A Christmas Adventure
What to do when you want to safely break away from your Covid routine before the holidays, but have few options? Well, Galena, of course! I love this historic town. It's our go-to getaway in a pinch. This year, due to the coronavirus, things look different - masks worn everywhere, 6 foot spacing encouraged, and limited dining options. But true to form, the town is beautifully adorned for Christmas. Yay!
Does History Inspire You?
We drove around the hilly neighborhood, enjoying the decked out historic homes. Galena dates back to 1826, and the buildings reflect the Civil War era - not surprising because this was General Grant’s home.
Who Doesn't Love a Hearty Breakfast?
One treat I particularly enjoyed was wandering in and out of Main Street shops, also delightfully decorated for the holidays. Lots of eye candy here! Not to mention this is one of my favorite boutiques - Carlotta’s Studio. I make sure to visit each time we are in Galena.
Dan’s favorite pastime is eating out - especially for breakfast. Below our cozy Airbnb was the owner’s restaurant, Big Bill’s. Their food was scrumptious and the double expresso strong and rich - just the way I like it!!
Historic Homes Become Restaurants
Our warm and inviting studio was perfect for our needs - a few minutes walking distance from the center of town, a big screen TV and electric fireplace for movie watching and a complete kitchen for cooking dinner. The above photo shows the red Galena brick walls so prevalent in this area. The images are of the flooding this town experienced in 2017, artfully snapped by our young landlord’s mother, Michelle. You can find her photos at Michelle Deiter Photography.
As I've mentioned, dining options were limited, but the De Soto House and it's three restaurants (for breakfast, lunch and dinner) were open! So, after taking pics of their stunning decor, we settled into a lovely meal, COVID precautions in force. Below is a slideshow of other interior images . . .
The Reason for the Season
I trust you are able, even in this season of lockdowns and political unrest, to find peace and joy - and hope. Immanuel - God is with us - in His Son, Jesus Christ. We need never fear, for He sees the past, the present AND the future. He is in control, and has a purpose for everything that comes into our lives. And someday, He will reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords!
May you and yours have a Blessed and Merry Christmas and a Happy, Joy-filled New Year!!
CONTENTMENT: Is it Possible?
Oh. I must catch my breath! Did I truly see such a magnificent creature and live? I paled. My heart pounded as the mighty angel, dressed in a flowing white robe with searing eyes that pierced my soul.
Have you been floundering in the dark lately? Or maybe you're not aware your light has dimmed. Maybe, you are just living life as it comes, but underneath, are realizing there is something more.
I believe that's the way the shepherds felt over 2,000 years ago on the night Jesus was born. Since this is the Christmas season, I want to share a portion of my Christmas Musings written in 2012. For another character sketch in this series, here is the link for the Magi's story. I hope you are blessed by my interpretation of what happened many centuries ago and many miles away. How would you have responded that night?
Our family had the opportunity last Saturday to watch A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood starring Tom Hanks, who, by the way, did a fabulous job portraying Mr. Rogers. It would not surprise me if he won an Oscar. It helped me understand the heart behind the man so dearly loved by his young viewers.
“Words mean things” reminds my husband, when I’ve not clearly explained something, or use the wrong words in my conveyance of a concept. Since I’m an author, I know just how powerful words can be. And surprisingly, so are mere letters.
How many times do we let our minds wander, for no good purpose? Unfortunately, it commonly occurs while we are listening to a sermon. Or a lecture. Times when we need to be paying attention. Last Sunday, I was guilty of that very habit. But it lead me to a treasure to ponder. My mind went from wandering to pondering. And then, it ended in wonder. A perfect state to be caught in during the Christmas Season.
From wandering to wondering. The letter “O” made all the difference. . .
Minimalism: Maximum Simplicity
I don’t know about you, but I have too much stuff — on the inside and outside. In my house. On my schedule. Swirling about in my head. I'm a Minimalist wanna be.
When I stopped in World Market the other day, I was bombarded with colors, shapes, scents and clutter. A good kind of clutter, but clutter none the less. Materialism at its best.
Since my debut MG historical fiction, "The Heart Changer" releases in Spring of 2019, I'm capturing photos of hearts. This one above from the Market is an example.
The First Christmas Gift Givers
In 2012, I was inspired to write, “Christmas Musings” as I pondered the reason for this season. Each cast of characters, each scene of the account tells a story of its own. So, since Christmas is traditionally about gifts, who were the first gift givers? Here’s a peek into their journey. . .
My MG Biblical fiction "The Heart Changer" debuted in 2019 with Ambassador International.