We arrived in Virginia at my mom and dad's on Saturday after a VERY long car ride from Mississippi. Sunday afternoon we decided it would be healthy for all of us to get some fresh mountain air and a little exercise. And let me tell you, we experienced a most incredible hike. We trekked along a portion of the Appalachian Trail during an amazing fall sunset.
Come along with us and inhale the beauty of our Creator.
Don't forget your hiking stick. :)
Then, to top off our amazing sunset hike, God gifted us with a full moon rising, too.
It was truly a lifetime memory made for each of us.
Their relationship began when my grandmother was 14 (almost 15), a high school freshman, and Granddad was a senior. Granddad had asked my grandmother's slightly older sister out on a date to go see a 3-Act Medicine Show that had come to town. Right before my granddad left to pick up his date, his cousin rolled into town and asked if he could go along for the ride. My granddad obliged and when arriving at his date's house asked if she would be alright accompanying his cousin for the show instead and requested her younger sister go as his date. My grandma was in the next room and overheard the conversation and very excitedly accepted the offer. After that first date, Granddad and Grandma dated for one year. Then they broke up for one year while my granddad went along with his older brother to Oregon to help pick potatoes. When he returned to Arkansas in November 1939, Grandma was a senior in high school. They began to date again and on New Year's Eve, Granddad proposed to my grandma. They waited until November 17 to wed.
After arriving fashionably late at the church, Grandma wore a lovely teal blue dress and hat that she had bought in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for her special day. She entered the church holding tight to her fiance's arm. The pulpit adorned ferns for the occasion and pink crepe paper decorated the pulpit and pews. Wildflowers were planned to be used too, but unfortunately had not held up to the prior week's frost. Seventy-five people attended the ceremony and watched as Mr. and Mrs. Ray Barnett walked out of the church arm-in-arm. Afterwards, my grandmother's sister gave a reception in her home for the bride, groom, and their guests.
They had no predetermined plan for their honeymoon, but got in their car and drove to Neosho, Missouri, for the evening. After honeymooning, they returned home and lived with my grandmother's parents on their orchard/farm for three months and then lived in the farmhouse after my great-grandparents moved into town.
A little over a year later Japan attacked Pearl Harbor beginning WWII and drastically changing my grandparents lives. My grandfather served in Okinawa, Japan, and praise God returned home safely to become a Baptist minister and help raise what would become his family of 7 children.
Today my grandparents have the rare opportunity to celebrate their 70th anniversary together. I have the honor of being the 3rd of their 19 grandchildren and have 3 children of my own who are getting to know their great-grandparents. What I most admire in my grandparents is their faithfulness -- to each other and to God. I am convinced there is no moment when God is not at the center of their actions. They are committed, dedicated, trusting, and devoted to one another. What a true privilege God has provided them with -- 70 precious years together. I am blessed to have such a heritage and example set before me.
We've created a new fashion this fall around our yard with colors of nature that God has provided to us. All three of my children have been proud to wear their crowns of autumnal leaves and have asked begged to make them on several occasions. Here's how we made them:
I began by very loosely braiding three strands of raffia and then loosely tying it around a child's head.
Next, the kids gathered beautiful fall leaves of various types, sizes, and colors.
Then, they inserted leaves into the holes of the braided crown.
We placed the crown on their head complete with autumnal leaves.
Voilà! My children were adorning fall leaf crowns.
The great news is that the following day when they found that their leaves were dried out, they simply pulled out the old ones and inserted new ones--creating a completely new masterpiece and type of crown. J