Welcome to JOYFUL REFLECTIONS. My Header Picture for March 2021 shows that Spring is on the way to Tennessee!!

Monday, February 8, 2021

February is the Month of LOVE

God is the center of my life,  and I definitely LOVE feeling God's presence whether we are out traveling or walking or just sitting at home.  This picture was taken while we were walking along the beach at Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina. Praise be to God!
 

Hello Blog Friends!!!  Hope all of you are doing a little better now that we are in 2021.... What I do know is that Covid is still with us.  BUT--George and I have had both shots of the Pfizer Vaccine --so we do feel a little safer now!   We are still being careful though,  since the Virus is all around us!

2020 and now 2021 has been hard on all of us in so many ways...I'll admit that I've had a lot of 'low' days,  not so much because of Covid --but for many other changes going on in our wonderful country...  To help me get through these 'low' times,  I try to focus on things that I LOVE all around me and in my memories.  

SO--since February (and Valentine's Day) both focus on LOVE,   my post today (hopefully to make you smile and think about some of the joys in your life also) is all about things I LOVE...  When I started looking for some photos to share ---I realized that there are many many things in my life which I LOVE. I could probably write many blog posts listing more things that I love --but I decided to stop with 10 tonight.... Hope you enjoy!!


I enjoy being with the man in my life whom I LOVE with all of my being.  This picture was taken while we were searching for waterfalls at Blackwater Falls State Park in West Virginia.  This picture of Blackwater Falls was taken on 3/9/20 on George's  Birthday!!!

One of my biggest joys is being with the FAMILY.  This picture of my 3 sons and their beloveds was taken at Christmas, 2019.  Oh how I LOVE LOVE LOVE these people!!!
 
Another thing I LOVE is watching the DEER in our area especially when there are little Bambi's running around!!
I also LOVE seeing a FULL MOON over the water, when we visit Ocean Isle Beach in North Carolina.
Talking about things I love,   I LOVE our Fireplace --and we enjoy it A LOT --from late Fall --through early Spring....

 

As you can tell by looking at me,  I LOVE to eat!!!  One of George's and my favorite meals when we travel is to get SEAFOOD at Dockside Restaurant at Calabash, NC.  This meal consists of fried Shrimp and those delicious huge fried Scallops,  along with a baked potato and slaw..... YUM!!!!


Something else which I LOVE are all of our Backyard Birds.  In this picture I enjoyed watching a Mama Cardinal having a conversation with a Pileated Woodpecker!  Daddy Cardinal was watching from above.   Wonder what they were talking about?????? 


Here are TWO things I LOVE:  Sunsets and the  Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming!!!   This picture of the sunset over the Tetons was taken during one of several visits to the Tetons.


Oh how I LOVE to have FUN!!!!  George and I are always having fun with one another!!!!  This crazy picture was taken one Christmas while we were taking pictures using our tripod..
   
WELL---I could have  listed hundreds of things that I LOVE in this life--but today,  I'll stop!  I'll bet you can name 10+ things in life you love also!!!!!!  
 
Wouldn't it be great if we could keep the Month of Love  going all year long?
 
Have a wonderful Valentine's Day --and send  your LOVE all month to those you care about.
 
I need to add one more thing I love:   I LOVE YOU,  my Blog Friends....
 
Hugs,

Betsy💝💛💚💕

  

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

2020 Memories

Dear Blog Friends,  I was hoping to get this post ready for yesterday --but just didn't finish it... I will say that when looking back on 2020,  in the midst of all of the struggles,  there were some great happenings --and now, great memories.  Today I will share some of the good times in 2020.  

Beginning with the picture above:  In January, 2020,   son Mark and his gal, Robin,  treated George and me to a Night Out in Downtown Knoxville.  They first took us to a restaurant for an awesome dinner,  and THEN  we went to the theater for a fabulous production entitled  DRUMLINE LIVE...  Wow--what a great show --and evening...  That was definitely a highlight in 2020.  

 


For George's Birthday trip this year,  March of 2020,  we visited BLACKWATER FALLS State Park in West Virginia...  We hiked to the Lindy Point overlook in the park and had a great view of the gorge below...(This trip was JUST before the Covid Virus came to our area and caused all kinds of problems in our country.)



After Covid 'hit'--we didn't do much for awhile other than stay at home...It was hard since traveling and doing the things we wanted to do weren't happening now.. Even buying 'normal' things at the Grocery Stores was hard.   Those hard times --especially, not getting to be with family or friends--were difficult.   SO--for Mother's Day (May, 2020),  Mark and Robin took us to the top of a mountain (Buck Bald, TN) and cooked us an awesome picnic lunch/dinner... YUM...  It was wonderful seeing them and spending time with them that day--where we could 'social distance' in the Great Outdoors... Those kids worked SO hard to do this for us,  and it is definitely a great highlight for us, during a difficult 2020!



Through all of the gloomy and hard times in 2020,  there's one thing which never ever changed...  We enjoyed all of our beautiful spring/summer/fall FLOWERS  ---and all of them bloomed showing off their beauty despite the Covid Virus.   AND --they didn't even have to wear a mask nor 'social distance'....  ha

 


After cancelling several trips,  we finally decided to make a short trip to PISGAH INN (not far from Asheville, North Carolina) for a few days in June, 2020 (to celebrate our anniversary).  The Inn did a fabulous job of helping us to follow the rules, and remain safe.  We had dinner reservations --and the restaurant did a great job of spacing the tables out due to Social Distancing.  AND--Breakfasts were brought to our room each morning.  That worked well--and we were SO happy to take this much-needed trip.   This picture was taken from our room with a view of some fog in the mountains. 

 


On our trip to Pisgah Inn in June of 2020,  we drove on the Blue Ridge Parkway beyond the Craggy Gardens area --just to visit a waterfall which we hadn't seen in awhile... This huge cascade is named  Roaring Fork Falls  Isn't it gorgeous? 

 


After cancelling a couple of short trips in Spring,  George and I finally made a trip to one of our favorite places,  the BILTMORE HOUSE and GARDENS  (Asheville, NC) in July 2020.  We missed most of the Spring blooms this year,  but this collage shows you some of what we saw that day.

 

 

In August, 2020,  to celebrate my Birthday,  we first went to the Peaks of Otter and then to the Skyland Resort (in Virginia) --for our longest trip since Covid began.   Again though,  everywhere we went, people did a fantastic job of helping to keep us safe...  Social Distancing was well-done --and we wore masks almost everywhere we went.   We had a great time --and one of the many highlights of this trip was on my Birthday,  when we visited the LURAY CAVERNS  in Luray, Virginia.   I had been to the caverns when I was a child,  but it was great getting to go back this trip.... We both thoroughly enjoyed the caverns. 

 

 


And the BIGGEST HIGHLIGHT of 2020 for me was when George took me to an overlook on Skyline Drive ON my Birthday (August 5, 2020) ---and this amazing sunrise was there JUST for ME.    How awesome is this!!!!!  I've seen a lot of sunrises through the years --but this one has to be one of the best for me!  



1. A picture taken from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park of the beautiful COLORS;

In mid-October 2020,   George and I made our 'annual' "Fall Colors Trip"  to check out the Fall Beauty  in the Smokies (one day) and also along the Cherohala Skyway (2nd day).  We spent the night at the Fryemont Inn in Bryson City, NC...   Social Distancing/Mask wearing all worked out well on this trip also ---and as you can see by the pictures,  the Autumn Colors were marvelous this year!!!!

 


2.  The next day we drove along the Cherohala  Skyway ---and loved the Fall Colors we saw!!!  (Talk about finding the perfect day/days to be there!!!!)

 


The hardest part of 2020 was during the holidays... Covid got worse in our area --so everyone was being even more careful --including us.  George and I cancelled our early December trip to Ocean Isle Beach --which made us both sad.   AND --not having any family gatherings at either Thanksgiving or Christmas wasn't easy this year.   We did manage to see all of our kids/families during December --but that meant a lot of driving for us...

As exhausting and depressing as 2020 was,   I must say that getting some snow here on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day was FANTASTIC for the snow-lover in the family, ME!!!!!   The picture shows a White Christmas-- for the first time since 2010.  Thanks be to God for sunrises/sunsets/and SNOW!!!!! 

Most of us have entered 2021 with new hopes,  new joys,  new dreams ---while waiting  (not so patiently) for the Covid Virus to leave us FOREVER...  By the way,  George and I got the FIRST Covid VACCINE on January 2, 2021--and are waiting to get an appointment to get our 2nd shot  soon....  YEAH!!!!!!

Blessings to all for an awesome 2021... I'm not sure how much more BLOGGING I am going to do this year,  but right now,  I'm running on empty!!!!!!  I am still struggling with all of the Blogger changes --which take away much of the freedom we have of personalizing our blogs to what WE want.  AND--that has taken much of my joy OUT of blogging.  I will be back ---when I have something to share!!!  

Much Love to ALL,

Betsy💝💛💚💕