Friday, August 12, 2011

Expedition Celebrating 96 Years!

I had the wonderful opportunity this past week, to fly out to Los Angeles, California, to attend a very special occasion. It was an all-day event to celebrate the 96th birthday of my Aunt Charlotte. She is shown in the bottom photo of this collage, with two of her grandsons. Notice that she is walking and smiling---two of her many wonderful traits, that have contributed to her longevity. The top photo of the collage shows the giant-sized banner that was hung between two of the massive oak trees that provided a cooling canopy of shade for our group. The celebration was held in a city park in the L.A. suburb of Glendora, California, which (if you know your Route 66 history) contains several miles of that very historic, U.S. roadway. My Aunt Charlotte was alive BEFORE that famous highway was even started, and she traveled it many times on trips she would make back to Arkansas to visit relatives there.

This photo shows Aunt Charlotte's two sons and their wives. Don is on the left, and Bill is on the right. For one of her previous birthday celebrations, a family member did some research to find out just how long she had been a licensed beautician. They learned that she had been licensed in the state of California for at least 50 years, AND that she held the record for that state, of maintaining her license (required to continue working---which she did up until a few years ago) for longer than any other California beautician license-holder. Furthermore, she held the record of being the longest, continually licensed beautician of ANYONE west of the Mississippi!! That is something to be proud of!!

These are just a few of the dozens of snapshots taken at this happy occasion. The top photo shows the "Birthday Girl"; the two below that show Don's kids; the one in the center shows two of Bill's daughters; the photo to the left of that shows just a few of the grandchildren, great grandchildren, and one great, great grandchild! The photo to the right, shows some of Charlotte's nieces and nephews that were able to attend. The bottom two photos show more of her grandchildren and great grandchildren, with the one on the right representing FIVE generations!!

Trying to get a group that large, all posed for one picture, is sort of like "herding cats", but this photograph shows everyone who attended, that we could entice into the snapshot. The presence of all these people is a great tribute to the life that Aunt Charlotte has lived. She is a good example of someone who has followed the advice (and reaped the health benefits) given in Proverbs 3:7-8 (The Message) that says "Don't assume that you know it all. Run to GOD! Run from evil! Your body will glow with health, your very bones will vibrate with life!" I have gratitude in my heart for Aunt Charlotte's example, AND gratitude to all those cousins in California who worked to make this event so enjoyable ----providing me, and all who attended, with "miles of smiles"!! Tricia

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