(October 17, 2021) Maureen McQuillan recalls some fond life memories…

‘Oh no. Not that “Memories are made of this: The sweet, sweet memories you’ve given me” song again! Not Perry Como again, Bonnie!

How many times, so long ago, Robert or I would jokingly exclaim this to our precious granddaughter, Bonnie-Jane when she was so little. And not only when she was so very young and tiny, but for many years to come. Of course we really liked Perry Como and his excellent music and delightful, clean-cut TV shows, especially the Christmas ones where he’d go to different parts of the world.

But let me share what would happen regarding our collection of CDs…

At some point little Bonnie had really taken to Perry Como and worked out how to get into our CDs drawer, and locate our Perry Como disc – and had cleverly worked put it on the player and would listen to it as she played with her toys. Every time she visited us, especially when she stayed over, all we would hear was Perry Como! And this would go on for some years! To our delight of course! And she would giggle when we exclaimed, ‘Not Perry Como again, Bonnie!’

Yes, Bonnie-Jane has given us many, many sweet, sweet memories, in various ways (as did Wendy her mother and now her own daughter, Avaleigh Grace, our cute little great-grandaughter).

Location memories
Sweet, sweet memories are precious, such as those of places one has been and enjoyed. And memories not only of places but of people and incidents. No doubt you can recall many yourself.

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Take today for example… it’s Sunday and we’ll be looking forward to viewing Songs of Praise from the UK, possibly being presented by the delightful Aled Jones. Not only will we hear meaningful great old hymns but it’s possible they’re coming from somewhere in England that we’ve been to in our travels and we’ll happily exclaim, ‘We were there, we were there!’

Or, as I’m still regarded as a professional decorator as well as my ministry commitments, I like to watch shows about home decorating and house-finding in the UK, including Aled Jones’ presentations of Escape to the Country. Again, quite often I’ll be saying to Robert, ‘Hey, we were there.’

Old movies memories
As many know, for decades we’ve relaxed by watching movies, especially old film noir classics… Cagney, Bogart, Mitchum, Raft, Ford, Bette Davis, Ingmar Bergman and of course… John Wayne (Robert’s favourite, causing me to playfully exclaim, ‘On no, not John Wayne again!’ Sounds a bit like ‘Not Perry Como again’ doesn’t it?).

Where am I going with all this? Be patient… I’m getting to a particularly important memory.

Watching old American movies, often we’ll see shots of cities such as Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Gettysburg, Philly (Philadelphia) and again we’ll be reminded of places we’ve been.

PA Memories
Take those last three for example… cities of beautiful Pennsylvania.

  • Pittsburgh recalls good memories of time spent with distant rellies, and enjoyable evenings such as the Just Ducky (an old DUKW landing craft unit) Saturday cruise up Pittsburgh River.

Also of a bad memory… we had just enjoyed the carriage ride up Pittsburgh’s historic Duquesne Incline but unfortunately as we walked away I tripped and really hurt myself as I stumbled, breaking my toe, causing me to limp. I thank God that even though it took a long time, my toe got better.

  • Gettysburg, renown for Abraham Lincoln’s famous1898 address, brings back a funny memory. We had gone to the famous historical Dobbin House Tavern restaurant for an evening meal, and we were asked to sit at the bar as it was latish and a table would be prepared for us when someone left.

As we read our menus at the dimly lit bar, Robert couldn’t see very clearly and leaned forward to look closer at his menu, completely unaware that he was very, very close to a counter candle.

Next thing the menu was on fire with the flame threatening Robert’s hands and face! Totally surprised, my bewildered hubby dropped the blazing menu on the counter and we quickly extinguished it before it could cause damage. It was my joy to tease him about almost getting us thrown out! (Oh… we weren’t, rather we enjoyed a sumptuous table meal in a dimmed romantic setting).

  • Philadelphia has far too good memories for me to recount here… such as witnessing and praying for a coloured couple we travelled with on the bus into the Capital; seeing the acclaimed Liberty Bell with its famous crack; learning the city’s history; walking along the renown Elfreth’s Alley and more.

And of course seeing those famous steps exercised on by Sylvester Stone in Rocky.

But here’s one Philly memory I particularly want to draw attention to…

Bad choice by some memory
Our host, Sam Thomas, a well-known tennis trainer who now authors children’s tennis mystery/detective books, Tennis With Mr.TeniZ and a popular comic strip ( His fourth and latest Racquet Racketeering is just being released by Amazon) took us to Philly’s famous Longwood Gardens.

What a magnificent huge property! Comprising the most magnificent gardens we’ve ever been too, one needs hours, even a whole day, to view the over 1077 acres of some 4,600 different types of plants and trees, including some from Australia, as well as fountains and several conservatories.

I really enjoyed the pleasance day spent in that paradise! We both felt so blessed! And we obeyed all the signs wherever we moved – especially the big one near the entrance: ‘Poisonous Plant, Deadly. Do not Touch!’ (not this graphic, but a very clear warning). 

Very clear direction… but guess what? Several people just couldn’t resist leaning over to touch, even feel the beautiful tall plant before them! Result? I shuddered to think! This memory would always remind me that life is full of choices, right ones and bad ones. 

Good choice memories
Oh I could tell of many right choices that I have made over the years as I’ve allowed the Holy Spirit to lead and direct me… but my desire just now in this wrap-up section is to encourage us all to consider our future and make right choices that will result in many happy memories – to recall that line from Bonnie-Jane’s Perry Como CD… ‘sweet, sweet memories.’

As followers of Jesus, we can and should make right choices, and in doing so we will experience peace, joy and satisfaction!

Choice is an act of choosing between two or more possibilities. 

Trusting God and led by the Spirit, we can make good choices! And, like those fond memories we have of Bonnie-Jane and the places we’ve been to, new friends we met and experiences we’ve had, we’ll be so thankful to God for a rich full life that comes from making right choices.

We’ll always be able to say to our Lord, ‘Thank you, Jesus, for “the sweet, sweet memoires that you’ve given me!”’

Let’s all especially make good and right choices during this challenging time of covid-19 pandemic.

Remember scriptures such as 1Peter 5:7, ‘Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.’

Maureen McQuillan’s links are and Facebook

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