So much has happened since I've been home, but I will never forget the evening I spent at the home of Bob Walker and his sons.
I was expecting it to be warm in Florida, but, alas, it was not exactly tropical! However, it was a darned site warmer than it had been at many of the other shows, and that was very good. I loved Bob's display...especially the backdrop that he painted over his garage door. It made a beautiful backdrop for the concert. Hey Bob...why don't you have any pictures of that backdrop on your website?
While I was setting up I had the pleasure of meeting Bob's two sons and his mother, as well as many other people who were around and getting ready for the show.
There were three guys from Planet Christmas who came to the concert and one lady who was a tour sponsor who brought me a beautiful Christmas Cactus (which made it safely home....a miracle!) plus my dear childhood friend Lori and her husband, who were to be my hosts for the concert the next night at the Orlando Doubletree. It was a friendly atmosphere and a fun concert, but I have to admit, I actually teared up while I was singing The House on Christmas Street with Bob's sequence. I wasn't expecting it, but by that time it felt like the millionth time I had sung it, and all the memories of everyone and everyplace and all the people and displays and miles and miles came flooding back while I was singing, and I almost couldn't get through it. I'm sure part of the reason why I was so emotional was that I was beyond exhausted by that time. I mean it...I've never felt so fatigued in my life as I did by the end of the tour.
After the concert a bunch of us sat around in the driveway and talked about the tour and everything, and then it was time for everyone to leave and I packed all my stuff up. I went into the house to say "goodbye" to Bob and his boys, Terrance and David. Well, I ended up staying there and eating cookies and talking for a good couple of hours. I am so impressed with Bob, who is a single father with two adopted sons, who does volunteer work for "Give Kids the World," an organization that brings ill children to Disney World. I just enjoyed being there and talking with him and his boys and getting to know them a little bit. I'm pretty sure Terrance said he was 17 although I could be wrong about that and he could be 16. He's a young man with a lot on his mind and, like so many teens, is trying to figure things out. He's got some interesting plans for his future.....but I don't really think I should blog about them because they may have been told to me in confidence. But in case he is reading this, Terrance I want you to know that I am thinking of you and praying that you figure it all out and have a safe and happy future, and please remember that life has both shadows AND light and you never know what could be right around the corner for you. Your Dad is really amazing and you are very lucky to have such a supportive father. I enjoyed getting to know you and David and your Dad and hope I can visit you again, maybe even Christmas time this year. Thank you Bob for inviting me into your home and sharing so much with me. You are all in my prayers and I hope you haven't forgotten me!
Going back to my hotel that night was very sad. I know they don't know this, but I really didn't want to leave Bob's house. That might sound kind of nuts but I just enjoyed meeting all the people on the tour and doing the house concerts in the neighborhoods and getting so much love and good will from so many people all over the US. I didn't want it to end.
And you know what...it didn't end....because the next day I met up with Lori Warwicke and her husband for my show at the Doubletree Hotel, and that was a fun end to the tour that I had no idea would end up being so amazing.