Wednesday, April 27, 2016

church of the week

This past Sunday I attended church in Nokomis, Florida at the church I had attended every Sunday while I was living in the area.  There have been some changes made to the sanctuary.  The people are the same, though, and that is good.  I will probably be back again next Sunday before I start on my next journey.

Friday, April 22, 2016

the Juneau memorial toy toss

I'm here in Venice, Florida for a couple of weeks visiting with friends and taking care of personal business.  One thing I wanted to do was take my dog Juneau's toys to the local dog park and give the toys away to the dogs that played there.  Juneau was my dog friend for about eight years.  I say "about" because I never really knew his actual birth date.  He was a runaway from a bad home to my home which offered him the love and attention that he deserved.  He had the most piercing blue eyes--very clear, almost icy.  Some people thought he was a wolf and were somewhat afraid of him.  I just knew him as a fluffy, friendly, lovable furry friend.  We went to the dog park many times over the years.  Juneau ran like the wind and it was so much fun to watch him run freely without being on a leash.  In his ninth year he became sick.  I watched as his energy waned and I spent more time just cuddling with him.  On his last day (I didn't know it was his last) he walked outside with me, unleashed, and went next door to the neighbors house and laid down under the big shade tree in her backyard.  I sat with him and watched as he peacefully rested. He was at peace with nature and he was free.  Eventually we went back home and I stayed with him into the night and then he was gone.  I eventually put Juneau's things away.  Shortly after this I left on a very long road trip.  I am back now and I knew what I wanted to do with his toys and things.  I went to the dog park last evening and placed his toys around the park on top of the various tables and benches.  There were a few dogs and there families there and I told them to have their dogs find a toy that they liked and they could keep the toy.  Soon, I could hear squeaky noises coming from different areas of the park.  I was very happy to hear this.  And, I think Juneau is smiling, too.  On the way out of the park I hung his leashes and collars on the fence.  Someone will find them and they will be used again.  Here's to Juneau!!  One of the good ones.  See you again someday friend.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Mississippi gulf coast

While traveling east on I-10 last Sunday I stopped in Mississippi at the welcome center and then proceeded around the corner to the Infinity Space Center to check out a commemorative brick that I had placed there a couple of years ago.  Horrors!!  They were closed!  It was Sunday, of course. Well, I was determined to see the brick and I knew I probably wouldn't be back this way again for a long time so I drove into Waveland and Bay St. Louis and found a room for the night.  My intention was to just drive back in the morning and see the brick and then be on my way down the interstate.  However, after talking with the receptionist at the hotel and listening to her retell the horrors of her experiences during hurricane Katrina, I decided to take the slower coastal route through Mississippi and see for myself what has happened in the eleven years since the hurricane took a direct hit on this coastline as the eye of the storm passed through.  I remember driving along route 90 several times years ago when I lived in Vicksburg.  I remember the glorious old mansions that graced the beach road and I had admired how they had withstood all those years (over 150) of wind and salty sea spray.  I heard they did not withstand hurricane Katrina.  That saddened me.  As I drove across the route 90 bridge from Bay St. Louis to Pass Christian I passed vacant lots and places where there was new construction.  As I got further down the road it occurred to me that the empty lots WERE where the old homes with the massive old growth trees had been and I just had to turn around and drive this section again.  I just had to, mind you.  I was flabbergasted.....and sad.  I remember those homes.  They were really gone. So were to trees.  It was a barren wind swept place. Lot after lot...empty.  I will say, though, that there is a lot of rebuilding going on.  The new houses are built on stilts.  Grand homes on stilts!  The engineering that goes into this kind of construction is remarkable.  Every once in a while I would see a nice looking home on ground level and I figured the basic house made it through the storm and it has now been restored.  The route 90 bridge has been rebuilt. The storm completely destroyed the bridge I had driven over so many years ago.  The towns are coming back to life.  Their style and way of life have been preserved.  wow

Monday, April 18, 2016

First UMC in Lafayette

Yesterday I attended church in Lafayette, Louisiana.  I found a beautiful old church in the downtown area and I decided to worship there.  The people of the congregation were very welcoming (of course!  It's the South) and I really enjoyed the message from the pulpit.   Well spoken.  Sincere delivery.  Traditional service.

I enjoy looking at church architecture and the interiors of these wonderful buildings.  This church, built in 1925, had dark oak wooden pews and pulpit and the stained glass windows were magnificent.   There was a red carpeted central staircase to the balcony rising up from the narthex and two side doors that led into the sanctuary on the first floor.  This was (is) a beautiful worship setting.

back on the road

I'm back.  I was rather stationary for the last six months or so but now I'm on the road...again.  I left San Antonio two days ago, ahead of the heavy rainfalls, and ended up in Lafayette, Louisiana for the night.  Easy drive.  I-10 the entire way.  The journey continues.