River In The Rain

River In The Rain

I will be returning to Tulsa for the summer for work. This is fortunate for a number of reasons – I love the work I do and I get to spend time with family. It’s a win-win scenario. It also gives me time to prepare for the next chapter in my life, whatever or wherever that may be.

Crossing o'er the river in Bat Cave, North Carolina

April showers will bring May travels – Max and I go to the United Kingdom. We’re tentatively planning London for 3 days, then Stratford upon Avon for 2 days, then Scotland for the rest of our vacation. We will take a double-decker bus/walking tour of London, see some shows in the West End, and perhaps even eat some British food (Oh! The humanity!!!). In Stratford we will (what else?) pay our respects to the Bard and see some more theatre. And then Scotland is calling with good friends and good food. Haggis, anyone?

I’m very fortunate for all of my travels. I hope to never stop visiting new places. I suppose at some point in my life I will run out of places to go. Should that point come, I will revisit my favorites. All the world’s a stage.

Guess he kinda likes me, huh?

I must tell you all of the horribly romantic, no-good, silly man who came to visit me last week. You may have heard of him. They call him Max. He surprised me last Friday by showing up in North Carolina of all places.

We had talked in the past of doing a long distance date. I would go to a movie theater here in NC and he would go to a movie theater in OK. We would see the same movie, then skype while having dinner to talk about it.

After our shows on Friday, he asked me to pick a movie and he would go see it too. I looked up times for the town we were in and we decided on Woman in Black at 4:30.

We crossed on huge boulders and stopped to take this picture in the middle of the river.

When I arrived to the movie theater and went to the box office to purchase my ticket a handsome man in a grey sports coat approached me. I was having a bad day and didn’t pay much attention to him, until he said “hey there” in the most familiar voice.

I could not believe it! I didn’t suspect a thing the entire time and here was my best friend and confidant, showing up out of nowhere on a white stallion, looking like a million bucks, holding me up so my knees wouldn’t give out because I was so shocked. Okay, so there wasn’t a white stallion, sue me. Still – you cannot imagine how shocked I was.

“Well, forget the movie!”

The Basilica St. Lawrence

He insisted we go see it anyway. He bought my ticket and we walked into the theater and took our seats half way up and center. (I don’t know what I was thinking – there is no way I could have seen that movie on my own. I screamed at least twice.) After the movie he took me to a delicious restaurant where we shared delicious mussels and a meatball/mushroom Calzone. It was a beyond-romantic evening in Hendersonville, NC. I’m still shocked.

Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Matthew XI, 26)

The next day had hiking in Chimney Rock State Park in Bat Cave, NC and a decent ghost tour of Asheville with Andy. Every step I took was a skip.

The next morning I got the news that my grandmother had passed. I’m sad to say that Facebook was the one to tell me. It was the worst way to receive the news, but hindsight is 20/20 and I have nothing else to say on that matter. Still, Max was a beacon of light in my sorrow. Without his support, I don’t know what I would have done. We had breakfast, then Dad called and we chatted and I started making plans to return home for the services. NTC was very good to me in my grief – I am so very fortunate to work for such a great company. The rest of the rainy day was spent in Asheville – with a visit to the Basilica St. Lawrence. She would have loved that I found my way to a church that morning to pray/meditate. 

I wanted to tell her all about the Seminary and tour. I wanted her to be at my wedding. But she was so sure of her place in Heaven – I can find my own comfort in that. It is selfish to wish her to suffer more for my sake. She even said that she was ready to go home. Not home to her house in Tulsa, but home to her Lord. She’s leading the choir by now, if I know her, and I think it’s safe to say I do. I sure to miss her though.

Anyway, it was good timing for Max to join me for a number of reasons. Thank you all for your kind words and thoughts during this time. Most of all – I love you, Dad (since, let’s face it – you’re probably the only one reading this. And it’s true anyway so I may as well say it.)


Flying Home

Flying Home

It has been a very strange turn of events that found me here, 30,000 feet above the ground. It was a long journey home to celebrate the life and grieve the loss of our very own Martha Blackmore. Her entire family was there to go through this difficult time together.

I return to North Carolina with a cross to bear, but I don’t bear it alone. I will tell her story early and often. If you’re the praying type – send some words upstairs for Roy, Phil, Tim, and Mark. Thoughts for the rest of the Blackmore Clan wouldn’t hurt either. We’re all doing the best we can, but we need some help.

Dear Old Shiz

Dear Old Shiz

Today I took some time to visit the Cincinnati Christian University.

I can't tell you how proud this makes me.

In the 40’s, both my grandparents attended what was then called the Cincinnati Seminary. Later, in 1977, my uncle Mark graduated from the same Seminary. I have heard countless stories from the whole family about the seminary and their days there. Grandma Martha would tell me about her work in the music hall, which was having auditions while I was visiting. Grandpa Roy also had several stories about the Seminary on the hill. My own dad attended in ’67, but transferred to OU shortly after. My favorite class from his time here was a 3 credit hour class called “Christian Manhood.”

Armed with all of this knowledge, I visited the seminary to see what there was to see. I was awarded with the following sights:

I sent the pictures to my Dad who was with Grandpa Roy. I hope they gave him a smile – as I know that my Grandmother has been admitted to the hospital today. I asked Rachel, the kind administrative assistant who helped me find everything, to pray for them. Walking the grounds was like walking in their footsteps. Like Grandma said when I last saw her, it was like looking in a mirror of another time.

90 years young, Grandpa and grandpa on a recent visit

I’m Still Here

A good day

Martha, my grandmother on my father's side.

This woman has seen 90 birthdays. Well, 91 birthdays if you count the actual day of birth, which she does. Up until today she would always say “I’m in my 90th year of life” – as if she was fooling us into forgetting that she was 89. I suppose today she’ll tell me it’s her 91st year. She would be correct.

Mom asked me to go to Mardels before joining the whole family for cake at the hospice. She wants me to pick up some sort of stuffed animal for her. It’s the very least I could do. I wish I could do more.

You know who does it all? My dad.

So we’re meeting the whole Blackmore clan at 4:30 for cake and celebrations! 90 years! Holy smokes!

It’s Tuesday and I’m still in Tulsa. Today is dedicated to family, tomorrow is to friends, Thursday is for myself – and then I’m in a plane on Friday morning. #ohmygodimsonervous #whouseshashtagsinblogs #thirdhashtag