Taking Joy

 We’ve had a wet spring and damaging storms lately. Storms that took down trees and buildings. And our electricity. It’s unhandy and expensive and frustrating to have the things and routines we depend on changed up or entirely taken away. We care about that. So we help out where we can. 
    It so happened that between storms, we had a niece’s wedding to attend in Ohio so Amy and I were planning to go. Then Amy ended up with a nasty sinus infection and felt too miserable to be happy and pretty for wedding and travel society to go. I shamelessly  begged and prayed that Elv could go with me instead. Last minute God answered with “Yes”! Praise Him.
        So we traveled down to Rockford after work Thursday evening and found our room at the Hampton Inn there. Friday morning we pulled away early for the last seven hour stretch, the wedding being set for four that afternoon. I drove first, which meant that Chicago was mine to traverse. Never did find Chicago. No skyscrapers, no slow-downs, no windy city, 75 mph easy traffic going. Thanks to Google maps we enjoyed route 294 with trees and greenery all the way. I felt a little disappointed. I like the Skyway. But I’m not complaining.

 Saturday afternoon we headed north to Chicago again. This time we had a Hilton room in Northbrook, a beautiful suburb of Chicago. Lovely, uppity room for two people from the sticks. Oh, I love nice things! Took joy here. Sunday morning we headed over to the Botanic Gardens. It was a lovely way to spend a Sunday morning. I recommend it.

 The gardens beg a good photographer, which I am not, but I have a camera and take bunches and hope for one or two keepers. It’s purely accident when I get one. None of these is quite. I decide, in the end, to enjoy what I can. Grabbing grace for myself here, too.
We found a G-scale train garden in the gardens complete with 18 trains and grown up engineers to visit with while watching the trains. Intricate and fun. I enjoyed the little boys watching the trains. Their fascination was inspiring. God made boys, just so. It’s delightful. The girls on the other hand weren’t there and the one who was seemed rather bored. Smiles! God made little girls just so, as well.

           The Church Picnic 

We at Grace Bible Church have often enjoyed a May play day and picnic with singing or performing at the end of the day. This year was rather special since we had missed a couple of years.
Everyone came who could possible come even the moms and tiny babies and we played hard all afternoon. It was great fellowship even though it was a very humid, warm day. Storms were predicted for evening, but none came our way.

 These guys did this hopping race and I have no idea who won but it looked hilarious.
It must have taken a lot of energy, too, because they all hit the ground laughing at the other end and didn’t bother to return to the start line.

 Elv enjoyed his part of the party by doing the grilling of everyone’s meat contribution to the picnic. He ordered up the poppers, too, as our dish-to-pass. They were a hit.
   There was volley-ball, corn hole, Boche, small girl tea parties, bubbles, tall grass explorations, visiting, baby care, toddler adventures, yard Dutch blitz, naps and all sorts of by-play along the way.

Sunday morning in church the storms we worried about for the picnic finally rolled in with black clouds and lightening.
During Sunday School our three firefighters were called out to begin a long afternoon of cleaning up trees across roads. And no electricity for some of us for 36 hours after that.
We intend to enjoy the “picnics” between storms this summer since it seems we will be having unsettled weather for now.

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