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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Scrapbooking and Grandaughters

I've actually completed some pages the last few days after spending a month on Shutterfly making the ordination book and then getting all my photos ready to be printed from the trip to Florida. Sometimes I miss the bad old days when we just dropped the roll of film off and whatever was on there was what we got. Just kidding....see that big flower left of pretty grandaughter's face? Originally, there was a bare rosebush all in her face and hair. That took a while to prune! You've seen the hugging cousins photo before.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Even more of the Bahamas

This is the last of the Bahamas photos, I promise. I have to admit this was not the most exciting place I have ever been, but we couldn't drive 1500 miles without finding some kind of photo ops!
The Queens Staircase carved out of solid limestone by slaves in the 1790's was our first destination in Nassau. There was a pretty, young Bahamian lady running up and down the stairs for her morning workout. Bonnie and Ken raced her up the stairs and kept up with her for one trip.

Our next destination was gardens and zoo. The main attraction at the zoo is the flamingo march. We missed it but enjoyed all the birds roaming around the garden free of cages.

There were a lot of schoolchildren visiting today, most of them in uniform from private christian schools.
The flowers, trees and bushes were plentiful and gorgeous.

In the afternoon, we got a taxi over the one mile bridge to Paradise Island. This is Atlantis Resort, reported to cost one billion dollars. It has shopping malls, a theater, and 35 restaurants.We toured the world's largest man made marine habitat, consisting of 11 lagoons filled with 14,000 exotic sea life, sharks and manta rays. They call it The Dig and it has has a system of interconnecting tunnels, underground rooms and chamber filled with ancient artifacts and stone carved hieroglyphics depicting the Lost City of Atlantis. The Mayan Temple water slide is a popular place for families with kids. Some people on the cruise reserve a room there and spend the day at the 14 acre water scape. A sweet moment!Down the street, we found Cabbage Beach, Versailles Gardens, and the remains of a 14th century stone monastery. Our taxi driver told us this is a popular place for weddings and that Oprah has a home just down the street. A lot of famous people have homes in the Bahamas: Johnny Depp and Sean Connery, Lenny Kravitz, Shakira, Michael Jordan, John Travolta, David Copperfield, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, Sean "Diddy" Combs. If you own a $500,000 home here, you are eligible for permanent residency and there is no income tax!

The gardens over look Nassau Harbor.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

More Bahamas ..Coco Cay

Coco Cay is a tiny island with beautiful white sand beaches owned by Royal Caribbean.
There is a lot of things to do there, such as get a sunburn.

Watch the enormous iguana population and hand feed them if you so desire.

Watch the para sailors and discuss all day whether or not you have the cajones to try it and by the time you decide you do, it's too late.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Our Cruise to the Bahamas

I have been slow about getting photos "fixed and printed" from our multi-purpose trip. But, I have have excuses.

As soon as we got home, I started working on a book for Ken and Bonnie on Shutterfly with the photos I took at the ordination. I spent way too much time obsessing about every little detail, because the last one I did in a big hurry because of a half price deadline and it was not a success. I was pleased with the final results and Bonnie,who did the journaling for me, seemed very happy with it, too. If you want to see it, email me and I can "share" it from the Shutterfly website. Here are Bonnie and Ken, looking very spiffy on formal night on the ship.

Our cabin was tiny but comfortable. We had little towel animals on our bed every night. The waiters and the room attendants are the only ship employees who receive tips and they work very hard to make a good impression. They are from all over the world and they work for months with no time off, then have their "vacation" and go home to visit their families. Many of them are married with children. I find it hard to imagine a life like that.

Basil chose the late dinner sitting so he could
make sunset as well as sunrise every day.

The port of Nassau as we arrived at sunrise. It is the
very colorful capital city of the Bahamas. They have
been independent from the UK since 1972.

This house would cost you
$1,000,000 or more.

The courthouse

There are some very interesting signs
on the buildings.

Over 60% of the population is Baptist. Many of our drivers had christian radio stations on in their taxi.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

In celebration of our 41st Anniversary

When You Are Old
William Butler Yeats
When you are old and grey and full of sleep
And nodding by the fire; take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
How many loved your moments of glad grace,
and loved your beauty with love false or true;
but one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face.

Friday, April 11, 2008

About Jeri

This is my roommate in nursing school, Jeri. Actually, we were suite mates. We had private rooms and we shared the bathroom. The first day, Jeri made a deal with me: "I will clean everything else if you will clean the toilet. I hate that job." That sounded like an bargain to me and I honestly do not remember ever having any kind of conflicts, squabbles or ever getting upset with Jeri. I really never understood how she could take 2 hours to get dressed, but it didn't bother me and she always looked great so I thought, "maybe she's doing it right, and I need to pay attention".
Jeri is the rare person who has a gift for making everyone feel special. Her eyes light up when you come into the room. She is never too busy to listen and never makes you feel dumb or that your concerns are trivial. She makes you feel important and loved. I had never felt that way before so you can imagine the place she has in my heart. Even though we rarely saw each other after nursing school...sometimes a Christmas card was all the contact we had, I have discovered the last month that she still has that a place in my heart. Jeri has ovarian cancer and has had a major surgery and is having chemotherapy. Please pray for her. The world is still full of people who need her to make them feel special.

This is me and Jeri in my dorm room. If you look real close you can see I have on some enormous earrings. We had just been in the office of the director of the school for wearing our little studs while on duty. We knew we couldn't wear them, but we had our ears pierced and were not supposed to take them out for several weeks, so we tried to cover them up with our hair. Even though Jeri is the one with the long hair, she was the one who got caught!

My life verse is Matthew 25: 34-40 and I pray every day for the grace to live it.
"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what's coming to you in this kingdom. It's been ready for you since the world's foundation. And here's why: I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was homeless and you gave me a room, I was shivering and you gave me clothes, I was sick and you stopped to visit, I was in prison and you came to me.' "Then those 'sheep' are going to say, 'Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?' Then the King will say, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.'
Jeri was the first person I ever knew who lived that verse and I am grateful and blessed to know her.

Friday, April 4, 2008

No Jumping from Bridge

We stopped at Gaineswood, a national historic landmark in Demopolis, Alabama for an interesting tour. It features Greek Revival Architecture and original antebellum furnishings and art. Now, if you think you know what antebellum means, but aren't absolutely confident in your opinion (like me) I looked it up and it does mean what I thought it did: pertaining to the period before the Civil War. We also picked up a brochure at the visitors center called "100 Places to Eat in Alabama Before You Die". Kora's Place in Demopolis was on the list, so we had to find it. It was a little soul food family buffet and Kora was serving chicken and dumplings, collard greens, black eyed peas, fried catfish, cornbread and peach cobbler. It was as delicious as it sounds. Kora has a beautiful collection of paintings of African American religious art that we enjoyed while we ate.

During the whole trip the roads were full of blooming trees. The most common colors were white,red, pink and lavender.
We stopped at O' Leno State Park in Florida where had lunch and a little hike. Located along the banks of the scenic Santa Fe River, a tributary of the Suwannee River, the park features sinkholes, hardwood hammocks, river swamps, and sandhills.

As the river courses through the park, it disappears underground and reemerges over three miles away.

We didn't see an alligators, but we found a friend from Texas!

The sign says: "No Jumping from the bridge"! This bridge was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, which was a work relief program for young men from unemployed families during the depression from 1933 to 1945. As part of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal, young, unemployed men worked on conservation projects in rural areas for about $1 per day. The corps operated numerous conservation projects, constructed many buildings and trails in city parks, state parks and national parks that are still used today.

"Civilian Conservation Corps Boy" is the name of this statue. We had just got back in our car and closed the door, when the rain started. It rained all the rest of the way to Sebring.