Monday, May 16, 2011

Seeing dear friends along the way....

One of the biggest blessings of our life has been friends - some who go back to high school days, through college, seminary, five pastorates, and four interims.  From the days when we could only keep in touch via snail-mail and usually just at Christmas, to this day and age when we are facebook friends with many and frequently in contact - its joyous!  And we have delighted in crossing paths with many during our travels, and especially since retirement.  This trip was no exception.  We'd never been to Indiana...but thought we should check with a couple of friends who might be in the area - one in Holland MI (only a two hour drive from Elkhart), one in Goshen IN (less than a fifteen minute drive from our RV plant.)  Wow - God is good!
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The Nelsons were seminary classmates of ours.  Mary Gray and I were best friends during our years as students at McCormick, while Tom and Jerry were close friends as well.  It was Jerry's delight to officiate at their wedding some years later....and the years simply melted away when we reunited at their home in Holland.  Best of all, it was during the Tulip Festival, so the flowers were spectacular.
Unfortunately, we did not take one single picture of our overnight visit with Mark and Deb Lindemood, who have been friends since our days in Marshall MO...we just have our memories, which we treasure.  I think we were so busy talking we forgot all about shooting pics!
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The trip home included a weekend stop in St. Louis to spend time with our surrogate grand-kids, Garrett and Shannon Worley, who are growing up into such lovely youngsters.  Garrett did his best to teach his Grumps some skill with "Angry Birds," or baseball on the Wii--guess who always won?  Shannon loves our Sparkie-doodle (as she calls her).  We loved being in their home and being a part of their family - no matter how many miles separate us.  Now we look forward to seeing them in the fall in the Ozarks for some camping time.
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We attended high school graduation for Kickapoo High School to see another "grandson" graduate - and he was  one of the speakers at the Commencement!  Spencer gets to be our grandson by virtue of the fact that we adopted his dad as one of our own when he started college at Missouri Valley College in 1972...and the relationship has remained strong for 39 years.  Next week it will be Jerry's honor to officiate at the wedding of Spencer's sister, Meredith, in Sequin TX...and our whole family will be present.  (Hooray for Carla coming next week!)  Another blessing of being in Wichita this past year was that Kansas was in Mike's territory for his business, and we were able to spend evenings with him several times as he traveled through. We will miss those evenings and those visits! Thank you all for being our friends - and for sharing this journey we call life with us. You are special!
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