Cruisin’ the Coast and Cruisin’ Through Marriage

“You can still change your mind and come with us,” my husband Rick said. It was our final Porch Party before he left town. He and his uncle were driving from Atlanta, Georgia to Biloxi, Mississippi. They were taking a 1988 Chevy truck Rick restored for Uncle David to a car show called Cruisin’ the Coast.

Before restoration:

After restoration: 

They’d be tooling the town looking at 10,000 cars.

I squirmed in my rocking chair. “Thanks, but y’all go on. I’m going to be cruisin’ thousands of words at home.”

I was looking forward to a week by myself, but I felt a twinge of guilt.

Aren’t married people supposed to love the same things? 

But after 36 years of marriage, I probably wasn’t going to develop a sudden passion for cars. And Rick probably wasn’t going to enjoy cruising bookstores.

By the middle of the week, I was getting sorta lonely. Thursday night he called. “Do you miss me yet?”

“Yes. Especially in the mornings when I’m porch partying by myself. Do you miss me?”

“Yep.”

He wasn’t coming home until Sunday, so thinking about marriage and love and porch parties–the things we have in common–I got an idea.

I bought two new mugs and made pumpkin bread.

Before baking.

With yummy topping.

All done minus one piece. 🙂  

We’d have a Welcome Home Porch Party Sunday night!

Here’s a marriage hint that took me forever to learn:

Marriage isn’t about becoming clones of one another.  

It’s about encouraging each other to become the incredibly unique person God created us to be. 

*Click here for Pamela’s Gluten-Free Pumpkin Loaf Recipe. (Just use self-rising flour if you aren’t eating GF.)

*If you’re into cars, here’s an article from The Sun Herald about the record-breaking numbers who attended Cruisin’ the Coast.

Love,

Julie

P.S. Did you marry your exact opposite too?

Porch Party…Valentine’s Day Style and a GF Recipe

Every morning, my husband Rick and I start the day together on the front porch. Sunday morning at our Porch Party, I did a trial run for Valentine’s Day. I fluffed the red blankets in our rocking chairs, lit a red candle, poured our coffee in (almost) red mugs, and put out heart-shaped chocolate. I had a lovey-dovey question all ready for him.

(The blueberry muffins are gluten-free. Recipe at the bottom.)

“Let’s tell why we love each other,” I said.

He didn’t comment. Just petted Clyde, our yellow Lab.

“Okay,” I said. “I’ll go first. I love that you aren’t a whiner. You fixed the light in the well-house when it was 22 degrees outside without complaining. You’re honest. You’re funny. You’re a good father. I have lots more to say, but you go ahead. Name a few things you love about me.”

He rocked. Sipped his coffee. “All that stuff you said.”

“That doesn’t count. We’re opposites.”

“Help me out, Clyde. Why do we love her?”

I felt like Sally–doing all the talking.  Guess who was acting like Snoopy.

“Why do you love me?” I said.

“Lots of reasons.”

“Tell me one.”

“Well…you listen to people. You care.”

“Ohhh, that’s sweet. What else?”

He got quiet–finally said something. “Look in that tree. There’s a mourning dove.”

Um-hmm.”

“Hear that? She’s calling her mate.”

“Maybe he’s calling her,” I said.

“Could be.”

“They belong together. Like us. That’s what you meant, wasn’t it?” 🙂

“Something like that.”

I smiled. His feelings are there all right. He just speaks in a different love language.

Readers, how about you? What’s your love language?

Incredible Gluten-free Bluberry Muffins and strawberry ones would be even more Valentine’s Day-ish!

(I found out I have Celiac five years ago.)

2 cups Pamela’s GF Pancake and Baking Mix  (There are other GF flours and flour mixtures.)

2 eggs

1/3 cup melted butter or veg oil

2/3 cup milk or yogurt (I used vanilla yogurt)

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (keep frozen until ready to use)

1. Preheat oven to 375 and get pan ready.

2. Mix eggs, butter or oil, milk or yogurt, and sugar.

3. Add flour.

4. Fold in blueberries.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Makes 12-16 muffins.

Love,

Julie

 

 

Praising on the Patio

I didn’t grow up celebrating the seasons changing, but at three o’clock this past Friday afternoon, an idea tiptoed in. Something stirred my heart as I read my BFF’s blog about decorating for fall–a thought very different than my predictable self.

Every morning, my husband and I have porch parties, his idea. What if I shook things up and we had a patio party that night?

I called him. “Will you pick up some vanilla ice cream? We’re having a fall party tonight!”

“Who’s invited?”

“Just the two of us.”

By the time he got home from work, a wreath hung on the door, hotdogs were roasting on the grill, and I’d tried a new recipe for dessert.

 

Apple Pecan Crumb Pie

 

 

He lit the tiki torches and umbrella lights he’d bought to celebrate summer. 

 

After supper, we turned our chairs in the same direction and ate warm apple pie and ice cream. Listening to the crickets, we welcomed fall as we watched daylight softly fade into night.

Then I had an aha moment.

Celebrating for the seasons means more than shopping, cooking, and coordinating colors.

It’s a way to love others and worship our Creator.

#876 in my gratitude journalWatching the nighttime sky together. 🙂

How do you celebrate fall? And life? And those you love?

~Apple Pecan Crumb Pie~

(I added pecans and used gluten-free flour.)

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup chopped pecans

4 apples, peeled and thinly sliced

Mix above ingredients and put into a greased pie pan

Mix below ingredients and cover apples with the mixture:

1/2 cup flour (I used Pamela’s gluten-free Pancake and Baking Flour)

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup melted butter

Bake at 375 for 30 minutes

“My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” Ps 121:2 NAS

Love,

Julie

 

I’m Weird Like That

As a little girl, I went to lots of spend-the-night parties. I never told anybody, but I didn’t really like going. I’m weird like that.

After Mother dropped me off, I’d find a quiet spot in the corner and stretch out my sleeping bag. I was usually the first one to fall asleep and first to get up. Saturday morning, I slurped a bowl of Cheerios, suitcase in hand, ready to hurry home.

This past Thursday, I was invited to a big girl spend-the-night party with three dear friends at a cabin in north Georgia. I love my friends, couldn’t wait to see them, but just before leaving home…I remembered.

I glanced at my cozy bedroom, the soft glow of the lamp, and smoothed my fingers over my quilt.

I felt a twinge of little girl feelings.

Good grief. Sometimes I’m the same little girl inside. Loving my predictable routine. Help me to change, Lord.

I petted Clyde goodbye, grabbed my suitcase, and headed for the mountains.

That night my friends and I went out for Mexican. We talked and laughed at the restaurant, and back at Lisa’s cabin, we stayed up until 1 a.m. eating chocolate chip cookies. (Gluten-free with Pamela’s flour…..delish!)

I slept in Lisa’s daughter’s bedroom. She had a comfy quilt like mine and soft pink sheets. You’ll never believe it…

I was the last one up the next morning!

Here we are on Friday…me, Leigh Anne, Dayna, and Lisa. 🙂

Before we left, the four of us joined hearts and prayed.

I thought about my theme for the year.

Surrender.

Oh, the wonderful plans I have for you… God seemed to say.

You mean, like the Dr. Seuss book, Oh, The Places You’ll Go?

You’ll see. Surrender. Daily.

I’m so glad I went to the big girl spend-the-night party! 🙂

Maybe I used to be “weird like that.” But not anymore!

Do you have any weird ways  you’re working on changing?

Love,

Julie