On a lighter, personal note …

My husband and I just returned from a small vacation, which was a blessing in SOooo many ways!  To think our original plan was a trip to New York City this past week!!  But, before I write anything more, I want to share with all who live in the midst of Sandy’s path, that you are in our prayers … prayers for provision, safety, renewed hope, peace and the grace to stand strong through the rebuilding.

“…Be merciful and gracious to me, O God, be merciful and gracious to me, for my soul takes refuge and finds shelter and confidence in You; yes, in the shadow of Your wings will I take refuge and be confident until calamities and destructive storms are passed…”  Psalm 57:1

And maybe because of the storm named Sandy, so close to our home, I am even more focussed on thanking God for our blessings … not wanting to take anything for granted!  First, we were blessed to have the health, ‘time’ and ability to afford a get-away to Niagara Falls in Canada!  And, though our journey may have been filled with rainy, cool days, we were blessed to see God’s creations, beautiful color and magnitude!

End of season color, despite the rain!

The magnitude of the Falls!  The power!

Looking back at this week, we thank God for all that is good, for example:

  Our first overnight in a little town of Geneva, NY and finding Belhurst Castle on Seneca Lake!   While waiting for our dinner reservations we witnessed a flock of geese flying in formation, landing on the lake and clustering together like a big, happy family.  And, oh …. once in the restaurant, we enjoyed the most exquisite dinner we had the whole trip!  I love it when we just randomly find these gems!
  The Butterfly Conservatory in Niagara Falls, with its large variety of butterflies flying freely, even landing on us!  Such a sense of peacefulness, warmth and safety while we walked through the ‘rain forest’ environment, careful not to step on any unique, beautiful butterfly.  And, oh yes, grateful that as it poured outside and we needed to wait for the WeGo bus, the little coffee shop was open ~ and though it closed shortly thereafter, they allowed us to stay until the bus came!  We thank them!
  A nostalgic ‘trip’ for me as we toured a Belgian brewery and found it had a little restaurant serving Belgian food!  Frites, carbonades and Cote D’Or chocolate … oh, given I was raised in Belgium, this felt like home for a moment.
  An overnight stay in Cooperstown, NY … we arrived just in time to see the children and families trick or treating on the main street.  It felt like we went back in time ~ the store merchants open and giving out treats to the little ones, all decked out in their costumes. Everyone seemed to know each other by name, and then, all of a sudden the children/families formed into a parade down the main street!  It was precious, as I could imagine our grandchildren enjoying the safety and joy of being in town for such an occasion.  My least favorite holiday all of sudden gained a sweet, old-fashioned memory!  Followed by the little boy in my husband enjoying the Baseball Hall of Fame the next day.
  Grateful that our families who live in Massachusetts were not impacted by the storm;
  And, of course, grateful for safe travel ~ dry roads for most of our travel, no traffic, rest stops exactly when needed, and a car that ran flawlessly!

Given the forecast and storm, I couldn’t help but thank God for all the blessings we experienced, those mentioned and hundreds more!  God is good and we are so very blessed.  God gets all the glory for HE is a good God!

“… Give praise and thanks to the Lord of hosts, for the Lord is good; for His mercy and kindness and steadfast love endure forever!”  Jeremiah 33:11

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