Monday, September 26, 2011

Brynnlee, Church and Rodeo

Last Wednesday the grandbaby was born.  What a whirlwind of activity and joy.

On Thursday afternoon, I preached at the weekly homeless feeding at Fairmount Park in Riverside.  Our church has been involved and leading out in this ministry for many years.  Every Thursday, volunteers from our church cook and feed between 50 and 75 homeless who gather to hear a short message and eat a hot meal.  After I shared the devotional message, I sat down to relax during the feeding and was stung by a bee on my right hand!  Wow, it hurt.  My hand was swollen for three days.

This past Friday and Saturday, the ladies of the church attended an annual retreat (sponsored by our Inland Empire Southern Baptist Association) at the local Hilton Hotel in Ontario.  It was an overnight event, and the women had a great time both with fellowship and spiritual encouragement.  There were eleven from our church who went.

So on Friday evening, David and I went over to Shawn and Crystal's house for David to see little Brynnlee and have dinner.  It was fun seeing the baby again and spending time as we ate together.

The family of four (or five, if you include Boomer the dog)

Bailey being very watchful over Brynnlee

David and his grand-niece Brynnlee

On Sunday morning, the ladies who had attended the retreat came forward and shared their memories and experiences from the weekend.  It was moving and touching as several became emotional in their testimonies.  It was a special time of worship for us yesterday.  With limited time due to the testimonies, I shortened my sermon time and quickly talked of Jesus' words in John 17 about the glory he gives to us (his followers and disciples).  Our lives are like garbage until by his grace and our repentance, he forgives and cleans and redeems us to thereby give us his glory!

The ladies sang a song during the testimony time

Last night (Sunday evening), we had free tickets to the annual rodeo sponsored by the county sheriff's department.  It is always a fun event, and our church receives complimentary tickets.  There were quite a few of us from the church in attendance.  We ran over to Ontario, picked up granddaughter Bailey and headed to the rodeo.  David and Alden were with us in the car too.

Bailey enjoyed watching the cowgirls ride their horses

The bareback riding was exciting to watch

Bailey loved riding this pony
It was a good week!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Grandbaby On Time

Yesterday (Wednesday, September 21) was short on sleep.  September 21 was Crystal's due date for her baby to be born!

On Tuesday night, Pastor George Nelson was at our house.  He comes every Tuesday after leading the Celebrate Recovery meeting at our church, even though he is the Church Plant Pastor of the Vision Plus Church 2 in Chatsworth (in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles).  We had dinner and caught up on the news of the weeks and had a good time of fellowship.  He spent the night, sleeping on the couch.  We all went to bed around 11:30 pm.

My cell phone was charging in the living room.  Sondra accidentally left her cell phone in her puse in the kitchen.  Our landline phone is located in the dining room, but the landline phone in our bedroom does not work.  Of all nights, the new grandchild decides to be born...chuckle chuckle.  Shawn called our cell phones and house phone around 1:30 am Wednesday morning.  We didn't answer.  It woke George up.  He wasn't sure who to wake up, so he knocked on David's door.  David came down the hall and woke us up.  We jumped up, called Shawn and Crystal to find out that she was in labor and headed to Kaiser Hospital immediately.

By this time, the whole house was up and excited!  (Evan was still at work, as he works the night shift.)  Sondra and I jumped into our clothes and flew out the door to meet Shawn and Crystal (and Bailey) at the ER entrance.  We got there about 2 am, got Bailey and came back to the house to await further word.  With fitful sleep, we got another phone call to come back to the hospital about 7 am.  Bailey was still sleeping soundly, so Sondra went over to Kaiser by herself.

So, the baby was born September 21 at 8:35 am, weighed 6 lbs 13 oz and is 21 inches long.  Crystal and Shawn finalized the name after the baby was born.  They have named the little girl Brynnlee Pearl Marcum. 

Sondra came home quickly, so I could go to a couple of important appointments at the VA Loma Linda Hospital.  I ran over to my hospital, had a coumadin (blood thinning) blood draw completed, then went for an extensive MUGA test (don't know exactly what the initials stand for).  The doctors could not get a good reading several months ago with a regular sonogram of my heart, so they ordered this new test.  This test is to check on the percentage of heart funchion since my triple bypass surgery two years ago.

I was injected with a saline solution and had to wait for 15 minutes, then injected with an isotope solution (I was in the Nuclear Medicine department of the hospital) and waited another 20 minutes.  Finally, they took me back to the big scan machine, had me lie on my back for 25 minutes at a time while they did two separate scans.  One was from an oblique side angle, and the other was a straight-down shot of my heart and chest area.  It was uncomfortable to try to lay completely still with my hands above my head for almost an hour!  But, we got it done and I went home as fast as I could

We ate quickly, dressed Bailey and went back again to the hospital for Bailey to see her new little sister for the first time.  Sondra had bought Bailey a shirt to wear that proclaimed "Big Sister" on the front.  She (Bailey) got comments from everyone around her as we walked, rode the elevator and went to get food.  Bailey was talkative to all who would listen!

Evan was home from work at 6 am, had a few hours sleep and woke up to go with us.  He wanted to see his new niece as well.  Sondra and I stayed at the hospital until almost 8 pm.  I was extremely tired, happy and ready for sleep.

We were all excited and joyful about the birth.  The baby had a slight problem with a respiratory issue right after birth, but it was taken care of and the baby is fine.  The baby waited for us to return from our trip to England, so that was perfect too.  Crystal was anxious for the baby to come, as she was getting uncomfortable after the full nine months so she was happy the baby decided to arrive on time!  Shawn took the last several days off from work and was a very proud dad when little Brynlee came into the world.  It was a wonderful day!

                                                    Our newest little grandbaby, Brynnlee.

                                                   Shawn and Crystal with their two children, Bailey and Brynnlee.

                                                   Shawn holding Brynnlee and Bailey.

                                                   "Papa G" with new grand-daughter.

                                                   "Grandma G" with two grandchildren in hand.

                                                  Uncle Evan holding the new one.

                                                 "Big Sister" getting some quality time with mom and little baby sister.

                                                  Bailey is checking out how "tiny" this little baby is.

                                                   Bailey was proud of her shirt (and its meaning)!

Bailey is so cute to watch as she is very tender and loving to the new "little sister."  As she looked and touched Brynnlee, Bailey kept repeating the phrase, "She's so tiny," and then she would smile and giggle.  When Brynlee cried, Bailey looked at me with another big smile and said, "She likes to cry."  It was so precious as Bailey would kiss her little sister at various times.  She is such a proud "big sister!"

Monday, September 19, 2011

Catching Up

What a week.  I was quite tired and took some time this week to catch up on rest.  I also enjoyed catching up on the lives of those in my church family.  So much goes on in a couple of weeks.

Last Wednesday evening in our church Bible study, I taught a short lesson on the early church in Acts and its focus on fellowship and sharing.  We spent the majority of the hour that night talking about our lives and what God has been doing, as well as the difficulties and prayer needs that we all have.  It was an amazing time to hear what many had been going through, just in those few days we were gone to England.

The interesting question I had to answer from everyone was, "Well, how was the trip?"  That is such a hard question to answer, as there are many levels to consider in answering it.  It was hard to be concise about the impact of the trip for me and for those we ministered to overseas.  It is a long answer, if I am to be fair and accurate and honest.

I could answer  the question on the level of what we experienced in the sights and sounds and tastes of England.  There is also the level of the spiritual atmosphere and state of the churches that we attended.  There is the level of friendships made, and the various individuals and their different stories of faith and challenges of life through the years.  There is the level of personal growth and dependence on God in various situations that we faced.  There is the level of relationship with a wonderful couple (Ken and Beifei Edwards) in our church that we traveled with.  There is the level of spending a great amount of time on a trip of this magnitude with my wife, Sondra, because of the memories we will share.  You see, there are a great many levels of awareness that can be considered when asked the question, "How was the trip?"

But in a setting where a short answer is needed, I would respond with something simple and short.  "The trip was wonderful.  We had many opportunities for sharing and preaching and teaching and witnessing.  The people were so kind and gracious in their hospitality and friendship.  It seemed God used us to bless those we met, we were blessed ourselves in building new relationship for years to come, and we were again amazed at God's beauty of creation as we traveled through the countryside villages and towns."

Yesterday was Sunday, and I took the majority of the time for the sermon to show a few photos from our trip.  It was mainly to show the various individuals and families that we met that are being used by God in that area of the world.  I spoke of the call of the apostle Paul to go to Macedonia in the book of Acts.  The vision he had was from a man who beckoned him with the words, "Come and help!"  We are constantly bombarded with those in need around us!  We must always "come and help" when the Lord makes a way for us!  It seemed abundantly clear to me that there were some in England who had been waiting for us to "come and help" them with encouragement and words of challenge.

It was interesting that we had three visitors in our little church yesterday.  One specifically said, in talking with me and Sondra after the time of worship, "I have found my church!"  That was such a blessing to top everything off!  We are so blessed.

We are now waiting for our next grandbaby to be born!  Crystal's due date is this Wednesday.  You will hear about it as soon as the baby comes!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

England - Days Twelve and Thirteen

Here is my last recap of the England trip.

Day Twelve  -  Sunday, September 11.

Our last day was full of church activities, new places and new friends.  Every Sunday should be this wonderful and busy.

We left early to be at the Bethel Christian Assembly for the 10 am worship service.  Again, this was one of the churches in which Beifei learned about Christ and came to saving faith.  Pastor Simon was there, but he was technically still on holiday (vacation) and another assistant pastor gave the morning message.  The first part of the service was indeed different for me but very moving in worship.  After an opening hymn and prayer, the next 25 minutes was left open for anyone in the congregation to lead in prayer, to read or recite a passage of Scripture or to call us to sing a hymn by naming a song and its number in the hymnbook.  It was what I would consider a type of Quaker worship for those minutes of the service.  To be quite honest, it was very evident that these church members were well versed in the Bible and had spent much time with the Lord in prayer.  It touched me deeply.  It was a great blessing to worship at this church as we shared our time in England.

At this church, there was a couple who was very instrumental in maturing Beifei in her early Christian walk.  Ida was another Chinese lady who was deeply committed to the Lord.  Ida and her husband Shane were introduced to us, and they invited all of us over for lunch after church.  It was a special time of hearing their testimonies about how God had done some extraordinary and miraculous events in their lives.  It blessed us richly.

After lunch, we all drove to the river where Beifei had been baptized some years ago.  It was actually a fishing area which the church had used to baptize new believers.  It was a powerful and wonderful memory for Beifei to share with us as we looked at the waters.

Next we went by Peter Gates to see him one last time.  He was so instrumental in our trip to England, and we wanted one more chance to say how grateful we were for his kindness and generosity.  He is such a gentleman and so humble.  We gave him a "thank you" card and hugs.  What a unique individual for the Kingdom's sake!

The day was not over.  About 4 pm, we dropped by the home of Pastor Chris Webb.  Chris was another pastor who had been a member of the Guildford Park Church, where Beifei had attended as well.  Chris had been a kind of mentor in helping answer many of Beifei's questions about God and salvation and eternal life, and now he was Pastor of the Send Evangelical Church.  Chris' wife was not able to be at the evening worship service, and that is the reason we went to their home.  We met the family (they have four children under the age of 8 years old) and they were so sweet.  At 6 pm we were at the Send Evangelical Church to share our hearts and testimonies with that congregation.  ("Send" is the actual name of the little village close to Guildford.)  During the worship hour, Beifei related her personal testimony of salvation, and I was "interviewed" by the pastor and was asked to speak about my church (The Vision Plus Church here in Riverside) and its ministries and work.  I spoke briefly and talked about the many miracles God has accomplished along the way of our church life.  I reminded them that God is still the God of miracles and provision.  We look to Him continually for all our needs.  Many came to me afterwards with a word of thanks for my message.

This was our final night in England, so we went to a Fish and Chips diner around 8:30 pm.  We went back to our host home, packed and readied ourselves for departure early the next morning.  It was kind of sad, knowing that we would be leaving our new friends to go back home.  On the other hand, we were anxious to get home as well.

This trip reminded me once more that we can be God's instruments in so many far reaches of the world, if we will but be available and ready.

                                                      Beifei standing at the entrance of the Bethel Christian Assembly Church
                                                     Sondra, Beifei, and Galen having picture taken with Pastor Simon and his wife

                                                    Shane and Sue at the table for lunch on Sunday afternoon

                                                    The site where Beifei was baptized several years ago

                                                    Galen/Sondra, Ken/Beifei and Ida/Shane at the river site of the baptism

                                                    Beifei with Pastor Chris Webb's wife and baby

                                                   The church building of Send Evangelical Church

                                                    Ken and Beifei at the end of the service with Pastor Chris Webb

Day Thirteen  -  Monday, September 12.

We woke up in England for the last morning of our trip.  At 7 am, Asator came to pick us up.  We hugged our host couple and had that tinge of sadness because of the special bond that God had formed between us.

Ken, Sondra and I said "good-bye" to Beifei at the airport, as she was staying three more days and then flying back to China to spend time with her family.  Our trip seemed long, as the first leg of our flight was all the way from London to Vancouver, British Columbia, in Canada.  What a long flight!  Our last leg, though, was quite short as we flew from Vancouver to LAX.  Crystal picked us up and we were finally home!

That's it!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

England - Days Nine, Ten and Eleven

Continuing the account of our trip, on Days Nine, Ten and Eleven.

Day Nine  -  Thursday, September 8.

We woke up in Cheltenham and ate our English breakfast.  I was now just having two poached eggs, bacon and croissants with orange marmalade, with English tea of course.  We were now in the Cotswolds and wanted to experience much of the history of the area.  We left Cheltenham about 10 am.

Our first destination was a place named Lower Slaughter, specifically to see the St. Mary's' Church and the Old Mill.  Again, to be driving in England was quite an experience and was rather enjoyable.  It was both a challenge and a fun time of traveling.

After a few hours in Lower Slaughter, we drove over to Chipping Campden to see the Old Market and St. James' Church.  We walked through town seeing the shops and vendors.  We went up the steep hill to the church and it was another magnificent example of architecture and beauty.  The view from the hill was grand as well.

Ken and Beifei wanted to stay longer in Chipping Campden, while I was anxious to go a little further to see the town of Stratford-upon-Avon.  Stratford is the town where William Shakespeare was born.  It was getting a little late, but Sondra and I pressed on (without map) to Shakespeare's hometown.  We made it safely but arrived just at 5 pm.  The town shuts down at 5 pm - the shops close, the restaurants are through for the day, and the Shakespeare museum and house are not open past that hour either.  It was somewhat disappointing, but we made the best of it.  We found a pastry shop selling their last goods on the sidewalk at a reduced price, we caught a sandwich shop willing to make us a sandwich as their last sale of the day, and we took many pictures of the Shakespeare house and museum.  We drove further down the street and took some wonderful pictures of the River Avon.

We drove back to Chipping Campden and found Ken and Beifei easily as they were strolling the main street as we passed through town.  Arriving back in Cheltenham, we were hungry.  Sondra and I found out about a place called the Golden Mountain Chinese Restaurant a few blocks away, walked there and had some dinner.  The owner was a Christian man from Malaysia whose father was a pastor, and this owner played English Chrisian hymns through the restaurant speaker system.  It was a great way to end the day, talking with him about his family and his faith!

                                                     St. Mary's Church in Lower Slaughter

                                                     The Old Mill

                                                    Sondra with the stone Gargoyle at a local shop 

                                                    A common sight to see the sheep in the meadows

                                                     The King's Hotel in Chipping Campden

                                                    The old Market Place still standing from ancient times

                                                   St. James' Church in Chipping Campden

                                                    The birthplace home of William Shakespeare in Stratford-upon-Avon

                                                     The River Avon in Stratford

Day Ten  -  Friday, September 9.

After breakfast, we all got in the car and took off for the town of Cirencester.  The history of the area just continued to come alive as we walked the narrow streets and watched the people and looked at the old buildings and churches and businesses.  The cathedral in town was being renovated and a large canopy covering blocked the view of the main entrance.  I had to settle for a picture of the church from the back side.  Still and all, it was impressive.

My main objective this day was to find a good traditional fish and chips pub.  We had been so busy and had not taken time to find one yet.  After seeing some amazing places, we asked some locals about the best fish and chips place in town.  We were told to go to a place called The Crown.  We found it.  The tables were old and wooden.  The bag of cashews were delicious!  The fish was the best it could be!  The fries were big.  The Coke was cold!  Life was good.....ha ha!  It was just one of those satisfying meals that you hope for.  Anyway, it was fun.

Around 3 pm, we drove over to a small village named Bibury.  It is so relaxing and peaceful as you stroll by the rivers and streams and ducks and fish.  Beifei knew of a very old hotel in the village, built around 1633.  It was still elegant and a special place for the wealthy as they came to the town.  We went out to the back garden and had tea and biscuits (what they call cookies).  What a special time of seeing God's beauty in nature and enjoying a beautiful day.

We were back home in Cheltenham about 7 pm.  (We learned quickly that "home" is where your suitcase is!)  Trying to decide about dinner, Sondra and I ventured further into town and found a mall called the Brewery Mall.  All kinds of shops and restaurants and a movie theater were there.  We were acturally looking for a small place that served soups and bread, but had no luck.  We chose an Italian place called Prezzi and had Minestrone soup (delicious) and a ham pizza (very good as well).

                                                     The trees growing together to form an arch on the highways was common

                                                    Sondra in front of one of the many homes with thatched roof

                                                   The tower of the church rises high in Cirencester

                                                   The old Woolmarket entrance

                                                   Here is an example of one of the many narrow streets in the villages

                                                    The river runs silently and smoothly through Bibury

                                                     Galen and Sondra on the bridge with the homes in the background

                                                   The picturesque homes are on the narrow winding pathways

                                                   This magnificent hotel has been here since 1633

                                                    Ken and Beifei, Galen and Sondra enjoying tea time on the hotel grounds

Day Eleven  -  Saturday, September 10.

Our last day in the Cotsworld region began with a hearty breakfast, and then we were off to Stow-on-the-Wold.  This was a small town that was quite busy with tourists because it was the weekend.  It rained just a little.  The real story of this town was trying to find our way out of it, as we took some turns here and there to view the streets and homes.  At one point, I was driving and came upon a very narrow street (in the U.S., we might call it an alley) and decided to make it through.  We looked at both side mirrors much of the way down this street and it became one of our "adventures" along the trip.  We made the passage safely, but I was ready for a big road!

We made it back to Oxford to turn in the rental car about 1 pm.  We then backtracked to go home to Guildford - by train and by taxi.  At 6 pm, we were at our host home.  The man of the house (Robert) was to celebrate his 50th birthday that very evening and two of his adult children were to be in town to take him and Alison (his wife) to dinner. 

Sondra and I took a walk in the evening air to find a little eating place nearby.  None was open.  In God's providence, we met a couple coming our way on the sidewalk and I stopped them to ask about a restaurant.  They said the ones nearby were closed at this hour, and we began to walk together back towards our house.  During our walking and talking, I shared with them why we were there and the various churches we had attended so far.  They told us they were members of Emanuel and were at the same evening service last Sunday night.  By this time, we were enjoying a great time of fellowship in the Lord with them and they asked us to come by their home right then!

They lived two blocks from our host home and knew Robert and Alison Stevenson well!  What a divine appointment we enjoyed together.  Les and Jean (the names of this couple) took us in, fed us bacon sandwiches and dessert bars and lemonade, while Les and I talked about past years and famous pastors and churches.  Some of my favorite preachers of old (known and well-versed by Les also) are Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Dwight L. Moody, George Whitefield and others.  Les' father was a pastor and we had a wonderful evening of sharing, as my father was a pastor as well.  It was getting dark as we finally took leave and went home, rejoicing in such a delightful encounter that was unplanned!

                                                    Getting ready to pack the car to head out for Stow-on-the-Wold

                                                   Galen in the driver's seat with Ken as navigator

                                                   One of the many places of interest in Stow-on-the-Wold

                                                    The church towers can always be seen in the center of the towns

                                                   One of the many narrow streets we navigated through as we traveled
More to come!

Friday, September 16, 2011

England - Days Six, Seven and Eight

More of our experiences in the U.K. for Days Six, Seven and Eight.

Day Six  -  Monday, September 5.

We slept in just a bit and were ready by 10 am for a day at the University of Surrey.  This is where Beifei attended about 8 years ago.  She came from Beijing, China, to get her Master's degree in tourism marketing and management.  This was the place she was exposed to the gospel, and where she later came to faith in Jesus Christ and was baptized.  It was a bit of nostalgia for Beifei as she showed us (Ken, me and Sondra) the places where she lived and studied.  The grounds of the campus were gorgeous as well.

We then went to the Guildford Cathedral (Church of England) and ate lunch at the Refectory cafe.  The churches there all have a very elegant but somber feel.  The ceilings are extremely high and the painted windows are bright and rich with meaning.  The view of the city from the hill that the cathedral sat on was magnificent.

Back at our host home about 3:30 pm, we rested for several hours.  At 5:30 pm, we all had dinner with Paul and Hillary.  Paul is an elder in the Guildford Park Church, where I had preached the previous day.  He had asked me specifically to come to dinner so he could ask me some questions.  We discussed the issues of church growth and congregation involvement and reaching out to build the fellowship.  It was a special time of spending time together.  Hillary gave us a commemorative mug that had the picture of Will and Kate (Duke and Duchess).  Very nice!

At 8 pm we arrived at Paul and Fran's for the Monday night Bible study.  This couple has a mission heart to reach the many students at the university.  They have hosted over 700 students, allowing them to live in their home for the time of study.  They do not charge the students any rent, only asking them to contribute to the purchase of food for the meals!  They call their house church the Destiny Foursquare Church, "A Place to Give and Receive Love."  They are so faithful and loving.

Again, a late arrival back home that night.

                                                     Ken and Beife, Galen and Sondra at the entrance to the University

                                                     The Guildford Cathedral

                                                     Paul and Hillary in their home

                                                     Paul and Fran leading the Monday evening Bible study

Day Seven  -  Tuesday, September 6.

At 8 am Sondra and I were picked up by Asator, taken to pick up Ken and Beifei and then off to the train station.  We took the train from Guildford to Reading, transferred to rode from Reading to Oxford.  We hailed a cab to go to a B & B (The Falcon Bed and Breakfast) that Beifei had reserved for us.  We hopped a bus to the City Centre, walked around for awhile before eating lunch.  We spent some time at the famous Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology there in Oxford.  Some of the exhibits were awe-inspiring because of their antiquity and beauty.

Sondra and I then jumped on a double-decker City Tour Bus, going on a 45-minute guided tour of all the colleges of Oxford and the many historic buildings in the town.  One of the most important things we did was to go to the Oxford University Store for Sondra to buy a sweatshirt there!  She loved it.  We did some more walking and then headed back to our B&B, going to a nearby convenience store for ham slices, croissants, potato chips, Snickers and Orangina soda!  Sleep came easy that night.

                                                     Getting ready to get on the train to Oxford

                                                     Getting out of the cab at our B & B location

                                                     Arrival at The Falcon Bed and Breakfast place of lodging

                                                     Looking down through the streets of Oxford

                                                     Sondra and Beifei laughing with a man who recites the history of Oxford

                                                    The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology in Oxford

                                                     Galen was ready to sit on the upper deck of this Oxford City Tour Bus

                                                     One of the many historic sights in Oxford

                                                     Sondra getting ready to go buy her Oxford sweatshirt

Day Eight  -  Wednesday, September 7.

Breakfast was provided, and it was a full English breakfast!  An English breakfast usually consisted of eggs, bacon (more like large pieces of fried ham), croissants, orange marmalade, baked beans, cooked mushrooms and black pudding (pork blood and oatmeal combined and fried like a sausage patty).

Beifei had a rental car reserved at the local Avis agency in Oxford, so we went to pick it up.  The car was a nice-sized Peugeot (French-made) which was roomy and comfortable for us all.  I volunteered to drive, as I had driven over there in past years.  I just had to adjust my thinking to driving on the left side of the road, and I also had to contend with working a 5-speed stick shift with my left hand!  All in all, it was fun and exciting.  Ken had his iPad and was able to use it for navigation purposes.  What a blessing that was.

We drove to the famous Blenheim Palace, the home in which Prime Minister Winston Churchill grew up.  It was magnificent, and the grounds and many gardens were spectacular and lovely.  It was a walk back through history and elegant living.  We learned a great deal about Churchill's early days before he became such a powerful political figure during WWII.

We then drove to Cheltenham, where we would be staying for the next few days for sight-seeing in the historic Cotswold area of England west of London.  Our accomodations were at the Cheltenham Townhouse.  Again, a wonderful English breakfast was provided each morning.  Because of the lateness of the day, we ate quickly and then off to bed.  I did, however, take a bit of time to read from a mystery novel that was given to me earlier in the week by Fran.  During conversation, she learned that I like to read mystery and suspense novels as gave me a copy of "The Cat Who Robbed a Bank" to read in my spare time.  It was one of her collection of paperbacks in the "Cat Who..." series, in which a gentleman solves mysteries and murders by clues given by one of his two Siamese cats.  I read for a short while before growing tired and falling asleep.

                                                     The Blenheim Palace

                                                     Galen and Ken standing by the Peugeot rental car on Palace grounds

                                                     We stayed in the lower level rooms here at Cheltenham Townhouse

More to come!