Thursday, March 23, 2017

Where have I been the last week or so..... and where am I today?

I took this picture this morning, just after putting on my sandals!  Yes, that's right!  Not snow boots, not winter socks, not heavy shoes.  Sandals!  And I was enjoying the (gasp) 40 degree temperatures while anticipating the 70's that were to come in the afternoon!  And we actually saw 80 degrees today!  Yes, we are traveling south for a much anticipated vacation.  Last weekend I spent a glorious three days doing my favorite thing - scrapbooking.  And the icing on this wonderful weekend was that Susie came and brought Grace!  So I had three solid days to just love on that newest granddaughter.  It was wonderful.

Ken and I have certainly visited some unusual places during our travels and this trip is no exception.  I would have to say that I experienced something today that was a first for me.
Just after taking this picture, we went inside of this building to inquire if Ken could take pictures of the "gold vault" which is visible from this visitor center.  The girl told him that he could take pictures from the parking lot, but no closer.  So he took his camera and took some photos.  After returning to the car, he realized that he had not taken any cell phone pictures, so he went out and walked a bit away from the building to take a cell phone photo, when a police car came zooming up to him with lights flashing!!!!  I was sitting in our car, in the parking lot, thinking I might have quite a story to tell.  I was imagining having to bail Ken out of Fort Knox jail!  Needless to say, the officer was very nice, but Ken was informed that NO PHOTOS are allowed!  Thankfully, we were able to leave the base, with no further problem.  Yes, quite an experience.  

We are traveling to the Florida Panhandle so we decided to stop in Montgomery, Alabama.  There are many Civil Rights era sites in Montgomery, as well as a river walk along the Alabama river.  It is a really nice small city, however the parking stinks!  We drove around for quite some time trying to find a place to park.  We ended up in a parking garage that had this very unusual walkway on the third floor.  It actually was exactly where we needed to be to get to the river walk. We started across that open walkway (three floors up) and I realized that I really do not like this at all!  
The wind was blowing and the sides are open.  Needless to say, I freaked out but Ken encouraged me to just keep looking straight ahead and he also offered to hold my hand!  We made it to the other side and safely onto the river walk.  
Ken took lots of pictures of the boats and the river.  We discovered a tunnel on the other end of the river walk that got us back to the city center.  So I was spared going back across that bridge!  I was extremely happy about that tunnel!  We also drove to the Capitol and Ken was able to get some really great pictures, just before the sunset.  

Tomorrow we are headed on to Florida and the beach.  I can not wait. Today was a really good day - interesting on so many levels.  As I said,we started the day in fairly cold temperatures.  It was only in the high 30's when we left our hotel.  There were spring flowers in the gardens however.  A reminder that it was going to be warmer that day.  As we traveled south, you could actually see the season change.  At first there were still no leaves on the trees, no flowering trees and the grass was mostly brown.  But as each hour passed, more and more leaves appeared on the trees.  We started to see Red Bud trees in full bloom.  And then there were Magnolias.  And then many other flowering bushes and trees.  The grass was green and the fields mostly planted and growing.  With the sun blazing into the windows of the car and the temperatures in the high 70's, we actually had to turn on the air conditioning!  (I had mentioned to Ken that I left his snow scraper in the car when I packed it on Wednesday - just in case!  That seemed a bit silly this afternoon!)

What a great reminder of just how quickly things change.  When you are in the midst of that dark and scary time (or that high up walkway with open sides) you just have to keep on walking. Put one foot in front of the other and keep your eyes off of whatever is lurking around you.  It also really helps to have someone to offer to hold your hand!  It especially helps to remember that the seasons change!  The cold, darkness of winter gives way to the newness of springtime.  All of the cold damp weather will turn into warm sunshine.   And the best news of all of this, Jesus is with us and walking right there along side of us.  We just need to keep on looking up!  

Jesus, today I am thankful for warm temperatures and flowering trees.  I am thankful for sunshine and sandals and having a hand to hold when I needed it.  Thank you for the reminder that seasons change.  Jesus, thank you for always being with us.  Amen

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