Old Town Huntsville

southern_home2Huntsville, Alabama has got 3 beautiful old town areas that are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

I’m not sure which area that I was in, but here are some photos that I took on the day that our tire blew out.

This is the First Presbyterian Church on 312 Lincoln Street, the oldest Presbyterian church building in the state of Alabama.

The Gothic revival exterior - 1st Presbyterian Church.

The Gothic revival exterior – 1st Presbyterian Church.

1st Presb. Church pipe organ.

1st Presb. Church pipe organ.

1stPresCh_stainedglass
1st Presb. Church pew.

1st Presb. Church pew.

The Maple Hill Cemetery was established in 1818, when a man sold 2 acres to the city of Huntsville for $200. The cemetery now covers almost 100 acres and has five Alabama governors buried there.
MapleHillCemetary2

Maple Hill Cemetery.

Maple Hill Cemetery.

southern_home

Tired Out

FlatTire3

Princess Buttercup and I were driving along Huntsville I565 on today’s beautiful, sunny, temperate afternoon. I saw something that looked like a piece of wood go under my car’s hood, and “Bang! Pow! Bang-a-bang-a-bang-a,” came a sound from my car’s undercarriage. Princess Buttercup yelled, “What happened! What happened!” as I put on my blinker and carefully steered to the right lane and then onto the shoulder of the interstate highway.

What had I run over?

I never did find out, but I found a rectangle slashed from the rear tire.

Princess Buttercup and I got away from the road and called my Knight in Shining Armor, Lefty.

Fortunately, we weren’t more than 15 minutes from Lefty’s work place. He drove to where we were stranded, changed the tire, and then we went to get a new one…not a small expense.

I thank God that we were both okay and our car didn’t flip over like the one in the 1970’s pilot episode of “The Incredible Hulk.”

Slashed with bent rim.

Slashed with bent rim.

Lunch at the Rainforest Cafe in Nashville

The boa at the entrance to the gift shop/restaurant.

The boa at the entrance to the gift shop/restaurant.

Yesterday, Princess Buttercup and I took advantage of fall break and headed to Nashville, TN for a day trip.

We went to the American Girl store in Franklin and then drove to the Rainforest Café at Opry Mills. I surely do miss having Opryland close by. For those of you too young to remember, Opryland was a theme park in Nashville that got torn down, and a mall and fancy hotel got put in its place.

I went to Opryland once as a little girl, and once as a teen and enjoyed its roller coasters. IMHO, they should have kept the theme park rather than to build yet another mall. But, hey, they didn’t ask me.

We did have fun at the Rainforest Café, though.

peaceLovetrees

Tracy the Tree

Tracy the Tree

Iguana

Iguana

rainforest_elephantrainforest_butterfly

God did not Pull the Trigger

churchsteepleOften, when something awful happens, like the mass shootings at Umpqua Community College, people blame God:

Where was God when the shootings happened?

How could a loving God allow the shootings to happen, especially against his own children–Christians?

This is very erroneous thinking.  God was with His children when the shootings occurred. God has said in His Bible, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”  Hebrews 13:5; Deut. 31:6.

In the Old Testament, God reassures His people, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10.

But how could a loving God allow the shootings to happen?

This is particularly hard to understand, but I believe it is because God gives us free will.  Unfortunately, Christopher Harper Mercer had a choice of whether to follow God (the Source of all love, beauty, and kindness) and use his life for good, or he could follow Satan—the source of all ugliness, horror, and evil.

Mercer chose the latter.

And the victims—all heroes in my eyes for standing up for their beliefs—suffered because of Mercer’s choice.

On the other hand, despite the horror of what happened, the victims stood up for their faith, and I hope to meet them one day when I get to Heaven.  I hope to tell them that they are heroes who glorified God yesterday with their choice to choose good.

I believe that they are in such a better place right now than we are.

I hope that I would be so courageous to stand up for my faith as they did!

Meanwhile, their families who were left behind suffer unimaginably, and their lives have been forever altered.  May God give them strength during the coming days and cover them in His loving kindness.  I pray that God will help them to remember the words of King David in 2 Samuel 12:22 when he loses his infant son:  “I will go to him, but he cannot come back to me.”