Friday, July 15, 2005

vacation, etc.

here at Surf Cafe in Alpena, sipping a SoBe lemonade (with a blend of melissa and lemongrass - poor melissa, eh?), renewing library books online, reading about Carl Rove's controversy and Tiger Wood's extraordinary play so far in the British Open.

so far on vacation:

an emergency vehicle pulled into Lorien, responding to a call about someone choking. must have had the wrong address, as everyone in our set of cabins was fine.

golfed Monday with Linc Smith and Nick Collman, shot a 91. Linc shot an 84. on borrowed clubs.

Monday was also my parents' 35th wedding anniversary. decked out a bunch of picnic tables with roses, tablecloths, nice dishes. Ben cooked up a succulent feast. Mom and Dad renewed their vows, everyone got choked up. shared stories about their marriage, their love for one another, dispensed solicited advice - maybe i'll recap it sometime when i have more time. Dad wrote a story about their wedding day 35 years ago, called year zero. fantastic. made Mom cry.

played doubles tennis with Ronni against Nick & his dad, Richard. won 6-4, 6-0.

golfed Tuesday with Linc, again. 9 holes this time. shot a 40, best i've ever played i think. 3 pars and a birdie all in one stretch. Linc shot a 39. on borrowed clubs.

on the 4th hole, met a guy named Dick Dubine while we waited for the hole ahead of us to clear. also vacationing, up for a family reunion. hails from Atlanta, just flew in from China. in his 60's probably. decided to play together the rest of the way. found out we were both staying on long lake. didn't happen to have an emergency at your family reunion on Sunday, did you? i asked. sure enough, it was his 37 year old nephew, had a seizure. then another at the hospital. scary. and quite a coincidence that we would run into him because of the beginners golfing ahead of us. shook hands when we were done, best wishes for the rest of his stay, his nephew, etc.

get back to Lorien later that afternoon, go swimming with Colin and my dad. telling my dad about running into Dick, his mouth agape. says to me, "what are the odds of that!?" but i can't hear him very clear, because a jet ski has just rumbled past, quite close. "what are the odds?" he repeats. yeah, no kidding.

jet ski turns off now. hard to tell because of the glint of the sun, but it looks like the rider is trying to get our attention. sure enough, it's Phil Cook. worship leader at the Vineyard in Milan when we first moved to Milan, in the mid 90's. moved up to Alpena for a teaching position 8 or 9 years ago. "Phil!" we say. " funny, we were just talking about coincidences, and here you are!"

"how'd you like golfing with Dick this afteroon?" Phil asks. now my mouth is agape. "What? How do you know Dick? How do you know I golfed with him? What's going on...?" i think i said all that. at least i thought it. i may have just been stammering. Phil's laughing, that much is for sure.

"he's my wife's uncle," Phil says. "he's here for her family's reunion this week. when he got back from golfing and told me he met a Linc from Ann Arbor and a Jesse from Milan, i figured i knew exactly who he was talking about. so i hopped on the jet ski thinking i might catch you cooling off. and sure enough..."

after catching up, Phil offered us some rides on his machine. very cool. got to take Colin and Grace for rides, and then again the next day too.

saw war of the worlds for the 3rd time, with my dad, who was seeing it for the first time. we both loved it.

took Colin canoeing this morning, played some tennis and Tiger Woods 2005 with him, too. beautiful day once again. having a great vacation.

oh, and the inspection contingency on our house is all signed off now, no issues. no pests either, praise God. just a matter of closing on the 5th of August. oh and finding a place to live, securing a new mortgage, and all that. just minor details. at least it sure feels like minor details, given God's great provision along the way so far.

Friday, July 8, 2005


we signed a sales agreement today: whoohoo!

after a conversation with Ronni about the particulars, prayed about whether or not to accept the offer we received today. held hands, Ronni, Colin, Elle and i, and asked Jesus to show us what to do. listened quitely for a minute or so, then polled everyone.

said she felt peaceful about it - felt a reassurance of sufficent grace for the unknown ahead (finding a new house to live in, etc.).

"Jesus say anything to you Colin...?"
"great...what did he say?"
"Jesus said 'yes' we should."
"really? cool."

"Elle...?" big smile. of course, she always smiles. but confirming nonetheless.

"How about you, Jesse...?" Ronni asked. "Yeah, i felt good about it too...nothing specific, just peace, but nothing negative for sure."

"hey Colin, did you hear anything else?" i asked him.
"yes, i did. he said we should live with Gramma and Grandpa and Grace while they're making our new house..."
"yeah - building it."

hmmm, thought Ronni and i, we've mentioned those things as possibilities, but certainly not definites, especially the building thing. have to file that away for future reference in coming house hunting process, i suppose. just awaiting the buyers inspection next week while we're on vacation. hope there's nothing major wrong with the house we've been living in for 5 years :) sure would be a bummer to find out... if all goes well, scheduled to close on August 5.

Lentz's came by to pray over us this afternoon for a great vacation. we are almost crazy blessed. in the really good sense of crazy.

best decade

ten years ago today, on a sunny day in Rockwood, Michigan, Ronni and I each said "I do" to the various questions posed to us, made our vows to one another, and exchanged rings. the presiding pastor, though experienced, was apparently quite nervous, as he tried to announce us husband and wife without first letting me kiss my stunning bride. "ummm..." i whispered, turning to him, "Dad, don't I get to kiss her...?" much laughter, shuffling of papers, and blood to cheeks ensued, followed by a most satisfying kiss and the stately guitars of Europe's "Final Countdown" as we left the building to raucous applause.

phone ringing, hold on...

that was aunt denise, our realtor. offer on house just came in. below our asking price, but worth considering. hmm. very exciting. offers, counter offers, etc. will give full report in due time...

heading up north to alpena (long lake, specifically) for vacation in the morning. Mom, Dad, Grace, Amy, Ben, Ben's parents, maybe Ben's brother Nick will all be up there too. can't wait!