New Leaves

Flat Eric enjoys being a part of the action in Lake Placid, City of Murals

Homestead, FL

On the way to Homestead

Feb 16, 2013 by Bonnie

After ten days of travel, we have finally made it to “sunny” Miami, and Art’s brother’s home in Homestead. We saw some interesting things along the way. Click on the link to Smugmug (under Links, above) to see more pictures.

We left DeLand Sunday afternoon and went inland to visit old friends Una Touchton and her daughter Betty Sue Touchton Scates in Sorrento. Una was one of my “Pioneer Girls” leaders when I was a child in Michigan. It was really wonderful to see them again, and to see how the Lord has been faithful to both our families in the intervening years. They have a beautiful property out in the country at the end of a road—it was like visiting a mission station, traveling through lush tropical foliage as we drove on their long driveway. It was so peaceful that we hated to leave.

Next we went to my cousin Judy’s home in a very different setting. She, her husband Jerry, and her mom, my Aunt Ruth, all live in a planned community near Orlando called The Villages, an adults-only community. Jerry drove us around on Monday and we were amazed at the size of it! It really is divided into separate “villages” with town centers, but each is accessible to all, and the entire area was and still is being developed by the same family, who came from Michigan originally. It occupies several square miles and houses over 90,000 people, almost entirely in single-family, one-story homes of various sizes. There are free concerts and other activities available at all times, and hundreds of clubs, classes, and activities for everyone. Truly an amazing place!

But the main reason we went there, of course, was to see our family. Jerry and Judy have done what we did, taking her mom into their home when she was unable to live alone, and it was really good to compare notes and encourage them. Aunt Ruth is recovering from a stroke and was in a very nice rehab facility, so we were able to stay in her room while we were there. We went to visit her and she was doing very well. She’s actually coming home today. Judy and I had a great time looking at all the old photos that Aunt Ruth had, and I was thrilled to see a book Judy and Ruth are writing for Judy’s grandchildren, called “Life on the Farm.” Judy used many of the old photos and combined them with Aunt Ruth’s memories to make a very special book. She has others in the planning stages!

After two days with Judy and Jerry, we headed down through the middle of the state with stops at Highlands Hammock State Park and Lake Placid, city of murals. You can see pictures on our smugmug site. On Thursday afternoon, we finally arrived at Bill and Cecelia’s home. Like Judy and Jerry, they are caring for her mom, who has Alzheimer’s, but they are also caring for Art and Bill’s mom, who is physically limited. Their home is full, so we are very glad that we brought our own “bedroom,” and it is parked next to a lovely sitting area under a loquat tree (YUM!). I’ll tell more about our time here in the next blog.