Saturday, November 26, 2022

Finishing November

a neighbor's landscape rock 
with names similar to ours!

With a contract on my house and all the furnishings removed, Gary and I have had a little more time to get back to our morning bike rides. He recently noticed this landscape rock several blocks over from our house where the people have names similar to ours! Maybe we'll see them out in their yard sometime and we can introduce ourselves.

November has always been a favorite month with me but recent years cast a pall on it, the last full week, in particular. Sister phrased it well in an email written to me last night:

"I hope this was a good day for you. I know it was two years ago today that Tom was suddenly called home. And I'm thankful that you are in a better place, emotionally, than you were that day and the days that followed. This was a tough week, including his birthday as well as the day of his passing. I'm glad you are not alone today."

She was right about it being a tough week. Gary, too, was very sensitive to it. When he woke yesterday he pulled me close, speaking softly into my ear that he knew what day it was and went on to express his understanding of how this anniversary was a painful memory. 

Yes, this week of Thanksgiving was Beloved's birthday and two years since he died. I marvel this much time has gone by, already. It seems like it was yesterday and yet it's been 24 months. 

But then I raise my head to look around, taking note of where I am and how I got to this place. Beloved's death terrified me but since then I have seen first-hand the faithfulness of the Lord to do more on my behalf than I could ever ask or think. 

combining our possessions 
to make new traditions

It was surely by God's design to combine those sad-inducing memories in the same week as Thanksgiving, a time set aside to ponder the benefits He has given.

Daytona Speedway

Another way to survive the temptation to dwell in gloom is to do something different instead of returning to long-standing traditions. We did just that with Thanksgiving. Weeks ago we decided to take our thankful hearts to a huge car show in Daytona on the holiday. Yes, I knew the likelihood of a turkey and pumpkin pie dinner from the food trucks was unlikely.

Gary with a '55 Chevy

So although I did not get to see my new husband's turkey-carving skills, I admired his great knowledge of the makes, models and years of cars without having to read the signage. 

cute yellow car

Some 3,000 cars were at the show, old, new, and everything in-between. I can't say there were any electric cars, but surely there was if for nothing more than to make a statement of some kind. Walking among the vehicles tends to evoke memories of bygone days.  The memories are enhanced with oldies rock'n roll music on the speakers -- apparently the norm for car shows.

a very famous car

There was a DeLorean (minus the flux capacitor from the Back to the Future movies) -- not sure I could get used to the doors hinged above my head!

a memory for Gary

On the subject of bringing up the past, Gary logged a lot of time with the blue version of this jeep during his years with the Air Force's Air Police. 

I wore an easily-recognizable shirt
in case Gary lost me in the crowds

The above picture is a '68 Pontiac Firebird, which is what I drove in my high school driver's ed class!!

My association with Gary is teaching me to recognize the older cars but I'll never be a match to him. I do, however, have an understandable affection for Thunderbirds, since he bought the one he owns now the same week we began dating. 

Gary's 2002 Ford Thunderbird

Returning to the subject of Thanksgiving traditions, at breakfast that morning the prayer was one of sincere gratitude to the Lord for our blessings, not the least of which are the benefits of our relationship and getting us through all the changes that has brought. 

As for the menu of the day, at the car show we had hearty hamburgers with a bag of chips and a can of soda. Filling as that was, just before heading home we enjoyed ice cream cones. Later in the afternoon we made a short stop at the home of friends where pumpkin pie was 'forced' upon us. 

Thanksgiving dessert

Moving past the holiday,  Christmas decorations are being pulled out, but I'll save that for another post. For now I will bask in peaceful gratitude for having survived November.

Oh give thanks to the LORD,
for He is good,
for His steadfast love endures forever!
Let the redeemed of the LORD say so,
whom He has redeemed from trouble
and gathered in from the lands,
from the east and from the west,
from the north and from the south.
Psalm 107:1-3 ESV

Until next time, grace and peace.


  1. This was a very sweet/bittersweet post. I am so thankful to God for the ways He has carried you through these past two years especially. It's hard to believe it has already been two years, but then again, when I look at all that has happened during that time, I wonder how God accomplished it all in such a short amount of time! It just goes to show that with God all things are possible. He knows our every need and He is quick to provide. I love the way you celebrated Thanksgiving this year. I think that was wise in many ways...a fun and positive way to set new traditions and move forward in your lives. Perhaps in time you will feel like doing the more traditional things again, but for now, this was a great alternative. That ice cream cone looks so good. I was craving one not long ago, but we don't have any ice cream places near here to get something like that. I need to just buy some cones and make them here. LOL. I enjoyed this uplifting post. Oh, that rock with Gary & Mim...I was trying to figure it out when you gave the info that it was at a neighbor's house. I thought it was really interesting!! Okay, thank you for sharing...this was wonderful. And we are so happy for you!

  2. That ice cream cone looks so delicious, Barb! It sounds like a possible new tradition was started by going to the car show in Daytona. It looks like it was fun. Thinking of you.

  3. I love that Psalm. Amen. I also loved this post. You and I traveled the same path with you in the lead by only three months. It is unreal that it has been two years. I would rather have ice cream than pumpkin pie, any day!! I hope you get to meet Gary & Mim. Keep us posted about that! I will keep you and Gary posted about Lakeland's big car show. Might finally get you down here!! October is a long way away, though. Love & hugs!!

  4. This post makes me happy, even though there is sadness involved. Your testimony of God's faithfulness through these hard times is a blessing.
    I'm thankful you have Gary in your life, and for your presence in his! And What a blessing to have someone who understands those hard anniversary days.
    Your day at the car show looks like fun!

  5. Making new memories by starting new traditions really help. I always enjoy your thoughtful and wise posts. Pretty t-bird. I inherited a t-bird from my dad. It was a 63 t-bird. My sister wanted it so she bought it from me. My folks used to cruise and do car shows.
    I think it’s great that you can go along with Gary’s hobby and enjoy. It’s like being the only female in the household of the male gender I made the choice to join with them with sports especially football. I have awesome memories with my sons I still cherish. God bless

  6. our country bungalow we are also very thankful that we survived November! God bless your December with lots of Joy, Love, and Peace!