About Barbara Anne Hough

This began on March 8, 2011, and it chronicles Mom’s three year journey at Howard County General and Lorien Mt. Airy.  I’ve been posting to this blog LONGER after her death than before!    So hard to believe.  And yet, almost 40,000 hits?!  Wow.  Thank you~!  I know Mom is happy that the blog continues communications with family and friends.  She was such an extrovert and I know she is enjoying knowing her legacy of connecting people lives on!  Love, Laura


Merry Christmas Eve to all!  It is such a delightful time of year.  The celebration of the birth of our Savior.   Gift giving to symbolize the gift we all received on Christmas morning over 2,000 years ago.   A time to gather with family and friends to be together and enjoy traditions.   And the fourth Christmas without Mom.

I was reflecting the other day on how family traditions change over time.  When I was growing up, the big tradition was gift opening after Christmas Eve dinner and Santa on Christmas morning – later, there was sleeping in once I decided I couldn’t stretch out my belief in Santa any longer…  Ha ha!  After Mom and Daddy divorced, there was another phase, followed by college and my moving to Florida.  Then, there was the phase when Jim and I were married (1982-1992) and Andy was a little boy, and Christmas rotated between MD, FL and KY.  My return to MD years brought another phase with me doing much of the hosting.   Tomorrow, Andy and Nina will arrive with the grandpuppies at 9 am, joined by three of Nina’s cousins (Jessica, her daughter Haven, and Jessica’s sister, Natalie).  Then mid-day, Nina’s parents and brothers will arrive.  Supper around 1 pm.  We invited Wayne, but he wants to stay home, so Scott, Andy and I had lunch with him on Friday.  What about you?  Have you thought about how your traditions have changed over the years?

I’ve been in the kitchen for the past eight hours and am happy to be sitting down…and happy to think about how festive tomorrow will be for everyone.   But alas, it is time to head to the shower and get ready for church at 5:30 p.m.  Ahhh – the chance to focus on the real reason for the season.  No, it isn’t the solstice!  Someone said that on social media a couple of days ago and I’m sure my eyes rolled out loud!   I am thankful that Andy is home safely from deployment; that family and friends will gather in good health and fortune tomorrow, and that little baby showed up to save us all.

Merry Christmas everyone!  I hope this is a blessed one for you and yours.  Love, Laura

Hi all,

Fall transitions!  After decades of running his CPA practice, Randy Hough, decides to take a full time CFO job with one of the largest concrete manufacturers in the U.S. (in Florida).  And, after decades of full time HR leader/ executive roles with various companies, I stepped down from my job at DAI to launch an HR consulting practice in the D.C. metro area.  I can’t help wondering what Mom would think!  I suspect she’d be applauding as she was always supportive of whatever we wanted to do.  As for Randy, he just turned 55 y.o. and said that thirty years of tax seasons was enough for him.  As for me, I just turned 62 y.o. and have always had it “on my list” to consult toward the end of my career.  In November and December, I’ll put the finishing touches on the business plan I started in March, get the website developed and be ready to launch the LLC in January.  I also am working to establish affiliate relationships with existing consulting practices so I can be an independent contractor with them.

Wayne is doing well; however, having understandable sadness over the loss of Lacy (the 17th year old pup).  He misses her a great deal as the two of them had their routines alone since February 2011 when Mom went into the hospital.  We are expecting Andy home from deployment shortly, so the anticipation is building for his return, followed by the holidays.  I’ll do better about posting pictures!  Scott continues to stretch out the golf season and carded an 87 today.  He consistently shoots in the 80s (note: he gets daily practice), and actually shot a 79 during one round this fall.

I hope all is good in your world and thank you in advance for prayers for Andy’s safe travel and return home.    Love, Laura

WHAT?  I checked into today to the blog only to find ADVERTISEMENTS on the home page.  I didn’t approve or consent to them.  What does google tell me?  I have to upgrade my wordpress.com and pay eight cents a day for ads to NOT appear on the blog.  Disgusting.  That’s all I have to say.  I won’t give into that, so unless the ads are offensive (let me know if you think they are…), I’m not going to be blackmailed into having them removed.  That is all for a Monday!  Good grief!  Laura

If you follow me on Facebook, you know that Scott and I went to northeast Baltimore two weekends ago to tend to my father’s grave in Moreland Cemetery off Taylor Avenue.  We do that every couple of years and I take fresh red roses.  Afterwards, I realized it was possible to do something over Labor Day weekend that has been on my mind for several years – make the 4 1/2 hour one way journey to Scottsburg, Virginia and tend to the Lacy family graves there in Oakland Cemetery.  No fresh flowers this time.  We came up with a contraption that involved blue plastic tumblers, water bottles, marbles and silk flowers.  Scott dug holes and I did the flower placement.  Anyway, I hadn’t been to that part of Virginia since my grandmother died in the middle of December of 1982.  I was 4 months pregnant at the time.

I wondered what we would find on this trip since my research failed to identify anyone who was still in charge of running the cemetery.  We got a reservation at the Quality Inn in South Boston, VA, where my grandparents used to live, which is about 15 minutes south west of the cemetery, and we made the trip.  South Boston is a small town of just over 8,000 people.  We rode by my grandparents’ old apartment, now quite a run down property.  The Powell Funeral Home was right where it always was, and the town seemed frozen in time.  Pictures often speak 1,000 words so I will move onto those. in a moment.  Oakland Cemetery is a quiet and peaceful place, and full of moss and mold.  There are dozens of Lacys buried there, as well as those connected by marriage to Lacys.  There are eight Lacys specifically in my lineage.  My grandparents Roy P. Lacy, Alice Lacy and Edward (Eddie) N. Lacy.  Roy and Eddie were brothers and my grandmother married them both; the former marriage from 1928-1943 (his death) and the latter from 1952-1980  (his death).  Alice is buried between Roy and Eddie.  Our Aunt Lillian (Lee) was a sister of Roy’s and Eddie’s, so three of the seven children of that generation are in a row.  Then, there are Roy, Eddie and Lee’s parents, John M. and Emeline P. Lacy, my great-grandparents.  John M. died in 1912 at the age of 44, leaving Emeline, then 38 y.o., with seven children to raise, born between 1899 and 1911.  Then, my great-great grandparents, aka John M. Lacy’s parents, MT and Martha Lacy.  He served in the Civil War on the Confederate side.  We have other relatives who served in the PA Cavalry on the Union side.  Truly a house divided.  MT lived into his early 80s and Martha into her mid 70s.

Our before and after pictures follow starting with two pictures of the final work followed by the youngest generation progressing to the oldest generation.  I think you can tell the before pictures from the after pictures pretty easily.  While we were working, an older gentleman stopped by in his car to talk to us.  He’s lived in Scottsburg all but ten years of his life.  He knew the Lacys well and talked about them with honor and respect.  It was amazing to hear his stories.  Scott’s and my work was a labor of love and we were happy to do it.  I could feel Mom over my shoulder a couple of times while Scott and I were working here Sunday morning…She was smiling.    Love, Laura


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I am excited to report that I have not traveled, except an overnight to a friend’s house, since July 14.  It’s a miracle!  Ha!  It has been wonderful to sleep in my own bed so consistently and enjoy a concentrated bit of normalcy.  Today was one of those days.  Great early Hatha Yoga class.  Chores around the house.  Great massage.  Then, head to northeast Baltimore to clean off/around Daddy’s grave and put flowers there.  Since Mom was cremated and not buried, we then headed to her favorite restaurant in Glen Burnie to honor her.   We hear from Andy fairly regularly and are counting the days until his return in several months.  Nina is working as lead teacher through the summer at the Montessori School where she used to teach before grad school.  Scott’s Andy is away on a long trip on the African continent and due to return in early September to begin his new job in Chicago.  Scott has hurt his back so he has put his “sticks” away for a bit.  Of course, he won’t go see a doctor or massage therapist.  I’m sure he’s waiting for the magic pixie dust to make it all better.  Well, at least I got him to take some Aleve.  (smile)

Before I forget….our Ravens have won their first two pre-season games.  I hope your summer is going well!  XO  Laura

Hi all!

It has been a while since I posted; however, my schedule would make you shake your head.  When I posted last, I’d just returned from Nairobi.  Since then, we attended Nina’s graduation from Johns Hopkins (Master of Education)… hosted Carol and Jim (Scott’s sister and brother-in-law) for Memorial Day weekend…I had a weekend in Roanoke, VA (with friend, Cindy Coto)… there was a great week in Boston/Cape Cod (Scott, Andy and Nina)…I was in Chicago on business, and there was a lovely long weekend in Northwest Arkansas (with Scott, Kara & Mark Rago).  I leave this coming Monday for a week of training in Harbor East/Baltimore.   ALL GOOD, and yet my suitcase and I are very good friends right now.  Also, since my last post, we celebrated Scott’s birthday, Wayne’s birthday, and Father’s Day.  And, Andy began a four month deployment.  Sigh.

Maybe these pictures tell the story better.   Graduation!  Nina and Andy…Carol and Jim…Cindy and Laura…followed by Boston (Freedom Trail, Granary Burial Ground, Old North Church, Make Way for Ducklings, U.S.S. Constitution, Bunker Hill, Lobster!), Plymouth, Thoreau’s house across from Walden Pond, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s birthplace, Chatham, the Chihuly exhibit at Crystal Bridges (Bentonville, Arkansas), cooking with Kara, and WYLIE, the Rago’s cute Scottie puppy !  Enjoy!  Love, Laura

Yesterday, was a family celebration for Andy’s 34th birthday.  The actual day was Friday, May 19.  Randy and Arielle were up from Florida.  They brought Wayne and joined me, Scott, Andy and Nina at the Sunset Lounge and Restaurant in Glen Burnie.  In addition to being one of Mom’s favorite places, it was also the site of my first date with high school boyfriend, Rick Butts, before we went to the movies to see Romeo and Juliet in January 1971.  Lots of family history!  We dined in the “tiffany lamp” room which is the original restaurant, within the expansion and our party of seven enjoyed crab soup, crab cakes, chicken imperial and more in its confines.  Then, we left to go to Andy and Nina’s house.  I’d been trying to figure out how to get Wayne over to see their house for a while now.  It’s about an hour plus from Mt. Airy, but too far for him to drive on unfamiliar roads, and for us to orchestrate it by driving him would pretty much take the whole day.  This way…Randy could chauffeur and it worked wonderfully. Wayne, as well as Randy and Arielle, got to see their beautiful home and enjoy delightful homemade desserts of cupcakes, coffee butter pecan ice cream and chocolate mint ice cream.  Nina gets credit for making the chocolate mint ice cream!  And of course, Laika and Cosmo provided a good deal of entertainment.  It was a memorable three and a half hours.  I could feel Mom enjoying it too.  Once Randy sends me some pictures as he took a few, I’ll post them to share.

As for me, I’m glad to be back from so much travel.  Since I posted last in mid-April, I’ve been to a wedding in Myrtle Beach, a conference in Miami and a retreat and board meeting in Nairobi, Kenya.   Nina “walks” on Tuesday across the stage to receive her Master’s in Education from Johns Hopkins University.  Then, we have Scott’s sister and brother-in-law coming our way for Memorial Day weekend.  I have a weekend in Roanoke planned in early June with dear friend, Cindy Coto.  Then, Andy, Nina, Scott and I have our week long Boston/Cape trip June 14-21.  Hard to believe I have time for a demanding job in between all of this!  Ha!  I will post pictures of past and future events soon.  In the meantime, enjoy spring and hug your family and friends.  Love, Laura