Thoughts – “Get in! Sit Down! Shut Up! Hold On!”

She was a basket case when we found her.  A piece of gray fiberglass, loosely mounted on a  car frame.  Parts and pieces were stacked throughout the garage.  We were assured by the seller (a retired airline mechanic) that everything was there…… he handed us the plastic Rubbermaid container with mirrors, dials and other miscellaneous parts and pieces.

IMG_4696 CobraIMG_4694 Cobra

Her engine, came from a 1993 Ford Mustang donor car.  All of the paperwork was there including the dusty instruction manual from the kit car manufacturer (who by the way was no longer in business).

IMG_4693 Cobra


But, my husband had a dream and a vision.  A dream that was formed from the influence of his brother who would take him out to the drag strip every weekend.  A vision formed from his dream car, a 1969 Camaro Z28, black with gold racing stripes down the middle.  And so, as he loaded her into the car hauler another journey began.

It was a labor of love……….and patience.   Looking back our expectation was that in a few months we would be zooming around town in our sporty convertible.  We soon learned otherwise.  Car restorers are artists and you don’t rush them.  And so, the process began.


Three (3) years later we finally brought her home after winning a “Top 10 Best of Show.”   We had a blast and enjoyed all of the looks we would get.  It was amazing to watch kids hanging out of their car windows, snapping photos as we zoomed by.  Once, we even had a woman stop us in the grocery store parking lot and ask if she could have her picture taken next to the car!

IMG_5780 030114 Partners Pizza Top 10

She was sleek and fast!  Our motto (taken from a Toby Keith song) became “get in, sit down, shut up and hold on!”

IMG_8401 102415 The Little Car

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We made some great memories with her and even managed to fulfill a dream of taking her on a road trip to SSI……a special celebration for my husband’s birthday.

IMG_0631 021816 The Little CarIMG_0592 021716 The Little car

But, as all good chapters in our journey of life must come to an end, we said “goodbye” to her last weekend.  It was bittersweet watching my husband run through the car controls and settings with her new owner.    But, he had fulfilled his dream, had his fun and was ready to move on.

And so, as he unlatched the hitch and the new owner backed his pick-up to the car hauler, we closed the chapter of “The Cobra.”

IMG_0763 021716 The Little Car


Steeples I Have Chased

Growing up I spent a lot of time in church……..A LOT!!  In fact, throughout middle school and high school my best friends were from my church youth group.  So, I guess it isn’t surprising that years later as my interest in photography grew, I started a photography collection of churches.

Yet, way beyond the great memories of my youth there is something more that draws me to them. Every where my husband and I travel I’m always on the look-out for that unique church in a very unique setting. Perhaps it is the similar, yet distinct differences in their architecture, the spiritual beauty and place of worship they represent or the simple fact they have been the center of most communities for thousands of years.

I’ve often thought about taking my collection and publishing a booked filled with the images and the stories behind each church.  You know, one of those coffee table books neatly piled on top of a stack of other books waiting to be picked up and thumbed through. But, that is a project that will have to wait for another day when I have more time to devote to it.  In the meantime, instead of letting these photos sit endlessly on a hard drive, fading away into far too distant memory,  I thought what better place to begin building the book and sharing these photos (and a little bit of their history), than here?  And, since my current adventures are in the “Golden Isles of Georgia” why not start with the three (3) oldest churches on St. Simons Island.


Lovely Lane Chapel - located at Epworth by the Sea Methodist Center

IMG_1944 042415 Lovely Lane Church SSI copyright

This beautiful little building, “Lovely Lane Chapel” is located at Epworth by the Sea Methodist Center. Built in 1880 by Norman Dodge and designed by Atlanta architect, G.W. Laine.  It was originally known as the Union Church and was consecrated as St. James Episcopal. In 1949 it was re-consecrated Lovely Lane Chapel after the 1784 founding conference of American Methodism in Baltimore, MD.

I remember visiting Epworth by the Sea when I was in high school with my church youth group for some type of retreat.  While the exact memory of the event escapes me I  do recall the fun and happy feelings of the trip and the many names and faces of those who were with me.


Christ Church - St. Simons Island, GA

 IMG_2017 052215 Christ Church Pulpit

Quietly, tucked away on the North End of the island you will find Christ Church.  Originally built in 1820 it was damaged during the Civil War by Union Troops.  Anson Dodge Jr.  financed the new building of the present day church in honor of his wife, Ellen, who passed away while on their honeymoon in India.  Eventually, Anson became the first rector of the new church.    As you walk through the cemetery, you’ll also recognize many family names familiar to St. Simons Island.


IMG_2771 052515 St Ignatius Episciple Church



If you’re driving too fast on Demere Road you will miss this church.  I’m told this church also was erected by a member of the Dodge family and the inside is similar to Christ Church and Lovely Lane Chapel.   I haven’t been able to work my way inside, yet, so  I thought I would share a few photos from the exterior.

Credits: There is so much more to the history of these three (3) churches that I can’t possibly capture it all in this one blog.  If you’re interested in learning more about each of these I encourage you to start with Christ Chapel.  The Docents are wonderful and extremely knowledgeable about their history and their influence on St. Simons Island.   You can also find more information at​

A Hard Place to Leave….

We closed on SSI Casa de Playa in early January and there have been very few weekends we haven’t made the drive to the house.  We don’t need much persuading to go……all it takes is for one of us to throw the idea out there and within an hour we’re on the road, punching our way through Atlanta traffic.  We pretty much have the timing of the commute down, 4 1/2 hours door to door (when the traffic gods are on our side)…….and if we’re lucky we can make it without stopping. Knowing that the weekends pass by way too fast, we are very diligent about the time we spend on SSI.  Whether it’s completing our projects list for the weekend, exploring the island or taking long morning walks we make sure that every moment is purposely spent. While there is so much to do and see on the Island, it’s the walks on the beach I enjoy the most (well, the jeep rides do come in a very close second). During low tide the ocean resends so far out it opens up expansive sandbars to walk on and to take in all that it has left behind. Low Tide at Gould's Inlet Seagulls can be seen taking a dip in the pools of water left behind….. IMG_1059 032815 Walk on the Beach cropped Or taking flight……….IMG_1066 032815 Walk on the Beach cropped Shrimpers can also be seen dragging their nets offshore, working for their daily catch. Shrimp Boat off SSI When you live in a large city like Atlanta you become conditioned to crowded roads, the sounds of police and fire sirens and traffic helicopters hovering above. Which is why I especially appreciate how freeing walks on the beach can be and why SSI Casa de Playa is a hard place it is to leave.


“Life is a journey, not a destination……….you are the artist, paint what you will.”  This is a combination of my two (2) favorite sayings and very appropriate these days as my husband and I embark on a new adventure. We have always wanted to move to a coastal town where life is simple, the people are friendly and everyday is a new beginning;  a place that beckons our inner souls to do the things we always wanted to do, but were held back by the demands and commitments of life. We recently found that special place on St. Simons Island, Georgia (known as SSI by the locals).  It’s a neighborly place where people smile and say “hello” with the genuine sincerity of a long time friend;  it’s a simple place of no demands or stress which comes with city living; it’s a beautiful place of ocean breezes and streets lined with large oak trees draped in Spanish moss.

Spanish Moss drapes the overhanging trees of Old Demere Rd.

Spanish Moss drapes the overhanging trees of Old Demere Rd.

We first visited SSI in 2012 when some dear friends invited us down over the 4th of July.  I had never experienced the true meaning of small town America until that first visit.  As we arrived on The Island and headed down Kings Way, we immediately found our blood pressure drop…. the large oak trees lined the road with their canopy arching high welcoming us to the enchanted village.  It was like a page out of history or a scene out of Mayberry R.F.D. (for those of you old enough to remember the T.V. show).  July 4th was straight out of a movie.  The streets were lined with locals anxiously waiting for the parade; their golf carts festively decked out in stars and stripes fanfare; and fireworks bursting over the Pier.



Fast forward to 2015, after many visits to SSI we finally purchased a second home where we can escape, relax and begin living the next chapter of our lives.  Thanks to a wonderful suggestion by our dear friend, Meg, we named our new home “SSI Casa de Playa.”     There’s not much to SSI Casa de Playa.   It’s a simple place, a clean canvas that beckons us to fill it with our personalities.  We’re both excited and cautious about this journey;  excited because everything we have dreamt about is finally coming to life; cautious because  every time we visit our new home we have to pinch ourselves to make sure it’s real; and a little humbled because all of the years of our labor are finally paying off. I have no idea what will unfold from here, but I do know that every time we visit it becomes more difficult to leave.

Shrimp Boat off SSI

Shrimp Boat off SSI

“Life is a journey, not a destination…… are the artist paint what you will.”