Friday, December 18, 2009

More about SHARE


You would think I would get tired of telling how good it is where I work, but I just keep finding more good things towrite about. Today I was involved with the Resource Development Planning Committee.  We had an excellent meeting with a committee formed by eight people from different areas of our organization.  We were all interested in finding ways we could reach out into the community to help, and finding ways the community can interact with us.  We discussed fund raising activities also.  We were all in agreement that the first thing we need to do is have our website updated so any possible corporate sponsors doing research on SHARE would come away with a good impression.  The current website has not been updated in at least six months!


Folks are starting to leave the building early after a miserable wet, cold, blustery day. Too bad we couldn't get some real snow before Christmas!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Happy Holidays at our house!


For the first time in seveeral years we are truly happy at our house during the Holiday Season. We have so much for which we are very grateful.  B has been doing well in school, and in her Phlebotomy classes. She has been scheduled for her clinical trials at the Patewood campus of Greenville Hospital System.  Next step, she will actually have a job after four years of no work! Hooray for B!  Hooray for me too!  I am now very happily employed at a job I really love at SHARE.  I am enjoying working at a Community Action Program that cares about helping the poor better their situations.  It has saved us from the depts of despair and depression. God has carried us through the hard times to make us more able to appreciate the things that He does for us. after all, He gave us His Son! That's why we HAVE the Holidays!


Motivational Poems, Inspirational Words of Wisdom:
"One of our favorite motivational poems:


The Victor
Poet: C.W. Longenecker

If you think you are beaten, you are.
If you think you dare not, you don’t

If you like to win but think you can’t,
It’s almost a cinch you won’t.

If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost.
For out in the world we find
Success begins with a fellow’s will
It’s all in the state of mind.

If you think you are outclassed, you are.
You’ve got to think high to rise.
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win the prize.


Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man.
But sooner or later, the man who wins
Is the man who thinks he can."

Thursday, November 19, 2009

No unemployment

Thank goodness I don't have to go around like this any more!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Don't Give Up, Inspirational Words of Wisdom

Don't Give Up, Inspirational Words of Wisdom: "A Motivational Poem
Don't Give It Up
Poet: Z. Vujcic, © 2007
Today life gave you another slap
but don't give it up
throwing your towel in the ring
for things gone wrong, for words that sting
'cos there must be another way
you will see it in the light of another day
When everything seems sour, not in your favour
look around until you find better flavour
so, don't just give but live it up
pick up the pieces, be tough
grind your teeth and turn another cheek
don't give it up, that's exactly what they seek
It's too easy to walk away
quitter never wins so you should better stay
look challenges straight in the eye
don't say yet the last good-bye
fight like an animal in a trap
but don't give it up

More inspirational words to encourage you when you think about quitting:
Most people who succeed in the face of seemingly impossible conditions are people who simply don't know how to quit. Robert Schuller
People of mediocre ability sometimes"

Wonderful Sunday



We had a wonderful Joint Service with Reedy River Baptist Church last night. One of my friends, who is a member of the second church, said he thought it must have been a glimpse of what Heaven will be like a the feast of the Lamb. Everyone was enjoying everyone else, and all were sharing in a fabulous feast, and prasing God and giving thanks together.



Motivational Poems, Inspirational Words of Wisdom:
"One of many famous motivational poems:

The Road Not Taken
Poet: Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference."

Positive Thinking Quotes, Inspirational Words of Wisdom

Positive Thinking Quotes, Inspirational Words of Wisdom: "'Success is a state of mind. If you want success, start thinking of yourself as a success.'
Dr. Joyce Brothers"

Monday, November 16, 2009

Hooray and Hallelujah!

I haven't blogged in a while. Just didn't have any good news to report I guess, or else I was so far down in depression that I didn't THINK I had good news. Well, that's got to stop!



I am so glad that I have been hired by SHARE, Sunbelt Human Advancement Resources, Inc. I have blogged about them before, but that was as a "Temp Volunteer." Now I am a Human Resources Specialist, in compliance. My job will be to make sure all of our policies and procedures meet the appropriate guidelines for the various grant programs we have. I spent most of today reading the Employee Handbook, and the Personnel Policy and Procedures Manual. There is an awful lot of information I am going to have to memorize. I will also be dealing with the agency's lawyers when necessary, as well as being an administrative liaison to the accounting department. God, I LOVE this job!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Back after a long absence!



I haven't blogged in over a month! No excuse for it, just had a rough couple of weeks and got out of the habit. I am determined to do better!

My application has been accepted for a permanent position here at SHARE. I sure do hope that it comes through. I don't think I could stand another rejection at this point. Faith keeps us moving forward, but sometimes it is so hard to keep on keeping on, if you know what I mean.

My church where I've been doing interim work finally got around to forming some actual search committees for the Pastor and Minister of Music. I think most of the choir is aware that I would love to have the permanent spot there. Attendance was up yesterday. We had over 50 in Sunday School for a change, and for the first time since Homecoming last April we had enough Children present to have Children's Church! We give God much praise for that! We also had the first Communion Service that Laurel has had in seven months. A wonderful service all together!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Today's Affirmations


Daily Affirmations

Today I insist that my thoughts and attitude be of the highest order.
Today I consciously establish my new mental equivalents.
Today I live in timeless spiritual awareness.
Peace is the order of my day.
God is ever present as my light-filled life.
Today I live God-filled and joyous.
Today I live adventurously in tune with the presence and power greater than I am.
Today I commit to being of service—no matter how large or how small it may seem.
Love is my real nature; I sense love everywhere this day.

Today I consciously, quietly, and joyously court the Presence.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Daily Affirmations

Daily Affirmations: "Today I live God-filled and joyous."

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Oh WOW! What a voice!


Last night was the SHARE Economic Opportunity Gala, and Bren and I were privileged to be invited to this wonderful affair. SHARE honored its major contributors at their annual fundraiser. You might expect this to be a rather drab awards banquet but it was far from that! Even after hours the people from SHARE exude a marvelous spirit of happiness to be able to help others and work together. These people work hard and play hard. They actually enjoy each others company even when they are not working. That is so rare in today's society.


The best part of the evening was the entertainment. We were happily introduced to Ms Loretta Holloway, "South Carolina's Lady of Song." She has got to be one of the finest jazz musicians to which I have listened. This Belton native packs a huge voice into a small package. She has performed with the likes of Bill Crosby, Whoopi Goldberg, Jay Leno, and Alan King, and has done a Royal Command Performance for Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip. In spite of these major accomplishments, she remains extremely personable and easy to talk to. She enjoyed talking with us after the performance, which just won her that many more fans. She will be performing in Anderson next month at the Burgundy Jazz Club, and I am going to make all effort to be there



Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day 2009 Our Tribute: The Story of the Navy Hymn


"Eternal Father, Strong to Save": The Navy Hymn


The song known to United States Navy men and women as the "Navy Hymn," is a musical benediction that long has had a special appeal to seafaring men, particularly in the American Navy and the Royal Navies of the British Commonwealth and which, in more recent years, has become a part of French naval tradition.


The original words were written as a hymn by a schoolmaster and clergyman of the Church of England, the Rev. William Whiting. Rev. Whiting (1825-1878) resided on the English coast near the sea and had once survived a furious storm in the Mediterranean. His experiences inspired him to pen the ode, "Eternal Father, Strong to Save." In the following year, 1861, the words were adapted to music by another English clergyman, the Rev. John B. Dykes (1823-1876) , who had originally written the music as "Melita" (ancient name for the Mediterranean island of Malta). Rev. Dykes' name may be recognized as that of the composer given credit for the music to many other well-known hymns, including "Holy, Holy, Holy," "Lead, Kindly Light," "Jesus, Lover of My Soul," and "Nearer, My God to Thee."


In the United States, in 1879 the late Rear Adm. Charles Jackson Train, an 1865 graduate of the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis was a lieutenant commander stationed at the Academy in charge of the Midshipman Choir. In that year, Lt. Comdr. Train inaugurated the present practice of concluding each Sunday's Divine Services at the Academy with the singing of the first verse of this hymn.


The hymn, entitled "Eternal Father, Strong to Save," is found in most Protestant Hymnals. It can be more easily located in these hymnals by consulting the "Index to First Lines" under "Eternal Father, Strong to Save." The words have been changed several times since the original hymn by Rev. Whiting was first published in 1860-61. One will find that the verses as now published differ from the original primarily in the choice of one or two words in several lines of each verse. However, inasmuch as it is not known whether the original words are now available in a hymnal, those original words are given below:


Eternal Father, Strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bid'st the mighty Ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
O hear us when we cry to thee,
for those in peril on the sea.

O Christ! Whose voice the waters heard
And hushed their raging at Thy word,
Who walked'st on the foaming deep,
and calm amidst its rage didst sleep;
Oh hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea!

Most Holy spirit! Who didst brood
Upon the chaos dark and rude,
And bid its angry tumult cease,
And give, for wild confusion, peace;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea!

O Trinity of love and power!
Our brethren shield in danger's hour;
From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
Protect them wheresoe'er they go;
Thus evermore shall rise to Thee,
Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.

This last stanza was written much more recently and covers all branches of the Armed Forces:

Lord, guard and guide the men who fly
And those who on the ocean ply;
Be with our troops upon the land,
And all who for their country stand:
Be with these guardians day and night
And may their trust be in they might.
-- author unknown, about 1955

We used this hymn as a tribute to our veterans during our Worship Service at Laurel Baptist Church May 24, 2009.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Magnificent Concert in Simpsonville


The SC Singing Churchmen were in the upstate last night on the next to last leg of their 50th Anniversary 2008-2009 touring season. Performing and giving God praise at First Baptist Simpsonville, these Ministers of Music from churches all though the SC Baptist convention proved themselves to be among South Carolina's finest musicians. As well as performing as a complete choral unit, they broke into smaller ensembles : A Cappella Ensemble, Southern Gospel Ensemble, Praise Team, and Handbell Ensemble. In addition to singing, a small group of the men also served as the group's orchestra that accompanied the group, supporting the pianist and organist. Their sound was extremely good. There is just something about a men's singing group that makes you want to sit and absorb the wonderful sound. I have sung Tom Fettke's The Majesty and Glory of Your Name so many times that I had thought I would be indifferent to its performance. I was happily very mistaken! The Singing Churchmen made this truly MAJESTIC. The A Cappella numbers were done with the choir standing around the audience on the steps leading to the balcony. The sound came from above and around us. Truly, this be be what Heaven's sound will be like. The Southern Gospel Ensemble, while admittedly singing to a crowd biased in their favor, had the congregation standing and clapping along. The four men singing as The A Capella Ensemble also held the listeners spellbound with their rendition of Up Above My Head. The offertory was presented by the Praise Team joined by Handbells, an unlikely combination in most churches, presenting the contemporary praise chorus Come, Now is the Time to Worship. I'm sure those Ministers of Music like myself, who were sitting in the audience, wished we could have a group like that in our own churches. In summary, only the word AWESOME can do justice to the Praise Concert last evening. Thank you First Baptist Simpsonville for sponsoring this event, and thank you, gentlemen, the SC Singing Churchmen for a job well done and being a group for which we can truly have Palmetto Pride.


This group's final performance for this season will be June 19th when they take part in the Baptist Church Music Conference in Nashville, TN.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Blessing through Tithing



It pains me badly to admit we haven't tithed as faithfully as we should have. We let our wants and needs come before the most important thing, giving back to God. Although our circumstances hadn't really changed, Bren and I began a new emphasis for ourselves on doing what God wants at the first of this year. We started taking exactly 10% of whatever came in and giving it back to God. We haven't really missed it, and it has become quite a kick to see how God keeps blessing the gift. We started in January by giving $25 weekly, which seemed as much as we could do. Then we went to $35, or exactly 10% of my unemployment check. Recently I was able to work at a Funeral Home assisting during a service. That added $5 to the amount we gave. Next Laurel Baptist asked me to help with some interim music work. That has added an additional $15 per week. This week, In addition to the unemployment and the check from Laurel, Bren and I both received paychecks from the AARP Foundation Grant. We were able to give over $100 this week. ISN'T GOD GOOD?!?!?! We're not bragging here, far from it. If only we had keep this up went we first went to work. We feel SO good about giving back that we can't wait to see what God will let us give next. God owns this economy, and can turn it around when ever he wants. All we have to do is follow His guidelines. See you in church this weekend!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Sunday at Laurel Baptist was a great time of worship.


We had a really good worship service yesterday at Laurel Baptist where I am currently filling in as Minister of Music. We had some musical guests, curtesy of our pianist, who is a music teacher in the Spartanburg District 5 School System. She brought one of her boy sopranos, HS. He was accompanied by his mother on dulcimer, his father on sax, and DG, our pianist.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A WONDERFUL Workplace


I feel so lucky to have been placed at S.H.A.RE. by the AARP Foundation. Sunbelt Human Advancement Resources, Inc. (SHARE) is a Community Action Agency (CAA) serving Greenville, Anderson, Pickens and Oconee counties. They are a non-profit agency that provides a wide range of services to low and moderate-income residents in upstate South Carolina. The mission of SHARE is to help low-income individuals, families, and neighborhoods become self-sufficient. They serve families whose annual incomes are at or below the poverty level as defined by federal guidelines. Services are provided based on need and our ability to help, without regard to race, color, creed or gender. I am enjoying very much being associated with a place that does so much good. Almost everyone that I have met is extremely friendly and truly concerned with making this world a better place. It is SO different from the last place I worked. I hope I will be able to find a permanent spot here or with one of their affiliate programs.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Best Week in a Long, Long Time!



Bren and I have been so blessed this week with having jobs to go to again! Although we each only get 18 hours and minimum wage, neither of us have had a job in so long that we are grateful for what we;ve got. Add to that the beautiful weather we're starting to have, and it just seems to be getting better and better. Last night I had a call from the chairman of deacons and music search committee of one of our Greenville Baptist Association's churches. We talked for an hour over the ohone and I met him at his business this morning for another hour and a half. Looks like Sunday Bren and I are invited to the church's 130th Homecoming, and Wednesday I will meet with their choir for the following Sunday. One of my former pastors has told them he thinks I will be a perfect fit for the church. I am so grateful!!! We are about to get back to normal!

Monday, April 13, 2009

It's been a great week!

Hasn't the weather been great here last week (in spite of the gale force winds!)? The days were beautiful when the sun came out after the rain we have needed so badly. All the flowers and trees in bloom, and the grass so green, Spring is finally here! Bren and I had good news this past week. I decided to go to the AARP Foundation at the county offices to see if they could help us find work. Guess what?!?!?!?! THEY DID!!!!!!!!!




Bren will be working at the Goodwill Job Connection trainning on office skills. I will be with Sunbelt Human Advancement REsources. ( We discriminate against NON-humans! :) What SHARE does is and interesting story. http://www.sharesc.org/ We are so excited about breaking out of our slump!



Hope everyone had a blest Easter yesterday.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spring Fever and Plans for a Trip




This was another BEAUTIFUL day! I am so ready to plant my garden. I have my seeds ready, some in need of transplanting, and I want to see them grow. I especially am ready for some home-grown veggies! Tomatoes, fresh from the vine with fresh lettuce, and fresh white bread with some hot crispy bacon. BLT’s! That’s what I’m talking about!

Next weekend Bren and I are going down to Charleston with friends from Airport Baptist Church. We are supposed to get to go to Magnolia Gardens while all the azaleas are in full bloom. It should be a great trip if the weather cooperates with us. If it doesn’t we will still have fun with some good companions. Charleston is a wonderful place to visit.

Monday, March 9, 2009

What wonderful weather!



It's hard for me to believe that this time last week we had SNOW on the ground, and yet, today we had a high temperature of 85F! If the weather today doesn't suit you just wait a few days. The temperature is supposed to get in the 40s for this coming weekend with rain for three days straight. I'm for enjoying this warmth while we can. We've even got our seeds started in our greenhouse. I think I may grow some tomato plants for sale here in the neighborhood!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Back to the blog.....

He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still. - Lao Tzu




Need money? Maybe you have some that you don't know about. Here's a few tips for finding out if you do.
By Emma Salkill

If you're a little financially embarrassed right now maybe you don't have to be. You could have money and you don't know it. The real hurdle is finding the money. If you ever had a bank account that you never officially closed you could have money sitting at the bank. Some people have had checking or savings accounts where they withdrew most of the money and never used the account again. The money has probably drawn some interest over the years but still may not be much. If you left only a couple of bucks in the account and never used it again - perhaps you moved - the money is likely still there. Check with your previous financial institutions to see if you have funds. Sometimes it only takes a phone call but more than likely you'll have to go to the actual establishment to verify who you are before the money will be released.

Have you ever belonged to a co-op? You may have and don't even know it. Some utility companies and even stores are a co-op. Many people move before receiving their annual check. Sometimes the company can barely meet its expenses and there is no check. But some companies that have made a profit in the course of a year will share the wealth by sending cooperative members a small check. And you could have more than one check awaiting you. For instance, if you originally gave your address as a post office box but you no longer use that box the checks may have been returned to the company office. You could have years worth of small checks that add up to quite a sum. Check with all area cooperatives that you've ever had an account with to find out if you have cash waiting. Usually you can call or go to their main office and show a picture ID to claim the money.

Anytime you move it's a good idea to file a new address card with the post office. People or companies who are required to notify you of existing funds can find you easier, making you glad you did.

There are other occasions where you might have money and not know it. If a family member has died and you were not present for the reading of the will you could have money or property that was left to you. If the attorney hasn't been able to contact you it will remain in estate until he does. If you've been out of touch with your family for some time it might be a good idea to call and check on everyone - you could be in for a pleasant surprise.

There are online services now that allow you to search for money owed to you by various establishments. There's usually no charge to search but if the search results turn up your name you are charged for the details of the money. Although the charge usually isn't really expensive it could prove to be more than or as much as the money you are owed.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Potential - there's the rub of it!


"Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential." - John Maxwell


Our church lost a faithful friend on Sunday. Diane Martin was relieved of her physical ills and went to her reward. She didn't let her handicaps stop her from reaching her potential. In the end it wasn't diabetes and its complications that took her. It was a tumor on her brain that spread through her weary body. I know she was met with thee words "Well done, faithful servant. Enter into your reward." Her family was doing fine at the funeral home Monday. Keep them in your prayers as they go through the next few weeks. I'm sure her husband Mike will feel her loss more as the days move on.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

More Pictures from Sweden!

I had a surprise in my e-mail today. Son Number Two sent some more pictures of Grand daughter Number One! Of course I have to share them!

That sorta made our day. We had several things to add to our prayerlist today. Acouple of our friends had surgery over the last two days. We are praying for their speedy recovery. Also, we had a number of personal, family issues we prayed over. V has suggested we start a prayer session together. I think that is a real good idea.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A day started right



One of the things I am trying to do better than I have been doing is strengthen my personal prayer time. This morning after dropping Bren off at G'vl Tec I went up to the FBTR and made some serious use of the prayer room. Just me in the small room talking out loud to God. Its the talking out loud that is hard for me to do. I mean, I don't have a problem praying out loud in public, far from it, it's just doing it "by myself" that is difficult. I know God is there, but I've normally just done silent prayer in that case. I think to grow more I am going to have to speak out loud. Maybe by going to the church I can feel freer to do that. At any rate, I felt GOOD after that. I'm looking forward to doing it again tomorrow. I made it for 45 minutes today. It seems there was a lot to say. If any readers have prayer requests, drop me a line and I will add them to my own list.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Reminders from God


"So often people cry out for some blessing, but hold so tight to some earth-treasure that they have no hand to receive Mine as I hold it out in Love." This is a quote from a Google Widget I have on my Google start page. The widget is called Reminders from God. I think this one is very true. I've been very guilty of this one myself. I've been reading lately in a book by T.D. Jakes called "Loose that Man and Let Him Go." A most excellent book describing why a lot of men today, myself included, act the way they do. It also gives some excellent advice on moving beyond the place where we find ourselves and being the best men we can be. I HIGHLY recommend this to all men. Women, find it, and insist your man read it. It will do you both good.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Nothing extraordinary about today



I've spent most of today catching up on different pieces of personal and family business. I did get a break for a little while to chat with my daughter in law in Sweden. Her Dad had come down from Stockholm and was busily spoiling our grandchild! It was fun chating via facebook across the Atlantic to Sweden. According to all reports Miss Miranda is growing cuter every day, and is now following a schedule , somewhat, so Mom and Dad are actually getting a bit more sleep.

Tommorrow will be interesting. I have to have Bren to court for a traffic violation. An alledged hit & run on her part. I know darn well the girl who phoned in as she was driving was just trying to get Bren in trouble. We are pleading not guilty, of course. I hope we get this taken care of right away.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Fully licensed again

After about six months of absence, I have returned to being involved with Primerica. I am once again licensed for Life Insurance, Lending, and P&C. The people I associate with there are very uplifting so it helps get my spirits up by going there. And we DO offer a good service!



Thank goodness it warmed up some today. I have been so cold in the mornings. Looks like we will get a little relief before it gets cool again. And our dogs were glad to get to spend some quality time in the sunshine today. They told me so themselves!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Concert in Fountain Inn






Bren and I had a good time last night in Fountain Inn. The Foothills Philharmonic had their January concert at the Fountain Inn Civic Center. It was a step back in time going in to the auditorium, which is the circa 1929 Fountain Inn High School auditorium. It is laid out almost identically with the old Parker High auditorium. I knew where everything was! It was so strange. And this fall they will be having Merith Wilson's "The Music Man" performed. I've got to go see it! It will be my senior year at PHS all over again.
The concert was preceded by a "By Invitation Only" Supper at the home of D & V! We haven't been together since before Christmas so we had a lot to talk about! In honor of my elderly sister's birthday D & V fixed her traditional Chicken and Dumplings. Guess what? The magic supper worked its spell for us because we had snow this morning!!! If CLB had been there for the supper we would probably have been snowed in!


The concert itself was very good. Two numbers by Bren's favorite composer, Mozart, and then a n excellent rendering of Peter and the Wolf. The only problem with the last piece was that I couldn't get the darn theme to PATW to stop playing in my brain! It was so hard getting to sleep last night, and it was still going part of this morning! dum dum da dum dum dum........




Thursday, January 15, 2009

Getting back to posting!




I haven't posted anything lately, partly because of a terrible cold, and partly because of depression. Today I have decided it is time to take charge of my life again and kick this thing!



I got B off to her classes today and then went to two different banks to make deposits. Then I went over to Long Forest Drive to "strike the keys," and pick up some collards that the Sarge said he had for us. I spent a little time there, but my darn throat won't let me talk at the volume he needs when he doesn't wear his hearing aids, which is most of the time!
I am praying that I will get a call from the music committee at C----1st. I interviewed with them for a permanent part-time position as Minister of Music. It appears to be a really good church, and I think I could do some good work there. It would be sad leaving TR1st, but I think Wendell and I could combine the two choirs for some good presentations. I really miss planning worship experiences, and would certainly welcome the chance to get back in the saddle.

Friday, January 2, 2009

What a trip!


What a trip we just completed! We set out on time on December 20th for Christmas in Sweden. We had to go to Rock Hill SC to drop off our truck at my sister's home and then she was to take us to Charlotte NC's Douglas International Airport to catch our flight at 3:00 to Newark NJ. We got there in plenty of time for an international flight, but then bad weather in Newark caused our flight to be cancelled! We had to scramble to get a flight. We got our luggage checked and caught the next flight out on US Airways, but it didn't arrive in Newark in time for us to make the connection to Air France's flight to Paris! We had to go through several RUDE people before we got an agent to help us. We were then booked on a Continental Airlines flight to Paris and on to Copenhagen. We were seated at the rear of the plane, three hours later than expected, but at least we got underway! Arriving at Paris, we rushed through security to get checked in to Copenhagen, and wouldn't you know it, that was on the other end of the airport! More stress!

To make a long story short, we finally arrived at Copenhagen, just a twenty minute train trip from our destination of Malmo Sweden, but when we went to get our luggage, guess what!?!?!

Our baggage was still in Newark! Air France didn't forward it! We filled out a claim form and left for Malmo with the clothes on our backs and my carry on bag. All of our warm clothes for the Swedish winter were missing along with the presents we brought! We arrived in Malmo around 4:30 PM and Mark had been waiting at the train station for five hours for us! Our cell phones didn't work in Sweden and we had no way to contact him until we got there. I hope we never go through that again! Our luggage finally arrived December 26th and had to be delivered to us in Stockholm! If it hadn't been for the following it would have been the worst trip ever!