Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Saying Goodbye Is Never Easy

Donald Jenkins, 69, of Crossett, died Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at his residence.  Mr. Jenkins was a native and life long resident of Crossett and Ashley County.  He worked for Steve Bolin Logging for 23 years and he operated the NAPA Parts Store in Parkdale for many years.  He was an avid outdoors man, fisherman, turkey and deer hunter and a board member of the Pine Lodge Inn Hunting Club. 

He is preceded in death by a great-granddaughter, Desi Rodgers and his parents, Arlee & Lurlene Maxwell Jenkins. 

He is survived by his wife of 26 years, Donna Doyon Jenkins of Crossett; three daughters, Fonda Goode and husband, Jim, of Waller, Texas, Rosa Bolin and husband, Steve, of New Albany, Mississippi and Cecily Jenkins of Crossett; three brothers, Bobby Jenkins and wife, Kathy, of Crossett, James Jenkins and wife, Glenda, of Benton and Glen Jenkins and wife, Debbie, of Crossett; two sisters, Camille Brookings and husband, Dale, of McGehee and Carolyn Morin and husband, Fred, of Kalamazoo, Michigan; 8 grandchildren, Meagan Goode Rodgers and husband, Derrick, Kelli Goode Ham and husband, Matt, Brianne Goode Allen and husband, Josh, Naiz Bolin, Brian Goode, Jana Bolin, Stevi Bolin and William Goode; seven great-grandchildren, Davin, Delayne & Dayton Rodgers, Brooke, Maddux, Elliot & Weston Ham and a host of nieces and nephews. 

Funeral services are 10 a.m., Saturday, February 21, 2015 at Wallers Chapel United Methodist Church with Rev. James Morris and Rev. Toby Austin officiating.  Burial will be in the Crossroad Cemetery.  Pallbearers are Brian Goode, William Goode, Casy Jenkins, Justin Jenkins, Jerry Don Clark and Jimmy Chalk.  Memorials may be made to Ashley County Cares, PO Box 366, Hamburg, AR  71646. 

Visitation is 6-8 p.m., Friday at the church. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Mardi Gras: Day 4

The Monday before Ash Wednesday is known as Lundi Gras around here. On this day the festivities include the arrival of Rex and Zulu where the Mayor of New Orleans turns over symbolic control of the city for the following day. This year Rex was to arrive by train instead of boat...but we saw none of that because we spent Lundi Gras rather low key.

We began our day slowly. After being in the crowds for days, we decided to sleep in a bit and then visit until time for our brunch reservations at The Court of Two Sisters. This was a charming little restaurant that reminded me a lot of Tavern on the Green.

We were seated in the courtyard under the large expanse of what may have been either a willow tree or a wisteria strung with twinkle lights. Though it dropped fuzzy seeds all during our meal, it was a thoroughly pleasant experience. Even though brunch was served buffet style, the staff was very attentive.

As we left, Rita noticed the 'Charmed' gates hanging at the front entrance. Supposedly Queen Isabella had them blessed before they were shipped from Spain so that their charm would pass to anyone who touched them. As Rita said, the people here certainly are quite charming.

After brunch, we decided to spend our day wandering the shops and enjoying
ourselves. We bought souvenirs and keepsakes as we strolled the streets off of Boubon. We stopped at Pat O'Brien's for a Hurricane to go...at The Royal Oyster House for appetizers...and then dropped our packages at the hotel before dinner.

The temperature dropped twenty degrees in the thirty minutes it took us to get to our rooms and freshen up. The rain was moving in so we decided to run into Walgreens for umbrellas and a poncho.

Now let me preface this part of the story by saying that I am just not an umbrella girl anyway...but especially not in a large crowd. That is the real reason why I walked out in a poncho and the other three grandmas were carrying umbrellas when our "You Tube" moment of the trip occurred.

While we were in Walgreens choosing our rain apparatus, one member of our party was advising us all on the proper rain attire...as well as anyone else who would listen. As the doors slid open and the umbrellas popped open, they promptly flipped ALL THE WAY OPEN. The umbrella of the EXPERT ended up on the Walgreens floor like this:

Let's just say a lot of people got a big laugh out of it.

Since the temperature was still dropping and the rain was getting heavier, we decided to totally skip the parades and go to dinner at Mr. B's Bistro across the street from the hotel.

And this is where I'll let Robin take over the story....which she has repeated at least fifty times already. It's time for me to head to bed.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, February 16, 2015

Mardi Gras: Day 3

We awoke to a beautiful Sunday morning in the French Quarter. So we decided to walk over to Cafe Du Monde for beignets. Did I mention it was a beautiful day in the French Quarter? Everyone and their mother were at Cafe Du Monde. The line was L.O.N.G.

Thankfully we had a secret weapon in our pocket. Rita works with a salesman here in the New Orleans area who was able to give us great suggestions on where to go instead.

So after walking around Jackson Square admiring the artwork, we headed down St. Peter to The Old Coffee Pot.

This was an adorable little place with a history! It reminded me a lot of a few of the really old places where Robin and I ate in Boston.

I had an omelette with shrimp that was to die for!

After breakfast, we did a little shopping, dropped the bags at the hotel and headed to the parades.

Okeanos rolled out first with the "Parade of Kings". Can you guess their titles?

That would be King of the Jungle and King Cake!

We took a short break and then went back for Mid City (short) and Thoth (a strange crowd).

We didn't stick around for Bacchus though because we had balcony tickets to throw our own beads on Bourbon Street.

What a mass of humanity it was! And can I just say, people are crazy!!!

It was an experience, and I'm glad we did it. I just wouldn't do it again. At least not like that!

We were supposed to be there until midnight, but when the rains came around 10:30 we scooped up our beads and headed back to the hotel for a slice of King Cake and bed!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Mardi Gras 2015: Day 2

Saturday morning turned out sunny and beautiful in the French Quarter. Robin and I took time to visit before getting dressed to head out for the day.

Once we had nursed a cup of coffee (or two) over conversation, we decided to head out and get a lay of the land in daylight hours. First we located our grandstand seats for the Krewe of Endymion parade later in the day. Then we strolled down Bourbon Street to locate our balcony for later in the trip. Since neither of the cousins had arrived in New Orleans yet, we decided to take in our first parade...the Krewe of Iris.

We had front row spots and were fortunate to be next to some well prepared locals. Oh my goodness, what a blast we had. We weren't able to stay through the whole thing but we walked away with some major swag!

Lonnie was the first to make it to the hotel. Not long after, as we were carrying our loot to the room, Rita called to say that she was pulling in to the train station. She had quite a day. Her first train trip. Her first taxi ride. Her first Mardi Gras in New Orleans. It was time for the party to begin!

After getting the cousins unpacked, we headed to the grandstands for the next parade. Now, we should have caught a clue when we met the tail end of a parade that was supposed to have started at noon taking the turn on Canal at nearly 5...but, no. Our tickets said five o'clock for the Endymion parade and by golly we were in our seats at five o'clock.

And we waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And wondered if we should go get food.

And waited.

And thought again about food, but now the grandstands are getting full.

And waited.

Until the parade finally rounded the corner about 7:15.

I will say the floats were prettier. The krewe was beautifully garbed. But the swag wasn't nearly as plenteous. This was due to a combination of factors including the prominence of tall, older gentlemen standing in front of us and catching just out of our hands, their wives sitting and picking up the swag that hit the stands, and the fact that swag missed (if not scooped up by the wives) would fall through the grandstands just out of reach.

The parade ended around 9:30. We dropped our loot and began looking for a place to eat (finally). After missing the last seating of several places around the hotel, we ended up at Hard Rock on Bourbon Street...devoured a plate of appetizers...gulped down burgers...and then the table grew very quiet. It was after midnight. We were full. And it was time for bed.

Goodnight from The Big Easy!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Mardi Gras 2015: Day 1

I know it is the time of year when you are all sitting on the edge of your seats to find out where the grandmas have gone wild this time. But this year you will have to wait until the fall for that secret.

So Robin and I decided to knock a little something off our Bucket Lists during our normal Grandmas time slot.

Mardi Gras in New Orleans!

Her first. My second, but my first time to actually stay in the French Quarter.

As with all great adventures, this one began with smiling faces and happy expectations. We waited for Houston's rush hour traffic to die down and then off we went hoping to be safely ensconced in our hotel room by the time of Friday's first parade.

Knowing I10 to be a tad tricky for travelers, we gave ourselves plenty of time. Or so we thought!

4 hours into our trip we hit this just west of Baton Rouge.

It took us nearly two hours to go less than 20 miles. No wrecks. No construction. Just sudden stops in the middle of nowhere. Then everyone would seemingly disappear and we would be moving again. Over and over it went. Five and a half hours later we made it to our hotel.

We were so exhausted that we skipped the parades and went to Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse for a wonderful and relaxing meal instead!

We are staying at the Hotel Monteleone in the heart of the French Quarter. It is beautifully old and elegant at the same time.

According to Historic Hotels of America it was once a frequent stop for the likes of Earnest Hemingway, Truman Capote and the like.

Today 'the cousins' arrive for the festivities. Robin's cousin, Lonnie, will arrive from Florida and soon after Rita will be making her way down from Monroe. It's going to be a great girls weekend!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Happy birthday, Maddux!

Happy birthday, Mad Dog! You have grown into such an amazing person. Nonna and Pappaw wish you the best in the coming year. We can hardly wait to see you next weekend for the birthday party.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Could I Ask You For Prayers Today?

Cecily, Rosa, Daddy and I on January 4, 2015
My sweet Daddy has had a rough week and a half.  He physically grows weaker and the medications aren't doing what they used to.  He is experiencing a bit of pain and his irritation levels are rising along with his feelings of discomfort. This is a rough journey for all of us...especially for him, Donna and Cecily who live it 24/7.  Please, if you have a moment or when the Lord brings us to mind, would you pray for the Lord's presence to fill their home, for His peace to settle over their hearts and for Donna's strength in these tough times.

With tears of grief mixed with joy,

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Happy Birthday, Meagan!

She's a diehard Razorback fan (maybe even worse than her mother).
She's a trusted confidant to her sisters and friends alike.
She's 'Mrs. Clean'.
She's a homeschooling mother of three.
She's a devoted wife to Derrick.
But she will always be our baby...even in her thirties!

Happy Birthday, Meagan!
Mom & Dad

Monday, February 2, 2015

My One Word for 2015


1: to restore strength and animation to: REVIVE

2: to freshen up: RENOVATE

3 a: to restore or maintain by renewing supply: REPLENISH

4: to run water over or restore water to

5: to update or renew (as an image, a display screen, or the contents of a computer memory) especially by sending a new signal.

This year's One Word didn't come as easily as in years past. I have heard that the longer a person participates in My One Word, the longer the list of potential words can become.

That may be part of the reason for my need to wrestle this year's word out...but then again, I think I was having a harder time with my expectations verses my feelings.  Let me explain.

Jim has been telling me since early last fall that in 2015 he was SLOWING DOWN!  At first, he joked that he wasn't leaving home for anything.  He has since recanted that statement and changed it to: he is not leaving home for anything other than grandchildren's birthdays and our niece's wedding.  We'll see how that turns out for him.

All of that to say that my first inclination was to choose the word: Rest.  But it didn't seem to fit.  I knew that 2015 would includes several trips to Arkansas to see my dad and help Donna when I could.  Add to that the fact that I already have two trips planned for early 2015 (Mardi Gras with Robin, Rita and Lonnie; Jenkins Girls' Weekend in Branson) and REST just didn't fit.

As I considered my calendar, this stage in life and the mission I have for our new home, a new word began to pop up: Respite.  That is truly what I want our home to be: a place of respite.  And I want to both provide respite for Donna and receive it myself when I come back home after a trip to see Daddy.  I felt like I was almost there.  'Respite' was closer to my heart than 'Rest'...but still not quite the right word.

During my early January devotional reading the temptation was to choose the most often repeated word: Freedom.  It kind of fit since our Spring Women's Bible Study is Breaking Free.  And I am a July 5th baby!  But, no, still not it.

Finally, I was writing in my prayer journal about the word 'respite' being so close but just not quite it, when I looked down to discover I had used the word 'Refreshed'.  When I looked up the meaning and searched it's use in Scripture, I just knew that I finally had My One Word.  I'm not sure which tense it will take over the course of this year...Refresh, Refreshed or Refreshing...I've tried them all on for size and decided that I just don't have to know everything from the beginning.  I will begin with the singular and see where God moves in the 332 remaining days of 2015.

How about you?  Have you chosen a word for 2015? Set a goal?  Made a resolution?  I would love to hear how you reached your decision and how things are going for you.