I parked on a side street, then Caleb and I strolled along the rows of booths. After buying a few items we headed back to the car, ready to keep moving. But the car wouldn't start. No problem, we waited a half hour or so, then tried again.
I finally had to make Caleb stop while I still had a starter left! I was all for sleeping in the van again, but my dear family insisted on the safety of a motel room. We walked up to the O'haire Motel, an establishment that hadn't changed much since the glory days of the 50's. I paid an exorbitant amount, got my key (yes, a real key), and walked outside to find my little apartment.
Caleb and I relaxed a bit, turned on the TV to catch some Olympics, and tried to unwind. Our settling-in process was soon interrupted by the sound of a key turning in the lock. I went to open the door and found a rather embarrassed gentleman standing there. Turns out the elderly desk clerk had double-booked our room. He was very apologetic about it when he found out, but it did make the stay more memorable!
|Shelby is a neat old town. Lots of neon signs and old brick buildings.|
|A cool alley off Main Street.|
So I called my pastor, on his way out to Chicago, and his wife looked up the local pastor's phone #. Out in Montana, "local" is a relative term; he lived 120 miles away, but he was able to call a member that lived in Shelby and ask if they would take in two waifs and one pooch-waif for the weekend. Thankfully, they said "yes", so that is how we came to spend a few days with Evelyn and PJ.
Evelyn and PJ are a delightful couple in their 80's. They've been married for 64 years, and when they said "for better or for worse", they meant it. PJ has Alzheimer's and Evelyn is his devoted caregiver. What a living testimony they both are---truly living out what it means to be like Jesus.
We went to church with them on Sabbath and had a great time meeting the members there. It's a pretty small church; Caleb and I brought that day's attendance to 12, but it has a warm and welcoming heart. I got to sing a special music with no accompaniment, a feat that would have been unthinkable back in my shy days. Oh, well, I gave up being shy years ago----too much work.
|Where I spent the weekend.|
It was like sleeping in a fabric store!
Can you think of anything more relaxing?
But even impromptu and forced spiritual retreats must come to an end. We ended up with a delicious spaghetti feed Monday afternoon, gave hugs to everyone, and took our leave. The van was running and I was eager to make it as far as I could. We pulled out of the repair shop and onto Main Street headed eastbound.
Really, Shelby. You need to learn how to let go. Sometimes relationships just don't work out and you have to let the other person move on.
Eventually they moved the train and we were able to leave. God kept the ol' van going the whole way home and we arrived at midnight Monday night. Whew! What a vacation it had turned out to be! Of course, there was a price to be paid for my long absence. I harvested the garden just before I left and felt quite overwhelmed with the volume. It filled up TWO SINKS! Partly!
That was just the warning shot. After being left to its own devices for almost a week, sinks were not big enough anymore. This is getting ridiculous, but don't expect me to grow less next year. I'm a garden hoarder---I must always grow more than before.