Carry out the suitcases, load the car, drive, unload the car, carry in the suitcases. That seemed to be my routine as I traveled with My Three Moms. I call them that affectionately. Joan Hanley, Margot Riekers, and Mary Ann Denn comprise the trio of friends, guides, traveling companions, and fellow Edgar Cayce disciples whom I think of as my A.R.E. mothers. How I would love to resume that routine, even though I pretend-grumbled quite a bit at the time.
One particular trip was epic. Miami to Davie to pick up Margot, Davie to Ft. Pierce to pick up Mary Ann, and Ft. Pierce to Frostproof to spend the night at Joan’s before heading north to Simpsonwood Conference Center in Norcross, Georgia, for the annual Southeast Region Core Team meeting.
Joan had built a house in Frostproof on the shores of Lake Arbuckle. This was the first time any of us had gone there. Night had sneakily robbed us of the ability to see where we were going. We were supposed to look for a flashing traffic light (where?). We could make out the silhouettes of thousands of orange trees. With apologies to Tennyson, trees to the right of us, trees to the left of us, trees in front of us, as we blundered and wondered.
We drove down an endless road—in the dark, roads are always endless—looking for a set of three mailboxes before a driveway. Lo and behold we found them! Now turn into the long, muddy drive, past a little woods on the left and a wet field on the right. Not that house. A little further; is this it? Stop the car and get out, watch out for the dogs running around, knock on the door. Hallelujah! Kisses, hugs, and an admonishment. “What took you so long?”
The next day, Friday, we are Simpsonwood-bound. Sunday took us to Gatlinburg and Margot’s vacation chalet. This was one of many trips there. Several days later we arrived in Savannah, again as night fell. Margot used one of those discount motel booklets found at highway rest stops to select the Thunderbird Motel. We got lost finding it, but eventually located it. The ladies took one room and I took another. What a dump it turned out to be! I couldn’t wait to vacate the premises in the morning, and leave all the little crawly things behind. We took a city tour based on the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, which is based in Savannah. I was the only one of us who had read the book. I loved the tour. I think we all enjoyed it.
We left Savannah and drove to nearby St. Simon’s Island, one of the Georgia Sea Islands. That night Mary Ann and I went out across the street from our motel to the beach in order to look for Leonid meteors in relative darkness. It was November 17th, the time of the annual Leonid meteor shower. We hit the jackpot!
As we watched in awe and disbelief, dozens of fiery streaks passed right over our heads every minute. Red, orange, yellow, streaming long trails of sparkling particles. Incongruously, they were utterly silent, though it seemed that we should be able to reach up and touch them, so close did they appear. Following this peak of activity, which lasted about a couple of hours, we called it a night.
The next day we toured St. Simon’s and Jekyll Islands, including the St. Simon’s lighthouse. Eugenia Price wrote about the building of the lighthouse in her book, Lighthouse. Margot had often recommended Eugenia Price’s trilogy about St. Simon’s Island. I finally read the book following this trip.
That night Mary Ann and I had to practically drag the tired Margot and Joan out to the beach to watch a reprise of the celestial spectacle of the previous night. There were a few meteors, but it was nothing like the night before. There is a famous woodcut of a medieval village at night showing the sky filled with meteors. It is said to be a time-lapse view, but I disagree. After my experience, I believe it is a snapshot.
The following year I flew to Birmingham on business on November 16th. I made arrangements with Hope and Eddie Crawford to go out the following night to watch the Leonids. In an unfortunate turn of events, I had to fly back to Florida overnight to participate in a short meeting. I then flew back to Birmingham and met up with Hope and Eddie in time for our nighttime excursion.
Along with a member of their A Search For God Study Group, we got in their car and drove out of town until we found a viewing spot. It was a construction site for a church up a small hill, with not too many lights. It was cold that night. We stood outside and shivered for the better part of two hours. We didn’t see a single meteor. We got into the car and turned on the heater. The windows fogged up. Finally, we saw a single meteor. That’s when we decided to give it up and leave.
The following year the Leonids came during our annual meeting at Simpsonwood. I convinced about two-thirds of our group to get up at two-thirty in the morning to watch the skies. We had a good show, though not up to the quantity of meteors that Mary Ann and I saw at St. Simons.
About the Author:
Ron Feldheim has studied, promoted, and taught the Edgar Cayce Readings for over thirty years. Beginning with the formation of the Miami Council in 1980, Ron’s focus has been on organizing and developing local field programs. Ron expanded his role as a field volunteer when the Miami and Palm Beach Councils later merged to form the Gold Coast Team. At this same time, A.R.E. Headquarters chartered the Southeast Region, and Ron was invited to join the Region Core Team of active volunteers. He then became the first Chairman of the Region’s Management Team, and after a six-year stint developed the position of Retreat Coordinator. He has been a member of two A Search For God Study Groups.
Currently residing in Miami Beach, he is Area Team Coordinator and just completed a one-year term as Chairman of the Region’s Management Team. Ron is a speaker, writer, healer, and intuitive. Ron’s professional career has been in Clinical Microbiology and Information Technology.