Shades of Savannah. Did You Know Savannah was the “City Built on the Dead?”

Shades of Savannah. Did You Know Savannah was the “City Built on the Dead?”

Only four hours to the city limits by car. No need to deal with airports and all the attendant annoyances of air travel since 9/11 changed America forever. A beautiful, historic city that I’d only visited once to the best of my memory, and that for just a weekend. Historic houses to tour. Old scandals to revisit. Grounds walked by soldiers in a war that divided a young nation. At Fort PulaskiA whiff of danger in rooms where pirates once plotted.

Savannah was, and is, all that and so much more.

It is a city “built on the dead,” as one tour guide pointed out. The very streets we walked covered the bones of uncounted souls. The hotel I stayed in was rumored to be haunted by past guests who were occasionally seen to wander the halls in period costume. Nothing to worry about, management assured us in its brochure.

I saw no ghosts (I don’t believe in them anyway). But I looked for them. Not as shadowy negatives of days long gone, but as someone who loves to imagine “what life was like back then.” Imagine how it must have been....And I found them: in the architecture and replica furnishings of stately stone ladies, where I imagined long swishing skirts and a more gracious lifestyle even while acknowledging how grateful I was for air conditioning and modern plumbing. I found them in the childhood home of iconic Southern author Flannery O’Connor, in a pram embellished with her initials . . . black-and-white family photos on a mantel . . . translations of her books on a shelf . . . her childhood bedroom, complete with a table and chairs for her dolls, made by a relative . . . even a peignoir worn by Flannery’s mother on her wedding night.

They spoke in statues at Bonaventure Cemetery—what stories lie in those elaborate markers! Like that of “Little Gracie,” taken by pneumonia at the age of six in 1889, or Little Gracie WatsonJulia Backus SmithJulia Backus Smith, “Savannah’s Fastest Female Runner,” eternally smiling in her shorts and running shoes, giving no sign, of course, of the depression that would later end her life. They still whispered faintly at The Pirate’s House restaurant, where I pictured bearded buccaneers with a pipe in one hand and a mug in the other, swapping war stories before a blazing fire. They were in the literally millions of bricks that made up the walls of Fort Pulaski (its creation took 18 years), in the Spartan quarters where young men slept—or did not—as they waited and dreamed of battle. They breathed inspiration and a call to action for young women through the halls of the home of Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the modern Girl Scouts.

There were sadder shades, too. Like those of Jim Williams, whose story was so Jim Williams of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evilmemorably portrayed in John Berendt’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Standing in the room where he shot Danny Hansford in self-defense, a room now serenely quiet and filled with curious tourists like myself, I wondered what he must have felt as he confronted the finality of his actions.

Most moving of all was the R.M Gilbert Civil Rights Museum, with its ugly reminders of a racism that still scars us.

“I am white, may I be served?” “I am colored, may I be served?”

Press a button to hear the oh-so-different answers. Look at the Klan robe with its eerie blank eye holes. As I wrote on my Facebook page, “Sometimes authenticity is deeply disturbing.” Sometimes ghosts are not easily laid. Nor should they be.

* * *

There were so many more experiences than I have room to share here. It was a wonderful, tiring, moving trip. Educational in more ways than one. And as the time to return home neared, I was actually saddened to “return to reality.” But these people were not my people, their times not my own. To my own naïve surprise, I realized I had been expecting to find them more “alive” than I should have. How was it that there weren’t more traces of them still lurking in the places where they’d made memories sufficient to fill books?

I’d forgotten that question until recently, as I came to think about this post and remembered how, too often, I’ve looked back over my shoulder at people and things gone before, unwilling to “let go” even when I had no choice. Not content enough to live the days my Creator ordained for me, with the people He placed in my path for a reason, to live out my own story, or even give concerted effort to discovering what form it would take.

And I wondered: was this what Paul meant when he spoke of “forgetting what lies behind”? Perhaps, at least to some extent. Surely as he faced shipwreck, blindness, beatings, imprisonment, and hunger he must have occasionally looked back to days gone by. But he also knew how to live firmly in the present where God had placed him.

I’ll always be grateful for those perfect May days in historic Savannah, and I’d gladly return. 

As much fun as it can be to visit the dreams & memories of others, we have our own to make. Click To Tweet

And who knows but that one day, someone far distant may even seek us within them? 

 

 

 

 

 

Do You Want More People to Read Your Writing? I Am an Editor

Do You Want More People to Read Your Writing? I Am an Editor

I still feel like something of an imposter when I say it.

“I am an editor.”

It still feels a little unnatural, even after the book purchases and the courses and all the commas corrected, the style guides consulted, the words looked up in Merriam-Webster, the 1:00 AM cries for help to the Facebook group for editors and proofreaders and word doctors.

It still feels like too bold a statement, even after all the (more…)

Partner with Ask God Today and Do Some Christmas Shopping!

Partner with Ask God Today and Do Some Christmas Shopping!

STARTS TODAY! Would you consider partnering with Ask God Today — plus you can get a little Christmas shopping done…?

But first, we want to thank you for already being a vital part of our ministry! We would like to expand who/how we reach you and we need a little help.

Ask God Today Ministries is kicking off our first fundraiser to help raise money for…

Wait for it…

A Women’s conference in Summer 2016! We have a desire to minister to ALL women, ALL generations, and ALL cultures. With YOUR support you can help make this a possibility. 

The details are still coming together, but part of those details is in the numbers. We have to raise money for the many expenses, or the conference will not be possible.

How YOU can help

It’s easy to support Ask God Today by doing a little Christmas shopping online! And tell your friends-there are tons of great, cute products over at MixedBag.

 

If you would like to help, follow this link (or share it) www.mixedbagdesigns.com/?fundraiserid=507243 , and shop! Make sure you see our number (507243) in the Fundraiser ID# so we get credit!

You can also add the referring participant’s name to give them credit for the sale!

The fundraiser is running for a limited time–from November 18-December 2. We were told all items should ship on or before December 16.

So, get shopping and help Ask God Today reach our goal for conference budget!

You can check out some of the reusable bags in this video:

Don't miss out and check it out here: www.mixedbagdesigns.com/?fundraiserid=507243 Click To Tweet

We appreciate your help and support! 

If you have any questions or would just like to donate please ask us in the comments. Thank you. 

Brenda and the AGTM Team 

What If There’s No Harvest?

What If There’s No Harvest?

It was a plate for decoration, not eating. Made of pink Depression glass, to be hung on a wall and passed to succeeding generations.

I found my mother examining it one day, and since I didn’t remember seeing it before, stopped, mildly curious, to inquire about it. I still don’t know whom it originally belonged to, but I do remember my mother saying that there was “no one to leave it to,” because: “We’re dying out.”   tree-693807_1920-pixabay

She was referring (more…)

Lucie Winborne Speaks Out

Lucie Winborne Speaks Out

Interview with Lucie Winborne

 

Brenda: Hello everybody, I am with Ask God Today Ministries, and today I am so excited to introduce you to Lucie Winborne. Lucie is amazing. We just love Lucie so much. You know all the posts that go out with Ask God Today—Lucie edits them for us. So she enhances our work; she makes us sound a little more grammatical than we are sometimes. She catches our mistakes and she’s just amazing, so we are so thankful for you, Lucie.

I just want to open up and introduce you and ask you a couple of questions so that our readers and our followers can get to know you, because they don’t see you a lot; you’re not out in the forefront, you’re not writing a lot of posts for us, but you are involved with all of them, and so thank you for what you do for Ask God Today.

First I want to ask you a little bit about how you were called to write and to edit.

Lucie: Well, the call to write is funny—somebody asked me about that (more…)

Just Trying to Matter

Just Trying to Matter

Photo Credit: Starfishinhand Lucie Winborne and www.askgodtoday.com

Photo Credit: Starfishinhand Lucie Winborne and www.askgodtoday.com

We have a very special lady with us. Lucie Winborne is a great writer and editor. Lucie helps edit for our team at Ask God Today and she is such a blessing to all of us. She writes today sharing a story about trying to matter, making a difference. Don’t we all wonder sometimes if what we are doing is making a difference in the lives of others? Remember hearing the story of the man and the starfish? Great story. If you aren’t familiar with it check it out below.

Lucie I just want to say thank you for all you do! You greatly matter to us!

So here is Lucie . . .

Just Trying to Matter
By Lucie M. Winborne

“I’m just trying to matter.” – Typical response of June Carter Cash when asked how she was doing

I’ll tell you something. A number of times in my life, I’ve felt like I really didn’t matter. Never mind that the God whose earthly birth we celebrate this time of year said I was created for a purpose. If so, it seemed clear I wasn’t fulfilling it. Or worse, could it be that I was? That this humdrum, seemingly useless life was “it”?

I didn’t care much for that idea, either.

Face it: We live in a world where it seems only the “big things” matter. Be radical for God! Set scary goals! Do hard (more…)

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