children. I was so nervous, my hands were tingling and I thought I’d pass out before I could get to the last note! Thankfully, I didn’t.
Christmas photo with Friends, Howalds, Wilkersons, Dad and Gladys
Friends, Howalds, Wilkersons and Me-Mom at Christmas
Mom Abell snapping beans in Markleysburg.
Gregg with his nieces, Rachel, Emilee, and Julie (and Bryn’s dog, Addy)
Mini-reunion – high school friends from Park Avenue Baptist Church in Titusville
Kristin Abell Friend, Carol Walters, Laurie Griffin, Linda Strianese Wood
Mom and her girls – Bryn, Kristin and Mardi
This is one of my all-time favorite pictures – Me-Mom, Timothy, and Sydney