Proverbs 31 opens a description of the attributes to search for in a wife, Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
The list goes on for over twenty verses listing qualities of such an ideal woman.
Who can find..? Indeed?
But I met her… when I was a young wife and mother searching for more to life than just playing house and living for the weekend.
Yesterday I traveled to Memphis, Tennessee to honor the life of a genuine Proverbs 31 woman, Frances Farrish.
My day started early. Up before five, in the shower, dressed and out the door by six. It was two hours up corridor X to Tupelo, Mississippi to meet my Mom. She had a friend drop her at the Cracker Barrel on her way to work. When I arrived less than ten minutes later, she sat in one of the oversized white rockers on the front porch patiently waiting. I pulled right up to the front and helped my Mom into the front seat beside me and off we went; another nearly two hours on to Memphis. No time to waste, visitation was to begin at 10:30 and I would need to stop and change into my dress before we arrived.
It was a sweet time as we toodled on up the interstate. Angry clouds covered the sky before us as we pressed through heavy downpours, showers and back through downpours again. I was glad Charles had thrown the stadium umbrella in the car when he hung my dress in the back seat.
Somewhere on the north side of Holly Springs, Mississippi we caught just a glimpse of blue skies as we hoped that the clouds might break. The closer we got to Memphis the more blue and fewer dark clouds we saw.
My phone had us cut up to the loop that goes through Memphis and our conversation focused more on following directions than catching up on family comings and goings.
We found the Memorial Gardens just before ten o’clock with no hiccups and drove on past in search for a restroom to change into my dress.
Check. Back onto the busy, busy streets of Memphis and back up Poplar Avenue to the lush green sanctuary called Memorial Park. It must be well over a hundred acres of pristine manicured lawn, trees and gardens. The clouds had rolled back from heavy rains to vivid blue as a slight wind blew giant drops of water onto the car as we drove under the branches of massive and majestic oaks. It was picturesque.
We found the facility and parked under the shade of another old oak. Sitting in the car with the air conditioning running because it is June in Memphis, Tennessee and the humidity was near one hundred percent, we both powdered our faces and added one last layer of lipstick.
It was time to go in … and share our condolences with others there to celebrate a life well lived.
Frances Boyd Farrish was born in the Spring of 1929 and was 88 years the morning she opened her eyes in heaven to see Jesus face to face. Her husband had gone on before her twenty-some odd years earlier having moved to Memphis to be close to their daughter a few years before he had left her. Four children – two sons, a daughter and another son, in that order.
I met this soft-spoken woman some thirty years ago when I was a young wife and mom struggling to find a deeper meaning to life. She had raised their children and it was just her and Mr. Farrish now, an empty nest for sure. But myself and a small handful of other young mommies in the same chapter of life, reaped the fruits of her wisdom, grace and love for Jesus.
I look back on the few years that I sat at her feet with a longing to be able to go back and glean more than I did. I left too much of what she shared with us laying on the table. It was there for the taking. In my immaturity and business I didn’t stop and marinate long enough to soak up more of what she gave.
I suppose we all live with regrets…I would-a’, should-a’, could-a’. But I still can’t believe how blessed I was to have been given a few impressionable years, a small window of time if you will, to learn from such a woman as Frances Farrish.
The service was truly a celebration of her life.
Boyd, one of her seventeen grandchildren, welcomed everyone and thanking us for coming giving us a few details such as important dates and names. Next her precious daughter took the podium to read a few verses from Proverbs 31 and share how she had talked to her mom everyday and seen her most everyday for the last twenty-five years. She shared a few values her mom had taught her. And she told us about the countless times she would step inside her mom’s back door to hear her voice coming from her bedroom where her mom sat for hours talking to Jesus. She shared what a blessing it was to have had her so near for all those years. It was a sweet, sweet testimony.
Janet introduced me and it was my turn. I am a product of a few of her prayers too. I stood before her family and friends and shared my blog post from over a year ago when we had written about Ruth from the Bible stating that Mrs. Farrish was my Naomi. Ask Him to Show Her To You.
Side note: in many old transcripts of The Bible, the book of Ruth follows Proverbs. I think it’s only fitting that Ruth’s story follow the verses of the last chapter of Proverbs that list the qualities of a virtuous wife.
Her youngest son Henry followed, sharing some of the fun and light hearted memories from his childhood. He read a few notes another brothers had written for the morning. the oldest shared precious words of encouragement and honored their mom. Henry closed out so beautifully with part of his story and the value of the time she had spent praying for each of them. He closed by sharing the importance of a personal relationship with Jesus and simply shared that if that was something any of us wanted to know more about that he would love to chat afterwards.
It was perfect.
It Is Well With My Soul was the closing tribute sung by one of the worship ministers from her church. And another grandson stepped to the podium with the task of closing us in prayer, but not without sharing a sweet story or two about his Mamaw as we all laughed at her sense of humor and the antics of dealing with such a precious grandson.
There was no official “minister” there to preach.
- Her life was message enough.
- Her children are the evidence of her faith walking out before her.
- Her grandchildren are her reward.
The elderly gentlemen came to the front and rolled the casket up the aisle with her family proudly and humbly following her body out of the building.
The interment was immediately following and the family invited everyone to join them back there for a reception.
I helped my mom back to the car and we opted to head back to Mississippi and then on to my promised land of Birmingham, Alabama. While it would have been nice to get to stay and visit with her children, it was time to allow them their own time.
Mom and I stopped for lunch, knowing all-too-well that one should never come to Memphis without stopping for Memphis barbecue. There is none other like it – hands down; best I can tell. While I dearly love Birmingham, Alabama they really don’t know what barbecue is supposed to taste like. (or we haven’t found it here)
We were on the road by two o’clock, headed back southeast. Only a few miles out of the city the clouds were back and rain continued to fall heavier and heavier as we journeyed on down 78. Sometime before we reached my mom’s home the rain had stopped. She was glad to be back home and I was glad to lose the dress and heals for a little more comfort.
My sister Debbie and her daughter Holly stopped in for a reunion visit. We talked with excitement of Holly’s upcoming move into her very own first house and plans she has for a few changes to the site. After an hour or so it was clear that mom needed to get some rest so they went on home and I got in the road for my two-hour cruise back to Alabama.
It was a day I won’t soon forget.
Mrs. Farrish left an imprint of Jesus in mine and many other’s lives.
Her price is far above rubies.
Though I may wonder…. There really is no place like home.
Ours was a good wondering. And we’ve checked one more thing off our Bucket List.
✔️ Visit Washington D.C.
Today is Mother’s Day. That’s one thing we all have in common. We all had a mom. Some were good, some were not. Either way, she helped mold us into what we are today.
I’ve heard it said that you can only blame you problems on your mother until you’re thirty. After that it’s time to grow up and be accountable for the decisions you have made and choose what you’ll do with the hand you’ve been dealt.
I have a friend who left home as a teen because of a hard situation and today she is an amazing woman. I have another friend who was given everything she every thought she might want and still today she’s not happy.
I believe we have a choice… despite the mistakes we may or may not have made. Today you get to choose for yourself. No one else decides if you will have a good or bad day. Just you.
I suppose I sound like the eternal optimist as I’ve not walked through what you’re walking through. And you’re right. But because I have Christ inside I have hope.
He gives us a new day every morning. Choose today what you will do with your life. Starts with today and then choose again tomorrow (regardless of the outcome of yesterday). Slow and steady wins the race.
Last day and almost home: We slept in this morning. 5 1/2 hour drive. But we are back in the south – Grits for breakfast at the hotel! On the road by 9:30 with our sunglasses on.
Not much excitement on the road today. Mile after mile of interstate with only two short delays. The landscape was beautiful through Tennessee and of course in Alabama.
But the most beautiful site was when we topped the hill and our house came into sight. I have a sign on our patio that says…”What I like best about my house is who I share it with!”
Our time away was wonderful. We saw more than I can describe. “We had a blast!” To quote Charles, when asked what should I say in my last D.C. blog post? “Everyone should get to see what we saw!”
We did leave feeling more patriotic. Proud of what our nation stands for! We are not perfect but we (U.S.) are an honorable nation.
I’m proud to be an American.
In a text conversation with a friend this morning I said…the old grey mare just ain’t what she used to be. That kinda describes us… go back a few years and we could have cut our trip in half. One week – easy peasy if we had pushed it.
Thank you for excusing all my typos and grammatical errors. I came in exhausted every night and typed my thoughts. I read some on the way home today and I should have proofed one more time!
Thank you for reading along and for following our trip to Washington D.C.
Sunday, May 14 – Mother’s Day – Home Sweet Home!
There’s No Place Like Home
A Little About:
Home -We moved to Birmingham in 2007 and bought our house on April 15th, 2010. (7 years ago) We have enjoyed making it our home. The latest update was this year with a little facelift to the bathroom. Plus new patio furniture for our back covered patio.
We tried to keep the period of the house. (1951)
It will be nice to get home to our two frenchies! Martha Rae and Pickle.
AND a big Thank You to Cheryl for staying at our house and keeping the pups!
Happy Mother’s Day to both of our Moms. Thank you for raising us with manners and convictions, with initiative and pride for our heritage. Thank you for giving us an honorable lineage and mostly for introducing us to Jesus.
We are thankful for you both.
And thank YOU for joining us for our Must-See tour of D.C.
Day Nine – Blue Ridge Parkway vs Interstate
No rain today on us. Sunshine by afternoon. Breakfast of champions at Chic-fil-a in Harrisonburg, VA. Happy Mother’s Day flower to go with my chicken!
We pulled out around 8:30 am. We hit I-81 and made our way to the Blue Ridge Parkway – Acton, VA mile marker 0. The north end of the parkway.
The road less traveled from noon til 4:00 – 4 hours got us 120 miles closer to home! (that’s an average of 30 mph)
I am such a country girl, I loved the landscape! And Charles was quite the trouper. He was such a safe driver and he pulled over a few dozen times for me to snap a shot. I could post a hundred pics! Beautiful!!!
We got off the parkway at mile marker 120 – Roanoke and back on I-81. Bristol 145 miles. And we pulled into Bristol on the Virginia side at 6:30.
We asked the sweet girl at the desk where was a great “local” place to eat? We can eat Olive Garden in Birmingham! She recommended Quaker Steaks and Lube. Of course they used the car racing theme to name all their items on the menu! I can’t criticize, my church use “football” terminology to describe all our weekly serve opportunities!
Charles wanted ribs and I ordered wings. We shared. We both ate even after we were full.
Back to the room and ready for a good nights sleep. It’s Home tomorrow!
I had to sneak in a photo from last night. Charles’ favorite night site!
Today I am so thankful for: God’s creation! for mountain roads and interstate! And for a good bed!
Saturday, May 13th – Head Home
Na na na na 🎶 Na na na na 🎶 Hey hey hey 🎶 Goodbye. 🎶
We have to be out of our hotel by 11:00 BUT we aren’t scheduled to be home until Sunday. We’be seen enough and are ready to hit the road! (There’s No Place like Home Dorothy!)
A Little About:
It’s an 11 hour drive with what looks like lots of delays. So we will probably need two days to make the trip.
Weather: The Weather Channel is predicting 100% chance of rain! Looks like we’ll be driving in the rain part of the day.
Since we don’t have to be rushed, we want to take the Blue Ridge Parkway part of the way.
Blue Ridge Parkway: is America’s longest linear park, runs for 469 miles through 29 Virginia and North Carolina counties, mostly along the Blue Ridge, a major mountain chain that is part of the Appalachian Mountains. The parkway has been the most visited unit of the National Park System every year since 1946 except two (1949, 2013). Land on either side of the road is owned and maintained by the National Park Service and, in many places, parkway land is bordered by United States Forest Service property. The parkway is on North Carolina’s version of the America the Beautiful quarter in 2015.
Day Eight – Pentagon 9/11 Memorial
Metro: Two stops on the Blue Line and we were at the Pentagon
Before we left this morning we watched a 24 minute Vimeo on Charles’s’ tablet that highlighted the design of the memorial. (https://vimeo.com/23906742)
Landscape Architects design the space between the buildings. This is one of those spaces. I remeber reading about the design and some of the commentary (of course everyone is a critic when they didn’t design it). That’s one of the reasons I wanted to save the Pentagon Memorial until last, to get to experience the other site designs and see how this one measures up for me.
Plus … I remember that day. I read and studied about the other memorials. But I walked through September 11, 2001. Clearly in my own way and not like these did, but I’m sure like you, I know where I was when I heard/saw the news that a plane had crashed into one of the Twin Towers in NYC, and then the other tower and then the Pentagon. I expected sthong feelings for that reason.
Every detail of this memorial is intentional. There are 184 memorials lined up with the angel the plane hit the building. Benches made from stainless steal and smooth granite cantilever from the ground, have a lighted pool of flowing water and a name on the end. The direction of the bench indicates their location at the impact, from flight 77 or inside the Pentagon. They capture that moment in time, September 11, 2001, 9:37 a.m. They created an age line, from the youngest victim, three-year-old Dana Falkenburg, who was on board American Flight 77 with her sister and parents, to the oldest, John Yamnicky, 71, a retired Navy veteran, also aboard Flight 77 that morning. As you position at the end of the monument to read the name, the direction you face indicates the victim’s location. If you’re looking toward the sky, that victim was on the plane; if towards the Pentagon – in the building. 125 honor the victims of the Pentagon and 59 lives lost on Flight 77. Within there are 85 Crape Myrtle trees clustered but not dedicated to any one victim. These trees will get 30 feet tall and make wonderful shade over the Memorial.
I could go on and on about the design but in reality it’s about the impression, the feel that the memorial brings. Last night as we were taking our night pictures, I notices the elderly gentleman leaning up against the wall at the WWII Memorial contemplating, in deep thought, presumably about the impact imposed by this war.
That’s how I found myself this morning.
I thought back to where I was that morning. I remember how I felt that day and how much our world has changed because of that day. (Every building we went into we were forced to go through security checks like at the airport.) It made me angry. It made me try to imagine what the family members must have felt like knowing their loved ones were stolen by such cruel hatred. I thought about how horrified the people on the flight must have been the last nearly fifty minutes of their life. Can you imagine being the parents of those children? What about the three teachers of the three students headed to California to compete in a Nation Geographic competition? And even the wife or husband, son or daughter, certainly praying that the hijackers would get what they wanted and they would be released. Up until this day, hijackers had demands. These were terrorist not hijackers. They were terrorized. We were terrorized.
We sat for awhile and I asked Charles what he thought? Would you have “gotten” it if we had not watched the video? Because of my indoctrination of design, was I looking at the design more than the whole memorial? As we sat an older lady, her daughter and 10 year old granddaughter walked by. The grandmother said,”It’s so powerful.” We started a conversation and they explained the significance to us as if we had no idea. They “got it“! They saw the design intent without explaination.
The Pentagon Memorial was the first 911 memorial to be opened but the last to have a Visitor Center. (Scheduled to open in 2020)
So all in all, I give it a 10 on the Must-See monuments of Washington DC. Like all the rest, you have to experience it to get the full effect.
From here we jumped on the Yellow Line and headed into the city. I had read a food review about the best BBQ restaurant in DC so we headed out. Turns out, it was in a very historic neighborhood. Georgia Ave./Pleasant Plains Heritage Trail, once the the cultural heart of DC’s African American community. This area was the site of riots in 1968 following the news of Dr. King’s assassination. In 1991 they added the Metro stop and the community has been improving since. The architecture was beautiful!
We found our way to DCity Smokehouse. Charles and I shared a BBQ Sampler Plater of brisket and rib tips. Definitely comparable to Rendezvous in Memphis. We bellied up to the bar and made pigs of ourselves.
A few pics of the Rosalyn Metro, the one we used most.
Just about the time the rain sets back in we were back to our room to begin repacking for our departure tomorrow. (We’re contemplating pulling out the umbrellas again and heading back to the Iwo Jima memorial (1/2 mile away) to click a night shot.)
We pull out tomorrow headed back to Home Sweet Home Alabama. The plan is to go down and jumping on the Blue Ridge Parkway for a few hours to enjoy some of the majestic landscape on our way home.
Today I am thankful for: a nation that pulled together following the terrorist attack suffered now sixteen years ago. I like good barbecue. And mostly I’m thankful that I got to see all of this with my best friend.
Thank you for joining us on our Must-See Tour of D.C.
Friday, May 12th – Pentagon & back by Arlington Cemetery
- The Pentagon
- Arlington National Cemetery
Weather: 50 and cloudy! But it’s not raining and the temperature is warming up to a sweltering 58! (It beats freezing cold OR baking hot.)
A Little About:
Pentagon – is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, located in Arlington County, Virginia. As a symbol of the U.S. military, The Pentagon is often used metonymically to refer to the U.S. Department of Defense. We waited too late to get a tour, but it’s still on our list for today
The Pentagon Memorial – is located just southwest of The Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia, is a permanent outdoor memorial to the 184 people who died as victims in the building and on American Airlines Flight 77 during the September 11 attacks.
Arlington Cemetery – is a United States military cemetery in Arlington County, Virginia, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., in whose 624 acres (253 ha) the dead of the nation’s conflicts have been buried, beginning with the American Civil War, as well as reinterred dead from earlier wars. The national cemetery was established during the Civil War on the grounds of Arlington House, which had been the estate of the family of Confederate general Robert E. Lee’s wife Mary Anna (Custis) Lee (a great-granddaughter of Martha Washington).
Tomb of The Unknown Soldier – is a monument dedicated to American service members who have died without their remains being identified. It is also known as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, but it has never been officially named. It is located in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, United States of America. The World War I “Unknown” is a recipient of the Medal of Honor, the Victoria Cross, and several other foreign nations’ highest service awards. The U.S. Unknowns who were interred are also recipients of the Medal of Honor, presented by U.S. Presidents who presided over their funerals.
The John F. Kennedy Eternal Flame – is a presidential memorial at the gravesite of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, in Arlington National Cemetery. The permanent site replaced a temporary grave and eternal flame used during President Kennedy’s funeral on November 25, 1963. The site was designed by architect John Carl Warnecke, a long-time friend of President Kennedy’s. The permanent John F. Kennedy Eternal Flame grave site was consecrated and opened to the public on March 15, 1967.
“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds” – United States Postal Service creed
Well rain didn’t keep us from touring today.
Getting there: Take the Blue Line to Metro Center. Get off. Decide if you’re supposed to go upstairs or down to catch the Red Line. But you also have to know what the last stop on that line is so you will know which of the Red Lines to catch.
We did it! We arrived at Union Station! (Charles even told me that he thought he might could do it by himself…if he had to!)
Union Station is definitely the hub for trains coming in and out of D.C. And it’s a beautiful building. I tried to imarine what it must have been like back in the day… when it was first opened, 1908…back when women wore long dresses and corsets. Side note: At the height of its traffic, during World War II, as many as 200,000 passengers passed through the station in a single day. Well it was crowded today but no where near that many!
We crossed the street and spent the morning in the Postal Museum. Charles really like this one. His Mom collected stamps for him most of his life. She loves them. (We actually have a couple of scrap books full of stamps that she saved.)
From here we went back into Union Station for lunch. Charley and I ate at Charley’s Philly Cheese Steak. Those 9,000 eight graders found us again, except this time they brought friends!!! I thought we would have to stand to eat! But, like I told Charles, everybody needs to say they had lunch in Union Station!
The rain wasn’t going to let up so in lieu of Chinatown, we decided to just push through with umbrellas and walk past our hotel to the Marine Corp Iwo Jima Memorial. Y’all! It’s huge! Like really big! As we walked up, under our umbrellas, there was a tour bus of men in military uniforms. The closer we got it was clear that they wer soilders from another nation. Just thinking of these guys standing in the rain and taking pictures with our memorial made me proud that I live in such a strong country.
A short walk back to our hotel and a sweet afternoon nap!
We bundled up and headed back to the Metro for some nighttime sightseeing. So worth every step.
Today I am thankful for: mail, that we get mail brought to our front door daily. I’m thankful for the valor and virtue. And…I found myself almost tearful as we walked back through the WWII Memorial tonight. I caught an older gentleman standing under one of the quotes etched on the granite wall, as if he were contemplating the impact this war had had on the world and maybe his life.
God has had His hand of favor and blessing over our nation. It is so evident as I walk through these memorials and consider what they represent. Thank you Heavenly Father.
Thursday, May 11th – Union Station
Take the Metro to Union Station. This will require us to get off the Blue Line at Metro Center and get on the Red Line. (I guess we’ll see how ‘pro’ we really are.)
- Union Station
- National Postal Museum
- Law Enforcement Memorial
Weather: it’s not getting out of the 50’s and the rain will be here by 9:00! We’ll be carrying our disposable ponchos and umbrellas to get under between sites!
A Little About:
Union Station – is a major train station, transportation hub, and leisure destination in Washington, D.C. Opened in 1907, it is Amtrak’s headquarters and the railroad’s second-busiest station with annual ridership of just under 5 million.
At the height of its traffic, during World War II, as many as 200,000 passengers passed through the station in a single day. In 1988, a headhouse wing was added and the original station renovated for use as a shopping mall. Today, Union Station is one of the busiest rail facilities and shopping destinations in the country, and is visited by over 40 million people a year.
National Postal Museum – The museum is located across the street from Union Station, in the building that once served as the Main Post Office of Washington, D.C. from 1914, when it was constructed, until 1986. The museum houses many interactive displays about the history of the United States Postal Service and of mail service around the world. Also on display is a vast collection of stamps.
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial – in Washington, D.C., at Judiciary Square, honors 20,267 U.S. law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty throughout history. The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) was established by former U.S. Representative Mario Biaggi (D-NY), a 23-year New York City police veteran who was wounded in the line of duty over 10 times before retiring in 1965.
Chinatown – is a small, historic borough east of downtown consisting of about 20 ethnic Chinese and other Asian restaurants and small businesses along H and I Streets between 5th and 8th Streets, Northwest. It is known for its annual Chinese New Year festival and parade and the Friendship Arch, a Chinese gate built over H Street at 7th Street.