Saturday, July 01, 2006

The "Texas BBQ with a Kansas Accent" for our church family at Eastminster was a great evening, made even more special by having both Jo and Carla join us. Folks turned out in huge numbers, consumed lots of great food, and were magnificently entertained by the Home Rangers (a Wichita group that includes an Eastminster family)--their music is called "moograss" which is a blend of bluegrass and country! Just for us, they played "Waltz Across Texas With You"! There are a number of displaced Texans in our congregation and we all enjoyed it. The girls arrived on Friday night to enjoy a family dinner at Abuelo's - a favorite dining spot and one that Jo does NOT have in San Antonio, so it was her request to go there. After dinner, Jerry joined Gary Thompson, our volunteer pork cooker, at the church to tend to the pork shoulders that were in the smoker (and that was only the first batch). Gary, wife Jan, and Jerry rubbed and smoked this batch, and Gary had a volunteer team in at 6:30 a.m. to continue the process. Those folks are worth their weight in gold, let me tell you! The fruits of their labors were consumed by a most appreciative church family. On Saturday we were able to take the girls and our friend Pat Mundy (of Enid) over to the Buford's ranch in the Flint Hills near Cassoday. It was a picture perfect day. We absorbed too much sun, played in the pristine swimming pool, took a boat ride all around the lake, and watched the wild mustangs who live on the ranch, and were exceptionally close that day. (Unlike yesterday, when Jerry and I went back to the ranch to spend the day and saw very few horses near enough to photograph!) We are grateful for their cooperation, however, for our daughters and friend on the 24th. We have spent so many wonderful days at the ranch during the last year that it was very important to us to get to share that special spot with Jo and Carla. Sunday morning worship gave Jerry an opportunity to introduce his daughters to the congregation. After church we all pitched in to get the table decorations on in both the gym and the fellowship hall. The tables were decorated with cowboy boots filled with bluebonnets or sunflowers, or bud vases bearing bluebonnets. I would like to thank Susie Hitchcock-Hall of Susie's South Forty in Midland (the best pecan toffee in the world -- check out the website!) for her help in providing bluebonnets (you know you can't buy those in Kansas!) and bandana ribbon for our use in the decorations and wrapping silverware. Thank God for daughters who helped clean up! It didn't take long to get the whole church whipped back into shape and all the decorations put away. The kitchen crew was incredible--all volunteers--and we think everyone had a marvelous time. It was a great way to wrap up our year with this church family. We are really in countdown time now. Moving boxes are filling the garage and now taking over the dining room. Vacation is just around the corner--and speaking of that, one of our favorite places to fish is the Taylor River outside of Gunnison. An older gentleman in our church is an artist, had us for dinner this past week, and gave Jerry one of his paintings of his favorite fishing spot, which just happened to be the Taylor River! Now its July - and the 16th will be Jerry's last Sunday in the pulpit, so 3 more Sundays. He is already moved out of his office as the staff gets it in order for the new pastor, Steve, to move in on the 17th...its the Changing of the Guard, and we pray for this congregation as they enter a new phase in their journey. Have a safe and sane 4th of July, and we cherish your friendship.
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