A Great Mother

This week I’m focusing on my mother, Pat (Harris) Chaney, whose 90th birthday is Saturday.  She was a great mother, and unfortunately passed away from cancer in 2001.  My dad missed his 90th birthday by one year and my mother left us much too early, well before her 90th.  Today I’m sharing some of my favorite photos of her, starting with one of her birthdays.

My dad helped us make a “cake” for her, with no recipe or proper baking procedures.  It looked atrocious but she happily posed with it.

I happened to be right beside her in this photo (I wonder what I thought of the cake we made by pouring everything from the kitchen shelves into the batter).

Of course, following the arrival of the pretend cake came the real one!

Here are some of my favorites of her with the two of us (I am the younger daughter):

She sewed and knitted a lot of her own clothes and was always changing her hair color and style, as you will see.  In this one she is wearing very fashionable boots in the 70’s.

She loved traveling to the mountains and the first thing she always did was take off her shoes and put them in a cool mountain stream.

My parents were married in 1949; here is their wedding photo and one of my favorites in their later years together on a cruise.

This is a very early “selfie” of her with her brother, Baxter:

They always had dogs around and this is one of my favorite pics with one of them:

Again, I was right beside her.

Finally, this is my favorite holiday portrait of my mother–so pretty!

 

God is Real–Part Five

How do I know God is real?  It simple: I’ve experienced Him in amazing ways.  Today’s example is pretty zany and funny.  I was in the Dominican Republic with my friend, Mindy, to introduce her to her sponsored child (I had already met him on a previous trip, and Mindy had become his sponsor).  We were headed to the Haitian border the next day but on this particular day we were returning from a trip by van into the country.  During a rest stop I went to get back on the bus, not knowing that they were hosing it down on the opposite side.  With a great whoosh! all the mud, grease and grime came flying up from under the van and splattered all over my khaki pants.  They were blackened from the grease and mud.

In the morning, after my shower, I said to Mindy, “I’m going to wear the same pants that got splattered yesterday, because I’ll just get them dirty again today,” and put them on.  She said, “Those aren’t the same pants; they’re perfectly clean.”  I looked down and she was right.  She didn’t believe they were the same pants, and we argued while I let her look through my luggage because I didn’t have any other khakis.  But they were now spotless.  She exclaimed, “Jesus did the laundry while we were sleeping!”  Now, I know that seems ridiculous, but think about it:  as we discussed, we were heading to child development centers to visit precious Compassion kids near the Haitian border.  Perhaps it was important that we appear clean and spotless, representing our Lord, and also give honor to the children, by giving them our best.  That was the only reason we could think of for the little “miracle” that day.  Our God is real!  But the next story is going to be amazing–watch for it on Friday!

For previous posts in my “God is Real” series, click below:

God is Real–Part One (a baby that nearly didn’t make it to birth)

God is Real–Part Two (a specific healing, and one that was not a healing)

God is Real–Part Three (a hurtful e-mail)

God is Real–Part Four (pain)

Crystal Awards

Today I’m sharing “sign” pics from the Crystal ship Symphony that we enjoyed so much.  First, a safety sign:

Next, the first sign I saw every morning before going out on the deck for a morning walk:

I discovered an interesting room in the ship that displays all the wonderful gifts they have received from each port they have visited around the world.  It’s impressive!

There was also a huge display and blessing provided by the craftsmen of the shipyard in Finland, where Symphony was built in 1995:

Finally, I’ll share a couple more menus from our week at sea:

 

 

 

 

Panama

We disembarked from the cruise ship Symphony in Panama to more wonderful local music.

We could see plenty of ships getting ready to enter the canal.

We had rented a car to drive to the other side of the country for our standby flights out of Panama City.  Although there is a train that goes across, it was not going at the right time for us.  But it gave us a chance to see some of the sights better along the way.

Here is the airport, which has a nice restaurant upstairs.

And we were off!  It’s always nice when those standby seats are available for two of us at once!

 

 

Final Shout-Out

This is the final shout-out to the ship and crew of Crystal Cruises.  We had the best time in the Caribbean and would certainly go again if we get the chance.  Some of the passengers would remain onboard for another week, as they toured the Panama Canal, Colombia and other stops, but we couldn’t go the extra week (and had already been through the Panama Canal previously).  So it was a sad farewell but the memories linger!

I had toured the ship’s kitchen one of the days at sea, and it’s incredible to see how they prepare all the great meals we enjoyed.

Again–wonderful staff members giving it their all.  We ate in the Italian restaurant on our last night and the food and presentation here was also delicious and impressive.

 

 

Zip Line

The next place we stopped in Costa Rica was the zip line.  I had ridden one in Costa Rica and Thailand before, and was excited to experience the thrill of flying through the trees again!

To our surprise, we ran into some of the staff from the ship that were also going on the zip line.  It was great that we ended up in the same group so we could get better acquainted.  Later I was able to share photos with them, since they didn’t have cameras.

The girls had been tricked into thinking they were going to the beach, and they were dressed accordingly, which we thought was hilarious.

Their names and countries are Aleksandar (Serbia), Stanko (Serbia), Diana (Montenegro) and Lori (Croatia).

What a delight to spend this time with them, laughing, squealing, and being goofy (rather than the normal stance they would take serving on the ship)!

And — to top it off — guess who waited on us at breakfast the next morning?  This is always the best part of traveling — the food AND the people we meet!