Category Archives: Family and Friends

Pictures and stories of our dear family and friends

Thank you, Facebook

Don’t get me wrong. There are LOTS OF PROBLEMS with Facebook.  But today was an example of how Facebook actually helps us stay connected in a very unexpected way! Earlier this week I noticed on FB that a cousin of Gary’s was headed to Florida. Hmmm, I thought. I wonder where in FL? The next day she posted her morning view which looked surprisingly like mine. Turns out that while she and her sweet family weren’t exactly next door, they were vacationing in a condo only about 15 miles east of us!! It was such a delight to meet up with them for lunch today and catch up over delicious seafood!
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And without so many shadows –
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So good to connect with these guys – and it never would’ve happened with that goofy Facebook connection!
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After lunch Gary and I headed off to Destin to track down a “Little Free Library“. Gary loves LFL’s – to get rid of books that he’s read and to maybe find a new one!
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The internet told us there was one in this huge shopping village
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and while the LFL was a bust for Gary’s book quest, it was located right outside an ice cream shop.
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So, all in all, a good stop!

An unexpected visit with dear Cousins, delicious seafood, yummy ice cream, and and at the end of the day a beautiful evening sky –
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Beach therapy at its best!

Thirty Days, Thirty Posts

I thought I’d finish out the month with a little ‘small world’ story that happened just this past Sunday. We worshipped at the church where we are serving this month (Dothan Community Church) and as often happens, the pastor asked us to stand and introduce ourselves. We obliged with our standard “We raised our family in Pennsylvania, but we’ve been on the road for 17 years now, so we’re pretty much from everywhere and nowhere.” The service continued on, and afterwards many folks came up and greeted us, warmly welcoming us to DCC and thanking us for the work that we would be doing. As Gary and I were heading out, one sweet lady came up and asked where in PA we were from, since she also was from Pennsylvania. We fine-tuned our geographic area and she said she was from the Harrisburg area.
“Oh, where abouts,” I asked.
“North of Harrisburg, actually. I live in Perry County.”
“Wait. Perry County? My sister lives in Perry County!”
(For those of you non-Perry Countians, it’s a very beautiful rural area with more farms that industry and at my last count, one traffic light.)
At which point, the dear lady said, “I thought you looked familiar – are you Joie’s sister?”
“Well, yes I am!” came my astonished reply!
It turns out Sue(from Perry County)’s sister is married to Chester who is our ‘boss’ on the job here at DCC! She was down visiting for the Thanksgiving holiday. What a lovely totally unexpected surprise – and delight! We spent the next 10 minutes or so tracking down connections – it’s possible that we had even met many (many) years ago as they had gone to the same church as Joie & Fitz ‘back in the day’.

I suppose it’s a small thing – running into someone in Alabama who knows someone you love in Pennsylvania. But it felt pretty big on that Sunday morning when in that sea of all new faces, someone thought my face looked familiar. And it was!

Thanking God for his kindnesses – big and small! I just love how He is a God of details!
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Mondays are for Memories – Birthday Buddies!

As we wrap up November, there is one more birthday I need to mention! Actually it’s a cluster of birthdays – the 2nd (Connie), 9th (Me), and today the 29th (Bonnie). Here is a post from a couple of years ago that pretty much sums up my affection for these two very dear ‘Birthday Buddies”.

Long, long ago, in (what seems like) a galaxy far, far away a young bride met with a ‘more experienced’ bride once a week for lunch. And encouragement. And prayer.
Time passed, babies came, and schedules changed. But the friendship and encouragement and prayers never ended. Our little twosome grew to include others as we changed from being young brides to being young moms.
Friends moved, babies grew, and life happened. Things changed.
But through it all, three of us somehow, by hook or by crook, managed to continue to meet once a year to celebrate our November birthdays. We’d often meet at church on a Sunday in November, enjoy lunch, catch up with each other and end the day in prayer. It was a very precious day for me, as I would often go the whole year without being in contact with them. But that thread of friendship never broke. Never even frayed!
Since we’ve been on the road, we three birthday buddies haven’t always been able to connect during November. But whenever we can work it out, we work it out!!

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birthdaybuddies Connie Bonnie BonnieConnieand me

I didn’t make it to back to Hometown this past summer, so being able to connect with these precious Birthday Buddies, these Sisters in Christ was especially sweet this past October.
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I’m so thankful for these friends from that galaxy far, far away!
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So Thankful for US!

Thanksgiving 2021

Wishing you all a very blessed Thanksgiving! Gary & I have so much to be thankful for – our family, our health, our ministry, our travels – but what holds all that thankfulness together is our faith in the God of the Universe who sent his Son  to invite us into His Family! May your day be filled with love and grace, and hopefully some pretty good food!