November 29, 2004

a thanksgiving to remember

i went camping this thanksgiving. i almost didn't go. i haven't done that sort of thing since i was little. and now, i want to make it my own tradition.

it all started on friday morning. i took my new car to david's house and we loaded it up with all the stuff. it was there that i found out that instead of the six people going in the first place, had been added to and the number now was 13. pretty much everyone was family. but it was so cool, cause all the gear went into my car. david rode up with me, and on the way there we all stopped at this tunnel place. it was being built in the civil war era, and they never finished it because they ran out of money 30 feet from the end. but at the back of the tunnel, there was a ledge that everyone stood on. then we started singing. the tunnel was maybe forty feet high maybe more, and we were standing about 3/4 mile back, so the reverb was incredible. everyone that was there was in some sort of choir too, so there were all the parts, plus a bunch more. we sang for about a half hour. people would gather at the bottom of the ledge and just sit with their flashlights off and listen. a couple requested songs, and many clapped when we were finished. it is amazing to think that God can use a bunch of college kids singing in a dark tunnel as a means of ministry.

when we got out of the tunnel, there was a group of people just staring at us. they finally asked us if we were the ones singing, and we told them we were. they laughed and told us at first they thought they had taken a wrong turn and ended up with the angels. we all laughed politely, and kind of embarrassed. then we left.

it took us a grand total of three hours to get to the campsite, but we stopped a bunch on the way up. when we got there we had to carry everything down to the site. we had about two hours of daylight left to get everything set up. we had to gather firewood, but we soon realized that it was all wet, and we had to go elsewhere to find some. so david, adam, david and i all drove off to see if we could find some firewood. we finally found some in this clearing about ten minutes away from the camp. all nice and chopped up, ready and waiting for us. =) we then took my car to the fish hatchery cause we were going to hike there the next day.

when we got back, we made the fire, dinner and had an awesome time just sitting around the fire and having a great time of fellowship. it was getting really cold at that point, but i was nice and bundled. i felt like meat on a spit, cause the front side of me would get nice and roasted and i would have to stand up and turn around. my face today is peeling and when i got home on saturday i looked at my knees, and they were all red. maybe i got too done on the front! i didn't have the timer on.

about 8:30 we decided to hike, and i mean literally hike, to the bathroom and then to a place called king's falls. the hike to the bathroom was pretty much uneventful, other than david and josh running ahead and hiding in the bathroom, so when i opened the door, they jumped out and scared the poo-didly out of me. king's falls was amazing. the moon was full and was just peeking over the top of the falls. the beams were hitting the mist and creating these wonderful shapes. it was incredible. we sat there for about 45 minutes just looking at it all. it was beautiful.

we got back and sat around the fire again to get warm, and talked again. it was so much fun. we finally decided around midnight to turn in. it was down to about 32 at that point, and it was hard to go to our cold tents and leave the fire. the night was freezing, but the only part of me that was cold was my face so i just pulled my sleeping bag over it. when we woke up around 7:30 we looked at the temp, and read 28. it was COLD! but the hike to the bathroom warmed us up again. breakfast consisted of pancakes, bacon and coffee. it was wonderful. the best i have ever had.

the afternoon hike was beautiful. whenever i get overwhelmed, i just get quiet. all i could think of doing was praying, singing songs in my heart to the Lord. i can't really describe what was going on in my heart except for intense worship. i really can't put into words everything that happened to me on that hike except it was the closest i had felt to the Lord in a long time.

when we got to the fish hatchery, i realized that we had to fit 13 people into my car, and drive back to the campsite. we all fit, and someone has a picture of it, but it was hilarious. i was very nervous having all those people in there, but it worked and we got back in one piece. the campsite was about a mile away from the cars, so we were pretty tired when we got back, and famished. the cold air really works wonders on the appetite. we had beef stew, little debbie oatmeal things, pudding, coffee, lemonade, and tuna. it was amazingly good. i haven't had tuna that good in a long time!

about 3:30 we started breaking camp. when we finished and got everything in the cars and started driving away, it started to rain. the Lord was so gracious to us! we got back in about an hour and twenty minutes. we were so dirty, sore and tired, but i haven't had that much fun in a long time. david's mom had made chili for us and it was a perfect end to a perfect weekend.

i have left out so much from the story, and there is much that i wanted to say, but i am too full right now to get it all out. maybe later. =) but i hope that i can do it again, and very soon. i have found a new favorite thing to do.

Posted by hill at 09:26 AM | Comments (7)

November 22, 2004

work conversations

hill: i love the smell of hot copies.

heidi: i love the feel of hot copies.

hill: i love the smell of kinkos.

time elapse of about one minute.

hill: i wish they had an essence of kinko.

Posted by hill at 04:01 PM | Comments (2)

remove this mountain.

my mountain today is i have the opportunity of going up to the attic. now the attic is that ooky hospital green color, with puke green carpet going up the stairs and the carcasses of cockroaches lying all around. it is wood floor, with that great mouse dung smell to it. i have the wonderful chance to go and relive the past. i get to write down all the client info and case names from years and years back. we are talking sixty-five legal size boxes with approximately 15 cases per box. about 1000 file folders. then heidi gets to start in on a database of all the records. so that is my mountain looming in the future.

Posted by hill at 03:58 PM | Comments (3)

November 19, 2004

things i have done today.

climbed a tree.
scraped my knee.

played three rounds of pooh-sticks.

made two forts.

wrestledwith a four year old.

went to a secret hideout.

ate junk food.

played super smash brothers.

went roller blading (which was hilarious seeing as i haven't since highschool.) and about killed myself.

rolled in the grass, and got in a leaf-fight.

i love being a nanny, cause you can be a kid again and no one asks questions. they just pay you more. =)

Posted by hill at 04:26 PM | Comments (2)

accessorizing with chocolate.

godiva is not only useful to women because it tastes like a little heaven on earth, but it comes with really cool wrappings. last artist series, tim got us a box (a rather large one!) of godiva. around it, it had a lovely brown ribbon that said "godiva" over and over. today i am wearing it in my hair. and may i say, that i truly believe that chocolate cures a multitude of ailments??

well last night i went to artist series with gwen, micah, chad and jeremiah and i got godiva again. this time, there was no ribbon, but the wonders inside were amazing. can i just say i love chocolate? can i just say that i love dark chocolate more than most things? give me chocolate or give me death. that is what my coffee mug says. and i believe what it tells me. i truly believe it. sometimes coffee mugs have words of wisdom that we all should listen to. especially when it refers to chocolate. so if you want to get points, and crowns, give me chocolate. if you are my enemy, give me chocolate. who cares if it is a moment on the lips and forever on the hips, it is all about the chocolate.

Posted by hill at 10:32 AM | Comments (4)

November 16, 2004

my car part 2

this is a picture of my car. it isn't MY car, but it is identical except for the color. mine is a dark greenish-blue.

names in the works so far (i am thinking a boy name....unless i hear a good girl name):


(past four submitted by expressions)

please submit your opinion via this website. all entries will be carefully reviewed by the judges. the winner will receive a ride in said car.

Posted by hill at 10:35 AM | Comments (37)

November 15, 2004

my car...

i am now the owner of a '95 volvo wagon. the papers are signed, and i am driving it home in about thirty minutes. so there you have it. i will have gwen take picts so we can have a naming contest....the winner gets a free ride. =)

Posted by hill at 02:52 PM | Comments (1)

November 10, 2004

on the hunt

i am going to buy a car. pray for me. i have a certain price range, and would prefer a navy blue 1980's volvo wagon...

pray that:

the car would come in quickly
that it would be in good condition
that it would be cheap
that my insurance and monthly payments wouldn't be too high

this is a huge step for me.

Posted by hill at 09:53 AM | Comments (13)

November 08, 2004

10 years and 268,000 miles later

our van gave up the ghost. that thing had groundhogs, chickens, peacocks, children, adults, cement, shingles, dogs, cats, trees, feed, drew and practically everything else in it. mom and i made it up to ohio in great time with it. no problems, just a little oil leak. nothing wrong. then the way home! well, that is another story. we got about three hours away, and we started getting slower and slower up the mountains. 30 miles per hour. the engine was making this clicking/pounding/hissing noise. i didn't think it sounded right, so i pulled over. mom thought i was just driving funny. we got to the gas station, where the car died for the first time, and this guy told us to put octane booster in the gas tank cause it was probably the high altitude that was making it chug. we did that and nothing happened. we tried to get it started, but it just died. these two guys in their mid thirties were sitting near us in a car with their windows down, and heard our dilemma, and came over to see if they could help. they knew everything about the car. i think they had been working on cars since they were one. i wouldn't be surprised. they tried everything they could think of, and it still wouldn't turn over. finally they got it started by hot-wiring it and poured water in the radiator. they told us that we would have to stop every time it got overheated and put water in it. so we thanked them and left. we got twenty minutes away, and the car died again on the side of highway 77 this time. a little more scary. we waited about 45 min. before we could get the engine going again, and chugged up the hill to the next exit. we pulled into a gas station and this little guy came out to look under the hood. he pulled the oil dip stick and nodded sagely, and then told us to go to the napa center. we coasted into the center where our car promptly died. and this time we couldn't get it to start again. a guy, steve came out to look at it and pronounced it dead on scene. he said the heads were cracked and warped, the coolant system was practically nonexistant, and that had ruined the engine. the compression was leaking into the radiator and pushing the water out of the radiator system and was getting so hot it was boiling over. the guy steve told us that we probably had five miles left of pushing it before the engine blew. five miles down from us was a tunnel thru the mountains that lasted for a mile. our engine would have blown in the tunnel, and serious things could have happened. well steve was nice and he told us that it would be a minimum of eight hundred with just replacing the heads, and more cause the engine was ruined. we called dad and he agreed that it was time to say goodbye. (enter sappy music by sarah brightman...) our friend had made its last trip. our time together was done. well now our dilemma was that we were trapped in bland, virginia (yes folks, that was its name) and had no transportation. another guy, i don't know his name, took us all the way up to the hotel and dropped us off. it was so nice of him. mom said she felt safe cause he voted for bush and got all worked up when mom mentioned kerry. we don't like kerry. so he ranted and raved against kerry on the way to the hotel. we checked in, and were pleasantly surprised that the rooms were pretty nice, and they had tv land which made me happy. so we watched westerns, an interview with laura bush, and a crime show. then we walked about 1/2 mile to the dairy queen and got dinner. this i think was the first week of hunting season, and there were about ten pickups in the parking lot pulling trailers with four wheelers on the back. when we got in there, there were guys all over the place in camo and orange hats. all talking about their great conquests this week. ah! rural life!

dad came and picked us up the next morning around nine. he had made it in three hours. we drove over to the place that had the van, and we unloaded everything in it. when it was time to say the FINAL goodbye, daddy got all teary. he started to thank the Lord, but couldn't go on. we turned it into a joke and then he said he felt like sheffy when his horse died. that got us laughing so hard. and we drove away.

we have had that van since i was twelve. gwen and i have almost died in that van. i drove that back and forth to work. in a way i am glad it is gone gone gone, but in a way, lots has happened in that van, and i will miss it. even tho it smelled. and even tho the carpet and seats were so messed up, you couldn't tell the original color. and even tho the outside of the car had a rusty gash on the side cause dad fell asleep at the wheel and had to swerve at the last minute and knocked over a mailbox. and even tho there was a scratch the whole length of the car from me when i was learning to drive. so goodbye van. may you rest in peace, and may your trip to the happy hunting ground be a quick one. thanks for the service

Posted by hill at 01:32 PM | Comments (5)

November 04, 2004

emergency trip

i think gwen was the only one i told, well other than heidi that i was taking an emergency trip up to ohio to see my paw paw perry. he is either 84 or 86 years old and has prostate cance and bladder cancer. so he had surgery monday, and we weren't sure he was going to make it so we came up to ohio. he is doing very well and today was moved out of ICU and into a little less coverage room. either today or tomorrow he will be getting to sit up finally. to quote him and his experience, "you never know what you have until you can't even reach around and scratch your own behind." (pronounced BE-hind) yes folks, that is paw paw. i got in there and said "paw paw you are lookin' good!" ( i always slip back into the west virginia vernacular when i get around mom's side of the family...its in the blood...) he said, "hill-ry (pronounced hill-ree no "a") you know you're gettin' old when folks say you're lookin' good instead of good lookin'." paw paw has told me that ever since i was little, so i knew if he was pulling out the jokes he was going to be ok. he had a few other choice things to say, but if you want to know them, come and ask me. =) we go to see him again tonight. paw paw is a wonderful man. he and maw maw were married when she was 15 and he was 18. there is a picture of them (they had been married for two years i think when it was taken) at paw paw's graduation. high school graduation. rather frightening. he went to WWII with the rest of the boys in that day and was a welder on the burma/china/india pipe lines. he was gone for four years. maw maw waited for him and i think sent him a fruit cake that was smashed, and took a year to get to him, but he came back and they settled on the farm. paw paw bought the farm for $10,000 cash (which was a lot back then) and 600 acres surrounding it and got down to farming. one of my favorite stories from maw maw and paw paw is the day he came back from the war. maw maw heard the taxi pull into the driveway and ran out of the house. she had half her hair up in curlers, and the other half was down. paw paw said she looked so beautiful. i love that. now, five kids, twenty two grandkids (one that died), four great grandkids, and 65 years after they were married paw paw is in the hospital for the first time.

it is hard to think that paw paw is getting old, but he is still feisty as ever and i love him to peices. i have so many stories, i should do a family series. stories from paw paw. i think i might. i love you paw paw. you are amazing. =)

Posted by hill at 02:45 PM | Comments (6)

November 01, 2004


my saturday started with mom waking me up at 9:00 in the morning. that wasn't that perfect, but what she told me was. she said i didn't have to clean her bathroom and that we were going to have a mommy/hillary date. i was so excited. we decided to go to north carolina. we had to drive up thru the mountains. all the windy, twisty roads. it was wonderful. as of saturday, i hadn't been able to get out and enjoy fall, but driving in the mountains, i experienced fall to the enth degree. i opened up the sun roof, and the leaves fell into the car. it was lovely. the trees created a canopy over the car and all i could see was incredible color. nothing like the east coast, but enough to make me happy. so we were driving up and up and up higher and higher. towards the top, about 1000 feet from ceasar's head, there is a restaurant. it looked like something right out of the twenties. mom and i enjoyed a bowl of chili, and a slab of cornbread. it was lovely. they were playing dean martin, and frank sinatra. the perfection of the lunch was only enhanced by the two little old ladies talking about the movie stars from their youth. it was amazing. they were having so much fun! i thought of gwen and i in about fifty-odd years...they even looked like us gwen! =)

we then left and traveled the 1000 feet to ceasar's head. mom wanted me to see the view. when i got to the overlook, it took my breath away. all the fall colors were amazing. mom, who freaks out over heights even if there is a rail, was way back and telling me to hurry. up there at the top, the wind was whipping around me and had a nice crisp quality to it. i started thinking about the garden of eden. if the world is so beautiful now, after the fall and after the flood, the garden of eden must have been overwhelming. i thought, our God must love us so much to give us such amazing beauty. it is truly a mind boggling thought.

after that we went down into brevard, nc. mom wanted me to see a couple of antique shops there. when we got there they had the roads all blocked off and bunches of people were walking around in the middle of the street. mom and i don't like a whole mess of people, so we were just going to pop into the store and come right back out and go home. we went into the store, and the proprietress told us that at 2:00 they were having the fiddle contest for the bluegrass festival. mom and i were hooked. we love bluegrass. mom's mom and dad were both born and raised in west virginia, mom grew up in southern ohio and has grown up with bluegrass in her blood. she passed that love on over to me. paw-paw has played his guitar for us ever since we were little. he likes the ballads that were passed on from generation to generation. as he was the youngest of 13, he heard songs from way back. he has one called "pretty polly" that is so sad, i cry every time i hear it. sometime if you meet paw-paw, you will have to have him play it for you. but back to the subject. we stayed for the fiddle contest, the mandolin contest and most of the guitar contest. it was amazing. there were three young guys that played all of the instruments. banjo, mandolin, fiddle, guitar, name it they played it. i am sure that they were raised playing all of them. they were the best and won in each division. my personal favorite was nick who got up to play the fiddle. he played a waltz. he had a huge snowy white beard, and just smiled out at the audience. while he was toward the beginning of the song, this young couple in front of us got up and started waltzing around in the street. it was so cool. i wanted to get up too, but mom wouldn't. =) they had all sorts of booths out in the middle of the road. fudge, jewelry, a guy who made fiddles, some american indians with leather goods, food stands, and this one lady who is a teacher at the university in columbia. she knitted all sorts of things in beautiful colors. her name is lydia odell. she had a stand filled. and then i saw it. the most beautiful hat! it is all sorts of colors all knitted. i fell in love with it. and, DUMB, i tried it on. no, i didn't get head lice, and no i didn't get ticks, fleas or any other sort of creepy crawly thing. i got the hat. i even walked away and kept thinking about it. silly silly me. i won't say how much it cost, so don't even ask.

it wasn't long after that that we went home. it took about an hour and a half or so, but we made it. i got out my most favorite book, and went to the living room set op candles all over the hearth and lit a fire and spent the next three hours sitting by the fire, reading, drinking earl grey tea and reading my book. it is the blue castle by lucy maude montgomery. the wit that she has in her books have endeared me to her books ever since i was little. so i read it for old times sake. then i found out from drew that it was set-your-clocks-back saturday. =) that just made the absolutely perfect day perfecter.

i love you mom!

Posted by hill at 12:43 PM | Comments (0)