Over the past couple of weeks, I've been doing a lot of remembering. I made a trip to Jacksonville to visit with several of my friends. I stayed with a friend, Rita, who I've known for over fifty years. I also stayed with my friend, Brenda, with whom I've been friends since the 1980's. The graphic above is so appropriate, isn't it? I was blessed to stay in their homes and talk about old times and about all of the ways God has worked in our lives over the years. It was a precious time.
While at Rita's beautiful home in the country, I had to take a pic of this cabinet. Isn't it lovely? I could paint one like this. (But will I?) So much on my plate right now...but perhaps later.
While on Rita's side of town, I met up with sixteen more of my friends. We usually get together when I make a trip to Jacksonville. We call ourselves the Lee Laffies because we have so much laughter! We had a blast, as we used to say in high school. We've been friends for fifty years and will celebrate our fiftieth class reunion this summer. How did we get so old and yet still feel like teenagers? And why didn't their hair get gray like mine? Hmmm....only their hairdressers know for sure. That's another old saying we remember from the past.
Of course, I made a trip to my favorite happy place. I spent an afternoon going through the floor-to-ceiling stacks at the Chamblin Book Mine. This place is the size of a big grocery store -- with rooms added on. It's amazing. I found a copy of The Secret Garden, illustrated by Tasha Tudor, that I'd been wanting. What a find, for only $6.00! It even has a ribbon place marker. I bought the book because it was a childhood favorite of mine. I wanted to re-read it because I recently attended a theatrical production which was NOT as I remember it. I'll do another post on that in the future that I think you will find very interesting.
I drove through my old stomping grounds in Riverside-Avondale to see the historic homes and gorgeous moss-draped oak trees that I remember so fondly. Jacksonville has some really beautiful areas on the Westside. We used to call it the Bestside years ago.
My friend, Brenda, lives on the southside and I love staying at her condo. She lives on a small canal with deep woods along the banks. It feels like you're out in the country even though it's in the middle of the city, with businesses and traffic galore. I love watching the birds there and caught a great photo of this family of snow geese. There were five little babies.
I call Brenda the hostess with the mostest because she has the gift of hospitality. She also has the gift of making friends, getting them all together, and creating a wonderful atmosphere of inclusiveness and love among them. I met eight of her other friends on this trip. Where she lives, they have a community get together on Monday nights called Happy Hour for Happy People. They eat a meal and play card or board games together. Great fun!
On my way home, I stopped by Trader Joe's, which I love, love, love! I keep praying we will get one nearer to us. I always love their flowers and bought a hyacinth to grow indoors.
Jem and I went to the Vietnam War Memorial in Melbourne this past weekend and remembered those who lost their lives in that terrible war.
The memorial has a replica of the Vietnam Wall in Washington, DC.
Jem pointed out the names of many comrades he served with in the 101st Airborne.
So many lives lost. Sometimes remembering is sad, but it's important. These men stood up for freedom. They died for the people of Vietnam, and I thank God for their willingness to lay down their lives. I often wonder if the current generation has that kind of love and commitment to our beloved country and to those oppressed in other countries. I pray they do, and I pray they never have to. I thank God for those currently serving in our military. God bless them and keep them, I pray.
Recently, I had my nails done at a Vietnamese salon. I told the young nail tech that my husband had fought in Vietnam. She didn't even know what I was talking about. Isn't that sad? It underscores the importance of remembering and teaching history to the young men and women within our circle of influence. Did you know that the Civil War history is no longer being taught in some of our local schools? It's important to remember, even the painful things, lest we forget. Let us all take that to our hearts, Gail-Friends.
What are you thankful for this week?
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OVER THE MOON LINKY PARTY!