Last week we celebrated my father’s 85th birthday in Atlanta. It was so great to be together with family, even though it was a quick weekend!
L to R (back row) My older brother Doug, Kurt (my son), and Joe (my dh)
L to R (front row) Jackie (my sweet SIL), Dad, Esta, and Kelsey (my daughter)
at Gibbs Garden in Ball Ground, GA
Gibbs Garden, designed by Jim Gibbs, is an absolutely gorgeous place! Acreages of spectacular world class gardens. Learn more about the gardens and their history here. If you’re ever in that area, please treat yourself and visit this spectacular display of nature.
As Jim Gibbs, the founder of Gibbs Gardens, says about gardening, “Passing down seeds and plants from generation to generation provides a kind of love that only a gardener understands. I’m sure my three children and eleven grandchildren will enjoy this garden for years to come as I hope the general public will enjoy visiting and viewing the legacy I leave behind. A garden is fresh and alive from early dawn to the peace and tranquility of the setting sun.”
Kels and I traded spaces!
The Japanese Gardens at Gibbs are breathtaking (Joe and I adore Japanese Maples) Do you have a favorite plant or tree?
Views from Gibbs Garden
Views from Gibbs Garden
After leaving Atlanta, Joe, I and the kids traveled on to West Palm Beach and then to Fort Lauderdale where we visited the Everglades. Our first time to the area—and it did not disappoint!
We saw over two dozen alligators of all sizes and so many beautiful views while touring the Everglades. God’s creativity is boundless and never ceases to amaze!
Did you know that on average the Everglades are about 8-12 inches deep?
A Gator Lilly
Kels and Kurt on the airboat
A view from the front of the airboat as we sped along through the river of grass—and into numerous spider webs. Ick! Thankfully, we saw no spiders. Or at least we didn’t “feel” them!
Me and Joe
The family after the tour (and the boat we went on with Captain Wayne!)
We had a great week. Lots of fun in Atlanta then in Florida. But as fun as it was, I always enjoy returning home and getting back into routine. And yet…
We weren’t back home in Nashville long (maybe a couple of hours) when my brother called and told us that Dad was having a stroke and that Dad and Esta were on the way to the hospital. Long story made a tad shorter…
Dad didn’t have a full blown stroke. It was a TIA (a mini-stroke), which he’s had several of those before, sadly (the most recent one two weeks ago). Only this time the TIA was worse than those previous, which is concerning. And they’re taking a toll on him, too. Doctors kept him in the hospital Saturday and Sunday nights, and Dad went home yesterday after several tests showed no significant (dangerous) blockage. #sograteful
As I told some friends via email yesterday morning, I love my Dad so much and am so grateful God gave me Doug Gattis for my father. And it’s wonderful to have added Esta to our family, too (after my precious mom, June, passed away in 2009). They’re so happy together. And we celebrated her 84th bday, too! Her birthday is a day after my Dad’s.
If the Spirit brings my dad to mind, I’d sure appreciate it if you would pray for him—that the TIAs would cease and that the “crazy feeling” in his head would go away. I love him and pray he’s with us for several more years!
Have you ever visited the Everglades? Or perhaps Gibbs Gardens?
Continued blessings all,
the third and final Belle Meade Plantation novel
I’m excited to share Sy and Alexandra’s story with you soon!