Saturday, October 18, 2014

Saturday Shout Outs: Trip Report Edition!

Sometimes a Saturday rolls around and I think to myself, "Do I have enough material to publish the Shout Outs this week?" Other times- like today- the concern is more about how all of the shouting can possibly fit into one blog post! It's been an amazing couple of weeks, beginning with my birthday, stretching through my awesome trip to NC, and finishing up with Marilyn's birthday this past Thursday. There are people to thank, blessings to count and joys & concerns to share, so let's get on with it. It's Saturday, and I am ready to SHOUT!!!

* To everyone who texted, tweeted, commented and otherwise wished me a happy birthday back on October 6, I say thank you! Special mention goes to Jennifer (Bob) Kuramochi (with special help from Josephine and Noah!) who dropped off some red velvet cupcakes. Yum! It was a great day that culminated with a dinner at Bahama Breeze with this fine group of folks...

* Before I get into my trip, there are numerous prayer requests to share. Amber Herrick (FUMC-Kissimmee) was married on October 10th; Mandy Beggs (Springfield Friends) is expecting a baby any minute now; Cyndi Browning (FUMC-K) is still job hunting; Terry & Leigh Ann Venable and Cynthia Davis Strider (Quaker Lake) are new grandparents; and yesterday was my Mom's birthday. Marilyn and I are headed up to celebrate a little later this morning!

* On my first night in NC I went to dinner with our dear friends Butch & Barbara Moran. It was so great to catch up with them and remember some of the great times we shared together. Plus, yesterday was Butch's birthday!- so this is a double whoop of a shout!

* Among the other old High Point area friends that made time for me my first couple of days up north were Millie Simmons, Ray Luther, James Robinson, Terry Venable, Lisa Moran and Wayne Gless. I spent Thursday evening with Jimmy & Karen Chester and we nearly talked all night. The connections I share with so many of these wonderful folks are still so strong- even some 20 years later!

* I spent pretty much all day Friday with Beth McGalliard, who had been an important part of my life since middle school. We had lunch, went shopping at Sam's Club, drove what seemed like 100 miles to buy pansies and stopped by for a visit with her son at work. I got to simply hang out with one of my favorite people in the world for a few hours. I could get used to that.

* I spent my last 3 nights with Carl & Diane Semmler in Greensboro. Carl is one of my oldest and dearest friends, and Diane is such a sweetheart. Their hospitality was so gracious, even if their giant attack cat Carson was a little scary! On Saturday morning we headed over to a place called The Moose Cafe for breakfast with some of my favorite people on the planet. We were joined by Chuck & Tammy Foster, Alan Brown, Mark & Martha Farlow and Susan Tuggle (plus her grandkids!). While I was a bit disappointed that The Moose Cafe serves no moose, they did serve something called a Hillbilly Breakfast that features liver mush. I did NOT partake; Chuck did. Special thanks to The Asheboro Flash for buying my breakfast, although he may or may or not have made Carl actually pay for it! 

* Saturday for lunch (in case you haven't noticed there was no shortage of food on my trip) a group of my former youth from Springfield gathered at our favorite place from back in the day, Pizza Inn. It was so wonderful to be joined by Todd Farlow, Ken Hill, Jennifer Wood Jones, Marie Allen, Danny McCorquodale and some spouses and kids as well. I heard from a dozen or so others who wanted to be there but couldn't make it work with their busy family schedules. Next time for sure. But here's the evidence that myself,  Ken, Danny and a little photobomber were there...
Picture courtesy of Missy McCourquodale

* Saturday night brought another meal, more time with Beth, and a visit from another very special old friend- Denise May Langley. It was great to catch up with Neesie and for the three of us to sit talk and eat as we had sooooo many times before. It was all so comfortable and so...NORMAL. It made me long for the days when we all lived just a few miles apart and such dinners (and late night doughnut runs!) were a regular activity. Either that or the days when communes were perfectly acceptable...

* After a bit of arm-twisting from Martha Farlow, Sunday morning found Carl, Denise, Beth (and her hubby Bob) and myself worshipping at Jamestown Friends Meeting. Once again, it was incredible to take a trip down memory lane. The pastor, Frank Massey, was one of my counselors when I was a Quaker Lake camper in the mid 70s. Wallace Sills was an early influence on me at camp and through NCYM; Beth Phillips Massey was one of my first youth leaders at New Garden Friends Meeting. An added surprise was discovering that Wendy Mattocks (from my Springfield group) was presiding over meeting for worship. And worship was simply wonderful. I do miss silence...but you can read more about that tomorrow!

* Sunday afternoon and evening were spent watching football and exploring Greensboro with Carl & Diane. Again, spending time with such valued friends was the whole purpose of the trip. And I was blessed to get to do lots of it! But I have to admit none of it felt quite the same with Steve Semmler up in Ohio. Which is why a  beach trip NEEDS to happen next September!!!  :)

* There were, of course, people I didn't get to see and hope to the next time around. Lots of former youth and campers, Neal & Susie Thomas, Mark & Liz Hyde, Donna Haynes Myers, Sabrina Perry, Andy Maynard, Tim Vail, Drew & Andrea Ward and so many more are on my list. I drove through Quaker Lake but didn't get to really see any of new facilities, and I got real barbecue, but not Stamey's. So there is work still to be done!

Thanks again to everyone who made me feel so welcome and so special, and to Marilyn and Will for letting me take the trip. I feel more like my old self that I have in a very long time. Have a blessed Saturday and thanks for stopping by!

Because of Jesus,

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