Vacation Recap, Part 4

Why, you may be wondering, would the first stop be Fulton, Mo.? Simple really. My wife has family there she hadn't seen in well over 25 years. But, now that I think about it, more explanation is in order. Let me back up a little.

The end point of our trip was Minneapolis, Minn. because we wanted to hear John Piper preach in his pulpit to his people. If you've read my blog much at all you know that Piper has ministered to us a great deal through his books, sermons and web site, desiringgod.org. We had vacation and going there was one thing we wanted to do. But how do you get there? Well, the direct route from Springfield is up to KC, catch I-35, and ride it on in to Minneapolis.

But we also had in mind that it wasn't necessary to take the direct route. If there was something interesting to see, we could stop and see. So we began to look for other sites between here and Minneapolis to enjoy. As it so happens, one of my co-workers is from Iowa and so I asked him if there was anything to see there. One thing he mentioned was the Field of Dreams movie site in Dyersville, Iowa. It's the farm where most of the action takes place, where the baseball diamond was built in the cornfield. It's still there and is open to the public. This, as you can imagine rose quickly to the top of my list. Also we heard about the Amana Colonies in Iowa. It's a cluster of small communities chock full of craft stores, gift shops and bed and breakfasts.

As we began to consider these places to visit, it was clear that heading northeast, instead of north and slightly west to KC, would be the way to go. It meant heading toward Jeff City and Fulton and on into Hannibal would be the way to catch the sites in Iowa we wanted to see. So Kathy contacted her cousin to see about a visit, which was arranged and we reserved a room in one of the Amana colonies for Thursday night and that was the plan.

As promised, pictures:

Westminster College in Fulton, the site of Winston Churchill's famous Berlin Wall speech.

A portion of the Berlin Wall now sits near the statue and the chapel.

Some ancestor(s) of Kathy's was/were involved in establishing the first Baptist church west of the Mississippi not located in St. Louis. Here is evidence of refurbishing of that building in Fulton.

We had never seen Hannibal so we wanted to stop and take a look. Here is a touristy shot of yours truly in front of Mark Twain's boyhood home and Tom Sawyer's famous fence.

After Hannibal, on to Iowa, a stay at a bed and breakfast and rest for my weary leg, completing the first day on the road.

(End Part 4)

Class and Sportsmanship

What would cause a high school football player with breakaway speed to pull up five yards short of a touchdown and take a knee after he'd outrun all the opposition? The answer has to do with sportsmanship and class in response to heart-breaking tragedy. You may have seen this story on your local news, but it's worth telling, or re-telling, as the case may be. Read about it here.


Vacation Recap, Part 3

See what happens when you don't gulp down your sausage biscuit? You go to the doctor!

We were able to get worked in, so we went on over. I told him about my hurt leg and the swelling and the fever and the lack of sleep and food. He asked about pain and I told him I didn't have any except soreness, like a cramp that happened the night before. After the exam, he surmised I injured myself somehow and that the fever was some viral thing that would work itself out.

So, I asked the $64,000 question - Could we go on the trip? He said we could, but that I should get out of the car every two hours and walk around because with my injury combined with a long car ride, I would be a risk of developing a blood clot in my leg, which wouldn't be good. But getting out the car every so often would be easy, so the trip was on!

As it was, I was feeling much better anyway. I think the juice Kathy brought me helped to perk me up and combined with the relief from seeing the doctor, I think we were pretty pumped to be on our way.

Next stop, Fulton, Mo!

Not counting all the in between stops, of course.

Pictures in Part 4!

(End Part 3)


Vacation Recap, Part 2

My complaint about the unfairness of my hurt leg occurring during vacation wasn't a prayer, at least, not in my mind. Yet almost immediately came an 'answer'.

What I understood was simple truth that I have known for a long while. My Heavenly Father knew all about my hurt leg - He wasn't surprised by it at all. It wasn't a matter of 'fairness' or my vacation. It was what my Father had allowed, therefore given, for this day and the heart of His child should accept rather than kick. So very soon my heart settled and gave up it's pity party and instead began to think more about depending on my Father Who knew all about my situation.

I rested the rest of Tuesday and Wednesday morning had another visit with the chiropractor. The leg seemed to be responding and I was grateful. That evening we had dessert with some friends at their house and then returned home. I felt a bit feverish that evening, but didn't think too much of it. I had been having some congestion and wrote it off as some allergy thing. We went to bed that night anticipating leaving for our trip on Thursday morning.

At about 2:30 or so that morning, I awoke. And I was awake. Now this is very frustrating because we were going to leave on a long car ride in just a few hours - I've got to get some sleep! I got out of bed and went to lay on the couch. I looked at TV and I tried to read, but sleep wouldn't come. Soon, my fever returned. Now I was starting to worry because I thought our trip might be in jeopardy and I didn't want that.

Between 2:30 and 6 am I may have dozed a total of half an hour. Kathy was up and I told her about it. She asked me if I was OK to drive and I said I was, I was wide awake. So we began prepping for our day. After I showered and shaved though, I was feeling a bit wobbly. As much as I didn't want to, I told Kathy about it. As we thought, we realized I hadn't eaten anything of substance since about 4:30 the day before and then we had the dessert. She said, "How about a sausage biscuit?" I agreed to that and she left to get breakfast while I rested.

When she got back, I was less than ravenous in going after the sausage biscuit, which is a very delicious item to my way of thinking. Kathy saw that and said, "I'm calling the doctor."

(End Part 2)

Resisting the Gray Twilight

One of my favorite blogs, What's Best Next, had this quote from Theodore Roosevelt:

"Far better to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory, not defeat."

I find myself in the "gray twilight" far more than I like.


Vacation Recap, Part 1

Earlier this month, my lovely bride and I took some vacation time and here, as promised, begins the terribly interesting recap. We had taken the 5 work days after Labor Day as vacation so, counting the weekends, we had 10 days off. The plan was to get some things done around the house and then take a four-day excursion north to see family, some attractions and end up in Minneapolis to attend Sunday morning services at John Piper's church before heading home.

On Labor Day I got up and puttered around the house a bit. A bit later, after my bride awoke and we discussed the day, I went for a walk. Before I was to the end of the street, I felt some kind of cramp or charleyhorse all down the back of my leg. It seemed to settle in my calf, which really tightened up. It was difficult to walk, but I tried to gut it out, hoping my leg would loosen up.

It didn't and I hobbled home. Back at the house, I told Kathy about it and it was clear that my calf was swelling. I must have hurt my leg some how, but I couldn't figure what I did to it. I tried to do some work out in the driveway, but both the project and my leg frustrated me. I got on the couch and put my leg up and that was some relief.

We ran some errands later, including getting a free chicken sandwich at Chik-Fil-A, but my leg was such a bother. After we got home we decided to check and see if we could get into our chiropractor on Tuesday morning. So, not much of our plans worked out on Monday and I was hoping that the chiropractor could help.

Tuesday morning I went to the doctor and received some treatment and I felt some better. It felt like we were on track and I would soon be over this ailment. But later that afternoon, as I lay in the bed resting, I was tempted to have a pity party and ask, "Why? Why did this have to happen? It's not fair! I'm supposed to be on vacation."

(End Part 1)


Obama At Work, Plus Global Warming

Barack Obama, Sophomore. Paul Mirengoff of Powerline explains.

The dog ate all the global warming homework.

Cash for Clunkers, Tyrant Version.

Benjamin Netanyahu for President. Now, please.

Let The Chips Fall

I stood in front of a vending machine at the office today and, perusing the small number of choices, focused my attention on a particular bag of chips and asked myself, "How bad could those be?"

This is probably a pathetic approach to snacking.


Oh, And Have I Mentioned the Cardinals?

The answer is, "No." I have been remiss in touting the accomplishments of my rooting interest in baseball, but they are knocking on the door of another Central Division title and appearance in the postseason. As I write, the magic number for clinching is 4 after the 'Birds polished off a second consecutive walk-off win against the Team That Shall Not Be Named.

St. Louis' fortunes have turned dramatically this year. Here's what I noted, but didn't print, in an email to myself on June 9:

Cards have been hanging on with no visible reason for having done so-
The hot start is probably why, but reality has set in-
No offense around Pujols-
No shut down bull pen-
Swept by the Rockies and have now fallen behind the Team That Shall Not Be Named in the loss column-
Barring some dramatic change, the Cards ’09 season is listing to port-

Well, as we know, the dramatic changes occurred and it's been Katie-bar-the-door since. The Cards acquired Mark De LaRosa, Julio Lugo, Matt Holliday and John Smoltz within a matter of weeks and haven't looked back. To illustrate, St. Louis is 35-16 since acquiring Holliday and that team in Chicago couldn't keep up. Aside from the roster changes, Ryan Franklin established himself as a closer, the other relievers settled in and the starters have been, overall, very good. When the Cards are humming on all cylinders, they are tough to beat.

Playoffs here we come!


Vacation Recap Coming

Well I have certainly been out of pocket of late. Events, planned and otherwise, conspired to thwart my good blogging intentions.

My bride and I had made our plans for our vacation, work around the house, a weekend trip and just general kicked-backedness. And, for the most part, it went just as we intended.

Except for the part that didn't.

Over the next few days, we'll have a recap of all that and, maybe, a lesson out of it. Should be fun.