What’s wrong with this first picture? Today I pulled into Lowe’s parking lot and and could not park close to the door because someone left their buggy in the middle of this handicapped spot! I pulled on down…actually way on down to find a place to park. As I came up the aisle, I headed for the buggy to take it inside. Lo and behold, I saw a lady, quite a bit younger than me, taking the buggy she had just used and putting it behind this one. “Oh, my, I guess you didn’t see that this is a handicapped space,” I said to her as I hobbled up with my cane. “I tried to park here but some one else must have thought the same thing.” She said, “Well, I just saw this one here and thought I would put mine here, too.” I said, “Well, if you will excuse me, I’d like to get that other buggy and take it in so the next handicapped person doesn’t have to pass up this space.” So, I got the first buggy and started walking to the covered entrance. I pushed it up next to the door and turned around to see the woman still standing in that spot…just staring at me…hands still on her buggy. So, I turned around and went back to the parking lot. When I got close enough…she still had not moved…I said, “Just a minute and I’ll take your buggy, too.”. She gave me a look meant to do me bodily harm and then she sashayed herself right past me and said, “I can put up my own buggy.” I just turned back around to go into the store . She put her buggy right next to mine and said, “You’d think they would tell you where to put them when you are finished with them.” I couldn’t resist. I said, “See all those buggies next to those red poles…right there in front of your car. The sign on the other side says, PARK BUGGIES HERE or something close.”

Then she just looked at me and said, “Well, I never.” Never…what? Never saw the cart corral?  Never saw someone put a buggy away before?   Or never put one up herself?  I left her at that point. ‘Cause I had made 2 trips from the parking lot to the store and I knew I had to make that trip again to get back to my car!

Please do the right thing and put up your buggies! And, please don’t block handicapped spaces. It is a kindness to all those who need them!


Here it comes…the next school year.  I know you…you wonder where the summer went.

There were so many empty days looming out in front of you at the end of May.  Days to spend quality time with your kids instead of other kids.   You were going to loll round on the beach with a cooler full of drinks and a nice big umbrella…perhaps a good book.  You would stay there till you got good and ready to walk away.

You were going to start summer off right, too!  Those precious children of yours were going to get their own breakfast and then you were going to teach them what ‘cleaning your room” really means.  Yeah.   You were gonna get ’em in shape before the next school year rolled around!  Oh, there would be plenty of fun time for them.  Ball tournaments and swimming at the pool.  Perhaps sleep away camp and church VBS.

You just thought it was important to also remind them that being a part of a family mean ‘everybody works’!  And what better way to get that message across than by making their summer project emptying the garage..selling the junk…and putting everything back in a useful order. { FYI:  you may not know this but 95% of the women with children in grade school have handed out this same project to their children for the last 80 years.  They most probably faired no better at it than you and your kids!}

And lest every single bit of knowledge that has been crammed into their brains in the last few years of school, grow stale and somehow slip away when you are not watching…..one book a month must be read…and reported on to you.

You were planning to enjoy those days when you didn’t have to get up until your body said, “You can not stay here any longer or you will have no reason to go to bed tonight!”  You were planning on those days when baggy jeans and a sloppy top was the outfit for the day and absolutely NO MAKEUP REQUIRED!


You were thinking about all those fresh veggies you were gonna cook and those fine Slocomb tomato sandwiches with lots of mayo and perhaps a slice or 2 of bacon.  Those fresh strawberries and blueberries and plums and figs.  You sorta toyed with the idea of making some preserves from all that fruit this year.  Actually you spent about 1.4 seconds considering it and then thanked your Maker that He had given you much better sense than that!

Maybe a few trips with the girl friends should be in order to fill all those days.  Just you and your sister-friends…those girls you have shared life with.  The good and the bad.  The ones who have seen you host a fabulous party and those who have sat and talked to you while you were on the toilet!  You’d play all day in your cutest bathing suit and cover up…then dress to the nines to go out to eat…new summer frocks, cutest sandals, new shade of eyeshadow, and the cutest purse ever!  You’d share your entrees and desserts….gotta always be careful!  And, the shopping.  Up and down every street at Pier Park.  Then on to Destin.  Stoppping at every little boutique on 30A and finding something with your name all over it!  Lunch at Bud and Alleys or perhaps a late lunch or early evening at The Red Bar!  Then FASHION SHOW…everyone has to show and tell about their fabulous finds.

Is hubby feeling a little neglected?  You knew he would and planned a couple of weekend trips for just you two.  Lovely dinner…you in those fab new clothes you bought…maybe a little wine…a little dancing…a little romancing!.

Or maybe you planned one of those grand vacations?  Where it took weeks of planning?  Where everyone had to pack their own suitcase and carry it?  Where there would be learning as well as fun?  Oh!  I bet you did!  How long did it take before the youngest was ready to go home?


They seem to waffle between having a fabulous time and being bored to death, don’t they?  But, you, Mom, the fearless one, was going to expose them to the places of historical significance around our country…perhaps other countries.  And, they were going to see it…and soak it in…pose in front of it  and remember it… come ‘a hot place’ or ‘high water!”

Good for you, Mom!  You did it!  Or you tried.  You just forgot to remember that there’s something magical that happens to the days once school lets out.   The first few are long, but  they grow increasingly shorter as it nears August.  June and July loom out in front of us with the promise of all of the above…….but the days…the days…they just don’t cooperate!  They are too short!  They are too hot!  They are too lazy!  How could anyone expect you to follow that schedule you laid out in May…on a day in July…with a temp of 98 and a heat index of 106?  How are sane folks supposed to muddle through those days?  EXACTLY!!!  Stretched out on the couch…with your favorite cold drink….and the new book you have been aching to read all year…the fan above you on high…perhaps the dog lying on your feet…and kids loaned out on playdates…or upstairs playing video games and hubby already instructed to bring home take out for dinner!  Yeah!  I understand.  You need to charge your own batteries…some ME time!

So here you are the end of July…nigh into August….the school year for 18/19 has already begun for you.Your room is ready.  Didn’t take you but a week to get everything in place.  You set through all those teacher workshops and staff meetings that are so full of great information and get you all psyched up for the year!  All the supplies you think you will need are purchased or on order.  You’ve received your class list….smiling at some names…moaning at others.  But, I know you.  Those kids won’t know the difference.  Cause you are a TEACHER!  The noblest of professions.

You open up little brains to the wonder that exists around them.  You make all those numbers rolling around in their heads fall into a logical order and mean something.

You show them how all those words on every page of every book are just a clue to some great piece of knowledge that will help them the rest of their lives.  You help little fingers as they struggle to make those lines straight and the curves in the right direction so as to make a disernable letter.  And then you even show them how to combine those strange markings together to make a word they can read!  And you can read!  And the world can read!


And every day as you watch those little bodies and developing personalities as they run and jump on the playground…you whisper a prayer for each of them.  Because by the end of this year…when May rolls around again…they will be different.  They will have grown…in their physical bodies, in their minds, in their social skills and in their interest in the world around them.  They will be another step closer on their journey.  Thanks to you!

God bless you teacher.  God bless your class.  I thank you.  I admire you.  I honor you. And I pray for you.  You are doing the hardest…yet most important job of all…teaching!

And, hey, you just save that list.  You can use it again next summer!



Sunday afternoon a swarm of folks descended upon the quiet home of Clyde Townsend.  He was about to have a surprise party to celebrate his 92nd year of life!  People kept coming and he got happier and happier!  And, so we celebrated and honored this patriarch of our family.  He has guided us, supported us, corrected us, and loved us for our lifetimes.  We love him dearly.




Alex was unable to attend, but sent his well wishes.



A sweet day to make memories.  God has blessed us mightily with our Pop…aka Papa, Papa Clyde, Mr. Clyde, Mr. Townsend….but most of all…Daddy.



Not a great big todo on the 4th this year.  Don and I came to the beach on the third and Levi and Suzanne came down on the fourth.   Even though bad weather was predicted, the days were absolutely gorgeous.  The water was cool, the sun was bright, and the waves were gentle!  A few scattered showers, but not enough to dampen spirits!  I have not been able to go down to the beach in quite a few years, due to the achilles tendonitis in my foot.  But, it was just too pretty not to chance it this time!  So glad I made the trek!

HAPPY FOURTH…in our red, white and blue…

Levi and Pa doing a little driving in the neighborhood…


On the beach…

We did sparklers at the house, then went out to look at the fireworks on the beach…

Look who showed up…

My little man got tired on the way home…

WOW!  Look at this feast Pa prepared for breakfast….the second course was a serious stack of pancakes!

Pa had to leave for Dothan, and Levi and I piled up on the couch to watch a movie…or, perhaps, rest through a movie!

Levi and Suzanne spent a little time at Shipwreck Island the next day before they bid me farewell.

I have stayed a day or two longer.  Books to read…house to clean…

But, hope to have my toes in the sand again soon!


We wait all year for this one week, my family and I.  Well, at least the girls and the little boys!  All year, I plan for new and exciting projects I will share with the boys.  John Thomas and Levi both love art and creating, so that fits right in with my plan.  We usually have a theme and go somewhere exciting and fun…just a little day trip from PCB.  This year, the plans were discussed.  The plans were confirmed.  The dates were set.  But, alas…the best laid plans often sail off into never never land and the best you can do is just wing it.  And, that’s what we did at Boogaloo Camp 2018.

Fortunately the boys got in a little swimming time on Friday, before the clouds decided to turn a permanent shade of gray!

The day was beautiful and Lori, Tara and Suzanne soaked up as much sun as they could on our beautiful Laguna Beach.


We decided we needed an excellent meal to start the camp off right, so off we went to Uncle Ernie’s!  Ate out on the covered deck and watched the sun set.  The food was delicious, and we all enjoyed a walk around the marina before the darkness settled in.

Back to the Sandcastle to rest and relax and have some fun together…or alone…

After a good night’s sleep, the girls and the boys headed out for some shopping.  They were planning to go and return before the rain.  Again…that’s what ya get for making plans…

A little bit of wetness didn’t slow them down…it just added to the fun!  The boys thought it great fun to go schlepping around in the rain!

They did manage to do some minor damage to their wallets before they headed back!

This pic below is not very clear, but I add it for posterity’s sake.  Here’s a little of the ‘boogying’ we do at Boogaloo Camp!

Because our big plans were to take a boat out to Shell Island for a picnic…we tried to salvage at least part of the plan…the picnic part.  I put the boys in total charge of the planning, making, gathering and packing of the picnic.  Here is the list…by their minds and hands.

Since they decided on cookies, they had to prepare them.  And, make the sandwiches, with a little supervision.

They gathered all the things on their list…and packed the cooler…and then this happened…

Joy and I were to meet them and go to the park for our picnic.  But the minute we got on the road…the rain started falling so hard we literally could not see the cars in front of us!  So, I turned the car around, and we went back to the house.  We took our picnic blankets and spread them across the floor.   Then, set out pillows…lit candles…spread some shells and sea creatures around…and called it a picnic!  The boys served us and cleaned up.  Not exactly the fun we had hoped for…but a memory made, nonetheless!

Because of this…

…we decided the smartest thing to do was to head to Dothan on Sunday.  As everyone was washing sheets and towels…the boys and I got in a little crafting time.

Our little boys are growing up…going into second and third grade next year…silly boys!

And, so by noon, we were all loaded, floors swept, doors locked, and ready to get to higher ground.  The boys were a little sad, so much of our big plans were cancelled.  But, we prayed together before we left and thanked God for the rain.  We decided that if He wanted us to be back in Dothan, that’s where we should be.  After all, His plans are always perfect.

The storm, Alberto, actually made landfall on our little stretch of beach, Laguna Beach.  Our houses are about 2 blocks away.  We made the right decision to vacate the area.

However, the boys did make us promise that before the summer was out and school started back…we would have Boogaloo Camp 2018…Part 2!  And, Lord willing…we will!


Just a few quick days down at the beach…but enough for us all to have some great time together!  We were just missing Joy.  But, she had obligations at home to take care of .  Not the same without her, though!  Adam was with us for the first day and night, then he had to return to work…sure enjoyed him being here!

Lots of pics ahead…

Got to try out of new little car Don got us for the beach!  Her name is Betty!  She seats 4 (or in our case 5)…has heater, lights, fans, street legal, is electric and a ton of fun!



Went to Pier Park to try out a new, fabulous Milk Shake Bar!  OH! MY! GOODNESS!  It was divine!  Of course there was a wait of 1 hour and 35 minutes!!! Cause everybody and their brother wanted to try it!  Just look at these…

And these were the small ones!  We shared…a little.  And, we left there feeling too full but very satisfied!  Actually the reason we went was to celebrate Levi’s birthday which is on the 29th.  I just happened to find this cute Dr. Seuss Birthday Book…Happy #7, Little Man!

We had to kill some time while waiting…

Obviously, my hair is enjoying the windy weather!!!

Could you eat that ice cream after doing this?  Levi was the brave one!

Back to the house to get in a little art work with the boys…their choice!

We did a little shopping, a little playing, a little getting wet…and just chilling!  All that great beachy stuff!

Next night we went out to eat at Sisters of the Sea (formerly Runaway Bay).  Excellent food.  It is by a marina and we watched the boats being docked and afterwards took a slow walk down the pier soaking up some glorious sunshine.  The sunshine was warm and wonderful…but made for squinty eyes in pics and big shadows.  Tried to edit a little…

Pirates and mermaids for the kids…and a swimming pool to cool off as you wait for your meal…we skipped the cooling off part.


Can you balance a french fry on your nose?

And, all good things have to come to an end…Lori had to return to work…Levi to school…Suzanne enjoying the rest of her spring break…Tara to work…and me back home to prepare for a big project coming up in the next 2 months!

So good to spend time with our family.  So blessed we are all close and enjoy being together.  So fortunate to have two precious little boys of the next generation.  God is so good to us.  We praise Him for blessing us and loving us.

We spent our last night all together in the den watching The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.  Suzanne’s suggestion.  I hope you are familiar with this set of books by C.S. Lewis…such a prolific, Christian writer.  The series for children are told in fairy tale fashion with a direct correlation to the Bible.  Such a glorious opportunity to draw a parallel between what happened in the movie and what happens in the Bible.  Please, please read these stories to your child…or get the movies and watch them.  They are so well done!  And, actually, you will enjoy it as much as they.  It is not a cartoon.  Can not recommend it highly enough!  The one we watched was the first one and it centered on the resurrection!

…Art by Levi age 4…




A few months ago, it came up at a Sunday School meeting that we needed to take a fun trip.  Someone suggested New York City, and Monty was put in charge.  She soon had info out to us all detailing price, and possible itinerary, along with other details.  We mulled it over and when it came down to it…6 ladies decided to take the trip.  (Everyone I know told me not to go.  My health just does not allow me to walk for long distances.  But, since there could be…maybe…possibly…the tiniest of stubborn streaks in myself…I signed up and pledged to be among the group.)

I was elected to describe our trip and post pictures detailing our big adventure.  Could it be that’s because I’m the only one who writes a blog?  Probably.  But, I shall attempt to document our 7 days in NYC to the best of my ability.

At Dothan Airport…excited about our adventure ahead!

Monty insisted she was going to be ‘the Chief’ on this trip…I had to remind her that I was ‘the Queen’!  All in fun…Monty was definitely in charge!!!

After a short layover in ATL, we arrived to the bitter, frigid, biting winter weather!

Boarding our shuttle (after a 2 hour wait), we soon arrived at our hotel.  Checked in to lovely rooms at the Westin Times Square.  We poor starving girls then struck out to find something to eat close by.  Found a little hole in the wall pizza place…full of folks.  Figuring they must know something..we joined the line and soon were eating the most delicious pizza rolls!  Then back to the room and rest for our first full day!


We did have the fortunate luck of having 2 little deli/grill places right next to our hotel!  One was old and quaint…one new and modern.

Both delicious.  We visited them every morning! We found wonderful madeto order breakfasts, and delicious bagels and croissants, and hot chocolate here…

Our first play was a matinee on Sunday afternoon.

I had seen this before in Birmingham and knew it was a great play!  It tells the story of what happened before the Wizard of Oz story…how the Wicked Witches, Glenda, the Good Witch, the Tin Man, Scare Crow, and Cowardly Lion…and the flying monkeys came to be!  Such a funny play…great music…great costumes and sets!

When it was over, Terry, Joy and I took a taxi back to the motel…while Monty, Betty and Beverly chose to walk and go eat cheesecake!  World famous Junior’s Cheesecake!!!  Wouldn’t you think they would certainly bring us some?  That’s what I would do.  But no…Just no.

Next day, we began a 3 day bus tour that would drop you in several places around the area to sightsee.  We saw quite a bit!  Now, may I be perfectly honest with you here?  Well, of course I can…it’s my blog!  I cannot remember exactly what we did on which day.  I am fairly clear on everywhere we went…just maybe not in order.  But, that’s what ya get when you ask someone like me to tell a story!

*****The Empire State Building*****

This was such an amazing building so full of lovely architecture.  I had never been inside before.  There were 2 observatories closer to the top.

Monty and Joy…



Can you spot MACY”S in the above picture.  Yes, we went there, too.  But this was from the Empire State Building.

*****Battery Park*****

This is a place to catch the boats or ferry to Ellis Island to tour the Statue of Liberty.  The statue was closed and you couldn’t go in it due to repairs being made… and us Southern ladies…much as we love a good boat ride on Lake Eufaula…just didn’t cotton to the idea of getting on a ferry to go way over there in weather with a windchill of 21.  No, Ma’am, we did not.

From one of the higher buildings a nice shot of the Statue of Liberty!


We were all admiring these beautiful sycamore trees…Joy, Monty, Terry.

On several trees we found these lovely hearts growing into the tree.  Don’t know how or why.

A glorious statue depicting men and women and children coming to the shores of America.  So massive and so well done.

*****9-11 Memorial*****

This was a quiet, reverent place.  So hard to imagine the horror that happened here.  Lovely memorial with much to make you think.

It was by far the coldest day we were there.  We could not even speak as we waited in line!

Beverly was freezing….but so were we all!

This flag is made up of photos of all those who died on 9/11…

Where one of the pillars stood…

The huge waterfall at the entrance…notice the beautiful rainbow…

Tonja and Beverly…

The new One World Trade Center…the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere…the sixth tallest in the world…

*****Grand Central Station*****

This was so lovely.  I was amazed at the architectural features inside of a building that people only pass through going somewhere else.

Sweet Joy…

Betty and Beverly down on the floor…

Terry, Tonja, Beverly, Betty…  notice arches and moldings behind us…

Monty, Tonja, Joy, Terry…

*****Little Italy*****

We walked through Chinatown and Little Italy.  We had gotten a great recommendation of a place to eat and when we got there, it had burned down.  A young man came over and invited us to his Italian place.  He asked us where we were from and we said “Dothan”…he said he grew up in Mariana, Fla…about 25 miles away!  Small world, huh?  The food was amazing!  Great atmosphere, too!

*****St. Patrick’s Cathedral*****

We got a tip before we left that we should try to get tickets to see the play, BEAUTIFUL.  So we did and it was fabulous!  It is the life story of Carole King.  She is such a prolific songwriter!  It was just joyful from start to finish!  Perhaps we enjoyed it so much because it is the music we grew up with!  Highly recommended!

Afterwards, due to all the walking we had done all day, Terry, Joy and I were too tired to take another step!  But,we started out anyway.  Don’t know whose fault it was but we finally realized we were nowhere near our hotel …we had gone quite a ways beyond.  We stopped and I’m sure we were looking quite forlorn…when a little pedi cab drove up and asked us if he could take us to our hotel.  Thank you, Lord.  We got in and he started pedaling.  Then he asked if we would like a little longer tour.  We said sure…as long as we don’t have to walk!  So he drove us all through Times Square before depositing us at the Westin!  It was so fun!

After our bus rides were over and when the busses were too late getting to a stop…Monty decided we were old enough and smart enough to tackle the NYC Subway.  And so we did.  We did quite well.  Most folks are so willing to help if you ask…and we asked a lot!  At one time, we all got through the turnstiles to the other side…except Terry.  She got hung up trying to get a ticket.  I mean really hung up!  Finally someone helped her.  Then she couldn’t get the swipe at the entrance to say GO..She swiped so many times, the machine rejected her card.  Then she had to go and get another one…and the whole dance started over!  Monty decided she would help.  Not the best idea.  Cause she got stuck betwixt and between!  Oh, we laughed.  I don’t think you are supposed to do that, Monty!

Terry made it!!!!!


Original wooden escalator…

Too tired to shop!  Can you imagine?

*****Central Park****

After playing on the turnstiles for a good 30 minutes, we were finally on our way.  We all wanted to take a horse buggy ride…but it was way expensive…so we settled for another pedicab.

Our last night, we went out to dinner…and then on to see THE LION KING.

Monty and I split this!!! Chicken pot pie!

While not everyone in our group was as excited as I was to see The Lion King….I was enthralled the whole time!  I have always wanted to see the costuming and the animal puppets.  It was amazing!  Such talented craftspeople!

*****A few street scenes*****

We all searched for ‘pennies from heaven’…Monty will treasure these!

And the day came to head home…barely got my suitcase closed…


Even as we left the frigid temps of NYC, we saw a promise of spring…lovely flowers breaking through at Battery Park…searching for some sunshine and warmth to grow into their glory…

We watched the skyline of NYC disappear…saw the Atlanta skyscrapers…but nothing was as beautiful as the sight of open fields and farms and green!  Look at that lovely green as we fly nearer and nearer to Dothan!

Oh what a glorious time we had!  Some of us tired a little quicker than others, but that’s OK.  We saw NYC…our friendships became stronger…and we laughed and laughed and laughed!

At Dothan Airport…home again!

As the Dothan sun sets on our grand adventure in NYC…

…we give thanks to God for safety, health, and protection.  We saw how His hands guided us along the way!  We know that the chance to enjoy this trip was a great big gift from Him.  And we are grateful!

“Every good and perfect gift comes from God.”   James 1:17

Photo Credit:  Terry Walker, Betty Cain, Beverly Haynes, David Clark, Tonja Owens