Tag Archives: Friends

Ft Myers Connections

Back in the mid ‘60’s a young college graduate came to stay at our house as she started a new job in the Philadelphia area. My Dad’s mother was her grandfather’s sister (or some such tenuous family connection), so of course my parents welcomed her with open arms.  She came for a week – and stayed for a year! And what a year that was! Even though I lost my bedroom to her, for this young teen having a cute, bubbly, sophisticated, twenty-something in the house was great fun!  I can’t guarantee my ‘remembering’, but I think she stayed with us until she married Ted and then she moved into a nearby community. She and Ted (and then their kiddos) stayed a part of our lives for many years, but as often happens, connections were eventually lost. Mom and Dad moved, we moved, life happened.  We connected again briefly in the late 90’s with the passing of my parents,  but before long we’d once again reverted to the occasional “I wonder what’s up with Josie and Ted?” remembrance.  Not too long ago that little thought resurfaced and I decided to do a bit of Facebook sleuthing. Much to my delight I located her daughter (now living in NYC) and contacted her (‘you might not remember me, but your mom lived with us for a bit last century!”).  She DID remember our family and shared that her mom was now living in Florida, as her dad had passed away several years ago.  This past weekend we were able to meet up with her, and while we couldn’t exchange hugs (ugh, COVID), our smiles were bright (though behind masks when appropriate) as we caught up with each other for the many years we’d lost touch. She had stories (“I remember the first time Gary picked you up for a date!”) and we had stories (“Remember when I borrowed your fancy hairpiece/braid to make myself look older?”). And then, of course, there was all the grandkid bragging. We only met for lunch, but what a grand lunch it was. Josie, we loved reconnecting with you – and pray that we will see you again next time we’re in the area. And hopefully that time there WILL be hugs!
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Back in the mid-70’s a young couple started coming to our church in Willow Grove. He was a medical student, and she a teacher. They lived nearby, were in their early years of marriage and hadn’t started their family yet. Just like us. We were fast friends before we knew it! By the time he’d finished up his medical training, we been through a fair bit of life together – birth of our daughter, an early miscarriage, and now we were both pregnant.  Their decision to set up a practice with a colleague (and friend) in Ft. Myers, FL, made us sad, but as we all know, life goes on! Thankfully, Gary’s mom also lived in Ft. Myers, so we were confident we’d manage staying in touch somehow or other! And we did – well, sorta-kinda! Thankfully, there are some friendships that weather the ‘sorta-kinda’ staying in touch better than others, and anytime we are in Florida we do our very best to invite ourselves over for a weekend!(Yes, we are THOSE friends!) Once we’re together, the years just fall away and it’s back to the wonderful camaraderie that we hold so dear. Jim and Sue – you know we’ll be back!
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UntitledIt’s probably been over 5 years since we’d heard from Gary’s older sister, Judy. We were pretty sure she lived in the Ft. Myers/Punta Gorda area, so last year and this year we made some attempts to contact her. There was never any estrangement, just a lack of communication.  She has had many health struggles over the years, and even her kids had not heard from her in several years. None of the phone numbers we had (or could find) were good.  But since we were in the Ft. Myers area visiting with Jim and Sue, we extended our visit and Gary and Jim spent Monday morning driving to different agencies to try and locate her. Last known address – no one had any info. Chamber of Commerce (looking for senior housing suggestions), no luck. Area police department – can’t help, but maybe the local Sheriff Dept can assist you.  The local sheriff was able to help – and in fact was familiar with her!  She was in a senior group home in the area (he could not disclose the name or location), and was able to contact the supervisor there to see if she would be willing to speak to Gary.  Sadly, she declined.  While he was disappointed that “it wasn’t convenient” for her to speak to him at this time, there is still peace in having located her, believing she is in a safe environment and that she knows that her family has reached out to her.  He left his contact information with both the sheriff and the supervisor, and we are hopeful that she will contact us in the future.

Connections. They are truly a treasured gift.  Our time in Ft. Myers included beaches and seafood and pinochle, but most importantly, it included precious connections.  And for that we will always give thanks!

 

 

Random Photos and Mini Stories Part Two

UntitledSo what’s the story with that pile of screws? Well, I’m pretty proud of that little pile. All of those shiny babies were removed from our last siding area. By me. Using a power drill. Read that again slowly. I don’t often ask Gary to use my power tools (my sewing machine?), but he really did need me to take care of those screws. While un-screwing uses less upper body strength than getting those screws into the wall, there is a certain skill required to back out a screw while pushing into it so the bit stays in the screw. Just sayin’. Me. Power Drill.  Now that’s random!

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No mini-story here – just a beautiful sky that is declaring the Glory of God. And that’s pretty much a maxi-story!

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My Lynne Croswell Gallery. Lynne and I have been friends since our kids were little, and she has long been my fabric art/quilting inspiration. She’s my go-to for quilt questions and since she and her sweet hubby live in Vermont, we even manage to connect with them most summers! She has gifted me several of her fabric post cards, and I’m working on getting them displayed appropriately. Tiny art for my tiny space! (If you’re looking for fabric art inspiration, feel free to check out her blog – Mountain Vistas. And if you’d like to see how she helped me do a fabric rendition of the cabin, you can be inspired HERE!)

And finally –
Ready for Christmas
Just like that – we’re ready for Christmas!!

Hope your Christmas preparations are going well too!
Steph

Birthdays

Birthdays. They come every year. Until they don’t. So I’m thankful for each one that I am granted! Today was one that was especially lovely!
It started with me back in the closet, painting beige on beige. (It might be my birthday, but it’s still a work day!) But by the end of the day, I had sweet Facetime chats with my all kids (and most of the grands!)

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I had a wonderful Zoom call with my two birthday buddies from ‘back home’ that fed my soul in more ways that I can count! I didn’t manage to get a good picture of us trying to catch up with each other, but maybe I’ll have better luck next time. Because there will be a next time!

I was overwhelmed with birthday greetings on Facebook, had lovely calls from my sisters (more Zooming with them later this week!),  texts and phone calls from friends and even received birthday cards in the mail (no mean feat when you keep moving!).
Of course, a birthday isn’t really a birthday if you have to cook dinner, so we had a lovely early dinner out at the Lake Tiak-O’Khata Resort in Louisville. (Remember, that’s pronounced Louis-ville, not Louie-ville =) )
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(Full disclosure – that wasn’t our table, we opted to eat inside! But it was a lovely spot!)

And so I enter the last year of this particular (age) decade. Days like today make me so thankful for my family, my beautiful friends, both old and new, and for the delight of anticipation of what tomorrow will bring! (OK, I’m pretty sure tomorrow will bring more closets to paint….but you know what I mean, right?)

Thanks for all the love today, friends!

 

Mondays are for memories – The Birthday Month

Ah, November! While I am fully aware that there are a couple of other things going on this month, I’ve always loved November because it is chock full of birthdays (mine included)! Here’s a little post from a couple of years ago where I reflected on some of the November birthdays that I hold so dear! Happy birthday, Connie and Bonnie – we can’t meet together this November, but we sure can ZOOM!!

November 29, 2018
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!