I spent most of the last half of September on the road. On September 13–15 I was in Norfolk, Virginia, for a WELS Military Contact Pastor Workshop. This is for pastors who serve near military installations. There were over 20 pastors there from all over the country. The workshop itself was quite good, and it gave me the opportunity to visit with old friends and to get to know some new ones. We were able to tour the Navy’s newest aircraft carrier, the USS George HW Bush.
On September 19th, I traveled to Milwaukee so that I could attend the Symposium on Worship and Outreach at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary. From there I made my way up to Oshkosh, then Rhinelander, then New Ulm, MN, spending the next week in the Twin Cities. We were there for Sara’s brother’s wedding. In between the Symposium and the wedding, I was able to spend time with all my siblings who live in the area, and a great number of friends. I realized later that I was able to spend time with each of the men who stood up with me in my wedding. What was remarkable and enjoyable was not only to spend time with the guys, but I also got to see their families. When I got married, all of those men were single, and now they are all married with children. It was really quite a joy to see these friends of mine now fulfilling their calling as fathers.
During these weeks I was able to step onto the campuses of Seminary, college, and high school. Interestingly, all three of them have new or remodeled chapels which were completed after I graduated. The new chapel at Martin Luther College is the most stunning. I’m looking forward to seeing more of that facility next summer at the WELS National Worship Conference. I got to see a Twins game with my brothers at the new Target Field. I got a couple hours out at the farm. I even stopped for a couple hours and walked around at Bush Lake Park, where I worked summers during college. I even ran into my old boss, who happened to be driving through the park.
So I can really say that I was able to make the most of the time. The only thing that could have made it more complete is if I would have been able to do it all without being away from my family. I realize that it probably would not have been possible. It’s probably not a trip that I’ll be able to make again. But if it means being away from Sara and the kids for nearly two weeks, I don’t think I’ll want to.
Here’s a link to a collection of pictures from the trip.
Yesterday we went with the kids to explore a little of New Mexico. We drove up to Alamogordo, which is about an hour and a half northeast from here. There we found a nice playground, a model train ride, and a zoo. From there we drove to the White Sands National Monument and got to see and play in the sand a little. It was quite a hot day, so we couldn't do as much as we would have liked. We'll have to go back that way sometime when the weather is a little more comfortable. This was the last chance we'll have to take day trips like this for a while, since Hannah starts school on Monday. If you want to see more pictures from the day, take a look at our album on Picasa or MobileMe. I'm writing this from my phone, so I'll come back later and add links to the sites.
I've been meaning to write an update on the progress of our move and our travels this week. It's been a crazy week. Here are a few highlights:
- My final sermon at St. Peter was on Sunday May 25. After services was the church picnic and a farewell for us.
- Hard goodbyes all week long
- The moving trailer arrived on Wednesday and we loaded it up on Thursday. I'm very thankful to those who helped us load.
- We spent Friday cleaning the house and getting ready to go.
- On Saturday we drove to my sister Becca's in Corona, CA. We stayed at her place and went with her to church on Sunday.
- Sunday we drove to Phoenix, AZ and spent the night at my aunt and uncle's.
- Monday we flew to Milwaukee and made our way to Watertown where we are getting ready for Rachel's (Sara's sister) wedding.
- Next week we'll be back in Phoenix for the Arizona-California District Convention, after which we'll make our way to El Paso.
Our trailer is now parked in front of our new home in El Paso. The plan is for some members of Trinity to unload the contents of the trailer into the house. I'm very appreciative of that, considering our travel schedule. But I don't envy those who have the job of unloading it all (though it must be easier to unload than to load). I particular appreciate those who move my 24 boxes of books. Those were not light boxes. Before I packed it all up I measured 24 feet of bookshelf space for my library.
It's a little strange to travel, knowing that all our belongings are loaded into a trailer (except what we have with us). But it's also a nice little reminder that all of that is just "stuff" and is not our life.
I haven't taken a lot of pictures so far this week, but I'll post what I do take to this web album. If you want to receive updates when I add new pictures to the album, subscribe to the RSS feed by clicking the "Subscribe" button and adding the address to your newsreader.
I’ve uploaded pictures from our trip to Oregon over New Year’s. Yes, we made it back safely and are back into the routine (sort of).
Pictures on .Mac Web Gallery
I’m writing this from Medford, OR, where we traveled to spend the beginning of the new year with Sara’s parents. It has been a very relaxing trip. We were planning to head home today, right about now, but the weather is not cooperating with us. There are severe weather warnings in the mountains I-5 passes through to get back to California.
So we’re watching the weather and a website that shows travel conditions. This picture is from a road camera showing current conditions. I think we’ll be staying here for a little bit.