I learned more about Jeff today and I think I have a better idea of what I’m doing here. I’m going to try to talk to him more this evening when he gets home. If You could maybe break a pipe or zap a wall outlet so I’d have a reason to enter his apartment, I’d appreciate it. 0:-)
I think I left off at Wednesday in recalling the camping trip. It was Laura Ingalls Wilder Day for us. Jessie was thrilled to see so many of the places and things that were important to one of her favorite authors. We had to tell the kids to be careful, though, because I was leading our tour and sometimes they’d make comments that raised some eye brows like “Andrew, did you ever have an assignment as a teacher in a one room school house like Laura?” or “Did you ever take any of the Ingallses Home?” I got more than a few chuckles out of it.
Then we had lunch at a cafe and that was sure interesting. The waitress seemed to think all the kids were Laja’s and that I was their father. I quickly set her straight but not quickly enough for Laja to become bothered and Owen very amused. The waitress made a comment about Laja’s ring at which point I realized it was in the “someone has my heart” position instead of the single one. I never understood the claddagh thing until Monica explained it to me a few years ago. I don’t know when Laja switched it and I guess it’s nothing I don’t know but it was jarring for a moment. But there wasn’t much time to dwell on that with kids needing to be fed.
We ate dinner around the campfire that night. You know, I think the dogs got spoiled having so many little hands feeding them people food!
Thursday we did some souvenir shopping for our friends. I think I found a little something that will be appreciated by everyone. I was most impressed by the little ones. The Tunnel people do a great job of teaching them that it’s the thought that counts in a gift, not the money that went into it. And we also did cheese shopping, too. 0;-)
Since it was our last day in Wisconsin, we broke into smaller groups so everyone could do the things they loved best once more. I was in the fishing group with Shelby, Asher, Portia, and Persephone. Then we made sandwiches for dinner and hiked up our favorite trail and had dinner on the hill. It was really a wonderful moment that I won’t soon forget.
Friday morning we left to visit Raquel. Between stopping for lunch and at parks for the kids, we didn’t reach her house until shortly before dinner. After that, Owen and Portia took the kids outside so Raquel, Laja, and I could talk. That’s when she told us the big news about her pending marriage! Thank You, Father, for bringing someone into her life. I know Raquel’s been very lonely since Dawn died and while we try to do our best by calling and visiting, she needs someone to share her life with. So thank You for Capt. Leo! I can’t wait to meet him and share in his and Raquel’s special day. Laja and I were both resistant at first to their hosting everyone on the cruise ship but Raquel insisted that she needed us there so we’re going! I hope everyone can make it. She said she’s inviting Monica, too. It’ll be nice to see her again.
Saturday Raquel took us all around town to the children’s museum, the zoo, and other places she thought the kids would enjoy. I think it did her good to be surrounded by so much excitement and joy and gratitude. I enjoyed it myself although being back there and walking around town made me remember that assignment. It also made me want my friends there with me again like they’d been last time. Laja seemed to feel the same way. I think it was a good thing we went home the next day.
It was hard saying good bye to Raquel again on Sunday but it was important the kids and Owen, Portia, and Laja spend Father’s Day with Vincent and Father. And I know we’ll all be seeing Raquel soon! That’s… wow… that’s just really great. The miracles You’ve worked in her life are amazing, Father.
Thank You for giving me a couple of days back in Dyeland after the trip. I tried to get in touch with everyone there and at the Phoenix and Tunnels to let them know I’d missed them. I hope I can do the same when You decide the time is right again, Father.