As of Wednesday, January 17, I’m back in Mississippi to stay. After living in Southwest Florida for about three years, it’s good to be back.
My trip home was not exactly ideal. The flight from Ft. Myers to Atlanta was delayed for two hours, due to the fact that a flight attendant who was scheduled to work that flight was two hours late clocking in. This delay caused us to be two hours late arriving in Atlanta – only to find out that the flight from Atlanta to Jackson had been cancelled. So, instead of leaving at three, we left Atlanta at 5 p.m.
When we did arrive in Jackson I was greeted by some old friends and then we set out to collect my luggage. As luck would have it, my luggage had failed to make the trip. I had not packed a carry-on, so, for two whole days I had nothing but the clothes on my back. Silly me, I even packed my medicines in my bag and had to do without them until the bag finally arrived on Friday. But, all of that is behind me now.
After leaving the Jackson Airport, my buddy took me to The Home Place in Madison, on Old Canton Road across from the Madison County Airport. The Home Place was previously known as The Bond Home, named for Willard F. Bond who was state superintendent of education years ago. There I was warmly greeted and taken to the guest room. Needless to say, I was tired and worn out – and that bed surely did feel good.
There are about 50 independent residents who live here. The apartments are large and certainly there is a wonderful feeling of being at home. The basic essentials are provided to each person: three meals a day, laundry, housekeeping, free haircuts and a huge amount of great care and love. Mrs. Nichols is the executive director of the Bond Home and her heart is “as big as a washtub.” She is a lovely lady. I’m going to really enjoy living here.
Since I had been out of state for three years, I no longer had a valid Mississippi driver’s license – so that was on the top of my “to do” list. I thought I could just turn in my Florida license and they would hand me a Mississippi license and that would be that. I found out in short order that, in order to get a license: I had to provide a birth certificate; two certified-notarized letters stating on letterhead my new address; a light bill or gas bill showing my new address; and my Social Security card (not just number). I have not seen my Social Security card in years, so I had to apply for a new one. That necessitated a two-hour wait at the downtown Federal Building (but that’s a story for another day). If you have to go there, take something to read.
Next on my “to do” list was to reconnect with my old friends at the Walter Scott Coffee Club. The club meets at 9 a.m. each Saturday morning and has done so since 1934. At that time Jackson Mayor Walter Scott’s friends gathered on Saturday mornings to bring him feedback on his programs and make suggestions for a better Jackson. This group grew and became the Walter Scott Coffee Club. The club consists of about 20-plus regulars who enjoy coffee and fellowship before the meeting starts. The leader begins the discussion with local, then state and national news. It’s very informative and it surely was good to get together with so many of my “old” friends. I felt like I was home for sure.
It’s great to be back in Mississippi where I was born and reared. Sometimes you have to leave a place before you can fully appreciate what you had when there.
Please read and memorize John 14:6.
Walter Redden is again a Northsider!