History & Culture

Esther

EstherEsther is a short book in the Bible.  It’s in the Old Testament and is a historical book.  As a Presbyterian my biblical education has focused much more on the New Testament.  Consequently, I wasn’t very familiar with her story until  I read the book this week as part of a Sunday School course I’m taking.   The story of Esther is both historically fascinating and spiritually profound.   So, here I am getting the word out on Esther!

Despite the images of gray haired old ladies that the name Esther might conjure up (no offense to any Esther’s or gray haired ladies out there); the Esther of the bible was anything but.  She was a beautiful and clever young woman, whose physical perfection and purity made her a queen.

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Legoland

Lego tourist- he even snores!

Lego tourist- he even snores!

We took the boys to Legoland yesterday.  They had an absolute blast!  It takes a lot to wear our boys out; and they were worn out!  All was not lost for my history side though- Legoland surprisingly has a few (maybe overgrown and slightly neglected) historical treasures.

Quick background on Legoland- it replaced the original theme park on the site- Cypress Gardens, in 2011.  Cypress Gardens was Florida’s original theme park.  Founded in the 1930’s it was famous for it’s botanical gardens, water skiing, and pretty Southern Belles walking throughout the gardens.

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Why The Orange Tree?

rhett in the shade

There is a lovely, old Orange Tree in my backyard.  It’s not particularly beautiful, it’s a little scraggly and gnarled, signs of age and character written on its trunk.  The tree is a Parson Brown, about 40 feet in height.  Every fall the tree begins to blossom and the sweet smell of Orange Blossom’s fills our yard.  In early winter it begins to bear fruit; pale, medium sized oranges that make excellent freshly squeezed juice.  Our home was built in 1954, by a couple named Waldo and Ethel.  They lived here for 31 years, it’s possible they planted the tree in the back yard.  I always picture them, a young married couple planting the tree as a symbol of their growing family.  Perhaps over the years the tree grew with their children.  I’ve imagined Ethel hanging her clothes on the line with her children running around in the yard.  Perhaps they had a dog that liked to sleep in its shade just like ours does.  Orange trees can have very long lives, even up to 100 years.  Maybe our tree was here even before the house, or our neighborhood.  Maybe its the last remnant of an orange grove that was planted here in the 1800’s.

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