Saturday Snapshot… #OShucks #Benches


Saturday.  I am sitting here this morning with my coffee cup and a lot of tears.  One of Justin’s good friends just posted a picture on Facebook of him sleeping.  I LOVE that these great pictures keep popping up… yet as you can imagine… there is sorrow mixed in.  My loss at times is so overwhelming.  All consuming.

Last Friday, my friend Amy and I took a little break from it all and hopped a plane to Arizona.  While it may have appeared to be impromptu, it definitely was planned around a significant event.  The dates we were gone, October 30th – November 3rd, were the exact dates that Justin and I would have been on our annual trip to Florida.  HUGE significance.  Incredibly HARD to do… yet glad I did.

For today’s Saturday Snapshot, I want to give you a little peek into our trip.  Fill your COFFEE cup.  Sit back.  Enjoy.

book journey, Arizona
We stayed at a beautiful home of a friend with this nice patio area and a pool.



PicMonkey Collage

We did a little hiking on the Camelback Mountain which was close to where we were staying.  When we went we thought it would be a nice walk with a great view…  uhhhh yeah.  In case you can not see that sign in the middle of the above collage it says:


Of course… this did not stop us.  As you can see above in the bottom right picture… I am climbing behind Amy… I told her I looked like Gollum climbing through the hills in the Hobbit movies.  😉  We went about 3/4 of the way up. It was STEEP for sure and we both would have liked to finish the climb but the sun was HOT and we had hoped to go to the Botanical Gardens and would not be able to do both… so down we went.  Hopefully we will have another attempt at this one.


PicMonkey Collage2

Then we had an opportunity to hang out with a friend, Tami, who used to live here in Minnesota and moved to Arizona.  Tami picked us up in Mesa and drove us in her cute car up the Superstition Mountain to a restaurant for lunch.  The walls were covered with dollar bills which is significant for me as this is a tradition Justin and I had on our trip to put a dollar up in a little Irish pub called O Shucks.  I cried when I seen the walls covered with bills.  We each wrote on a dollar bill and added it to the wall.  This was amazing.


So what is up with the hashtags?

I am so glad you asked!  Our first year that Justin and I went to Florida, we found this little Irish Pub (as mentioned) called O Shucks.  We loved putting a dollar up on the wall and we each did so every year we went, 3 years, and hash tagged the dollars…. #Oshucks1, #oshucks2, #oshucks3…  this year would have been #oshucks4.  I will be sending a dollar to O Shucks in Orlando Florida asking them to hang the dollar for us this year and to please email me a picture of it.  I would love to keep up the tradition.

#Benches came out of this year.  Amy and I both took a hard loss, me with Justin, and she recently lost her dad.  I have a bench in Justin’s memory at the Brainerd Library, and her dad will have one at a local park that he had a garden in.  We talked about the benches in honor and memory of our loss and in a way we were benches for each other… supporting one another and honoring the memories.  Thus…. #benches came to be and we hope that we too will be able to add numbers to it…. #benches2, etc…

I really think Justin would love that and I know he would be cheering me on… “Go Mom!  You got this!”  Thank God for Justin’s voice in my head…. Justin and I talked so much about everything I know what he would be saying now as I try to navigate my way through this new world.  This journey is much like Camelback mountain.  It is extremely difficult.  It does have loose dirt and rocks and for sure uneven surfaces. At times, it feels impossible..

but I believe I can do it.

Sheila DeChantal, book journey
Arizona 2015. #oshucks4 #benches

Stop by Saturday Snapshot and see what others around the world have been taking pictures of.  Soon I will post the food of Arizona because… oh yes, we had some delicious experiences.

17 thoughts on “Saturday Snapshot… #OShucks #Benches

  1. Now you are remembering some of the good climbs.
    My life goes on an even keel. I am starting to read some old friends. One is Ngaio Marsh. I have read all and I don’t remember the stories.

    1. As long as I can I will continue to do the things that he and I both enjoyed together. Any chance I can include him in the mix I will. I have to. Its going to be choppy here I suspect for a long while. I have many milestones to reach in this… none of which I am looking forward to crossing without him here.

  2. One thing that is interesting to me is that, though you miss your son terribly, you don’t have regrets….You enjoyed your son so much while he was with you, and you don’t wish you’d done this or not done that while he was there. That’s a reminder to all of us, I think.

    Love the photos of the hike and the trip.

    1. Thank you for this comment. I did tell my husband that with Justin, I have no regrets. We were (are) very close and I had a chance to tell him everything I wanted to. We always said I love you – I do that with both of my sons. We had a great relationship and while I wish (wish wish wish) that we had so many years more… I know I am so thankful for what we had. He was a gift and I will always love and miss him with all of my heart.

  3. I believe you can do it, too. It’s probably THE hardest thing you will ever do, but you can survive this terrible, terrible heartache. Your posts show how strong you are, in spite of your grief. Hang in there, Sheila. You’re in my thoughts in the coming weeks.

  4. Very clever of you to plan a trip for these dates — what a great way to take care of yourself! I love the hiking and learning about your dollar bill traditions, old and new.

  5. I know you can do it, and anytime you have doubts, I will be here to hold your hand and give support as you move one step at a time. I have no doubt that Justin is there telling you to get your butt in gear and keep going. Glad you went to Arizona. Hugs, my friend.

Hmmmm... what do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s