Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Highway Skyway

The desire to fly
is an idea handed down to us
by our ancestors who...
looked enviously on the birds
soaring freely through space...
on the infinite highway of the air.
~Wilbur Wright

To say that our lives have been crazy is putting it mildly. It has been some kind o' wild ride. And this has been the case since America's January 6 began on Guam, which would have still been a mainland's Midwest Monday, January 5.

The telephone conversation between my husband and his regional director went something like this.

RD: (about to hang up the phone following discussion) So did they call you yet to tell you?
DH: Did who call to tell me what?
RD: Global Missions. You have deputation.
DH: What?!
RD: Yes, you start January 27.
DH: You mean, 2016?
RD: No, I mean January 27, 2015.


Here's what had been penciled onto January before that taken-aback-Tuesday.

-- 8-10: Guam's third annual Preserving Christian Homes (a marriage retreat). Now you know why I've shared neither jot nor tittle from that event. Be patient, friends, for in due season I shall share if ye faint not.
-- 18: Fly to Saipan where we were to baptize Fabian and Sherwin that Sunday at the beach near the Hyatt following our monthly One Church service.
-- 20: Fly back home to Manila where we would be grounded indefinitely due to rapidly shrinking travel budget.

Instead, the following is a sky's eye glimpse of Kelley Highway since the proclamation, "Let thy fourth deputation begin!" Please fasten your seat belts and make certain your seat backs and tray tables are in their upright and locked position. 

-- 8-10: Guam's third annual PCH was conducted with a record attendance! John and Joanne Putnam from Wisconsin did a fabulous job as our featured speakers. Dave and I ministered as well-- he on "Redefine Your Destiny;" I on "Leave. Cleave. Weave."

-- 11: We inform our Guam family that we are leaving for our fourth deputation. We said no goodbyes, only, "See you next year!"

Chloe and Bayleigh spend a little time
with Dibble Paw and Maw
before we leave Guam.

-- 12: It's a gray day while we are at the beach with the Putnams. I pluck  a Stone of Testimony from the wet sand. After a bleach-water bath, it awaits me on the landing of the Guam apar-tel until our return next year.

-- 13: For $169 we ship to the mainland a 70-pound balikbayan box (20" x 20" x 20") containing warm weather clothes and other personal items, thus eliminating it as an additional piece of luggage we'd have to not only pay extra for but lug from Manila. The box was sent by boat and scheduled to arrive at Mother's in five (5) weeks. 
-- 14: After a couple from Guam agreed to fly to Saipan for us Sunday, January 18, to baptize Fabian and Sherwin, we return to Manila. Sadly, however, the couple was unable to go, so Fabian and Sherwin aren't yet baptized. . . .
-- 15: With plans to photograph each and every Christmas ornament after PCH 2015, we had left our Christmas tree up before heading to Guam on New Year's Eve. So, the first thing I did when I woke this morning was just that-- photograph each and every ornament. Several hours and hundreds of images later, everything was boxed up and back on the storage shelves. I plan to record the stories about our ornaments for our children and share them on Kelley Highway this Christmas.

-- 16: Knowing we'll have a monthly vehicle payment on this deputation (we sold Vanna White at the end of our last deputation), we head to Shoppesville in Greenhills. I inspect hundreds of handmade, hand painted Spanish-style fans before purchasing 500 pieces to sell on our travels. Sales of said fans (at $20 each) will help cover our vehicle payments.
-- 17-21: We prepare to leave the townhouse rental in the capable hands of sweet Annie, our Filipina daughter who house-sat for us the 224 days we were away from home in 2014 alone.

-- 22: With four (4) pieces of luggage for each of us, as United Premier Access 1K members, each piece was allowed to weigh 70 pounds. We expected to pay additionally for two (2) of those pieces. When we got to the ticket counter, not only were they not even weighed, neither were we charged for the additional balikbayan boxes. On the way to the gate, we smile at each other and say, "Sweet!"

We couldn't remember the last time we'd flown straight from Manila to the mainland without overnighting on O'ahu. Was it in 2012?

Total Travel Time:
28 hr 49 min

Welcome to travel near the International Dateline.

Thursday: DPT Manila, 10:55 p.m.
Friday: ARR Guam, 4:40 a.m.; DPT 7:15 a.m.
Thursday again: ARR Honolulu, 6:15 p.m.; DPT Honolulu, 7:55 p.m.
Friday again: ARR Houston, 7:28 a.m., DPT Houston, 11:43 a.m.; ARR St. Louis, 1:44 p.m.

-- 23: Because of the winter weather to which our bodies are no longer accustomed, overcoming jet lag required nearly 10 full days. We suffer with dehydration, flaky skin and dry eyes, scratchy throats and voices, and feeling as if we simply cannot get warm enough.

Mother got two sets of flannel pajamas out for me to borrow, but of course, I am in the throes of full-on menopause. Hello. Some nights I awaken to whoosh! Off with it all! Handsome's funny response to this? "Things are looking up!"

Mother's Oscar dela Renta

-- 24: Handsome has been perusing online reviews in preparation for purchasing our tow vehicle. He sets out to the Ford dealership, a place where they will see his handsome face for the next several days.

He drives a hard bargain. He'll walk in, and when he gets lined up with a salesperson, tells it to him straight. "You gotta understand something from the start," he begins. "This is how I do this. Don't give me the run around. Don't send in reinforcements. I know what I'm gonna pay and I'm not gonna pay a cent more. If you want to do business, then say so. If you mess around with me, I'll walk." Plain. Simple. Straightforward. He has no time for games. That's how he's always done it and it's worked well.

My man done good, real good, and we are the proud owners of our first monthly vehicle payment in nearly a decade Ford's 2015 Expedition Limited, with its Ecoboost engine, white with tan [vegan?] leather interior.

I will just say that they shore don't make vehicles like they used to.

And I will just add that I shore miss Vanna White.

-- 27: Our first deputation service is in New Haven, Missouri. Their little church, New Beginnings, is our newest Partner in Missions.

The sweet Sullivan family

-- 29: Our Inbound Orientation scheduled for today at headquarters was postponed due to the death of Missionary Jeff Norris in Brazil.

Prayers for sweet Ivana.

-- 30: We return the rental vehicle and take our Firstborn to lunch at a Thai restaurant. Stems, where Dana is a floral designer, has a new location, so she showed me around.


Valentine's Day
was just around the corner.

Jenny said that what Dana is holding
is the very first project she'd made
for Stems.

She said Dana made this display, too. Jenny kept saying, "Dana made this... Dana made that..."

She pointed out a photo of
the Baby's wedding bouquet below--
pink peonies, second from right,
bottom row.

Here's the 2011 bride with her bouquet.

Jenny, co-owner of Stems with her husband Joe, is the sweetest thing. She gave our Dana a chance. She saw potential in our daughter, inspiration and beauty, just begging to be created with Dana's hands... and with her heart.

I'll always love and appreciate Jenny for that.

Here she is after delivering Dana's bouquet on her 2013 wedding day.

The bride told her the flowers she wanted and the style of bouquet, and that she trusted Jenny implicitly to create the bouquet of her wedding day dreams.

It was Dana's wedding gift. That's the only time she cried on her wedding day, when she cast her eyes upon her beautiful wedding flowers.

It was positively stunning, packed with splendor beyond imagination. I couldn't believe me eyes. And it was perfectly Dana in every single way.

My girls in a tender moment.

I promise you,
photos don't even come close...

I'm serious.  Not even close...

OK. Back to the current... Jenny and her husband Joe love all the space their new location affords. Especially her swing, she told me!  Weeeeeeeeeee~

And the organization
that all that space affords
feeds her soul.

Thanks, Dana, for the Stems tour!

-- Two weeks of deputation, traveling in Missouri
-- 8: Oklahoma City, en route to Tucson to fetch the Li'l Dutchgirl. Oh, thank Heaven! The mercury rises on the thermostat.

Cacti forest

-- 10: The Li'l Dutchgirl goes into the shop for a check-up to prepare her for the road. She needs a new air conditioner. It's ordered from California.
-- 12: We're supposed to be in the Rocky Mountain District (Utah, Montana and Wyoming) for a week beginning Tuesday, the 17th, but that schedule is cancelled due to the RV repairs.
-- 15: We minister in Prescott Valley, Arizona, where the Praise Center family gifts us with funds sufficient to cover all the unexpected Li'l Dutchgirl repairs. The Lord our Provider does all things well.

Arizona sunset

-- 16:  The new air conditioner is installed and we pull away, but there are problems. Not only are the magnets on the RV brakes locking up and causing the tires to burn rubber, neither the lights nor the exhaust fan are working in the RV bathroom. It's back to the shop for the Li'l Dutchgirl and back to sleeping in a hotel for us. 
-- 18: Finally, all is well again after some tweaking and we're on our way to California, the new Expedition towing the Li'l Duthgirl.

-- 20: We will park the RV in the Modesto area. En route, it's mile after mile of peach and almond trees in full blossom, a marvelous sight to behold.

-- 21: We fellowship over dinner with friends at Tahoe Joe's~ Modesto.
-- 22: We minister in Ceres.

Yes, in February.

-- 23- March 1: We fly with United miles to Calgary, Alberta (Canada).

Flying over the Rocky Mountains

In these Canadian Plains we will rent a nice, roomy SUV for only $14/day with unlimited mileage and will be in eight (8!) services in seven (7!) days. The Lord our Provider does all things well.

En route to Medicine Hat, Alberta

Sunset on Calgary, Alberta, at our backs

And we made some great new friends and enjoyed some fabulous fellowship (and fillyship) in Canada! Though I came down with a cold, however, and scratchy throats still pester us both, Alberta offered us some atypically warm February weather, and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, wasn't horrible either-- only -42C! (Yes, that's a minus in front.)

Yorkton, Alberta

While in Saskatchewan, we were informed that our Inbound Orientation had been rescheduled for Thursday, March 5 in St. Louis.
-- 2: We changed our return flight to route us back to St. Louis this week. This afforded us the joy of seeing our granddog Archie Reagan and taking our children Justin and Dana out for a barbecue dinner fellowship.
-- 3: Handsome took care of the Canadian and US currency exchange, etc., and our box arrived, the one we shipped from Guam on the 13th day of January.

Mother prepared an early birthday dinner for us, my brother and his wife, and our niece and nephew. Since January 16 I had been fasting refined sugar until my March 9 birthday, so since Mother made a two-layer chocolate cake from scratch, well. . . . 
-- 4: Mother and I are flea marketing in Midway this morning.
-- 5: Our Inbound Orientation
-- 6: Handsome will fly back to California Friday while I stay a week with Mother. He will relocate the Li'l Dutchgirl elsewhere in Cali, then fly to Oregon for a week of deputation without me. We are already dreading this separation and miss each other terribly...

While Mother's left knee is replaced Friday, March 6, the Firstborn is modeling for a floral event to which Stems has been exclusively invited. I guess Jenny's adorning and attiring Dana in flowers from the crown of her head to the hem of her tulle-layered skirt. My camera and I are itching to be there! 

I must ask:

Are you tired yet?

Monday, March 2, 2015

Thrifty Finds for January

Whatever thrift is, it is not avarice.
Avarice is not generous;
and, after all,
it is the thrifty people who are generous.
~Lord Rosebery

Mother has a sweet little flea market walking distance (for me!) from her house. Here are the fun things I scored.

It has a little damage, but I appreciated the soft colors of this spare toilet tissue roll cover.

 A simple table runner

Another beautiful piece

A vintage ceramic Dutch clog

A vintage scoop

It will be perfect
for my powdered sugar canister.

Then, there was this doll's dress.


I spotted the dress before I noticed the doll wearing it. It's definitely from the '50s. The (nekked) doll went back to its booth owner and the dress went home with me. 

Washing and pressing was a delight.

Beautiful machine embroidery
in variegated shades
of pinks and aqua-green.

I will make a sweet little hanger for displaying it somewhere in the Inspiration Station.

This post has come to an end.

Said dolly's unders