Many weeks later, I’m finally making the time to continue the Martin-Weber Chicago trip saga. Oh, dear memory, don’t fail me!
In the last post, I mentioned that our friends owed their limited mosquito population to the abundance of tree frogs inhabiting the lavish local forests. We were tempted to implement the same method in Houston. But a draught will do the trick too. Not much rain this year, so not many mosquitoes either. But of course it comes at a cost. Wildfires. Not in Houston so far, but widespread throughout Texas. God help those fighting the fires, and those who are in the path of the wind-driven inferno. And please send us rain.
After our late night catching up with Don and Becky, it was a lazy morning, and then a wonderful day of rest in their comfortable home. We did go out in the afternoon to meet a friend for the first time at Barnes & Noble, which was the perfect opportunity to pick up a few books for the kids too. They had already read through the pile of books they had brought from home.
In the evening, Becky had arranged for all of us to get together with the worship team from their church for an impromptu worship jam session. Deciding to walk to the church, we had to brave a field of weeds and wild grasses which reached up past my knees, and even higher on my girls! It was a real feat of bravery after the jam session when it was dark and the critters were more active! I carried Evangeline both directions. Chasing after baby frogs proved to be very entertaining for our 18 month old, Cosette. We love that she is as-0f-yet completely fearless of bugs and critters, a notion that goes against the very fiber of her parents’ being.
The evening started with pizza, and Don, the most devoted hot sauce aficionado I know, inspired me to drizzle some of his special sauce on my pizza slices. So good! I get tired of the simplicity of my girls’ taste when it comes to pizza. Uninspiring plain cheese pizza. But, drip some spicy sauciness on it, and it takes on a whole new life! Thank you, Don, for reminding me that sometimes, what you need in life is a bit more spice!
The kids ran off to play “peg-your-neighbor-with-a-light-weight-ball,” a game that is surprisingly addicting once you give it a try. I tore myself away from it to join the grown-ups on the stage, and while the kids continued to get along great with their new friends, Becky got us going on her guitar with old favorites we did back in our Illinois days. Don took his position on the drums, Jessica grabbed a mic, I was steered to a keyboard (the acoustic piano was a bit removed from the rest of the group), and the rest of the party jumped on other mics and a bass guitar. In no time, we were jamming like we’d been doing it for years. It was such a great way to get a bit closer to God and each other. This went on for some time and Jessica and I got to share a couple of our hymn arrangements as well, and when everyone felt that it was time to wrap it up, we had the opportunity to make a brief presentation about our mission work in France. Thank you Becky for your spontaneity – we really enjoyed that memorable evening.
Evangeline and Cosette hanging with new friends in the church pulpit!
Driving around in Southern Illinois, and even Eastern Missouri, something about the landscape, the hills, rolling waves of green trees and yellow fields, and a difference in architecture – with seemingly more personality, stronger, darker, older – all these things and more combined together to strike a familiar chord inside me. A comforting, nostalgic, stilling melody that whispered “home” to my soul. I hadn’t been sure anymore, but there was no doubt left: we are Northerners.
I’m not sure why I originally included Krispy Kreme in the title of this post, because I don’t think we had any doughnuts that day, but do I really need an excuse to mention utter perfection again?