Walk Day #5, Jackie

Jackie LaTour and I reconnected on the phone earlier this week about homeschool stuff and agreed to meet up this morning for a walk. We know each other originally from Discovery Pointe Church, and later she also started homeschooling. (Her family brought their desert tortoises to our homeschool co-op a couple years ago.)

I just love the LaTours. George and Jackie always have huge smiles and give great hugs. It’s a beautiful sight to see them worshipping the Lord on the front row at church, swaying arm in arm. Their kids are some of the sweetest, most welcoming young people ever. Oooh, and lucky lady–now Jackie’s a grandma!!

This has got to be my favorite weather in Phoenix… It was barely 60 degrees on our nice 2+ mile walk around her peacefully quiet neighborhood. Her part of town has gorgeous, established trees and shrubs in many varieties I don’t get to enjoy in my newer, more cookie-cutter neighborhood.

I insisted we snap our photo in front of some of the gorgeous palm trees. (Taking selfies is kinda hard and obnoxious… But it is fun to have these pics with my buddies!)

(Note to self… I’ve got to get myself some prescription sunglasses! Also, notice how perfect Jackie’s teeth are. Last year I started my belated orthodontist journey. I only hope mine turn out as pretty!)

I’m definitely enjoying these walks (even the ones like today where my hips hurt a little and make me feel old). It is refreshing to plug back into the three-dimensional, real-life world full of smiles and hugs, laughter and even tears, after so many months of virtual meetings, face masks and cancelled group events.

Today after leaving Jackie’s house I attended an emotionally moving military memorial service honoring a family friend’s dad. I discovered a new reason I don’t like wearing masks… it’s extra difficult to see when hot tears and cold air collide and fog up your glasses. Yet it felt so good to be back out with a group of people, doing important people-y things. The LaTours are able to be out at events again, too, running their fancy and fun photo booth business The Budget Booth. (I have a cute family photo on my fridge that they took last Easter at church.)

I’ve had the feeling lately that I should be taking advantage of the health and freedoms I have right now to do things, like going on these walkie talkies unmasked and chatting freely about whatever we want. Jackie and I talked a bit about some worrisome current event topics, and about specific ways that God has answered prayer. We Christians certainly have plenty to pray about! He definitely cares and wants to hear from us.

I also got to admire the elaborate Christmas decorations she has begun to put up. An early dose of Christmas hope and cheer is exactly what we all need this wild year.

Jackie has actually started carving and painting some of these Christmas village elements herself! And look at those adorable reindeer blocks at the top right… She was eyeing a pile of landscape clippings with perfect antler-y branches to make more. How creative!

Jackie’s up for more walks in the future. Even though she had a pretty awful car wreck last year, she’s like the Energizer bunny and would probably have walked for miles more today. The other gals from earlier walks this week said they would love to walk again soon, too. We could have a little gang. That walking scene from Forrest Gump keeps coming to mind, ha ha.

Actually, I was thinking the people were closer, LOL. (Isn’t this a gorgeous shot of the desert??)

You know what would really be neat? If a bunch of us could take some wheelchair-bound people out for a walk, chat and fresh air. 💕

Thank you for spending time with me this morning, Jackie! We’ll go again soon for sure! I still need to come see your homeschool setup, since I had to leave early today.

My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

– Colossians 2:2-3 NIV Bible

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