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Happy Birthday, Mom!

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Mom is 82 years old today. It is hard to imagine her at that age. She still sounds the same and if she still had her sight, I am sure she would be very active and making every occasion special. Sadly, I wasn’t able to go to Roanoke this weekend or today to see her. Her birthday visit will be a week late. This is her first birthday to celebrate without Dad. My sister who is taking care of her now is having a dinner for Mom. I’m sure the table will be filled with grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I would love to be there to give her a big hug and sing through the hymnal with her on the porch swing. Happy Birthday, Mom. I love you.

She always made birthdays special for us. Even as adults, she would show up on our birthday with a cake and gifts or my favorite – gift baskets! Yet, she always downplayed her own special day; telling us, “I don’t need anything.”

~*~

Birthdays. Every family celebrates them differently.

In my family, birthdays were a big event. Extended family members came over for dinner and of course, a beautifully decorated homemade cake of the birthday child’s choosing.

Mine was always white cake, seven-minute frosting with coconut sprinkled on it like snow; graced with a candy “Happy Birthday” along with birthday candles. They were very popular when I was a child.

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Betty Crocker Vintage Birthday Cake Decorations found on Pinterest.

Of course, I always wanted the pink one with little flowers for the candles.

It is usually Mothers who make birthdays special. She bakes the cake, makes sure the freezer is stocked with ice cream, cooks the meal, buys and wraps the gift. My Mom loved making birthdays special. She was the best at wrapping gifts. They were always too pretty to unwrap!

It was Dad Hinchee who took snapshots and taped the special occasion with his Super-eight movie camera. I have a DVD with several years of birthdays and other special moments. unfortunately, he often panned the room too fast and some scenes are just a blur. My baby sister’s first birthday was great! Dinner in our backyard with family and after dinner, cake and gifts were opened, we all went to the Mill Mountain Zoo in Roanoke, Va. I especially remember the gorgeous peacocks. Such a pretty blue! Needless to say, was a memorable event.

This is Mom.

 

 

I would love to give her a special birthday party. I have tried twice to at least take dinner and her gifts but she is hesitant to let anyone come over. She claims the house is dirty and she has nothing to wear. You see, she has always wanted everything to be “perfect.”

We gave her a party on her seventy-fifth birthday. Her sister and brother-in-law came from Richmond. Our Hinchee relatives came to make the day special too.

Mom's 75th Birthday

We had a beautiful cake made by Ashley Schnarr Easter, fresh fruit, finger sandwiches and I actually discovered blooms on the lilac tree! She received wonderful gifts and cards that played music!

 

She was amazed that everyone came and loved having my Aunt and Uncle spend the night with them. She let me know later that she doesn’t want to remember that she is “getting older.” We have gifts for her and I still hope we will be able to take dinner to Mom and Dad.

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There is one gift I can’t wait to give her. She can’t see it but that’s okay. I found on Etsy the fragrance she used to wear when I was a small child. Persian Wood isn’t available in perfume but I found the original Avon Persian Wood Perfumed Talc. I am sure it has lost its fragrance over time but hopefully, there is enough of the fragrance to bring back wonderful memories and just for a moment, she will feel “young” again.

 

 

 

 

Perhaps we will sit on the porch swing and sing Hymns of the Faith just as we used to.

Happy Birthday, Mom. We love you!

Little Things That Mean So Much

 

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Compassion can take many forms we often overlook. Sometimes it’s the “little things” that are often overlooked in our day to day activities. I was reminded yesterday of an act of compassion my late stepfather brought to my life.

Yesterday, I awoke with a sore throat to go with the cold that doesn’t want to go away.  John had to go to Church alone – again! He stopped at Hardees and bought lunch which was such a blessing. I don’t think I could have stood long enough to prepare sandwiches.

John at the Liberty Station in Bedford, Va

That’s my guy!

After lunch, he went to the grocery store for cold pills and brought home a box of popsicles. A kindness or act of compassion which began with my stepfather.  I was seven-years-old when Mom married Jerry and we became a family.  That first year, I had chronic ear infections and tonsillitis resulting in having surgery over Christmas break from school.

The first time I had a sore throat, Dad Hinchee went to the store and bought a bag of banana popsicles, which were my favorite. I still remember how the cool treat felt as it slid down my throat giving relief and enjoyment. From that time on, if he heard me say that my throat hurt, he would disappear for a few minutes and return with that cool treat. Even when I was home from college. He even continued the tradition for many years until I married and moved away.

Dad Hinchee went home to be with the Lord in November. He is where there is no more sorrow, no more pain and no more popsicles for this kid’s sore throat. But my husband remembered. What a sweet reminder that God never forgets!

Tomorrow, April 10th would have been Mom and Jerry’s 54th Anniversary. I know it will be sad for her. I want to be there for her but am afraid that she will catch my cold. I am praying that some small act of kindness will comfort her.  I love you, Mom!

Easter 1964

Easter, 1964. Our first Easter as a family.

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

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Mom and Dad Hinchee several years ago. I always think of them just like this!

Fruit of the Spirit Eggs and So Much More! Katherine H. Purdy©

                    Years ago when I taught preschool, Sunday School and spoke in AWANA, I always used a tool as I taught the Bible lesson so that the children would remember. That tool may be flashcards, flannel graph, or something the children could participate in. 

This especially worked for the older children. For example, at Easter, I used “Gospel Eggs” with correlating scripture cards. The children took turns opening the egg and the one with the corresponding card stood and read the scripture. Now you can buy Gospel Eggs at the Christian bookstore. (I always included Bible verse cards printed on business card paper so that they would remember the lesson.) To make sure I used as many senses as possible, candy or some treat was included. 

Earlier tonight, I was thinking about the children who came to our home each day for childcare. One Friday before Easter, I had planned to have an Easter Egg hunt but everything that could happen did happen. The Eggs weren’t ready and it was raining outside. Did I say rain? I meant pouring rain! 

While the children were napping, I made colorful eggs out of an old wallpaper sample book and hid them all around the playroom and den. The children were so happy! One would think they were chocolate covered eggs but I think it was the thrill of the search! Sugar from their Easter party might have attributed to their excitement.As I remembered the good old days with “my kiddos” and worked on the Easter blog, the thought came to me that it would be interesting to go beyond “Easter eggs” and emphasize how we change when we receive Christ as our Savior

 

 

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I know this is a little crude but I think it gives you an idea of what I had in mind. We could also add the attributes of God. Of course, We could also include the Passover, Death, Burial, Resurrection of Christ but they are taught with the Gospel eggs. We could add the Rapture and Second Coming of Christ too. Just a new way to present the Gospel and growing in the grace and knowledge of The Lord Jesus Christ. Painted wooden shaped eggs with the messages on them and hanging on a tree would be a good example of growing as we trust Him and read God’s Word.

 

Fruit of the Spirit Eggs would be for older children but it would be fun to make some as a reminder of how we can be like Him. If anyone uses this illustration, I would love to hear about it or see pictures! 

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

Corresponding Verses:

  • LOVE – (Unselfish care for others) 

“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 13:34

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 5:8

  • JOY

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Hebrews 12:2

  • PEACE

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid”

John 14:27

  • LONGSUFFERING (Patience)

Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:”

Colossians 1:11-12

  • GENTLENESS (Kindness and Humility)

Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ,”

2 Corinthians 10:1

  • GOODNESS

“Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

1 Thessalonians 1:10-11

  • FAITH (Adhering to, Relying on, and completely trusting)

“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” Galatians 2:16

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”  Galatians 2:20

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  Hebrews 11:1 (The Faith Chapter!)

  • GRACE – (Receiving that which we do not deserve.Unmerited favor by God.)

When I was a teen at Colonial Baptist Church in Blue Ridge, VA. I heard this definition of Grace and it has stuck with me. I have quoted it often when teaching children. I think it may have been Dr. B.R. Lakin or Pastor Elbert M. Yeatts but I am not sure. They are both with the Lord now. It goes something like this: “If a little boy comes into the kitchen as Mama takes bread out of the oven and he asks for a slice and she cuts the bread and then hands it to him; that’s Mercy. However, if she first slathers that hot bread with butter and jam – that’s Grace!

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

MEEKNESS – (Humility, lowliness, kindness)

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:”  I Peter 3:15-18

ASSURANCE OF SALVATION

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”  Acts 4:12

What shall we then say to these things? If be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 8:31-39

Easter Joy

Easter!

1604442_552440884874398_674899506_nMadison Easter Egg Hunt Kathie Trent Kingrey

Photo used with permission

 

It’s not about eggs, candy or new dresses. It’s not about hats and gloves; but about what the precious Son of God has done for you and for me.

Isaiah 53

Who hath believed our report?
and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?
For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant,
and as a root out of a dry ground:
he hath no form nor comeliness;
and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
He is despised and rejected of men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief:
and we hid as it were our faces from him;
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he hath borne our griefs,
and carried our sorrows:
yet we did esteem him stricken,
smitten of God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions,
he was bruised for our iniquities:
the chastisement of our peace was upon him;
and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned every one to his own way;
and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth:
he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb,
so he openeth not his mouth.
He was taken from prison and from judgment:
and who shall declare his generation?
for he was cut off out of the land of the living:
for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
And he made his grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death;
because he had done no violence,
neither was any deceit in his mouth.
Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied:
by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many;
for he shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong;
because he hath poured out his soul unto death:
and he was numbered with the transgressors;
and he bare the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.

Transgressor. That’s me. That’s you and every human who has drawn breath for the Bible says”

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” Romans 3:10-12

Did you notice the middle of the verse, “There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.”  Unlike children searching diligently for brightly colored eggs to fill their pretty baskets, in our sin, we think only of our self. We don’t naturally seek after God. We think we are “good” and don’t understand that we are sinners who need the Lord. We go our own way. We do whatever pleases us. We live for self.

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23

He lived for us! He died for us to cover our sin debt.

“As is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” Romans 3:11-12

We are sinners seeking after things that will make us happy; not understanding that there is a penalty for our sin. God is a Holy God. He cannot look on sin. He loved us so much that He made a way to cover our sin debt so that we may have a relationship with Him. That we may have eternal life by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; receiving the (free) gift of salvation. (Atonement, Redemption – He bought us with a terrible price; the death of His only begotten (perfect, unblemished, sinless) son of God!

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:16-18

Have you received Christ as your Savior? He loves you so much that He willing gave His life for you – even though He never sinned. He is the perfect, spotless Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world. The sacrificial Lamb of God died for you and arose from the dead on the Third day; just as He promised. Won’t you trust Him today?

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Rising He Justified, freely forever. One Day He’s Coming, Oh, Glorious Day!

Just as children get new clothing for Easter Sunday and fill their pretty baskets with colorful eggs, candy and toys, we who have received the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior become a new creation in Christ. Our spiritual basket is filled with wonderful things as we read His Word (Seeking Him) and apply His Word in our daily life; we grow and are filled with wonderful things through Him. Besides Salvation and the Assurance that when we die, we will go to Heaven, what else do we gain?

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We are bought with a price. Redeemed and set free!

Click on the link below to see where Jesus walked and talked with His disciples. Where He was buried and arose from the dead. See the road to Emmaus where Jesus talked with two of his disciples after His resurrection.  Go to Jerusalem with Franklin Graham.

7 Days in the Holy Land with Franklin Graham

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Isabel~ Story Time

Christmas story time.

Katherine H. Purdy

Little Kristen set aside her book and followed a voice coming from the kitchen.

“Joy to the World, the Lord has come…” Nannie put a pie in the oven and wiped her hands on her festive apron and turned to her small granddaughter. “I thought you were playing,” Nannie said as she cleaned flour from the kitchen counter before picking up the child.

“Nannie, I’m bored.”

“Bored? How can you be bored when there is some much work to do before Christmas? With all of your toys, it’s hard to imagine being bored.

“Will you tell me a story? Please?”

“Of course I will tell you a story. What kind of story do you want to hear?”

“My favorite – tell me about when you were a little girl!”

“Well,” Nannie said as she lifted Kristen onto her lap, “that was a long time ago. Do you want to hear…

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Empty Place at the Table

I was going through some old photos this week and I must admit this picture of Mom’s beautifully set table brought tears. As you see, one chair in missing.

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That’s Dad’s place. He always sat at the head of the table. I can still see him now standing at the head of the table on Christmas day with Bible in hand, reading Luke 2 while we lined up around the room and listened to his voice as he read the Christmas story and then asked a blessing on our Christmas dinner.

This year, Jerry Hinchee will celebrate Christmas with the Savior. He will not be at his place at the family table this year but he will be rejoicing.  He went to be with the Lord the Monday before Thanksgiving. Quietly. Peacefully. He was at home with Mom when he closed his eyes and was in the presence of the Lord.

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“Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints.”

Psalms 116:15

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Please pray for Mom as she continues on without her Sweetheart. Mom lost her sight almost ten years ago and Dad always took care of her. He wouldn’t let her do anything on her own. When Dad had a stroke a few months ago, we were ready to make the difficult decision to move them into assisted living but they had refused. He had said that he wanted to die at home. I am so thankful that my sister-in-law, Noelle was there and knew what to do. It had been my fear that something would happen and Mom would panic or that she wouldn’t know. Thank you, Noelle (in the background) for being there. And for my Aunt Sandra who talks to Mom any time, day or night on the phone and helps to keep her calm.

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My sweet sister has stepped into the role of caretaker even though she has two daughters and has a job. We love you, Melissa!

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We don’t know what the future holds but we know who holds the future and are trusting in Him.

So if you are having Christmas dinner this year with an empty place at the table, the Lord will be with you. He heals the brokenhearted and gives peace that passes our understanding.

Have a blessed Christmas!

Love always,

Kathy

Unlocking Family Stories

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Meet Junie. June Ratcliffe McReynolds to be more specific. The grandmother I never had the privilege of meeting. Wasn’t she an adorable baby? I think so. I love this picture of her.  I am especially curious about the little girl hiding behind her. She must have been playing hide and seek from the camera.

I never met “Junie” (the name she chose for her grandchildren to call her) but I did get to read a book about her family’s heritage in 1975. When I open the covers of Our Radcliffe Heritage, I can almost hear her voice as she tells stories of old. Memories and travels she made in order to complete her work. She even added photographs and sketches of old family homes.  She didn’t just list names, birth and death dates but stories about her family and what their homes looked like.  How did she remember everything in such detail?  Her ancestors came to life as she put pen to paper. This personality makes all the difference! How did she do it?

Junie, the young lady in the center front, listened.

She listened and took notes. Somewhere, there is a box containing small sheets of paper with notes Junie began taking as she listened to her “elders” tell about the good old days.  She collected notes for years and put them in her memory box to be used later as a reference for her book.

I wish I had taken notes! For as long as I can remember, I listened to Mom’s family and visualized the events until I thought I knew the mannerisms and how “Mama” and “Papa” reacted to each other and to the children. This was the basis for The Vision of a Mother’s Heart. I wrote my story as fiction inspired by a true story because I didn’t have the foresight to take notes.

Her son, my Daddy, Charles McReynolds remembers her telling him and his older sister, Bobby stories about their heritage and it ingrained a love of history in my Dad too. He put his memories in a book called Memories of an Old Geezer. If you love stories of the good old days and especially if you like cars, you’ll love this book! (It is available on Amazon.com)

So, listen carefully, ask questions and take notes!

Many thanks to Daddy and my sister, Judi for providing a copy of Junie’s book and some of her belongings.  A big thank you to my grandmother June Ratcliffe McReynolds for her foresight and hard work. She made this granddaughter feel right at home!

Sharpen those pencils and get out your notebook. Your family memories could be a book in the making. Listen to their testimony and how the Lord led the family through difficult times and filled them with the joy of His love.When I open the covers of Our Radcliffe Heritage, I can almost hear her voice as she tells stories of old. Memories and travels she made in order to complete her work. She even added photographs and sketches of old family homes.

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Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” Proverbs 4:7

Praying for Landen

This is Landen.

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Landen has a rare form of dwarfism which has compromised his immune system. Today Landen is having a marrow transplant and is in need of your prayers that his body will not reject the blood platelets he is receiving. The success of this procedure is vital to his life expectancy.

Landen’s grandmother, Regina (Gina) Stevens Johnson is a dear friend and was my example and mentor in high school. The following link was live this afternoon. Please pray for Landen as he receives the bone marrow transplant today.

Live video of prayer with Landen before bone marrow transplant.

For more information on Landen’s Story, please click on the links below. He is an amazing little boy with a powerful testimony and personality! His condition is so rare that he is one of eleven children who have this rare form of dwarfism.

There is also a little girl who has the same diagnosis. Please pray for her too.  I have added links to Landen’s Story. Please click on the links below to learn more about Landen and his condition. You will be blessed!

Landens Story

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Landen’s Story

You can follow Landen and his family’s journey on facebook. Praying4Landen 

and their family blog. The Johnson Journey

Thank you for praying for Landen today.

 

Baby & Flowers

My Aunt Betty had a green thumb. Mine is more yellow than green! I ran across this picture of her tulips and couldn’t resist posting them. I suppose I love tulips because they remind me of my Aunt and my sweet little cousin who is now a Mom.

Donita and Kathy

I love this picture of my little cousin admiring her Mama’s flowers.  I always took “the baby” out for a few hours on my day off. It was my favorite day of the week! On this day, I was taking her to the Mill Mountain Zoo in Roanoke, VA. that morning.

Strolling through the Zoo was nice and taking her to lunch was fun but it was that brief special moment captured in this picture that I remember most.

Babies and Flowers. I am not which brings more joy!

 

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For more information about Mill Mountain Zoo, click on the link below.

Mill Mountain Zoo

While visiting the Zoo, check out the Mill Mountain Star. Roanoke, Virginia is known as the “Star City of the South.”

Mill Mountain Star

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Terry Aldhizer Photography

Mill Mountain Star Youtube