Friday, November 30, 2007


Three brothers, Leonard, Talmedge, Robert
What a family get-together. The Oakleys and the Pattons. When little Oakley
was a baby.

<> Abbey today at 16 with her sister, Audrey, 18 on left What a happy mother and family the night

Abbey arrived at Nashville airport!
Uncle Leonard was there, with his wife. >>

The new Mom could not wait to put her new
clothes on her.

<< Dad and Gerry at Falls, Monteagle

Johnnie, Dad and Mum on Falls porch>>

Dad with his sister, Phyllis and her husband. Bob.

Not too often, but occasionally, I pause for a moment at the

top of the hill leading to beautiful Jones Hill Cemetery, where

my husband is buried. It is always quite and peaceful. I am

sure that "lovely" is also the right word, although it seems an

odd term for the place so closely associated with the sadness

of death. Beyond the entrance, a pebble path leads around

the back of the cemetery to five small pebble paths leading

through the stones. Usually I find one just right to park beside

the gravestones of my precious mate of 63 years and also the

gravestone of my daughter, Betty. While some of the graves

are remembered with bunches of flowers, I notice one grave is

always permanently covered with heather, and another has its

own blanket of deep purple petunias and white snap-dragons.

As I examine this grave I find it is the grave of a young 16 year

old boy, killed in a car accident. He was a Watertown Purple

Tiger. I think about his parents...........Gone at 16...........I had my

daughter until she was 56. I find Leonard's mother, father, aunt,

uncle, his brother-in-law and Betty Patton Willard on those

stones in our section. I find my name on his stone, my son-in-

law on Betty's, my sister-in-law on her husbands stone.

I don't stay long, change the flowers, express my love, and

start back down that hill. I never visit there without thinking

of the final moment that Leonard slipped into the presence

of the Lord. What an odd moment, almost like an out of body

experience. I did not know then but I know now I was meant

to have the experience of almost literally seeing him being

lifted from that bed and ascending into heaven. Our names

are there, however that is not where we will rest content,

but in the shadow of his sheltering wings, where there will be

no remberance of things past-----only sublime loveliness

forever and ever. The 8th will mark the second anniversary

of his death, it seems like yesterday. In his life was hope,

beauty and loveliness- - - - -WAP

Monday, November 26, 2007

Another Family Tradition

Each year (for the last six or seven) on the day after Thanksgiving, the Regas and Sabonis-Chafee families (my Atlanta grandchildren and great-grandchildren) travel to Murfreesboro to perform a TEN FOOT miracle...They haul my beautiful Christmas tree and box after box of carefully selected tree ornaments up from the basement and joyfully turn them into a work of art. This is their part of Thanksgiving that adds generously to my thankful blessings.

This is indeed a great tradition, starting with the first tree that Leonard and I brought home as a married couple. It always took top priority in our Christmas preparations, and barring none, our tree was always the loveliest ever! Every ornament has a memory, every memory is a gift and every time that tree goes up I see Christmas past and rejoice in the one about to take place.

For every year the Christmas tree,
Brings to us all both joy and glee.
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Much pleasure doth thou bring me!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

We are caught up in well-worn, comfy traditions. I ask that the Lord keep them worthy, like a deer path through the forest.They lead us forward then back again. The traditions came from what the British would call the commoners. Both the Pattons and Floyds were from an ordinary world of traditions, so good that we seem to take that path like the deer, back to where we came from. What a decent and lovely heritage we proclaim. My foremost thanks this holiday and every day is thankfullness for that heritage.We rejoice today in friendships, fellowships, acquaintances, parties, and get-togethers of every kind. We gather around this feasting table, humbled by our bounty, of our abundant life. We have so much more than we need. As we poise with fork in hand, ready to overdo, may we learn better how to live as grateful, if overstuffed, children, delighted, surprised, and generous with the sharing of our good fortune. I ask the Lord to help me to share in that abundance, with others less fortunate than we, and may someone, someday,somewhere say I am thankful to have known this person.We are such a part of the past, think of those beautiful tables laid with bounty on Richland Ave. and the wonderful meals always prepared with love on the wonderful Patton farm on Patton Hollow Road. Than take a look at the angel helping in the kitchen right here at 600.May God bless us all abundantly.

Friday, November 2, 2007

The family, Brad with his goat project, Sally giving helping hand
to a student in sewing. The program teaches young men and
women a trade to help them avoid prostitution and stealing as a
trade. They were warned not to expect any Muslims to make
decisions for Christ during their first two, four year terms in their
place of assignment. But God had other things in mind.
Here mothers worry about where they will get something to feed
their baby, not where they will get a baby sitter so they can go shopping.
First Baptist Church, Gruver,Tx sponsored a program and sent money
to buy goats, providing a cup of milk a day for malnourished children.
Another program provides giving a pregnant female goat to families
provided they return the first female kid to the center. What an
interesting and fulfilling program. {Did we get everything we thought
we even had the smallest desire for when we went to the Super, Super
Publix of Kroger this morning?}

The last report from our little family across the waters, is that
Brad is in the USA. I believe he is to speak in Knoxville, but is
spending time with his family in TX and his daughter, Emily at college
in Kentucky. It would be wonderful to see you however it is old
age, not desire that we give up to. May God continue to bless
you, sweetie, and I just pray for lots of safety for your family
while you are away. God Bless