The last peonies still waft their fragrance and make me very happy.
We were there for Monday Night Dinner, and came back again Friday to enjoy the pool.
It happened to be National Donut Day. Some felt compelled to partake.
We also enjoyed a couple tandem rides, 14 and 18 miles, and always the destination is a restaurant. It seems we only allow ourselves to eat out if we've earned it!
We were glad to see farmers out in their fields finally after the long rainy season.
Gardening sessions began in earnest for me as well.
The focus of this blog is supposed to be memories surrounding my current writing project. I made some small progress on the chapter about the fiestas, holidays and celebrations in the new country--several religious and pagan festivals, and family events. The latest one was my parents' fourth wedding anniversary--the first in Argentina. They were twenty-five years-old. Mother baked a special cake and tried on her wedding dress again.
Our weekends are full, on a regular basis, such that processing the week and its memories takes me a few days into the next before I can publish the blog post.
This was certainly no exception. I don't know how we were able to fit in a visit to one of our town's favorite events--the Strawberry Festival. But we did, and were so happy to meet up with daughter, granddaughter and great granddaughter! And, of course, we had to savor the main feature, a strawberry shortcake!
Probably the biggest focus of the week was to prepare for the robotics team social, famously called the "Kochout," even though lately we've tried to avoid the grilling hassle by having a potato bar and ice cream bar where everyone brings the toppings.
Surprisingly, however, everyone spent most of the time indoors playing a variety of table games.
Sam's family left that day for a week's vacation in Florida. Looks like they are having a wonderful time.
A very meaningful photo appeared on Facebok of a reunion of old friends this week out in California.
Each one of these dear friends had a significant impact on us at different stages of our lives. They range in age from mid-seventy to ninety-two.
Victor (far left), was in Spain around the time I was there (1966-1967). Although we were on different teams, our paths crossed on different occasions. He worked in Gerona, Spain for many years.
Greg and Sally Livingstone, very early OM'ers who later founded another very far reaching mission, were influential in our initial courtship and marriage by their counsel and example. You can read a brief bio here and a brief account of his beginnings here. Their fascinating story is told in his memoir You've Got Libya.
Margit McRostie, was married to Jonathan, leader of the European headquarters for OM (Operation Mobilization. Michael was his assistant in those early days in 1965-66 helping set up conference facilities for the summer crusade in Belgium and for the year-long in England. This was before Jonathan and Margit were married. Interestingly both Jonathan and Mike had their eye on this cute little German girl! Jonathan won. They made a wonderful contribution to God's Kingdom throughout their life together until he passed away in 2011. In 1982 he suffered a serious accident which left him paralyzed physically but that did not lessen his evangelistic zeal and outreach. You can read George Verwer's Tribute.
Dale and Elaine Rhoton, were our leaders when we joined their team in Austria that smuggled Bibles and books into communist Europe. In fact we were engaged that first summer in Vienna. After we were married, we lived in Germany still working with the same group. On one occasion when Dale, our leader was coming through, we had just felt strongly compelled to pursue adoption for our second child, our first was by then two years old. He strongly encouraged us and told us the story of another admired leader on OM. That was the beginning of Leah's adoption process.
Later, when we joined the M/V Doulos with our three children, again Dale and Elaine were there. In fact I had a Spanish conversation class with their thirteen-year-old son.
I should mention also that Elaine's journey as an author inspires me. She wrote the stories of two of OM's ships, the Logos and the Doulos. They have been through several editions and translations.
To watch Dale speak go here.
Ray Lentzch, seated, just turned 92 on June 5. Perhaps that was the occasion for this memorable reunion. Ray's one dream was to preach the gospel in every nation. He tells of his adventures in 217 countries in his memoir His Last Command - My One Desire. He was also on the ship when we were there. He used to borrow our crockpot so he could have a meal after a day of street preaching. And every time he returned it with goodies for the kids. They looked forward to Uncle Ray's treats.
This one photo brings back memories that each deserve their own chapter.
Who are the heroes or mentors in your life?