Wednesday, April 9, 2008

More Memories in Florida

Me and my girlfriends at Southeastern Bible College back in 1976, these pics are out of the yearbook. That's me on the right, in case you can't tell. I thought I was Farrah. We had some good times, but oh my, this seems like another lifetime ago. I guess it was really.
Coming out of class, didn't we look happy to be free?! And young, oh so young. Wish I could have a talk with my 19 year old self and tell her what to look for down the road. Unfortunately, we don't have the luxury of foresight.

Last week was a full week of trying to cram in as much as I could in three short days in Lakeland and I think I succeeded pretty well at strolling down memory lane. First stop was my old college, which I left 30 years ago when it was then called Southeastern Bible College. It's been upgraded a couple of times and is now called Southeastern University . And can I just say that it looked nothing like this when I attended way back when. Talk about new and improved, it's all that and more. I was told by my parents that I wouldn't recognize it and they sure were right. My parents met here and graduated in the early 1950's and when they left began pastoring churches right away. Many of my relatives have also graduated from this school, so it holds a special place for our family.
There are new fountains, prolific landscaping, and jazz music piped throughout the campus. What a change! We had none of that.

Bush Chapel

And as my cousin Howie told me...all the trees are big now. I didn't realize what he meant until I walked in the middle of what used to be just grass and some spindly trees. Then I got it!

It's a beautiful campus and I hope the students appreciate it. They probably don't have any idea of the humble beginnings.
Bethany Hall, one of the girl's dorms, was where I spent my freshman year.
I have a picture somewhere of this lobby after all of us girls rolled it with toilet paper. It's a lot prettier than it was back then.
All the dorms have been remodeled.

And what used to be orange groves on one end of the campus is now new dorms and an aquatic center.
The new restaurant, Tuscana Ristorante. They don't call it a dininghall or cafeteria, but rather a restaurant and let me tell you, the food was great! Nothing like what we had when I was there.
This is Dr. Mark Rutland, the President of Southeastern. I have heard him preach for many years at Mt. Paran Church of God in Atlanta, so said hello to him as he was going in for lunch and asked to take a picture. He was very gracious and asked me to stand in with him. He is the reason for all the many improvements to the college and has been President for 10 years now. Great man of God!
My cousin, Billy R, was a professor for 27 years at the school and he was with me that day showing me around. He retired 10 years ago and was a very favorite teacher for a lot of students over the years. We ate lunch in the restaurant and it was great.
I will definitely go back and eat here again. They open the doors for anyone who wants to eat here, just like a restaurant and the prices are fantastic. Food stations galore with salad bar, hamburger & fries, deli sandwiches, and 2 hot food areas, as well as a beverage station and desserts. Talk about fun! I had a slice of veggie pizza, salad, and pasta with chicken and eggplant on the side. And I didn't show you dessert. It was yummy....have you figured out yet that I really like to eat?? I do.
And one night we got together with all my mom's relatives near Plant City for an old-fashioned fish fry. We crammed in all we could in 3 short days. This is my cousin, Billy's orange tree. He lives in the middle of an orange grove.
His wife, Dot, took me downtown later that afternoon and we browsed in some antique shops. That was fun!
There are plenty of pretty things to look at.

And my last day on Friday, after all that eating and not doing much else, I had to go for a walk so I went back over near Kim's house and took an hour long walk around the lake. She has a great neighborhood for walking, lucky girl.
Foliage and birds are everywhere. There was a nice breeze blowing off the water.
Isn't it pretty? I captured this bird, don't know what it is.
Is this an egret? I don't know my birds that well. I needed my hubby around, he knows birds.
Now, these...I'm sure these are ducks. We have those in Alabama too. :)
And a few little shacks alongside the lake.
Not bad, huh?
And last but not least, on our way back to the airport, hubby and I stopped by The Strawberry Hut in Plant City (I know, funny name, but Plant City is the strawberry capital in case you didn't know that) for a Cuban sandwich. Oh man, was it good! My cousin, Howie had told me about them, so we had to try it out. Cuban sandwich and a vanilla milkshake. Fantastic! So I've got to work all that off this week.

Thanks for coming along with me to Florida! Hope you weren't bored going back to college with me, but I sure enjoyed it. I finished the blue bathroom, so will show you very soon. It's a winner!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

35 friends stopped by:

Susie Harris said...

Thanks Rhonda. Now I know I did it right. When that one came up and it wasnt like yours I thought it was just "me" being "me" and made a boo boo. Im so proud now I cant wait to start snooping around for some cool fabric to copy. You look just as sweet now as you did back then. I do wish I could go back and talk to my "young self". I think I would have loved "me" a little more. Your so sweet for sharing now I will pass it on. May Many Blessings come your way, Susie

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the nice tour. I love Lakeland, too. We winter in FL for 3 months (from Michigan) and we are close to Lakeland. I go every chance I get. A beautiful town and so many pretty lakes. Christy:-)<><

Donna Kay said...

Isn't it wonderful to go back and look at yearbook pictures - if you knew then what you know now - probably wouldn't change a whole lot!
I love all of your pictures - what a beautiful place.

Kelly said...

Your college was beautiful1!!!! Thanks for the tour!!

dana in KC said...

WONDERFUL photos of your school and the sites you took in. How beautiful the plants look! Here in Kansas City we have enjoyed the forsythia, daffodils,etc.. Our perennials are starting to rise and shine and buds are appearing on our trees. Some of the flowering trees are starting to bloom. Unfortunately, our weather forcasters are predicting SNOW for Fri.. SOOOOOO those Florida photos look terrific. Also, thank you for the response to my armoire comment--that was so sweet.

Susie Harris said...

Hi Rhonda, Its me again, Susie. I guess Im just doing something wrong while trying to change my background. I have tried many prints. They come up plain brown or nothing at all. The only one I can seem to get is the one you showed as an example. Any suggestions:( thanks, Susie

Anonymous said...

Ahhh I had the Farrah look myself, I have to say I loved that do.

What a pretty school and that "dining commons" I mean restaurant WOW !!!

You sure did cram a lot into 3 days.

I've not been to that part of FL looks like I should add it to the list.

Great post,
Kathy :)

ps Glad the bathroom came out the way you wanted it to...looking forward to seeing it. I too like to do things while the hubby is away :)

Beverly said...

Your pictures and story are wonderful. You and Kim are both making me homesick this week. I'm so glad you had such a great time.

I grew up eating Cuban food. I had my first taste of a Cuban sandwich when I was four years old.
My family loves it now, too - I guess it is because I have cooked so many of the dishes for them over the years.

Rosie's Whimsy said...

Hi Rhonda!

The dark bird looks like a Cormorant and the bird that looks like an egret, I believe is Blue Heron.

What a beautiful group of girls. What a lovely trip down memory lane :-)

I am really going to enjoy your trips to Florida!

((hugs)) Rosie

PAT said...

Hi Rhoda, Love all the photos from present day and 70's!

Those blue and white dishes are like the ones I tried to sell at our garage sale. Were those plates marked $20 each? Just wondering. I still have the dishes..J's mom bought them at garage sales, etc. What I really want to ask is about the book displayed with them. Is that book something to do with those particular dishes?

The leggy bird on the bank is a Great Blue Heron. We have them in Missouri, too. Good job with the photo. They usually take off in a hurry here, if they see someone nearby.


PAT said...

OOPS Rhoda! I've been up since 4:30 AM, today was the stress test. So my eyes deceived me into believing those napkins were books! I think it must be nap time in Missouri!


daisy cottage said...

Oh what an awesome post! In every way! I LOVED seeing your yearbook photos - Forget Farrah - you were much prettier and you still are!! Loved seeing my town through your eyes too - and I can't wait 'till you come back! Now I'm hungry for a cuban sandwich though.. darn it! ;-)


Steph said...

I grew up in Lakeland and drove past Southeastern Bible College everyday on my way to Santa Fe High School. You are SO right - that campus looked NOTHING like it does now! It is just beautiful!

Thank you so much for the tour of my hometown! I live in Florida with my husband and children, but several hours away - and although my parents and extended family are still there, I surely do miss it! :)

Mary said...

Hi Rhonda, thanks for the tour. What a pretty campus! Sounds like you had a great time. :)

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

Thanks Rhoda for the tour! Loved the shacks, LOL!

You took me back to being 19 for a moment in my mind! It would be nice to have a little chat with my nineteen year old self, but that is what I do with my daughters now so it is almost like that for me! I tell them everything I wish I had known, done or hadn't done! LOL!

Great post. What a fun trip!


Simply Me Art said...

Wow, What a Great tour around your College. I must say, It certainly is a Beautiful school.. Love the little shops too... So pretty. Looks like you all had a wonderful time.

Betty said...

Beautiful campus and the food does delicious.....I can see Farah....yeah.....

I enjoyed seeing the pictures in the neighborhood......Betty

cityfarmer said...

Quite an excursion to be sure....what lovely memories.

My parents winter in Bradenton

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful college you went to! My was a big city college nothing that pretty!
hoganfe handbags

Jill@Who Could Ask for Anything More said...

How neat that you found those photos from college! I always love all you photos...and that blue transferware! Aahhh! My favorite!

Rue said...

Hi Rhoda :)

I actually enjoyed every minute of the tour. I felt like I was right there with you except when I tried to take a bite of that sandwich... LOL Holy smokes! That looks good :)

Except for your hairstyle, you haven't changed a bit. I knew exactly which one you were. Beautiful campus!

So glad you had a great time :)

Have a beautiful night,

Rosemary said...

Wow Rhoda,
Looks like you had a fantastic time.
You still look as cute as in 1976!!
Thanks for sharing your trip with us.

Mary Isabella said...

Thank you so much for this it was like going on a vacation myself. my husband will be having surgery Friday on his leg. This is from the accident he had on Valentine's day......Mary

Maureen said...

This makes me nostalgic for all the years we spent visiting my parents when they wintered in the Lakeland area! Their house there was sold after Mom passed on, so we haven't been down there the past few years. Isn't it fun how colleges have changed too? The food stations are a great idea. Oh, and guess what? I had the Farrah 'do too back in the day! Did you get over to Dade City? Last time I was in the area there were some neat shops that had opened, and a neat little old time teahouse.

sheila said...

now I want to go to Lakeland! that is the trouble with blogs...I see far too many places I want to get in the car and go visit, LOL :)

anyhoo...I love your college photos...and I had to laugh at the 2 girls in the very back of the second photo...what a Look of Death that one is shooting the photographer...

Mrs. B said...

I love those pictures of you in college! I always feel that those walks down memory lane can be a little bitter sweet sometimes when you realize how much things have changed. I actually just did that myself which I'll be showing on my blog later this week.

Oh, and I wouldn't mind having one of those "shacks" myself!

Reynie said...

What a great trip! I love the Florida landscape. It has a character all its own.

I went to Mt. Paran when I lived in Buckhead. It's a great church. Beautiful structure!

And those cuban sandwiches... love them!

Susie Q said...

Okay dear wait. You are much prettier than Farrah. : )
I so enjoyed seeing the lovely campus. It was fun to go back for you I am sure.
All those shops and great food and visiting with family and friends. And you spent the day with Kim! Can you see how green with envy I am?? : )
She got to be with you and you got to be with her...see? I am truly envious of you both!

When we lived near Tampa we got to know that area well. LOVE Strawberry fest in Plant City.

I miss all the wonderful wildlife in Central Florida. We used to have Blue Herons in our back yard every morning! That was a treat although it made our cat, Hannah, crazy!!

Oh how I love salads. Ken's is so good. We have one here called Marzetti's that has a yummy line too.
Nothing beats a gorgeous and delicious salad. The bags are so expensive. I do but them occasionally for something but they never go as far, cost more and ruin sooner. And it is hard to get a nice sized piece for a sandwich!

Thank you for the tutorial as well.
I will see if I can figure it out someday soon. I learn things slowly!! *laugh*

Look forward to seeing you *new* bathroom. We just painted our dining room burgundy!


Anonymous said...

WOW Rhoda, I can't believe this, I use to go to Mt. Paran Church of God in the early 1980's. Small world.

Judy (in McDonough)

Sher's Creative Expressions said...

Wow, I sure enjoyed that tour. Your old college is beautiful.



joan said...

Hi Rhoda,

I loved going down memory lane with you. You sound like you have great memories of your time there. The food looks delish too. Thanks for sharing.

Adrienne said...

Oh, my, your trip down memory lane about Bible College days brought back a lot of memories for me. My college moved from San Francisco to northern California, bought land and built an entirely new campus. I've been there once but it's not 'home' to me. There's nothing left that reminds me of those years. I've been back by the campus where I attended in San Francisco twice but it's not the same either. I feel like a '(wo)man without a country'! ~Adrienne~

Kari & Kijsa said...

Looks like an incredible trip! So glad you had fun.

Have a blessed and wonderful day!

smiles, kari & kijsa

Tee said...

Oh my goodness! I was so surprised when I saw the photo of you and Dr. Mark Rutland!!!! We went to Mt. Paran when he was on staff there. We LOVED.HIM and was heart broken when he left! He is truly a great man of God!!!!! I knew he was president of the college, only because our Sunday School teacher's daughter is looking at that school to attend and they told us Mark was President. It's such a small world.

justabeachkat said...

What a fun post to read and loved seeing all the photos too!