Tag Archives: family

Sunday chili lunch

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Home grown peppers that are still coming in from the garden made a colorful burst of flavor in the chili pot on an autumn Sunday.

The peppers and tomatoes will continue to ripen until the first frost. Meanwhile, we’re enjoying every last one of the fruits and veggies of summer.

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The happiest of days

[Earlier this week Mike Thomas celebrated his grandson’s eighth birthday with a Facebook post that was, quite simply, a love letter from grandfather to grandson. If having grandchildren is even half as much fun as the relationship he has with Aiden, bring it on! Mike graciously agreed to share his post that began, “The happiest of days …” Thanks, Mike.]

Mike Thomas 4 with AidenBy Michael Thomas

Eight years ago today, God blessed us with the birth of our first grandchild, Aiden.

Energetic, curious and focused – all at the same time – Aiden has a heart that is much, much bigger than most kids his age (certainly bigger than mine). He is a protective big brother, a loving, cuddly son (with exceptions, of course) and an encouraging, fun loving grandson.

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Justin popped the question, Lexy said yes

Justin, LexyJustin and Lexy
(Photo used with permission)

By Lynn R. Mitchell

It’s not every day you see a headline that reads, “Blogger Gets Engaged,” but that’s the lead story by Justin Higgins over at his JHPolitics blog.

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Katy and Colin … two years later

???????????????????????????????It hardly seems like two years have passed since that sunshine-filled September day when we gathered for the wedding of our daughter at House Mountain Inn west of Lexington in a beautiful setting among the western Virginia mountains.

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Be careful of those you trust

Jerry LesterBy Jerry Lester

Why family or friends back-stab: trying to understand why some people “back-stab” or double-cross

A backstabber is someone who pretends to be your friend, or to be on your side, and then turns around and does or says things that lead to you being harmed, exposed, or treated badly as a result of things they suggest or reveal.

Backstabbing is a form of manipulation and reveals a person who is disloyal, insecure, and very unsure of their own place.

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Robin Williams: ‘I hope there’s laughter in heaven’

By Lynn R. Mitchell

It’s 26 seconds of video that will make you smile. Can’t you just see Robin Williams in heaven cracking jokes to the angels? He said in this clip that he hoped in heaven there would be laughter (see YouTube video above).

On the other hand, here’s the closing scene from a 1978 episode of “Mork and Mindy” when Mork is giving his report to Orson. Sadly, the subject is loneliness.

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Memories: Mountain Lake still entertaining guests

Mountain Lake 1

Mountain Lake Lodge when the lake was full.

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Mountain Lake Lodge sits on 2,600 acres surrounded by the Jefferson National Forest in Giles County high in the mountains, a huge, rustic stone building with an historic background (see History of Mountain Lake Lodge) that overlooks what was once a large, well, mountain lake. It has practically dried up the past few years — the mystery surrounding that is a story in itself because it has drained and refilled over the centuries (see History of rise and fall of Mountain Lake) — but the resort remains as a hideaway for those who want to spend time in the cooler mountain temps with lots of outdoor recreational activities available, except swimming and boating.

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The sadness of seeing inside the McDonnells’ private lives

Bob McDonnell 10By Lynn R. Mitchell

With numerous news agencies covering the McDonnell trial that is currently taking place in downtown Richmond, and with a platoon of reporters sending out countless tweets, emails, blog updates, and articles about what’s taking place in the count room, this stood out to me (see A very sad day in court in Virginia by Peter¬†Galuszka at the Washington Post):

One could get snarky about this seemingly over-the-top soap opera. But no one in the courtroom seemed to be smirking.

That seemed to say it all.

This is such a sad story to hear as the sordid details of the most private areas of our former governor’s life are splashed in headlines for all to see. It’s painful to those close to him and even for those who were not close personal friends but were political allies. It goes without saying it is painful for the McDonnells.

The gravity of the statement above is that others feel it, too — a quiet sadness and a little embarrassment. It’s as if we’ve accidentally overhead the most private of details while walking past a partially open door. It’s information we’re not supposed to know … details that are only for those who are closest to the family, not news copy to boost blog readership or newspaper circulations.

Continued thoughts and prayers go to the Governor and his family as this tale continues to be heard by those in the courtroom and beyond. @BobMcDonnell #standwithbob #prayforvictory

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Deborah’s family immigration story: little has changed

Deborah MunozBy Deborah Bornstein Munoz

Gallup came out with a new poll June 27 (see More in U.S. Would Decrease Immigration Than Increase) in which they asked:

In your view, should immigration be kept at its present level, increased, or decreased?

The conclusion was that more in the U.S. would decrease immigration than increase it. Support for increasing immigration is up, yet more would still curb it.

It sounds as if little has changed since the 1890s when my great-grandparents from Lithuania faced this (see Countries and Culture: Lithuanian Americans by Mark A. Granquist):

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Late-night thoughts about Cantor, family, and priorities

Mountain laurelBy Lynn R. Mitchell

As I type, it’s past midnight and I’m winding down from a long day that ended with live-blogging the loss of Congressman Eric Cantor in the Republican Primary in Richmond. In his loss, he reached out to those in the room to comfort them (see Photos: In loss, Eric Cantor reached out to make others feel better).

George W. Bush once said that as long as there’s family, nothing else matters. Eric Cantor said the same tonight … family is everything.

And so the reality is that I shift back to thinking about family and friends and those I love. It’s been a whirlwind five days at the Mitchell household so I’m reflecting on the reality of life and five friends who have been touched the past few days by unfortunate circumstances.

Today we buried my husband’s sister who passed away from cancer. It entailed a trip to Chesterfield County last night for visitation at a familiar place, Bliley’s Funeral Home on Hull Street, where we had my dad’s funeral, my grandmother and grandfather, my aunts and uncles and friends. It holds decades of memories in my mind. Last night and today added more as we visited with family and friends from our youth. My sister-in-law was quiet and private and had a shy smile when someone amused her. She was generous beyond compare. She had been widowed at age 40 when her 42-year-old husband died of cancer. He was the love of her life and she never remarried. She was left to raise two young daughters and so she worked two jobs to make ends meet. She loved their little river house on the Rappahannock and got away whenever she could. She had four grandchildren when she died. Twenty-five years after the loss of her husband, she joined him, and so we drove in the familiar caravan of vehicles to Dale Memorial Park to her final resting place. I can just imagine the two star-crossed lovers sitting on a pier on the River Jordan as he fishes and she makes a joke about his fishing abilities. Farewell, Anne….

This afternoon our good neighbor came home from the hospital in an ambulance and began hospice care. He is a Vietnam veteran after serving his country as a 17-year-old tunnel rat in that faraway conflict. He has not been comfortable talking about the experience although I tried some years ago to coax the story out of him. He wasn’t ready to relive the nightmare of war and now I fear it will be gone forever. He worked hard all his life providing for his family and looking out for others. Don’t let the gruff exterior fool you … he’s a marshmallow on the inside. We’ve been neighbors for 14 years and I don’t want to see him go….

Yesterday one of my long-time friends from Richmond made it through brain surgery to remove a tumor that was a little smaller than the size of a golf ball. It came on suddenly and I didn’t know until Sunday evening that she had a tumor and was in the hospital and would have surgery Monday. On Monday morning, even though her motor skills and speech were slow, she called to talk with me before going into surgery. It meant the world to me because she took 20 minutes of her morning to reach out to an old friend. We laughed, we cried, and said we loved each other. The plan was to remove the tumor and she was to remain in an induced coma for two days. Thank the good Lord, she is recuperating far faster than imagined, awaking today and actually walking for a short distance. Indeed, tonight her son wrote, “Just got back from seeing Mom. She is recovering well! She says ‘I love everyone! Goodnight!’ ”

And this afternoon I got a call from another dear friend who was diagnosed yesterday with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. She’s on medication and we’re hopeful for a good prognosis after she came down with splitting headaches, loss of energy, and a fever of almost 102….

I am counting my blessings. And sending up lots of prayers. And thankful for those who are in my life, who make a difference in a my life, and who pass through my life. I’m always evaluating and removing the ones who suck joy from my life because there’s just not enough time for that kind of nonsense. The past five days have been emotionally rough but they have reinforced that I have the right priorities….

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Congratulations to one of our own

New babyIt’s a morning to celebrate new life and new adventures with the wonderful news that LynnRMitchell.com contributor David Karaffa and his wife, Katie, welcomed a new baby girl into their family to join her two older sisters. Olivia Faith was born at 6:28 a.m. and weighed in at 7 pounds 10 ounces, stretching 20.5 inches long. Sending hugs to them all¬† … there’s a new little face in the house.

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