Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Florida winter sights...

Just sharing a few views from my past few days... Thursday, my first time at the beach. It was overcast and the temps were in the high 60's, colder than in Tampa (see the towel wrapped around Dad's neck, while feeding the seagulls). We ate yummy fish at Crabby Bill's restaurant.

On Saturday I was invited to an outdoor wedding (in JANUARY!??). But hey, the weather was good as you can see in these 2 photos, including one of lifetime friends Laurel and Randy.
On Saturday our city had the first of 2 Saturdays with a Gasparilla parade & theme events (commemorating when Jose Gaspar & his pirates invaded Tampa). I got to see fireworks that night along Bayshore Boulevard. Then Sunday at CrossPointe Church was a touch of Germany when Stefanie's mom visited from Nordrhein-Westphalen, & I got to interpret by her side for some of the worship service. (Stefi is singing on the front, left- on stage at my brother's church). The "seagrass" on the stage is decoration to fit with the cover of the book which our home groups are going through entitled, "The Life that You've Always Wanted."

Saturday, January 13, 2007

C&C reunion

Our former College & Career singles group from Tampa Bapt. had a little "reunion" today... a casual thing encouraged by Kim's visit. She was in Germany for 3 years (yea!), & is now working in the Panhandle. You gotta love that Cuban food lunch. We are in different stages of life now, and with various jobs & interests... but still share the main thing, our love for Jesus!

How about a game of Phase 10 in our kitchen, which used to give us many fun nights in our group?! When I moved to Germany, the group mailed me decaf, flavored coffee & a deck of these cards.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

On New Year's Eve I was with a light-hearted, smaller group of friends out in the country. We "partied" casually, cooking hotdogs over a bonfire, on skewers (Spieße) made out of palmetto branches! cool. Had chili, too, and the ever present snacks at an American party... chips and dips (Maria hat gesagt, dass es ihr neu war, dass Chips eigentlich ein Bestandteil des Essens sind).

I brought Fritos-- which I cannot get in Germany. And made 2 dips (including Holly's "Beat Texas Caviar"!).

There were lots of stars in the sky, and the weather was mostly quite moderate. Then we counted down the entry into 07 with the TV shows! The next day is a tradition, when we celebrate with a big "potluck" along with about 30 or 40 friends at the Hartley's home. Again, we're sitting in a screened- in porch-- look at the shirt sleeves on Jan. 1st-- it's warm! Teresa and Greg are really special friends; here pictured with precious little B.A. That evening Heather and Bruce got back from visiting her family, and we celebrated her birthday with chocolate pecan pie!

Another tradition over the holidays is driving about 80 miles to Disney World's Wilderness Lodge, eating all-you- can- eat barbecue, and looking at a fabulous Christmas tree in their lobby. It was so warm that many people were enjoying the pools outside!

can't say good-bye yet to ....Christmas

A few more shots to complete a look at my Christmas.

This is a scene from a house we saw when we went driving around city (es gibt eine Liste im Internet oder in der Zeitung, wo die Häuser sehr geschmückt sind!)

On the 25th we ate late lunch, after taking food to HDC (as we do also at Thanksgiving), at our home with "Aunt Dot" who used to serve for 15 years in Japan. Dot used to be on the staff with my dad when he pastored a large church here; she celebrates yearly with us, and is family. We had turkey with all the trimmings! Yummy.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Florida is indeed an interesting & great place to be, but Christmas time is one of those uncanny times! Not only have we had unseasonably warm weather (even for US here -- it's also been true for many states & countries). But our local peacocks, who live at a neighbor's home, came by for a visit (as they do every so often; but in December that seemed a bit... well, strange!).

By the way, the van in the photo is on loan to me, by a very gracious family from Idlewild Baptist Church. The wife just had a bone marrow transplant, in another state, so is away for awhile for treatment. (If you're reading this, maybe you could pray for Mary.)