This is what we do for the joy of the King,
For His peaceable Kingdom,
For a world in despair.
And this is why we bring any hope we can give,
Any bread from the table,
Any touch of His hand.
This is what we do.
This is where we go.
This is why we sing.
This is how we live.
This is who we are.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Happy Thoughts of Mom - December 25, 1918 - September 12, 2007

My mother, Kathryn Pearl Isenberg Sewell, went home to be with the Lord a year ago today. I'm determined to have happy thoughts about her, even though I miss her greatly. Laura, our graphics designer at church is scanning some photos of Mom that I'll post later. But today, I thought it would be fun to share some pics of places in my home town of Kissimmee, FL, that I associate with my mother. (There are other places I would like to  include, but I don't have pictures in my computer.)

This is a look at downtown Kissimmee as it was in the early 50's--when I was a pre-schooler. This is Broadway, a true "boulevard" with its grassy median.  Mom and I used to spend a lot of time in that McCrory's department store, about the only place in Kissimmee to shop for anything other than groceries and hardware.  Every July and February our town (known for its many ranches) hosted the Silver Spurs Rodeo.  Parades went up and down Broadway for every rodeo season. Quite the event. I loved it when two marching bands would be on both sides of the street playing different songs simultaneously--sounded like music by Charles Ives! Oh yeah...that "Hunt Bros" was a great drug store with a tremendous soda fountain.  I discovered the "Vanilla Pepsi" there--5 cents a serving!  YUMMY!  Their ice cream floats were pretty great too!  It was always fun to see old men sitting on benches in front of Hunt Brothers, solving all the problems of the world.

This is a shot (actually a postcard view) of the Olympic size swimming pool at the Tropical Hotel in downtown Kissimmee.  Unlike modern hotels, the Tropical welcomed non-guests to use that pool.  It was quite the hang-out for kids my age.  My mother would take me there many times during the course of a summer.  Just around the corner from the hotel was the Arcade Theatre where Mom would drop me off with a friend to watch a movie for 50 cents, and buy popcorn for a dime.

This is a picture of the dedication of the Hart Memorial Library next door to the Presbyterian Church and across the street from the old Central school where I attended 3rd, 5th, and 6th grades. From the clothes the folks are wearing, I'd say it was early 20th century. Anyway, my mom was always an avid reader--she planted the passion for books and reading in me.  We would frequent the library at LEAST once a week--usually on Wednesday evenings on the way to prayer meeting and "midweek Bible study" at church.

This is the Osceola County Courthouse, one of the neatest and most stately buildings anywhere. In an annex building that you can't see here (it was behind those oak trees to the left) I went to take my driving test--twice.  Mom took me both times.  I failed the first test because I was so nervous--the officer told me to turn right and I turned left.  That WOULD be the time my dyslexia reared its head! Mom and I laughed about that for years.

Miss you, Mom!  Give Dad my love.


Stacey said...

Hey Don. I hope you have nothing but wonderful thoughts of your mom today. You were blessed (as I am) to have a loving, Christian mother, who left us with a "more precious than silver" legacy. Thanks for letting me share in your walk down memory lane. Sounds like your mom was a lot of fun!!!

Stephanie said...

Hi Don,

Those are some very special memories..thanks for sharing. I hope that they bring you comfort today.


Kristi said...

What great pics Dad. I love looking at Kissimmee like that! And it's always nice to hear your stories about life with Grandma...

Heidi said...

I'm glad that you're able to enjoy the thoughts of you mom. Thanks for sharing them with all of us!

johnsonandjohnson said...

I laughed at the end! I had no idea you failed your driving test----quite the mistake there young man!

I hope you were able to have happy thoughts today. I can imagine it wasn't easy...

Diane Davis said...

these are great pictures! i love the history of the town and the images of your childhood in the large swimming pool, eating popcorn, and playing at the arcade. it looks like such a cute town.

your mother has kindness in her eyes. when you get the other pictures, please post them too! i hope your day was full of tender and loving memories.