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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Welcoming Christmas in Hawkinsville

Welcoming Christmas in Hawkinsville

One of the things I like best about speaking for groups and retreats is meeting new friends! Last week I had the opportunity to share about my Nativity Collection in Hawkinsville, Georgia, at the Hawkinsville Garden Club's Nativity Luncheon. This fund-raiser helps the Garden Club fund various projects for the city. This Hawkinsville Garden Club has accomplished an impressive list of projects, and they have a number of projects in the works.

My friend and mountain neighbor, Ann Platz, (who was responsible for arranging this speaking engagement), and I, went to Hawkinsville a day early, to bask in gracious Southern hospitality at Opal Wilcox's lovely home on the Ocmulgee River. Opal and her son took us to dinner, at the local steak house, and by the end of the night, after lots of stories, it was hard to believe Opal and I hadn't been friends for years!

The next morning, while eating the sumptuous breakfast Opal prepared, the power went off! Fortunately, our food was cooked we were already dressed for the day! I showed Ann and Opal how to pull the emergency cords to disengage the garage doors from the electric openers, to raise the doors manually. We got the cars out, and headed for the fundraiser!

The lovely Clubhouse at Southern Hills was beautifully appointed with Nativities, and Christmas greenery. Each table's hostess featured Nativities as centerpieces. It was fun seeing the variety of decorations. There were some very lovely Nativity Figures and Sets. Although I have over 200 Nativities in my collection (many of which are small), I did not have any like those on display.

Signing two books that feature my stories, to benefit Wellspring Living,
an organization that confronts sexual abuse, and the forced prostitution of children.
Clubhouse at Southern Hills Golf Club, Hawkinsville, GA.
My hostess, Opal Wilcox's table, with several of her Nativity Sets.
Other tables and nativities are visible in the background.
Jim Shore's "The Journey That Changed the World" decorated one of the tables.
I'd never seen this set, in which Mary is depicted as an expectant mother!
Some of my small nativities. The tiny Guatemalan set, center front, started the collection.
Display with photo illustrations of two of my published stories.
Maasai Nativity from Kenya, Africa.
Photo of mother and child, dressed similarly, whom we met on our visit to Kenya. 
My largest Nativity Set, and one of my favorites!
I signed books after the luncheon, then did another book signing at Kimberly's Fine Antiques and Gifts, downtown. Kimberly's, owned by Jill Niblett is full of "treasures!" The shop with its beautifully restored, built-in fixtures, looks like it would be right at home in New York City! Jill and her father undertook the restoration in memory of her mother. If you're on I-75 near Perry, it's well worth the extra 20 minute drive to visit Jill's shop in Hawkinsville!

I enjoyed meeting many of the Hawkinsville Garden Club ladies, and their guests, and look forward to visiting Hawkinsville again, SOON! Thanks for having me!

(NOTE: I will be doing book signings to benefit Wellspring Living in December 2011. Currently, I am scheduled for Thursday, December 15th, from 4-7 at the Wellspring Treasures Store's Kennesaw location. I will post other dates as I get them. Please let me know if you'd like to order either the hardcover Chicken Soup for the Soul Gift of Christmas--$20, or Chicken Soup for the Soul Answered Prayers--$15. I will be glad to personalize the books.The full amount goes to Wellspring Living, when purchased from me, or from the Wellspring Treasures stores. Thank you!)

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