Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Balloon Launch, 2010





With the anniversary of my Dad's death, came the inspiring hope of love and families. My brothers and sisters, and my mom, live miles apart and had no way of being together on this date. My sweet niece, Brandy, remembered that last year Karen sent a Sky Lantern with me to the memorial service.

Afterwards we went out behind my parent's house in Texas and sent it off to the heavens to Dad. This year, in the mail, we all received a sky lantern with directions to set it off at the same synchronized time on the 26th.

On that day, the Outer Banks (including Ocracoke) experienced a massive storm up and down the eastern sea coast with winds in excess of 30-50 miles per hour. Snow and rain prevailed, but the launch did not.

Last night, with calming winds, we went drove to the Southpoint where the Atlantic meets the Pamlico Sound. The winds were low, the sky was gorgeous and it was here that we sent off the sky lantern. We were able to watch it all the way to the heavens and then slowly dip back down and become part of the sea. Dust to dust, sea to sea.

The sunset was exceptionally beautiful. As we drove back in the darkness with the sea beside us, I told Philip stories of my Dad. He is used to it, I speak of him often when I hear music he loved, or poetry, or beauty.

Farewell.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas on Ocracoke

Philip and I drove back to Ocracoke for Christmas. We meandered through the mountains, enjoying the drive, yet keeping an eye on the weather. We arrived on Christmas Eve in time for dinner with family and the Christmas Eve service at the United Methodist Church here on the Island. The church was packed with children and parents and was reminiscent of an old-fashioned Christmas of the past. It was good to see Philip's family and friends once again.

The nor-easter blew in on Christmas day with sleet and snow and gale winds shutting down the ferries for two days. There is something quite primitive to be on a an Island with the wind blowing, fire in the fireplace and dinner with family.

Today the sun is shining so there will be a late afternoon walk on the beach and homemade soup for supper.

The above picture is of The Community Store. The inside boasts of a real Christmas tree, burning pot belly stove and all the groceries and supplies we would ever need here. Yes, it is romantic and lovely here in the winter.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Winter Solstice

Dear Folks,
I think the Winter Solstice is my favorite Holiday, at least I make it so. This year was so spectacular with the full moon, the total lunar eclipse and the Solstice colliding in the Universe. My friend Laura and I decided to rent a cabin at Pokagon for the event. We also invited our friends, Philip and Fritz. (We are both in the dating scene these days!)

We all had dinner early and then headed out to the cabin in the park. We immediately filled the kitchenette with amaretto, chocolate and cookies!

The cabin was built with knotty pine on the inside, cozy and comfortable and it was as if we were on vacation! We played games on the large table, and watched movies til 2:00. Actually to be honest, they all watched the movies, I immediately fell asleep!

The cloud cover was thick and all the events planned by Fred Wooley were canceled, however at 2:00 Philip went outside and announced that it was clear enough to see. We put on boots and scarfs and gloves and out into the early morning quiet hours we walked. The haze surrounded the moon and night sky, but we could still see the moon and the eclipse. It was probably the most magical night of my light under this cosmic phenomenon.

It was as if it were the night for miracles. I think this evening will be in the top ten list of my life forever. Hope you were able to enjoy it as well!

Lou Ann

Saturday, December 18, 2010

"Can't we all just get along?"


So the news in my small town is the controversy with Dana Thompson and City Hall. On Wednesday evening Thompson put the above message on his marquis at the Strand Theatre. " We survived Depression, WW2, TV, DVD, 911 and fire, but will we surviv City Hall?"

During this past year Angola has experienced a downtown revitalization project. Thompson apparently missed a few meetings and ended up with one of the new planters outside his theatre. With these planters, it is difficult to change the corner lights on the marquis.

Thompson has been charged with putting popcorn in the planters and using the wrong kind of salt for the new pavers. Photos of the salt and grains of salt have been collected as evidence. A surveillance camera has also been installed to keep an eye on Thompson.

This will all go to court on February 25th.

So, Angola, where do you stand on this matter?

I am a frequent visitor of the Strand, which was built in 1932. It is an integral part of our downtown area. I hope these issues with Thompson and City Hall can be worked out. In the meantime, come on over to Angola and visit the Strand or the Browkaw. You won't be disappointed. Oh, and if you get a chance to talk to Thompson (and you will), crying will get you a free pop!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Trans-Siberian Orchestra and a half-marathon!

On Friday Philip and I took the late night flight from Fort Wayne to  St. Pete, Florida to be with Adam and Tonya. Even though it is Florida, the chilly wind (and Tonya) met us at the airport. Their house is so lovely and decorated for Christmas. My room is like a bed and breakfast with the timber-frame bed with a handmade quilt and a gift basket on the small wooden dresser.

We spent Saturday touring the beautiful farmer's market here in St. Pete. We spent hours tasting, sampling and buying great food, bread, and coffee.

We spent the evening having dinner in Gulfport and then traveling to Tampa for the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. I must admit I have never seen the show and was in total amazement. I don't think there are enough words to describe the show!

Today Adam, Philip and I volunteered at the Holiday-Half Marathon and cheered for Tonya all the way. Yes she made it! I am so proud of her! Yea!

Enjoying the rest of the day with friends coming over for football, games and a cookout.

Too bad there is snow at home, can't even think about it!!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Making Gingerbread Houses and Thanksgivng

Time passes by with family and the coming of winter as the blog always slips away into the late night wind and snow. Here are the last two columns to help catch you up and then maybe, just maybe, we can be back in the running!
Just click on the links!

Thanksgiving in my small town!

Making Gingerbread Houses!