Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A little bit of heaven…down here

Last week, I had the absolute delight of enjoying dinner with friends and family…

Some of these dear friends we hadn't seen in 20+ years so it was really more of a mini-reunion. But first…some background.

In the picture below on the left, you'll see my precious mother-in-law, Claudette Harris Alexander (second from the left), with her college buddies, and Claudette's first grandchild, Brittney. These four ladies were roommates at Harding University (College, back then) in the 1950s. Those four friendships continued on long after that until, in 1995, Claudette passed into eternity very unexpectedly following a brain aneurysm. She was 58 years young (only six years older than me now, sobering).

~ Click the pics to make them larger ~ 

As the years passed, Nadine, Clara Nell, and Ramona continued to meet and travel, as Claudette would have wanted them to. So when the gals called and said they were going to be in Nashville and could they please come by and see us so they could "have a little of Claudette among them this trip," we were thrilled. You'll notice Brittney is a little older in the picture on the right. But we thought it appropriate to capture an image similar to the one years ago. : )

And something fun about how God weaves lives together…

Claudette's roommate, Clara Nell (and her late husband, John) were also very good friends of my parents and family growing up in Atlanta. Dad & Mom and John & Clara Nell used to go on trips together. Yet we never knew the "Clara Nell and Claudette connection" until my parents met Joe's parents at my college graduation (because Claudette was my girl's club sponsor at Harding). Small world, huh?

When I hugged Clara Nell last week…

It felt a little like what I imagine it's going to be like when believers in Christ are finally all gathered Home. So I hugged her again! It was one of those hugs that just lingers, you know? When you realize you're not just holding a person, you're holding a life of memories and of shared loves that will last long after we're all gone. That will last throughout eternity. What a blessing we have in Christ!

A few more pictures…

Denise is mom to Alex and Claudette,
and doesn't she look like her mother, Claudette!?

And finally, David (Denise's husband) and Alex
who need no orange background, LOL!

We had lasagna (my mom's recipe) with all the fixings. But I forgot to take pics of that. However! I got the important part: DESSERT! 

That evening was a little bit of heaven down here. It's a night I'm still treasuring, and will for a long time to come.

When you and your family and friends get together, what's it like? Are y'all huggers? Do y'all all talk at once? Is there lots of laughter and storytelling? What about food? What's a favorite meal you like to fix for those occasions? I love knowing more about you and your families!

And don't forget the SOUTHERN AT HEART GIVEAWAY!


  1. Love the pictures...and I still need to try that carrot cake recipe! : ) I have grown up with our families getting together on a regular basis. We used to eat lunch together at my Grandmother's house a lot growing up, we would all get together for holidays, birthdays, game nights, and just for fun : ). We love to laugh, play games (board games and cards), and eat, of course! : ) We love finger foods. My sister and Mom make these seasoned oyster crackers that are addictive. My sister also makes this chocolate "candy" with saltines, of all things...we call it "crack candy"....because it's definitely addictive. : ) I come from a family of good cooks....so there's always some good stuff. My Mom's party punch can't be beat...delicious. My grandmother used to make homemade apple fritters...so good! I could go on and on...I have a lifetime of memories. I'm trying to continue some of the traditions by having friends over here and doing big, fun birthday parties for the kids, but I definitely miss those times I had growing up! God bless~Stacey

  2. Yum on those seasoned oyster crackers. I love those things! They make them from scratch?? Delish! And oh, regarding that saltine candy. I just got a recipe from Trisha Yearwood with saltines that I'm going to make. She calls it her Sweet and Saltines:


    Loves yummy!

    You and I share a similar background with mothers and grandmothers who loved to cook. And who passed that love down to us! Appreciate you, Stacey!

  3. Things I love about fall: crisp mornings, fall leaves & colors, Thanksgiving.

    Enjoyed your blog post & pictures, Tamera. My family gets together for every birthday & holiday, these are special memories. We love to cook & have lots of family recipes that have been passed down through the years. A childhood memory is of summer family reunions so large that tables were stretched across the lawn in a row that seemed to go on forever, & the line of food was just as long. Everybody would bring their favorite dish. During the Christmas holidays - we would gather at the house of a different relative every night for a week, or more, & of course - lots of foods at every gathering.

    I have a wonderful Trisha cookbook - I am a southerner & love her recipes. I love carrot cake - especially the recipes that use pineapple in them, as well as carrots.

    Haven't read any of your books & would love to win one - thanks for the opportunity!


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