Dexter picked me up at 3:00 p.m. Friday in the rental car and drove us to Hobby Airport. I said, "knowing how you hate to check luggage, I put everything I'll need in one carry-on bag."
He said, "We'll check luggage this time because the plane is full, and sometimes there isn't enough overhead space." The exciting event was Sarah's graduation from the University of North Texas with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design, Magna Cum Laude, in Denton, Texas, Saturday, May 14, 2005.
Since I was in a wheelchair, we were first ones allowed on the plane. It was a fast and pleasant flight to Dallas. The luggage arrived on the carrousel immediately…well, everyone's except Dexter's! When the carrousel stopped, he was a lone traveler with no luggage! I couldn't help my laughter. He hates to check luggage. Since we were first on the plane, there was plenty of room for our carry-ons! Wanda and David flew into Dallas from Tampa, Florida at noon. She rented a car to keep a business/luncheon appointment. She and David arrived at the airport while Dexter was filling out a stack of claim forms for lost luggage. We drove to Frisco, Texas where Dexter had made reservations at the newly constructed Embassy Suites.
This was a pleasant surprise for me. The Embassy Suites were completed for occupancy just a few weeks ago. The architecture was EXACTLY like the Embassy Suites in Houston (on 59 South to Victoria). I had won a weekend there for June 24, 1995. A few days before, I checked it out--YES! The living room was big enough for two card tables for a Canasta party. The players were the Parrish brothers, Al and James, their wives, Elsie and June, my sister Elaine and her son Billy Joe, and Jack and I. Jack died 7-1/2 months later, Feb. 15, 1996. Billy Joe died Jan. 1, 1998. Now, I was having a sentimental weekend reminiscing about that night. I wept in loneliness for Jack while recalling the laughter, the fun, the happiness we shared. I felt as if I were reliving it all over again here in Frisco. Sweet memories.
Everyone was tired from traveling and day's activities. We retired early, l0:00 p.m. I was awaken at 11:30 by LOUD banging sounds coming from the courtyard below my 4th floor window. I drew back the curtains and saw men loading trucks. Too quiet to be the culprits. A cluster of balloons in a dumpster swayed in the breeze. They must be exploding! I was mystified to locate or justify the noise. Must be activity under the overhang! I'll call the front office to complain. I had been looking down at the courtyard. Now, I looked up to see the most fantastic fireworks display I'd ever seen! My anguish turned to joy. Mystery solved! The brilliance of colors exploding in clusters, not of just one skyrocket at a time, but two or three all at once, was most dazzling. I laughed aloud at the striking beauty of manmade stars contrasting with those of silver which God flung across the black velvet canopy of the night sky. The show ended at midnight. An hour later, Wanda and Dexter were awaken again with the delivery of his luggage.
I fell asleep after precious moments talking to God, thanking him for the good life I had with Jack; and the good times I spend with our children. Tonight, I was disturbed by the uncomfortable noise and clutter as I looked down over the courtyard in my life. Then, I lifted my eyes up to the heavens, and OH how delightful life became. Whenever I am disturbed, sad or burdened with life here below, all I need do is look up to God. He makes everything wonderful.
The next morning, we met Sarah and her boyfriend Nathan for brunch before going to the Commencement at 12:30 in Denton. Our hearts thrilled with pride for her accomplishment as she received her diploma. The convocation at 3:30 was very nice. Impressive. Plenty of a delicious fruit punch and a large variety of cookies were served.
This world is getting too complicated for me! I can't explain the rental car. It was guided by a star satellite. You tell it where you want to go and it guides and directs you to your destina- tion! It announces your approaching traffic lights; when to turn left or right! Blows my mind!!!
We'd laugh at directions to travel south on 35-East!
Sunday, we drove to the airport in Dallas. We got in two lines for checking in, to save time. Dexter took care of our luggage and summoned a wheel chair for me. Suddenly, two armed security guards came and escorted David and Wanda through the doors of the airport lobby. A porter followed with their luggage on a cart. Dexter had a brief conversation with them, then said to me, "I've got to hurry away to return the rental car. The porter will wheel you to the plane, and I'll join you later." He quickly exited in the automobile. I asked the porter, "What's happening? Why didn't they check my daughter's luggage? Where did they take her?"
He just said, "They'll meet you later. I'm going to see that you get on the plane." That's all the information I could get from him. He left me at the gate, saying he would return at boarding time. I waited alone 35 minutes before Wanda and David appeared. She explained: "There's a man wanted by the F.B.I. His name is David Lee Jones, and he was born May 9, 1962. My David Lee Jones was born May 9, 1988. They had to be sure David is only 17--not the wanted criminal who is 43! I'm sure we'll be going through this every time we try to get on a plane until they catch the wanted fugitive."
On Friday, May 20, Dexter and I traveled to Austin, Texas in his company's rent car to attend Rachel's graduation from the University of Texas. Her degree is in advertising. She is on the Dean's list. This was the first time in two years (since May, 2003) that Wanda was with all five of her children--my grandchildren--all together again. She hosted a party at her condo for family and friends, honoring Rachel. There was LOTS of scrumptious food -- like a Viking feast! We sat out on the patio until midnight. Fun conversations. Some swam in the pool. It was a great get-together. I don't know how many spent the night…15? The floors were covered with blow-up mattresses. I slept on the living-room couch!
Everyone returned for breakfast at noon! Saturday night, we ate at a seafood restaurant.
More conversation and laughter out on the patio. I went inside to sit in a comfortable chair and read awhile. One of Rachel's friends came in. He said, "You're the one who writes those stories, aren't you?" "Yes. I write Happenings Along the Way to Heaven." He said, "Rachel lets me read them." We shared a delightful conversation about the Lord for the next 30 minutes.
I enjoyed this weekend of living in Rachel's world, meeting her friends, listening to their chatter and laughter. The speeches at both graduation services were very, very good, preparing these young people for the challenges they'll be facing in the business world. I'm glad I've been there -- done that! I prayed for them...that they would seek God early in their lives. It's very important for children to attend Sunday School where they are encouraged to memorize verses that will help them all their lives. I still remember when I was about 9 years old. At the end of a period of time, everyone who could recite all the memory verses would get a prize. This was during the depression years when earning $1.00 a day was like minimum wages today. I won a five-cent Baby Ruth candy bar! First one I ever had. We could only buy penny candies!
To these graduates today, I'd tell them some of God's promises:
"Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed; for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest" (Joshua 1:9).
"Ye shall seek Me and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the Lord" (Jeremiah 29:13,14).
"Show me Thy ways, O Lord, teach me Thy paths. Lead me in Thy truth and teach me; for Thou art the God of my salvation; on Thee do I wait all the day" (Psalm 25:4,5).
In the quiet of Sunday morning, someone was knocking on the door. David was sleeping on the blow-up mattress which took up all the floor space except a little path between the dining table and chairs. I went to the closed door and asked, "Who is it?" A male voice said, "I'm looking for Tillie Wier." I flung the door open to hug my cousin Morgan! Now that he had found the condo, he went downstairs to get Jean. That gave me time to get dressed real quick! It wasn't morning: it was noon! We visited about two hours before Dexter and I had to take Wanda and David to the airport to return to Tampa. This airport was on the highway back to Houston!
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