This flag stands in a Virginia cemetery with simple markers on the graves of soldiers who fought in our Civil War. A war that divided our country yet, a country that reconciled and is still reconciling.
Flags wave from boats in our South Florida. Some bearing the country where the boat is registered but the colors fly in the breeze, a testament to democracy.
This is one row of flags that numbered over 2000, planted in Shelby Farms in Memphis, TN in remembrance of those lost in the attacks against our country on September 11, 2001. The most horrific of tragedies reminded us of the gift of freedom we have in this imperfect country of ours.
Our politics and religion may differ, but we have the freedom to express both. A freedom fought for and preserved by brave men and women. It’s with gratitude we remember them.
A business trip took us to Memphis, TN where we stayed at the famed Peabody Hotel, known for the daily duck walk. The hotel is a landmark of Memphis dating back to the early 1900’s. It’s location is perfect to get the flavor of Memphis. And the flavor is decidedly bar-b-q and sweet tea.
The Peabody also is home of Lansky’s men’s wear where Elvis is known to have been a regular customer.
The hotel is in easy walking distance to Beale Street known as home of the blues. It’s a bit tacky for my taste as it caters to the tourist. This trip we found plenty of places to eat and visit without stopping at the touristy haunts on Beale Street.
Memphis is on the east edge of the Mississippi River dividing it from Arkansas. The river is still a waterway for shipping.
The city appears in many of John Grisham’s novels and was featured in the movie adapted from his book The Firm. It’s an old city with a history of hatred, bigotry and hard times. Once the cotton capitol of the world, hard times came to this city that’s perhaps more remembered as the city where Marin Luther King, Jr. was shot and killed.
I’ll focus on our visit to the Civil Rights Museum in a future post.
Memphis is trying to focus on its strengths which seem to be a strong arts community. Home of Stax and Sun music studios you’ll still find vibrant music in restaurants and club along Beale street, colorful murals on the old buildings downtown and artists communities in the midtown.
Palm trees don’t lose their fronds or change colors. They stand tall and green year ’round marking the tropical landscape of South Florida. For fall colors down here I search out the pumpkins and flowers from the market.
For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.
Her shine is sometimes added with shoes that light up or a shimmering dress that sparkles in the light. She likes glitz and glitter as much as any 9-year-old girl does, maybe a wee bit more than some.
Her real shine comes from her smile and delight of being with friends and family she adores. Her shine from within is contagious, infusing us with a shared joy.
“You are the world’s light—a city on a hill, glowing in the night for all to see. Don’t hide your light! Let it shine for all; let your good deeds glow for all to see, so that they will praise your heavenly Father.” Matthew 5:14-16 TLB
Local to us is a place that stretches long from north to south along the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a place that is sometimes overshadowed by the glitz of Miami, just to the south of us and the wealth of Palm Beach just to the north.
Our tides roll in and out with few surfing opportunities for the serious surfer.
We are diverse in our people and accents having as much of the Caribbean here as we do New York. To find a true Florida-born person is a challenge.
Local is stifling humidity from late June -mid October and beaches crowded with snowbirds from the all points north when our weather is something to brag about to family and friends shoveling snow up north.
This part of Florida won’t always be our place of residence but it’s as close to home as we’ve ever had and will be the home of our heart.