You may remember me telling you I was going to be the guest speaker at, “Saturday Morning With Friends” sponsored by the First United Methodist Church in Pensacola, Florida. Well, everything was perfectly organized, and went off like clock-work. Here I am with my darling Bob, who braved a room-full of mostly women to accompany me and be my assistant. The photo was snapped by my childhood friend, Gloria, who along with our other longtime friend, Cheree, came to hear me speak. I was also happy to see my good schoolteacher friend Pat, who helped me so much the first few years I taught school in Pensacola.
Chairwomen Julia Crowe and Connie Vance and their power-house committee did a stunning job of filling this entire room with gorgeous auction items. For the first hour, everyone strolled around and listened to beautiful live music and sipped on cranberry coolers and flavored coffee and said Southern Lady things like, “Oh honey, you look darlin’!”— “Oh, no sweetie, you’re the one who looks precious!”— “How’s your mamandaddy?” People who think Florida isn’t Southern haven’t been to Pensacola.
The funds raised from the auction and ticket sales went to support The United Methodist Children’s Home in the North Florida, South Alabama Conference, and also to the Weiss Elementary After School Program — both causes dear to my heart.
Every single woman I spoke with was completely charming. I could have plopped down at any table and made plans to go shopping with them later in the day. That’s high praise, because you can’t go shopping with just anyone.
I spoke about how God shows His love for us by giving us gifts . . . that we need to use. Just like the ladies of this church used their gifts to raise funds for those in need. (If you loved someone enough to give them a gift and they didn’t use or appreciate it, you wouldn’t be in a hurry to give them anything else, would you? Hmmm).
The food was not only beautiful, but completely delicious. It always seems when you prepare food for a large crowd, the flavor suffers, but not this time. Whoever chaired the food committee, obviously knew her way around a kitchen! “Crystal and silver for 300? Why, sure honey! What did you expect, Chinette? Hahahaha!”
And this is why everyone really came . . . GRITS BAR! Oh, my goodness, they were creamy and tasty all by themselves, but with bacon, cheese, peppers, tomatoes . . . I can’t even remember all the other toppings, but it was fabulous!
No one (not even Bob, my photographer husband) remembered to take a single picture of me speaking, but I snapped this one of Connie while she was making a few announcements. You’ll see a story soon about how this deceivingly simple-looking stage caused me to reveal my secret identity . . . Klutz Girl. Oh well, I had them charmed for a while, until the ugly truth came out . . . I can’t walk. Maybe it’s a good thing no one had a camera ready.
The topic of my talk was, “Gayfers, Grits and God . . . Proof we are Loved.” One of the church members, Mitzi Presley Holt, who served as the former art director for Gayfers, presented me with this autographed ad she created for the dearly departed department store. I am going to frame it and hang it in my office because I just adore it!
The hand painted ornament is gorgeous, and I used it on my Valentine’s Day dinner table. And the hand-turned wood bowl . . . be still my heart. Mr. Bob Joseph, a member of FUMC who is 80 years old, created this stunning bowl from the root of a Pink Perfection Camellia bush. I KNOW! How perfect is that?!!! Such lovely, kind gifts from people with sweet, sweet spirits.
I may be getting a video of my actual speech later, and if I can figure out how to post it, I’ll let you know. Thank you so much to the ladies of FUMC Pensacola for a wonderful experience.
Now, how can we all be like this group and get busy using our gifts?