Archive | February, 2013

Sybel’s Memories Our trip to Louisana …continued

28 Feb

Most interesting was the cemetery. The walk on guide told us the graves are above ground because of the high water table and the flooding that often took place in this low land.

Each mausoleum had names and birth and death dates of each family member buried there. And sometimes names of slaves that were buried with the family. In order to contain all the family, the bodies that had turned to dust were in enterred in a crypt in the base of the monument. It was sad to see listed deaths of so many small children. The guide told us the monuments were handed down through the family by deed just as any other real estate.

We stopped in a park and all descended on the building housing the restrooms and snack bar. I chose an ice cream cup nameed “chubby hubby”. It had all kinds of good stuff in it… Nuts, Caramello, tiny marshmallows, etc. And was absolutely delicious just like husbands.

A lot of the group went down to the French Quarter this afternoon. We came back to the hotel to rest up for tonight’s dinner at Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Company restaurant. That will be our last Louisiana experience.

Thursday night: Boy this afternoon we sacked out! We were so tired. Half or more of our group went down to Bourbon Street and the French Quarter, but we all joined together to go to the restaurant. Sue, Bo, Al and I said at a table for four and the restaurant with a lot of Forrest Gump Momento’s we enjoyed talking together. Sue has been so busy keeping the trip going, but she tries to spend some time with each couple or group.

Bourbon Street was a noisy place since there had been something that required police cars red lights and sirens on down the street. We did not discover what it was.

After we finished our dinner a group of eight mule drawn carriages pulled up in front of the restaurant. Al and I went up and petted the first mule and then climbed into the front seat with the black driver. We went up Bourbon Street and around several blocks onto another street and then into the Italian section. Our driver was well-informed and in addition to answering our questions, speaking loud enough for the ones in the back to hear, and directing the mule, we had a good time, learned a lot about the area and the rich and famous “who had lived there” and so on. He pointed out a gay bar to us which was openly acknowledged… Even, you might say, with pride.

It ended too soon, and we walked up Bourbon Street couple of blocks to where our driver had parked the bus. We rode back to the hotel past all the big hotels and the high-rise business buildings onto the multilevel streets, saw again the sports arena. We’ll never remember all we saw and did, but have truly enjoyed our stay here.

Tomorrow it’s up at 6 AM, baggage outside by 6:30 AM and we board the bus at 7:30 AM heading to Vicksburg Mississippi.

Some interesting things we have learned about New Orleans… The Mississippi River was discovered by DeSoto.

The designation “Creole” was the people first born in New Orleans.

Shotgun houses which are houses where a person could shoot the gun to the front door and the bullet would go through the house and out the back door, (provided all the doors were open). A double shotgun houses one with two families can live and the two front doors and all the inside doors so aligned as in a single house.

Enough for today. We are enjoying the people on the trip, some we had not met before. We saw gay bars on Bourbon Street… Separate gay bars for men only.

Back to the hotel and up outside stairs to our third-floor room, we packed our stuff so would be ready to leave in the morning.

Friday we loaded in our bus and took off for Vicksburg Mississippi. We went to a lovely home they are which reminded me of Montpelier in Maine, not that it was quite as big, but that it was occupied about the same time, and by a military man also. The gardens were nice, and we enjoyed sitting in the back patio, waiting for our turn to tour the home. Then we saw a film about the national Park and drove afterwards through the park and cemetery where both Northern and Southern soldiers were buried during the Civil War. One soldier turned out to be a girl, and she is buried there to. It seems her boyfriend was killed and she donned his uniform and fought to the death also.

We saw monuments erected by the states that fought in the conflict… And no, Maine did not have monument there.

We had spotted gambling boats on the river and some of our group could hardly wait to get supper over so they could go to try their luck. Not me! We had dinner at Jaques in the park in the Battlefield Inn. After dinner we went on to our motel. There was a mall and some shops over there but I couldn’t persuade Al to go so I didn’t either. I was just looking for a bookstore anyways and I couldn’t see one from the driveway.

Some of our group went to the casinos to try their luck. Some even won some money. I didn’t hear of anyone that lost his shirt at the gaming tables.

Saturday morning we hopped on a bus after breakfast at the end and rode to the Coca-Cola museum where Coke was first bottled in the USA. After that we got back on the bus for a trip home.

Sue reported that she and Darlene thought it would be a good idea to stop at McDonald’s for lunch, since they had some funds left over, enough to feed us all. They trotted across the parking lot to inquire if McDonald’s could accommodate us, and they said yes, though they had quite a lot of customers already. That was a fun impromptu lunch.

After lunch we got back on the bus for the final leg of our journey home. We were all pretty tired by then, all but our mouths. We had a lot to talk about… At least some did! It was dark when we got back to the center, picked up our luggage and headed home.

Lorene was at our house with Bill Bailey and we told her about our trip. All of a sudden Bill Bailey ran across the room and bit Al a good bite on the back of his hand. That’s the first time Bill Bailey has bitten Al, although he latches on to me every once in a while.

After telling Lorene all about our trip… Or as much as we could remember right off quick, Al drove her home and I followed in our car to bring him back. We didn’t bother to set up talking or playing with the the cat, we just sacked out. It has been quite a week.

Would we go on another senior trip? You bet!


Sybel’s Memories Our trip to Louisana April 17-22, 2000

27 Feb

Day one: Lorene took us to the center. She is feeding the Bill Bailey for us, and picking up our mail, stowing it in a box on the dining room table, and making it possible for us to leave our car at home.

We had lunch on the bus, from a box Sue and Helen, who is the director from Lavaca, packed before we left. We arrived in time for supper at Barnhill country buffet in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. We passed through Vicksburg where the battle of Vicksburg was fought during the Civil War.

The big tour bus was loaded. Two cancellations made it possible for Treva and her daughter to go. Treva is a paid helper at the center.

We played bingo on the bus to while away the long hours. I won one game, got a candle holder for the short fat candles. That made a nice holder for the tiny shells and white sand I picked up on the beach at Gulf Shores. Two retired school teachers, man and wife, set behind us, and she is very nice. The woman across the aisle engaged in loud conversation the whole day. Que Sera! We didn’t let it ruin our day.

Most of the day was spent traveling down across Arkansas, Barling to Little Rock, then southeast to Lake City and south to Mississippi then east across Alabama and down to the Gulf Shores. We stayed at the best Western on the beach.

I am very weary. But Al and I didn’t have to take turns driving to get here, PTL! We can see the waves rolling in from our motel window. Most of us plan to spend tomorrow on the beach, watching the other people and going on a dolphin watching boat, supper included.

We hated to believe Bill Bailey behind, but Lorene will go by every day, feed and water him and hold him if he’ll let her. She’ll also bring in the mail and newspapers.

Dad just opened a wicker freestanding closet and found a microwave and refrigerator. He was out on the hall balcony with some of the others who each said they plan to spend most of the day tomorrow on the beach.

I believe, according to our itinerary we’ll take a boat and dolphin tour tomorrow evening. I look forward to it all. There are 50+ in our party.

We had driven down in the southeast corner of Arkansas on our goose tour recently, but still marveled at the flatness of the land year as compared to our Western Hills. 6 AM to 11 PM makes an LONG day.

Tuesday: Up early and ate in this huge motel on the beach, then out to walk on the beach. We saw one pelican fly from the beach. I drew a blank and had to ask what it was. I think of pelican swallowing fish not from  flying, then we saw a black backed gull and black headed gulls. I asked one woman to see if she could find me a Florida bird book at the mall (we are not mall shoppers unless we go for a specific item. We usually go one day to Christmas shop. Al always tell me to “get everything you need today because I’m not coming back!” Sometimes I go with Lorene, but mostly she goes every week with Doris.)

As we played bingo on the bus yesterday I won one game and got a medal holder with a small glass holder for a candle. Since I don’t use candles I decided this would be a unique way to display my small Gulf Beach shells and the white sand.

The hotel is gorgeous, six stories high, and we are on the sixth floor. There is a wicker standing clothes closet and inside is a microwave and dorm size refrigerator the. The fridge is perfect for keeping Al’s eye medicine cold.

Lunch is on our own today… Mine will be very light since his lack of physical activity (I exercise 40 minutes, five days a week at the senior center) doesn’t use up much energy.

Tonight we have dinner cruise and dolphin watch. Hope we see dolphins.

Today we are hanging out at the big beach hotel and resting from yesterdays long 14 hour trip. We sat on the balcony outside our hotel, sixth floor, and watched the sunbathers on the beach in a teeny teeny bikinis. One of our fellow travelers commented that the girls only wear strings with small patches to cover the necessary parts. ” I’ve got one of those at home, but I sure wouldn’t wear it in public!” Then her husband looked at her in surprise, and asked “you have?”

For lunch we were on our own so we walked across the street from our hotel, moseyed down, looking in shop windows at garishly painted T-shirts and other tourist trap offerings, stopping at an ice cream store for our favorite ice cream in a cup, which we ate under a big umbrella out front.

We had quite a show from out there as several police and rescue trucks, sirens wailing, rolled up the street towards the beach, and at least two pickup trucks, filled with white teenage boys and decked with the Confederate flag drove up and down the street. Then there was a pickup with girls in swimsuits driving up the highway and back again. Spring break?

9 PM: We had one of those unbelievable evenings. Our bus driver arrived and we loaded in, each in our own assigned seat, which we occupied for the entire trip while traveling. With 50 passengers booked, a vacant seat identified the missing person. A stuffed monkey, hung at the front of the bus, indicating which side to unload first. I tell you these gals were organized.

Back to our evening. First our bus driver took a wrong turn and we went miles in the wrong direction, and we had to retrace our route.

Then on the dolphin watch the captain had a hard time finding and tracking dolphins. However Al and I were on the left side of the boat when one dolphin surfaced,heading straight for the boat, then dived again, but we saw his friendly face.

Our dinner was very simple, teenage boys and girls as waitpersons. Something happened to the Water supply and there was no coffee… The gal in charge passed Sue two boxes of sandwich cookies, hard and dry, which she passed on to us on the bus back to the motel. However we saw big tugboats and barges crossing the bay and it made us feel right at home. We are really enjoying ourselves. This afternoon Al and I sat on our balcony overlooking the beach with its white sand and lots of sunbathers, little kids chasing the shallow waves in and out, seagulls over head and large pelicans flying by, and soaked up the scene.

Big day, now for the sweet rest and TV before sleep, and the Bellingrath gardens, before heading out to New orleans.

Wednesday: Breakfast in the hotel, bags outside the door. I had a bagel with cream cheese for breakfast and Al just had coffee. It was interesting to hear French spoken among waitpersons and accented English spoken to us.

A long, long ferry trip across the bay. Al got out on deck to take pictures, as did a good many others, but I stayed warm inside. Probably it wasn’t as cold as riding the Vinalhaven ferry outside, but I wasn’t taking any chances. Al took pictures of an oil drilling rig of the day.

Eventually we got to that Bellengrath garden’s about 11. After viewing a short film about Mr. Bellengrath, who started the Coca-Cola company in the 1930s and built this beautiful mansion in Bellengrath, Louisiana, We walked through the mansion and then the beautifully tended flower gardens, featuring a rose garden and an azalea garden, among others. We ended up at a cafeteria on the grounds had lunch.

Afterward we boarded the bus for the trip on to New Orleans, only two ladies were missing. Sue went to hunt them. Someone said the ladies went to visit the mansion because one of them fell in the museum and missed the trip to the mansion. Eventually they showed up and we got underway again.

A long, long drive there to New Orleans arriving about 4:30 PM, going directly to our hotel room and the holiday and, numerous on the West Bank. We passed a cemetery with all the “graves.” on top of the ground. They look like white marble boxes from our bus window.

Wednesday night: the bus picked us up about 6:30 PM and took us to the Mississippi River for our dinner cruise. On the way, as we walked across the parking lot, one lady fell off the edge of the sidewalk and cut and bruised her face and Elbow. She refused to go for medical attention so intense she was and her husband to go on the dinner trip. There was a large dining room on the boat and the long buffet table set off when we got there. 50 one of us filled just one end of the boat, and we can see the paddle wheel out of the rear window.

We had a tall, thin black man for our waiter and he was fun as he joked and teased with us. When I asked for hot tea he made quite a thing of it and I told him “I’m from Maine we like our tea hot.” I got my tea.

After a bounteous buffet he brought us our dessert… Would you believe bread pudding? I looked at mine and asked “could you put a little syrup on mine, that’s what we do in New England.” He brought mine back with syrup and three maraschino cherries! Then he had to bring cherries for the rest of the table.

As soon as we finished dinner the engine started and the huge paddle wheel started turning. That was right outside our big window and we watched it turned as we “sailed” down the Mississippi River very slowly and in a stately manner. Such fun. We were entertained during the evening by a Dixieland jazz group and two of our couples got up and danced. The rest of us just watched.

We sat out on the deck for a while and watched the water traffic on the Mississippi and the lights of New Orleans under a full golden moon. Pure delight!

Thursday: after breakfast a tour guide boarded our bus for our sightseeing tour, and we drove through New Orleans, learning the early history, seeing beautiful homes of the rich and famous, and lovely parks… Not to mention the Superdome where the Super Bowl games are played.


Sybel’s Memories Camping at Blue Mountain October 1998

26 Feb

“Want to go camping this weekend?” Al asked me as we sat with our feet up, watching TV.

Bill Bailey, our Siamese cat, skidded across the floor, crouched in the end of the sofa where he had hidden his toy mouse. He crouched there until Al got the flashlight and the yardstick to rescue the mouse.

When Al return to his recliner I answered his question. “Yes, but we’ll have to take Bill Bailey with us since Lorene has gone to Missouri and can’t take care of him for us.”

“No problem. We’ll take his Carrier. He’ll be safe in that. I thought we’d go Wednesday to Saturday, that way we wouldn’t miss bowling Tuesday and be back to church Sunday. Where do you want to go, shoal bay or blue Mountain?”

“Either one is okay.”

“Okay, we’ll go to blue Mountain.”

So it was decided. I began collecting camping gear from the garage and making a list of food to take. Bill Bailey dogged my footsteps, watching with interest everything I did. Toby, our former Siamese, hated to travel, and went into hiding every time he saw the suitcases being filled.

Tuesday after bowling, we stopped by the storage place and picked up our pop up camper and brought it home. Early Wednesday morning we packed our food, clothing, life jackets and canoe paddles in the car, caught Bill Bailey, put him in the cat carrier, and slid the carrier on the backseat, where we strapped it in with a seatbelt. Then we were off!

“What a lovely October day to go camping” I thought as we crossed chaffee land and drove along  highway 10. “I think that’s a wild turkey” I said, spotting a big bird scuttling across the road and up into the bushes.

As we drove on by I looked up the bank and saw the bird with the blue head. I took my bird book from the glove compartment and looked up “wild turkey.” Sure enough the wild turkey in my bird book had a blue head. I marked the date in the book… My first spotting of the wild turkey in Arkansas.

When we arrived at the gate to the campground, the keeper said “I’m sorry, we don’t have any campsites open. We are repaving the campsites, and the ones that are finished will be occupied by the campers already here. Then they will have to move out of their sites so we can do them.”

Our hearts sank and in my mind I was already thinking how to get to shoal bay from there. Just then the Ranger we had asked directions from when we were out on the highway, drove up to the gatehouse.

“We have three more pads up on the hill finished, ready for people to move in.” He told the gatekeeper.

“Would you mind being up on the hill?”

“No”, we answered.

“Jump in” he said to Al, “and we’ll go look at them.”

Al chose site 50 and when they came back we filled out the papers, paid our fee, and drove on. “We need to go down to the beach and unload the canoe.” He said, and turned the car in that direction.

After the canoe was tied to a sturdy tree limb another boat came ashore.

“Catch any fish?” I called, as a couple tied up their boat. They walked over as we walked to meet them. I saw the Assembly of God motif on his shirt and Al had his Habitat for Humanity hat On. As we talked of them all spoke of our joy in helping build houses for Habitat for Humanity, and the fisherman said he and his wife went around helping build churches for their denomination.

“He has one trailer fixed up into a workshop with all his power tools that we take with us on the job” his wife told me. After further pleasant sharing we drove up to the campsite and parked our trailer. We were busy for a while, getting our trailer set up in our camping equipment stowed. Afterward we drove down to the beach and put our canoe when the water.

It seemed good to dig our paddles in the sparkling water and push off. We paddled up out around the point, breathing the fresh air, drinking in the sundrenched air, watching the great blue herons lift their huge wings and fly further up the cove

Far out in the lake an occasional fisherman moved his boat to a more likely spot. We paddled around the little island, watching birds fly and turtles duck their dark heads as we paddle near. Soon our paddles brought us to the nearshore. Al Held the canoe steady as I climbed out then I pulled the bow ashore and he climbed out. We tied to canoe rope onto a big granite slab, then carried our lifejackets and paddles across the hill to the other beach to stow our gear and bring the car up to the campsite.

After lunch we rested in the shade of a big tree, I looked up and saw Bill Bailey walking through the leaves away from the campsite. As I ran to pick him up, Al examined the camper and found the canvas unsnapped in one place. After that when we went anyplace we fastened Bill Bailey and his cat carrier, turned him so he could look out the window, and went on with our activities.

Sue and Bo Brown came up from their camper to visit us. They brought us some filleted catfish for supper and Bo gave us a bulb to replace a burned out one in our camper, so we could have lights.

Every day we paddled our canoe out into the lake, enjoying our favorite sport. As we moved quietly around small islands and into shallow inlets we looked at the cypress trees lining the shore, with the cypress knees surrounding them. We saw formations we’d likened to groups of people.

Some looked like shrouded women going to church. Around the trunk of another cypress tree the roots look like people sitting in a circle. That afternoon we came back with our cameras and took pictures of the cypress root formations. After supper we walked to the shore and took pictures of the red sun going down over an island offshore.

Friday night the wind came up and hit our little camper with all of its fury! Bill Bailey forsook the shelter of his cat carrier and climbed on the bed with us. We listened to the roar of the wind and the rain and waited for daylight.

Saturday morning we took down our camper and packed everything in the car, except the paddles and lifejackets. We drove around to the shore where we tied our canoe and took one last look before we lifted the canoe and tied it down the camper top… Double checking to see that we had all our belongings, we got into the car to head home.

So ended Bill baby’s first camping trip with us. We hope it won’t be the last.

Sybel’s Memories December9,1991

21 Feb

Oh, Lord, my God, when I in awesome wonder, consider all the things thy hand hath wrought. I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, thy power throughout the universe displayed… Then sings my soul, my Savior God to thee… How great thou art! How great thou art!

Saturday night was a special night. We had invited four young couples from our church for a potluck supper. Al helped me get ready for it. I baked lasagna from Sam’s. One brought a salad, another desert and another garlic bread, and another ice and cold drinks. Three children came. Jo’s baby, and Ashley and Elizabeth. We ate and laughed and talked. After supper I asked that we go around the table in each tell where he was born. Only one girl was born in Barling of the 12 of us (three children were born in Ft. Smith hospitals.) Then each of us she had the story of our lives. It was a story of alcoholic families and hurting children, and the longing for love and acceptance. We wept together. Because of David and Lorrie our hearts were tender to all the stories. Each had not known the other story. We drew closer in bonds of love and caring. And when they went home we promised to do it again. There were hugs all around. One man said “I told my wife to call up someone to come over and visit, and we didn’t know anyone to call.” I said “call us, will come.” They were so lonely, so needy just for friendship.

Thank you Lord, for all the experiences of our life that prepared us for this. Without the agony of alcoholism in our family, and of divorces and step grandchildren we would have had no idea of the agony these young people have been through. Three of the young couples have gone through divorce and the agony of that.

Lord, I pray you will use Al and me here in this place however you will. Amen

Thank you Lord. For David and Lorrie, for they have taught me to have compassion on those that hurt to the agony of alcoholism.

Thank you Lord, Ferdinand and Joan for they have taught me much about loving and caring for children.

Thank you God for Paul and Linda, for they have taught me much about giving themselves to help the poor and needy.

Thank you God, from my wonderful, lovely grandchildren so they are love! Amen.

The end.


This is the end of sybel’s memories for 1991, her first year back in Arkansas. I will continue in the future to relate other stories and memories of Sybil.

Sybel’s Memories December 6,1991

20 Feb

Tomorrow is the fifth anniversary of Pearl Harbor. All week there have been stories about where people were when it happened.. Well, those of us who are 40 or over were somewhere. I remember it was Sunday and my sisters and I had gone to Bailey Hill Baptist Church to practice for the Christmas program. I was 16, still schoolgirl. As we sat and laughed and talked and waited for the leader to begin, our pastor Al G Escott came in and told us the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. I remember the shock! That day our whole world changed. We went home and told daddy and mama and they put the radio on so we could listen to the horror of it all.

The Army came to Camp Chaffee, the sixth armored the 14th armored and finally the 16th armored. They all came to train, to flood our town with uniforms, crowd our houses and apartments, worship in our churches, and drive their jeeps up and down our highways.

There were military parades on Garrison Avenue complete with guns, tanks, jeeps, and marching soldiers. They transformed our sleepy Western city into a military showplace.

“Louise on the ball” was the theme of an army store here and all the GIs who trained here knew about “Louise.”

Because of World War II Al was sent to train at Fort Chaffee. Because he was a Christian he went to church regularly. Because he went to church, we met. And that truly changed my life, because we loved each other enough to marry, and I loved him enough to go to Maine and live happily for 46 years.

Sybel’s Memories December 4, 1991

19 Feb

The year is almost over and what an exciting and stressful time it has been. I have been having some at tachycardia spells, first I have had in years. It is the stress.

Paul, Linda, Amy, Jon and Ben came for Thanksgiving. What a blessing! And what fun to have them as guests in our new home.

Our family, about 40 of us, met in the United auto workers union hall. Doris, Lorene and I went on Wednesday and set up tables and chairs and swept the floor. We put sheets on the tables for tablecloths, and use autumn centerpieces and gourds and leaves. It looks really pretty.

We had 10 foot table just to the food, plus a 4 x 4′ table just for the desserts. Wow!
Turkey, and then barbecue, broccoli casserole, broccoli cornbread, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, bread, roles and I forget what else. Pies, cakes, pumpkin roll, pecan tarts and fudge made with black walnuts. Paul brought me two sacks of black walnuts. Ben said he had to gather them. And they brought a bowl full of pecans.

After we ate until we were stuffed we had music. Ruthie sang, Mary sang, Vera sang. Even Iva sang Mairsey Doats. Paul and Linda with their kids sang. Then we all told jokes and laughed and talked. Paul played his guitar for a sing-along. At last we sang” Allel” . With one side standing up on the alleluisas and the other side standing up on the praise the Lord. It all ended in the gale of laughter.

I thought of Thanksgiving last year when David in Dan’s families along with Al and me were up at  David’s house in Appleton. Miranda made menus for us, rolled up and tied with a ribbon and David read to us from a silly book is boys and give them about “what dads are like.” The big boys ate in the rumpus room downstairs while we ate in the dining room Lori’s mother was there to. The small children ate at a small table in the dining room. Later Tina came and brought  Mathews’s baby, baby Miranda our first great grandchild. That was the first time Dan and Joan had seen her.

On Friday after Thanksgiving Paul and Linda took Amy up to silo on springs to Jon Brown University. Maybe she’ll go there and we’ll get to see her a lot. Now

We have been very lucky to be able to see all our grandchildren a lot as they grew up. Even as Paul moved away we arrange to see the kids quite frequently. Once Amy and Jon stayed with us all summer and Linda was sick. And in Maine we had frequent contact with the others. We tried to make our house a place where our grandchildren could come and meet each other and play together, so that they would have a strong sense of family, of family gatherings and good times, as I remember from my childhood with my cousins.

I think that we’ve succeeded, when I see Amy, abe, and Pat feel really close to each other. Jon and Chris played together, and all the daddies and mamas and Poppa together with the kids they play basketball in our driveway all went to the North school to play softball together I remember one day the kids came home so excited because Jon struck papa out. No grandchild never done that before. Papa told me it was easy.

I remember Papa arm wrestling with the grandsons as they grew up in fact, I believe Dan told Chris that when he could beat Papa Arm wrestling, he could stay out all night. Chris still can’t stay out all night!

I remember Papa playing ping-pong with Benji at the shore Benji beat. But when Jason or Dan played Papa that was a different story. Papa beat.

I remember the good times our family had together once on Chris’s birthday we went to dan’s and they had a sliding party at the golf course so Papa and I took turns sliding down the hill in the deep snow and turning over a snow bank

I remember a special “wingding” at the red Apple in the New Hampshire when we celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary with Doug and Margie (Al’s brother and his wife) celebrating their 40th also and Joe and Barb celebrating their 35th what a wonderful time we had for the weekend as we feasted and cut the wedding cake as the grandchildren rehearsed and put on a show force that night. Tears ran down my cheeks and my heart swelled with pride.

We played games in visited and enjoyed each other being together what wonderful children and grandchildren we have.

I remember going to the lobster Festival parade so many times with them Paul was Jonah and the huge whale one year, the boys marched with the Rockland high school bands several times. Friends of ours were queen candidates, and last year Patrick and Davey were in King Neptune’s court, nearly every year we had children and grandchildren with us at the parade.

One year I bought several tops in the Baptist bookstore I gave them to the grandsons and Amy, Abe and Pat sat down on the sidewalk and spun that tops while the crowd went around them on both sides A photographer stopped to take that picture. They were five years old then.

Sybel’s Memories November 14, 1991

18 Feb

Bless the Lord O my soul and forget not all his benefits. Bless the Lord O my soul, bless his holy name.

The driver’s license test was taken and passed. We have our new Arkansas driver’s licenses.

Yesterday we were planting crêpe myrtle, forsythia and lilac shrubs that we bought. They brought memories of home in Maine. We have had lilacs in our yard all our married life, and forsythia for the last 30 years. The man from the Fort Smith garden center asked Al how he liked living here, and I heard him say “I love it here!”

While we were planting Jo Jean came by, pushing the carriage with the twins hanging on the sides. Nothing would do but they should stop and watch papa plant. They were too busy little girls. Al took them to the garage to get a rake and hoe so they could rake the dirt smooth. They said “Canna we go inna the house?” And Jo said “no, we have to go home.” Papa promised they could come on a rainy day and go in the house. I gave them cookies to eat on the way home.

God is good. We have no grandchildren here, and they have no grandparents around either. Jo is lonely to. Dennis has been in the field doing “wargames” at Chaffee and not able to come home at night for two weeks. Like me, she finds people here already have their friends.

I told her I found that at West Rockport. So I made friends with other new people that came, not that people weren’t friendly, they were, but most of them were interrelated or had gone to school together. So my friends were the Whitesell’s, the Rackliffes’s, the van Barneveld’s and Ruth Farley. All newcomers.

Jo is thrilled. The house next door to her has been rented. The movers have come and there is a bicycle with a child seat on it, and there are Tennessee plates on the car. Jo and Dennis have bikes with child seats on the. Maybe we can watch baby Melinda so they can ride together.

Lisa, across the street, is jobhunting and her two little boys will have to go to daycare. These little boys are in the window a lot and waved to us every time we go out.

Lord here I am. Use me however you will in my community. Thank you for our new friends. Amen.