Friends!

Friends!

Living life as a clergy family has meant moving all over the midwest for us. As hard as it always is to leave our friends in each and every place it also means that we get to meet new friends! Try as I might it’s been hard though to stay in touch with everyone and so over the years we’ve lost contact with some of our friends. Such is life. But, here is where Facebook comes in! Being a curious person I’ve searched and reconnected with long time friends, spent time chatting with each other and just generally “catching up” with each other! Some re-connections have been strictly on-line. But we’ve had the joy of re-connecting with some friends in person. And that’s just what happened this past week when we met up for dinner with a friend, of ours from when we lived in Romeo, MI. We figured out that the last time we saw each other has to be at least 20 years or so. It wasn’t until we were both “friends” on FB that we discovered he and his wife live in Orlando, where we have spent so much time vacationing. We had such an absolutely wonderful time visiting over dinner, & dessert and then had a chance to spend the next morning with us as they showed us Orlando from the resident’s side!

Long story short-I know a lot of people are thinking of dropping FB, but for me I’m loving it! It’s given us a chance to re-connect with so many friends all over the states and in some cases even spend some time with them. So- thanks to all my FB friends both near and far!

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We love our Friends!

We love our Friends!

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As most clergy families we have done a lot of moving around, uprooting our household and leaving friends and family behind. At times I’ve loved the idea of living in different places and other times I’ve dreaded the change in our lives. I sometimes feel as if we’ve not really had a chance to put down roots anywhere and at times our sons have not really known what to call their “hometown”. But on the other hand it’s given our family a chance to have others become part of our lives that would’ve never happened if we had stayed in one place our entire life! Although we’ve shed many tears leaving friends and family behind it also makes coming together that much sweeter! And that’s what this weekend was all about!
Friday we had the chance to catch up with a wonderful couple in Madison. Joyce and I worked together at WPS and soon became fast friends. Before we knew it they became part of our family, even spending Christmas Eve with us one year. We have many, many fun times together, laughed, cried, discussed life issues, kids and grandkids (theirs not ours!). We’ve shared in life changes together over the 12 years that we’ve known each other. Joyce was a God-send to me when I hit work that first Monday after both kids were gone away to college and it was the first time we had no one else at home! Friday night, as we met up for dinner and then dessert back at their house we found ourselves pretty much able to just pick up where we left off 10 months ago when we last saw each other. Before we knew it the night had flown by and we knew that we needed to get back on the road. I know the night could’ve gone on for a much longer time!
Saturday we were back on the road in the opposite direction to Des Moines. We were meeting up with 2 families from Council Bluffs and spending the day in Des Moines together. Again, friends that we’ve shared so much of life with, cried and laughed together, the birth of Emma 2-1/2 months premature(I truly believe God saw it necessary to bring her to everyone early!). We’ve been part of their lives watching their children grow and they’ve been part of ours sharing the joy of the weddings of both of our sons. Our day in Des Moines went by way too fast and as we finished up dinner at a local brew house watching football, eating and catching up with each other we knew there just wasn’t enough time to get it all in.
We are blessed to have so many other friends everywhere that we’ve lived and for anyone that knows me you most certainly know how much you mean to us and how you bless us, especially when we have a chance to catch up with each other. So, eventhough it takes an act of Congress for all of us to be able to squeeze one day out of all of our busy schedules just to spend maybe an little bit on an evening together it most certainly is worth it! Now all we have to do is figure out how to squeeze in some of our other friends that we haven’t seen in a while.
In the meantime- thanks Ed and Joyce, Brian & Sarah and Emma, Mark and Kim for an awesome weekend! Let’s do it again sometime soon!!
Now- on to Minneapolis to squeeze in time with our family.

Friends Forever!

Friends Forever!

It’s always seemed foreign to me to have friends that still have friends and hang around with people that they graduated from high school with.  But, when you live in small towns that seems to be the way of life.  Folks don’t move very far and those connections are still intact.  As I’ve gotten older and I’ve seen how our kids have stayed in touch with their high school and college friends I’ve felt this little bit of a void that I’ve not had that privilege to be able to do that.  It is a little more difficult when you’ve gone to a school of about 3000 kids and my class alone had 800+ in it.  Well I must say that first of all thanks to facebook I’ve actually been able to connect with people that I graduated from high school with.  It’s always interesting to see pictures of people that you haven’t seen for 40 years!  Second, thanks to the wonders of google and e-mail I’ve connected with several other friends, one being a guy that was new to my school when I was in 5th grade.  We soon became close friends, were pretty much inseparable all the way through high school, despite the fact that we went to different schools after junior high.  I always looked forward to that Parma/Normandy football game when we alternated year after year searching for each other in the stands just to say hi.  Last, but not least, thanks to the continued contact between my folks and some very dear neighbors that moved away shortly after I graduated, I’ve now connected back up with one of my best girlfriends that I grew up with.  Jan and I went all through school together, starting in Kindergarten.  We played together constantly as we grew up, graduated together and then as we both went to different colleges and moved away we lost contact with each other.  Funny thing is that we’ve always lived somewhat close by, but never had the chance to re-connect.  Busy lives, careers, and all those other life things tend to get in the way.  I come to find out now through a letter sent to my mom that she and her husband and her mom live only 45 minutes away from us.  I am so excited!  We are getting together on Friday night for dinner.  I’ve been up in the attic searching for old pictures of us that won’t be too embarrasing, but as Jan said- that’s half the fun of it.  We hope that we don’t bore the guys with our catching up on Friday night.  Best I can figure we haven’t seen each other for maybe about 35 years!  Wow.

Good Friends, Good Food, Good Time!

Good Friends, Good Food, Good Time!

This past weekend our good friends, Brian and Sara and Emma, visited us from across the state. It’s the first that we’ve seen Emma since she was born shortly after we moved to Monti.

We started the weekend out on Friday with a food feast of just about every breakfast food you could imagine. The red raspberries are ripening in our yard and it was fun to watch Emma explore some really squishy and messy red raspberries. Of course, I think that she had more on her than actually made into her mouth.
Since it was a beautiful fall day we decided to head to Galena, Il. where we just did some exploring of the stores, and generally enjoyed the town and the beauty of the fall trees.

Of course we had to check out the toy stores, gorge ourselves on way too much fried food (which didn't set well with some of us) and try on goofy hats! Saturday was pretty much a chill day with a quick drive into Cedar Rapids to show Brian and Sara the devastation of the floods. We ended the day at a really awesome watering hole that we’ve been hearing so much about, “The General Store”, in Stone City.

What a great dive where we devoured pizza, a tenderloin as big as a tire and of course a couple of brews. All we needed was some leather chaps and a Harley and we most definitely would’ve fit in with the crowd. We really had such a great time with them and it was a great fall weekend!
Check out more pics!

More Devastation

More Devastation

Jon and I have some very close friends that recently retired and moved to Conroe, TX, north of Houston. They called on Friday night and at that time they were hunkered down waiting for the hurricane. Last night they called and said that although they didn’t receive the brunt of the storm it is a mess there.  It came in around 2:30 a.m on Sat. morning, around 4 they were in the eye, but then an hour later when the west wall of the storm hit it was really bad.  That lasted until about noon.  She said that they will never forget the sound of the wind and the banging of the storm.  They didn’t have any damage to their home, but their pool has a big pine tree branch in it along with all the needles, pine oil etc. The subdivision that they live in has a restriction on how many trees you are allowed to cut down when building, so you can imagine a very dense, piney area after the storm.  They are without electricity and water, although she said that they do have sporadic phone service.  But they can’t really go anywhere because the stores are out of food and there isn’t any gas anywhere to be had.  She said that if they don’t have any services in a couple of days when their food runs out they will see if they can get up to St. Louis where her daughter lives.  But she said that it is just devastated there. She can’t even imagine or fathom what it must be like in Galveston as they are actually 100 miles north! We just ask that everyone would lift them in your prayers. Thanks!