Thursday, March 4, 2010

So Where's Melanie Been?

No posts! No posts at all! She must have fallen off the face of the earth...No, not quite. :-) We are on vacation. We were in Indiana for a week, then Tuesday and Wednesday we drove to Georgia, and today we are in Florida, until next Wednesday, Lord willing.
It has been an awesome trip! We have driven through Ohio and Indiana (duh), Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida! The only "first" of these is Florida, but the last time I was in Alabama was so long ago that I don't remember it a bit. It had been a long time since I'd been in Tennessee or Georgia either.

If you were to ask me which is my favorite so far (except for OH and IN), I'd definitely have to say Georgia. Georgia is the most awesome state! I love it!! The Atlanta area is really beautiful, the city is neat, and the culture is so charming! It's the South, you know!! It's so different than the North. We had stopped at a gas station maybe a half-hour from Marietta/Atlanta, and a lady was talking to mom outside the van, and suddenly it was like, "Oh, yeah, we're in the land of Georgia accents!" ;-) Of course, my granddaddy has a Georgia accent, and we've gotten to know it better from movies like "Facing the Giants" and "What the Deaf Man Heard", and it really is fun to listen to. ;-) The architecture is different too. Pillars/columns in the front of a house is really "the thing". The area where we stayed last night (where my aunt and second-cousin live) is pretty fancy too and there were some very beautiful houses. ;-) This is Daddy's cousin Mary Anne's house:Watching Facing the Giants with Georgians has also put it in a whole new perspective. ;-) So has watching it in HD. ;-) Mary Anne's husband said (jokingly) that football is a religion down here. (Not really a religion, you know what I mean though. ;-) ) Almost everyone is big into football, and are very serious about it-- a lot more than in the North, it seems! And what's even funnier is that cousin Patrick's school's football team has played the Tucker Tigers!! They are arch-rivals!! :-P


The last time we came to Georgia was 1997. Since I was only about five then, I only remember a few things: a fuzzy memory of pulling up at my Aunt Catherine's house in the middle of the night and waking up; going up the see-through elevator at the Coca Cola place; watching the show at Stone Mountain. That's about it. I didn't remember my dad's cousins or our "second-cousins-once-removed" at all. So meeting Patrick, the youngest "second-cousin-once-removed" (it was a big discussion last night ;-) ) was quite new to us. We had a blast with him, Mary Anne and Jaime. They're great people. :-)

This morning we headed from Georgia to Pensecola. Since Aunt Catherine and Jake were coming with us, we alternated who got to ride with them. ;-) I did first, then Beth, and then Amanda (who got to drive as well. ;-) ) As we drove, I fell more and more in love with Georgia. I love the scenery. It really is awesome. I wish we could spend more time in that state. ;-)

We also stopped in the town where my Granddaddy grew up. It's a little town with five to seven churches all at one intersection right off the exit, a historic downtown, and mostly low-middle-class or poor houses. We went to the graveyard where our Anderson great-grandparents are buried, and passed the high school where Granddaddy probably attended back in the 30's.

Here is Jake at that particular stop. In case you were wondering whether Jake is one of our cousins.... wonder no longer. :-)

Alabama was an interesting state to drive through. I can't say it's on my "Top 10 Favorites" list. The scenery is very "savannah-y", and the very few "residential" areas that we passed through seemed to steeped in poverty. It was actually pretty sad.

However, the farther south we drove, the greener it got, and the warmer it grew, though it was gradual, so we hardly noticed the "green" part right away. Once we arrived in Florida, we were driving past a very pretty cemetery and I commented on how it looked so beautiful shades by those great big trees-- and then I realized.... "There's leaves on the trees!!!!" Yes, here in Florida, almost all the deciduous trees had leaves. It is BEAUTIFUL! There are also many tall pine trees, small shrubs, and palm trees.

Pensacola looks just like I imagined it-- the buildings, the palm trees, all that. A stop at WalMart prolonged our travel time a little, so by the time we arrived at the condo, the sun was already setting over the Gulf of Mexico.

"The heavens declare the glory of God;
and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
Day unto day uttereth speech,
and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
There is no speech nor language,
where their voice is not heard.
Their line is gone out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,
Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race."
(Psalm 19:1-5)

The Lord has been teaching me a lot on this trip, and I am in the middle of compiling a post on one of those things: hoping in the Lord when everything in us would rather lose hope altogether. I've also been thinking a lot about serving the Lord in every aspect of my life, to the best of my ability. I've also been seeing how He fulfills His promises, and rejoicing in such verses as Psalm 37:3-9, which encourage me to commit everything to God, to just keep serving Him and walking with Him, and letting Him act in His timing in the way He sees fit.

Thanks for listening to this very random ramble. ;-) We're having a good time, as you can see. Hope you are all well! Keep your eyes focused on the Lord, and pray the same for us! :-D

God bless!

~Melanie :-D

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