Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Tie That Binds

Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.
John Fawcett

As I think over the past couple of months and the visitors that Frank and I have had in our home, I'm reminded of this old hymn. Our hearts truly are bound to those of our visitors in Christian love because all of us are believers. However, the common beliefs that we hold were just part of the reason that we had so much fun together. Let me share our friends with you.

Our first visitors, Anne and Bill Duncan, came in May. I've known Anne for years, but I didn't become close friends with her until after she retired from teaching English at Gulf Breeze High School. Shortly before she retired, her husband died; however, after a few years, she met Bill, and soon they were married. A better match I've never seen! They are so happy, and that makes all of their friends happy, too. This summer, they took a trip to the Southwest, with stops in
Texas for Anne's reunion with college friends, Taos, the Grand Canyon, and Cerrillos, NM. What an honor that they'd include the Youngs in their itinerary! There was no dead air in this house while they were here, I assure you. Since Anne and Bill are members of our dinner group in Pensacola, The Taste Buddies, we had lots of folks to catch up on, plus they filled us in on Pensacola goings on. Naturally, we gave them a tour of Cerrillos, Madrid, and a little bit of Santa Fe, always our pleasure with folks who visit us for the first time.
They arrived on Monday afternoon, May 26, and left on Thursday morning, May 28. What a great time we had!

Next came Judy and Bob Sanders, from College Station, Texas. They, too, were taking a vacation in the West and made our house one of their stops, actually, the first one. Again, we were honored. Judy, Frank, and I have been friends since Mississippi College days, back in the late '50s and early '60s. In fact, Judy was our "wedding director." In college, we called Judy "Mookie Mae," but that's a story for another time. I remember Judy always talking about Bobby Sanders when we were in college, so I never thought she'd marry anyone else. They've been married just about as long as Frank and I have, and that's a long time. They have four children and a veritable gaggle of grandchildren! Such a beautiful family! Again, there was no dead air in this house from the afternoon of Monday, June 8, to Thursday morning, June 10. We took Judy and Bob on the same tour that we took
Anne and Bill on, and all four loved our new digs. Where we live now is so very much different from our Southland, where all of our visitors still live, that it's quite a shock to find the Youngs in their new surroundings. The villages of Cerrillos and Madrid are shockers to them because they're such "wild west" places in comparison to Pensacola and the green parts of Texas. We'll see Judy and Bob again Labor Day Weekend, when my family gathers only about 30 miles from them for our Kolb Family Reunion. It'll be so much fun to be with them again after such a short time.

Sandy and Joe Dorsett were our third visitors. I've actually known Sandy the longest of the "girls" who came to visit; however, I really didn't know her well until last year. She and I graduated from Pensacola High School in 1958, but we really didn't know each other in high school. When we wrote our bios for the PHS Web site last year, we discovered that we had something in common -- both of us had lost our sons. Her son, Tom, died in an Air Force plane crash in 1990, and our son, Jay, died in 1992. We immediately connected. When she and Joe told me last year that this summer would be their "westerly" vacation, I immediately invited them to come to see us. They are RVers, so they parked their motor home in Santa Fe. We met
them for dinner on Wednesday, July 8; the next day they went to Durango for the train ride to Silverton; they returned to Santa Fe on Saturday, July 11; and we spent all day Sunday, July 12, together. So much to catch up on! Again, we gave them the tour . . . just Cerrillos and Madrid, though. One thing different for them, though, was that they were here on Sunday, so they could go to church with us. As good Episcopalians, they expected to find Rodeo Road Baptist Church stuffy and stodgy -- the way they thought all Baptist churches would be -- and were ever so pleased to find our little church quite lively and our pastor right on target with what they believe. I managed to squeeze in a couple of hours of visiting with them at Starbucks on Tuesday before they set
out for home in south Texas on Wednesday, July 15 (today). Another great visit!

Before these three visits, the ladies were the ones whom I knew best. Now, however, the husbands, too, are good friends. We're all very much different in personalities, looks, ideas, but we all have that "tie that binds," and these three couples will always have a special place in our hearts! Anne and Bill, Judy and Bob, and Sandy and Joe . . . I hope you know that we love you and welcome another visit anytime.


P.S. Ruckman, Jr. said...

How can a church on "Rodeo Road" be boring? Impossible! :-)

Webbmaw said...

I often forget to look at your blog, but what a wonderful surprise everytime I remember. I can always hear the excitement in your voice when you talk of all your activities. Don't stop writing.