AND THE “LOVE” CELEBRATION CONTINUES…….

After my appointment for a haircut this morning, I drove to Thompson Funeral Home for the “Heart Full of Memories” luncheon. Thompson Funeral Home has been a household name for so many years, I cannot remember that far back. As a “thank you” for the support from the community, they do many acts of kindness to show their appreciation.

The chapel was available today, for the luncheon and a wonderful program of music. Four large round tables, which were beautifully decorated, were set up to accommodate eight at each one. We each filled our plates with the luscious food before the concert.

Yesterday I wrote about our delightful meal, which was for the members of the C&C group. Today we had chicken salad and pimento cheese sandwiches, potato and pasta salads, a fruit tray of pineapple, blueberries and strawberries, plus a relish tray of cherry tomatoes, tiny sweet pickles, carrots, etc. Dessert was a delightful three layer cake with lots of creamy icing!  We had a choice of several beverages.

Going to these “affairs” can be habit forming! My food tomorrow will be at Tybee Island and will be more seafood than the dainty fare of today. I am just waiting for the day when I can eat anything I want to without gaining an ounce. It used to be that way, until my metabolism got messed up!

To begin the entertainment, Brett DeYoung, gave some thought provoking passages from the Bible we were all familiar with. He sang several songs, then turned the program over to Sherri Cafaro, who is the Minster of Music at a local church. She is very talented, with both playing and singing.

Bud Strickland accompanied her with his guitar and sang several solos. He is very good, especially with some of the Western numbers he did alone. We were encouraged to request songs we wanted to hear. We must have stayed an hour longer than expected, but no one seemed to mind.

All the people who attended were “single” and many of the widows requested songs that were important to them when their spouses were alive. It truly was a program about “A Heart Full of Memories.” Brett ended the program with a song and a few remarks before we finally hugged each other and went our separate ways.

The table centerpieces were red tulips and there were some surprised winners when we checked our chairs and found out who got to take them home!

I know I speak for everyone who attended, when we say “thank you” to  Mary Beth Lamey and to the Thompson Funeral Home for making this day a delightful day of “love” as we continue to remember Valentine’s Days of the past. Each of us left with a “Heart Full of Memories!”

Advertisements

THE C&C VALENTINE LUNCHEON

Our Coffee and Conversation Group met today at 1:00 PM. It did not take long before three long tables were so filled with homemade treats. It would impossible for anyone to go home hungry. The Cayce United Methodist Church allows us to use their facilities each Tuesday for our regular meetings. Usually we are located in one of the large Sunday School areas at the back of the church, but today we met in the dining room where the church serves their Wednesday night meals.

Back to the food we had today, one of the ladies made chicken salad crossiaints and  someone brought a large platter of shrimp with cocktail sauce. There were chips and dips, two huge trays of assorted deli sandwiches, many boxes of fried chicken, a bowl of stewed corn, a steamed cauliflower dish, numerous other foods, including a large pot of some type soup and a large orange-pineapple congealed salad.

The dessert table “overflowed” with all sorts of cakes, pies and other sweet treats. One member brought a bundt cake with yellow icing drizzled all over it. There were platters of heart shaped “bakery” bought cookies  and several kinds of fancy red and pink  cupcakes. I remarked to one of my friends that I could not eat like this every day. She said, ” I have quit even thinking about it.”

Last Tuesday, we celebrated February birthdays with a huge chocolate cake, compliments of our director! But that wasn’t all! We had chips and dip, a huge key lime pie and some cookies and cupcakes. One week later, we are having all this !

Back to the desserts for today. We have one gentleman who brings some sort of luscious cheesecake or a big key lime pie to our meetings each Tuesday. He does a lot of shopping at Costco and he buys them there. Another male member of the group bakes peach cobblers when that fruit is in season. We have men who are very good cooks in our group! We are thankful for them!

In another area, there was a table that had all sorts of beverages. After everyone enjoyed our bountiful lunch, we played games and had door prizes. We have a wonderful group of members. The Thompson Funeral Home started the Coffee & Conversation Group about two years ago as a service to older people who are single. It is not a match making group, just an opportunity for people who are widowed, divorced or who never married to get together and have fun and fellowship.

Tomorrow, we will meet again to have a lighter lunch and a program of music. This will be held at the funeral home. After that program, our “card playing” members will remain to have an afternoon of canasta.

Then on the “real” Valentine’s Day, a smaller group will have lunch together at a large church that is famous for home cooking. The church has a huge conference center and a restaurant which attracts many folks from around the city for lunch. Frequent  conferences hold their meetings there, also.

I will leave early on February 14 to go to the beach, with my travel club. There is no way I can eat like many of my friends do! But, I just remembered, we will be at the coast doing what? Eating seafood, of course!

I will begin “cutting back” at our next regular meeting on February 19, when we have another “birthday” celebration! Seniors really have a lot of fun!

TWO PAIRS OF SHOES

As I was sorting through my shoes so I can select some to donate to a charity, my mind wandered back many years to the time I had only two pairs of high heel shoes. I didn’t consider myself poor, but back in those days money was not plentiful due to low salaries and most people did not have a lot of anything.

I had a pair of pumps that were my “Sunday” shoes and another pair for work. I did have bedroom slippers and maybe a pair of tennis shoes or flats. Ladies always dressed up on Sundays. Most of the time your best dress was the one you wore to church along with your high heels, hand bag, white gloves  and a hat.

Easter was a very special day. If you had children they always had a new outfit. Since I had two little girls, I made frilly dresses for them. They looked so pretty with their little pocket books, white gloves and a new Easter bonnet! Of course, they had a new pair of black patent leather Mary Janes or some white leather ones.

Since I liked to sew and did it out of necessity, too, I would make a new dress or linen suit for myself. Easter was the time to buy new shoes since old ones would not look good with a new outfit.

My second pair of high heels was for work. I always chose a basic black pair, with no trim. There were bows or other ornaments you could buy to clip on the shoes to make them look dressier.  Back in those days we were not allowed to wear slacks to the office. I can remember when approval was granted for us to wear a nice looking pants suit to work. The “big” bosses visited my work place to make certain everyone wore the proper clothing. That was when lower shoes became popular.

Today, as I had my shoes lined up in the bedroom, so I could choose some to donate, I wondered why I had so many pairs of shoes in different styles and colors. They take up space and are really not needed.

Going back to the “olden” days, I used to buy my shoes from Butler’s or Marilyn’s Shoe stores on Main Street. As I made more money, I began buying better shoes from J. C. Penney’s or Belk’s on Main Street. Quite often I would find nice shoes that had been marked down at the end of  a season.

I have never been a person who had to have every new style that came along. I consider myself to be a “basic” person. I am just not a “trendy” person and never will be. Simplicity is a word that describes me best.

Since I made most of my clothes, they were never flashy. I did not want to stand out in a crowd. That is true of my shoes, also. Plain pumps were my “trade mark!” I don’t know what happened along the way, but today I had a line of shoes that stretched across my bedroom floor.

I do not need all those shoes. A few pairs to wear on Sunday and my “running” shoes are ample for my current lifestyle. I use the term running loosely. I walk on a track at church or when I go to a large store, but running….not now!

As our lives change and we are no longer buying for children, we have more money to spend on ourselves. I have come to realize that having more than you need is not a good thing! I don’t think I will ever go back to having just two pairs of high heel shoes. I will enjoy my Skechers and will just wear those two pairs of high heels to church. On second thought, make that two pairs of low heels. I must think of my back and of what feels best for me. It certainly isn’t high heels!

SUNNY SUNDAY AFTERNOON

When I went out to get my paper early this morning, I thought for a moment I was at the North Pole. The wind was freezing. It was such a contrast to the prior week, but that is how the weather is in the South.

After having some hot coffee and getting dressed, I was off to First Baptist Church. The sun was blinding as I drove to town. The nice lady in the department next to ours had made a large strawberry cake with fresh strawberries in the batter and in the icing. It is so nice to have someone who owns a bakery to ask you to have a slice of homemade cake! She always invites the Special Ed staff to have some of the goodies she brings. Today was extra nice!

Our director gave each staff member a small box of Whitman’s candy. Being a Baptist, especially in our department, is not the place to lose weight. I did not even try today! Our pastor had another great message. Last Sunday he challenged everyone not to grumble. He made several remarks about that. I think everybody did respond to the challenge!

After a good lesson in our class, each member was given two pieces of candy for their Valentine as they left to go back to their group homes. We have such a happy, loving membership!

By the time I came home, it was a little warmer. The sun was still shining. I made a quick stop at CVS. I had several coupons I did not want to expire. I made a large purchase, but with my coupons, I save almost half. That really made me happy!

When I got home, all I had to do for lunch was to heat the food I had cooked yesterday. That is so ice! No waiting for my hot meal! I really liked that! I watched several other pastors from churches around the country. I am very thankful to be able to do this. One I saw again was Dr. Charles Stanley. He played such an important part in my life when I lived in Atlanta and he still does.

After scanning the newspaper, my eyes closed for a short while. When I woke up, I thought how blessed I had been all day long! I woke up to a warm house, I had good food for breakfast. I was able to get MY regular parking place at the entrance to my department. Not many people get up that early to park in “my” spot!

I saw all the sweet class members, was given cake and Valentine candy, plus a nice tote bag! Then I saved a bundle of money on my new Water Pik. My lunch was ready in just a few minutes, plus it was good!

My day has been filled with “Heavenly” sunshine from the sky and by all the good things that happened on this Sunny Sunday in February!

SATURDAY’S SMILE

The temperature is beginning to decline, bringing an end to the heat wave. Saturday is usually busy at home, if I am not away on a trip. I go on lots of day trips, some are during the week. It all depends on where the destination is. When I go to the musicals in Charleston, it is always on a Saturday.

I like to have a good hot meal on Sundays when I get home from church. So many of my friends are not happy if they don’t eat at a restaurant, but I listen to church services from many parts of the country, so I prefer to eat at home so I can watch them. It is just what you become accustomed to. Our church has wonderful meals on Sundays from time to time. I do like to eat away from home on those days.

Today, I slow cooked a chicken in my crock pot. That is the best way, for me anyway. I like things that are easy! I cooked some cabbage and made up a recipe, so it would be something different. I look forward to eating some of that casserole tomorrow. I had part of a fresh pineapple and four honey crisp apples I needed to use, so I made a dish with those ingredients. I had some Vermont maple syrup, so I lightly flavored the apples and pineapple with that and spread some sliced almonds and shredded cocoanut on the top for a little extra appeal.

When I get home tomorrow I will cook some dressing to go with the chicken and will not have bread. I bought some pretty English cucumbers and some cherry tomatoes, so I decided to slice the cucumbers very thin and add some slices of a Vidalia onion along with some sour cream and a little apple cider vinegar and let that marinate over night. I used to eat that many years ago at a restaurant called Berry’s on the Hill, which is no longer in business. I added some cherry tomatoes for color. I look forward to my meal tomorrow. I wish I had someone to share it with, but I don’t, so I will enjoy it alone.

I did some house cleaning, changed my bed and washed clothes. That does not sound like much, but for me, it was quite bit. Some health issues have changed my lifestyle, so to do those “routine” things made me smile. Then comes the “Saturday night bath”  and shampooing my hair.

My Sundays begin very early, so I select the clothes I plan to wear and I have everything lined up, so that it takes very little time to dress. I also have any materials or paper work I need for class ready in front of the door so I will be sure to take them with me.  I try to have every detail well thought out.

My Saturday evenings begin promptly at 6:00 PM. My family and friends know not to call at six o’clock or later because I will not answer the phone. I have a standing date with Lawrence Welk and friends at that time, followed by several sermons, then an hour of Huckabee. I enjoy his variety program so much! Next comes Mike Rowe and his daredevil experiences. His programs are very interesting.

When Mike goes off, Bobby Schuller comes on for an hour. I love Bobby and Hannah. They both take part in the service and the music is very good. The church is much smaller than the Crystal Cathedral, that his grandfather began many years ago. The service is actually held in a Presbyterian Church, but it is always full. Bobby’s style is totally different than that of Dr. Robert Schuller’s,  but I would not miss hearing Bobby.

I wind up my evening by listening to Dr. Robert Jeffress from First Baptist Church in Dallas. I visited the church years ago before the expansion and restoration.  I hope to go to Texas again to see it in person one day.

I am still plugging along trying to get rid of clutter and unnecessary things I no longer use. It is a slow process. My bookcases are overflowing. Some of my smaller books are filed two deep on the shelves. During the “rearranging” process, I hope to take some time to read a few poems by one of my favorite writers, Helen Steiner Rice.

My collection of her books goes back many years. She was employed by the Gibson Card Company and they not only published her books, but the verses were used on greeting cards, stationery, book marks. etc. I bought so many of those things, which were daily reminders of her beautiful words.

She was so blessed to have the natural ability to compose everything that rhymed. I have wished that I could express my feelings that are meaningful and poetic, like she did. That has not happened yet, but for just a little while today, I took time out to read some of her poems and that gave me my “Saturday Smile!”

FRIDAY MEANS FUN, FOOD AND FELLOWSHIP FOR FIRST BAPTIST SENIORS

It was a beautiful Friday. Just perfect for an outing for fifty or more seniors from church to head for Shealy’s in Batesburg-Leesville for lunch. For those who are not familiar with the restaurant, it has been in business for over 50 years now.  On the days they are open,  people from far and wide come to eat some of the best country cooking anywhere!

They serve several types of BBQ. I like the vinegar and pepper, but the mustard based seasoning is very good, also. There is such a variety of fresh vegetables, you really need more than one plate, if you want to sample all of them. I love the rice and gravy, collard greens, baby limas, creamed corn and rutabagas. It may simpler to say, “I like every thing cook.” There is a salad bar, that I did not go to, but it has so much to offer, you could just eat salads, if you wanted to.

Our group took up the entire large, private dining room. It really provided a lot of “togetherness” in more ways than one. My friend, Nancy, sat next to me. I asked if she was going to have dessert. She said, “Of course!” Well, I didn’t want her to eat alone, so I asked her to bring me a small dish of soft chocolate ice cream. She took me at my word and that is what I got. She had a jumbo bowl of several of the sweets. I am so thankful I did not go to get my dessert because I may have come back to the table with banana pudding, some chocolate dish with lots of whipped cream, apple cobbler and strawberry short cake!

It is not just the delicious food that attracts people to go on these outings. Our group has a genuine love for one another. I have known so many of my friends since the 1960s, I believe. Each year we are together is really a precious gift.

We look forward to the programs we have at church periodically. There is always a good meal prior to our guests speaking or performing. In March, we are having a retired Baptist minister who makes pottery, show us how he molds a variety of pieces. He will have the wheel he uses to form the object on stage, so we can watch as he works.

Our last program featured a friend who plays ALL the hand bells for several songs. This is quite a feat! She plays the hammered dulcimer and a regular dulcimer, also. She performs all over the state and at conventions. For sure, she is multi-talented!

I am thankful that we can continue to go places and do things as a group. So many seniors live alone because they have lost their spouses. Some members have never married, so we are their family. The Bible is full of scripture about love and loving one another. That is one thing there is no shortage of at First Baptist Columbia. It was such a beautiful, sunny day for our bus trip, for the good food and the feeling of love that filled each minute we were together! May we continue to enjoy our loving friendships for many years to come!

IT WAS A HOT TIME IN THE OLD TOWN TODAY!

I love quotes, poems and lyrics of songs. I got today’s entry in my journal from an old song. I substituted today for “tonight” in the title. I don’t think the song was referring to the temperature. It was another kind of “hot.” But it is supposed to be winter and the thermometer read 84 degrees when I got out of class! That is hot!

Young people enjoy being dressed in skimpy running shorts when the weather turns just a little warm. I pack my summer things away when winter comes, but I am not a big fan of shorts any more, even in the hot summertime.

Our climate is changing more and more, it seems. You hardly know what to expect from day to day. I saw more jonquils in many of the yards along my way home. It is a beautiful sight to see blossoms on trees and to notice how many perennials there are that are popping up everywhere now. The weatherman has already forecast colder days and nights for this weekend, with lots of rain.

There is an old saying that goes like this, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait a few minutes and it will change.”  That is true in South Carolina, anyway. I am enjoying the warm days we are having now. I wish we could say goodbye to frosty mornings and heavy coat weather. We usually get one snow here during the winter months. It may come early each winter, but usually it is late spring. It is a “wait and see” occurrence these days.

I remember my grandparents always having the Farmers Almanac to use as a reference to do so many things. They checked it to find out when the best time to plant a garden was or when it was safe to have a tooth pulled so you would not lose a lot of blood. Those books came out once a year in advance and some people swore by them for almost everything they did. I wish I had kept one of them, just to look at now.

I know that they were full of ads for all sorts of medicines. There were recipes, some advice of all kinds and home remedies. They may still be available, but I have not seen one in many years.

Those little books may have been as accurate as our weathermen are these days, with all the advanced technology that is available. It is good to know when a bad storm is on the way. Many lives can be saved by knowing when to take cover or to leave the beach area.

It is about time for me to sign off for tonight. That brings to  mind another old song. “No matter the weather, we’ll all stick together, that’s Friendship, Friendship, what a perfect blendship! When other friendships have been forgot, ours will still be hot!”  No matter if it is thirty-two or eighty-four degrees, our friendship will go on!

WHAT A WONDERFUL FEBRUARY WEDNESDAY!

Woke up early to a lovely day! It was appointment day for me in Lexington, which happens to be one of the busiest places you can imagine. Long ago, Lexington was a sleepy little town, but that was then and my how it has changed!

I got dressed and headed out early. To my surprise, there was not much traffic on what seems like a long journey to my doctor’s office. I enjoyed the scenery along the back roads, which quite often has bumper to bumper cars inching along. I said a little prayer that my favorite parking space would be available when I arrived for my appointment and guess what? It was!

The staff in the office is so friendly, it is like seeing family each time I go. I took a little time off during the holidays, so today was a good day for some hugs! I was early for my appointment, but my doctor was ready and he got my back in line and even had a few minutes to catch up with what had been happening since my last visit.

It is such a treat to lie on the massage table, which I thoroughly enjoy! When it was time to leave, I felt like a million dollars!

My next stop was for groceries at my favorite store. Because there is a competitor across the street, the prices are lower at the Lexington store than they are at the same chain in my little town. I saw some nice folks who were loading their carts with all the goodies, as was I.

Before I pulled in at the grocery store, I said another little prayer that there would be a parking space near the front door. Well, guess what (again) There it was, just waiting for me to pull in! You have to put a quarter in a slot on the cart to use one, but when you park the cart you get the quarter back. I walked up and someone had left a cart without “parking it” so I took it and made a quarter since I did not have to pay.

There were some very good deals on fruits and vegetables, so I was pleased with my findings. It really does not take a lot to make me happy!

The sun was shining on my way home. since it was near lunch time, I knew traffic would be heavy. Well, it happened again! There was no traffic! I thought I was dreaming.

As I drove through my neighborhood, I noticed all the flowering trees that were in bloom and some of my daffodils had opened. I mentioned that on Sunday, our pastor had challenged everyone to have one day, all day long, without grumbling. I did that on Monday, again on Tuesday and I have been happy all of today, which is Wednesday!  No grumbling from me!

We are having temperatures in the seventies and today reached eighty degrees! I hope there will be no reason for grumbling tomorrow when I will drive to Lexington again to attend classes at the Shepherd’s Center with all my friends. Several days ago I remarked that I expected to see folks in shorts who were wearing flip flops during our “heat wave.” Well, today was the day that I saw them, at the grocery store.

I feel sure that all the seniors who attend classes with me will have on regular clothes, but each one, like me will be wearing a big smile when we share our “breakfast” together, classes and then lunch! It doesn’t take a lot to make us happy!

FACEBOOK….THE GREAT CONNECTOR

I cannot remember when I became involved with Facebook. It was a long time ago. My friend, Hannah Horne, told me I needed to be on LinkedIn, so she established that, then told me she had done it. Hannah knew I was a “little behind the times” so she got me involved with Facebook, also. If it had not been for Hannah, I would have missed out on many years of making friends and keeping in touch with people around the United States and in foreign countries.

Perhaps I “overuse” this means of communication, but I have such a diverse group of friends, I share things they might like. One of those friends told me she never “looks for anything because she finds it on my page.”

Somewhere along the way, someone must have liked me so much, my identity was taken over. I lost all my original friends and my photos. I changed my name to my first initial, J , and used my maiden name. Now, when I play some of those quizzes on Facebook, the answer comes up as “he.” It is funny to see some of those descriptions.

The reason I am writing about Facebook today is that the subject had been on my “what to write about” list since I uncovered a large spread in the AARP magazine a number of years ago. Just recently, I have been busy getting rid of a backlog of unnecessary articles I have “saved” for the future or for my references, when I get around to a certain subject.

Well, this morning in my daily newspaper there is a little article about Facebook I found to be interesting, so I will share some of those facts and will mark one more item off the “what to write about” list.

Facebook, which started in 2004, is turning fifteen! I will quote some of the facts that Barbara Ortutay of the Associated Press shared in her column.

The original name was “The Facebook” and was intended only for Harvard students. Facebook is now a massive global business that connects some 2.3 billion users! It was “born” before IPhones and IPads.  Only desktop computers used Facebook and there were no ads, back then.

In 2004, CEO Mark Zuckerburg’s biggest problem may have been almost being kicked out of Harvard. In 2019, his worries include the threat of government regulation of the empire he has built. In the article, she states that Facebook may not be good for the world. I am sure there are many opinions on this subject.

Nowadays, it is almost impossible to go anywhere without hearing the word, Facebook. It has transformed the world.  The article included some facts that are astounding. The number of monthly users as of December 31, 2018 was 2.32 billion…Billion! The number of daily users as of today is 1.5 billion.

The number of people in the world with Internet access is 3.9 billion. The year Facebook reached a billion users was 2012. The 2018 revenue was $55 billion.  The 2018 profit was $22 billion. The number of employees in 2004 was about 7. In 2018, the number had increased to 35,587.

2007 was the year iPhone was launched. The year Facebook launched its IPhone App was 2008. Facebook bought Instagram in 2012.

The source for all those figures is from Facebook, International Telecommunications Union, Forbes, FactSet, lobbying disclosure forms. I found all these facts to be very interesting and  I appreciate Barbara Ortutay writing the article.  Do you remember the lead in of a program, “Inquiring Minds Want to Know?” Or maybe it was an article, nevertheless, I must have an “inquiring” mind because I just love to know all I can about “everything” that is going on the world we are living in “TODAY”

I will be “seeing” some of my Facebook friends around the world shortly and like the song from the ride in Disney World says, “Its a SMALL World, After All!”

WINTER CAME, BUT POOF, JUST LIKE THAT, IT WENT AWAY!

One reason South Carolina is a good place to live is because of the climate. We enjoy the four seasons. Usually winters are not too severe. It may snow one time, but even then, it will probably be gone in a few days. It is nice to see the ground covered with a blanket of white, but I always hoped that would happen over a weekend when people were at home anyway. When there is even the mention of possible snow, all the milk and bread disappears from the stores.

Spring in the South is very beautiful! We have so many flowering trees and other plants. In certain areas you can look out at a peach orchard to see a sea of pink. Apple trees may look white clouds when they are in full bloom. There are beautiful places to visit in all parts of the state. If I say I like the Low Country because of Magnolia Gardens or Orangeburg with all the azaleas and roses, I may offend Swan Lake Iris Garden and so many others!

With Spring comes a lot of pollen. I have seen so much on my driveway that I think it is a yellow carpet. There is beauty in every part of the Palmetto State!

Summers are hot in South Carolina, but the state has been blessed with lots of lakes and beaches. Myrtle Beach is one of the most popular in the world, I believe! I love Charleston and the islands. Not only can we feast our eyes on white sands, but also the foamy waves. Our lakes are filled with millions of boats, it seems. South Carolina is a real paradise!

Fall follows with a myriad of brilliant colors. It seems like everyone tries to go to the mountains during the peak season. It can become very crowded! Apple picking is a favorite for families. So many of the orchards have activities for the children. I like to go from bin to bin and select different varieties that have already been picked! I can smell some of the baked goods that so many of the places have for sale. Many give free a sample of cider and of the apples so you will now what your favorite is in advance.

That brings us back to winter, which we are supposed to be having right now. This week the temperatures are in the seventies and I have heard that we may see an eighty degree number in some locations. So instead of wearing heavy coats, gloves and scarves, you will see people running around in shorts and flip flops! That is the South for you!