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Countertop Review

This time last year I was packing up our house to prepare for our down-to-the-studs renovation in our kitchen, family room, and master bath as well as the addition of a screened porch. The family room wasn't originally part of the plan, but that's a post for another time. The kitchen was where I really had to plan and scheme, and, yes even fret, to stay in our footprint and budget and to get the function and look I wanted. I love a challenge like this, though, so despite some occasional frustration with my client (aka me! ), I enjoyed the process. A key "want" of mine was honed marble countertops. There are dozens--maybe hundreds--of blog posts, articles, and showroom sites that compare various types of countertop materials and their pros and cons. I read most of them and took notes from a lot of them in the months leading up to our start date. One of the most helpful things was visiting a sweet friend's kitchen, where I was able to ask questions about cleaning, a

Oh, Charleston

Oh, Charleston. Beautiful, historic Charleston. A city that restored herself after the unspeakable evils of slavery, after war, after earthquakes, after hurricanes.

Charleston restored herself first for her own citizens and, then remarkably, for the world. She became an international destination for historians, for architecture and culture buffs, for scholars, for gardeners, for foodies, for lovers.

I wrote about Charleston a few years ago, and it remains one of this blog's most popular posts. Charleston has been a retreat for the Mister and me as well as a place our children have loved to visit. 

The home of the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston has even served as a place of healing for our family when Little had eye surgery this past fall. My heart breaks for Charleston.

And my heart breaks for the families and friends of my brothers and sisters who had met in what was probably the safest place they knew, their own church. I urge you to read each of their biographies. They ranged in age from 26 to 87. Each led a beautiful and full life of service to their God, their church, their state, their city, their neighbors, their families.

Each deserves to be remembered with hope, for the hope that was within each of them.

 As I scanned the news this morning, these AP images spoke to me of the hope that we cannot abandon, no matter how frayed humankind appears in this world at this time.

As I wrote in my last post, my heart hurts over several loved ones, yet I hope. I prefer the Spanish verb for hope, which is esperar; its translation eliminates the wishfulness often associated with hope. Rather Espero translates "I hope" to mean "I expect," or "I wait." And so, I hope. I wait expectantly.

Because as broken as I am, as we all are, we can have hope in the One who can mend, who can heal. Will this be accomplished over the whole earth in my lifetime? Probably not. Will it be accomplished? Most assuredly so. In the meantime, act with kindness, show grace, forgive, and hope.
Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31)


  1. I am an atheist. And yet I feel all your words that are not about your faith. So, a universal feeling of mankind.

  2. Beautiful post Paula...your sorrow laid bare and fragile. Your hope palpable. I "wait", too.

  3. Lovely TRIBUTE..................

  4. I LOVE Southern Charm TV show and have fallen in love with lovely Charleston. Enjoy your week.


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