Saturday, June 30, 2012

We Have Arrived

TnT - I've been forgetting to note these when I share them on PWOC Japan Region's FB page.  Today - James 5:8, 11...."be patient and strengthen (set fast, fix firmly) your heart" and remember the endurance of Job....the Lord was proven to be full of compassion and merciful. 

A prayer request....late afternoon the day before we were to leave to fly to the states....we received some results from tests which were done the week before. The tests warrant a third opinion and more tests...they'd like the second battery of tests to come from a stateside military hospital. DR in Misawa gave a hand-written referral and a note of what tests she wants runs and what the tests in the Japanese hospital showed. We cannot get into a clinic in CO or CA on the basis of THAT. She needs to have the Misawa Tri-care office enter a referral to the Tri-care Pacific office in Hawaii and they need to request he be seen by the Tri-care WEST office.....and this all needs to happen before we return to Japan.  Michael has emailed the DR in Misawa and the first shirt letting them know the procedure they need to follow...AND reminding them we cannot stay longer than our tickets without them changing them to medical TDY or he will be AWOL. If they don't get the paperwork through the process in time for an appointment in CA.....we're looking at more travel to the states shortly after returning to Japan. We'd really like to avoid this scenario. We appreciate your prayers.

Today we concluded our journey to CO. We are in Lakewood...about 1/2 a mile from the Fort Logan National Cemetery where Dad G will be buried on the 2nd of July. 

Roy commented if it weren't for the interstate and the oil this part of Wyoming would probably fold up.

I tend to agree. We arrived in Lakewood around 3:00 p.m. We checked into a comfortable hotel with free breakfast, a fitness room and pool.  105* - I love the sun. Love the heat. Love the thermal shock of going from AC to heat....though it probably causes cancer. ::snort:: 

Cathy, Rebecca and Mom G were gracious enough to meet us for dinner. Michael remembered a spot where we used to bring youth groups. When we got inside Krista remembered it.  Think Disney type lines and crowd control, meets Taco Bell food and Old Western Dinner Theater.....


There are mines, caves, lagoons.....all with tables and nooks for dining. We wondered HOW they keep up with the fire codes and health codes...but it was fun.

We haven't been here in 19 years. Well before Zander was born. We simply neglected to consider how his sensory issues would react to this spot. By the time we reached the end of the line he was in tears. Once we set down, he got some food, we explained the craziness....he began to really enjoy the spot. 

We came back to the hotel and swam.....and then.....guess who showed up? 

Eight of the Nine Gherkins in one spot! 

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Friday, June 29, 2012

Down the Highway

From Rodeo Queens to Waleeda at Walmart. From ID to WY. 

They LOVED us in Farr West, UT (actual name). We garnered lots of smiles and greetings...not a rude comment in the restaurant. 

We stopped in Rock real pretty.....not a lot to see as we drove...but Jared thought it was beautiful. ::grin:: 

The early stop is refreshing. The kids swam. We got all our laundry done. Michael and I went to the Walmart deli and brought home dinner to eat in the room. We replenished our snack supply for the rest of the trip. The girls are snuggled in our room watching Little House Episodes. Michael is working on some paperwork he needs for a referral.  We will arrive in Denver tomorrow night.  Josiah and Jamin hope to arrive late on the 30th and Bre will arrive on the 1st.  We'll have 4 days with all of us together. That will be heavenly. 

The heat has been wonderful. 

I am contemplating a trip to the hot tub. 

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Freakishly Enormous Family Goes Cross Country ::grin::

From glowin the dark yellow tennies on Olympic hopefuls to bling, cowboy hats and tiaras on rodeo queens....OR TO ID. Well - not a lot of earth-shattering news when you're driving cross country......

We had breakfast with Mom and Dad T in Springfield before hitting the road. Bre stayed in OR and will fly out later. 

The Gherkinmobile is back in service and has functioned well. We noted we made quite a splash in Pendleton....evidently they either 1. aren't use to large families or 2. aren't use to tourists from Alaska. Several stopped by to talk to us. 

Zander held the door for a lady whose son had blasted through the door and wasn't holding it for her or the grandma. I could NOT believe she walked through, looked at him and said in a loud voice to the other lady, "What an ENORMOUS family - you don't see that often any more," and started RUDELY laughing. I wanted to respond in kind, but smiled instead and then ignored her.  She continued to talk about big families....Zander commented she was very happy to see a large family. ::snort:: 

Stacia was 3 when we moved to Japan. Evidently this is not sufficient time to cement a child's cultural vocabulary. She took her coupon up to the clerk and explained, "I'd like one of those chocolate swirly things on a stick that they have over there, please. Either that or the ice cream between two pieces of cookie." ::snort::  They finally reached a suitable agreement and she said, "Arigato Gozaimasu." He said, "What?" She repeated. He stared. She said, "That means thank you very politely in Japanese where I'm from."  It was darling...and we added dilly bar and ice cream sandwich to her vocabulary. ::snort:: 

We continued through OR and on to ID. Arielle was driven to crunches by boredom somewhere near ID. 
 She did push-ups too, but the photo wasn't nearly as flattering. LOL 

We arrived near 7:30 p.m.  Beth had called ahead and booked us a great hotel, right off the highway with free breakfast AND a pool.....Holiday Inn EXPRESS.....way, way, WAY cheaper than the hotels in Springfield. YES. We got both rooms for less than 1 room last night.  Don, Beth, all their kids and spouse came to the hotel and we had a good time visiting. Fun way to end a long day. 

Tomorrow we press on to WY. We won't be going through MT on this trip. I didn't know you COULD go to CO without going through Hardin, but evidently you can. 

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Funny Sign

Because I've shared so many amusing sights from Japan, I simply must share this one from Oregon!

I've been told this is really a problem in Oregon. CRACKS me UP! Yes, men do urinate from time to time outside in Japan....but it's not a huge problem requiring a law....

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Road Trip!

Rebecca, one of Michael's sisters, got word, just before the funeral yesterday, her house had been burgled. Brought back memories. Mom G had been planning to drive up to OR with Rebecca and then  fly together to Denver.  Rebecca left yesterday and we extended our visit with Mom G by bringing her along on one of our infamous road trips. We did get separated and we don't have a cell phone which will work in the US in our car. ::snort::

The boy+mom van stopped and carried on a Gherkin tradition.

Dad G turned us all on to stopping at DQ in Cave Junction and Rice Hill nearer Eugene.

We finished our treats, drove over to the gas station and saw Bre, Stacia and Mom G pulling in. We chatted, made a plan and sent them on for treats while we headed to Avis to turn in the rental in Springfield.

Unfortunately.....someone heard conflicting instructions from two different people and our van wasn't in the parking lot.

I dove off with Bre to see about hotel accommodations and Michael and the kids began rolling our bags across the busy road to the hotels.

It turns out we landed here during the OLYMPIC TRACK TRY OUTS.....finally found two rooms and settled in. The girls brought dinner over.

Michael did a great job getting things together for me for the trip, but alas, did not think of a swim suit. So.....Jared and Krista took the kids to the pool and Bre and I headed to Target. Ah, Target. Pause a moment and consider.....NEW clothes....selection....I picked out a suit, a couple of shirts and resisted more shopping....maybe at the end of our trip. I NEEDED something besides the W.I.L.D. Animal Prints I had packed for my 10 day trip....which will now be at least a month long. LOL
Toothless smile of the day
We found Michael already asleep when we arrived back at the hotel. The kids and I stayed at the pool until 9:30 p.m. and now I'm trying to settle them down. Tomorrow we keep heading down the highway to Colorado.

I'm praying about this second part of our trip....we are headed to Fort Logan - in Denver- for Dad G's military service and burial....We had planned to stay with family in Colorado Springs - they live out past the Academy....Now we hear there are fires in Montana too.....we shall see what the morning brings. We may end up having to fly to Denver. 

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Visit with Granny Annie

We stopped at the Golden Gate national Cemetery on the way up to Cresent City and visited with my grandfather and grandmother for a few minutes.  It is hard to describe the wash of emotion in these settings.  I had never met G-pa Jack (Roy).  He died before I was born, but the legends of his life carried on years after his death.  G-ma Ann or Granny Annie, as she was known to the grand kids, was an integral part of my growing up years.  There were many occasions we would sit together and look out the picture windows and talk about old times and things. 

She told stories of growing up in Texas such as the day they came home from Church to discover a six foot rattlesnake spread out on the dining room table sunning itself.  She talk about her parents - her father, Nathaniel William, was 72 when she was born.  His wife was a good 30 years younger than he.  He was also a veteran of the civil war (the thought of a great grandfather having fought in a war that occurred 150 years ago still amazes me - how many can say that?) and nephew to Jefferson Davis.  She talked about life with G-pa Jack - by all accounts a rough kind of character known for working hard, fishing hard and, unfortunately, drinking hard.  Granny Annie got a call from town saying she better get in quick.  Jack had a shotgun to the back of some guy's head and was walking him up the middle of the street (she managed to diffuse the situation and keep Jack out of jail).  She talked about the flood of 1964 when the river, having been blocked by a log jam up the South Fork when the river was already well above flood stage, finally broke the dam loose sending a wall of water downstream.  The wall of water rose 3 feet up the picture windows we were looking through and subsiding seconds later taking with it 15 feet of property in front of the house as well as many homes, bridges, and roads up and down the river.  Our neighbor's house was suspended about halfway out over the river being held in place by the power lines (which were stretched tight, very tight - she showed me pictures of this).

I miss her practical approach to life.  I miss her smile and love for life.  I miss her strength in the midst of adversity (and a lot of adversity, too).  I miss our times of talking through old times.  I just miss her.  I did have the privilege of conducting her funeral, but it hardly seems like a fair trade.  There is coming a day, though...


By Grace!
©2012 M. E. G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Dad G's Home-going Celebration

What can one say? It was a celebration. It was joy. It was pain. It was good. 

The service began with folks sharing memories of Dad G. It was inspiring to hear how his life impacted so many...ministries he started 30 years ago still carry on. Good stuff!

I was proud of Michael. I can't think of anything harder than conducting a loved ones funeral...but he's done it twice....Grannie Annie and Dad G today. 
Jared and Mom G
Dad T (D's Dad), Bre, Arielle, Jared, Krista, Stacia, Zander

Michael, Mom G and his sisters - Mary and Rebecca

Good grief....this a.m. Michael's sister, Rebecca, heard that her home had been broken into. She had to leave soon after the funeral to go take care of business in OR. We're heading to CO on Thursday. Mom and Dad headed home to OR too. The rest of us went to dinner and then took Mom G home. It seemed fitting that Dad G's homecoming celebration day should end with an adventure back at home..... 
WHAT are they looking at?

The visiting was sweet. The memories are precious. The day feels surreal. It's going to be hard to drive off tomorrow....but we're taking Mom G with us up to Eugene so she can fly to CO....that will make it more of an adventure and less of a farewell.

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Monday, June 25, 2012

Earl F. G. (Jan. 14, 1918 – June 17, 2012)

Earl F. G was born in Clarinda, Iowa, on Jan. 14, 1918, and passed away in Crescent City on June 17, 2012, at the age of 94. Earl’s early Iowa years were on a farm with his father, George; mother, Margaret; and brother Roy, along with several aunts, uncles, and families on nearby farms.
At age seven, his mother brought him to Denver for hospital care. He attended Denver schools and went on to attend Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colo., for a year. This year showed his early interest in geology, rocks and metals.
At 21, he enlisted in the Marines and served in active duty throughout World War II, concluding on Okinawa in 1945 when the war ended. Early on he showed his talent for creative solutions and his commanding officers would set him on impossible tasks. He’d say, “Sure I can.” Then wonder, “What did I say? I’d guess I’d better give it a try.” Recently it was discovered one of the last missions had earned him a medal and commendation.
During the war he married Rella E and had two children, Kathy and Earl Arthur. He also embraced Rella’s two young children Michael and Robyn. After the war, Rella was an influence for him beginning the main work of his life as foreman of heat treating and chemist and metallurgist at a plant in Colorado Springs, Colo., that specialized in building airplane ejection seats.
He and Rella divorced in 1956. His boss commented that Earl picks himself up and goes on. He gradually had Earl set up with chemistry and metallurgy labs. In 1957 Earl married his present wife of 55 years, Mary Jean. Their children are Mary Kathleen, Rebecca and Michael. In 1970 a business associate invited him to attend a charter meeting for a new chapter of Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship in Colorado Springs. There he was baptized in the Holy Spirit and was immediately launched, knowing confidently God loves us, the Lord knowing and directing his talents for doing hard things. Family circumstances brought the family to Crescent City in 1973.
The jobs to fit him here were driving a school bus and working as a teacher’s aide. He also worked at Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park for a couple of seasons. Later on, for about 15 years, he worked with a team of 4–10, ministered at the minimum security Alder Camp encouraging the men there to discover their assignment from the Lord and their special talents.
Funeral services for Earl G will be Tuesday, June 26, 2 p.m., at the Redwood Family Worship Center on Parkway Drive at English Lane in Crescent City. Son, Air Force Chaplain Major Michael, will be officiating. Refreshments following. Military burial honors will be held at the Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver, on July 2, 2012.
Family prefers contributions be made to Redwood Worship Center.  
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Wier’s Mortuary Chapel.
— Submitted by Wier’s Mortuary Chapel

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Safely Here

Our commitment is to be authentic.  Which means I've not been writing as it was simply to raw to write about.....but we're swimming in grace. 

We did reunite at the airport in Tokyo.  The kids were tired and our plane didn't leave until midnight.

We landed in San Franciso hours before we left....we were struck with the NOISE, the rudeness, the fact that the luggage carts aren't allowed on escalators in America and, of course, the driving on the right hand side continues to give us a few adrenaline jolts. LOL  We also noted several who seem to want to be noted as making a statement...though we weren't always 100% sure WHAT the statement WAS. LOL 

Michael had arranged for us to rent a SNAZZY mini-van and drive up to his folks' home. Though my seat was just a "bit" over-spoken for. LOL

Three suitcases are Jared's and will go with him to TX. 

We stopped at Golden Gate National Cemetery. Michael's Grandfather and Granny Annie are buried here. Michael was out to do the funeral when Granny Annie died, but I hadn't been.  It was sobering to see row upon row of markers. 

We headed out of town and up the coast line to Crescent City, California. 

We stopped at one of Dad G's favorite stopping spots outside of town.....and couldn't resist a photo from the "other side" of the ocean.

It has been wonderful to see Mom G.  The house feels empty with Dad G not here. I keep expecting him to come down the stairs, or call us over to hear our stories from the time which has elapsed since we were here last. Dad G loved to tell stories, and loved to listen to them too! He was the life of any party or get together.  Visiting at the house, with him not here, is surreal....painful....lots of happy memories....and no regrets....he knew we loved him, we know he loved us, we know he's with Jesus, he ran the race from the moment he met Jesus well....we're simply sorry for us....we're human and it hurts...but HE is better off. We know this. 

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...