Miles Apart…

…but close in our hearts.

The month of November and part of October our families were split apart by work responsibilities and other circumstances. Auntie Lolo flew over to be with Jamie while their hubbies were in Arizona on separate assignments. Our grands love it when Auntie Lolo comes to help their mommy.

Everyone made the most of their circumstances.

It’s always better together.

We love it when Auntie Lolo comes to visit, too.

While our sons were in Arizona in different parts of the state they managed to drive the distance and get together for some much needed R & R together.

“Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes! It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion! For there the Lord has commanded the blessing, life forevermore.”

Psalm 133

These two with their work responsibilities keeping us apart are with us in spirit. Here they are at a marathon Lord of the Rings viewing party playing the part with their hair and attire.

Did I ever mention our daughter knows and writes Elvish. It’s a skill that will take her far in life be fun to pull out at the right times in life like a Lord of the Rings party or at the grave of J.R.R. Tolkien in 2004…Katie would not let us leave Oxford till we found Tolkien’s grave. This was no small feat! Here we are at Wolvercote Cemetery in North Oxford at the graveside where he and his wife are buried. His son is buried here, also.  Katie left a note in Elvish, (yes, she learned to write and speak Tolkien’s Elvish).

EDITH MARY TOLKIEN
LUTHIEN
1889 – 1971
JOHN RONALD
REUEL TOLKIEN
BEREN
1892 – 1973

This Thanksgiving our Westside kids will stay on the westside. Our eastside kids will be at our house for Thanksgiving along with my sister and her hubby and Jamie’s mom, also known as Granny to our Grands. Nine at the table giving thanks for all that we have been given and all the love we share.

Buckingham Palace

London Sunday 038The walk from the underground to Buckingham Palace was lovely. I thought of Ents from the Lord of the Rings.

Buckingham Palace has served as the official London residence of Britain’s sovereigns since 1837 and today is the administrative headquarters of the Monarch.

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London Sunday 023The Queen Victoria Memorial

Standing 25 meter (82 feet) high and made of 2,300 tons of gleaming white marble, the Victoria Memorial pays homage to Queen Victoria, who reigned from 1837 until her death in 1901.

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Victoria, of course, was the reason for the monument, but there’s much more to see than just the queen, who faces eastward away from Buckingham Palace with the words “Victoria, Regina Imperatrix” (Victoria, Queen and Emperor) placed below her.
On the north side of the monument you’ll find the Angel of Justice and on the opposite side, the Angel of Truth. On the western side, looking towards Buckingham Palace, is a statue of Charity. All of that is topped off with a gilded statue of Victory, sitting atop the pinnacle with a seated figure on either side, said to represent Courage and Constancy.

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Four massive lions, each with a monumental figure, stand to the four sides of the monument, the gift of New Zealand. I missed getting a photo of one of the four of the bronzes. Agriculture and Manufacture are naturalistic, turn of the century figures.  Manufacture is a tough workman, muscular, bearded and heavily muscled, wearing an apron and holding a mallet and some rolled up scroll. Peace and Progress bring us back to the classical ideal, Greek rather than Roman again. Peace recalls the summit Victory, with her light garment outlining her form, and a heavier cloak with a bold sweep over the arm and across the legs as she strides forward. In her hand, a sprig of olive leaves. Progress, a young Greek athlete, strides forward holding a torch aloft. All four figures are excellent, appearing monumental even beyond their size, and the lions, carefully modeled after live ones at London Zoo, are suitably fierce.

HT: Bob Speel’s Website

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The gates around the palace were very spectacular.

When we were done at the palace we headed out to the British Library where there is a treasures room filled with manuscripts and books and music from Shakespeare, Chaucer, the Beatles, The Magna Carta, Gutenberg Bible and so many more amazing things to see all in one large room in this library. Of course photos were not allowed. If they caught you they might just chain you to this bench!

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Back to the Seattle area…

We are sitting in a freeze pattern here. Brrr…

We had to let our Christmas tree thaw out after we brought it home today. We continued the tradition of buying a “Mystery Tree”. We don’t take the string off the tree until we bring it home and then the tree is revealed with all it’s good sides and bad sides! Kind of like us! The lights and decorations will have to wait until tomorrow. Thankfully we have a Christmas party here for our Small Group on Thursday night so I won’t put this last task off for too long. How are things coming at your place?