When last we spoke, I think I said something about "unless I get a better offer" and "taking time to smell the autumn leaves". Well both of those things have happened of late so I am still not posting about my 2012 Halloween decorations-although I finally got almost everything up with just a bit of tweaking to do!
Last week my oldest called to say she had to make a trip to Lakeland and was thinking of making a side trip to "The Barn" in Lake Alfred. She wanted to know if I would like to join her. Never one to give up a trip that involves not only shopping but eating as well, I was off in a flash and convinced hubby to join me and make a day of it.
I love this place because of its seasonality (is that a word?). The complex is made up of a number of buildings, each one housing a different theme (for want of a better word) of shopping. One houses outdoor and garden decor, one solely holidays and seasons, one is full of home decor and boutique clothing and jewelry but all still leaning to a seasonal side, one if full of beautiful European antiques and one is the restaurant.
The restaurant has an indoor dining room, porch area and even some tables out on the deck near the water. We pretty much choose where we want to sit depending on the weather. Their menu consists of soup, sandwiches and salads-once again always with a seasonal option-and you can pretty much put your meal together any way you want. A trip down here is always a wonderful way to get me in the seasonal spirit!
Our next invitation was to watch Hudson's soccer game. I have really never gotten in to all the rules of soccer although a number of my grand children have played but at this age level, there really isn't much to know. They pretty much just get out there and run up and down the field-sometimes in the wrong direction- but it is wonderful to see all of the families out together enjoying the fresh air and exercise and always good for a laugh. Apparently Hudson has actually made a goal in each of the 2 games we have missed so we will keep our fingers crossed for next Saturday!
And, the fun just continues. Both of our grand daughters in Gainesville play volleyball for their schools-Morgan for Howard Bishop M.S. and Hannah is on the varsity squad at Eastside H.S. They both play 2 games a week on 2 separate days so when we got word that they actually were both playing on the same day, it was a no brainer. We would head up, catch one game, grab some dinner and head to the other. It definitely made for a late night-at least for us old folks-but both teams won their matches in what were apparent upsets, so we were excited-and pretty much voice-less from all of the cheering! And then we got to spend the night and steal a little more visiting time with this family.
And then, rounding out our week, we had a family "celebration of life" get together for my mom in Gainesville. It was exactly how she would have wanted us to remember her life. We ate her favorite foods, made the recipes she was "famous" for, looked back on many years of wonderful pictures and memories and shared all of our special stories and favorite remembrances. We always used to joke with her when we all got together and things would get "crazy" by saying "look what you started"! Oh how true. So many precious people in one big, loving family. What better legacy could anyone ever want to leave?
I actually had a few more fun days but that will come later. Now that my house is glowing with orange and black, I am ready to share. Stay tuned!