Friday, September 4, 2015

Meeting Abby and Bill

It is unlikely that Abby needs an introduction here today as I often feature her wonderful graphics on my sidebar.  Oh look! There's one now! 

Abby blogs at Little Birdie Blessings. She and I have been blogging buddies for at least three years, perhaps longer. Sometimes I wonder about the connections in Blogdom and have finally concluded that The Lord Himself brings together whom He pleases. 

We, Abby and I, have spoken of meeting from time to time since we live in the same state, almost on the very same latitude line.  Early this summer, I made it my goal to meet before summer's end. I prayed and asked The Lord to make it possible.

Two weeks ago, I emailed Abby to ask if I could come visit and go out for lunch with her. Nothing doing. John and I would be welcome to come visit right at her home. She knew a local lobsterman who would provide lobster for "lunch" and she would put together some sides. I said that John would love that and I would bring a peanut butter sandwich. (How rude of me!) 

Abby and her husband Bill live in Midcoast Maine. Bill is a pastor and also the lobsterman she knows well. A week of fog and humidity later, John and I struck off for Knox County on a bright sunny day with only a few clouds in the sky. It is a two hour drive.

Abby and Bill live in the parsonage right next door to the church Bill pastors. (No, Knox Mansion is not their home, but getting close!) They are both very active in the church and the community. 

They are hospitality experts. Both John and I felt at home right away. Their home is quintessential New England with many terrific features such as original moldings, hardwood floors, tin ceilings, and a curved staircase. Abby has added her charming touches throughout. (That's a garland of all the grandchildren on the dining room mantel. Note the unique molding above the door leading to the farthest room.)

~cozy parsonage~

Though I have lived in Maine nearly all my life, I had never eaten a lobster. Nevah! Lobster rolls—yes, a lobster still in its shell—no. My sister was incredulous that I ate lobster. I was, too, but Abby carefully taught me what to do. All that and she cleaned more lobster to send home with us! There'll be more on that in another post. Did I like it? Yessum, I surely did. It was so tender, sweet, and delicious. Bill knows how to find a good lobster and he knows how to cook it, too.

~the welcoming table~
 
At one point, I looked up to see everyone, including John, eating their lobsters daintily with their forks. I was mortified as I had been chowing down with my fingers! (The only way I ever saw anyone eat it.) Abby assured me that there is no right or wrong way to eat lobster. In addition, Abby served a delicious potato salad, fresh corn on the cob, fresh tomatoes, fresh cukes, and later, we'd have home-baked apple pie, blueberry pie, and coffee for dessert.  We had Poland Spring water (our fav brand) and iced tea for beverages. 

While we were eating our lobster, we saw four stretch limos drive on down the road. Abby and Bill surmised that something big was going on...perhaps with a Supreme Court Justice or something. (I'm totally name-dropping here. ☺) 

~Abby's daughter and grandsons~

Personally, I was more interested when this van pulled into the ice cream shop across the street. Abby's daughter and grandsons were in it and John and I got to meet them!

~chatting about world affairs?~

After dinner (largest meal of the day), we were taken on "the driving tour," which was terrific with many ocean views, seaside towns, and lots of lovely homes. Many of you have already enjoyed a glimpse of their corner in the movie Forrest Gump. That's all I'm going to say about that. Many people of note live in their corner. The aforementioned Supreme Court justice, a famous artist, and a famous businesswoman, too. 

We shall leave them to their privacy. It can be a challenge for "the regulars" to live in a town that doubles in summer from the usual 1600 and welcomes thousands of tourists. Crazy! It was very interesting to listen to the stories as Bill is something of a local historian, too.

 ~beach walkers~

 ~perhaps a familiar scene?~


~a memorial~

~not a Revere bell~




While Bill and John chatted above the shore, Abby and I walked along the rocky beach. Abby pulled a "treasure bag" from her purse for me to collect rocks in.


 ~still chatting~

 It was a glorious day!

 Did I say "glorious"?

 ↑Oh my. This qualifies as the worst photo I took of the day. 

 ↑One of my favorite photos!

 ↑And another


Do I look as if I had swallowed the canary or what?! Pretty much describes my attitude about the entire time. How blessed am I?!

We also received a tour of the church. Abby's history in the community goes way back to to the original pastor of the church in the mid 1800s who was a multiple great-grandfather. You may recall my Pilgrim Story. Abby has one, too. Her multiple great-grandfather was William Bradford. My multiple step-great-grandfather was William Bradford. This means that we are  half cousins many times removed.  We'll take it!

Bill was raised by his grandparents right in town. Lots of history there! We both enjoyed the conversation with Bill as we were given the church tour. Those parishioners have a loving, kind, and good pastor who is faithful to preach The Word. I have listened to a few of Bill's sermons myself over the past three years.
  
We prayed together twice...once before our delicious meal and once before we left. John always holds hands when praying with anyone. He just automatically reached out for the hand on either side of him as is his habit. Bill kind of chuckled at that and so it made us chuckle, too. Later, when Abby asked Bill to pray for traveling mercies, John held his own hand and it was Abby who reached out her hands. I loved that! She is a natural at making people feel at ease.
 
The day ended all too quickly and soon we had to leave arriving home just after dusk. I asked John this morning if he would like to describe the day in one or two sentences and he said, "Can we do it again next week?" Silly boy!

Thank you, Abby and Bill, for a most wonderful day. It was a pleasure to meet you both! 

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P.S. And I have gifts from Abby to share and recipes and projects so I hope that you'll come back one day next week for the rest of this story. (Though I certainly believe that you deserve an award if you made it to the end of this one. So many blogs; so little time.)

P.P.S. For Abby's perspective of the day, click *here.*

63 comments:

  1. You described this all so well that I felt like I was there! And I think I have been to some of those points of interest at one time. What a delightful day for you all--and good food, and outdoor dining! No wonder you have big smiles.

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  2. I've been reliving the day in my mind since you and John were here. What fun to hear it from your perspective and to see your beautiful photos. It was certainly a day I'll always treasure and the highlight of my summer. Thank you dear Vee for making the effort for us to meet. In regards to our population, it's more like 3,000 year round residents which swells to 7,000 residents in the summer. That doesn't include tourists and I must say that some days it feels like there are 30,000. Thank you again for a delightful visit and heartwarming memories. ~ Love Abby

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  3. If I had to describe this day in one word, Vee, it would 'Perfect"! Perfect in every way, weather, food, and great friendships! Blogging has done so much to bring good folks together, and I am so thankful for that!

    We are like John, when we pray we hold hands, whether its at meals or at a gathering.

    Have a happy and blessed Labor Day weekend,... Dear One and I will be celebrating our wedding anniversary.

    Hugs, from Me

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  4. Oh I can't tell you how much I loved this post Vee. It took me back to our Maine days. It is absolutely the loveliest place on earth in my opinion. You simply have to have lived in Maine to know it...you probably know this better than most having lived there most of your life. And the residents of Maine are some of the nicest people you will meet. So glad you finally tried the Lobstah..fresh and still in it's shell..brave girl you are! This was just my gift for the day...big ole' hugs for sharing your visit...Miss Abbie is probably the sweetest of the sweet...glad y'all arranged a visit!!!

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  5. Oh I just enjoyed this post so much Vee. What a fun day you had meeting and sharing fellowship (and lobster!) with Abby and Bill. The photos are beautiful and I am curious about the town and may need to visit there one day next time I'm down that way. You and I are long overdue for a visit too! I'm glad your meeting went well and now I'm going over to 'meet' Abby at her blog for a visit. Have a wonderful weekend. xo Pam

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  6. This is an absolutely fabulous post. Beautiful people and beautiful photos. Love the friendship that has obviously blossomed and that the guys are seemingly very compatible as well. Sweet- ness!!

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  7. What a beautiful visit. Isn't it just a blessing, all these wonderful friends that we make when we blog? Can't wait to hear about the rest of the trip.

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  8. What gorgeous photos! I love this post. You introduced me to Abby through her blog and her husband through his church web site. I've been to Maine (in my 20's). It's a beautiful state, but I felt that your pictures reminded me of movies I've watched. You experienced the perfect answer to your prayers.

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  9. Looks and sounds like a lovely day all around. The scenery is gorgeous. I'm so glad we got to tag along.
    Abby's menu had my mouth watering. A perfect menu for summertime eating.

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  10. I enjoyed your visit....I feel like I got to go along and see some of the sights and visit with these lovely people. I've never eaten a lobster so I will save that for another time. Beautiful day....beautiful smiles! Hugs, Diane

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  11. What an absolutely glorious day! Loved everything about this. From the friendship formed in blogville, to the getting to meet said friend, to the food, the VIEWS [sooo gorgeous!], the conversations, just everything. i am going to have to pop now over to her blog and meet her too. Hope you and John have a wonderful holiday week-end!

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  12. It sounds like it was a wonderful day! I always enjoy meeting blog friends in person.

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  13. I truly enjoyed your visit through the words and pictures. Looking forward to next week's post! Happy Labor Day weekend.

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  14. Oh what a fun visit, glad you and Abby got to meet and share an incredible day together with your hubbies.
    When we were in PEI with members of the inlaws and had a big feast of lobster (which I love) everyone used their hands so don't feel bad - I had yuck up to my elbows. :-)
    As to your comment about the Lord bringing together certain bloggers, I believe this to be true as well and have met some nice bloggers I think of as friends.

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  15. What a beautiful day you were blessed with. I enjoyed reading about the whole day and scrolling through the beautiful photos of the scenery! I would need lessons on how to eat lobster. Not something I've had much contact with. Hope you have a great Labor Day weekend.

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  16. What an absolutely wonderful day! So nice you got to visit with Abby and her husband. What a gorgeous area they live in, and the food is quintessential Maine. I spent some summers when I was growing up visiting in Maine, and this brought back wonderful memories. Nice you finally got to have some lobster too.

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  17. What a blessing this friendship is - how awesome to have met and found you truly enjoy one another's company.....the entire day, too - and that your fellas liked one another as well.

    I can't even believe you had never had lobster from the shell - and you live in Maine - that shocks this land-locked mid Ohioan. It's my favorite - but too expensive so it is a real treat to have when I do. Lucky - freshly caught too by the same fella who you dined with? Does it get better than THAT?

    I am so happy for you all - found myself smiling at every word, and praising His Name for the blessing this opportunity gave you all. Hugs. ♥

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  18. Vee, this post is just so wonderful. I too truly believe that God brings together in blogland whoever pleases him and I think these friendships are honoring to the Lord.

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  19. Thank you for sharing your special day with us. Not only did I make it to the end,but I'm looking forward to more. Now I need to go find her website. She sounds like a sweetheart. I can see why you have become such good friends.

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  20. What a beautiful and special day! And what a joy to meet someone you have come to know and love online. I have so many special people and they all live so far away I don't know if I we will ever meet in person, but my life is richer for having met them online. I have never been to Abby's blog, but I am going there now!

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  21. I felt so happy and blessed myself to read about your wonderful day visiting Abby and Bill. I would be hard pressed to imagine a more delightful day with such kindred spirits, delicious food, wonderful sights and walking along the ocean...I am sure brings people together in life, in blogdom, according to His plans.

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  22. I am confused because I am sure I wrote "I am sure God brings people together...."

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  23. A wonderful post, Vee! I am so envious of the fellowship you all enjoyed [and the surroundings and food weren't too shabby either:)]. I have enjoyed Abby's blog and loved her graphics for several years and would love to meet her (and you!) someday if it would ever work out, as we are in New England too. Oh -- and we do the same when we pray -- always hold hands, whether it's just the two of us or with friends. Christian fellowship is such a blessing! Thanks for sharing your wonderful day with us.

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  24. How sweet and what a beautiful place! I can't wait to hear about the rest of your visit!

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  25. Such a sweet visit and your words..makes me feel like I am right there with y'all...except I didn't get any lobster..LOL
    Nice visiting with you , Vee..
    Love, Mona

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  26. Sounds like a wonderful and perfect day. : ) What a beautiful home.

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  27. Hi Vee, What a beautiful place, the blue sky and beach and buildings and lighthouse are wonderful! So glad you go to meet Abby and Bill and the lunch - WOW! Glad you tried the lobster and liked it. It's been a long time since I've had lobster and you've made me hungry for it.
    Hugs, Beth

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  28. What a wonderful day for you and John, Vee, to meet Abby and Bill and spend the day together. I loved reading this post and am so happy that you enjoyed the lobster! It's such fun to meet blogging friends that we "know", but have never actually met.

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  29. This is such a wonderful post, Vee. Your words fairly pulse with excitement and happiness. Abby and Bill sound like such a godly and hospitable couple. A richness of delights on that day - good food, good friends, a walk on the beach - I'm so happy you had this day.

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  30. What a beautiful place ! I enjoyed this post about your visit !

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  31. This post brought lots of smiles, and oohhs and aaahhss from my way. It makes me sick that Hubby and I couldn't get to visit our friends in Portland this year. It is lovely up y'alls way. Thank you for sharing your visit with all of us. By the way, we are former SCUBA divers and once caught our own lobsters on some of the trips. They're even better when fresh on the hoof. Hope your day is blessed. ~:)

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  32. I love this post! It was 'blogger-meeting-up-time' on the east coast in the recent past. How nice that you could meet up with Abby and Bill...face to face...and enjoy their company and hospitality (and lobster!). I have been so blessed by the friends I have met through blogging....and grateful to God for them. (Thanking God for you...and our friendship of 8 years...we both started blogging at the same time!)

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  33. Oh my goodness after this post I want to take a road trip East. What a fun day for you all!

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  34. What a great get together you four enjoyed Vee.
    The lobster sounds great - we call it crayfish over here!
    We've been watching a program on TV called 'The World from Above' and last week the episode was on the coast of Maine - I thought of you Vee - it's so beautiful.
    John and Bill look so alike - there seem to be lots of similarities with you guys.
    Shane x

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  35. Vee!!!!! You're lovely as usual, my friend. I so want to live in Maine....what fun we would have, smiles. Sounds like a nice visit, I loveeeeeee lobster....more smiles. Blessings

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  36. Oh Vee - what a sweet post. The pictures are beautiful and the visit sounds like it was most wonderful. So glad your prayers were answered! I'm still trying to figure out the "familiar" picture??

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  37. What a wonderful day you and John enjoyed, Vee. Thank you for taking me to the beautiful coast of Maine! It's one of my favorite places! ♥

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  38. Oh Vee, what a special time for you an Abby...two beautiful and precious ladies meeting - what a blessing! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your sweet photos :) You and Abby are simply some of the loveliest ladies in the blogging community.

    Have a wonderful and relaxing long weekend. Hugs!

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    1. Thank you Stephanie, I can't believe we waited so long to meet. It was truly a delightful day we both will treasure.

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  39. How fabulous!!!! Meeting blogger friends really is one of the best things isn't it!!! So glad you had such a great time!!! xx

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  40. Glorious...indeed!!! What a wonderful idyllic time you had! Isn't lobster messy to eat...I'm glad there's no right or wrong to it...phew!!!

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    1. Very messy Oliva, we cooked it outside and ate it outside and put a roll of paper towels in the middle of the table. But it was so worth it.

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  41. What beautiful country....so glad you had such a great time...

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  42. Wow Vee, what a day!
    It is a glorious looking place and it sounds like you were blessed in many ways.
    It's neat that you are related too.

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  43. A wonderful day indeed. How very special! I love the seashore shots.

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  44. What a wonderful day you had! I think Abby is a kindred and I am going to look up her blog! Lovely photos, too.

    Tell John that we are hand holders here too, and next time we come up I hope we get the chance to spend time with you both.

    Deanna

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  45. Wow, these pictures are just beautiful! Looks like the perfect day with good friends. :-) Have to admit I was surprised when you said you had never had a lobster living in Maine, lol. I'm originally from Maryland and that would be like me saying I've never had a crab, lol....but I have ;-) Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

    Many Blessings,
    Jill

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  46. How wonderful that you were finally able to meet each other in person, Vee! What a gorgeous place she lives in :)

    xo,
    rue

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  47. I certainly did read to the end...and loved every word (and photo)! What a delightful day for all of you! I think that I agree with you about blogging connections: "The Lord Himself brings together whom He pleases.

    The little peek into Abby's home gives a peek at its charm! The meal sounds fabulous (I am happy to hear that you enjoyed your lobster). And, of course, the fellowship and connections are the best part! Abby seems naturally welcoming and warm.

    A day like this is a gift. Thanks for sharing this gift with us. I'll be looking forward to the follow-up posts!

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  48. I was able to meet a blogging friend this summer when her and her family were visiting their son here in Washington. It is always fun to meet a blogging friend! :)

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  49. Vee---what a wonderful, wonderful story!!! What a thrill to have met them and had so much in common with them. Oh---are ya hooked on lobster now, old girl? Nothing like MAINE lobster in the whole wide world. I do NOT like fish but I LOVE lobster---go figure---of course I would- it is six times the price of fish...lol

    That was really a blessed day, Vee. I am glad you could enjoy it. You two are cute as buttons! Have a great week- xo Diana

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  50. Hello Vee, what a special day! I did enjoy all the photos. It appears that you two are birds of a feather! How nice for you and John to meet Abby and Bill. It sounds like you have much in common.

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  51. What a fantastic time for all of you to enjoy! Oh my goodness, I enjoyed this lovely depiction of your visit together...what a breathtaking backdrop...wonderful memories for sure! I do love lobster but have never eaten the whole thing...just the tail. I am so proud of you, Vee :)

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  52. I really enjoyed reading about your visit and seeing your pretty photos! I'm happy that you liked the lobster, too. :) Looking forward to hearing more about your fun day!

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  53. What a wonderful day for you and John, and what nice people Abby and Bill are! I think I know where they live, but I'll keep quiet about that :) I'm so happy you met and had this wonderful time together!

    I can't believe you never ate a plain lobster before, Vee!!! I would eat one every day if I could--lol Glad to see you posting again!

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  54. Oh my Vee. What a true blessing for you both! I love all the pictures and hearing the story of your visit as I truly felt I was sitting right there listening to you share! I am going to visit Maine one day....I have heard so many things about the Lobster there. Can't wait to see more of what you share about your sweet visit. God is good at how He goes ahead of us and makes a way....Hugs and blessings, Cindy

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  55. What a wonderful visit! I'm so glad to stretched out to meet each other. Wonderful photos of the area!

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  56. What a lovely day. Blogger friends are the best.
    Amalia
    xo

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  57. Now that was what I call a special moment in ones life.

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  58. Wow Vee, that is truly God's country!! These pictures are gorgeous, and do you know, this is exactly the way I've always pictured Maine would look. Such beautiful blue water, blue skies, and white houses and buildings.

    I can't believe you just had lobster for the first time, but I'm glad you liked it. I love it!! :-D It sounds like Abby prepared a scrumptious meal for everyone. I'm so glad for you that you were able to meet a dear blogging friend; there are many that I wish I could meet in person. Did you know before this meeting that you were both descendants of William Bradford?

    I enjoyed this post, Vee, and look forward to more details. Enjoy your weekend!

    Hugs,

    Denise at Forest Manor

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  59. OH! There you are in Maine and here I am in Kansas...but this post made me feel a part of your day. I have been blessed by both you and Abby, Vee, and to view these photos gives me a sensation akin to a sister who is happy that her siblings have had a sweet visit. Isn't the Lord good?

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  60. Dunno how I missed this blog post when it came out in September (probably when I was on the road myself!). I have been following both of you gals for a long time, so it was a treat to see you meet in person. Thanks so much for sharing your visit with us! (I got the clue to see this post from Abby on 11/2/15)

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  61. Great that the two of you you could meet and enjoy the day together!
    Such a beautiful place to visit too. Loved your photos.

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