Sunday, September 24, 2017


Today, after 3 weeks of not attending a church service (because of our road trip vacation), it was wonderful to go to our worship service. So good to see my beloved church family, to hear a sermon with insights from God's word, to spend time focused on God, and to sing.

Our worship team led us in singing "I Will Rise" by Chris Tomlin. As we sang the chorus, "I will rise as he calls my name," I couldn't sing anymore for crying. I kept remembering the last days of my dad's life as I, my sister, and sister-in-law took turns at his bedside. We stayed at his side 24x7 because every time he woke up, he would immediately push aside the sheet and blankets and start to get up. We were afraid he would fall, he was so weak. Each time he woke and went to get up, we'd say, "Dad, where are you going?" and he'd say, "I'm getting up," as if what a dumb question to ask.

As I sang, "I will rise, as he calls my name," I would imagine Dad rising from his bed, and just keeping on rising, meeting God in the sky, being "caught the clouds to meet the Lord in the air." (1 Thessalonians 4:17) And the next line, that adds, "No more sorrow, no more pain," I would think of my mom joining him and all the rest of God's loved ones -- my brother, my Grandma, my father-in-law, my uncles and aunts, cousins, everyone who has gone on before. Yes.
Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Northwest Road Trip - September, 2017 - #10

After a great dinner at Judy's with her, Nancy, and Bob, we left the next morning for Crater Lake. This was the first night we did not have a hotel room reserved. We weren't sure whether we'd go to Crater Lake or not, with all the smoke from the fires. We did wonder about it, with all the smoke we saw on the way. You can see a couple photos I took from Eugene. However, it turned out that the lake was clear -- and beautiful.

Smoke in Eugene, OR
Crater Lake!
Selfie by the lake.
The lodges and buildings by the Lake were really pretty. All that wood and stone.

Wished we could stay in the lodge and enjoy this view from the veranda.

The blue of the water was beautiful.

The lake was bigger than I expected.
Randy was here when he was 10 years old and he said it was bigger than he remembered, too.

Randy got some good shots of birds that were flitting around.

Shadows on the edges.
A nice couple took our picture for us.

You can see a little bit of snow still out there!
On the way to the hotel in Medford, we stopped to look at the Rogue River. Beautiful, too, and Randy thought it'd be fun to come back and camp and fish someday.

The sun through the trees.

It was a FANTASTIC road trip!! To see all the photos, go to:

Friday, September 15, 2017

So clear, so real, so there

Does this just happen to me, or is it common for people who've lost someone? I woke up crying again this morning. In my dream there were other confusing things, where I woke up, walked through a hallway, and ended up coming out behind the pulpit of our church. The service had ended as I walked up so people were getting up and leaving. I saw a friend and asked how the service went with the new interim pastor and he said, "John has asked me not to talk." No idea who John is.

Then I went back into the room where I'd been sleeping and I was glad to see Mom and Dad sleeping there, too. Mom was just lying back down after writing in a little notebook. She laid the notebook down and said, "Hi, Ran," to Randy who was lying in a bed nearby, then she went back to bed. Dad was up and standing with his back to me, maybe fixing his bed or something. I thought how glad I was they were there and that I could tell Dad, "Hey, I had coffee with Karla, and tea with your sisters Betty, Marcia, and Sheila while I was in Lynden." But even during the dream, I realized I was dreaming and they weren't really there. So I started crying and woke up.

It's been quite while since I dreamed of them. I suppose it happened because of my visit to Lynden and thinking about them so much. Even though they make me sad, I love these dreams. I wonder if I'll stop having them or if they're part of the grieving process and they'll stop?

Mom and Dad were so clear, so real, so there.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Northwest Road Trip - September, 2017 - #9

Now we are in Portland. Our final night in Lynden we had delicious Mexican food provided by Heather, then we worked on a puzzle together.
I kind of hate puzzles. I contributed by doing a little sorting of pieces. And breaking into song with the rest when it was appropriate. Oh, and a few funny stories of Heather and her delightful interactions as a child with her brother James.
The drive to Portland was pretty short and uneventful. We met Judy and Nancy for drinks and snacks at a sports bar near to the hotel, then settled in for the night at the hotel.

This morning we went to Powell's City of Books downtown. Love that place. I could spend hours there, not to mention many dollars. I got out for just above $100, which isn't too bad for me, and then we had hamburgers and root beer floats at "Little Big Burgers" for lunch.

I had never heard of this.
This was a cover of a little booklet I didn't purchase. The quote was great!

Surrounded. Paradise.
Randy at Powells
Foodies in Portland. Root beer floats - they were made with Tillamook ice cream, so that's pretty cool.
After lunch we met Judy at The Grotto. Judy told us about it and it was so nice. It's a spiritual retreat that an order of Fathers, the Servite Fathers, built in honor of Mary the mother of Jesus.

The trees and foliage were beautiful.

We walked the stations of the cross. I like the Catholic church's use of statues and altars and so on.
They are like prayer starters.
This one is Jesus on the cross.
For Christ died for sins once and for all, a good man on behalf of sinners, in order to lead you to God. He was put to death physically, but made alive spiritually (1 Peter 3:18)
The Grotto
Jude and Randy
Going to the elevator to go to the higher level.

In the meditation chapel. What a view.
A replica of Michelangelo's pieta.
View from above of the chapel.

There were several altars from various countries, reflecting their nation's traditions.
My treasure from Powell's.