Borrowed Blessings

It’s can be fun when you have the opportunity to shop for something sensational with someone else’s checkbook.

Recently I had the opportunity to bless a number of people, and all it cost me was gas. If you have been following this blog, you are likely well aware that we have been selling poinsettias from Sanderlin’s Greenhouse to fund my son-in-law’s upcoming kidney/pancreas transplant.poinsettaw

For the last few weeks, we have been taking orders and delivering the beautiful flowers all over the CSRA. It has been wonderful that some friends which I don’t often get to see have placed orders, and we have gotten to catch up. If you purchased poinsettias, thank you so much for your support. Continue reading


It’s Not Quite Over!

It’s not over until the last poinsettia is out of the door.

Sanderlin’s delivered the third truckload of poinsettias to my house Monday morning so we could deliver to businesses fresh from the greenhouse. I wish I had taken a picture of my dining room that day. And my living room. And my kitchen. They were all filled with poinsettias. Fortunately they were and are incredibly beautiful, so it wasn’t a bother. Except when the grandchildren went crawling between them. Apparently having poinsettias on the floor all around the dining room table makes it like a cool tent under the table. The grandkids love a tent.

Though I didn’t take pictures Monday, I did take some pictures on delivery day Saturday. Eddy from Sanderlin’s Greenhouse delivered two truckloads of poinsettias on Saturday. That’s Eddy on the left in the picture below.

IMG_4032 Continue reading

Plenty to be Thankful For

Holiday_InnOne of my all-time favorite movies is Holiday Inn, featuring Bing Crosby & Fred Astaire. For the uninitiated, Bing Crosby, spurned in romance and fed up with his showbiz career, opens up an inn in Connecticut that is only open for holidays throughout the year.  The film is well known for first introducing the song White Christmas to the world. Though the plot line is barely plausible, the song and dance numbers that showcase an Irving Berlin songbook are delightful. Later in the movie after Bing has lost the girl once again, he sits down to Thanksgiving dinner and does what any normal man alone on Thanksgiving would do; he plays a record of himself singing “I’ve Plenty to be Thankful for.”  As he serves himself Thanksgiving dinner to the strains of the song, Bing argues with the recording’s claims that he does have plenty to be thankful for. Continue reading

35 Days Until Christmas

As I type this, I realize that there are only 35 days until Christmas. I even taught myself to embed a widget in this blog so you could follow along!

While we have had some chilly days here in Georgia, yesterday I turned on the air conditioner in my home to alleviate the 84 degree heat outside.


Doesn’t seem like Christmas is coming, does it? Yet, like a train barreling down the tracks, Christmas is coming. Thirty-five sleeps. Or, is it thirty-four?

Usually, our family spends some time over the Thanksgiving weekend decorating for Christmas. It was a tradition my mother started, getting down all the decorations while Bing Crosby crooned on the hi-fi stereo. When I was a teacher, Thanksgiving weekend was a survivalist choice. If I didn’t decorate and shop that weekend, it didn’t get accomplished until Christmas break, after finals and other end of the semester obligations were complete. Continue reading

Organ Donors–Simple Math

Currently, more than 120,000 men, women and children are awaiting organ transplants in the United States. In 2012, 28,052 organ transplants were performed from 14,013 donors. Those numbers indicate that at least two lives are saved from every one donation. Unfortunately, the math also tells me that at least 90,000 people didn’t get an organ transplant last year.mark_0091bw

My son-in-law is one of those people. He is still waiting. Continue reading

Epic Fail

So Mark is in kidney failure. How did that happen?

Turns out that diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, and Mark has been diabetic since he was about four years old.

If you remember from biology or anatomy class, our kidneys have the job of filtering wastes from our blood. Wastes are small and sift through microscopic holes in the form of urine, but the larger proteins and blood cells don’t fit through the holes and so stay in the blood. The kidneys squeeze the waste through its filtering system and the waste is excreted in our urine.

High levels of blood sugar from diabetes makes the system work overtime and eventually start to leak. Proteins leak into the urine and more and more waste ends up in the blood causing the kidneys to work even harder. As they work harder, they leak even more and finally cause the kidneys to fail. You might think of a kidney being angry at Mark’s body, so it decides to quit.

dancing kidney bean-01 Continue reading

I Can’t Stop Drinking!

Recently, a young lady was overheard in a local restaurant saying to her companion, “You just can’t drink so much!” To which the man replied, “Once I start drinking, I can’t stop!”

What a sad discussion to try to avoid hearing from the next table a few feet away. Imagine the heartache of a couple struggling with a drinking problem. The problem with situations like this is we often don’t hear all of the conversation and are left to put pieces together based on what we do hear. We certainly don’t know the rest of the story.

The conversation above actually happened with Mark & Lisa recently. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, they weren’t talking about an alcohol drinking problem. The heinous substance? Plain ‘ole water. I imagine the eavesdroppers might be relieved to know that an intervention was not required.


You see, Mark kidneys have turned into a funnel with an itty bitty whole at the bottom. And, a cork is clogging most of the passage way for the water to get through. You can imagine if someone poured a pitcher of water into the funnel, very little water would get through the bottom. Most would overflow out of the funnel. For your entertainment, I have constructed an illustration of said pitcher and funnel so you can get the idea. Continue reading

Why This Blog?

Reflecting on your life, I imagine that if you are like me you hold a few events in you memory that stand out beyond the others. In my early twenties I counted those as my wedding day, and the days when each of my two children were born.


It was difficult to imagine that there would be events as significant as those ever again. As I have aged, however, I find that the significant days are less about me and more about the people that I love.

My two daughters each married incredible, Godly men who are the perfect compliment to them. Lisa’s wedding to Mark and then Robin’s wedding to Brian were so special and added to the special days I hold dear.

wedding_pics Continue reading

Dress Rehearsal

You don’t always get a do-over. Occasionally, we are met with opportunities that provide just one shot to get it right. When such is the case, like in weddings or plays or fire alarms, we are prone to rehearse to ensure our performance is flawless.

Mark at dialysis with daughters Kelley & Emlyn on Halloween Night

Mark at dialysis with daughters Kelley & Emlyn on Halloween Night

Last week Mark got a call from MCG telling him to get to the hospital. A donor kidney and pancreas were available, and the #1 person on the list wasn’t eligible. HIPPA requirements kept the hospital from disclosing why #1 was not available and Mark was temporarily moved from the  #2 to #1 slot. Mark left work and rushed to the hospital. Lisa left work and rushed to the hospital. Robin picked up their children, Kelley & Emlyn from school. Continue reading

The Back Story

Mark on the left, with his cousin Matthew on the right.

Mark on the left, with cousin Matthew on the right.

Most of you know that Mark has been a diabetic since he was a small boy. Pictured above is a picture of him about the time his family received the diagnosis that he was diabetic. In the picture, Mark is on the left, playing with cousin Matthew who is on the right, when Mark’s family still lived in England. Those who don’t know Mark well, might not even be aware of his condition since he works a demanding job, has an active family and otherwise enjoys good health. One could easily be unaware that he is diabetic except for the pump he wears on his belt providing the insulin he needs to stay alive. Continue reading

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