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Joy in the Journey

October 30, 2013

by Linda Beerman
It has been one of those busy weeks, with a few little crazy things thrown in. Fall harvest, of course, keeps the days hopping and not much down time. Mealtimes are one of the few times to chat and catch up with family around the table. We had a foster son-in-law, John, pop in for an overnight visit this past week. His wife, Darla, lived with us in the '70's. He was on his way home to Brainerd from Kansas, where he does his ceramic tile work sometimes. It was good to see him again. I had to keep the coffee pot hot and brewing as he loves that stuff. Then on the weekend our foster son, Brice, came home and helped with hauling grain to the elevator. His help was appreciated, and of course he enjoys the extra money earned. Most of the time he resides in Canby where he goes to school.

We were scheduled to go to eastern Minnesota this weekend to celebrate our granddaughter, Jordana's, 5th birthday, and to watch a little dance recital that she and several of her sisters were in. But because the weather was so perfect for combining...and the fall work is getting late already...I did the road trip by myself this time. I took off early Sunday morning hoping to get to Winona in time to hear our son, Mark, preach. Ministering to a small congregation is his part time job, along with his full time maintenance job at Winona State University. I always feel it a privilege to be in the service when he gives the message.

As I was nearing the Winona exit, my cell phone rang. It was my daughter-in-law, Heather. After inquiring where I was in my journey, she asked if I could please "back up" and come to their home first. Of course that was no problem, so I turned around and went west instead of east. Just a few miles later I drove into their rural yard, to find that one of the little boys visiting them this past weekend had a little accident. He was playing with a dog toy, and accidentally threw it through one of the van's back windows! So that vehicle was out of commission for the day. To further complicate matters, my son had taken all the other transportation keys to church with him earlier.

I ended up taking some of the granddaughters in my car which is always an adventure. Little did I know that it would take a longer time than I expected. As we headed east AGAIN, I noticed the words on the dash said, " 0 miles for gas". What??? Are you kidding? I had been driving that close to empty on the interstate and did not notice? Good we turned around another time and headed for the Lewiston gas station. It is about five miles, and we made it just fine. Thank goodness! NOW we were finally ready to go to church.

As you might expect, we were late, but we did hear most of the sermon. That was a good thing as we needed to hear some "good news" for the morning! It was good to sit quietly and soak in the message and music after a hectic time getting there. Part of their fellowship is enjoying homemade goodies afterwards. They were delicious, but it is good I'm not there for that part every week. I would certainly gain weight that I don't need.

Dan and I enjoy taking our grandkids shopping for their birthdays, so off Jordana and I went for a couple hours before the dance recital was to start at 3:00. She was a hoot, looking over all kinds of fun things that would bring happiness to her little five year old world. In the dressing room she pretended to be some kind of fashion model, making every kind of movement and faces into the mirror. As we pushed the cart around, we heard screams coming from an unhappy little shopper. I told her I appreciated her good behavior, and that when her daddy was little, we would go home immediately if there was whining or screaming. And there would be no purchases before we left. A few minutes later we heard the screeching again. She looked up at me and said, " It is not me, grandma". I smiled and assured her that was a good thing!

The dance recital was held at a cousin's home. Eight young girl cousins enjoy dance lessons from a sixteen year old dance instructor that comes to the country for their lessons. She was so patient to not only teach the twirling, whirling, and gymnastic moves, but also helped them with costumes, make-up and hair styles. What a fun mentor and influence she is to these young ladies. All the while they are learning, but also having fun together.

We ended the afternoon with warm soup, salads, delicious bread and dip, and of course, Jordana's birthday cake and ice cream at her house. The house and yard were full of children and adults. The kids had lots of fun with a pinata and pinning the tail on a black cat. It was a grand birthday celebration, simple, but full of all the necessary things like good food, fun, and frolicking with family and friends. My only regret was that Dan had to stay home and work, while I enjoyed all of the fun. Jordana was promised that when it rains, grandpa will come for some fun and hugs too.

Pinning the tail on the black cat reminds me of our not too happy discovery at our house last week. I had smelled something around our garage for a few days, but couldn't find the source. It was getting stronger, but my searches always came up with nothing. About a week later, my mom walked past their van that sits in front of our garage. She almost passed out from the odor, and came in to ask for help. When Dan lifted up the hood, there was our missing black had met its demise from crawling under the van one too many times. I had looked all around to find the cause of the stench, but never thought to look inside there. Although we felt sad, we were thankful it wasn't baking in the summer heat all last week. Ooh...that would have been a real black cat horror!

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