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S: Wyn, Cathi and Marilyn - A Photo Journal

FC: Wyn, Cathi and Marilyn A Photo Journal of our Sibling Retreats

3: This book is mostly about sibling retreats that we have spent together over the last 15 years beginning in 1996, but it doesn't hurt to prelude those retreats with a few pages about from whence we came and our growing up years.

4: Our dad, Owen William Ayers, Jr. (Bill), was the only child born to Owen William Ayers, Sr. and Olwyn Morris Ayers. He was born October 18, 1921.

5: Mama, Bette Alyne Varnum, was the third daughter of John Heston and Bertie Ann Jones Varnum. She was born August 13, 1924 in Pensacola, Florida.

6: Wyn, Owen William Ayers, III, was born February 4, 1947 in Frederick Maryland.

7: Cathi, Cathy Anne Ayers, was born January 27, 1950, also in Frederick

8: And, last but certainly not least (well, actually, yes least, but only in size) - Marilyn Leigh Ayers was born January 29, 1953, also in Frederick.

9: And, so they grew, living in Frederick on Edgewood Church Road.........................

10: .......until moving to Valparaiso, Florida where they lived from 1960 - 65, then moving to Ft. Walton Beach to finish their growing up years as Choctaw HS Indians before going off to school and starting their own families.

11: College (GO NOLES), marriages, careers and kids filled their lives...........

12: While staying at the Shady Oaks B&B in Micanopy, they realized how much more fun it would have been if Wyn were there with them. | But, in 1996, Marilyn and Cathi decided to celebrate their 43rd and 46th birthdays together. | And in their hearts, he was.

13: So in 1997, we had our first three-sibs retreat in High Springs, where we stayed at the Rustic Ranch B&B.

14: 1998 We returned to High Springs, this time staying in a historic home, the Grady House B&B. The best part was the breakfast, but the spacious bathroom was a close second. We spent most of our time hitting antique stores and eating. Sadly, the Tea Room, shown in 1997 photos, was no longer in business.

15: 1999 We met in Tallahassee to help Jeremy move. No photos from that "retreat". However, this was mom and dad's 55th anniversary year (January 2), so we also met in Lynn Haven to put together a memory book for them and arranged a small gathering of friends to surprise them at home in Ft. Walton.

16: We stayed at Magnolia Plantation B&B in Gainesville. | 2000

17: We returned to Magnolia Plantation B&B in Gainesville. | 2001 | The most remarkable thing about this trip was how much more attractive Cathi looked.

18: 2002 In February of this year, Mom and Dad moved to Floral City to live next door to Cathi and Barry. This was so Dad could be moved out of a nursing home and so Mom would have the support she needed for Dad to live at home. Thus, we "retreated" by helping them settle in. Dad passed November 13 of this year.

19: We rented a "cabin", actually a manufactured home, at Spirit of the Suwannee campground in Live Oak. We did lots of walking, endured a frightening storm at Walmart and fell asleep (not) to the rhythm of sounds from a drumming circle. | 2003

20: 2004 We stayed at this B & B in White Springs, FL. where we enjoyed bicycling and exploring in Stephen Foster State Park

21: 2005 Cedar Key We stayed at a funky, little old Florida hotel -- very different from our previous choices, but fun. Bicycling, shopping and, as always, eating!

22: 2006 Back to Floral City because mom was having some health challenges and needed our attention. Cutting off the tops of our heads in the photo had nothing to do with her health challenges, though.

23: 2007 We returned to Cedar Key, this time staying in a rental condo unit. We shopped and ate and did lots of laughing (psshh - special memories).

24: 2008 We stayed at the Residence Inn Suites in Gainesville. Highlights included visits to the Butterfly Conservatory and Kanapaha Gardens.

25: 2009 Places of interest between Wyn, in Panama City and Cathi, in Floral City, are limited. It was easy just to meet at Marilyn's in Tallahassee.

26: We stayed in a really nice cabin in Fanning Springs State Park and explored the area including Trenton, Williston and Chiefland. We shared some especially sophisticated birthday cards and gift books. (Pfft) Marilyn missed out on a really nice painting of egrets at an antique-gift-garden shop in Fanning. (Huh-huh) (I'll leave it to you in my will). | 2010

27: Back to Tallahassee! We stayed in Marilyn's new home and spent a day in Thomasville browsing in antique shops, enjoying the architecture, eating lunch and, perusing motorcycles! | Our 15th year! (counting the first one without "Bro.") | 2011

28: Our plans for 2012, as this book is going to press, are to return to Tallahassee, but with the intent of planning far enough ahead that we might do something extra-special in the future. Whatever we do, whenever and wherever we do it, our special time together - laughing, remembering, sharing and ..... well, maybe I won't print that last thought...... anyway, it's the time together that counts. | Photo taken Thanksgiving 2011

29: For Future Retreat Photos

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