Sunday, April 30, 2006

Vacations are so good for the soul, aren't they? We have had a perfectly marvelous week, driving from Wichita to Rogers AR, on to the Hot Springs area and ending up in Branson to celebrate Carla's 39th birthday. It was filled with beautiful days, great conversation, boat rides, dear old friends and family (that OLD refers to long-time, certainly not their age!) and seasoned with lots of good food and fellowship. Our trip began with an overnight visit with Jerry's Aunt Timmy and his cousin Betty in Rogers AR. It had been quite some time since we had been to Rogers, though we did get to see this family in KC at Christmas time. Its always good to be able to sit down with kinfolk. The sunset on Lake Oachita was a real treat - we joined Glenn and Louan Rogers at the lake house of Jim and Norma Webb for several days. It was a time of total relaxation with all the quality conversation one could ever ask for, time to read, nap, hike and celebrate our journey through this life together. Jerry is fishing with his almost-14 year old friend, Walter, on Lake Hamilton. Walter's dad was in high school in our first youth group in Hobart OK, so we go back quite a few years. The day we spent with Kelly and Walter was Carla's birthday, and Walter's grandfather was my attending physician at that big event. Walter even took us by boat to see Buena Vista on Lake Hamilton, the resort where we spent our honeymoon in 1963, as well as our 5th wedding anniversary--so it was a memorable boat ride (and Jerry and Walter didn't disturb any fish either!) We have never spent an overnight in Branson since its entry into the entertainment world, so this was a first for us. We joined Carla at a Lodge on the Strip for the occasion. Her "aunt and uncle", Mike and Phyllis Garrett, joined us for a celebratory dinner at Big Cedar Lodge - what a fantastic spot that is! It was a great way to observe her birthday, in a gorgeous setting with great food and very special family friends. Of course, we spent the next day at Silver Dollar City, our favorite spot ever - the World Fest was going on, which we had never attended. One of the entertainers was Kerry Christensen, world-class yodeler whom we have enjoyed on numerous occasions at the Wurstfest in New Braunfels - so that was a treat to hear him again. The Chinese acrobats were absolutely amazing and heart-stopping. Irish musicians and dancers took us back in our minds to our Irish trip in 2004. Don't miss dining at the Hard Luck Diner either - another experience with all the singing waiters and waitresses. And top off the evening with a good country & western show, and what more could you ask for? Its always good to get back home - so here we are. We hope all is well with you - we rejoice with the news that Enid OK FPC has called a new pastor - and we ask for your continued prayers for our Associate Pastor's wife, Carol, as she continues with her chemotherapy. Her first experience this past week was not a very good one. I'm going to go to Kansas City tomorrow afternoon, spend the night with Carla, and attend PEO with her on Tuesday. I was invited to dimit to her chapter, so I hope to be able to attend a few meetings with her while we are still in Wichita. Take care, and God bless each of you.
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