Yes, I celebrated yet another birthday in the south! It just doesn't seem possible! As I have said before, the days run into weeks which run into months and I have no idea of where we are on the calendar!
After arriving back "home" from our Thursday night missions class I found that there had been some scheming going on around here. Awaiting me was a completely home cooked meal of ribs, cheesey potatoes, fruit salad (without watermelon), bananas in strawberry sauce and birthday cake! Diane and Dovie had been a couple of very busy ladies throughout the day! It was wonderful beyond description! Diane knows I don't care for watermelon and that I also love the bananas in strawberry sauce. She also knew that even though there was an added "item" to the menu of 40 pounds of boiled crawfish I would NEED the ribs! There are just some things that I can assure you I won't find appetizing in the south and crawfish are one of them! The rest of the crowd dove into them and also the potatoes and corn that are also boiled right along with them.
This birthday party really meant alot to me. Being new into this area and yet feeling like family so soon is definitely another of those God-things! It was a wonderful evening and I am so thankful to everyone who made it possible. And the gifts sitting on our table were just an added bonus! An Oprah magazine, M&Ms and anti-aging face cream ---- all my favorites! The jury is out as to whether the face cream will really work!!!! :)
Today we took a day and became tourists, just for awhile. You can see by the top photos that we took a ride on the streetcars that are now back and running again. We took the one that took us north of the downtown area to the cemetaries. You can't see by the photos but at this spot there is a cemetary on every corner of the intersection! You can also see that everyone is buried above ground here! Remember that we are already below sea level so going underground is not an option! Just one of those things that us northerners don't think about!
The building on the far right at the bottom is just one of many that are now closed down since the storm. You can see the windows boarded up along with the front door. Such a shame! Such a loss to the community!
We also said goodbye to Mark, Jenn and Alec this afternoon. They were headed back home to Minnesota after being here for a week doing whatever was needed. They worked on the porch of the church, mudded out a house, unloaded bunk beds for volunteers to sleep on and just whatever happened to be on the agenda for the day! It's always sad to see volunteers leave, they have become family in such a short amount of time!
By this evening we will have a team from California here and come Monday evening a team from Missouri will join them. The two together will total somewhere between 40 and 50 in numbers so the upcoming week should be a great one!
Going back to birthdays for a minute . . . I want to wish my best friend, Ellen, a happy birthday also. She and I have shared that day for years and not being able to see her is always tough and can bring a tear or two to my eyes!
And last of all we send out birthday wishes and blessings to Pastor Teresa here at St. Luke's. Her husband whisked her away for the day and we pray she is getting some much needed rest combined with some real fun!!!!
Until tomorrow where we all have the opportunity to go into our houses of worship, remember just how blessed we all are and make sure you express that thanksgiving and praise to our wonderful Creator not only tomorrow but every day!
PS A note to Porsche, Diane's granddaughter- - - yes, that's Grammie in the pictures and these pictures are just for you!!!
Until next time . . . . Susan and Monty