Sunday, November 30, 2008


The catalog page below looks familiar to me.
It's how Christmas looked to me as the season began.
Staring at the catalog pages,
imagining all the dolls and
what it would be like to have them.
Each Christmas I picked one...a new doll.
These are what the shoes looked like, belonging to my new Little Miss Revlon Doll.
I honestly can't remember what year I got her. I can't factor it in. But I was young, and it was before Barbies. So, I was in the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd grade - or maybe 4th.
I named her Tammy, after the movie "Tammy and the Bachelor" starring Debbie Reynolds.
I would sit at the head of my bed where there was an open window - and I would hold "Tammy" there, in the window sill, as if she were dancing on a stage, and I would sing the theme song from that movie. I can't believe I just told that. I'm still kinda weird that way.

This is exactly what my Chatty Baby looked like. I got her in the 6th grade. I was actually outgrowing dolls, but couldn't resist asking for one. I had gotten Chatty Cathy in the 5th and loved her. Chatty Cathy is upstairs, now, in one of the bedrooms - and I still have a fondest and affection for her. I never really bonded with Chatty Baby. Sad.

This has nothing to do with Christmas, but is a picture of Charlie on a horse. With his cowboy hat. He was 4 and loving little boy things. I knew nothing about his world. We were both young once upon a time and have many many Christmas memories and stories.

It's Sunday night - and tomorrow, for me, begins the official Christmas Season.
Of course the real meaning and reason we celebrate is the birth of our Savior.
Of course. Praise Him for all that it means - all that He means - and I thank him for the magic of the season and the wonder of it all - the magic my parents created for me - the hope they demonstrated to me - so that in all of that safety and secure love - it was so natural to trust the one true God who sent His Son to take on my sin, so that I could take on His righteousness.
Praise God for all of that - and all the family he blessed me with.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Well, we had Thanksgiving.
I'll begin with this picture of Ada, who had just arrived with Scott and Laura Beth.
She's already exploring and finding things to climb on.
Ann and Steve arrived with Ellie and Luke
shortly after Lb and Scott

We all gathered first in the kitchen, naturally.
Doesn't everyone?

Sarah holding Ada

One of the tables....

....and the other table.

Charlie holding Ellie, who still isn't herself, not yet - very quiet and subdued.

Scott and Lib(Charlie's Mom)

and at the other end of the couch,
Kate, Mary Ann and Luke.

Near and Ada

and again....

...and again.

Ellie and Luke.
Their plates are not as loaded as the adults'.

Still, Ellie and Luke.

Next Day, at my house.
Ellie in Ann's old ballet dress, playing.
Laura Beth and Ann were shopping for sales in Huntsville.

Ada in Sarah's old ballet dress.

On the steps, being closely guarded.


Coming off the steps.

Luke was also there, at my house. Mary Ann, too.

Sarah and Kate were at the house during the morning - playing with the 3 babies, but were also getting ready to leave. Charlie was driving his mother back to Pensacola.

Kate was meeting someone in Birmingham to ride to Tuscaloosa - where a group would be gathering for a weekend Auburn/Alabama game party.

Sarah was traveling back to Auburn to watch the game with friends there.

Okay - so both Sarah and Kate called me a couple of times while on the road - naming things they'd left - but I always hold my breath when they call while traveling - not knowing what they'll say - big dread - wreck - and it's such relief when it's just a call about something simple.

But yesterday - Sarah did call and began with, "I'm okay, but I've had a wreck". Ugh.
She was going through Birmingham, down 459, not yet to the Summit Exit - and swerved after someone blew his horn. She had been changing lanes, failed to see the car, and he blew to keep her from hitting him. When she swerved, she hydroplaned across several lanes and ended in a ditch, after missing several poles. She continues to say it's supernatural that she didn't hit cars or objects. She was going normal speed(70) and traffic was full. She still doesn't understand how she missed all those cars. Of course we credit God's staying hand. He's sovereign, either way, in every outcome, including the ones we don't like. Several who saw it all, stopped to help her. She called 911 for a State Trooper. Both she and her car were unharmed, but she questioned getting out of the wet ditch(it was raining) without getting stuck. Over the phone I suggested getting a male who was there to do it for her. He did. She drove to the Summit, rather shaky, and settled her nerves with coffee and sitting quietly.

Plan was for her to call me when she left the Summit. The Summit is on 280 and that is a straight shot to Auburn - 2 hour drive. She forgot to call me, so I called her and she was already in Alex City which is pretty close to Auburn - about 45 minutes.

Much later Charlie called me. Sarah had had another wreck!!!!!!
In Auburn - almost to her apartment. She was on College St., getting close to where she lives, and a car didn't yield(he had a yield sign), he pulled too far out into College St, she was nervous about swerving out of his way - due to what happened in B'ham - so she slammed on brakes instead, but still hit him! again, ugh. So - she was getting a bad case of shell shock. Anyway, she did call the police - neither car badly damaged, but her bumper in worse shape than before - and the other car had a mild scratch - but she described both guys as "sketchy" and begging her not to call the police for a report - said they didn't intend to press charges - That's not what one wants to hear in that situation - since they were the ones who did not yield. She's doubting they even have insurance. We all know that technically she ran into them - so it's the car who does the running into who often is held responsible. oh well. Anyway - that was our night - that was Sarah's night. She went home and got with friends - who took her to a "light" Christmas movie. I haven't talked with her today.

This whole week has been rather unnerving - but I can't complain - We are so blessed with happy endings. And I think of all the people whose lives are in so much turmoil and the stress of illnesses and deaths and broken hearts - And I think of children who are on the pediatric halls of hospitals - who can't go home - I wish I could bring some relief to them and always pray that God will use me to help anyone who needs it.

Don't we love our children and siblings and parents? I always think of God and how He loves His Son so much - but made a way for Him to suffer for us - unimaginable suffering - and even Jesus asked Him, at the last, that if it were possible, could He not drink of that cup - but always wanting God's will. Always. Isn't God's will the best place to be? even if it means trouble? And aren't we given the privilege to "share in His sufferings", small & large?
Whatever he chooses for us.

Anyway - I never want to be found complaining - I and my family are blessed beyond all imaginations - so - here we are.
End of November 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Monday morning, MY plans were to get up early, shower and dress, and beat the crowd at Wal-Mart - get the remaining Thanksgiving groceries - and return home - afternoon involved final prep for Thanksgiving guests. I was ON SCHEDULE - with keys in hand, I called Ann to check on Ellie - Not Good - I offered to ride with her to the doctor in H'ville - Monday is Luke's day with his Daddy. Ann wanted me to go - we did - and after a very crazy day in H'ville with cold wet wet wet rain - and in and out of the car - doctor's office, imaging center, pharmacy, burger king, doctor's office, pharmacy, doctor's office - we ended up checking Ellie into the hospital with pneumonia. WOW.

Steve and Ann stayed last night with her, but Ann's plans were to stay with her alone tonight.
YAY! She was released! Home Again!

Now we're back to Thanksgiving. Regroup. Charlie comes tomorrow with his mom.
My sister comes tomorrow, with a casserole for dinner.
Laura Beth, Scott and Ada come tomorrow night after Scott gets off work.
So - house isn't up to par for the moment.
So glad for everyone to be safe for now -
So thankful for Ellie to be her funny little self again - well - not totally - but it shows up every once in a while. She had a great moment this afternoon and made me laugh.
She is still very tired and weak, but improving so much.
I think about all the families and children who don't have the best gift of life and health.
I pray God gives them incredible grace to endure that heartache.
Happy Thanksgiving.
Will post with pictures probably on Friday.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday Before Thanksgiving

Sarah and Kate are both here.

It's cold outside, and there's a fire in the fireplace.

Charlie left today and will return on Tuesday, bringing his Mother to our house for the T'giving holidays.

We're all hoping we don't get Ellie's germ. She continues to be a very sick little girl. If it doesn't subside this afternoon, then it's probably the flu virus instead of just a basic virus and will likely continue for 2 or 3 more days. I got my flu shot last week, so did Steve and Charlie. It won't kick in to protect us until 2 weeks after the shot. Tomorrow is one week - so - hope noone gets the flu. Ann hasn't had her shot and was cautious about it - although pregnant moms are supposed to get it. She was just nervous about that and had questions.

Luke is at my house now - just to get him out of the house where Ellie is. He's so noisy and she feels so bad - it's hard to keep him still and quiet - of course. So - he came to my house this pm and enjoys the attention he gets from Sarah and Kate - although nothing compares to being with his Daddy. He is absolutely crazy about Steve. So cute!!

The Red Berries on the Nandina are such an encouragement as we head into the dormant season. I'm also glad that the two biggest holidays are during nature's gray season. Color is so abundant for Thanksgiving and Christmas - and the warmth of indoors feeds our emotions as we live through this winter.

What does your Thanksgiving Menu look like?


Turkey Breast, Dressing, Gravy, Squash Casserole, Green Bean Casserole, Smashed Sweet Potatoes(grown on Skyline Mountain - so sweet), English Peas, Butternut Squash Casserole(New - I sampled it at Williams Sonoma - so good!) Frozen Cherry Salad, Spiced Peaches, Cranberry Sauce-Jellied and Whole, Homemade Yeast Rolls, Pumpkin Pie, Pecan Pie, and Pumpkin Trifle.

We'll have 6 + 2 + 3 + 1 + 1 = 13 folks

I like to set the table really pretty. I have already ironed the cloth napkins - I really, really like cloth napkins and the tablecloth. We'll use a hodgepodge of china and silver. The whole experience is first, visual and scented - in the kitchen - and then the table - dressed like a lady and man - but then we eat it and the tastes are so good.


It was always at my grandmother's house, Ella's house - or it was at my Aunt Mary's house. (here's an aside - houses - they are named by the lady of the house - my grandchildren refer to this as Near's house, or their house is Mommy's house -awwwww! sad for the men who work and labor over those mortgage payments - and it is named as belonging to the mommy or grandmother) Okay - so at my grandmother, Ella's, we all piled in - we're not talking huge rambling farmhouse - but if I described her house - well - that's another post - I LOVED her house - and she made it so attractive - yet it was small - compared to today - but we had 21 to begin with, but soon it became 24, and then 25, but then it would vary - it was always a large crowd. When we had our Thanksgiving at my Aunt Mary's - well - she lived "out". It was a farm, but not like you might imagine - not a typical farmhouse - very ranch style with style - it was nice - and a huge front yard - HUGE - So - the ladies who were doing the meal - they'd send all the men and children out to the front yard to play "football" or "baseball". I didn't really enjoy sports but I got in the mix and was always put "way out" - somewhere so that I could do the least damage - and I considered it a very social time with whomever I was standing the closest to. I was tolerated. :-) The men, as I recall, were soooo serious about it all. Didn't get that!

Well, that's my T'giving memory - but it was always that, year after year, large crowd - so much food - so good - and cold weather, usually, for South Alabama

Thanksgiving just meant a lot of people, a lot of fun and laughter and noise - everyone talking - and eating - Ella's house didn't have the huge front yard, but she had a great "side yard" - again, another post. I can see it all - and I wish I had pictures - But mostly we stayed inside - with a fire - It was just fun in Ella's house - and all my cousins and aunts and uncles were fun - to me - I don't know if in their adult world there was stuff going on - but I didn't know about it. We all got along and loved each other very very much. I did sense that at the end of the day the moms were really tired and ready to go home - so we did.

That's my Thanksgiving memories - and now I am making some more.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Okay - so I won't write much - but it's been 2 unusual days.

Kate is traveling home today. Sarah has changed her plans and is traveling home tomorrow.

Yesterday I was keeping Luke while Ann went to her doctor's appointment. Ellie was at school. We all had our ducks in a row ........ until Ann called me from H'ville to tell me that Ellie's school had called and that Ellie was running a very high fever, with headaches. Steve was going to pick up Ellie - Luke was napping, at my house. I invited Steve to bring her to my house rather than taking her home - the whole thing about maternal vs. the very loving Daddy who still doesn't cut it in the nursing dept. He took me up on it. So...Ellie was at my house, very sick. Steve stayed a good while - but went back to work. I encouraged Ann to get all her stuff done before she came home. Ellie seemed okay without her - because we all know that there is nothing like "Mommy" when one is sick. I kept telling Ellie that her mommy was on her way home. Ellie threw up once. We had towels to catch it. Ann got home, but Ellie felt too bad to get in the car and go home. Steve came and retrieved Luke. So...

Ann and Ellie slept at my house.

Luke and Steve slept at their house.

Charlie and I slept in a different bed, since Ellie was in ours.

This morning we've teetered between much better and much worse.

Right now?

Luke is upstairs napping.

Ann and Steve have taken Ellie to her pediatrician in Huntsville. Gut feeling, for both Ann and myself, it's a viral infection and there's no other meds except over-the-counter - Her fever got to almost 105. So - for peace of mind - want a doctor to name it.

I'm doing this and feeling like I've been propelled back in time - with four children - oh - so many question mark trips to the pediatrician - so much watching that fever - so many questions and inconvenient ill spells with the girls....and feeling the forehead and arms and legs and hands and back and stomach - and wondering if they're gonna throw up - because what a mess!!!

So, it's quiet now. I have gotten into a sewing project in the midst of all of this - with company coming and sick grandchildren - I've been sewing Luke and Ellie "Christmas Stockings"! Right now I'm going to cut out the pieces for a Christmas Tree Skirt for Ann. She did get fabric, yesterday, for that. I really like all of that - all the fabric - all the thread - all the figuring out the pattern instructions.

Anyway - Kate will be here tonight. Sarah tomorrow night.

Thanksgiving is closing in on us. I bought two turkey breasts today when I went out with Luke to get chewable Tylenol for Ellie. (She refused the liquid) I bought the green pepper jelly to be spread over cream cheese for an appetizer on Thanksgiving Day.

I just want to say that I am very out of practice with this "sick child" thing. It all comes back to me - but I can't believe, as I said to Charlie last night, "We used to have a steady diet of this". It was so much of the time - not unhealthy children, but with 4 we just had stuff - and I had forgotten.

Hope I get to post in the next several days. Lots of folks in the house - and lots of folks on the computer.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Generic Post

Tuesday, before folks begin arriving on Friday.
Let me remind folks.
Sarah and Kate are at Auburn.
They both travel home on Friday.
Remember what that felt like? I do. I loved it!!! It also means that Ann and Ellie and Luke get some "young blood" in the mix. Steve too - but that's different because he's out in the workplace and it's just different for the husband/daddy - I guess. Maybe not.
Anyway, now that Ann and Steve are in their new house - it's a great "getaway" for any people under the age of whatever age Charlie and I are - 55 and 57 - That would be Sarah, Kate, Laura Beth...and Scott will be coming home for Thanksgiving with LB and Ada.
It works for everybody - but I do like to "get things in order". I always have. Get things clean, clean sheets, layer of dust removed, pick up clutter, etc. Get the right foods. So that stresses me a bit - noone's fault - it's just the way I'm wired.
Yesterday, Ann called and said, "you're right." (and I didn't know what she was going to say - had no idea) What she meant was - I had assumed she would not want to have the "MEAL" at her house - being pregnant - 2 small children - just recently moved in - so many reasons - but she really really wanted to - and yesterday she conceded. But it's just because she's in her 3rd trimester and on a normal day her back gives out and she feels tired - so preparing for Thanksgiving with company - she put it back at my house. So - here we are.
Today I rode with Ann and Luke(Lukie) to H'ville. If you read her blog she and LB are into that whole coupon thing. Unlike myself who has absolutely driven my husband nuts with my extravagant grocery shopping - It's been the trial of his life - but - he continues to love me and has learned to be nice to me even on days when I write checks bigger than I should. So - Ann needed to get in on some deals at Publix and I needed to check out Williams Sonoma and Pottery Barn. Needed to??? Wanted to. :-) Also, we both "needed" to go to Hobby Lobby(Luke called it Hobby Bobby) - to see their fabric in an effort to save money by "making stockings" instead of buying them from the Pottery Barn Catalog.
Well - we did a day at Huntsville. Steve picked up Ellie at school. Luke is upstairs napping - still not wanting his daddy to leave him, ever, after going to Greece. So - Steve will pick him up when he leaves his office. We bribed him to bed by saying he could sleep with his baseball and some other ball. He was good with it. Ann and Ellie are at home - I'm here going over the little tidbits I picked up at WSonoma - for T'giving. I got ideas for Table Settings at Pottery Barn....and purchased a not very expensive metal pumpkin for my T'giving Centerpiece. I also got quilted fabric to make a "silence cloth" for my large dining table. FINALLY!! I have mother's but it is a tad too small for my table. I have her round one that fits my round table perfectly - since my round table belonged to her. I have always needed a good fitting silence cloth for my DT.
Enough of that.
It's Tuesday.
I've been to H'ville.
I'm home and wanting to update my blog with not much time to select a thing I "like to remember". I'm very much in the present, most of the time - and things that happen now, take me back to things that happened then. I see the faces of folks who went before me - and I begin to understand better how they really felt or what they really experienced. I was a kid and they were the grownups. I didn't understand anything about their life as a parent or a grandparent and what that felt like.
time lapse....
And now it's later - the phone rang - it was Kate returning my call - and after many minutes we hung up - and Steve called to say he was coming by to get Luke, who was upstairs snoozing - which I had completely forgotten! It was 5:00. Dark outside - and I ran up to wake that angel. They're gone now - and that's all for this Tuesday - except that I want to say I am looking forward to tonight's episode of "Biggest Loser". We love that show!
It is 5:43 on Tuesday November 18, 2008

Monday, November 17, 2008

Monday Morning

I seem to have a very small group of folks who read my blog.
I could almost name your names.

For those of you who might stay at my blog for any length of time, reading - you might begin to hear on my November playlist several Dolly Parton songs. I was roaming on Saturday and I ended up listening to what the site had of Dolly's songs. I am a Dolly Parton fan. I love the way she sings. I am not a fan of country music, ...but...there are some country music artists whose voices I love for their passion and the twang and it fascinates me. Country music usually gets too doleful for me and woebegone - and hardknock stories - Hard for me to relate -

When I was a child there was a lot of music in our house - but it was classical, traditional church hymns, or show music or band music - I guess - it was whatever Daddy was working on with the choir, the glee club or the band - but then very early I know that Mary Ann's favorite 45 was a big band song - Pennsylvannia 65000 - she loved it and one day while she was at school - I was at home, sick - and accidentally broke it. I remember looking at Mother and having such an "OH MY GOSH!" feeling. I think she found Mary Ann a replacement. Mother and Daddy had come out of the Big Band era - so we still had a good bit of that kind of music - probably, from their younger years. We did have the soundtrack from My Fair Lady - from Broadway, I guess - I saw that old cover last week when I was in Evergreen - anyway - random thoughts - but what we never had was even a hint of country music - BUT - I remember there were some country music shows on TV in the 50's - and I remember liking one of them - but I also remember being in the minority in my family of 4 and Mother teasing me a bit about liking it.

I said all of that to explain why there are so many Dolly Parton songs on my playlist - if anybody cares - which it's likely that noone is really interested - Playlist is so fun to browse through. I think I've said that before. One can listen to songs from way back and conjure up very old memories.

Just want to say a few things about this week before Thanksgiving Week. First - much cleaning and organizing to be done this week. Yipes! Second - I made a fruitcake yesterday. I want to say, on behalf of all the fruitcake people out there - I LOVE FRUITCAKE - a good one - storebought fruitcakes are not real fruitcakes and no wonder so many bad jokes are told about FC. Not every recipe for fruitcake is a good one. I have a really really good recipe - but yesterday I tried a new one - out of a Paula Deen Magazine - I'll know in a week if it's good. Fruitcakes have to be made ahead and allowed to "age" a bit. A week isn't usually long enough - and they can be frozen and kept in the freezer for the next season - I have some of two fruitcakes from last year - in my freezer. I didn't plan to make one this season - but ran across this recipe and wanted to try it. If anyone is a fruitcake lover and wants my best recipe - I'll share it. If this one from Paula Deen is good enough to recommend - then I'll do that too.

Okay - so I have to search and find a letter that Mother wrote me - a few years back - after I shared with her and Mary Ann my very good, very enhanced fruitcake - which I had painstakingly made and nursed through the aging process - She wrote me this letter and I typed it and can't find it in my documents - so I must find the "hardcopy" to add to this post. I'll go ahead and post what I've written here - and then edit by adding the letter - after I put my hands on it. This letter is a treasure of mine and it's as if Mom laid her aged hand on my head and said, "You are Blessed". She didn't know it had that effect on me - it was just a sweet note that she was kind enough to write - Let me go find it. I love it. Be back in a minute.........

I found it!

Dear Elizabeth,

I never thought it would be my daughter who could make a fruit cake that tasted like the ones Granny used to make - I've told you, I'm sure, what that meant when she made those fruit cakes, I can't remember how far ahead of Christmas, but long enough that we had these containers, like round cheese hoops, I think, anyway, she'd put them in those things & cover with some sort of cloths & keep them soaked in wine or something - Anyway - it was one of those things that I looked so forward to. It was "beginning to look a lot like Christmas" -- That was before there was such a thing as a "store bought" fruit cake. If there was, I sure didn't know about it.

Not much to report - Mary Ann & I enjoyed going to Greenville & eating at "Cracker Barrel". Then that afternoon we visited with Rachel & her boys at Flo's - Those boys are so fine & so good looking & so tall. After leaving there we went over for a short visit with John & Martha. It's always good to see John & Martha.

I think I've covered everything, which isn't much - we'll keep in touch about all the coming events - Hey to everybody -

I love ya'll -


This was written to me Christmas season of 2000. I was delighted to have conjured up for Mother, memories she'd felt as a child.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Charlie Took Friday Off

The pictures below are what yardwork looks like to me - at my house - and it reminds me of Mother and Daddy - working in the yard. Mother made beautiful Nandina arrangements and placed them in the living room of our house on Williams Street.

Today in Scottsboro, it was damp and chilly - although after a bit of work I had to shed my light jacket and work in short sleeves.

Charlie took today off so that he could get some things done in the yard. We are heading into the holiday season - when his mom comes for Thanksgiving, and Mary Ann, and Scott, Laura Beth and Ada. It's nice to spruce things up a bit. It is a visual time - where the senses are especially touched - smells and hearing as well. The pictures below illustrate what we did. Pruned dead branches and leaves - pulled up excess growth - raked a bit - swept - and there is still more to do tomorrow.

I like these and the way they look.

small pieces of nandina in my empty vanilla extract bottle

The Sugar Maple looking through my front hall window.

Daddy made this stool. I sit on it to do yard work.

Nandinas and a passing school bus.

Ready to make an indoor arrangement.

My Rabbit Planter

November Yard

My Pruned Nandinas

The most golden it will be - November 14

Where I placed my pruning shears

Charlie working
That's all. Just Pictures. It's November. This blog is about writing what I like to remember. Today is about what I like to remember. November is a very nostalgic month. People are going inside, gathering together. I think of Mother and Daddy. We're looking up at the pecan trees on Williams Street. Mother always told me I could have the money I received for all the pecans I gathered. One grocery bag brought 3.00. We could stay on our knees and not move very much and almost fill up a bag. This was always in late November. It would be my Christmas money, for gifts. And the cracking of the pecans. 2 pecans in my fist, using my left hand to squeeze my right - and the pecan cracked. Such good pecan meat - Stewarts' Pecans. We had 8 pecan trees in our yard. I still chafe at having to pay for pecans. Well, that's all.
Tomorrow Charlie and I will get done what we didn't get done today.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Don't It Always Seem to Go That You Don't Know What You Got Til It's Gone


It's hard for me to intentionally use bad grammar. Here it is spoken the correct way.

Doesn't it always seem to be so, that you don't know what you've got until it's gone. They have paved paradise and they have put up a parking lot. elizabeth's translation

Ann and I, and Ellie and Luke, have returned from our trip to Evergreen.

We left on Thursday November 6 - last week. We made a stop at Cahaba Valley Rd and ate lunch at Burger King. I-65 took us through Birmingham, and we got off at the Hope Hull exit. Hope is a friend who lives there(I'll post those pictures on another day). She is Hope Baldwin Coon and her parents are Jamie and Beth Baldwin. Hope has a sister, Joy Baldwin Finch, whose Blog is on my list. Hope and Joy were friends with Ann and Laura Beth, beginning at ages 4 and 5 and 6 and 7. Their dad, Jamie, was our church's Minister of Education from 1986 to 1993. Beth and I are very close friends, and she and Jamie now live in Tallassee, AL where Beth grew up. Tallassee is a 30 min. drive from Auburn, AL - and thanks to hers and Jamie's generous hospitality, I often stay with them when I am visiting the girls in Auburn.

Back to our trip.

Planning to only stay at Hope's about 30 min, we indulged ourselves in a very long visit. Beth was there, also. It was so much fun. Ellie and Luke played outside quite a bit. Hope's little girl, Anna Beth, is such a girly girl and has all the same pink "stuff" that Ellie has. Anna Beth also has a wonderful swingset which her daddy built her. Luke and Ellie both loved that. They have cows and bulls. Luke was thrilled over the outside adventure.

Moving onto Evergreen, we arrived at about 4:35....

.... and acclamated ourselves to Mary Ann's house. Luke and Ellie took it over. Ellie's imagination ran wild - with no designated toys she was able to make up her own pretend games and involved Luke in all of them. After bathtime and bedtime Ann, Mary Ann, and I crashed, in the den, but then, in the bed.

Friday came - Ellie and Luke woke up in "full throttle". They were wild! We had an 11:00 luncheon date at my Aunt Mary's house.

List of those in attendance:
1. Florence Price: Mom's sister, 86.
2. Susan Bozeman Cook: married to my oldest cousin, Bert.
3. Melissa Robinson: Mary's 3rd born who lives with Mary and my uncle, John Law
4. Mary Ann: my sister whom we were staying with.
5. Mary Claire Robinson Warlick: Mary's 4th born who lives in Birmingham. She traveled down
to spend Friday and Saturday night - to visit with us.
6. Ann, Ellie and Luke
7. Myself

8. Connie Gunter Kilpatrick: A childhood friend. I've written about her on my blog.
She lived in the house next to mine, one Williams Street. Her mother still lives there.

We stayed at Mary's the biggest part of the afternoon, skipping Ellie's and Luke's nap.

Saturday Laura Beth and Ada arrived from McDonough, GA, but also Sarah from Auburn. We had Mary and Mary Claire over for late afternoon coffee ( a common habit in Evergreen - noone does that here in Scottsboro much, not that I know of) That was another good visit - after that, dinner.

Sunday morning, Ann had to leave for Birmingham, to cohost a baby shower for one of her college friends. The rest of us went to church. I stayed in the nursery with Ellie, Luke and Ada.

After church we walked around the corner to "Famous Floyd's" Restaurant. Again, saw folks I knew and the Robinsons were there, also.

As we were paying our bill, Floyd's wife told us she uses Mother's recipe for 7-minute frosting, which is in the Sparta Cookbook, for her cakes there at the restaurant. She said she thinks about Mother everytime she makes it. One of the ladies who I ran into at the restaurant, Mrs. Connie Nielsen, came to our table. I identified all of my children and grandchildren to her. She told Ellie she'd known me since I was a baby. I love it. It feeds my soul, to go to Evergreen. Everything's familiar. The air, the trees, the people, the places, the sound of the train engine, the names spoken - the ghosts or images I see in my mind's eye. Layer upon layer of images, memories, things seen, ages, events - it's all there. And when people speak of our past - I know I haven't made it all up. Sometimes it seems like I have.

On Monday we all took it slow - slow morning - but got out and ate, again, at Burger King. We like their fries. :-) Then we went to the train depot and took lots of pictures. Actually we'd taken some on Sunday - as Floyd's is across from the Depot - and that was when I first let Luke sit on the Railroad Track. He aptly named it the "ChooChoo Train Track". So.....Monday - we walked the streets of Evergreen. I named all the stores that used to be, but noone seemed too moved. They can't see it all, as I can. Mary Ann sees it.

Napped on Monday afternoon. Lazy afternoon. Oh - Florence came by on Monday morning. She had not seen Ada. This was Ada's first visit to Evergreen and all were wanting to see her. She is named for my great grandmother, Ada Chapman Henderson - whom everyone called Granny. The Robinsons had met her on Saturday - we missed Florence on Sunday - so she came by on Monday. Bert and Susan were out of town.

Tuesday we travelled home.

So - below are my pictures - and only a few compared to all the ones I took. Can't post them all.

Mary Ann's House
Luke sitting on Mary Ann's bed, wearing Daddy's Band Director's Hat.Florence, Ellie, and MarySitting at Mary's Dining Table
Again, we're beginning to enjoy the Chicken Pie, Baked Fruit, Marinated Green Beans, and Homemade Rolls which Melissa and Mary had prepared. It was so good and we were so hungry!I'm having a conversation with Mary. Didn't even know this was taken.
Connie Sue Gunter Kilpatrick and Mary Ann.Mary is getting Luke to blow out Florence's candle. Her birthday is November 29, but Mary had Melissa do this cake for her - since we were all together. Sunday Morning. Ellie and Ada in the rocking chair that Mother and Daddy have had longer than they've had Mary Ann and me. This was 'Daddy's Chair'. So many memories here. I've sat in it so many years. It's been recovered so many times.Ellie and Ada.Ada is dressed for church and we're playing in Mary Ann's front yard.running in Mary Ann's front yard.This chair that I'm getting Ada to sit in.....I remember when I was in the nursery and it was purchased. It was red with white arms to it. It was brand new to me, then and seemed so special to me. When I am at home, at church, I like to look and see if it is still there. This chair, behind which Ellie is posing for me, is one of the many chairs we sat in as preschoolers. The classes were called Primary Sunday School. Florence was my Primary Sunday School Teacher. I remember her teaching us, at Christmas, about the Christmas Story and how it was found in the second chapter of Luke. This room, in which Luke is standing under MUCH protest, has seen so many people and layers of years and conversations. Shortly after I became a Christian, our MYF met in here. I remember that and trying to communicate the change that had occurred in my heart. Some of my friends looked at me with complete confusion in their eyes, others understood what I was talking about, and others didn't seem to be bothered one way or the other.Ellie and Luke sitting at the church alter, for me. It was here I was married, Mother and Daddy were married, and their funerals were held. I knelt at this altar many many times and took communion here.Laura Beth and Ada posing for me. Behind them are some of the beautiful windows we have in our church, the choir loft where Mary plays the organ, and behind them is the piano at which Mary Ann plays. Laura Beth and Ada catching up with the others to walk around the corner to Famous Floyds where we plan to eat lunch.Inside the restaurant. Ada and Ellie.Mary Ann and Luke at our table in the restaurant.

Luke and the Evergreen DepotWalking down the track in front of the depot.

This is the train we watched.Watching the train.Waving at the train.Luke pointing out the train to us, with much enthusiasm.Black and White of the Train - more fitting for the time I grew up in.Ellie and Luke playing on "stuff" pertaining to railroads - this is between the tracks and the depot.

Ellie and Luke at the Evergreen Depot
The track which runs down the middle of downtown Evergreen - and you can see the bridge in the far distance.Luke standing in front of the track.Luke and the DepotSarah and Luke on the track.

Back in Scottsboro. Luke playing with cars. Ellie playing dressup.

Charlie and Luke, on my kitchen floor, pushing cars to each other.
They make a really cool noise.
That's it. Our trip to Evergreen.
Steve will return from Greece on Saturday. Have I mentioned that he is there?
This morning Ann talked with him. He was studying at a Starbucks in Ephesus. How strange is that? Imagine the Apostle Paul communing with God at a Starbucks in Ephesus.