Have any of you ever heard of “couch surfing”

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Sorry I skipped out last week on the news; I just gave out of time and good sense in order to put together a column.  Hopefully, things are getting back to normal on the home-front.  Mama came home Sunday before last and is doing good; home health will start coming regularly this week for physical therapy.  She deeply appreciates all the cards and prayers from all of you.  The Fairview Club brought lunch in on Saturday which was delicious.  Bertie had come in on last Wednesday night and went back to her home in Lebanon, TN on Sunday morning.  While she was here, Leon had gone to Moultrie to visit his family and to run in the Snickers Half-Marathon in Albany, Ga on Saturday.  He came in 9th in his age group!  Congratulations, Leon!  All of us enjoyed a visit from Jack Hanes and his daughter, Evelyn, and grandson, Christopher on Saturday down at Mama and Daddy’s.  They all live in Winterville.  Jack is doing very good and said that he feels the best he has in a long time!  Jack is very active in their church over there volunteering for lots of things.  They were also going on over to Broughton to visit Chuck Hanes and Elizabeth Collins at their home which they have named “Chicken Tracks.”  (They do have chickens!)  Chuck and Elizabeth are very talented artisans and craftsmen.  They were opening their home to the public on Saturday for the “Chicken Tracks Art Show” where they showcased all of their beautiful pottery and art work.  Joanie Bruce and Esther Curry also went over to it.  They said they have beautiful things.

Once again, I am going to tell you how much I enjoy Facebook and the “re-connections”  you make with people you have known in the past and have lost touch of.  One of those people is George Turner, who I have not seen in years and years.  When I knew George, he lived on Pierce Dairy Road at the time and he with his sister’s rode on the school bus with us.  I think he was in the grade with my brother, Marty.  I started seeing George on Facebook when he would post these beautiful pictures of his travels from time to time.  Some were of places here in the United States and then I would see pictures of all these foreign places and countries, so my interest was piqued…..was George just doing a lot of traveling or had his work took him to these places?  I wanted to know, so I messaged him.  It is all so interesting, that I want to tell all of you about it, too!  After George was out of school, he started working as a crane operator at NCCCO;  he does industrial construction projects like power plants, such as Plant Scherer near Macon.  This work takes him all over the United States.  Most recently he was working on a poly silicon plant north of Chattanooga, Tenn.  From what all I gather, George is very blessed to have the constitution of what I call a “go-getter.”

In other words he has never been afraid of work and he enjoys working.  He says that when he was younger he would work as many hours as they would let him and then rush to the next job to get started on that one.  He says nowadays, he takes his time!  He also says that by the grace of God he has never really been out of a job and he doesn’t think that he will ever fully retire.  Don’t you wish a lot of people would take a lesson from him?!   Because of this he is able to take some time off and see the world and I literally mean to “see the world.”  He is living the most interesting life.  He has also introduced me to a new term I had never heard of…..”Couch surfing.”  He told me to google it and I would find out all about it.  People all over the world can sign up and offer to be a host in their home, where they open their homes and share their lives.  It is a service that connects members to a global community of travelers.   There is no charge for staying with a couch-surf host; the experience is totally free and you get to experience life in their country and towns.

We can do it here, too.  Just as if  we were to have a visitor from New York or a foreign country in our home here in the South, we might cook them cornbread, make a pecan pie, take them to eat catfish, BBQ and stew down at Bonner’s Restaurant in Buckhead, show them Everette Williams rotating parlor dairy barn, Rock Eagle, and  Madison’s beautiful ante-bellum homes.  The reward is the cultural exchange.  It is a great way to really get a feel of what it is really like in a place.  George says it is the most incredible way to meet real people that not only welcome you into their home but are happy to show you around and point you in the right direction to areas that are most interesting; things that the normal tourist might not ever get to see. During a 6 month trip around the world in 2012 George traveled from Madison to Los Angeles, Fiji, Tahiti, Morena, French Polynesia, New Zealand, Thailand, England, Ireland, France and Italy.

Now, George is on a wonderful trip that is taking him North to South…..Tierra Del Fuego, near the southern tip of South America, Patagonia, Punta Arenas, camping at Terra Del Paine, saw the Glacier Marena at El Calafata, he also explored Isla Magellanes where he stood among 100,000 penguins in their natural habitat, watching them swim, jump and dive into the sea, than returning to their burrows on the island.  He saw the cemetery in Punta Arenas that is on the top ten list of the world’s most beautiful.  He has rode on horseback helping to herd sheep.  He has been in Chili and Argentina quite a while.  He has seen agriculture and the most incredible sights as well as having wonderful and delicious food.  He will be traveling to Johannesburg, South Africa this week.  George says that Almighty God has put nothing but good people in his path on both of these trips.  He said if he could say but one thing to the people of his country it would be to not miss out on enjoying other people, no matter what nationality, race, or religion.  It is like a breath of fresh air.  He says that there are so many good people in the world, it is unbelievable.  It is a whole new dimension on life.

We have let the media scare us into thinking that everyone is bad and we can’t trust anyone.  George says that he has had nothing but a positive experience on his journeys.  We have lots to offer the world and the world has a lot to offer us. I am thankful that George is getting to experience all of this.  Again, people and life are so interesting! Raegan Wilkens along with her Level 9 gymnastics team participated in the National Gymnastics Challenge held at the Ramsey Center in Athens on this past Sunday.  Her team came in 1st place!  Raegan placed 2nd on floor exercise and 3rd on beam and bars.  Congratulations to her and her team! Dan and Sally Porter traveled to Tenn. to see their son, Jim and his family recently while they were without chickens.

This past Saturday they traveled down to Perry to see their granddaughter, Mary Elizabeth Carver, participate in a science fair at her school.  This was her first time entering and she placed 3rd!  Congratulations, Mary! Connie and Colleen Shumake went to the Tiny House Festival down at Crooked Pines Farm on Harmony Road in Eatonton on Friday night.  On Saturday, Paul and Connie Shumake along with Colleen and Christy Burke with her children attended the Sate AAA Basketball Championship games in Macon in which Morgan County girls and boys teams played.  They also came away with the State Championship!  Sydney Nash, the daughter of Sara and Roland Nash is a star player on the girls team.  All of her family along with Grandmother, Jan Moorhead, were on hand to cheer her and the team on.  Congratulations to all of them!  The Gatewood girls and boys teams also won State Championships on Saturday also down at Macon!  A big congratulations to all of them as well! Don Gilbert came up to visit his parents, the Raymond Gilbert’s, on last Wednesday.  They all went to see the new Farmview Market and have lunch there.  The Market is still drawing big crowds.  On Friday evening, their grandson, Blake Gilbert, along with his girlfriend came by their grandparents for a little visit and also enjoyed having supper with them.  Sarah Nell and Steve Craig enjoyed having their granddaughter’s, Peyton, Meri, and Elise Kenny from Acworth, spend the weekend with them. Connie Wilson spent a long weekend in Statesboro keeping her grandson’s, Stewart and Harrison Thigpen, while their parents were away on a business trip.  We all extend our sincere sympathy to the family of Joe Ruff of Buckhead who passed away suddenly this past week while on the job working for Lee Eaton.  Joe had been a faithful employee who worked for Lee for many years doing concrete work.  Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.  Everyone remember to set your clocks up this coming Saturday night for the beginning of daylight savings time!

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