Jack and Aileen Rice are two of the dearest people Buck and I have ever known. They sold us the land that we built a wonderful home on in Rice Cove, Canton, North Carolina in 1997. We spent 6-8 months of the year there until we sold that beautiful place to return to Pensacola full-time. If you sense regret in our decision, you would not be wrong. Given what we knew and felt at the time, we would almost certainly make the same decision again, but the tug of this lovely place is undeniable.
We drove from the Maggie Valley rental cottage to the Beaverdam Methodist Church in Rice Cove this morning for 11:00 a.m. services. When I saw Jack and Aileen sitting in their regular pew on the right side toward the front, I wanted to run to them and hug their necks. The service was just starting, so Buck and I found a seat right in front of the Rices, whereupon we discovered their youngest daughter, Kim, also our good friend, was there, too. She lives in LaGrange, Georgia and was leaving to return there right after church. What a happy surprise to see Kim.
One by one, eye contact was made with folks in the choir and across the aisle. Luckily, (because I thought I would burst to hug these dear folks), there was a greeting time early on in the service. It was a free-for-all. The pastor had trouble getting us all to sit back down so he could continue the service.
Times like this do a body good.