Our 50th anniversary celebrations started early when a UPS truck delivered a package late Thursday afternoon the 13th of June.  Inside the box that said “Washing Machine” on it were two frames, hand made by our son Raymond in Kansas, in the shape of a 50!  It was a collage of up to date photos that all three of our children had worked on. Yes, worked on, by sending photos to Ray in Kansas from Australia and New York!  The photos were of our three children, their spouses, their children, and our great grand-daughter!  Perfect!

Friday, June 14th our actual Anniversary, we drove up to Ormond by the Sea, about an hour away, to Betty’s A1A Cafe.  We found it years ago and love the seafood there which is imported from New England.  We had told the waitress that it was our 50th Anniversary and to our surprise, at the end of the meal, music came on – the Italian song Amore – and two waitresses came out singing, carrying a candelabra, which they lit, and a plate with a large piece of chocolate cake and two forks – what an end to a beautiful meal!

Saturday we had an open house here from 2-4PM at our New Tribes Mission Retirement Center up in the Assisted Living dining room.  During that time, 101 friends came to see us, enjoyed cake and ice cream, fun and fellowship. Friends here helped with decorations and setting up, serving punch and cake and ice cream, taking photos, and then cleaning up. It was an awesome, fun-filled afternoon!

Then on Sunday, after the evening service at Victory Baptist Church, we had a pot luck meal and celebrated with our church friends.  My friend Kimberly made a beautiful cake with two doves on it. What a great weekend!

What an enjoyably special weekend that continued on Friday, our actual Anniversary, with a phone call from our daughter Esther.  Esther and her co-worker Jen and the eight children at the Day Care all sang “HAPPY ANNIVERSARY”.  The weekend ended fabulously with the thunderstorm of all thunderstorms that we compared to fireworks going off.

Our fantastic journey started so many years ago when Charlie moved to my home town of Fitchburg, Massachusetts.  Charlie’s Dad had died in WWII before he was born.  His Mom remarried and she had three more children and they moved around a lot, ending up in Fitchburg.  Little did we know what lay ahead of us. We invited Grandma Case, who Charlie rarely saw over the years, to our wedding.  She gladly came with Charlie’s Aunt Helen and Uncle Wayne.  Grandma Case invited us to spend our honeymoon with her on Little Diamond Island, located in Portland Harbor Maine, which we accepted.  We took a bus up there, then the ferry out to the Island, only to be met by Grandma Case, two ladies and six children – our honeymoon! Grandma did not tell us about the others who would be there!  We sensed they were special but did not know it was because they were Christians.  Folk can’t believe that was our honeymoon, but we would do it all over!  A year later both Charlie and I both personally put our faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior and our lives really changed.  Three years later we invited Grandma Case to come visit us in Tennessee for a month and while she was with us she gave us a clear testimony of when Charlie’s Dad became a Christian.  That was fantastic as Charlie now knows he will see his father one day.  What Grandma Case then shared was awesome.  She shared about how all the full time Christian workers there were in her extended family!  I believe, to this day, that for years she prayed for Charlie – who was the only son of her only son killed in WWII, and I was the “Ring In” (Australian word!). 

Yes, our lives really changed, which so many of you know as you have followed our journey the last 50 years, or longer, and some of you were a part of those years! THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR BEING PART OF OUR LIVES AND OUR JOURNEY THROUGH THE YEARS!

A continuing saga over the last week is that of our son Raymond and his friend Dan.  Ray donated a kidney to Dan on Tuesday June 18th and all went well for both of them and the donated kidney is working well in Dan.  Raymond came home on that Friday – a two hour trip from Kansas City to Manhattan. Kansas!  Dan is also home. Thank you so much for your prayers and continued prayers for them!

You have encouraged us so much! We trust the Lord to encourage you also, 

             Charlie & Cherrie