Saturday, October 21, 2006

Little bit of heaven--Table Rock Lake in the fall!

Each day it seems we turn to one another and say "Isn't this just the greatest?" We are the ONLY camper on our side of the campground (that would be the boat dock side as opposed to the swimming beach side--when we started camping here there was ONLY the boat dock site...the other area opened up years later and we have never been able to try it out--we just gravitate right back to the same old place!) Its been cool at nights...sometimes downright cold...some lovely days..and delightful rainy days as well. Last weekend it was a joy to share the days with Mike & Karen Price and kids Meredith and Spencer. These friends are much more than that - they are a vital part of our entire family.

It all started when Mike came to Missouri Valley College as a freshman in the early 70's and showed up on our doorstep to introduce himself. From then on, he was part of our family--lived with us off and on during his college days, took care of our daughters on many an occasion, and the relationship has continued on for many years. Jerry and Carla were both a part of their wedding in Dallas...while they lived in Oklahoma City, they became a part of my parents' life...and 18 years ago this past week, Jerry was with them at the hospital in OC when Meredith was born. And Spencer is a true OU fan, which endears him to me! Their travels have put them in the homes of both of our daughters over the past few years...God is so good to put folks like that into our lives, isn't He?

Today we travel to Pella IA with Carla to honor another of our close friends - Hutch Bearce, who was killed last summer in Michigan near their summer home. Bearces were a part of our lives when we became back-door neighbors in Marshall MO. This photo of Hutch and Carla was taken a year ago at Apple Butter Days in Marshall - a tradition that we all began about 35 years ago. Hutch was very gifted - and his contributions to higher education are enormous--let alone his contributions to our life! Hutch & Gretchen left an ad for a used pop-up camper taped to our front door one day - which we bought and enjoyed for over ten years. Along with the Garretts, we traveled together to the British Isles-- hiking Hadrian's Wall, staying in B&Bs, poking Hutch & Jerry to stay awake during Evensong at Wesminster Abbey on our arrival evening--many many precious memories! Hutch's last visit with one of our family was last year, when he and Gretchen visited in Jo & Scott's home in San Antonio while they were attending the Dean's Conference there. We look forward to sharing these two days with his family and lots of friends who will gather to laugh and cry together, and give thanks to God for the gift of Hutch's life. Please remember Gretchen, David and Kate in your prayers.

We return to Cape Fair on Monday--the trees (which may not be as vibrant as they could be due to the drought) are still glorious to us, whose fall usually consists of mesquites that don't turn! We will enjoy a drive into northern Arkansas on Tuesday, to spend a day with Wichita friends (Harriet & Fred vanBebber). Pat arrives from Enid on Wednesday to camp with us, and we will do Silver Dollar City all day Thursday. The Worleys from St. Louis will join us on Friday - Jerry is looking forward to taking the children fishing and sharing Cape Fair with them -- provided the weather cooperates. Right now the old weather man is calling for rain next weekend (as well as this weekend here), but we can always hope he is wrong.

I hope you are enjoying the fall as much as we are!

Love, Mary & Jerry

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