Carter Grace Oglesby

By Brenda S. Brown


Marcia Murrah Payne and Melba Jamieson Burrell have always been my friends; our journey together began before we started the first grade at Richland Elementary School (kindergarten was not offered) and has transported us through sixty plus years of our lives.  We have faced all kinds of challenges, shared countless periods of sorrow and enjoyed times of laughter and joy; and although we have not always lived near each other, we have managed to remain close confidants.  Needless to say, their friendship is priceless to me.

 Now days, because of our choice of cell-phone providers, we can talk anytime, anywhere, and for as long as we choose, plus e-mail and Face book makes exchanging messaging easier than ever before.  As I have mentioned previously, Marcia and Melba know my flaws but continue to love me in spite of my shortcomings.

Our earlier lives were even more demanding because of family, church, school and employment, so we decided that our preferred mode of gathering was to determine a date, and meet at an interesting destination for a few days of camaraderie.  We have been seen frequently hanging-out at Hilton Head Island and Panama City Beach, but on this occasion we accepted an invitation by the Oglesby family to escape to their beach home located near picturesque Carrabelle, Florida.

Once Bruce and Tori assisted with our luggage and belongings to include food items and supplies, we toured the amazing compound and then settled into enjoying our reunion.  They agreed to let their precious toddler, Carter Grace, Marcia's granddaughter, spend the night with us so we were in grandmother paradise.

Amazingly, Carter Grace enjoys such food offerings as organic green beans, avocados and diced carrots.  One of her favorite play-toys is a dooder, also known as a paper towel core.  She is such a precious and happy little girl, and entertained us during her entire visit.

The picturesque Gulf of Mexico seemed different because of the dense fog that moved off and on the coastline but odd weather cannot dampen a visit with your lifelong girl friends.  We toured historic Apalachicola, enjoyed a shopping experience, ate seafood galore and even drove over to St. George Island.  After years of paying a toll to take that excursion, it was good to make the scenic ride for free.

We enjoy the beach, but unfortunately the mysterious fog remained during our entire visit.  There were times that the heavy, wet mist nearly dissipated, but in time, it reappeared.  It was translucent at times but not being able to see oncoming traffic was distracting, not to mention, dangerous, and although the sunsets were obscured, it made the sunrises interesting.

One evening Helen Moore Blanton, who now resides in Carrabelle, joined our group and we discussed at length our memories of elementary and high school days in Richland.  It was delightful to catch up on the news and before we realized it, hours had passed and we still had recollections to share.
Happy 1st birthday Carter Grace Oglesby.

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