Dates · Refreshment in marriage · The Scenic Route

Stress-Reliever Scenic Route Date

I’m so thankful for a husband who is my sounding board. He listens so patiently as I share the things that are burdening my heart. This week I said,

I’m feeling really stressed over several things that are coming up in the next few weeks. I’m really going to need your help to think right!

He nodded, knowing already the truth that I had just shared. He lives with me. He knows what triggers my wrong responses.

That night after supper, I asked if we could go for a ride. We live in the country, and we often just hit a country road, enjoy the scenery, watch the sun set and come home refreshed. We jumped in the car and he headed towards the interstate. Hmmm, this was no “drive in the country – I sensed we were having a Scenic Route Date/Adventure!” We headed towards Bristol, Virginia, about 30 minutes from where we live.

After driving into town, we headed downtown where all the cute shops are, but also our favorite local bakery – Blackbird Bakery! Excitement was building!!!

Blackbird Bakery (@blackbirdbake) | Twitter

Dale parked along the street and we made our way into the bakery where we carefully deliberated over their expansive dessert selections. Their donuts are outstanding, so my husband had one with Peanut Butter filling and a Chocolate glaze. I enjoyed a cute little chocolate tart filled with a light, fluffy mousse and topped with a raspberry.

20181023_170044_large.jpg - Picture of Blackbird Bakery, Bristol -  Tripadvisor
Here’s the Mousse I enjoyed.
(Picture from Blackbird Bakery site)

Taking our treats to a small table, we settled in where we carefully enjoyed each bite of our treats. Then my husband pulled a small cardboard box out of his pocket that contained a game. My heart melted at the fact that he had thought ahead to bring a game! It was Scrabble Slam! A card version of Scrabble. It’s face-paced and of course, “wordy” and so much fun. We played the first round. I won. The second game delighted him because he beat me! So of course we had to have a tie breaker!

Scrabble Slam Cards

We were there about 45 minutes before we headed towards home. It was such a fun time, and a great diversion! I enjoyed it so much that I failed to even snap a picture! The date was relatively short and very low-key, but it was just what I needed, and just what our marriage needed. It’s proof that it doesn’t take lots of planning or lots of money or time to invest in your relationship. It was also a reminder to me about how much I need my husband and what a treasure he is to my life!

Oh, in case you’re wondering about the tie-breaker Scrabble Game, let’s just say, it was close, but my love for words won out!

What fun, yet simple outing could you and your spouse enjoy this week? Perhaps he’s the one who is a little stressed. Your response to him could be the blessing my husband’s thoughtfulness was to me. Take the Scenic Route and enjoy a simple date together!

Refreshment · The Scenic Route · Winter

Beating the Winter Blues

The winter blues are a real thing and I find it crucial in the middle of these winter months to make special effort to stay encouraged. Simple pleasures can go a long way in perking up my dreary spirits. Here’s a sampling of some of my recent winter day activities that helped beat the blues.

The best way to defeat being down is to have my heart lifted up through the Truths of God’s Word. This year I’m reading through the Bible using a chronological plan. Already I’ve seen new truths, been comforted about God’s care and presence, and have been reminded that God always has a plan for every person in every situation. That means right now in 2021, during a pandemic, on a dreary winter day, He is at work!

My husband and I played a round of Rummikub on Sunday evening. It was a cold night, so we set up a small table in front of the fireplace and enjoyed the warmth of the fire while we played. It was warm, it was fun, and we had time together!

We had a sunny day this week and I was determined to make the most of it. This was my radio recording day, so I headed out early so I could get my Jeep washed and also do a little shopping beforehand. It was a needed morning out!

I’ve been working on redoing our family room since September and the last piece of furniture I need for that room is a love seat. I’ve been looking for months and just couldn’t find what I wanted. We took a drive to Greeneville, TN to Robert’s Furniture Store and I found this lovely piece that is going to be perfect in my newly decorated space! It will be delivered later this week and I can’t wait. I am going to paint a wall, then I’ll be anxious to make a reveal here on my blog!
If you’re in East Tennessee, you need to visit Robert’s. It’s a locally owned business with the sweetest people and quality furniture. I can’t say enough about our experience with them!

Doing what we love, my husband and I took the scenic route through the country to go to the furniture store. The views are so pretty and the drive just made my heart smile! The sky on the way home was gorgeous…

I also spent some time in the kitchen this week. I’ve made several new recipes for supper, baked some bread, made more Rice Krispy Treats (for our small group) and also some Chicken broth in my crock pot. It feels good to be productive in the kitchen!

I pray that your winter days are being filled with blessings that you recognize as gifts from God’s hands. He’s the giver of them all.

P.S. I mentioned my radio recording – in case you don’t know, I do a daily broadcast on a local radio station. My church has all the recordings on their website. I linked it earlier and I’ll link it again, here, in case you’re interested. There’s a plethora of subjects from character traits to homemaking advice. Each broadcast is 15 minutes long. It is aired each week day on WHCB at 2:30 (recently changed) and on Saturday at 3:45. This is a ministry that the Lord placed in my lap, and I feel like the most unlikely person to be on the raido! There are days I wonder if anyone hears it, but I j ust know that I’m obeying the Lord in His direction in my life. So there you have it. If it can encourage you, than I’ll rejoice!

Tell me about one of your activities that helped you beat the winter blues!

Stay refreshed this winter,

Marriage · Refreshment in marriage · The Scenic Route · Winter

Winter Vacation on the Scenic Route

Most people probably only think of a beach vacation when the temps make the thermometer and your face equally red. But I’ve learned in the last two December’s that being at the beach when it’s cooler is a blessing! My husband and I went to Hilton Head last December and loved it. Here are a few reasons I love the beach in the winter…

  • It is the perfect respite after a very busy fall season and before Christmas arrives.
  • It’s not sweltering!
  • It’s much more modest (see bullet above!)
  • You pretty much have the beach to yourselves!
  • The cities are quiet.
  • It’s so restful!

After our first winter beach trip, we decided that we needed to consider vacationing before Christmas again so we could enjoy all those benefits. That’s exactly where we’ve been this past week. Due to the cancellations caused by Covid this year, our plans were held very lightly in our hands. We knew only the Lord would keep us well and allow us the blessing of traveling to another state for vacation. What a gift this week has been!

If you have been following my blog for long, you know that one thing my husband and I enjoy doing as dates is traveling on the Scenic Route. We enjoy taking the side roads and stopping along the way to enjoy the sights that pique our interest. Yes, it takes longer, but we love making a memory while spending time together.

Here’s a little window into our Winter Vacation on the Scenic Route ~

We both loving walking/running on the beach. Though we don’t stay side by side, we stay in touch with one another and love that we share the love of outdoor exercise.
We try to catch the sunrise every morning. The blessing of winter sunrisew is that they’re a little later than summertime! This one came up at a little after 7:00, meaning we could sleep in a little!
We had so much fun one day when we got to have lunch with new friends that we met this fall. We spent several hours in fellowship with them and it was so refreshing and encouraging!
We love visiting churches when we are on vacation. The church we visited last Sunday had communion, giving us the blessing of sharing this time together. Since Dale is a pastor, we seldom get to share this ordinance side by side! It was sweet.

Our time away simply allowed us to be together…our favorite thing! We don’t need to be entertained, we just like being with one another. We may sit in the same room in silence as we each work on projects, but we’re okay with that because we’re together. We do spend time chatting about upcoming decisions, God’s Word, plans for the future and memories from the past.

We’ve created some new memories this week on our second winter beach vacation and we are grateful for each part on the Scenic Route!

Have you ever vacationed at the beach in winter?

Refreshment in marriage · The Scenic Route

Stay-Cation on the Scenic Route

Dale and I have enjoyed a few days of a “Stay-cation” this week, meaning we have taken some of his vacation days to travel locally. What a blessing it has been to take some day trips and see sights in our area. Of course, you know we didn’t take the main roads! We traveled so many curvy country roads I didn’t regret not getting passes to Dollywood this summer! =)

One day trip took us Midway, Tennessee where we visited this lovely covered bridge. It was so quiet there. We sat on a large rock near the bridge and just listened to the water and the stillness.

While winding through the scenic routes, we were greeted with some incredible rainbows! We saw them spanning mountains, reaching over lakes and embellishing country churches. They were breathtaking…

Watauga Lake is about an hour from us and has become a favorite spot for a picnic or just sitting and watching the boats.

As you can see in these pictures, we’ve had some awesome times together this week on the Scenic Route “Stay-Cation!” We’ve listened to CD’s as we traversed the country. We have eaten simply, but well. We have read Scripture at a picnic table, sat quietly with no words, and also bowed our hearts and heads together in prayer.

Sometimes the Scenic Route is so very simple. It reminds me that just like we “stayed” close to home, we want to “stay” in love and close to one another. It doesn’t necessarily have to cost much in terms of money, but it costs in relation to being intentional – just doing it!

So, I ask you, what simple thing could you and your spouse do even this weekend? Just the two of you!

Is there a local spot you could enjoy together? A lake? An historic spot you’ve not visited? A country road you’ve never driven? Why not pack a simple picnic lunch and head out in the near future? You might have so much fun you’ll forget you missed this year’s destination vacation!

Refresh your marriage with a Stay-Cation on the Scenic Route!

For other Scenic Route dates look here and here for starters!

Refreshment in marriage · The Scenic Route

Travels on the Scenic Route

Taking the Scenic Route in marriage is not just going the long way to get somewhere, it’s being intentional about spending time together as a couple. It’s about doing something on a whim. It’s about being two, but one…talking, sharing time, making a memory and adding to the blessing of your marriage, all while perhaps also taking a long or new path to get to your destination.

We’ve had lots of home scenic route journies during the Coronavirus, but what a blessing to be able to make a quick trip to Kentucky this week to visit my parents and also take the scenic route! My husband and I wanted to go see my parents, but didn’t want to stay “with” them, due to Covid 19. Though it was odd to just go up for the day, I was thankful to get to be with them in their home for lunch, and then have the blessing of taking them on a country drive!

My husband has a sixth sense about directions. He just took a back road and got us exactly where we needed to end up! He’s pretty amazing! My parents live near Lexington, Ky in the beautiful rolling hills. Our drive took us past some lovely horse farms and acreage.

Central Kentucky

When we finished our visit and left my parent’s home, we headed to Berea. We could have stayed at a chain hotel, but taking the Scenic Route led us to stay at the historic Boone Tavern. It’s so quaint and lovely. It was quiet (well after the protesters were sent home) and we enjoyed our stay!

Outside Boone Tavern

We could have gone to Cracker Barrel and had breakfast, but taking the Scenic Route led us to eat at the Tavern. It was so delicious – albeit, quite different, due to the Coronavirus’ restrictions. The food was still superb and the service top-notch!

Pardon the funny expression on my husband’s face, I think I caught him between words! Dale was reading some Scripture to me while we enjoyed our coffee and waited for our food.

When we left Berea, Dale decided to hit the scenic route and drive over Clinch Mountain instead of our normal route. He had heard about its beauty, and also a quaint place we could get a late lunch in an article in Blue Ridge Magazine.
The Clinch Mountain Lookout Restaurant was obviously right in front of the mountain views! The Scenic Route led us to eat our delicious hamburger outside where we could enjoy the scenery!

This was our view from our outside table!

It took a little while for our meal to be prepared, but that’s one thing about the Scenic Route – you have to take time to slow down. While we waited, we sat in the porch swing overlooking the mountains and the lake below. We certainly couldn’t complain about that!

The burger was worth waiting for…

We always split a meal – and half of this lunch was plenty! We had a Dr. Pepper Burger. It had pepper bacon on it and a coffee rub. Wow!

We made some good memories, we got to slow down, we found a new restaurant to eat in, and we learned a new route we’d love to travel again! These are all perks of taking the Scenic Route!

This weekend when you and your spouse head out, why take the straight path to your destination when you could have taken the Scenic Route? You’ll be glad you made the effort!

If you enjoyed this post, you can see other Scenic Route trips here, here, and here for starters!