Most of the photos here at Rabbit Run Cottage
can be enlarged just by clicking on each one!
There you go...see? Easy!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Stillness In The Late Afternoon Chill

It was a cold day but I love the paraphrase Rhoda Morgenstern, "I like the cold, I figure I keep better!" And on a day like this, a walk was in order. I love to get out and take little strolls around my small town. There are so many lovely old stone houses, some that are now sweet shops, some museums and even more that are still private residences. I also stopped by Benham Grove.

Benham's Grove is situated on land that was originally part of a 50-acre farm owned by Aaron Nutt, one of the founding fathers of the City of Centerville, and transferred to his son in 1813. A later owner of the farm, Lawson Allen, sold the 10-acre tract that would become Benham's Grove in 1843.

In 1844, Joseph A. Benham, prominent Centerville merchant, acquired the property at an auction. Benham built the present farmhouse on the tract about 1885. In keeping with its rural setting, the house was built in a less ornate, more functional Victorian-era style that relies on subtly elegant details.

My city purchased the property in 1991. After renovations, the facility opened in 1992 as a community gathering place. It is a popular site for weddings and parties of all sorts. You can see why!

The last golden leaves of Fall... Beauty is found in each of the four seasons. And there is one of those beauties now!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

27 Years And It Feels Like Yesterday!

Happy Anniversary to a wonderful couple! Drop by Claire's and wish Mike and Claire a blissful 27th!

The Navy, It's An Adventure For The Spouses At Home...

...but filled with warm memories and smiles even in the midst of loneliness. Our wonderful Sandi, a superb writer with a lot of heart, is someone you should all visit! Sandi has a post today about trees: artificial or real. Her post relates a story about being a Navy Wife and the pain of having your loved one away for the holidays. I think she will understand my borrowing from her and writing about one of our Christmases apart. As you will read on Sandi's "Holding Patterns" site , being a Navy spouse is tough duty. Most people know about the times when the ship is away due to war but even in peace time, the ships can be gone for months and months doing work ups (practice runs for upcoming cruises) or cruises. They often go away for days and weeks even when they are out of the cruise rotation cycle. It is a bit easier in today's Navy but Sandi and I well remember a time when there were no ship to shore calls home and no Internet service. Mail was sporadic at best and we only had the Red Cross wire service to rely on when a family member had an emergency. Bill was a flier so, even when the ship was in port, his squadron often was sent away to work on their air skills. To say it in simple terms, he was gone far more than he was home for years. It was terribly rough on him, it was Hell for me. I missed him desperately and often had no idea when he would be home. The guys were kept busy with work while the wives at home (Back in our early years it was all *wives who wait* as no women were aboard an aircraft carrier. That has changed now!), who were often under employed or stayed at home due to family responsibilities and moving so often, had more time on their hands to worry and fret. The families back home have to deal with the day to day issues, the parents & the in laws back home, the children, school, work, house, pets alone. All of the financial responsibility falls to the spouses at home. The house and car always develop a problem that must be dealt with and the children often have health issues to face. And the spouses do it all alone. Now, I am not complaining about everything! Nope. I became pretty good at bank issues and buying and selling houses. I handled car dealers and stood up to repair people who thought they had a dumb little blond to smooth talk. It was a skill I learned, under fire, so to speak. Believe me, I think old man Murphy wrote his *law* after watching military spouses. As soon as the service member leaves, chaos reigns! Dishwashers leak, car batteries die. Children develop pneumonia, grandparents pass away. It never fails. I survived hurricanes, tornadoes, roof leaks, car accidents, adoption proceedings, family members illnesses, births and deaths, triumphs and tragedies, Easters, Christmases, birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine's Days...all without the man I adored by my side. When he returned, Bill would feel so guilty but he did not needed not to be. It makes you stronger as a person and I always felt much sorrier for him. He missed out on so much . This brings us to my Christmas story. It was 1990. We became parents for the first time that April. Our son arrived from Korea and, with Murphy's Law fully engaged, Bill, as sent away in May. He was gone most of the Summer. I had a new 8 year old son who spoke no English and had severe dental problems and eye troubles. It was quite the busy Summer! Still, I found happiness. I was delighted to be a Mom after so many years of waiting. I loved our new son so and I was there to read bedtime stories each night and tousle his hair as I woke him in the morning. We got into our routines and had great fun together. I got to see his growth and changes each new day. It was Bill for which I ached. Bill and little Danny. The poor child had longed for a Daddy and his new one was so far away. We all looked forward to the upcoming Fall when we would be together again. The ship was due to be dry docked and Bill would be home for months. Blissful, long and sweet months. Then, as old Murphy could well have predicted, Iraq invaded Kuwait. With only a few days notice, Bill's carrier was dispatched to the Persian Gulf where it would remain for 9 months. He was to miss his new son's first day of school, first trick or treat experience, first Thanksgiving and yes, his first Christmas. Bill would spend Daniel's first holiday season across the globe preparing for war. He would not see Dan's face light up as he decorated the tree or sat on Santa's lap for the first time. Bill would miss the two of us baking cookies and wrapping gifts, singing carols in church and Dan's laughter as he watched "Christmas Vacation" over and over. Yes, we took pictures but they still make Bill sad. Uh huh, we shot a video but, to this day, Bill can not watch it without crying so it is rare we allow Daddy to see it with us. My parents and Bill's parents drove down to spend the holidays with us. My brother was already there so we had a wonderful week together. Okay, so I cried myself to sleep each night but hey! I missed my husband. The nights seemed unending but the days were filled with smiles and giggles and holiday cheer. Danny learned how to write the word *Christmas* and wrote notes to me that were hidden all over our quarters. I was still finding "Christmas Is Fun" and "I Love My Mom And Christmas" tucked away in drawers and under chairs when we packed to move the next Summer! Dan's first Santa was extraordinary. He actually spoke Korean and looked marvelous. He had heard us call Daniel by name and had one of his *Elves* ask about his history. As Dan approached the jolly old man, Santa beckoned by using his Korean name. I still tear up when I remember how Daniel's face glowed. It was a sweet moment for both my brother and for me. The season was imbued with joy, joy that I know was only there because of God's gift to us...the gift of our son. I was facing my worst nightmare as a military wife, a husband at war with no return date. But thanks to God above, I had joy in my life. I doubt I would have made it through those months quite as easily without our son. I don't relate this story now to garner any sympathy. I tell it now because we are again, still, at war. This is not a political post in any way. I will never write about my support or lack of support for any military conflict here. I simply wish to ask you all to pray for our troops and their families. As difficult as it is to have a loved one far away and in harm's way, it is doubly hard during the holiday season. My heart aches for the spouses who lie awake at night, sniffling in the dark, missing the one they hold most dear in the world. I know you will join me in praying for our troops, no matter what your political affiliation or opinion on the war. Our servicemen and women are there because it is their job and they were asked to go. It was not them who began the war but it IS them who fight it. It IS them who fight the extremes in temperature and bear the heavy weight of their necessary personal equipment. It IS them who face the enemy every day and still find the heart and charity to help the innocent citizens of this war. It IS them who endure loneliness and fear, pain and trauma. Please keep them in your hearts. But, to paraphrase the old quotation, "They still serve who wait at home." Please pray for the families who brave the separation and face the holiday season without their personal hero. Their heroes are OUR heroes. Merry Christmas to them all.


My brother and sis in law went to the Grand Canyon awhile back, you may remember. Well, we got a slide show of him doing the cheer at the rim...glad he did not step back. I get sweaty palms just thinking about it. But he is just like our Dad...a dare devil! So, GO OHIO STATE! More pictures to follow...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Naughty AND Nice? Oh yeah...

You Are Dancer
Carefree and fun, you always find reasons to do a happy dance. Why You're Naughty: That dark stint you had as Santa's private dancer. Why You're Nice: You're friendly. Very friendly.
Santa's private dancer? Does anyone know if Brian ever played Santa?? Well do you?? Nah.... Okay, so enough with the BD silliness. Well, until the next time I decide to act up. Or down. Tomorrow I have lots of pictures to share. And no, none will be of my date with Brian. Really, And you look so demure...I am surprised by such a request.

It's A Date!

From the TCM website:
Brian Dennehy has maintained a strong presence in film, theater, and television for three decades. He has twice won the Tony Award for Best Actor: honored for playing James Tyrone in Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night, and for playing Willy Loman in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman. Dennehy also won The Golden Globe for the televised production of Death of a Salesman. Dennehy has starred in a wide range of television projects, receiving Emmy Award® nominations for his performances in the miniseries The Burden of Proof, Murder in the Heartland, To Catch a Killer and Stephen Gyllenhaal's telefilm Killing in a Small Town. Dennehy has been associated for two decades with Chicago's Goodman Theatre (on whose board he serves), where he has starred in numerous leading roles. Mr. Dennehy's featured films are:
8:00pm Odd Man Out (1947) A wounded IRA man faces betrayal on all sides when the British put a price on his head. Cast: James Mason, Robert Newton, Cyril Cusack. Dir: Carol Reed. BW-116 mins, TV-PG
10:00pm Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1961) buy now A factory worker lives for the chance to have fun on the weekends. Cast: Albert Finney, Shirley Anne Field, Rachel Roberts. Dir: Karel Reisz. BW-89 mins, TV-14
11:45pm Wrong Box, The (1966) Two elderly brothers plot to kill each other for a fortune. Cast: Ralph Richardson, John Mills, Michael Caine. Dir: Bryan Forbes. C-106 mins, TV-PG
1:45am Russians are Coming, the Russians are Coming, The (1966) buy now When a Russian sub runs aground in New England, it creates a local panic. Cast: Carl Reiner, Eva Marie Saint, Alan Arkin. Dir: Norman Jewison. C-126 mins, TV-PG
So, where will I be tonight? Why, Brian and I will be watching some of his favorite films together. Uh huh. I will be all cozied up on the sofa with a cup of hot chocolate and ...okay. So HE will be in NYC at the Turner Classic Movies studio with Robert Osbourne as the guest programmer for the evening but still. And OKAY, so he does not know about US at all but hey. I will just not think about that last fact. Delusion is a wonderful thing....