Friday, September 30, 2011

I Will Not Let My Backache Slow Us Down

Tuesday, July 27,2010

Around 8:30 Tuesday morning, we finally left camp for the day. Our first stop was the Calumet waterworks city park. No one was around and we had a mile of Lake Superior beach before us.

Dino could romp and play in the water. He wasn’t used to such serious waves and the first one kind of freaked him out, but after that he thought it was great. He had such a good time.

Our next stops were the Lakeview Cemetery just west of Calumet, the spot in the road that was once the mining town of Cliff, the Phoenix Church, and Eagle River Falls. We drove by Jacob Falls, but we did stop at the Jampot which is just past the Falls. Remember this is the bakery owned and operated by an order of monks, and they make fantastic baked goods and jams. Bought some goodies that we just did not need, but it is vacation.

Eagle Harbor was next on the map. I saw a cute old school down a side street and directed Himey that way. Bonus, the old school was next to a park which had nice clean restrooms open to the public.

We had lunch at my favorite place, Essery Roadside Park. Dino actually laid down and stopped panting for a few minutes. You could tell my back was hurting because I didn’t climb all over the cool rocks being beaten by the Lake Superior waves. Plus, it was hot. 86 degrees at that point and humid.

We didn’t tour Copper Harbor or Fort Wilkins, but we did explore Manganese Falls. It is just a narrow creek, but runs through a really deep gorge. You definitely have to get off the trail here and explore to find the top of the falls where you can really see it.From the fence with its warning signs (“deep gorge – caution”), you can’t see a thing.

We headed further up the road in search of Estivant Pines. We got there and started up the trail, until we got to the sign which read that the loop was 1.2 miles. You know that my back had to be hurting at this point, as I gave in and asked Himey if we could turn around and go back to the Blazer.

Back at Copper Harbor, we naturally had to stop for ice cream. Himey even bought Dino a small dish of plain vanilla. Both my guys are so spoiled.

We took the Brockway Mountain Drive back to Eagle Harbor. Wow, what a beautiful drive, fantastic views of Lake Superior and all the surrounding forests when you get to the top. Though it was overcast, we could still see for what was forever.

Dino just loves the water
Essery Roadside Park

View from atop Brockway Mountain

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Camping, finally

Monday, July 26, 2010

I had had a migraine Saturday, my back went out on Sunday, and then I found my beloved Bam-Bam dead by the doghouse on Sunday afternoon. As we were getting ready Monday morning for our camping trip, I had a sudden premonition that those were all signs that we shouldn’t go, that something even worse would happen.

Then I remembered how much Lake Superior meant to me, how I swear its water runs right through my veins. If ever there were a place on this earth for me to feel at rest, it is Gitchee-Gumee.

As it turned out, we arrived at McLain State Park in Michigan’s UP by mid-afternoon and put the camper up without incident.

It was Dino’s first camping trip, but he again proved himself to be the Wonder Dog. He barked a few times until he got the lay of the land, but settled down as soon as he realized that this was his yard now.

Once our home away from home was set up, we headed back into town to buy the things we forgot, an extension cord and a fan. Himey was ready for the camping experience, but decided quickly that as long as we had electricity, we might as well have a fan. But we couldn’t get electricity until we got a long enough extension cord.

After dinner of hot dogs and mac-n-cheese, we took a walk around the campground. Of course, it is all beach along the Lake, so no dogs allowed. Dino didn’t feel bad about that though, instead he just pooped along the road next to someone else’s campsite. Good thing I had brought along the plastic bags.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Dreaming of my Dream Vacation

Summer Vacation 2010

I had wanted to go camping in the pop-up trailer for a very long time, and I finally convinced Himey to give it a try. He has been more than willing but I kept hesitating, just not picturing it happening and not wanting to get my hopes up. In the spring of 2010 when we started talking about where to go on vacation, the biggest stumbling block was the cost. No matter where we went, with the price of gas, hotels and meals, we would be looking at a thousand dollars for a week.

When I figured the cost of a camping trip to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, it came up at around $300. If we took the dog with, instead of boarding him out, that would save money too. So I started making plans.

I’d always wanted to stay at McLain State Park up past Houghton, and thought it would be friendly towards Himey as they have electricity at all the sites and hot showers. I’d stayed there a lot when I was a kid (which you know if you have been reading my blog from the beginning). Himey really liked the UP when we were there the year before and wanted to go back. It seemed as though it was all falling into place. I was finally going to get my dream vacation – camping in the UP. Or was I?

You’ll have to check back on Wednesday to see how it turned out. Also, this is the last back-log trip I will be writing about. The countdown is on - two more weeks and I am totally revamping my blog! Stay tuned.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

New Car, Old Car

Sometimes I wish I could live without a car. Take the subway to work, the train to the next town. We don’t have that kind of luxury in the Northwoods. Nope, pretty much everybody has to drive their car to get from point A to point B. And having a car isn’t always the convenience a person had hoped for.

My car had been making some noise, idling rough, even stalling at stop signs once in a while. I let it go for a long time, not wanting to know the answer – or the cost. Finally a couple months ago, I knew it was time to take it to the Mazda dealer out of town, because none of the local garages knew what was wrong with it.

“It is unsafe to drive,” was the initial appraisal. Perfect. Mechanics seem to say that a lot. I’d been driving the car with these same issues for two years, and now suddenly it was taken away. In its place, however, the garage was nice enough to give us a loaner. The last time a garage gave me a car as a loaner it was a fifteen year old Buick that smelled like wet dog.

Not this time. This garage gave us a brand-new model that smelled like fresh paint and plastic. I drove it for four days, while they diagnosed and treated my ten year old. It was fun driving the new car, but honestly, when I dropped it off, paid the bill (the exorbitant bill), walked around the corner of the building, and saw that old four-door friend, my heart missed a beat. There she was, loyal and familiar, with rust on one of the fenders growing like a cancer. But she was mine and I knew her well.

It's tempting to want the newest, the biggest, the best. But the Bible does warn us about temptation and that it really is not a good idea to give in to it. Live within your means and don't be coveting stuff.

At the right time, in the right season, new is ok, but for me, right now, the old is just fine.

“But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved. And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better.’”Luke 5:38-39 New King James Version (NKJV)

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Long Way Home

August 18, 2009

We left Hancock, Michigan, early this morning, heading for home. After a few stops (which were mentioned in Wednesday’s blog), we arrived a little past noon at the Porcupine Mountains State Park.

We hiked up the lookout tower at Summit Peak, but it was too overcast for much of a view. After lunch in the car, we drove to Presque Isle on the west side of the Park.

Ever since I was able to pick up a trail map at Summit Peak, I had been studying it, trying to determine if we could really do both sides of the river around the falls at Presque Isle. I pretty much memorized the small map with its several trails; good thing, too, because a couple different people we met on the trail had questions about it.

After a quick potty stop, we headed off along the trail. We crossed the swinging bridge and started off heading north on the East River Trail, which is reported to be 1.2 miles. I don’t quite know how they figure mileage on a trail like this. Are they accounting for the vertical climbs over stairways of irregular, but all natural roots? And then there is the mountain goat in me who, with camera in hand, can’t stay on the trail anyway, but has to hang over every cliff and clamber down every slope that might end with a photo-op.

The views on the east side, though more challenging to get to, were better than on the west. You were able to get right down to the river and because it was challenging, there were fewer people. At the end of the East Trail, you cross the Presque Isle River on the South Boundary Road and dive back into the woods on the West River Trail.

This trail had its trials also, namely one outrageous hill that I cannot believe they would expect anybody else to climb, except for crazies like me. And poor Himey who was just along for the ride.

I don’t know if I can adequately describe the falls – well, I know I can’t. But I wish there was a distinguishing feature about each that I could document to make picture-labeling easier. From south to north, they are named Nawadaha Falls, Manido Falls, Manabezho Falls and the one closest to the opening to Lake Superior is Unnamed Falls, according to the Gazetteer. And it isn’t even marked on the State Park map. It drops probably ten feet and is really interesting so I think it should have a name. Maybe I should write to the Michigan Parks Department about it, they could have a contest to pick the name.

It was all very spectacular. I really should come here more. We drive to Black River Harbor and its waterfalls at least every couple years. The Porkies is only like – I have no idea how much further up the road. As the crows flies, only ten miles. In a car, on a road, much further, but still not a crazy distance.

Oh, yes, and I took some 325 pictures on this entire three day trip to the UP. It makes it too easy to go nuts when you have a digital camera!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

More random exploring

August 18, 2009, Tuesday

We checked out of the Ramada Inn in Hancock, Michigan, at 8:15 this morning. While driving around earlier we had passed signs for Lake Shore Drive, so thought we would check it out this morning. The weather today is quite a change from yesterday. Monday the weather was so warm and sunny; today is overcast to the point of nearly drizzling. And cold too.

Along Lake Shore Drive, there is a charming little park, with an attached campground. On the park grounds there is this fantastic play area called chutes and ladders. Just like the old board game, you can climb up different ladders or stairways of various lengths, and then slide down a slide - a chute - of assorted sizes. It was awesome, too wet and damp to explore now, but some day we will have to come back, with a kid in tow to trial it.

I found yet another waterfall that I wanted to explore. Wyandotte Waterfalls is just adorable, but with the dry summer we have had, it was not really a waterfall at all, not even a trickle, more like a drip-drop. It is in a very cool setting though, all damp and mossy and full of rocks and fallen trees. It reminded me of something from the “Lord of the Rings”.

We took a chance on returning to Old Victoria, and there was no one else there except the volunteers. What a relief. The one gal we talked to said they offer a tour for five dollars a person, to hear all about who lived in what house and what their lifestyle was like. After having gone to a hundred, ok at least seven, other old restored villages and hearing the dialogue on them all, I didn’t need to hear it again. I just wanted to take pictures.

So we wandered around and I took lots of pictures. We still left a $5 donation in the box by the gate. The gal in the office had told us about some places to stop up the road, so we did that. We climbed to the top of the old tailings piles and had quite a view all the way to Lake Superior. We also found lots more rocks to take home.

I do feel guilty picking up rocks everywhere I go. Is it like stealing? And will these places ever run out of rocks? And the big question, what in the world makes rocks so fascinating? Himey, bless his heart, picked up this honking huge one just for me. He never fails to amaze me.

Chutes and Ladders play area in Houghton's RV Park.
Wyandotte Waterfalls
Old building at Old Victoria

Monday, September 19, 2011

Road to Happiness (I just heard that on a commercial. I am tired)

August 17, 2009, Monday

After we left the Jampot, in Michigan’s far northern UP, we stopped at the Eagle Harbor Lighthouse long enough for a picture. Then I wandered around Silver River Falls, scrambling down the narrow path along the river to get pictures of all the possible views of the series of falls.

Back in the car, we drove around the next bend in the road and we were there. The place that is heaven on my earth. I don’t know why, I don’t know what it is about that little roadside park, Esery Roadside Park to be exact, but I am in love with it. My memories of all the times I was there coming flooding back and I am a little kid again. Pat is there and the world is beautiful, there is no pain, no cancer and certainly no death. The rocks to crawl on, the endless sound of waves hitting the rocks, the views in every direction, every angle.

We ate tuna lunch packs, veggies, chips, an orange, and pineapple juice for lunch. I sat in the sun while Himey picked up. I could have stayed forever, but we had miles to go before we slept and I had more to show Himey.

By mid-afternoon, we were finally through Copper Harbor and to Fort Wilkins. We wandered around the old fort and Himey seemed to like it. He likes all that historic stuff. Well, I do too, but over the years I have probably overdosed on historic places in the United States. I still want to really do Washington, DC, and Williamsburg. But how long would that trip take, if I can’t do Keweenaw Peninsula in two days?

Where else did we stop that afternoon? The Copper Harbor cemetery which is an insanely rundown place, even though some gravesites are only a couple years old. Haven Falls which is right in the village of Lac La Belle. It is just a narrow little trickle of a falls, even in a wet year, and there is a cute rustic walking bridge, though Haven Creek is small enough to jump over.

As we continued down the road, I learned of one more waterfall that I wanted to see, just outside of Hubbell. The “Guide to 199 Michigan Waterfalls” gave directions that would have a person believe that the Hungarian Waterfalls is just out of town, a few hundred feet off the road. Even the Gazetteer makes it looks easy to find.

We found the Hungarian River, but it is in such a deep gorge and there was so much foliage that you could barely discern a river below. While I was exploring the road on the other side of the River, Himey ran into some people, natives of the area, who assured us we were on the right track. After ascending several cliffs to get up river, I had to succumb. The Hungarian River Falls were not willing to expose themselves that day.

Esery Roadside Park
Fort Wilkins
Haven Falls

Sunday, September 18, 2011

What's my marriage really like?

When I was vacuuming the living room couch last weekend, I once again got mad about all the crumbs under the cushions where my husband sits. Why does he always have to eat in here, I asked myself. Really?

This is what my dining room has looked like for the last few weeks. Do I expect him to eat at this table? I don’t think so. As I have been pushing to finish writing my memoir about my mission trip to Kenya, I have rather taken over an entire room. (I was sewing today and you should see what that room looks like!)

My poor husband. He patiently puts up with so much from me. He is an absolute saint, catering to all of my whims and supporting most of my schemes. (He is never too excited though when I bring home another cat.)

I searched for the perfect Bible passage, but honestly, most days around here are like an old episode of “I Love Lucy”. My husband even walks in the door calling “Luuu-ceee!” And being the faithful wife that I am, I answer “Ricky”. And then slowly, using only innocent white lies, confess my latest escapade. Quite lucky for me, my Ricky never raises his voice or even his finger to me. I am so blessed.

Lord, thank you for sending me the most patient man in the world. Help me to be a better wife to him, more understanding, more hard-working around the house, more patient myself. Grant us many, many more years together. Amen

(Our 14th wedding anniversary is in two weeks, I probably should have waited until then to post this, but this is what God sent me to write today. If I struggle in being obedient to my husband, I figure I should at least listen to Someone.)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Water, waterfalls, and a jar of jam

August 17, 2009

From our hotel under the lift bridge in Hancock, Michigan, we took Hwy 41 to 203, which snakes along Portage Lake to McLain State Park.

We spent a lot of time wandering the beach, walking around the many picnic areas and recreation areas, drove through the campground. I think I convinced Himey that we need to try camping here next year. They have running water, electricity and hot showers, for Pete’s sake. It’s just like being at home only with fantastic views of Lake Superior. They even have mini-cabins for rent if the camping thing is too traumatic.

After McLain our next stop was the Calumet Township Park. Again, it was right on Lake Superior, had a beautiful beach, some sand and some rocks to pick. I almost lost my sandals in the water when I had to go wading in to rinse off some rocks. Himey was waiting for me to fall in.

The weather is beautiful, a little warm inland in the sun, but on the Lake, there was a little breeze keeping it comfortable. Not a cloud in the sky.

After getting gas in Calumet, we next pulled over at Eagle River Falls. The falls is over an old abandoned dam and really pretty. This is one of the few places that I have a picture of from when I was a kid. That picture turned out really well, the water was higher than. The neat thing about the falls in Eagle River is that you can practically see it from your car; nice for people who can’t hike some rabbit path through the woods, but not a good thing for me, because I like to explore.

Jacobs Falls was twenty minutes later. Again, you can see it from your car, and I mean right from your car, because the falls is twenty feet from Hwy 26 and then the stream goes under the road. There really isn’t a good place to park right there, but just a hundred feet or so down the road there is a parking lot for Jampot, the gift shop of the monks of the Society of St. John. I don’t remember it being here before, but their newsletter says that they have been there for 25 years. I will have to study my notes from previous trips and see if I mention it at all. We naturally had to buy goodies from the monks.

The Lake Superior shoreline at McLain State Park
Eagle River Falls in lovely downtown Eagle River, Michigan
Jacob Falls, just down the road from the Jampot

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What else perks me up?

August 16, 2009, Sunday

If you read Monday’s blog, you remember I was a bit disappointed at the ghost town of Old Victoria, in Michigan’s UP. We didn’t stay long, but our next stop made up for it. The Rockland cemetery. Nothing perks me up quite like an old cemetery and the chance to grill Himey on his profession. I love it when he talks shop, telling me that he won’t allow this or that in his cemetery or that he would mow this or that over. Lots of old monuments.

We probably got back to Rockland at 1:00 and ate lunch in the car in the parking lot of the Rockland Museum. Had leftover chicken and fries from dinner last night, raw carrots and cauliflower, and potato chips. After we got done eating, we naturally had to go inside, mostly so I could wash my hands. So we had to look at the museum too, which was actually pretty nice, lots of little exhibits, impressive though for such a small town.

As we hit the road, I started pawing through the maps trying to plan my next move and decide if we would try to come back to Old Victoria on the way home, and how we could get there without totally retracing out steps. So we went all the way east to Keweenaw Bay instead of cutting straight up to Houghton. I don’t think I had ever been on that road, Hwy 38 to Baraga, so that was nice, except that the weather was still dreary and rainy off and on. Last we drove up along the water to the Ramada Inn, sitting on the canal next to the lift bridge.

Monday, September 12, 2011

When you don't get the blizzard you want

August 16, 2009, Sunday

The weather was not looking promising as we left home for vacation a little after eight this morning. I couldn't decide where to stop first or even which route to take to our destination Hancock in Michigan’s UP.

I finally made up my mind to go to Agate Falls. It is just off of Hwy 45, on Hwy 28, south of Bruce Crossing. You get to it on a trail from the Joseph E. Oravec roadside park. It is a cute little park, along the middle branch of the Ontonagon River.

From the park, you walk on a paved path, and then a boardwalk for maybe a quarter mile, under the highway and under an old railroad trestle to get there. The trestle is the coolest part. You can’t really get close to the falls; just view it from the observation platform at the end of the trail. But then we crawled up a rabbit path to the trestle, which is now a snowmobile trail. What a view from up there, would probably be even cooler though, if I wasn’t so terrified of heights.

A little ways up the road, Hwy 45 goes through the little village of Rockland. From there we took the Victoria Dam Road four miles to Old Victoria, a mining town from the 1800’s that is being restored. I have always wanted to go there, and didn’t think anything of it when there was a sign on the turn-off that said “Craft Fair Old Victoria today”. We easily found the little spot in the road known as Victoria. There were about four log cabins, a couple sheds, a few ruins, along with 12 or so venders with their canopy tents selling their homemade goods.

I would have been ok with it, because they had some cool homemade crafts and things, but you know how it is when you have your heart set on a cookie dough blizzard and you get a Reese’s pieces blizzard instead? It is just kind of made me sad.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

When Un-prayed Prayers are Answered

“My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Your anger can never make things right in God’s sight.” James 1:19-20

I was having a bad day at work. We were working short-handed. Again. The doctor I was working with was an hour behind and his patients were relishing taking it out on me. One woman in particular had an attitude that just plain made me mad! It wasn’t my fault that she had all these problems or that the doctor wasn’t running on time.

We carry our notebook computers with us from room to room and I usually keep my e-mail open on it. I had just gone in a room with the next patient when in the corner of my screen the little box popped up informing me that I had a new e-mail. The heading was "slow to anger". A co-worker sent daily Bible scriptures and I happened to receive this passage right at that moment.

I caught my breath and nearly fell off my chair. I was even tempted to say something to the patient I was with; I actually almost wanted to give him a hug and tell him how much he was loved. That probably was not a good idea. Instead I refocused and finished questioning him about his symptoms and getting his vital signs.

After I left the room and pulled the door shut behind me, I leaned against the wall for a moment. All my anger was gone, the tension in my body had ebbed away. I smiled.

God is always with us. He knows our every need every second of every day. He answers our prayers even when we don’t pray. When things are dark and we don’t know how we can get out of yet another mess, God is there. Sometimes He sends the perfect e-mail at the perfect time, but most of the time we don’t realize until much later what He has done for us. But never, ever think for a minute that He isn’t right there beside you.

Lord, God Heavenly Father, thank you for the little things and for the big things. Help us to remember that our anger will never make things better; that the best way out of any situation is to turn it over to You. You are with us. Amen.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Keweenaw County, Michigan, 2009

This time we are going to one of my favorite places in the world, and having been to Kenya and Peru and a lot of the United States, it seems hard to believe that I only have to drive three hours to get there, but it is true. I have been to Houghton/Hancock and the Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan’s UP many, many times, with both Mom and Dad as well as with Pat. There is this one wayside that is just engrained in my brain. Something about it just – it is magical. And there is Fort Wilkins and McLain State Park and some waterfalls and just plain Lake Superior alone would do it for me.

I cannot believe that in 12 years I have not brought Himey up here. Life just goes by too fast and we think we have to spend our downtime going somewhere new and far away. But like I said already, why not just drive 200 miles and be in a place where you know you will be happy, content, at peace with your soul. Sorry to be sappy but it is true. This is where my soul lies.

Ha, ha, with the purchase of my old new used laptop, in 2009, I wrote the remaining travel journal entries as they happened. Which means the next few weeks, until I am all up to speed in 2011, my blog entries are pretty much already written. And before you know it, I will be off to better and bigger things in this blog. Please stay tuned for lots of change.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Could I be the next Carol Ryrie Brink?

It seems like a long time since I wrote about our short vacation to Alma, Wisconsin, in 2009. So, I thought I should remind you where we were at before plowing in. My husband and I spent just a few days at the vacation home of one of his friends. It was a short peaceful trip with a wonderful view of the Mississippi River out the living room window.

July 28, 2009 – This morning we made the trip back to Pepin so we could go through the Laura Ingalls Wilder museum. They had some interesting stuff, and again I was afraid of getting sucked into the whole Laura thing. But I controlled myself, didn’t buy a thing.

Forty minutes later we were Laura’ed out, so we started for home. But as it turned out, another writer waited down the road.

Just in time for lunch, we discovered the Caddie Woodlawn Park. During the Civil War, Caroline Woodhouse, who was known as Caddie, was raised in this area of Wisconsin. Years later, her granddaughter, Carol Ryrie Brink was orphaned and came to live with her grandmother. Caddie told her all kinds of stories of life on the Wisconsin frontier. In the 1930’s Carol wrote a book, “Caddie Woodlawn” about her grandmother’s adventures.

On the property, was an old log cabin, along with the Woodhouse family home. Also, buried on the site in an unmarked grave was one of the Woodhouse children. Of course, it didn’t take long for my sexton husband to find what he was sure is the burial site. He walked across a little patch of different grass and a slight depression in the ground and knew someone was buried there. He tried to get me to coax me over it too, but I said that I believed him. Despite Himey’s gruesome observation, it was an interesting place.

Think anyone will every put a wayside park on the site of my childhood home? Someday I will have to tell you the story of the house where I grew up.

Monday, September 5, 2011

What does Labor Day mean to me?

I thought I would research the history of Labor Day and share that with you today. Unfortunately, my internet search showed some discrepancies. I formed my own opinions with that information and decided that I just did not want to go there on my blog. You really do not want to hear about my political beliefs.

So, to keep from starting a controversy, I will simply share what Labor Day means to me.

My dad worked there for 30 years, back when it was still Owens-Illinois. When I was a kid, that paper mill was the very life blood of my hometown. The parents of most of my friends worked there. The whole town, even five miles out into the country where I lived, smelled on warm summer days of sulfar thanks to that mill. For me, it wasn’t a bad smell, it was a smell that meant new clothes at Christmas and a bike on my birthday.

One time there was no supervisor available for a job Dad and his crew were doing. Management wanted Dad to be the supervisor just for that day. It wouldn’t mean any change of his duties or pay, it would be a token title. Dad still refused. He was there to work and not to supervise. That’s who my Dad was. A laborer.

(For more views of the paper mill, click on the "Creating My Blog" link above.)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

What are my Plans?

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 New International Version

September first, 2008, I made a plan. I got a five subject notebook and gave each of the five sections a subject. I dove into my plan, hoping it was a two-year plan but not quite sure at that point. By last year, I realized that it was a three-year plan and now – I don’t know what to call it. But I will not give up.

I started reading the Bible in earnest three years ago. I’ve seen books and programs for reading the Bible in one year or two years, but I am not much into someone else’s structure. I came up with my own, writing in my notebook what I read every night, passages that really said a lot to me, things that were going on in my life at the time that were relevant to what I was reading.

I think the good Lord made me who I am so that I could read the Bible in my own way in my own time. But three years? Really? I should be able to do better than that.

I came so close. I only have fourteen books left. What should I have done differently? Should I have skimmed through them to finish in three years? Stuck with one version of the Bible, instead of occasionally dragging out the four different versions that I have to compare them, to understand them better? Should I have not taken any nights off, reading when I was too tired to see the words clearly, just so I read every night?

Is God disappointed in my sorry attempt to read all of His Word? Is He disappointed in other things I do? Or don’t do?

Lord God, Heavenly Father, no plan that I could come up with will ever be as good as yours. Your ultimate plan was sending Your Son to be my Savior, to be everyone’s Savior. Help me to remember that as Your child, even when I do disappoint You, You will never stop loving me. And no matter how long it takes me to read the entire Bible, You will be happy with me every time I open it and see Your Word.

Friday, September 2, 2011

From a Mall to a Log Cabin

July 27, 2009, pm - Pottery Place Mall is one my favorite shopping places in the world. At one time it was where Red Wing Stoneware Company made all of its products, but once they moved to a new facility on the other end of town, a developer took over the huge old building and filled it with quaint shops and an entire floor of antiques for sale. I cannot drive through or even near Red Wing without stopping here. It is a shame, because there are lots of other things to see in this Minnesota city, but it seems I never get past this mall.

Once Himey dragged me out of there, we stopped at every historic marker and scenic overlook on the way back to Alma. Who knew there were so many places to pull over in such a short stretch of road? When we drove into Pepin one sign really grabbed me. The Laura Ingalls Wilder Birthplace Wayside. It was just a little cabin, a reproduction, but still quite cool. And I totally knew that we had to come back the next day to visit the museum.
The weird thing is that three days before, I had read an article in Guidepost magazine about a family who spent a two-month vacation visiting all the places Laura lived from Wisconsin to Minnesota to Iowa to Kansas. It would be a great trip. Something else for me to work on.