Week 144 December 31, 2017

It does not seem like a whole week could possibly have passed by, but it was a full week! We left New York after a special brunch with cherished family there, and drove to Pennsylvania to stay with a dear friend. She and I have known each other since Junior High translates to: Middle School, days.
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It was fun to reminisce over several other visits we have had over the years, thanks to some of her precious photos displayed in frames. 
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When Loren and I left, we had a twelve hour drive to our AirBnB just outside of St. Louis. After our host learned of our intention to visit the Harry Truman Library in Independence, Missouri, he made sure that we were also aware of the National Winston Churchill Museum in nearby Fulton. Seeing this was also of interest to us, so we changed our plans for the opportunity to spend time learning more about Churchill’s life and work. We later arrived in Independence in time to see a little of the Truman Presidential Library before it closed for the day.
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Our AirBnB in Independence was in an historic neighborhood, in walking distance to what was Truman’s home. We began early the next day with a visit there, which is part of the National Park system, and, extremely affordable courtesy of Loren’s Senior Pass! We then spent what was left of the day seeing the rest of the extensive Truman Library.
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Speaking of historic, that is what we are experiencing this week – from seeing images and reading so much about WWII at Churchill’s memorial and at Truman’s Library, the AirBnB common area also had a sobering poster of the south New York City skyline from sometime between late 1970 but before September 11, 2001. 
As with our visit to President Carter’s Library in Atlanta in 2015, we learned so much more about Truman’s presidency than we were aware of, giving us much more of an appreciation of the challenges and important decisions he faced. Both Truman and Churchill faced struggles early in their personal life until they discovered that their talents allowed them to excel through service in their military.
Loren and I have now left Missouri behind, arriving in time to ring in 2017 tonight with dear cousins in Nebraska. Somehow, for the first time, I hear them pronounce their state name as ‘nBraska’! Maybe I always heard them say it that way, and I am just clearer in that I want to convey it here. But also for the first time I understand what their 4H club name means and that is definitely worthy of conveying here too.
We have already had a few laughs together and look forward to many more before we drive south to Texas from here. Until then, it is delightful to spend time with these precious family members and see their appealing and festive holiday decorations.
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In conveying the message of the season in the words of Truman, May there be Peace for All Time,
and, wishing you a Happy 2017, with an idea from another wall hanging from our  Independence AirBnB showing street signs proclaiming, “Your Life” vs. the one not taken, which is “No Longer An Option.”


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