Saturday, October 20, 2012

Deployment Day spent at Biltmore Estate in Asheville

Man... It's been a tough week here! First... We spent last weekend with
the Ranger. Of course, spending any time with him is our favorite thing;
however, a visit this time of year means he's deploying. For the 4th time...
Honestly, these visits are the only thing we do over
and over that never get any easier with practice!
In fact, they only get more difficult... Even when I bring him my cookies!
Our visits are always too short and there is
always something to say that never gets said...
Except of course for...
We love you. We love you. We love you. Come back to us. Please.
Turns out, Spa Boy was also having a rough week so we weren't the
only ones looking for an escape from our four walls this weekend...
So when the Jeep dealership called me Friday morning to say
that Chrysler had approved a repair needed to correct a small
defect in the paint I found and, that they'd have a loaner ready
to go for me after work, I called SpaBoy and told him we were
going on a road trip! And, the best thing to lift our spirits was a
trip to Asheville and Biltmore estate! We began our day here...
At Cedric's Tavern. Our very favorite spot for lunch!
Seeing this was a little sad though...
Because on Tuesday, SpaBoy lost one of his sweeties when
his beloved Ollie, (seen right) passed away without warning!
It still doesn't seem real... And, losing Ollie has
made it quite difficult to leave Monty alone!
So we didn't! We brought him along to mingle
with the other poochies visiting Biltmore today!
Back at Cedric's we drowned our sorrows properly...
Everything on the menu there is so good...
And, just what a foursome of sad-sacks like us needed today!
I have to tell you... Although I miss them more than I could ever
describe, I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to bring my
mom and dad to Biltmore because everywhere I looked today...
I saw them and remembered that amazing weekend we spent here!
We spent their visit this year in Washington, DC but we all
agree that another visit to Asheville remains high on our list!
To me, Asheville is one of the best parts of living in North Carolina!
We love living in the middle and we enjoy the coast too...
But it is North Carolina's majestic mountains that constantly whisper our names!
We were barely through the first gift shop this afternoon before...
The three of us began planning our Biltmore Christmas visit!
There is nothing better than Biltmore at Christmas time!
Today, I was standing in this spot when the Ranger called...
I moved over to this quiet corner where I heard him say...
I'm headed to work now so I'll just say good-bye to
you guys now... I'll e-mail you from Germany, okay, mom?
As the tears rolled, I turned around and was reminded that...
It's going to be okay...
We spent the next hour before our estate tour quietly...
Just taking in the colorful autumn scenery and thinking about him...
And, remembering that because our Ranger, his battle buddies and so
many other sons and daughters are doing that... We're free to do this...
And, as hard as it is to remember sometimes...
It is nevertheless true, that enjoying our life is exactly what
all of them want and expect us to keep doing. By the way...
There's someone special in Ranger's life and a promise was made
while he was home recently that when he returns he'll bring her to
meet us. As we toured Biltmore today, I couldn't help but think
about how wonderful it will be to bring the two of them here...
Because I'm sure they will enjoy Biltmore as much as we always do!
Something to look forward to...
That's what I needed today...
Just a little something to look forward to!
And, on the thought of one day seeing Ranger and his girl
strolling through Biltmore hand in hand, we went inside...
Oh! One thing that occurred to us during our visit today...
Was that in all our visits, we've never once
heard the organ in the banquet hall play!
Everyone we asked about it said, the organ plays every twenty minutes...
Impossible! We've never heard it... But every twenty minutes when we didn't
hear the organ play, we'd ask again. And, every time, we were provided
with cheerful confirmation that, the organ plays every twenty minutes!
As we toured, we wondered if perhaps the walls were too thick to
hear the organ from other areas of the house. But surely we'd hear
it at least once during our two-hour tour? But no. The organ never
played. On our way out, we asked again. And, again we were told, the
organ plays every 20 minutes. Ha! So SpaBoy and I stood in this spot,
right under the organ for 30 minutes. And, after the organ failed to play,
we brought it to the attention of the guide who last insisted it would!
The guide was surprised too. In fact, he remarked that since we mentioned
it, he couldn't recall hearing the organ play all day. Immediately, he called to
someone over the mic, asking that the organ be checked. Then, he invited us back
into the house with assurance that someone would make it play. And, so they did!
Its glorious sound filled the banquet hall and, the organ
could even be heard all the way outside on the loggia!
It was worth the effort we made to hear the organ play... And, we left
Biltmore confident that the other visitors appreciated our efforts too!
Next time mom and dad visit Biltmore, we'll make sure they hear it!
It's said that it is good luck to see a bride and today made
the third time we encountered a bridal party at Biltmore!
On this deployment day for our family it was especially nice to see
this Marine Captain and his radiant new bride looking so happy!
Farewell, Biltmore Estate!
Until Christmas time!
Which cannot come soon enough because...
The quicker the days go by...
The quicker our Ranger will be back home!
And, the quicker we'll get to meet his someone-special!
In the meantime, there are care-packages to shop for...
Prayers to be said...
And, thanks to be given!
If you've got them at home...
Squeeze your kids a little tighter for us!


  1. Oh Sweet Girl~
    There's so much to say I don't even know where to begin.
    You know my heart.
    You know how much I care about you.
    I'm so glad you had a nice day at the Blitmore and got to hear the organ say.
    For now just feel my hugs and know that I love you sweetie!
    Prayers for the Ranger.
    Prayers for you.
    Prayers for Ollie.

  2. I hope someday we can meet in person. You have such a gift for writing. I have tears running down my cheeks as the mom of a (maybe) future Navy officer. I enjoy hearing about your son.

  3. Sending you a huge hug. No one understands the sadness and stress of a deployment more than another mother. I didn't have a moment's peace during my son's nine months there. And so sorry for the loss of your puppy. I am also "mother" to a little cavelier.

  4. I am putting the Biltmore estates on my bucket list.

  5. Wow! What a beautiful and yet heart-wrenching post. I'm so sorry to hear about your beloved Ollie.
    I was delighted to hear about the Ranger having a special lady in his life and pray that he returns safely to all of you from this deployment. Seeing the happy bride and groom and hearing the organ are good signs indeed. Who knows, perhaps the Ranger and this special lady may be getting married at Biltmore one day ;)
    Stay strong and yes...carry one with much love and hope in your heart.

  6. What an emotional filled week you had. My prayers are with you and the Ranger for his safe return. Your post brought tears to my eyes! And poor little Ollie! But your beautiful photos of the autumn scenery made me smile. So much brilliant color. Thank you for sharing it all!


  7. So sorry to hear about your Ollie...
    Your post was bittersweet...sending you a big hug today...
    I'll keep your Ranger in my prayers along with the prayers I send for my son that is still deployed...
    So very proud of him...and all our soldiers who hear that special call....
    Your blog is touching...

  8. Prayers through tears for your ranger and all of our warriors.I don't think it ever gets easier, at least that is what my heart tells me every time another friend tells me that their warrior is leaving. Soon enough, too soon I'm sure, it will be my warrior's turn to leave... :'(

    Sorry to hear about Ollie...loosing those four legged family members is never easy.

    After seeing all of these beautiful pictures, I think my quest to see the Biltmore will be checked off of my list in the next year. Perhaps in spring...looks like a wonderful place to spend our Anniversary. :D


  9. May your time apart from ranger be swift and filled with a special spark each day. Live each day with zest. Christmas isn't that far away. I'll keep you in my prayers.
    First time poster. :)

  10. Your son is very handsome :) I also pray for his safe return, for him and ALL our people! *hugs*

  11. J, sorry to see him leave once again. As always, we pray for his safe return home to you.
    I just love this post. I love Biltmore in the Fall. And I'm sure I'll love Biltmore on Christmas. And as always, through your eyes my dear friend.
    Love to you.


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