Greetings from across the pond

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I heard a new expression this week that I have never heard before….”We gobbled till we wobbled!”  And if the truth be known, a lot of us did just that!!  And now, I can’t believe that tomorrow, Tuesday, is Dec. 1st and that Christmas is in 25 days!  I have never, ever seen time fly now as it is doing in my life. I guess I better start to speed up!

Effie Powell, who is living in Italy, wrote something this week that I thought would be of interest to you all since all the news of the terrorist acts abroad is paramount in the news; as well it should be.  We have been worried about Tim since he and his family live right in Brussels and it has really been in the news. He has assured us over and over that they feel safe, but still we worry. He says you just have to be aware and be sensible.  Effie and her daughter, Rose, took a tourist trip to London last week and this is what she had to say upon returning.  “The Tube, (which I think is like the subway) was packed most of the time.  I rode it because I am fundamentally against taxi drivers and I couldn’t afford them anyway.  I saw people of all races down in The Tube.  I heard Arabic being spoken absolutely every time.  I also heard Russian, Chinese, French, (I heard a lot of French) and Hebrew once.  I tried to stay aware.  I looked at folks with backpacks and I would jump off The Tube at the next stop if I felt suspicious at all, but I never saw anyone who looked like a bad guy.  The truth is those people are just families, working singles in a big city, just trying to make it the best they can.  It turned out that our beautiful, quaint British hotel was owned by two Egyptian brothers who saved it from demolition and have tried to keep it as British as  possible.  I credit the British public for following their own motto, “Keep Calm and Carry On,” and making me feel comfortable in their world.  They have cameras on every corner and they are watching, using facial recognition, etc.

Like them, we must do the best we can to protect the public and be aware, (and take the fight to ISIS in Syria), but after that we must continue on with our daily life and try not to look at every person as an undercover bad guy.  I know some of my friends will think this is a bad approach, but it is the realistic, pragmatic approach to my life here.”  As Effie also said, “America is full of dissatisfied, disillusioned people already.”  You only have to look at the news and hear of shootings after shootings to realize that.  As she so poignantly pointed out to me, we all need to have our hearts right with the Lord and with each other.  When it is our time, it is our time.

We are glad that Larry Jordan is now home, although he and Maudie did spend Thanksgiving Day in the hospital; hope and pray he continues to improve.  John Bruce is scheduled to have his last chemo treatment on this Tuesday, so we know that will be a huge burden lifted for him.  He has been handling all of these treatments really well. The annual Harper family Thanksgiving was celebrated as usual at the home of Jill and Gerry Penn on Seven Islands Road with Joan Harper, the Bobby Bishops, the John Whites of White Plains, Patricia and Tom Chafin from Virginia Beach, VA, Lee Chafin and his family from Hartwell, James Chafin of Athens, Louise and Kendall Maret from Hartwell and their daughter Deann Sims and her family from Hartwell.  A very good time was had by all!     Annette Eaton and Linda Eaton, along with Nan and Curt Eaton of Augusta all enjoyed spending last week up at Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, TN.  Annette reports that it was beautiful especially with all the Christmas lights; she said they had millions of them.  They go all out!  They even do the 12 days of Christmas along a stretch of road with the partridge in a pear tree, seven maids a milking, etc.  Bobby and Emily Brewer had their annual pre-Thanksgiving get-together at their home on last Sunday.  All of their boys, Gary, Ken, and Jim with parts of their families along with Joan and Raymond Gilbert and Patrick and Deann Cook with their girls all enjoyed a good meal and visiting.

On Thanksgiving Day, Joan and Raymond Gilbert had their annual family Thanksgiving dinner with all of their family along with Bobby and Emily Brewer.  Another great meal and some more visiting! Mr. Bob Hearing of the Source of Light Ministries passed away over the weekend.  We do extend our sympathy to his family and loved ones at this time. Howard and Dale Thompson had as their guests for Thanksgiving Day their children; Dawn, Tony, Chris and Cole Epps from Athens along with Derrick, Amanda and Hope Mealor.    Chic and Laurie Lewis hosted the Wade family Thanksgiving at their home in Buckhead Manor on Thanksgiving Day.  Mrs. Harriette Wade, Sandra Brown, Sally, Tony, and Josh Stephens along with Brad and Shannon Davis and the Shannon’s parents, the Thornton’s, and Richie Davis and his children and grandchildren were all there for the feast.  Josh Stephens enjoyed spending the Thanksgiving holidays here with home folks.     Sandra Brown left this morning with a group from Centerpointe Church to go to Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, TN to see all the Christmas lights.

Dan and Sally Porter had all of their children in and out all of Thanksgiving week.  Sadie, Jake, and Mary Elizabeth Carver from Perry spent the first part of the week here and then on Thanksgiving Day, the Jim Porter family from Russellville, TN came in.  There was a lot of cooking, eating, hunting, and cousin time going on!  Scott and Madeline along with Holly and Johnathan were also on hand to join in the fun.  Everyone also enjoyed visiting with Mrs. Mary Ainslie during the week and on Thanksgiving Day.      The annual Carpenter family Thanksgiving was held at the home of Lorrie and Wayne Ghann on Thanksgiving night at their home in Rutledge.     Mary and Frank Eaton enjoyed having all their children and grandchildren with them for Thanksgiving.  Joining them were Curtis and Joyce Eaton of Rome, Sandy, Martha, Mary Martha, and Matthew from Cleveland, TN, and Franklin, Stacy, Sabrina, Sophia, and Sarah from Flowery Branch.  They were all ready and willing to pick up pecans, but alas, there are very few this year!

I am hearing that over and over!  Sad! Tommy, Raynor, and Jim Cathey enjoyed having Thanksgiving with the Steve Leo’s in Grayson on Thursday.     Janice Philippi, Sarah Nell Craig, Stacy and Myriah Loudermelk, along with Rebekah Kilpatrick enjoyed having a girls weekend this past weekend as they traveled to Ashville, NC.  They first enjoyed lunch with Julia Gay Sabbadino at her home in Greenville, SC on Friday, who then joined them and they all went over to Hendersonville, NC to meet up with Rebekah Philippi who with her family was visiting Jason’s mother, Necia Silvers, who lives there. All of  them then traveled on over to Asheville where they enjoyed the candlelight tour of The Biltmore House on Saturday night.  They all had a wonderful and relaxing time being together and seeing all of the lights.     Pat Stinchcomb also enjoyed having all of her family with her over the Thanksgiving holidays.  Her late son, Ken’s family from Florida was able to come, along with her son, Ricky and his family from Augusta, her son, Lee and his family who live here and also her brother, Troy, from Hendersonville, NC all enjoyed being together.

All of our family gathered at Mama and Daddy’s, Blanche and Jake Wilson’s, yesterday for our Thanksgiving get-together.  I believe there were 18 of us present.     Marty and Connie Wilson spent Thanksgiving day and night down in Statesboro with the Stewart Thigpen’s.  Stewart’s mother and sister and her family also joined them.  Marc and Laurie Fortson with Peyton and Ella Grace spent the holidays in Tennessee with Laurie’s mother and father. JoAnn Cathey entertained her family for Thanksgiving at her home.  Chuck, Jeri, and Charles were here from West Point, GA, and Jan and her family from Eatonton also joined them as well as JoAnn’s sister, Ramona and her family from Augusta. The Ben Bruce’s had their children and their families all in their home for their Thanksgiving meal.

Larry and Maxine Bruce had their family Thanksgiving on Saturday in order for their daughter, Jessica, to be able to join in with them.  Jessica is a police officer in Atlanta. We want to wish Henry Roling a very Happy Birthday as Henry turned 5 years old.  His daddy, Chad, took him hunting  and treated him to a special lunch.  Family and friends came during the day to bring him presents and to wish him a Happy Birthday!  He also got to show off his new little sister, Edy!  (I spelled it wrong last week!).  The Ryan Morgan’s hosted their family Thanksgiving at their home on Thanksgiving Day.  Mrs. Edith Roling and Roberto, along with the John Hensley’s and Hayden and Henry Roling all enjoyed a great meal. Matt and Hannah Hensley had Thanksgiving lunch with Hannah’s parents in Lincolnton and then enjoyed a Thanksgiving dinner with John and Sally Hensley that evening.   Ryan’s family enjoyed Thanksgiving at Ryan and Rebecca’s on Sunday at lunch.

The children of Bethany Baptist Church will put on their annual Christmas program on this coming Sunday morning, Dec. 6th, during the morning church service.  After the morning service, the church family will enjoy their annual Christmas meal in the fellowship hall with Annette Eaton providing a table full of “deliciousness!”

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