Memories, light the corners of my mind
Misty watercolor memories of the way we were.
Scattered pictures of the smiles we left behind
smiles we gave to one another
for the way we were.
Can it be that it was all so simple then
or has time erased every line?
If we had the chance to do it all again
tell me would we? Could we?
Memories, may be beautiful and yet
what's too painful to remember
we simply choose to forget
So it's the laughter we remember
whenever we remember
the way we were.
Today is our 40th wedding anniversary so forgive me as I reflect
on how much has changed and how much has remained the same.
Our very first car was a Toyota Corolla so when we had the opportunity to assist in transporting three new Toyota's to add to the Mission fleet it took us on a winding trip down memory lane.
On Monday, May 19, 2014, eleven new missionaries arrived safe and sound
at the Orlando airport. May 19th is also the 41st anniversary of my baptism in the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints and how grateful I am that two missionaries, very much like these, were willing to leave family and friends to find and teach me the restored gospel.
The newest members of the Florida Orlando Mission
From left to right, on the back row;
President Berry, Elders Garofalo, Wilson, Allen, Yates, Gale and Enamorado
On the front row;
Sister Berry, Sisters Grosland, Bridgewater, Jensen, Ludlow and Lokotui
A personal welcome to Elder Weston Gale from our home ward in Sacramento, CA
Getting to know you, getting to know all about you...
Sister Berry (standing to my right) and her "Food Fairy Assistants".
Sister Berry recently discovered a large bag with Tinker Bell on the front sitting on the Mission Home porch. In it contained one blue, specially decorated "Food Fairy" apron and numerous blue "Food Fairy Assistant" aprons inside. There was no card attached so it will always remain a mystery as to who presented her with this wonderful gift, but a gift that was very much appreciated by all! Especially the "assistants" as we donned them for our recent luncheon for 200 people at transfers.
Pictured from left to right: Sisters Gordon, Hansen, Western, Nielson, yours truly, Sister Berry, Clare and Johnson.
Transfer time and Subway sandwiches does it again!
Elder Cluff, who had arrived seven months ago as a VISA Waiter,
was finally on his way to Brazil!
Sister Berry adding another necktie to her departing missionary valance.
Wednesday twelve elders would be leaving on a jet plane returning home to family and friends after two long years and we will miss them more than we can say!
All twelve departing missionaries were so totally focused on watching
‘The Saratov Approach,’the true story of two Mormon missionaries, Andrew Lee Propst and Travis Robert Tuttle, who were kidnapped in 1998 while serving in Saratov, Russia that they didn't even know we were there preparing their requested dinner of JDawgs, until the smell of the barbecue got their attention.
Departing missionaries, Elders Sanford from Pleasant Grove, UT and Gallo from Brazil, practicing up for the songs during our often tearful farewell meeting following dinner.
Long story short, the President approved a storage unit!
So we quickly called up our happy helpers and we made a long day out of cleaning out not one, but two duplex garages where we had been storing miscellaneous furnishings for missionary residences. After loading it all up in the truck and trailer we delivered it to Uncle Bob's Storage on OBT and neatly organized it.
Assistants to the President, Elders Patten and Reay,
in their now empty Laver Lane duplex garage
Elders Garafola and Stanford in their now empty duplex garage on Seal Street.
Our new storage unit at Uncle Bob's on OBT.
Minutes later Elders Patten, Clare and Reay filling up our once empty storage unit :)
When we're helping we're happy-the theme song for these two senior missionary couples.
We are not sure what we would do without the never ending help of Sister and Elder Bevans and Sister and Elder Clare.
Seriously when we call and they come, no questions asked, ready and willing to do whatever needs doing!
Elder Cooper and Elder Peay in front of their newly furnished home in Cocoa
The Rockledge chapel on S. Fiske Blvd. in Rockledge where dropped off the trailer following our setting up the Cocoa house on our way to Cocoa Beach for a mini vacation to celebrate our 40th anniversary thanks to the generosity of Elder and Sister Gordon.
An aquarium at the Shark Pit restaurant next to the hotel lobby where we would be staying. A man actually gets in the shark tank and feeds the sharks twice a day.
Guess who joined us on our mini vacation?
Four Points by Sheraton in Cocoa Beach
Next door to the hotel was Ron Jon's Surf shop, open 24 hours a day!
It is advertised everywhere in Florida so it was definitely a "must see" for tourists like us.
The biggest lizard we have seen so far-aside from a baby alligator! Once Lambie saw him he decided to stay inside for the remainder of the trip.
Welcome to the Atlantic Ocean!
I see the moon, the moon sees me, the moon sees the ones that I want to see...
May 24, 2014 the sunrise on Cocoa Beach
Cocoa Beach was amazing!
The water temperature was in the 70's, the weather later in the day was in the 90's with a cool ocean breeze and the sand white and soft very much like powder.
Very different from our beach trips to Santa Cruz where we had to wear sweatshirts to stay warm.
Our breakfast stop after watching a beautiful sunrise on the beach-it seemed fitting.
May 25, 1974
Priceless advice-"Choose your love; love your choice."
There is great wisdom, in those few words. Commitment is essential. One of life's most precious gifts...is the ability to spend it with someone you love and for the past forty years we have done just that. It has been a roller coaster ride at times, but we can't imagine sharing the adventure with anyone else and actually look forward to what the future brings.
Strolling down Brevard Avenue in historic Cocoa Beach
Ice cream at Ossorio Bakery and Café
Happy Memorial Day!
The Lord gave a divine promise to the ancient inhabitants of this favored country the United States: "Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ" (Ether 2:12)
Abraham Lincoln accurately described our plight: "We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers and wealth as no other nation has ever grown; but we have forgotten God."
Memorial Day is a special day to remember those men and women who gave their very lives so that we would remain free.
Shouldn't we show our appreciation and give thanks for the choice land and freedom we have been given by our loving Heavenly Father and preserved by the sacrifice of many, and do what a favorite church hymn suggests,
"Because I Have Been Given Much I too Must Give"
This picture reminded me of the beach at Santa Cruz, CA on Memorial weekend-just another sweet memory :)
See you later...