Showing posts from March, 2024

If I Have a Free Morning, I Will Go

[Current location: St. Louis, MO] My last post mentioned a pit stop. Ta-da! Field of Dreams!  I love both the movie and the book it's based on and bleed red for my hometown Cardinals, so when I calculated that it only added about an hour to my drive from Davenport to Lisbon, it was a foregone conclusion that I'd swing (no pun intended) by. It was freezing - ok, 36°- so what you see below represents a grand total of maybe  20 minutes outdoors, including taking pictures of all the signage to read later.  You can tour the farmhouse...starting in April. The light stands in the distance illuminate the MLB field behind the one used in the movie.  I ran the bases! And by ran I mean walked.  On the whole, underwhelming. There's not that much to see, the only bathroom is a Porta-Potty, and the gift shop is mostly apparel. I considered visiting the If You Build It Experience in town (Dyersville), but it was also closed for the season. Nevertheless, 'twas a necessary pilgrimage

Who drives 1,500 miles through Iowa?

Me? Including the Mission Central leg, last week's loop - that included Illinois too - meant sleeping in six different beds in seven nights and SO. MUCH. DRIVING. Crazy? Maybe. Here's what the view from the passenger seat looked like, though.  From Mapleton, my mom and I headed 90 min. to Jefferson, where we stayed with the Robsons in Al's grandparents' farmhouse. There was frost  on my windshield as we headed to Trinity in the morning. I shared off-the-cuff with the LWML ladies, attended worship at 9:30, then formally presented during the "Lutheran 1/2 Hour" of fellowship.  Pastor Martens had waaaaay too much fun with the sign. A very kind couple snuck out in the middle of my presentation to get us Subway sandwiches so we could vamoose as soon as I was done and eat on the Ottumwa for my sister's 2nd bridal shower (Something Blue Before "I Do"), hosted by her fiancée Christian's family.  The three of us shared a hotel room in Ottu

My Cheering Section

[Current location: Lisbon, IA] I brought one of my biggest fans, my mom, with me to Mission Central. We drove 3 1/2 hours to Kansas City, MO, Friday and the remaining 4 1/2 hours Saturday morning.  To my great disappointment, Old Missionary Gary had other, more important obligations and couldn't be there; she'll have  to come back. Rev. Steve Schulz, however, rolled out the red carpet for us. My favorite anecdote from his brief history of the place was that Gary prayed for enough NOT NORMAL missionary supporters to fill a single file cabinet with donor records. They're currently debating where to put the twenty-ninth .  The tour (creation theater; Gary's "resurrection spot"; barn) and lunch, were, as per usual, stellar.  We had hot dish and JELL-O; I've never felt more Lutheran.  Rachel Krause , whom I'd met once before during a December 2021 conference , shared the day with me and presented first.  Then it was my turn to share what God is doing in LAC

It's Still Early

[Current location: Davenport, IA] Home service to-date has been an exercise in reminding myself it's a marathon, not a sprint. It's still early, and I can't burn myself out when I'm just getting started.  I barely got out of bed the Monday after the Busiest Weekend Ever  except to go have dinner with friends; Tuesday was wide open, so I surprised my Scrabble Club friends and had dinner with more friends.  Longtime member Sally showed me a Scrabble dictionary she and some of the other mainstays had donated to the Brentwood Library, our meeting place, in memory of a former member who's playing with Jesus now.  You'd think I'd be rested, but I woke up with a tinge of a sore throat and kind of wanting a nap on Wednesday. Instead, I led two chapel services and gave a Lenten dinner presentation.  Object lesson during chapel at Christ Community Lutheran School (Webster campus, where my sister teaches 3rd grade). Talking with some of the staff, I mentioned I'd b

Busiest. Weekend. EVER.

I had six lists in a note on my phone related to events that took place my first weekend in the US: Bachelorette Party: To Buy Bachelorette Party: To Do Bachelorette Party: To Bring Bridal Shower: To Buy Bridal Shower: To Do Bridal Shower: To Bring Hosting two parties in three days (planned largely from overseas) would be a lot in and of itself. That wasn't all, though. I also... spoke at my home congregation (5 "Ministry Minutes" + a Bible class presentation);  went to a trivia night; and  reunited with the August team I hosted in Jamaica for a game night.   Someone remind me whyyyyyy we had to spring forward an hour, too?!? Needless to say, hang on.  My sister, whose wedding is June 1, requested an escape room and a sleepover for her bachelorette party. I couldn't just leave it at that, though; I wanted there to be something  she didn't know about, so I gave the festivities a Western theme she didn't know about until we got to dinner (BBQ) Friday night.  On