Thursday, August 10, 2006

over the last week

It feels like forever since the last post (a little over a week ago). In case you’re wondering, YES we’re still alive. And NO, nobody got wet on our canoe trips! Well…I’m getting a little ahead of myself. Let me catch you up.

Last Wednesday we drove up to the cabin (generously loaned to us by some friends) and settled in at one of the most beautiful spots on earth. Tracy’s ideal getaway is a beach chair, sand in your toes, crashing waves and a seafood restaurant. My ideal getaway is a mountain stream and the opportunity to ride some toys (be it tubing, rafting, biking, atv riding or canoeing). I guess next time we’re going to head to the beach because THIS TIME I definitely got my way!

Wednesday evening we played in the river and got ready for some fun. The next morning we got up and the weather was perfect. So we headed into town to rent a canoe. We had so much fun and saw plenty of wildlife. We drifted by an enormous Blue Heron that was so close he could have stepped in the boat. We looked for fish. We saw muskrats and minks. We saw fish jump. We stopped for a picnic. And as I mentioned, the boat never tipped! It was 3 hours of bliss for me, and Tracy was willing to tolerate it…for me. What a wonderful and loving woman.

That evening we went down to a pond to try to catch some fish. IF fishing is a matter of casting-reeling, casting-reeling, casting-reeling…than I am a great fisherman who has taught his family well. If it involves actually CATCHING anything, than I am in serious need of help. We did lots of fishing over the last week, but absolutely no catching.

The next day I could hardly wait to get out of bed. A neighbor and friend was going to lead me through the state forests and backland. He jumped on an old trail bike and I mounted the 4 wheeler and we set off. He showed me fishing and hunting spots that very few people have ever seen. We explored the territory where the rare and protected Kirtland’s Warblers nest (northern Michigan is the only summer habitat in the world where this bird is found). It was great fun!

Also the kids spent a lot of time in the pool and Tracy and I did a lot of reading.

Unfortunately our first trek there was cut very short because I needed to get to Battle Creek for our Wesleyan District’s Conference. We had 8 voting delegates to represent Faith Church. It was nice to spend some time with people from Faith Church…man, I miss you all so much!

While back in Lansing territory (Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday) we did get in 2 more church visits. I’ll write about them in the next post.

Sunday evening we went back to the cabin. Monday morning we decided that another canoe trip would be fun, and this time we went even further. After about 5 hours on the river my arms were getting a little stiff. Back at the rental place the owner joked about giving us frequent flyer miles. As we were leaving he joked, “We’ll probably see you again tomorrow!” I love being out on the water.

Tuesday we spent the day at Hartwick Pines State Park. What an amazing time we had. We hiked, took a guided tour with a forestry representative from the Department of Natural Resources and learned about the history of northern Michigan at the logging museum. We saw a Monarch butterfly within minutes of it’s emergence from the cocoon. And at the playground we even met a conservative Mennonite family (with suspenders, homemade clothes, bonnets and all). We enjoyed talking with them and although our lives are much different, we shared a common bond in Christ.

Wednesday I spent more time exploring the back trails on the 4 wheeler and then we spent the afternoon by the pool again.

Last night, we made the drive home. It is early Thursday morning and here I sit at the computer writing these very words.

Any questions?

Basically we’re home for an overnighter, get some laundry done, go through the mail, and then Friday morning we head up to Houghton Lake for a weekend wedding. Heidi Klassen and Gordon Jensen (college students who made Faith Church home while at MSU) are getting married at her home church. Our kids are in the wedding. This will be our first time hanging out in the Houghton Lake area. Hopefully we’ll get a little time (Saturday morning) at the beach so Tracy can get her fill. I know it’s not the ocean, but hopefully it will count for something.