Monday, August 31, 2009

Relaxing Weekend

Saturday, I baked cinnamon rolls and served them with scrambled eggs and fresh strawberries for breakfast. Later in the morning, Kelli called. She was driving the kids to the cottage in Manistee for the last time before school starts in Michigan. They had their tennis rackets and board games packed due to the weather being too cold for water sports.

In the afternoon, Bill and I went to the Hornbeck ($1.50 movies) and watched, "My Sister's Keeper". The plot centered around a genetically engineered baby who was born to be a donor for her sister's leukemia. I was reminded of my brother's death from cancer, and I compared my family's reaction in contrast to the movie family who had no faith.

Bible Study Class continues to grow and become more and more interesting. Seventeen of the 20 members attended on Sunday. I have mentioned Pete in my blog before. He became a Christian 3 years ago when he was 60 years old. Yesterday, he shared that he had turned to God when he realized that he could repair jet engines at Tinker AFB, but no one could fix his 55 yr. old wife! Due to kidney failure, she was going to die. That was 3 years ago and Lorna is still with us. Pete shared that he had matured spiritually and had come to the point that he would serve God even if Lorna died. Soon after he made that decision, word came from the doctor that Lorna is in line for a transplant and to be ready at any moment. We were all reminded that God reveals Himself to us on His terms. We must be broken and humble. If being useful in this life depended on intelligence or physical strength, I would certainly be left out.

Last night, we enjoyed grilled chicken fajitas and cheesecake at Ian and Phyllis' home. Their beautiful log home sits on 245 acres of forested land. After dinner, Phyllis and I took a walk while Bill and Ian built a fire in a stone pit just a few yards from the veranda. While we sat and talked around the fire, the sun went down and we could see the moon and stars. Ian played his mandolin and sang a song he had just learned - "Mr. Bojangles". Our world is full of problems, but for that moment I could feel God wrap his peace all around me. It was so relaxing to be with Christian friends. Why wouldn't I want that for all of the people that I love?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Life Keeps Me from Gettting Into a Rut

I would probably be content to teach, go to the pool, cook dinner and then watch Wheel of Fortune (one of my favorite shows). However, life keeps throwing me curves. This week, Mom has decided to be independent. She reminds me of Selah (2 years old) who wants to do everything for herself but really can't. I decided to get advice from her doctor because I have seen other caretakers be overbearing and treat the ill like they are stupid children. While driving to the clinic, I was listening to Oasis radio. A man was asking, "Do you really believe that God loves you? Do you really believe that God wants what is good for you?" It was so relaxing to answer, "YES!" It is also nice to have my brothers Noel, Galen, and Roger to care and help me make decisions about Mom when I don't trust myself. God often speaks through them.

I just read Galen's blog. I realize that people who are generally very logical will sometimes turn their backs on logic when their hearts have been hardened. I have often wondered why some people are so receptive to the Spirit of God and others are not. I recently read that whether a heart is soft or hard depends on the material it is made of. If our hearts are made of wax, the sun will soften it. However, if we have allow the wax to be replaced by clay, the sun will harden it. I pray that my own heart will always be soft.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

More Serendipities

I dropped by my Mom's after class today. My cousin, Sharon, from Little Rock and her sister, Susan, from OKC were coming to visit. We lived in California together when we were small. It has been fun getting re-acquainted as adults! Sharon manages one of the LifeWay Bookstores and her husband is a pastor. We all chatted for a long time about how church music has changed - the pros and the cons.

I'm learning more than my students in my Reading/Composition class. I learned how Egyptians make mummies. I learned that the Arabic word for wax is "mum", thus the word mummy. I am planning to take my students to St. Gregory's museum to view a mummy next week.

I recently read Galen's blog. Yes!! God has taken the most mundane parts of my life and made it FUN! I really can't imagine living without the knowledge that God is my very best friend. Call me absolutely crazy ----I talk to Him about everything and He uses people and circumstance to talk back. Being a child of God really is FUN!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Who Am I?

Recently, some friends were admiring my china. I told them that I had been asked to play the organ for the high school chapels while teaching in Japan. There was a pipe organ in the senior high chapel, and an electric Allan organ in the junior high chapel. When I was given a money gift for my services, I was stunned. It was special, so I bought my china! Later, Bill asked me how I learned to play the organ. I related how my father had asked me to take lessons when I was 13 years old. The Lutheran Church had the best organ, so my teacher agreed to teach me there. I had a key, and walked there everyday after school to practice. When I moved away from San Diego, I never played the organ again until I was asked to play in Tokyo. I know that my Dad was smiling!

Why do I care about healthcare reform? While in St. Vincent (the poorest country in the Caribbean next to Haiti), I was hostess and assistant to several Touch Teams. I will never forget one time when the supply plane was late arriving. I was sent to the Kingstown hospital to beg for thermometers. I had to dodge chickens and dogs once inside. The head nurse informed me in her kindest Bristish accent that every nurse had their own equipment, and I would have to find out who was off duty. After obtaining my treasures, I drove quickly to the make-shift clinic. From there, I headed to the church where I had been assigned to the dental clinic. A door had been put across two chairs. The patients would lie there while having their rotten teeth removed. It was my job to register each person and draw a circle around the teeth on my chart that were causing pain. Another time, while driving past the hospital, I saw a young mother holding a new born. She was waiting for the open-air bus to drive her home. I bundled the two into my car and drove them up the mountainside. The mother cried, thanked me and asked me to name her baby. I like Irish names, so I named him Sean.

While in Kenya, Bill and I taught at an international school where many missionaries sent their children. The majority were there on medical mission. Several of my students had fathers and mothers who flew small planes into the bush. Several of the parents worked for Doctors Without Borders, and one of my little boys had lived on the Mercy Ship. On one occasion, high school students were excused from school to help at the orphanage for aides children. There had been a breakout of chicken pox. The workers couldn't handle it, and babies were going to die. Christians responded immediately.

Yes, I have experienced sub-standard healthcare, but I know that I haven't suffered like other people. I also know that most Americans will never see or do the things I have in my life-time. Their world view is limited by what they know and the books they choose to read. I was telling my mother, just yesterday, that I can't believe what God has allowed me to do. I've enjoyed five-star hotels, and I've cried with the destitute. God loves the rich and He loves the poor! I am truly humbled and am grateful that my children are letting God express Himself through their abilities.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sunday Events/Ramadan/Health Care

Sunday did not disappoint me! Some people were late for my Bible Study Class, but when everyone arrived we had 19 people. I passed out the assignments for the Supper Six Club and everyone was anxious to see who they would be dining with in September. We also decided to attend the first Tecumseh H.S. home football game because there are students playing who are related to our members. The last football game I attended was the Dallas Cowboys years ago. Our lesson concerned the choices that we make when God has a plan for our lives, and we don't agree. Several of us told personal stories of how we had struggled to follow God's plan. Several admitted that there were times when they had been very angry with God, but how He has proved Himself to be loving over the years.

David came to church with 3 of our other Asian students. David is tall and went to Sports High School in Beijing. After the service he told me how much FUN he had! He was blown away by the casualness of our service, and loved the music and the friendliness. He hugged me and said, "I'm coming back next week!"

Last evening, Fahhad called and talked to me and then to Bill. I felt so sorry for him! Ramadan started on Saturday. The Muslims can't eat, drink,smoke or take medication from sun up to sun down. Fahhad is trying to quit smoking, and has a bad cold. He was trying to make it until sundown. He wanted me to pray for him. Poor kid!

Everyone AGREES that there should be some healthcare reform. However, lawmakers should read the bills before they vote. We also know that numbers lie. Thousands of the uninsured are under the age of 28 and have chosen not to have healthcare. Several other thousands are illegal. If people will watch several channels to get their information, they will hear testimony from people from England, Germany and Canada who have had their lives saved because they had come to the USA for care. They would have died if they had no alternative to the rationed care in those countries. Republicans and Democrats alike are at fault when it comes to taking care of the American people. I have become disgusted with most politicians in Washington. Idealism and Reality don't match. Communism would work beautifully if people weren't so evil and greedy. Our nation is being split right down the middle, and people are having to decide who they are, and Who they believe in. When we try to please both sides, someone is going to be hurt.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


My Dad said, "When nice things happen that you didn't plan, God has given you a serendipity."

Yesterday, I had my own doctor's check-up. Dr. Smith wasn't happy with my blood pressure and said that I had worried alot over my mother. In fact, I had lost two pounds which was fine with me. He prescribed some meds and told me to relax. This morning, I made fresh blueberry pancakes and served them on the patio. I wanted to taste the Michigan maple syrup that we bought at a crafts fair while there in July. The birds sang and the chimes at City Hall played while we ate.

This afternoon we took a drive to Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City. We ate a late lunch at Mama Roja's. It is a very classy restaurant overlooking the marina. We ate beef fajita and chicken enchiladas with rice and refried beans. Everyone gets hot tortillas with butter and sopapillas. I had a mixed feeling of being in California and Michigan. There was a lighthouse and a yacht harbour. However, I missed the smell of salt air, and the call of seagulls. After lunch we strolled the area and found the Lakeside Grill that has a huge balcony that overhangs the lake. The hostess was a pretty girl from Dallas who was more than happy to show us their menu. Next time, I would love to dine there and order some grilled shrimp and lobster.

Bill brought home a letter Friday afternoon which made me smile. We both are getting pay raises! In a time of recession, God just keeps smiling on us. As I said before, "I'm not making a living, I'm making a giving." I love giving gifts to others and can do it better when the money comes in! Thank you, God! You just keep proving your love!

Friday, August 21, 2009

It's Friday!

I have enjoyed my week! Since Mom returned to her apartment, we have been able to go to the pool after classes and swim for an hour. I feel like I have worked every muscle in my body. The nighttime temperatures are falling into the 60s now, so we have also been able to open the windows and turn off the AC. Our neighborhood is extremely quiet and safe thus far.

Yesterday, I took Mom to the doctor for a follow-up in the morning, and then taught in the afternoon. While standing in the hall talking, I felt someone come up behind me and begin messaging my neck and shoulders. Jason (Korean) had returned from his New York trip. He has just begun to study the Bible and has invited David (from Beijing) to join our class on Sunday. This is a "big deal" because as I mentioned in an earlier blog, David is not permitted to attend church in his province. He explained that he would be viewed as a "trouble maker". Both of his parents are corporate lawyers. Also, David is a fantastic acoustic guitarist who plays solos.

Today, I have to do some organizing. Due to the Bible Class expanding to 20 members, it is becoming necessary for me to think like I did when I taught a class of 25 first graders. I must divide them into 4 groups for discussion and then have a leader report to the whole. The church provides various pastries and a selection of coffee and tea that the members can enjoy during the class. We meet in the new fellowship hall which is very convenient.

Roger, my youngest brother, is excited! His church just merged with another church in California. Roger's new position is Church Administrator. Roger has always been bi-vocational and he knows how to manage money and people very well. (Evident by his 40 ft. sailboat.) His plan for the new church is to use everyone's abilities. People have volunteered to start groups for music, drama, video, crafts etc. Thirty groups are being established. The point ----true Christianity is not something you do on Sunday, it is a way of life. Christians do not "make a living", we "make a way for giving."

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Mom's Hospital Experience in Germany

As I read and flip between news channels to listen to the debate on healthcare reform in America, it seems that Americans "want their cake and eat it too". It seems that many Americans think that they can get a single pay system without any sacrifice.

My father pastored an English speaking international church near Stuttgart for 6 years. My parents were in the German healthcare system as well as maintaining their New York Life Health Insurance. During their last year, Mom had a burst appendicts which kept her in the German hospital for several weeks. There was a shortage of doctors which meant that the caregivers had very little time for each patient. They were always in a hurry. There were no TVs, and most patients were in wards, not rooms. One of my mother's friends brought a carton of ice cream to the hospital. There was no refrigerator available to the patients, so the remainder was given to the nurses. As soon as Mom regained her health, Dad headed back to the United States where he pastored until he died.

While in Tokyo, Japan, I had a colonoscopy at a local hospital. Like my parents, Bill and I were in the national healthcare system while maintaining our Stateside insurance. Upon arriving at the hospital I was put in a room with 7 other women who were there for various reasons. (The lady across from me was so serious that I kept watching her to see if she was still alive.) When I had to go to the toilet, I had to go down the hall while pulling my IV with me. After the procedure was finished, I was released to go home. I had planned to have a nurse call a taxi. (After all, I had ridden my bike to the doctor when I had the flu.) I was shocked when I was told to use a pay phone and call the taxi myself! I was still lightheaded and wanted to just sit down and cry. I started to pray-----and just then a taxi drove up to the door of the hospital with another patient! The driver said that he was free to take me to my apartment. Thank you, Lord! I am so thankful to be back in the United States where the culture is Christian and the patient is spoiled. Americans who have not traveled extensively have no idea what they are asking for!!!!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

School and HealthCare Reform

I am teaching only Asian students this session. Yesterday, the first unit in the reading textbook was about Johann Gutenburg and the first printing press. I have fond memories of visiting Meinz (sp?), Germany and going through the museum. There was a grinder on the street with his monkey which made us all laugh. I was also reminded of how important the Bible has been to the field of education. Only nations with Christian foundations have tolerated other forms of worship and beliefs. When visiting Beijing, only those of us with foreign passports were allowed to go to a Christian church. We actually had our passports checked at the door by local police. Our driver and tour guide wanted to attend, but had to wait. I felt so bad for them! We gave them our programs and our Bibles.

Everyone agrees that there needs to be HealthCare Reform. If insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and doctors would not be greedy, health costs would be affordable. We need laws to govern these costs in the same way we have laws to protect us from other crimes. We do not need the government to manage anything else. The US Govt. has shown that Republicans and Democrats alike cannot manage the Post Office, Social Security, and Medicare. Poor people have no reason to complain. There is already Sooner Care and Medicaid. It's the middle class that has to worry about greed.

Because I have a firm faith in the Bible and its prophecies, I believe that there is a very strong possiblity that Obama and his followers will pass many new and dangerous laws in Congress. Our citizens are refusing to read the warning signs and America will continue to lose its power and influence. Many people are not heeding the signs and marching toward the cliff because the "bridge has always been there." There will come a time when God will take His hand off of America because we are turning our backs on Him. You are either for God or against Him. I have seen many people my age breaking Satan's chains in just the last few months. Without God, we are left with a feeling of being tired and discouraged. Yet, we are restless and hunger for something better because the peace of God has not been allowed to fill the gap.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What a refreshing morning! Before preparing breakfast, I usually open the French doors in the kitchen to allow fresh air in. I knew that we wouldn't be eating on the patio this morning because a cool breeze was blowing and the sky was dark. I ran outside and put smushy bananas around my roses just before it began to pour!

Yesterday was testing day at SEI, so I stayed home and puttered. I realized that I was exhausted from taking care of Mom. I'm so glad that she's improving! In the evening, Bill took me to see, "Imagine That" which brings out the child in all of us. Pure fun! We stopped at Braum's after the movie for chili and a DP freeze.

This morning, I will get Mom's meds, check her mail and then teach my reading/writing class this afternoon. SEI is such a nice diversion! The students and teachers are like family because they send me notes when I can't be there, and I feel excited when I can teach again. Our new director has commented that he is in awe of the positive atmosphere that surrounds our faculty. Perhaps it's because we are all confidant and secure. I continue to ask God to give me wisdom, patience and creativity in my classes. He has never let me down!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Weekend Activities

Noel and Janice arrived on Friday evening. We chatted for a few hours and then they went to the La Quinta Hotel so that Mark could swim. Saturday, I spent the day filing my "paper mountain" and preparing for Mom's birthday dinner. She still has coughing spells, but is surprising us all with her comeback. She seemed relaxed and happy Saturday evening, and enjoyed just having family around her. After dinner, we watched a DVD together that Mom had ordered from "In Touch" Ministries. David Barton is an expert on the men who signed the Declaration of Independence. He shows pictures and documents their lives. I learned so much about how God and the Bible figured into the formative years of our nation. So much has been left out of history books!!! I now realize how my high school humanities teacher slanted his presentations. Perhaps he was just ignorant.

Sunday, Noel taught my mother's Bible Study class. He loves all of those senior ladies! However, when he finished, he had one of his heart spells, so Janice drove him home to Springfield. The doctors are baffled by his problems and are still trying to fix him. Noel isn't bitter and just keeps on "trucking".

I taught my Bible Study class. We had a young couple join. We average 15-16 now. The theme of the lesson was, "How to Know the Will of God". That provoked a lot of discussion. I am implementing a Supper Six Club which will begin in September. Six members will be assigned to get together for dinner etc. for the month. Then, I'll mix the groups.

It wasn't my turn to play the piano, but I was asked to do so at the last minute because Sue had to be with her husband who has just had surgery. I wished that I had taken my piano glasses, but I managed.

Sunday evening, I took hamburgers from Sonic to my Mother's. Bill joined us to play Mexican Dominoes later. Mom seemed happy to do something fun!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Kaleidoscope of Life

I took Mom to see Dr. Smith this afternoon. He happens to be my doctor as well, and we both feel so blessed! The pneumonia is improving, but she still has a bad case of bronchitis. While waiting for the chest x-ray, my cousin Terry who is a nurse at the clinic, saw me and chatted for a while.

Tonight, Noel is coming to Shawnee for Mom's birthday weekend. Janice and Mark are coming with him. I had to cancel Mom's party with her Bible Study Class. A few of the ladies came to visit her earlier in the week, and they brought me vegies from their gardens. The phone rang constantly and I was about ready to hire a receptionist. Smile! Mom is a popular lady!!!

I went to school yesterday for a few hours to put final grades on the reports for the session. The director told me that I would be furloughed for one month while several of our students were on vacation. Bill called me from school today and said that all had changed. I am needed to come in from 1-3 p.m. next session and teach reading and writing. SEI understands that I may need a substitute if Mom's health requires me to be with her. She's still extremely weak and unsteady. Thank God for her housekeeper, Joy, who came in today!

I've got to get busy and make some potatoe salad and jello salad to go with the smoked ham I bought for Mom's birthday dinner. We are having a small family dinner at my house. I hope she can enjoy it just a little. We can't help but wonder how long God is going to let us have her on this earth. She is so full of faith and peace.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

ER with Mom

Yesterday, Bill and I saw the movie, "StarTrek". We stopped by to give Mom some spaghetti that I had made. I found her coughing with a high temperature. Since she is a diabetic, I began to worry and went back to her apartment about 6 p.m. She was disoriented, so I drove her to ER. They brought her blood pressure down and monitored her heart. After some lab work, they discovered that she has pneumonia and filled her with antibiotics. She was thinking straight once again, so they released her to me. She is resting comfortably at my house now. I had to call people to help me with the Bible class and piano since it is Sunday. I also have a sub at school for the next few days. Sunday is Mom's 86th birthday, and I am planning a party for her on Saturday evening. It's touch and go at the moment. My family is very supportive.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Taking Time to Smell the Roses

I am really trying to pace myself this week. After school I will take time to get my hair cut. That is always relaxing! God has blessed me with natural waves, so it doesn't take much time to cut, shampoo and blow dry. Bill and I went swimming at the fitness center twice in the afternoon this week and plan to go back this afternoon. The pool is usually warm, but since the temps outside have been so hot, I noticed that the water felt cool. It was so refreshing! Lance, our trainer, seemed glad to see us back. He is training for a marathon in Okla. City.

I am enjoying teaching only in the mornings this session. I was able to take Mom shopping. It's fun to watch her. I also took some books to the post office for her. She enjoys buying books and DVDs for other people. I know that I've learned about generosity from her.

While at the Hampton Inn in Rolla, Mo., I filled out an evaluation because a huge mistake had been made on the breakfast planning. We talked to people in the lobby for 20 minutes while we waited for additional food, and there was no seating. This had never happened before and I usually give the hotel high marks in everything. We were surprised when we received a letter of apology and a 100% reimbursement on our hotel stay. We will continue to be Hilton Honors Members!!!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Catching Up

I'm still catching up after being away. Yesterday, I taught my grammar classes from 10-Noon. I get so excited when my students start understanding a new grammar concept. We were all clapping when the entire class got an "A" on their present participle quiz. Yeah! Now, it's easy to learn past, progressive etc. After school, I drove to the Social Security office to find out what I need to do to apply. I learned that I can do it on-line in December. Milestone! From there, I took the Corrolla to get new tags. (That car only has 36,000 miles and still drives like a dream.) When I returned home, I renewed some prescriptions and got an appointment for Tech Rescue to put a new router on our computers. Bill has signed another contract with Grand Canyon University to teach more music classes.

We had some surprise thunder storms yesterday. They are continuing today. The world is green and smells so fresh. I loved walking in the rain from my class to the car and feeling the warm drops on my face. God is such an awesome creator. He can even take lemons and turn them into lemonade!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Teaching Moment in My Classroom

I walked to the desk in my classroom and sat down. The students filed in and told me how glad they were to see me back from my vacation. The last young man was shaking all over and told me that he was "going to kill" the substitute if he ever saw him again. I could tell by his eyes that he meant it!!! I learned that he and other students had been reading comments that were going back and forth on FaceBook. It seems that the substitute teacher had no love for students from the Middle East and said so openly. After varifying that it was true, I proceeded to apologize for such people in the world. I told the class that it had come as a shock to me when I first realized that not everyone liked me. We all have to learn to deal with such people. It's not an easy task. I was reminded of the advice my father gave me. He said, "Forgive everyone, but remember that sometimes people are best loved from a distance." I also passed on some other advice I have been given. "The difference between childish people and mature people is knowing when to keep your mouth shut. Mature people Do Not always say what they are thinking if it would be damaging, and not constructive to a relationship." My students learned a ton of new English words! Now, things have settled down and we can learn when to use past participles in a sentence. I was pleased with their conjugation skills today.

Monday, August 3, 2009

I Need A Vacation

I've been home since Saturday evening, and I've worked so hard that I'm ready for another vacation. I taught my Bible Study class on Sunday, and taught grammar classes this morning from 10-noon. I've managed to buy groceries, do laundry, sort mail, answer emails, and buy tags for the new car. I still can't believe we have a new 2010 Camry. I like the tinted windows.

On the way to Michigan, we stopped at the MacDonalds on Kansas Expressway in Springfield and had lunch with Noel, Janice and Mark. I wanted to see Noel before he went into St. John's for his heart treatment. From there we traveled to Effingham, Illinois and spent the night at Hampton Inn. The next morning was Sunday, and we got through Chicago while the traffic was light. We arrived at Kelli's house near Grand Rapids in time for dinner. She grilled for us, and had a beautiful tray of Michigan fruit. After dinner, we played Apples to Apples with Kelli, Caleb and Hannah. Their home is 2,800 sq. ft. and absolutely gorgeous!

Monday afternoon we arrived at the cottage in Manistee. Bill's brother had flown in from Florida and was in a negative mood most of the week. I think it was because his wife, Sandy, stayed in Florida. We tried to cheer him up, but I soon reliazed that some people enjoy complaining.

Bill and I spent the first week going to concerts on the beach and at Interlochen Fine Arts Camp. We saw the movie, "Up" in 3D, ate at the famed Cherry Hut, and walked 2 miles on the Manistee boardwalk. We weeded the flower garden, raked leaves, chopped down reeds in the lake, and called the pest control for some carpenter ants we found on one of the lakefront windows. On Thursday, we invited the Ursoms for a Bar-B-Que because they watch the cottage in the winter. On Friday, Marlene and Roy Walters (neighbors on the other side) ask us to join them for their 50th Anniversary celebration. It was great to see their kids and grandkids that grew up with Keri, Kelli and Kirk in the summers. Hans went to California this year to visit Kirk!

The second week, we went to church at the United Methodist Church. The pastor welcomes us back every year. The music is great! We sang, "I'll Fly Away" and "When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder". We paid our respects at the cemetary and cleaned the stones. I love walking around cemetaries because there are so many stories. On Tuesday evening, Kelli arrived with Hannah and her friend, Claudia who is 13 years old. (Sweet girl!!) About an hour later Keri arrived with her husband, Kevin, Sofia (4 years) and Selah (2 years). I thought the cottage slept 6 people. Now I know that it sleeps 9! We spent most of our time on the deck. We made smores in the deck fireplace, and several went to the beach in spite of the cool weather. We took Sofia out in the canoe for the first time. She wasn't allowd to go until she was 4 years old. Both girls loved the tire swing and having the family give them lots of attention.

We left Michigan on Friday morning at 4:30 AM. We spent the night at Hampton Inn in Rolla, Missouri. (I talked to Noel and learned that all is not well yet although he is home. He is experiencing some double vision which may be a side effect of his new meds. He's planning to be well enough to come to Shawnee for Mom's birthday party. Noel never quits!!! ) We arrived home on Saturday evening in time for Bill to mow the grass while I unpacked and checked on my plants. There were lots of tomatoes, and my roses were blooming. Thank you, God, for watering them while I was away. God is So Good!!!