ADVENTURES ALONG THE WAY
We left early Thursday morning with my younger brother, Bob and his wife, Sheila. Ready for adventures along the way, heading to Kansas. Our goal, to celebrate my brother Arnold’s remarriage after being widowed last year.
- Driving through California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma, we crossed through rolling hills, desert, and expansive open land.
- Saw cattle and antelope grazing along the way.
- Passed a spot where a big rig overturned, completing covering all three lanes on the other side of the highway. Westbound traffic was backed up for miles. I pray the driver got out safely.
Food Along the Way
We enjoyed a delicious steak dinner in Kingman, Arizona on our first night out. I ate just over half of mine, and put the rest into our room fridge for the following day’s lunch, where I left it in the morning, along with my sugar free chocolate! Oh well.
Local parks provided rest stops and tables where we ate our lunches. We felt we got a small sense of each town or city where we stopped.
Wonderful Mexican and American food enticed us along the way as we paralleled and joined Route 66 at points.
Beauty Along the Way
Crossing from Arizona into New Mexico, I was amazed at the rock structures. Many of the cliffs looked like they’d been hand carved into caves, nooks, and arches. Stunning!
Between Albuquerque and Tucumcari our phones sounded emergency alerts. Tornado warnings were in our path. Bob was tense, thinking of the possibility of tornado as well as potential hits of large hailstones, until he saw the left side of a rainbow. Then the right appeared. As he drove, we saw the rainbow not only come together, but become a beautiful double rainbow. No tornado, no hail.
Thankful, we arrived in Kansas late Saturday afternoon, then met our family and Jenny’s for dinner. Melvyn, our oldest brother flew in, so all Arnold’s siblings as well as Jenny’s parents and all siblings were present. Don and I had a great visit with Jenny’s sister and brother-in-law, Jaime and Andrew.
Reaching the Goal
Arn had arranged our Kansas reservations at Hedrick’s Exotic Animal Farm (and B&B) in Nickerson. The Hedricks used to supply the camels for the Rockefeller Center Christmas extravaganza. They still take camels and ostriches across the country to race!
In addition to the animals above, the Hedricks have horses, a longhorn steer, Brahma bull, llama and its baby, zebras, goats and baby camels, and peacocks.
Our niece was wakened when one of the peacocks crowed on the roof above her room.
The family also has two pet baby Joeys, five and seven months respectively. We met Millie. I laughed as I watched her hop around, being chased by her friend the dog. Then Millie jumped into the pouch the owner had made for her. I stroked her and was amazed by the feel of her soft fur.
The Main Event
For their wedding Sunday, Arn and Jenny had invited family members to share a blessing with them. I had the privilege of reading I Corinthians 13, Paul’s challenge on “The Way to Love.” The stories shared and the messages Arn and Jenny had written to each other, were very meaningful and helped us gain a greater understanding of how the long-standing mutual friendship between Jenny, Arnold and Carol developed into love after Carol’s death.
The pastor had been a student of Arnold’s, and was a close friend of Jenny’s. Her challenge to them was very personal in understanding what each needed to focus on in growing their marriage.
I know my brother still grieves the loss of his first wife; but I am happy to see him enjoying a new love relationship.
From my own experience, a second wonderful love doesn’t displace or replace the first. Rather, it is an addition. I think of it as having two windows in my heart. One holds Jerry; the other, Don. As time goes on, Don’s window grows larger as Jerry’s recedes. But I will always love both men, and am grateful for God’s provision of my special second love.
Back Along the Way
After a meaningful weekend together with extended family, we left Monday morning to return home to California, another three-day drive. But along the way we are having some deep conversations, laughter, reading aloud, and naps. I’m grateful for each, and especially for family.
In Santa Rosa, New Mexico, we visited the Blue Hole, an underground spring that produces 3000 gallons of water per minute. The 81-foot deep hole you see in the pictures below is only part of it, because the lake extends underground, spreading out to almost double the width, and flows out to … (I’m not sure where).
It was fun to watch guys and girls jump or dive from the rock above, or the higher ledge, into the pool below. https://www.santarosabluehole.com/about-santa-rosa-blue-hole/
Tonight we’re back in Arizona, tomorrow home. It will be good to be in our own bed.
But once again I’m reminded of the vast variety in the kinds of beauty God has given us to enjoy.
- The beauty of love, and the openness of the heart to love again.
- The many-faceted beauty and topography within our own country and around the world.
- The beauty of seasons.
- The beautiful gift of loving family.
Our good God’s creativity is without bounds. I wrote more about this at https://www.carolloewen.com/take-time/
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Psalm 103:1-5 ESV