Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s GOODNESS
while I am here in the land of the living. (Psalm 27:13 NLT)
A handmade chocolate shake after a fun day exploring the area with companions from home.
After a month and a half of solitude and conversing mainly with God, Les and Kokomo, it was hard for me to not run over Rhonda and her daughter, Shay, with my words.
Shay was born in Tampa, and her mom wanted to show her where she started her first three years of life. They graciously invited me along on their adventures. We warned my husband that I wouldn’t be back until late. We kept our word.
First stop, a mini tour of Honeymoon Island State Park and a walk on the North beach catching up, soaking in the ocean breeze and sunshine, even though we had to bundle up in our winter coats.
On our way back, we stopped at the marina to show them where we were living these days. Then we headed to Ybor City to enjoy Cuban fare at the Columbian and walked the famous street where hand rolled cigars are made.
On our way home we met a former co-worker of Rhonda’s, whose parents used to babysit Shay. It was a privelege to sit and listen to them reminisce and catch up. Joanne, rescuer of greyhounds and restorer of family histories, entertained us with her ventures of taking in retired race dogs and finding them homes. She also started a digital restoration business, where they convert photographs, videos and audio tapes into digital media. One of her clients had audio tapes on reels from the Vietnam war, which his parents used to keep in touch during their separation. The father was MIA, and the son had never heard his father’s voice. What a treasure to hear his parents converse. He told Joanne his whole family sat around the table crying at the goodness of a voice restored.
Rhonda and Shay dropped me off, and promised to return the next day for some more sightings of goodness.
In the morning, our agenda included flea markets and a grouper sandwich on the beach in St. Petersburg.
We arrived at our first flea market and I decided to snap photos, while Rhonda and Shay browsed.
Your usual fare. Shay found a Waylan Jennings album, and Rhonda and I were empty handed. We walked over to a few separate “shops” outside the main market.
Little did we know what we were going to find in the little blue shop. It was called Bearer of the Bling. The walk-in closet sized room was filled with brand new wedding dresses. We were going to just pass it by, when one of the sales girls called out that they had formal dresses further in the back. In June, our son and his fiancee will be getting married, so I thought I would just peek. I hadn’t really started shopping for a dress yet. I planned to buy one this spring in St. Louis.
I told them I was looking for a gray, full length gown. She pulled two out for me to try on. I was skeptical if either would look good on me, but I tried on the one that seemed the best suited to my size and height.
After I was all zipped in, I was suprised. I loved the fit, the look and the feel of the dress. Rhonda and Shay were in agreement that it was very flattering. I was so tickled. As I said, I wasn’t thinking of finding a dress yet, and especially not at a “boutique” in Florida! I supressed my glee, and asked how much? The price was so reasonable, I had to buy it. What a serendipitious find! I felt like my heavenly Dad hid my dress here today, and was just waiting for me to find it. I paid for the dress, and then hugged the two sales girls.
Shay snapped a photo of me carrying out the dress. (That’s all the glimpse you get for now, more pictures when we get to the wedding.)
After that we drove to a couple other flea markets, which were closed on Fridays. Next stop, grouper sandwiches and sunsets in St. Petersburg.
So much goodness, I can barely contain it. So many more good photos and memory making happened in the last two days, but all I can do right now is breathe thank you, dear sweet Father-Son-Spirit.