Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Last week I came across a post card from Valencia, Spain. When I looked on the back I was surprised to see my father's handwriting, for two reasons: it is a sample, a memory of something he was good at and can no longer enjoy; and it answers several questions I had.
Mother and I were going through stacks of photos. The ones of their trip to Europe had no dates and we were having trouble remembering even the year of their travels. Now I know the exact dates and some facts about their itinerary.
The difference in Dad's condition from then until now is sobering, especially as we face the reality of our own aging. Twenty one years ago this month Mother and Dad were traveling around Europe, eating and sleeping on the train, visiting people they knew or some of our old friends from years with Operation Mobilization.
I have a small knife that always reminds me of that time.
They carried it everywhere (that was before strict airport security) and often cut up and ate apples as they traveled.
They were strong and tough, on the go like a couple of young folks.
They were 67, only two years older than we are now.
One summer, over 40 years ago, I was in Valencia on a summer evangelistic team. Wow, God was really working in my life and those around me. The pastor of the church we were working with, Juan Llopis, was a man of prayer. He has since passed on. I heard he wrote a book titled Y todo esto es de Dios (And All This is of God). I would like to find it.
About Spain: through my DIL's blog (a fun read), I came across a blogger studying in Pamplona. A recent post "The Grand Spanish Tour" has some pretty cool pics, of course, he is working on a Ph.D. in architecture! One of the photos is of the interior of a famous landmark in Barcelona, and reminded me of my parents trip once again. It is an unfinished cathedral designed by the unique, one and only Gaudí, he died in 1926 before its completion and took the ideas with him. The four main spires rise high above any other building and can be seen from afar. The name is La Sagrada Familia, and here comes the funny anecdote. Dad and Mother were across the street and someone came up and asked if this was La Sagrada Familia. Their first response was to laugh, thinking the question was about them: "Are you the sacred family?"
If you check out these links and click on each of Gaudí's Major Works, you will be blown away; they are totally, way out-of-the-box and each one so different, even weird!
Now I'm beginning to miss Spain! I wonder if we will be able to travel there next year? The excuse would be for Mike to ride the Quebrantahuesos cycling event with Alberto, our Summer in the USA Basque student's father, (BTW, that name means Bone Breaker!) AND visit with the family. We wait and see if Mike can register and get in. There are far more, even hundreds, more applicants than openings. And, meanwhile, Mike stays in shape by riding or jogging nearly every day. Puts me to shame :(
Our more immediate travel plans are coming up next week, the annual fall Idaho hunting trip. The two brothers (and wives, I get to go this year!) join nephew and go after water-foul, tromping through the marsh lands wearing hip boots and camo. (BTW, do any of you blogger friends live between here and there--central Indiana and Pocatello, ID?)
Whoever wins my giveaway, one of Klaytivity's Unique Thrown Pottery pieces, will have to wait till I get back from my trip. You will be entered in the drawing by commenting five times between Week 39 and 44. Can you tell it's my first time by the fact that I keep changing the rules? First it was, leave a comment on every Project 365 from 39-43, to coincide with my second blogaversary. Then, I realized I would be away, and also that very few responded. (Do they not want one of Mike's artistic pots? Or, do so few read my blog?)
By broadening the criteria, hopefully more will jump in. (I'm open to ideas from more experienced bloggers and giveawayers!)