For shame! Correspondence from me has been ultra-lite of late. Would a 12,193 mile road trip justify my dodging sending out updates these past months? Sure do hope that’ll suffice as it’s the only excuse I’ve got!
I do wish you could have been with me for those travels. Thankfully I had people with me for some of the long hauls – my brother Dan helping drive from Denver CO to Salem OR and then fellow missionary Lori from the Portland OR area back to Wisconsin. Other random blessings along the way:
- Safe travels with no issues worse than topping off oil, brake & power steering fluid
- Seeing 1st hand the living situations, ministries, / “heavies” trials etc. of friends
- Canning tomatoes, cooking out, kittens, cicada bugs, marching band, braces, goat cheese, and misc. memories galore with family in KS
- Meetings with interested friends and friends of friends
- Reconnecting with former PNG missionaries in KS, OR, IA, MN and PA
- Time with my sister, 3 of her 4 children, plus my 7 great nieces & nephews in OR
- Surviving NO cell service, NO internet, and NO Wal-Mart (within 70 miles) in the wilds of MT – while at the same time thankfully NOT having contact with any of the alleged abundance of bear, Siberian wolves and mountain lions
- Scads of opportunities to thrift shop for t-shirts & clothes to take back to the ladies in my PNG Bible Study group and for the different patients who will have to come to the Wewak town hospital
- Meeting grandbabies of longtime friends
- Reconnecting with home church folks in Sheboygan WI
- A free oil change mid-route, complements of Dan M. in Waukesha WI. Thanks, Dan!
- The loan of an “I-Pass” for all the Chicago – Indiana – Ohio – Pennsylvania tolls. Thank you Jill & Dennis!
- Lots of little “something for the road” gifts!
- Donated supplies & opportunities to restock to support my PNG Christmas tatting traditions
- Obtaining my Senior Citizens National Park pass – and getting to use it a few times!
- Day trips, scenic routes and some refreshing “stretch our legs / rest breaks” along the way – when not forced to less picturesque tracks due to sleet, snow, freezing rain, fog, Gov shutdowns, etc.
- Visiting the Current stationery store (CO) and being introduced to the “Bent ‘n’ Dent” (WI) and Goodwill outlet store (NC) with items at unbelievably good prices!
- GA pecans – or peKans if you prefer … enough to eat and to launch Christmas baking!
A rest stop on one of our long days of driving — Kootenai Falls, MT
It was SOOOOOOOOO good to arrive back home again a week and a half ago. Just in time for a local meeting at a supporting church – and more blessings. Since then I’ve been ……..
- Sorting thru / trying to organize the mountains of blessings brought back from the travels,
- Finding family favorite recipes and starting to stockpile goodies for Christmas – launched by baking the worst batch of banana bread I’ve ever made, setting off all smoke alarms in the house …
- Juggling fridge space for Thanksgiving food and the batches of cookie dough that need to chill before being rolled into balls for baking
- Trying to balance coping with the cold — layering clothing (5 layers today), heating the house, supplementing gas & electric with heat from the oven while baking – and it’s not even winter yet :-/
- Recovering from a probable self-inflicted bout of salmonella poisoning or ????
- Trying to comprehend details then juggle coffers to set up a HSA for anticipated changes in 2014
- Happily anticipating a visit from a friend from Oregon Dec 4-11 – and, weather permitting, taking in some local MO Ozark sites with her
- After Christmas I’ll be planning another trip to see folks in AZ, CA and FL. Details to follow – when I eventually have the courage to even think about traveling again …..
Until then – May each of you be as happily overwhelmed as I am, counting the bountiful blessings bestowed by our loving Heavenly Father! Prime on my blessings list is each of YOU who make it possible for me to be your representative to God’s people in Papua New Guinea. I am so grateful for your faithfulness in standing together with me by your prayers and other evidences of support during my home assignment time, too. It is so precious to get to be with family and friends during this interlude from the field, and the memories you’ve helped to make possible will be cherished for the coming 4-5 year term back in PNG. Thank you for being a part of my life and the work committed to our hands by our Savior and Lord.
Co-laboring with you for the King!