The Year of Moving Forward

The Year of Moving Forward
At our 4 person wedding reception in DC

Sunday, March 25, 2007

The Alabama Capitol and Free Rosetta Stone

Saturday we had a good day at Jonesboro, and established the initial planting of the Jonesboro Community Garden. It’s a little odd to see shrubs and young trees scattered across the vacant lot, but soon the areas will be mulched and a walking path established, trellises will be built, and during the summer a gazebo is going to be built by the Lawson State folks. Our city council person Earl Cochran joined in, along with neighbors and Bessemer Historical Homeowners Association members. Here Earl and Adam are digging holes.

Now we need some rain. Linda, I know you do a snow dance…can you do a rain dance?

Looks like my relatives are good supervisors. Actually, everyone did their share.

Free Garden Tour. Speaking of gardens, Alabama First Lady Patsy Riley has worked on beautifying the grounds of the state capitol in Montgomery. The building was restored 10 years ago, but nothing much has been to the grounds until she undertook the project, planting (or having it done) hundreds of bulbs, azaleas and roses.

Free tours of the grounds and the 1853 building will be next Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 pm. Experts will be available on the Monroe Street side at 2 pm each day to give special presentations on the landscaping. Tours will begin every half hour at the Union Street entrance. These tours are replacing the annual Governors Mansion Spring Garden Tour because now the mansion is undergoing renovation.

For more information see, or call 800 252-2262.

For those of you who can not make the tour, but would like to see what the capitol looks like, here is a pictorial tour by the Alabama Historical Commission:

You will notice that the virtual tour says “from 1846”. The first building in Montgomery burned, and this one was built in 1853.

We cleaned our fountain yesterday…the water had gotten kind of icky, and I have never seen so many happy robins. There were at least 4 that kept flying to the edge to drink, and would try to figure out a way to bathe. One (maybe more, I couldn’t really tell them apart) finally perched on the edge of the top tier, and realized she could jump in the shallow water and bathe without getting splashed like happened below. They had not been bathing in the yucky water. Here’s a shot of the fountain at night.

Some of you were here in December and saw the fountain in its frozen state.

Free Language Instruction

The Jefferson County Library System is offering the Rosetta Stone foreign language program for FREE online. Bessemer is one of the 9 (out of 18) funding libraries for this, but the program is available to anyone who has a Jefferson County Library Card. Twenty nine languages are available, including Spanish, Arabic, Mandarin, Swahili and Vietnamese. For the complete list, and to sign up, visit There is a Rosetta Stone button on their home page. The program is only funded for a year, so get started. And encourage the libraries to continue the free service. Voy a volver a aprender mi español de la High School secundaria.

Speaking of birds, here’s an interesting story, a little something to put things in perspective. An article in National Geographic several years ago provided an interesting picture of God's wings. After a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park, forest rangers began their trek up a mountain to assess the inferno's damage.One ranger found a bird literally petrified in ashes, perched statuesque on the ground at the base of a tree. Somewhat sickened by the eerie sight, he knocked over the bird with a stick. When he gently struck it, three tiny chicks scurried from under their dead mother's wings. The loving mother, keenly aware of impending disaster, had carried her offspring to the base of the tree and had gathered them under her wings, instinctively knowing that the toxic smoke would rise. She could have flown to safety but had refused to abandon her babies. When the blaze had arrived and the heat had scorched her small body, the mother had remained steadfast. Because she had been willing to die, so those under the cover of her wings would live. "He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge." (Psalm 91:4)

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