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Category Archives: Family

remembering the Special Together Times

a true story

Strange as it may seem, my life is based on a true story. – Ashley Brilliant

The Beauty of the Prayer-Gift

In my prayers, I remember my friends . . . my family . . .  my church . . . and often someone I don’t personally know . . . or a concern that has come to my attention.  I don’t always know what is going on in the lives of those I know casually and sometimes not even those with whom I am intimate; however, I lift them up in prayer.  God knows.  And I am assured that He desires our prayers.

When a friend tells me that I am in his/her prayers, I am heartened and uplifted and feel a closeness – to God and to my friend.

John O’Donohue writes that

It is a lovely gift when a person prays for you.  One of the greatest shelters in your life is the circle of invisible prayer that is gathered around you by your friends here and in the unseen world.  It is a beautiful gift to draw someone into the shelter of your circle of prayer.  When you are going through difficult times or marooned on some lonesome edge in your life, it is often the prayer of your friends that brings you through.  When your soul turns into a wilderness, it is the prayer of others that brings you back to the hearth of warmth.  I know people who have been very ill, forsaken, and damaged; the holy travellers that we call prayers have reached out to them and returned them to healing.  The prayer of healing has wisdom, discernment, and power.  It is unknown what prayer can actually achieve.

When you meet someone at the level of prayer, you meet them on the ground of eternity.  This is the heart of all kinship and affinity.  When you journey in there to meet someone, a great intimacy can awaken between you.  I imagine that the dead who live in the unseen world never forget us; they are always praying for us.  Perhaps this is one of the ways that they remain close to our hearts: they extend the light and warmth of prayer towards us.  Prayer is the activity of the invisible world, yet its effect is actual and powerful.  It is said that if you pray beside a flower it grows faster.  When you bring the presence of prayer to the things you do, you do them more beautifully.

Man in the kitchen! (and I’m thankful he is!)

Hubby makes the VERY BEST PEANUT BRITTLE in the world!

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it’s that time . . .

It’s never too early to start planning for overseas holiday mailings, according to Postmaster Dennis J. Mahoney.With thousands of American troops and civilians stationed around the world, the coming weeks will be a busy time for mailing international and military parcels and packages, he said.

He listed below the major dates recommended for mail to be delivered by Dec. 25.

  • Nov. 13 —Parcel Post to military APO/FPO addresses.
  • Dec. 4 —First-Class cards and letters or Priority Mail to military APO AE ZIP 093 addresses.
  • Dec. 11 —First-Class cards and letters or Priority Mail to all other military APO/FPO addresses.
  • Dec. 18—Express Mail Military Service to all military APO/FPO addresses except APO ZIP 093.
  • Dec. 4 —Priority Mail and First-Class Mail to Africa and Central or South America International Mail locations.
  • Dec. 11 —Priority Mail and First-Class Mail to all other International Mail locations.
  • Dec. 12—Express Mail International to Africa and Central and South America.
  • Dec. 17 —Express Mail International to all other countries (except Canada, Dec. 18).
  • Dec. 19—Global Express Guaranteed to all countries (except Canada, Dec. 20).

“We hope the publication of these dates will prove beneficial to persons mailing cards and gifts to foreign countries so they will arrive in a timely manner,” he said.

He said the Postal Service’s website can prove to be a helpful resource during this holiday mailing season, offering a wide variety of links to mailing and shipping tools.

USPS Shipping Calendar

treading lightly

Jimmy and Barbara - 1968


On The Death Of Friends In Childhood
by Donald Justice
We shall not ever meet them bearded in heaven
Nor sunning themselves among the bald of hell;
If anywhere, in the deserted schoolyard at twilight,
forming a ring, perhaps, or joining hands
In games whose very names we have forgotten.
Come memory, let us seek them there in the shadows.

a tiny snapshot of Georgia history – and “Cousin John” Thrasher

“Cousin John” Thrasher – my 3rd Great Uncle

“Cousin John Thrasher” had the first mercantile store in what became Atlanta, Georgia.

There is a bronze plaque on The Federal Reserve Bank, Atlanta, Georgia, which reads as follows:

Site of First Mercantile Business, 1839, The General
Store of Johnson and Thrasher.  Home, 1842-45, of Mr.
and Mrs. Willis Carlisle and their daughter Julia
Carlisle (Withers) Atlanta’s First Baby born August 17,
1842.  First Presbyterian Church was built here in 1850
rebuilt 1877 and occupied until 1915.


In his Atlanta and Environs, Franklin Garrett, Historian of the Atlanta Historical Society, gives the following references to “Cousin John,” and the part he played in establishing the first settlement at the location of what is now the great City of Atlanta.


In 1839 “Cousin John” Thrasher started what is now Atlanta when he built the railroad construction settlement, which was called THRASHERVILLE, around the present site of the Federal Reserve Bank in Atlanta.

As a young man of twenty-one, he was the successful bidder for the construction of a large embankment to enable the laying of railroad tracks for the future use of the Monroe Railroad near the site that was planned to become the southern end of the Western and Atlantic Railroad.  This major construction project extended from the Terminal Station to Foundry Street and required over two years to complete. (The World Congress Center is built over a portion of this project.)

John Thrasher went to this place in the wilderness to fulfill his contract.  He brought in many laborers, including many Irishmen, to do the work and rough shelters were built to house the workmen.  Other necessities for their living had to be provided; consequently, a commisary for this purpose became the first store in THRASHERVILLE (called Johnson & Thrasher), and John Thrasher became its first merchant.  As the building of the railroads and the laying of track progressed the settlement of THRASHERVILLE was referred to more and more as the TERMINUS until expansion led to the incorporation of MARTHASVILLE, on December 23, 1843.  It was re-incorporated as the Town of Atlanta in 1845, and again re-incorporated as the City of Atlanta in 1847.

Many narratives have been told why John Thrasher became familiarly known as “Cousin John” in early Atlanta history.  According to early census records of Marthasville and Atlanta, many of his relatives came to the area to assist him and to enjoy his generosity and success.  This friendly and gregarious entrepreneur was called “Cousin John” by so many kinsmen that other Atlantans began doing the same, and he became famous by that name over much of the South.  He represented Fulton County in the State Legislature for many years, and his beautiful Atlanta home was one of two residences used by General Hood as his headquarters during the final days of the Confederate defense of Atlanta.

MARTHASVILLE had about 2,000 inhabitants in 1845. The census of the town for that year listed two of his uncles and a number of cousins with large families.  By 1853, more of his relatives from Morgan, Newton and Henry Counties had arrived in Atlanta to live.  He was a friendly fellow who claimed kin with his relatives, and as a merchant with a business in town, in such association he naturally was called “Cousin John” or “Uncle John.”  He was an outstanding and colorful character and has been the subject of many articles which have appeared in historical collections and newspapers.