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An Amazing Serendipity

24 Jun

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

I’ve written about the serendipities that have happened in my life (or our lives). I feel they are just God’s way of giving us some unexpected joy in our lives.  As I said before – some are really momentous, some are just okay, and some are like – “what just happened?”

Recently Fred and I had an AMAZING serendipity that just blew us out of the water!

Fred and I boarded an airplane to fly to Virginia to visit our youngest daughter and her family.  That includes her husband and our grandtwins.  The twins will be 12 the end of this month, and we won’t be able to be there for that celebration.  So we had to make this visit as “celebratory” as possible.

 

Credit Google Search

 

We were sitting on the airplane, when the flight attendant came by with coffee and soft drinks.  As she was attending to the people across the aisle from us, I noticed that she was wearing a Disney pin on her apron, in the American flag colors.

 

 

 I pointed it out to Fred, and then I noticed a beautiful ring she was wearing.

 

When it came our turn for her attention, I mentioned the pin to her, and that we are huge Disney fans, that we live only 15 minutes from Disney World. She replied that she also, lived just 15 minutes from Disney World.  She looked at us and mentioned the development we live in.  When we told her our subdivision, she gave a huff and stated the subdivision SHE lives in – all within our development!  We are practically neighbors!  I then mentioned the lovely ring she was wearing – and she said it was her “Princess Diana” ring.  We had a nice conversation with her.

 

 

That was a serendipity right there!  But it doesn’t end there.

 

Just last week we were scheduled for our semi-annual dentist visit.  They had scheduled us to be seen by two different hygienist at the same time – so we could be finished at the same time, rather than us having to wait on each other.

 

Credit Google Search

 

As I was waiting for my hygienist to begin, she mentioned our address in our subdivision, from the dental chart.  She mentioned that she lived within that same development – and mentioned her subdivision.  I said, “that’s funny – I had the same conversation with a flight attendant last week on an airplane.”  After repeating the conversation we had with the flight attendant, the hygienist looked at me and asked what airline we flew with.  When I told her, she began pointing to herself!  My dental hygienist was our flight attendant!  She said she was a hygienist during the week, and was a flight attendant on the weekends.  She had wanted to be a hygienist since she was 12 years old. Then I mentioned the ring she wore on the plane – and she dug it out of her purse and put it on.

Now THAT’s an AMAZINGserendipity!  We talked all through the procedure – well, SHE talked, I just grunted every now and then, since my mouth was full of dental equipment.

When the dentist came in to check my mouth, we told him of our connection, and he was amazed, as well! 

These are such fun things!  God is so good to give us these times of our lives that bring such joy

 

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.

Psalm 100:1

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.

Job 8:21

 

 

 

 

JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years.
Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.
She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.
They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born.
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
She was a stay-at-home mom for many years.
Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.
Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer.
She also enjoys scrapbooking.
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Father’s Day 2018

17 Jun

SUNDAY MEMORIES

 JUDY WILLS

 

 

I have written about Father’s Day in previous years, and sometimes feel that I’ve written just about all there is to tell about my father, and Fred’s father.  I know that isn’t true – I can’t put a lifetime of memories in just one posting. And so I think of other things along the way that each of those men said or did, and it makes a good memory for me.

I was blessed with a Christian daddy, and the love of God that he instilled in me.  Of course, his job entailed working in the church-related side of life.  But he loved it, and did a wonderful job of it. He was quite dedicated to his job and his Lord.

 

1942 – Dallas, Texas
Daddy, Bill, Judy, Mom

 

Fred was blessed with a Christian daddy, as well. His dad was a military chaplain when I met him, and served 28 years in the military as a chaplain.  He had a tremendous love of God and country, and passed that along to Fred.

 


1946 – Columbus, New Jersey
Kitty holding Larry, Charles holding Sally
Emily and Fred standing

 

But there are more “Fathers” in my life, not just my father and father-in-law.  My husband is a father, and has been a solid rock for our family to cling to.  His love of God and country is recognized by many – those he’s worked with in his past military days, and those he worked with in retirement.  He was the Church Administrator at our church for just about 13 years.  He was and is still highly respected by those in the congregation, as well as the vendors he dealt with in the up-keep of the church facility.  The vendors sometimes still ask to talk to Fred, rather than the current administrator.

 

1976 – Panama City, Florida

 

Fred has loved God for so long, and deeply, and he has been able to share that love with his daughters.  They learned to love God, as well, from him.  They learned that loving God is more than just attending church on Sundays.  They looked at Fred and realized that loving God is living a life dedicated to God – every day of his life.  He is just amazing, and I love him.

My brother, Bill, is another man of God.  He has led his family with faith in our loving Lord, to the belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  His life – and the life of his family – show the love of man for family and man for God.  I am so proud to be his sister, and to share the love of God with him.

 

1985 – Titusville, Florida

 

Well, what more can I say?  I am surrounded by the love of God and I couldn’t be happier with that situation.  God has placed me with loving people.  I am blest.

 

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

Ephesians 1:3

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY 2018

I Remember…Cousins, Mother’s Side-Part 3

10 Jun

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

 

Uncle Frank didn’t like to have his picture taken. We only have a few pictures of him. After Mother and Jessie died, and Bill gave me all the family pictures, I began scanning them into the computer. Jessie had a bunch of slides, and they were scanned as well.  When I told Pat about that, he requested copies of any pictures I had with Frank in them.  And I have done so.  Here are a couple of them.

 


1959 – Uncle Frank and Aunt Lillie – San Antonio, Texas

 


1959 – Uncle Frank, Aunt Lillie, my Granny – San Antonio, Texas

 

1959 – Uncle Frank – San Antonio, Texas

 

 

At least he’s smiling in this one.

 

An amusing story about that family came up when we were staying with Aunt Lillie in 1974.  You see, back in the 1940’s, Jessie owned a small diner in downtown San Antonio, Texas.  (Please see my post of November 17, 2013 –My Aunt Jessie – Part 1)

 

San Antonio, Texas – Jessie’s little diner

 

Granny made some delicious pies for that diner that were a hit with anyone who ate a slice.  My favorite – to this day – was her chocolate cream pie (we just called it Granny’s Chocolate Pie). Yummmmmmmm!  Lillie loved it, as well, and made it often for her family.  She told me that one time she had made the pie, and it looked so good that she ate a slice.  Then she wanted another slice and ate it.  Then she realized that her boys would know that she had eaten so much of it, so she ate THE ENTIRE REST OF THE PIE!  And made a second pie for the family.  When I told Pat this story in 2001, he said “I didn’t know that.”  I said:  “she didn’t want you to know!”

One more thing about Aunt Lillie – she was a great cook!  As a matter of fact, she was a cook at an elementary school near her house.  When we were staying with her in 1971, she saw that we ate a Sara Lee Coffee Cake nearly every morning.  When she noticed that we were discarding the foil containers the coffee cake came in, she asked if we would save them for her.  Seems that road workers would come into the school and purchase a lunch from them, because the food was so good, but she had nothing to put the food in.  So our little foil containers were just what she needed.

For a time, Pat and his wife, Lee, lived in Albuquerque.  Actually in Rio Rancho, just outside the main city of Albuquerque, on the west mesa. On one of our visits there, Fred and I agreed to meet them at La Placita Mexican Restaurant in Old Town Albuquerque. Later, Pat said that, when they moved back to Texas, he could see Lee’s fingernail grooves in the road all the way! She really loved New Mexico and didn’t want to return to Texas.

Back in 2001 when Pat and Jimmie came to visit, they stayed with us for a few days.  We met up with Bill, DiVoran, and their family in Titusville for dinner one evening.  Bill agreed to escort them to Kennedy Space Center the next day, and the boys were excited by that prospect.  They went with Bill to KSC on September 10, 2001.  When 9-11 happened, I remember thinking, “WOW!  If they had been one day later, they wouldn’t have been able to get onto KSC, as everything was closed after the terrorist attack!”  I’m glad they were able to have a good day there.

Fred and I were able to meet up with Pat, Lee, and Gary last year on our road trip.  Here is a picture of them at the table at the BBQ place where we ate.

 

Cousin Gary, Lee – Pat’s wife, Cousin Pat

 

And on a recent trip, Bill was able to meet up with Pat and Lee for a meal.  He hadn’t seen them since that 2001 visit, when Jimmie was with Pat.

Family is always important, and these cousins have meant a great deal to my family.  I’m glad we have been able to stay connected all these years.

 

I thank my God every time I remember you

Philippians 1:3

 

1989 – Albuquerque, New Mexico
Stepfather Sid, Cousin Pat, Aunt Jessie, Mother

 

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~The End~~~~~~~~~

I Remember… Cousins, Mother’s Side-Part 2

3 Jun

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

 

 We always made the time to go see my cousin’s family when we went to San Antonio for a visit.  I always thought their little house was an interesting house.  Turns out that it was actually hand-made – quite literally – by Lillie’s husband, Frank.  I think they added onto it as each son was born.  Aunt Jessie and Granny lived in San Antonio until about 1952, when they moved to Albuquerque.  We didn’t make as many trips to Texas after they moved to Albuquerque, so didn’t see the cousins as often.  I just remember how much fun we had playing together.

Here are a couple of pictures from 1944.  That’s me with my cousin Gary in Granny’s backyard in San Antonio.

 

 

 

 

And here’s one of Bill and Jimmie Mac in San Antonio.

 

 

 

Here’s one of the three sisters.

 

Granny, Lillie, Loa

 

I think it’s in front of Lillie’s house in San Antonio in 1950.

When Fred was stationed in San Antonio 1971-1974, we stayed with Aunt Lillie until we found a house.  Janet called her “Aunt Willie.”  Here’s a picture of Lillie and our girls.

 

 

Pat and his wife were living in the area, and we were able to see them frequently. We didn’t see much of Jimmie or Gary.

However, I remember one Christmas while we were there.  Aunt Lillie had invited our family to join hers at her house for Christmas Day, and so we went there.  Our Karen was probably six years old, and Janet was just a little thing – probably around 2½ years old.  All three boys were there, as well.  We had the traditional Christmas of opening packages, and the Christmas dinner.  While we were cleaning up from the meal, Janet was quite interested in the ornaments on the tree, and began examining them. Unfortunately, that meant pulling at them, trying to get them off the tree and into her hand.  I realized, just too late, what she was doing, when….down came the tree – ornaments and all!!  Fortunately, it didn’t land on anyone!  The boys came in from the kitchen and said, “well, I guess it’s time to take down the tree!”  We all pitched in and took off the ornaments and Christmas decorations and they hauled the tree outside.  I felt rather bad about it, but they assured me it was okay.

 

And I really want to tell you about the boy’s father, our Uncle Frank.  There are a couple of things that we’ve chuckled about through the years:

 

  1. For some reason, Frank decided that he was going to die when he was 40 years old. When he didn’t die at age 40, it made him mad….and he was mad for 30 more years.   He died in 1968 at age 70!

 

  1. We had a saying around our house – “I had one of Uncle Frank’s days today.”  And everyone would laugh.  It took a while for Mother and Aunt Jessie to explain that expression to me.  You see, he would come home from work (I never knew just what his work was), and proclaim that “well, I had a h***uvaday today, just a h***uvaday!”  So, even now, when we have a difficult day, we look at each other and say, “I had one of Uncle Frank’s days today” and know just what we mean.  It’s been a source of laughter in our family for quite a while.  I’ve told many friends about it, and they enjoy it, as well…and usually say it back to us!

 

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

 

I Remember…. Cousins, Mother’s Side~Part 1

27 May

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

I suppose most of us have a lot of cousins. I certainly do, as my Dad was one of 13 children!  Unfortunately, most of them I don’t know or don’t remember, not having contact with them for many years, not having lived near any of them.  But I’ll write about them another time.

In this post, I want to mention my cousins on my Mother’s side.  Mother was one of only two siblings in her family, and her sister, my Aunt Jessie, never married, so there are no first cousins there.

However, there are some second cousins that are very close to me.  You see, my Grandmother was the oldest of three girls in her family.

 

1953 – Albuquerque, New Mexico – Lillie, Granny, Loa

 

There was an older brother, Harry, who died six months after my Granny was born.

 

This is a tin-type picture, possibly of Harry, Granny’s brother

 

Granny was born in 1892, her sister, Loa, was born in 1898, and the youngest sister, Lillie, was born in 1903.  Since my Aunt Jessie was born in 1910, and my Mother in 1913, that meant that Lillie was only seven years older than Jessie, and just 10 years older than Mother.  I remember Mother telling me once that she, Jessie, and Lillie grew up more like sisters, rather than Aunt and nieces.  There was a special bond among the three of them.

When Lillie married and had her sons (three of them), the boys became favorite cousins.  Jimmie Mac was just a year older than my brother, Bill.  Gary, the middle son, was very near my age, and Pat, the youngest, was the favorite of all of us.  In Jessie’s later years, she would go to Texas and spend Thanksgiving with the three boys and their families.  When my Mother died, Pat was one of the first ones I called with the news. He was devastated.

I’ve kept fairly close contact with Pat through the years.  Jimmie, being the oldest, just wasn’t in my sphere of familiarity.  However, when Pat and Jimmie came for a short visit back in 2001, it was a fun time.  You see, those two boys had gone to a cooking school in Tuscany, Italy,  a short time before.  I remember Pat saying that he just didn’t know Jimmie that well, and wanted to know him better.  I remember asking Pat why they went to Tuscany to cooking school, rather than France. He huffed out a breath and said, “huh! The French couldn’t boil water until the Italians taught them how!”  We both howled with laughter.

 

1953 – Albuquerque, New Mexico – Lillie, Granny, Loa

We had a great time reminiscing about times past. I remembered one visit to San Antonio, and we were at their house.  One of the boys had an accordion.  I was rather young, but had been taking piano lessons for many years, so I picked up that instrument and began playing on it.  Of course, I had no clue what the “buttons” were for, but I did know the keyboard.  I just remember Pat’s mouth hanging open, watching me play it – without ever having played it before!  They had struggled to learn to play it.

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

People Do The Funniest Things Part~2

20 May

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

 

I’ve been thinking about some of the funny/weird things that people do – including myself. Sometimes I wonder about myself when I find myself doing something really strange.

For instance – when I am walking along a street/sidewalk/road, if I see a grate over a drain – I make sure that I don’t step on that grate.

 

The type of drain grate within the circle

 

I’m absolutely convinced that, if I step on it – it will fall through and down I will go! It hasn’t happened yet, but I’m convinced…. And I see others walking over them all the time, but if I were to….

My Aunt Jessie was a special case in point:

 

Aunt Jessie

She had several superstitions that were unreasonable to me. For instance – she would never go to Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, because she was convinced that, the day she visited the caverns, they would collapse in on her!

 

Credit Google Search and New Mexico Geological Attractions and Destinations

I know that I visited the caverns at least once, and here I am to tell that they did NOT collapse! Such are irrational fears – that are quite real, unfortunately. She had another superstition that I laughed about a lot. I’m sure that many have a fear of crossing the path of a black cat – or is that just an American superstition? Don’t know.

 

Credit Google Search and Wikipedia

 

However, I DO know that, as I was riding in her car with her one time, a black cat ran across the road in front of us. We were only a block or two from her house, but she stopped the car, turned around, and went another way home! Funny to think of that now, but she was quite serious about it.

And one more about my Aunt Jessie: She had quite a collection of jewelry, including a lovely ring, set with an opal.

 

Credit Google Search

 

 

Unfortunately, Jessie had a superstition about opals – they had a “curse” on them, so only someone born in October could wear an opal without the curse affecting them. Fortunately, we had a family member who was born in October, and she received the ring. That is our own DiVoran.

And then there’s Fred’s mother.

 

 

While she was a dedicated wife and mother of her four children, she also had some down time. She did love to read, and she read a lot. But one of her favorite things to do was to play Solitaire….with cards, not on the computer. I actually attempted once to show her how to play it on the computer, but she just didn’t get it. I went really, really slow with the moves…and her comment was, “can you go slow so I can see how it works?” That was the last time I attempted that effort. But what was funny about watching her play, is that….she cheated! She would lift a card or a stack of cards and “peek” at the cards to see what was where, to know how to play, so she could win! It was hilarious to watch!

 

~~~~~More later – when I think of more zany things my family has done~~~~~

Mother’s Day 2018

13 May

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

It’s another Mother’s Day in the United States. The day when we and our country recognizes our mothers and the way they have impacted our lives.

When I think of my own mother, I am torn – between deep gratitude to God for giving her to me as my mother, and deep sorrow that she isn’t in this life anymore to talk with and hug and get good advice from – even in my advanced years.

I am grateful that she was a God-loving and God-fearing woman, who taught me about God and Jesus Christ, and helped me be the woman I am today. I loved hearing her tell stories about her growing-up years. There weren’t too many stories that I remember, but the ones I do remember are precious memories to me.

 

Notice the bows in their hair in all these pictures!

I remember her telling me that, as she cared for her sister in her sister’s last days, they spent so many hours “remembering” this event or that event. Mom said she wished she’d had a tape recorder to record their conversations and memories. But they are now lost. I have speculation that they are renewing their memories in heaven. And perhaps I shall share in those when it’s my turn to join them.

 

1945 – Albuquerque, New Mexico
Agnes (Mother) on the left, Aunt Jessie on the right

 

My mother loved deeply and freely. I’ve written about her previously (please see my posts of May 12, 2013, December 8, 2013, June 1, 2014, February 8, 2015, November 8 and 22, 2015). She was a loved and remembered part of our church in Albuquerque. My husband, brother and sister-in-law and I made a trip to Albuquerque back in 2000. We went to our old church that Sunday morning.

 

First Baptist Church, Albuquerque, New Mexico

 

As I walked down one of the aisles, an older gentleman stared at me and said, “Is that Agnes Lites?” (my mother’s name). I replied, “No, but it’s Judy.” We had many fond reminisces with the people in the church that day. Mother was remembered and missed.

 

But I have another mother – my mother-in-law, Fred’s mother.

 

 

She was such a sweet, elegant lady, and she treated me like another daughter. Of course, I don’t have many of her “growing-up” stories, but I know I loved her dearly.

 

 

To know my husband as I do, I can see her hand in his up-bringing. She was a gentle soul, but must have had a firm hand in child-rearing. All of her children have become wonderful adults, and all of them are believers in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. That speaks of her love of her Lord, herself. She also, has left us. She suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for about 12 years, so we actually “lost” her all those years before. But she was a great influence in my life in all the years I knew her. (Please see my previous posts about her: October 12, 2012)

Mothers…..my mothers are precious to me – and the memories of them touch my heart even today, as I think about them.

She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Proverbs 31:26-27

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