My family, health, and salvation will ALWAYS be at the top of my "list of things to be thankful for," but in 2022 several new ones have been added.
In January of this year, Steve and I joined First Baptist Church in Decatur, AL, and we absolutely love it! Pastor Blake Kersey and ALL of the pastors on staff who preach from time to time bring solid messages that are completely based on God's Word and are thoroughly prepared.
I love singing in the choir and being part of a praise and worship time that encompasses an orchestra, a pipe organ, 60-70 voices, AND a praise team, plus it incorporates both hymns and contemporary music. We are making some wonderful new friends and have been accepted with open arms. We are so very grateful for the ministry of this church and feel very much at home there.
A NEW FAMILY MEMBER
Our oldest grandchild, Allie, married Zechariah Freeborn on February 5. They are happy and perfectly suited for each other. It makes us smile to be in their presence. Plus, we just found out that Baby Freeborn is due in the summer of 2023. We thank God for their marriage and pray for a healthy great grandchild.
"100 Things To Do In Huntsville And North Alabama Before You Die" was released by Reedy Press in late March. I have had so much fun with book signings, speaking engagements, podcasts, and interviews. The book has been well-received, and I enjoy talking about the part of the country that is my home.
"Turning Cousins Into Best Friends," the book about Cousins Camp that Steve and I have co-written, will be available within a couple of weeks. We hope it will be a blessing to our grandchildren and a resource of ideas for our fellow grandparents.
My second Reedy Press book is in the works and is scheduled for release in the fall of 2023.
Busy, fulfilling times.
DOWNTOWN HARTSELLE BUSINESS LEAGUE
Hartselle has been so good to Steve and me through the years --- clients trusting Steve with their animals, teachers pouring their lives into our children during their school years, parents allowing me to teach their children piano and public school music, etc. It is truly my honor to give back by serving as a board member of the Downtown Hartselle Business League. We were formed in December of 2021 and have now had a year of meetings, learning, and making progress toward making things in the Main Street area of town the best they can be for the betterment of business owners, customers, and the many visitors who come to Hartselle.
I admire and consider as my friends the other members of the board. They are young, smart, and filled with skills and incredible ideas. I am older than any of them by at least 20 years and consider myself very fortunate to spend time with them.
This stunning mural is one of the projects our team promoted.
TRIPS THAT ENRICH MY PERSPECTIVE
Since 2022 began, in my role as a travel writer I have traveled to and spent time in Virginia Beach, Tuscaloosa (yes, Tuscaloosa), Rome, GA, Monroe, LA, Jackson, MS, Meridian, MS, Hattiesburg, MS, Ocean Springs, MS, Branson, MO, Mesa, AZ, Boston, MA, Camden, ME, Stowe and Waterbury, VT, Syracuse and Corning, NY. Each place, with its unique sights, tastes, and people, has increased my love for the United States and provided an appreciation for the way others live and think. I am grateful for these opportunities and the insights gained in the process.
The trips I was able to take with my Silver Fox and a grandchild or two in tow were especially memorable.
I have no idea what 2023 will hold. For that matter, I don't know what the rest of TODAY will hold. But I do know that I can look at this past year with joy and deep gratitude. What is on your thankful list this year?