Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Follow Your Nose to the Beach

When I was a kid we spent a few summers on the beach in Panama City Beach. This is where I first saw the Gulf of Mexico and the beautiful white sands for which this area is known. I was hooked. We visited the area for family reunions on my mom's side of the family. Mom is from Mobile, AL and has family all down south. Whenever we would visit Alabama I always knew we were hitting the south when I started seeing red dirt. There was also something different about the smell in the air.

The same went for Florida. Once we hit the PCB area I knew if I rolled the windows down, letting the precious AC escape, I would smell a distinct smell, one that I couldn't put a finger on, but was always indication that we were at the beach. All of these years later since moving here, I have discovered the culprit of this smell.
Welcome to the paper mill. Lately a hot topic in the news around here concerning closing and lay offs and other news of the sort, I never knew that the strange scent in the air came from the inner workings (or output) of this institution. I think I just figured that was the way it smelled down here. I think I even thought it had something to do with the type of trees. Either way, I don't like it. It's an annoying smell and I wish I could come up with a way to describe it. When I do, I'll let you know.

In the meantime, I just have to be thankful that the smell doesn't waft its way toward Wewa. Strange how we're just about 30 minutes away, but we avoid the smell. I sure am thankful this nose is spared.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Lunch is Served

Fact is fact - there just aren't that many places to eat in Wewa. Well, I take that back. There are places to eat, but the nearest fast food joint is about 25 minutes away. The only recognizable place to eat in town is Subway. Any other restaurant is, shall we say, indigenous to Wewa.

Let's see. There's the Lighthouse, a converted gas station now serving seafood baskets, sandwiches, and other fare, including gator tail. There's the Bayou, otherwise known as the "Bi-O," as some are prone to pronounce it. Closed, open, closed, open - I haven't been yet, but I hear it is pretty good. There's the Dixie Dandy, also affectionately known as the Dirty Dandy, offering all sorts of fried goodies and acting as a convenience/gas station of sorts. It is also one of the more interesting buildings in town as far as architecture is concerned. There's the Express Lane, which is the other gas station in town, that apparently has amazing milkshakes, the kind you buy and have the machine shake up. We tried to go for some about a week ago and the guys who went in to get them came out only to report that the man inside said, "Well, when I checked yesterday, we were out." Hmm, you'd think he would check THAT day to make sure...

There is also a smattering of other places to eat, mostly small, very much local eateries, some we would like to try, some we may skip but, you never know. In a future post I'll try to include photos of some of the above mentioned restaurants. Here is one:

This is RD's. It is a trailer just outside of town where you can go to get hamburgers, hotdogs, bbq sandwiches, fish sandwiches, chicken sandwiches, great greasy fries, onion rings, and all the sweet tea you can drink. This is where we ate today, outside sitting at a picnic table in the warm February sun. It might not be McDonald's or Wendy's, but it is pretty good and you'll walk away full.

Just one other thing for today:

A dryer full of baby socks. Is there anything much cuter than that?

Today I am thankful my husband suggested going for lunch. It was a nice surprise!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Frink. Yes, Frink.

Last Friday Sabian and I had a little bit of Illinois in Florida. Our former pastors were passing through and we were able to meet them for lunch and some good catching up. We met them at a restaurant about an hour from us and on the way there we passed through a little town named Frink. Here is what happened in Frink.

See this guy? This is what we came upon in Frink. A crew was paving the road so we had to wait before we could pass through. This is not unusual, but what was a little nuts was this guy. You know how you pass these crews and there are always the two people, one at one end and one at the other, holding the STOP and SLOW signs? Here's an idea - why hold a sign when you can bungee it to your truck door and take a nap? When we first approached all we saw was the sign and a pair of work boots propped up on the door. As soon as we got closer, the feet disappeared and he instead was hard at work...picking at his nails. The longer we sat there, the harder it was for me to understand how this guy was making $20 or more an hour to hold a sign that he wasn't even holding.

When we did get the clearance to move on (with an escort, mind you), the person at the other end "holding" the sign was, in fact, not a person. It was a truck door. I sure hope that door sees a check in the future.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

It's That Day

Happy Valentine's Day 2009! We don't make a big "to do" of it in our house (although the flowers in my kitchen do look nice!) but I didn't want it to go by without wishing you well. In fact, yesterday, Friday the 13th, has more significance for us than February 14th - Sabian and I had our first date on a Friday the 13th. As if that doesn't tell you enough! A Greek dinner and a viewing of the original Japanese version of Godzilla later and the rest, as they say, is history. It is fun to think, though, that this time next year we will have another someone in our family to love.

Here's hoping you are having a good day and at the very least, a relaxing one. So far we've been to a funeral (ah yes, THE way to say "Happy Valentine's Day, eh?!) and now we are headed to the beach to have some crab legs. It's a dreary day, but a glimpse of the sand and surf is good any day.

I am thankful for a thoughtful husband who, even though he's one of those "this is just a Hallmark holiday" kind of people, still indulges in a flower or two.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Back to School

In one of my last posts I mentioned a couple of events we were able to participate in with the high school - a True Love Waits rally and a Super Bowl party. In ministry it is a rare opportunity to have access to the local schools. It is actually one of the things that was appealing to us when we were considering moving to Wewa. Sabian was really excited to know that he would be able to interact with the students at school and that he was actually welcome in the schools.

As a result, he has been able to visit the kids at school during lunch and has had opportunities to connect with teachers and other staff members. I can't begin to pretend to know everything about the schools here, as I have not been able to be as up front in school activities. While I understand that the schools here have some things to be desired, it is valuable to know that their doors are open. In Illinois and other communities in which Sabian has worked the schools are closed to ministers.

In the nine months since we have been here (which seems both like a long time and a blur!) we know that there are other ways in which we would like to be involved, but just haven't been able to yet take advantage of those opportunities. But, knowing that the schools are willing to sponsor activities or participate with the churches in town is a blessing. Others who know more than I do may have more to say on the topic, but I thought I might clarify the ability to be involved in the school system here. Some people we know have been able to teach as substitutes and Sabian was approached the other day by someone at the school to do so, which is another opportunity. It is one that causes my stomach to turn at the thought of ME doing it, but kudos to those who do. Put me in charge and I'm afraid I might let them eat me alive!

I've been lacking in sharing much information lately about Wewa and I realize there is still so much to tell. I'll try to be better at it and please, if you are reading this and wonder anything at all about Weeewawwwwhitchkaaaa, ask and I'll attempt to answer.

I'm thankful today that Sabian was able to meet with kids today at lunch. It really is one of the things he loves most about what he does.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


I visit the boot again in homage to our friend Roxy.

I discovered today that Roxy is no longer living across the street. I don't know where she is living because apparently she's been stolen. Dognapped. Who does that? Who takes someone else's dog? It made me very sad to hear that she was taken. I was hoping she was still wandering around town somewhere. Alas, she is not. No more sprinklers, gun cases, blow up balls, trash, and other miscellaneous items in our yard. No more sunbathing. No more Roxy.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

It was a busy weekend. We did get to lay low a bit on Friday, but Saturday and Sunday picked up quite a bit. One of the college students at our church organized a True Love Waits rally at the school, complete with a band that came in from Southeastern, an AG school in Lakeland, FL (more about them in a bit). We did not have the pleasure of hosting any of the band members at our house, but the ten of them stayed with various families in our church for the weekend.

Sunday was church, and then the ladies at church threw me a baby shower (hence the cake above). It was a lot of fun and Addie received some great gifts and lots of love from our church family. After the baby shower it was church at 4 because we were having a Super Bowl party at the high school at 5. After that, it was all over, but I know for many others it was a crazy weekend with other miscellaneous events and happenings. Sometimes Wewa can surprise you.

Back to the band. The Josh Hiers Band hails from Lakeland and is affiliated with Southeastern University. I first heard them at youth camp last summer and the kids here often talk about them, so it was pretty exciting for them that the band would be in Wewa for the weekend. They are considered a praise and worship band made up primarily of Southeastern students. Full of energy and extremely approachable, they make quite an impact. They stuck around and led our worship service Sunday morning and even the older people were pleased with them, so much so that they didn't complain about the volume. It wasn't all about their music, but even how they carried themselves and connected with the kids and congregation. It was great to have them here. If you're in Illinois and going to camp this summer, they will be in Carlinville and from what I understand, they have been there before.

Just a couple of other things. This is what my laundry room looks like these days. If I could post the sweet smell of Baby All, I would. It is fun, washing all of her clothes and contemplating all of the questions - will she have enough to wear? How quickly will she grow out of some of this? What will she fit into right away? How big or small will she be? It is hard to believe that in a few short weeks all of these questions will be answered. Until then, we wait and continue to pray that she will turn but that most of all, she is healthy and growing and developing like she needs to for the rest of the time she is in there. Ready or not, she will soon be here!

An interesting bit of information - you can obtain your hunting and/or fishing license at our local IGA. How about that?

Today I am thankful for cooler temperatures here. It just feels nice.