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Chattanooga, TN; Bad Weather and Flooding; St. Charles, MO; Independence, Missouri; Unity Village Tour; Audio Books; “You Are a Wuss!” Serrano Pepper Revenge; “Well, Maybe You Are, Too!”

We departed The Villages on March 23rd, and headed northwest through Georgia for a two-day trip to Chattanooga, Tennessee, where Suzanne presented her Magnificent You talk to an enthusiastic crowd at Unity of Chattanooga. This city is a delightful place to visit; located on the Tennessee River, Chattanooga melds almost seamlessly with the town of Rossdale, in northern Georgia, where our campground was located. We were able to spend some quality time with our friends Keith and Laura Noyes, who had us over for a fabulous dinner and then…

… took us out mountain biking and hiking in this scenic and historic part of the US. Keith and Laura kindly slowed down for us flatlanders while we rode the Black Forest and TNT trails at the Enterprise South Nature Park, which is near the huge Volkswagen Chattanooga auto assembly plant. It was a great ride, so enjoyable that Suzanne and I returned a few days later to ride the trails a second time.

We also got out hiking on part of the Cumberland Trail, a very rocky and “up and down” route that left us wishing that we were in better shape, but the only way you get into shape for hiking rough trails is by hiking rough trails… funny how that works!

The last photo of our Chattanooga visit had us shaking our heads… this is a family home on top of Signal Mountain, where during the War of Northern Aggression, Yankee troops used to signal from inside the besieged city to other Union troops outside the Southern lines. It’s an historic area, but obviously that doesn’t keep people from building the home of their dreams… “Beam me up, Scotty!”

This next photo really doesn’t need explanation, does it?

Weather “is”… whether or not you like it. On the way to St. Charles, Missouri, we had to pass through some of the worst weather we’ve seen in a long time. This screen shot doesn’t look too bad, but we had very heavy rain and winds near Centralia, Illinois, bad enough to tear a piece of trim from the side of the bus and make me wish that we were in Tucson or Phoenix… 

We spent only one night in St. Charles, along the Missouri River, which was in flood stage, and moving like a freight train, with whole trees tumbling in the roiling brown current. (That’s the Katy bike trail on the levee just a few feet above the river.) I would NOT want to be kayaking in the river right now. The Midwest has had so much rain, especially up in Nebraska, where flooding is at near-record levels.

Next stop: Independence, Missouri, where we spent two nights waiting for a county park to open. This amazing edifice is The Temple, completed in 1994 by the Community of Christ, an offshoot of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It dominates the skyline of Independence, and is within walking distance of the downtown where many statues and displays honor that city’s most famous son, President Harry S. Truman. 

Our purpose being in the area is to support Suzanne’s major events at Unity World Headquarters, in Unity Village, MO. She spent three days recording her book Messages of Hope as an audio book that Unity will publish this year. (It went so well that she will be recording another of her books, Wolf’s Message, next week!)

Unity’s President and Chief Operating Officer, Guy Swanson, gave us the most incredible and thorough tour of Unity Village. We went from the top of the tower to the pump room below the fountains, seeing every facet of this amazing spiritual community. Guy and his wife Mary, and David and Julie Vest, (David is the Unity CFO) took us out for a fabulous fish dinner… many thanks!

Everyone we met at Unity World Headquarters was happy, helpful and friendly, but the most impressive single place was the 24/7/365 Silent Unity prayer facility, where dozens of staff members respond to email, telephone calls and letters to pray affirmatively with people, a reminder that we are never alone, not even in your darkest hour. We spoke to one of the beautiful ladies who works there, and were truly touched by her love, caring and concern for the people who call into Silent Unity for prayer support. Silent Unity has been operating since 1893!!! We will be here for two weeks… and next week is Suzanne’s W-Holy You Retreat!

This is the view from the tower… what an incredible place! If you’re in the Kansas City area, you have to visit here and soak up the love and positive energy…

Finally, I will end this blog post with a true story about My Lovely Bride… she loves Sriracha sauce, and often calls me a wuss because I find it too hot. Well, payback time came when I got a Serrano chili at a local market… I actually thought it was much milder than Jalapenos, but when I cut some up for my signature chicken enchiladas and black beans, I took a taste and my tongue was on FIRE! I asked MLB if she would like to try one, and she said, “Sure, how hot can it be, since you are a such a wuss…” Well, she put a tiny piece in her mouth, her eyes got big, and she grabbed a glass of water to put the fire out… (NB: beer works much better than water!) I wound up eating her portion and mine! Turns out Serrano peppers are 3-9 times hotter than Jalapenos… who knew?

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