It is a new year. Last year is now a memory. We will make new memories in these next 12 months.
Sondra and I got back from our whirlwind trip to Oklahoma this past Sunday evening. Patty Murcray was in Tennessee for Christmas with her son Teddy, and she would be flying in to OKC on Tuesday evening in preparation for us to meet her with the rest of her household goods and her car.
Here is a short summary of the past several days in our lives.
Sunday, December 27. Went to church and preached. Got a Ford F-150 pickup truck from Coronado Stone, then over to U-Haul to get a 6x12 enclosed trailer hitched up, then over to the Murcray's house in Beaumont (close to Riverside) to load up. Also got Patty's PT Cruiser to bring back. Went home to sleep.
Monday, December 28. Left town about 12 noon, after getting several errands finished before the trip. Drove the southern route (Interstate 10) to try to avoid storms and difficult weather. Tried to drive without stopping, but was forced to stop in Van Horn, Texas (near El Paso) due to a snow blizzard.
Tuesday, December 29. Slept from 6 am to 11 am in a hotel room. Got back on the road and drove all day. Then drove all night, stopping to rest every couple of hours.
Wednesday, December 30. Stopped at a rest area about midnight near the Texas/Oklahoma border to sleep briefly. Arrived in Shawnee at son Jason's house at 6 am. Rested for an hour, then drove over to Midwest City (near Oklahoma City) to meet Patty at her new house there. Helpers there unloaded it quickly, and we went to lunch with Patty. Then back to visit with Jason, Shelly and grandkids (Jace and Kylee). Slept and began to catch up on family time that evening.
Thursday, December 31. Went to see mom at her house early that morning. Then to Cracker Barrel for "brunch" with Sondra and Jason's family. Then back to Jason's to sleep some more. That evening we went over to Bill and Marti's for a little family get-together for New Year's Eve. Mom and Noel came over and we sat around, passing out and receiving Christmas gifts that were saved until we arrived there. Went back to Jason's around 8 pm. Sondra then made homemade doughnuts while Jason, Jace and I played a board game called Acquire. When the doughnuts were ready, we ate and snacked while waiting for midnight. We watched the fireworks that were displayed over the Firelake Casino across the highway from Jason's house when the New Year arrived!
Friday, January 1. Spent time with Jason's family in the morning. Left Shawnee about noon to drive to Big Spring, Texas, where our brother David is. There is a federal correctional center there. We arrived about 9 pm and checked into the La Quinta hotel where Bill and Marti, Noel and mom had rooms as well.
Saturday, January 2. Went to the prison early. Got in around 9 am. Met and talked and had a wonderful visit with David. I only stayed an hour (while the others stayed), wanting to get back on the road for home and the long drive ahead. We drove as far as Tucson that day, then stopped at a Comfort Inn after eating at the local Waffle House.
Sunday, January 3. Drove all day and arrived home about 5:30 pm. Had received a call that a lady who had helped start our church nine years ago had come back for a visit in town. I talked to her while driving and we set up a time to meet that night for dinner. At 7 pm we met with Betsy Walker and others at an Outback restaurant nearby. There is more to this story but I must be brief right now. More later.
Monday, January 4. Took the trailer back to U-Haul, took the truck back to Coronado and then picked up my Sebring at a friend's house near the church. Went home, played with grand-daughter Bailey and slept some more.
Today is Tuesday, January 5, 2010. I will go in at 8:30 am this morning for four days of training for a new job. While on my "road trip," I was called and given word that I have been hired by the Census Bureau. Today, I start and I am excited. Most of my ministry has been bi-vocational and I am content with that. It has kept me in touch with real people in real life to do real ministry in informal settings, all while pastoring a church and doing ministry in the formal church setting also.
Again, Happy New Year to you. Hope you had some good memories to end the 2009 year. Let's make some good memories for this new year 2010.