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10,000 Words


Since my last blog post was more thought-provoking than most and involved more reading than most, I thought I'd post some neat pictures I've received lately. If a picture is worth is a thousand words, the following is worth at least 10,000 words. Have a great weekend!

This takes "do-it-yourself" to a whole new level - an extremely low level!

do-it-yourself car repair

Here's some interesting unreal estate...

cliff hanging at home

Too bad this guy didn't know about bluetooth technology! Sorry, but I find this really disturbing!

Is that my phone ringing?

Now here's a way-outhouse!

a way-outhouse

All I can say is, "NOT ME, MAN!!!"

Not me man!

No one can claim that those doing the food service on this train don't go the extra mile! Or is this a new spin on "Tea for Two?"

great service on this train!

Now *where* did that car go?!?

Where'd that car go?!?

Wow! This is *some* ski show!

quite the ski show!

Faster, Dear! The lava is gaining on us!

Drive faster, Dear!

"Sweetheart, I've got your honey-do list ready ... now where'd that man go???"

hidden husband

quotation...

"I don't need to know what lies ahead. I just need to know God." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

If you look like your passport picture, you probably need the trip.

The Dash and the Jar


We're doing well and settling in after our time up north. Many people have heard about our accident, some had read about it on the blog, and some had heard nothing about it. (It's been fun to see who reads the newsy update section my blog posts and who doesn't.) 😉

Our pastor, Drew Conley, said something Sunday - "The longer I live the more I see that life is about saying no to most things so that I can do what really matters" - that reminded me of several really neat things in my files. I sent them out in 1998, shortly after the death of our friend Alain Laurens in France. It's sobering to think how quickly those nearly *nine* intervening years have passed. Our accident on July 4th that could easily have ushered us into eternity reminded us very strongly of the brevity and fragility of life. Life is truly a vapor, as the book of James says.

I've heard and read some who hint that having a blog is a narcissistic waste of time. I hope that's not the case with my blogging. I truly want to bless and challenge others and to spend my little time in this world on what really matters.

THE DASH
by Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
from the beginning...to the end.

He noted that first came the date of her birth
and spoke of the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all
was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
that she spent alive on earth...
and now only those who loved her
know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own;
the cars...the house...the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard...
Are there things you'd like to change?
For you never know how much time is left.
(You could be at "dash mid-range.")

If we would just slow down enough
to consider what's true and real,
and always try to understand
the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger,
and show appreciation more
and love the people in our lives
as we've never loved them before.

If we treat each other with respect,
and more often wear a smile...
remembering that this special dash
might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy's read
with your life's actions to rehash...
will you be proud of the things they say
about how you spent your dash?

One day, an expert was speaking to a group of business students. To drive home a point, he used an illustration those students will never forget.

As this man stood in front of the group of high-powered over achievers he said, "Okay, time for a quiz". Then he pulled out a one-gallon, wide-mouthed mason jar, and set it on a table in front of him. Then he produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, into the jar. When the jar was filled to the top, and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, "Is this jar full"? Everyone in the class said, "Yes". Then he said, "Really"? He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. Then he dumped some gravel in and shook the jar causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the spaces between the big rocks. Then he asked the group once more, "Is the jar full"?

By this time the class was onto him. "Probably not", one of them answered. "Good", he replied. He reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in, and it went into all the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asked the question, "Is this jar full"? "No", the class shouted. Once again he said, "Good". Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim. Then he looked up at the class and asked, "What is the point of this illustration"?

One eager beaver raised his hand and said, "The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard, you can always fit some more things into it". "No", the speaker replied, "that's not the point. The truth this illustration teaches us is, if you don't put the big rocks in first, you'll never get them in at all".

What are the "big rocks" in your life? A project that YOU want to accomplish? Time with your loved ones? Your faith, your education, your finances? A cause? Teaching or mentoring others?

Remember to put these BIG ROCKS in first or you'll never get them in at all. Tonight or in the morning when you are reflecting on this story, ask yourself this question... what are the 'big rocks" in my life or business?

Then put those in your jar first.

quotation...

"God, deliver me from the dread asbestos of "other things.'" Jim Elliott

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

There are two things I have learned: There is a God. And I'm not Him.

World’s Thinnest Books


During our week of "forced vacation" - a gift we would not have given ourselves (we don't normally give gifts that expensive!!!) - we got some extra, much-needed rest and did some little jobs around Jim and Meg's house that they don't normally have time for. We also got in some extra reading. For those especially who don't have time to read books as long as War and Peace or the unabridged version of Les Misérables, here's a list of books that, because of their subject matter, are all *extremely* short.

WARNING - Almost anything that one could poke fun at is probably found in this list. Laugh at the things you find amusing, and skip over the rest, knowing that others may be skipping over what you've just laughed at! I have even left in some that make fun of things dear to me! 😎

The World's Thinnest Books...

An Airhead's Advice on Logical Thinking

A Guide to Arab Democracies

A Guide to Aboriginal Etiquette

A Journey Through the Mind of a Squid

America's Most Popular Lawyers

A Millennium of German Humor

Anagrams of the Word "A"

Beauty Secrets, by Janet Reno

Bedouin Olympic Swimmers

Behave Yourself, by David Letterman

Blind Dates That Worked Out

Bob Dole: A Collection of Motivational Speeches

Burger King Items That Start with "Mc"

Career Opportunities for History Majors

Cooking Gourmet Dishes with Tofu

Countries Where Socialism Is Successful

Detroit, A Travel Guide

Easy Unix

Ethiopian Tips on World Dominance

Everything Men Know About Women

Everything Women Know About Men

Famous Italian War Heroes

Favorite Foreign Emigration Destinations of the French

French Military Victories

Good Norwegian Jokes

Household Uses for Plutonium

How I Served My Country, by Jane Fonda

How to Be a Successful Politician, by Jesse Jackson

How to Sustain a Musical Career, by Art Garfunkel

How We Helped After Katrina, by Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton

Italian War Heroes

Jewish Sports Legends

Law & Order, by Mayor Marion Barry, Washington D.C.

Marcel Marceau's Greatest Speeches

Mike Tyson's Guide to Dating Etiquette

My Book of Morals, by Bill Clinton, foreword by Jesse Jackson

My Favorite Barbers, by Yassir Arafat

My Plan to Find the Real Killer, by O. J. Simpson

My Tips on Personal Hygiene, by Osama Bin Laden

National Directory of Irish AA Members

Olympic Athletes Who Think Sports Are Really Stupid

Spotted Owl Recipes, by the EPA

One-Legged Folk Dances

On Human Rights, by Fidel Castro

Proper Pronunciation and Elocution, by George W. Bush and Arnold Schwarzenegger

Proud Parents of Rock Musicians

Public Political Activities During Franco's Government in Spain

Scottish World Cup Successes

Staple Your Way to Success

Successful Applications of Artificial Intelligence

Sylvester Stallone's Dramatic Acting Tips

The Amish Phone Book

The Best Recipes from England

The Engineer's Guide to Fashion

The Genius of Barry Manilow

The Road to Lasting Economic Success, by Boris Yeltsin

Things I Can't Afford, by Bill Gates

Things I Like about Road Construction, by Rob "ivman" Loach

Things We Know To Be True, by Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and John Kerry

Things I Love About Bill, by Hillary Clinton

Things We Love About the USA, by Jane Fonda and Cindy Sheehan. Illustrated by Michael Moore

Things I Would Not Do for Money, by Dennis Rodman

Things That Look Like an Apple, Taste Like an Apple, But Are Not an Apple

Things You Could Buy at the World Artichoke Festival

Vice Presidents with Really Good Ideas

Ways I Have Avoided Scandal, by Bill Clinton

Ways I Effectively Modulate My Vocal Tone, by Hillary Clinton

Why People Are More Important Than Animals, by Greenpeace

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For those interested in an update after our accident...

After getting our car back late in the morning yesterday (Friday the 13th), Becka and I drove back home to Greenville, arriving at about 12:20 this morning.

We really appreciated the cheerfulness and the help of the guys in the body shop at Dorian Ford in Clinton Twp, MI, as they repaired all the damage done under our car by the concrete in the road. My main contact person there was Allen Vukmirovich, the body shop foreman - a really nice guy who worked hard in our behalf. Thanks, Allen! (His picture is below.)

Allen V. - the body shop foreman

We thoroughly enjoyed our time with Megan, Jim, and Drew, and we miss them already. But, as always, it is nice to be back home. We were surprised when we figured it up that we have been able to spend three whole weeks this summer with Megan and her family!

Our 700-mile "test drive" of our repaired car went well, except for a couple of traffic jams that added a total of an hour to our trip. (A tip for anyone considering a drive south on I-75 through Lexington, KY - plan some delay into your trip. Because of road destruction, three lanes are narrowed to two lanes between mile markers 111 and 109, right about where I 64 goes off to the east. The 5-mile traffic back up began at mile marker 116.) Fortunately we had just stopped for gas and dinner a couple of miles before that.

We spent so much time simply enjoying our grandson Drew, that we suddenly realized that we had taken hardly any pictures! We snapped off some desperate, last-minute pictures before leaving. Here are several:

Drew is almost as long as this section of the Pack 'n Play now!

Drew is almost as long as this section of the Pack 'n Play now!

We tried to get some smiles out of him as we said goodbye outside ... finally with success!

Come on, Peanut, smile for us!

Grandma's really working on it

We miss his smile already!

We miss that little smile very much already!

quotation...

"We make choices, but God is in control the whole time." - Dr. Bob Payne

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

If a book about failures doesn't sell, is it a success?

Funny Place Names


If you saw this post before I added this comment, I've edited the list of funny town names below. Readers commented that there were entire states missing from my list. I did an online search and found an exhaustive (exhausting?) list of funny US towns. The list below now reflects that search, plus additions suggested by readers. If your state is missing or if you know of other funny place names, feel free to click on the comments link at the end of this post.

Many have inquired how we are doing after last Wednesday - we're just fine. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, see the last blog post.) If we've got to be stranded somewhere, how could we go wrong being here?! 😎 We're enjoying extra time with Megan, Jim, and our grandson Drew, and if they're tired of us, they're too gracious to hint that they are. They say our car repairs should be done by the end of the week. It's a little unsettling to think they're going to hand us the car with thousands of dollars worth of repairs done underneath and we're going to begin a 700 mile trip home! Please pray that the repairs will indeed by completed satisfactorily this week. We have jobs back home, and our time off this week is without pay since we've used up our paid personal time.

We were finally able to pull some pictures off Megan's camera, and so I'm putting several below. I told you how intently little Drew watched the fireworks Wednesday evening. Here's how he looked for a solid half hour....

Drew looking intently at the fireworks

Megan was able to take a picture of Becka while they waited in the ambulance for all the formalities to get settled outside. You can see in the picture in Drew's car seat the little yellow fireman's hat and bear the firemen gave him.

my wife Becka in the ambulance

We really enjoyed our evening with the members of the 1982 class of Inter-City Baptist High School who were able to be present at their reunion. It was great to see them again and to get reacquainted after 25 years! It was a great evening of laughing, reminiscing, and praising the Lord for His goodness in our lives. Several tried to get me to believe that I look just the same! I used one of my favorite Dr. Guenter Salter lines on them - "So do you mean to tell me I looked this old back then?!" They would then moderate their comments by saying, "only a little lighter on top." (I hope that was a reference to hair color!) Several recoiled when I said something about their being "middle aged" now. It made me think of a blog post from last summer called "middle age" for those who'd like to read it. Below is a picture of most of those who were in attendance....

the class of 1982

We have seen and heard some pretty interesting names of people and places during our time in the Detroit area. This area is truly diverse in its ethnic background. I remembered a list I had of funny place names that I thought I'd share with you today.

Funny Place Names

After you read the list below you might wonder with me HOW they ever came up with some of these amusing, crazy-sounding names for these towns and villages!

United States by state

Alabama:
Dollar, AL
Pig Eye, AL
Rash, AL
Sardine, AL
Section, AL
Shorter, AL
Smut Eye, AL
Zip City, AL

Alaska:
Candle, AK
Dead Horse, AK
Mary's Igloo, AK

Arizona:
Grasshopper Junction, AZ
Monkey's Eyebrow,AZ
Organ Pipe, AZ
Santa Claus, AZ
Why, AZ

Arkansas:
Alf, AR
Ben Hur, AR
Grape, AR
Hog Wallow, AR
Ozone, AR (Hey, I thought Clinton and not Gore was from Arkansas!)
Possum Grape, AR
Toad Suck, AR
Tomato, AR
Turkey Scratch, AR
Y-City, AR

California:
Burnt Ranch, CA
Confidence, CA
Cool, CA
Likely, CA
Prunedale, CA
Raisin, CA
Skidoo, CA
Thermal, CA
Weed, CA

Colorado:
Bountiful, CO
Empire, CO
Hygiene, CO
No Name, CO
Nowhere, CO
Paradox, CO
Tincup CO

Connecticut:
Giants Neck, CT

Delaware:
Bear, DE
Blades, DE
Hourglass, DE

Florida:
Briny Breezes, FL
Bunker Donation, FL
Celebration, FL
Christmas, FL
Couch, FL
Day, FL
Elfers, FL
Frostproof, FL
Panacea,FL
Picnic, FL
Possum Bluff, FL
Sopchoppy, FL
Spuds, FL
Tobacco Patch Landing, FL
Two Egg, FL
Wacahoota, FL
Yeehaw Junction, FL

Georgia:
Alley, GA
Arabic, GA
Benevolence, GA
Doctortown, GA
Enigma, GA
Experiment, GA
Flintstone, GA
Hephzibah, GA
Homerville, GA
Ideal, GA
Magnet, GA
Mayday, GA
New Georgia, GA
Snap Finger, GA

Hawaii:
Papa, HI

Idaho:
Beaver Head, ID
Butte City, ID

Illinois:
Energy, IL
Goofy Ridge, IL
Grand Detour, IL
Kickapoo, IL
Normal, IL
Oblong, IL (Hence that old classic headline “Normal Boy Marries Oblong Girl.”

Indiana:
Alert, IN
Bacon, IN
Beanblossom, IN
Beehunter, IN
Birds Eye, IN
Buddha, IN
Carefree, IN
Fickle, IN
Santa Claus, IN
Solitude, IN
Steam Corner, IN
Toad Hop, IN

Iowa:
Beebeetown, IA
Tingley, IA
What Cheer, IA

Kansas:
Agenda, KS
Buttermilk, KS
Gas, KS
Liberal, KS
Moonlight, KS
Neutral, KS
Protection, KS
Skiddy, KS
Smileyberg, KS

Kentucky:
Acorn, KY
Asphalt, KY
Awe, KY
Beauty, KY
Cut Shin, KY
Decoy, KY
Dukedom, KY
Dwarf, KY
Grannie, KY
Hazard, KY
Hippo, KY
Jetson, KY
Krypton, KY
Lovely, KY
Moon, KY
Mummie, KY
Mud Lick, KY
Oddville, KY
Ono, KY
Ordinary, KY
Parrot, KY
PeeWee Valley, KY
Pyramid, KY
Quicksand, KY
Ready, KY
Redhouse, KY
Relief, KY
Select, KY
Shoulderblade, KY
Slusher, KY
Turkey, KY
Viper, KY
Vortex, KY
Wax, KY

Louisiana:
Aimwell, LA
Cutoff, LA
Goober Hill, LA
Kickapoo, LA
Plain Dealing, LA
Slaughter, LA
Trout, LA
Vixen, LA
Waterproof, LA

Maine: (see a sign with some place names)
Mount Desert Island, ME
Strong, ME

Maryland:
Boring, MD
California, MD
Hale, Maryland
Point of Rocks, MD
Scaggsville, MD

Massachussetts:
Belchertown, MA
Cummaquid, MA
Mashpee, MA
Sandwich, MA

Michigan:
Christmas, MI
Climax, MI
Hell, MI
Lake, MI
Nirvanna, MI
Paradise, MI
Saline, MI

Minnesota:
Blue Earth, MN
Bowstring
Credit River, MN
Embarrass (one of the coldest spots in Minnesota)
Frost
Gully
Montevideo (pronounced with the "video" just like a video tape)
Motley
Savage
Sleepy Eye (Little House on the Prairie location)
Twig

Mississippi:
Arm, MS
Bobo, MS
Chickenbone, MS
Chunky, MS
Doglap, MS
Grin, MS
Hot Coffee, MS
Money, MS
Petal, MS
Screwdriver, MS
Swampbottom, MS
Sweatman, MS

Missouri:
Bland, MO
Clever, MO
Competition, MO
Dissen, MO
Elmo, MO
Enough, MO
Fairdealing, MO
Gipsy, MO
Grubville, MO
Gumbo, MO
Moody, MO
Novelty, MO
Peculiar, MO
Pumpkin Center, MO
Service, MO
Shook, MO
Skidmore, MO
Success, MO
Tightwad, MO

Montana:
Hungry Horse, MT
Moose Town, MT
Opportunity, MT
Pappa's Place, MT
Power, MT
Stump Town, MT

Nebraska:
Magnet, NE

Nevada:
Carp, NV
Pahrump, Nevada
Searchlight, NV

New Jersey:
Ho-ho-kus, NJ
Hopatcong, NJ
Piscataway, NJ

New Mexico:
Flying H, NM
Organ, NM
Truth Or Consequences, NM
Sunspot, NM
Toadlena, NM
Weed, NM

New York:
Bath, NY
Chili, NY
Fishkill, NY
Flushing, NY
Horseheads, NY
Mooers, NY
Triangle, NY

North Carolina:
Bandana, NC
Cooleemee, NC
Frying Pan Landing, NC
Kill Devil Hills, NC
Tomahawk, NC
Tuxedo, NC
Welcome, NC
Whynot, NC

North Dakota:
Beach, ND
Can Do, ND
Mott, ND
Hoople, ND
Horace, ND
Max, ND
Ray, ND
Napolean, ND
Zap, ND

Ohio:
Burgoon, OH
Businessburg, OH
Clyde, OH
Coolville, OH
Defiance, OH
Jelloway, OH
Knockemstiff, OH
Pepper Pike, OH
Poland, OH
Put-in-Bay, OH
Rising Sun, OH

Oklahoma:
Bowlegs, OK
Kremlin, OK
Loco, OK
Happyland, OK
Okay, OK
Slapout, OK
Straight, OK

Oregon:
Aloha, OR
Boring, OR
Drain, OR
Half.com, OR
Idiotville, OR
Riddle, OR

Pennsylvania:
Bird-in-Hand, PA
Buck, PA
Burnt Cabins, PA
Economy, PA
Export, PA
Flourtown, PA
Honey, PA
Jugtown, PA
King of Prussia, PA
Laboratory, PA
Lawn, PA
Library, PA
Lover, PA
Manda Gap, PA
Paint, PA
Peach, PA
Plum, PA
Railroad, PA
Scalp Level, PA
Slippery Rock, PA
Snow Shoe, PA
Spry, PA
Squirrel Hill, PA
Stalker, PA
Stiltz, PA
Burning Well, PA

South Carolina:
Ninety-Six, SC
North, SC
Prosperity, SC

South Dakota:
Bonesteel, SD
Box Elder, SD
Crooks, SD
Eaglebutte, SD
Gopher, SD
Mud Butte, SD
Pukwana, SD
Roscoe, SD
Tea, SD

Tennessee:
Bugscuffle, TN
Bugtussle, TN
Defeated, TN
Difficult, TN
Disco, TN
Flippin, TN
Only, TN
Skullbone, TN
Smartt, TN
Soddy-Daisy, TN
Static, TN

Texas:
Ben Franklin, TX
Best, TX
Bigfoot, TX
Blanket, TX
Boston, TX
Bushland, TX
Camelot, TX
Canadian, TX
Cee Vee, TX
China Grove, TX
China Grove, TX (yes, two of 'em)
Chocolate Bayou, TX
Cost, TX
Cut and Shoot, TX
Dripping Springs, TX
Earth, TX
Egypt, TX
Fink, TX
Flat, TX
Friendship, TX
Grow, TX
Gun Barrel City, TX
Happy, TX
Honey Island, TX
Hoop and Holler, TX
Lawn, TX
Lazbuddie, TX
Moss Hill, TX
Muleshoe, TX
Nacogdoches, TX
Needmore, TX
Needville, TX
New Boston, TX
Noodle, TX
Notrees, TX
Oatmeal, TX
Old Boston, TX (yep, Boston, New Boston, and Old Boston, TX!)
Old Glory, TX
Pep, TX
Petty, TX
Progress, TX
Quail, TX
RingGold, TX
Rosebud, TX
Royalty, TX
Schertz, TX
Study Butte, TX
Telegraph, TX
Tigertown, TX
Tiki Island, TX
Turkey, TX
Tuxedo, TX
Valentine, TX
Veribest, TX (not to be confused with Best, TX)
Zunkerville, TX

Utah:
Bullfrog, UT
Hurricane, UT
Orderville, UT

Vermont:
Bread Loaf, VT
Mosquitoville, VT
Notown, VT

Virginia:
Bane, VA
Clam, VA
Disputanta, VA
Fourway, VA (2 of them)
Frogtown, VA
Goochland, VA
Moonlight, VA (2 of them also)
Pocket, VA
Short Pump, VA
Simplicity, VA

Washington:
Aloha, WA
George, WA
Index, WA
La Push, WA
Medical Lake, WA
Onion Creek, WA
Pysht, WA
Ritzville, WA
Ruff Starbuck, WA
Tiger, WA
Walla Walla, WA
Zillah, WA

West Virginia:
Acme, WV
Alloy, WV
Big Ugly, WV
Big Ugly Creek, WV
Canvas, WV
Friendly, WV
Frost, WV
HooHoo, WV
Kermit, WV
Left Hand, WV
Looneyville, WV
Mammoth, WV
Man, WV
Muddlety, WV
Nitro, WV
Odd, WV
Pinch, WV
Quick, WV
Replete, WV
Shanghai, WV
Sod, WV
Tornado, WV

Wisconsin:
Beetown, WI
Chili, WI
Coon Valley, WI
Cornucopia, WI
Cream, WI
Egg Harbor, WI
Embarrass, WI
Footville, WI
Hustler, WI
Oshkosh, WI
Rising Sun, WI
Spread Eagle, WI
Tell, WI
Ubet, WI
Victory, WI
Village of Superior, WI

Wyoming:
Bairoil, WY
Jackson Hole, WY

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, Anglesy, Wales is an interesting place name, or perhaps better yet is a town in New Zealand that boasts the longest place name in the world - Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu (85 characters long!)

Here's a picture I found online of a sign with the town's name...

longest recognized town name in the world - located in New Zealand

quotation...

"If there's nothing about our lives that shows the imprint of God, then He doesn't get the glory." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

The optimist is often as wrong as the pessimist, but he is much happier.

Yer Not from Here…


our accident... (a little long, but worth the read)

Our son-in-law Jim had to leave Greenville Sunday to get back to Detroit for work on Monday, but Megan and Drew stayed with us for a couple of extra days to visit since Becka and I were able to drive them back home this week. We left Tuesday morning and drove as far as Lexington, KY, where I'd made hotel reservations. Wednesday we drove the rest of the way up to Detroit, with a short stop at my mom's house so she could see how much little Drew has grown.

We arrived back at Jim and Megan's house, unpacked, got settled, and cleaned up a little bit. Then we headed to Rackham golf course to watch the fireworks. The fireworks were absolutely fabulous! We were a little concerned about Drew as to whether he would be afraid of all the noise, especially since he was beginning to be a little fussy right before the display began. We were astonished to see, not only that he stopped being fussy, but also that he was fascinated with the fireworks. He watched them with rapt attention throughout the entire half hour display! He is really noticing things, some of which keep his attention for quite a while. Below is a picture of Drew looking intently at something....

Drew looking intently

Below is a picture of what he's watching....

Drew's mobile

The mobile plays the Michigan fight song - train up a child in the way he should go....

After the fireworks ended, we headed for home. On the way, we had a second set of fireworks - a divine appointment with an object in the road. As I drove along I-696 at 70 m.p.h. in heavy traffic at 11:00 p.m., I spotted something in the lane ahead of me. With cars on both sides and with little lead time to react, I hit what I later learned was something made of concrete. We heard and felt a loud boom under the car. I looked at my rearview mirror and from the light of the headlights in cars behind me, I saw what looked like smoke spewing from the back of our car. Megan and the baby were in the back seat. She said right away, "Dad, I smell gasoline." I changed lanes and pulled off ASAP! I said, "Megan, get Drew, and we'll all run. This car may ignite!" We ran up the embankment and away from the car. I called 911 right away and reported what had happened, stressing to them especially that we were all fine with no injuries.

Fairly soon a fire truck, an ambulance, and a police car arrived. They took Becka, Megan, and Drew right away to the ambulance to wait while I talked with all the emergency personnel. Since the car had not started to burn yet, it was unlikely that it would. So a fireman looked under it briefly to see what was wrong. He could tell that things were hanging down, the gas tank was punctured, and transmission fluid was leaking out. He called a wrecker to come tow the car. The police told me that ours was one of a string of cars that had hit that concrete in the road since they'd seen others pulled off the road on his way to get to us. They don't know exactly what it was or where it came from, but other policemen communicated that they had been able to pull it off to the shoulder of the road. The officer said I was in no way at fault in the "accident" - I'll explain why the quotation marks later.

Jim was still at work at Rackham when the rest of us left the fireworks, but when he got Meg's call, he came ASAP to help rescue us. He took the other three home, while I rode in the wrecker to the car shop where Jim has his repairs done. Jim met me there after dropping the others off.

This morning I took my car keys to the service station after Jim called to explain why the car was there. When I got there the man in charge said that he had looked under the car in the meantime and said that the damage was pretty extensive. I appreciated his honesty when he told me I really needed to take it to a Ford dealership to have the work done. He said, "You're very fortunate that the car didn't ignite from what I could see under there!" I had heard the same thing several times last night from emergency workers. We all thought of that family whose van burst into flame after they hit something in the road.

Earlier in this blog post I referred to our adventure as an "accident" - that's what we people normally call such incidents. But the Lord was unquestionably in control, and we have so many things to thank Him for! He allowed me to drive the car off the road safely, and He kept it from igniting and exploding. This happened within a few miles from Megan and Jim's house rather than anywhere along the 700 mile stretch we had just traveled. We could go on and on enumerating how gracious the Lord has been to us in all of this. I've been able to share His goodness with people I would never have met otherwise, and with anyone who reads this online.

We're hoping and praying that the insurance adjuster will be able to look at the car early on Friday. If not, nothing else will begin to happen until next week. Not that we're complaining about having to spend more time with our family here! 😎 But we really do have responsibilities back home that are awaiting us and loved ones there to be with too. Plus it will be nice to know if the car is totalled or not so that we know what step to take next. We trust the One who has superintended thus far, knowing He will expedite all these details in His good timing. He is totally worthy of our trust!!! We would appreciate your prayers in our behalf.

One of the things we have been looking forward to during our time in the Detroit area this week is to attend the 25th reunion of one of the classes for whom I was class sponsor when I taught high school up here way back in the last millenium. We're looking forward to seeing many of the class members who will be there, to meeting their spouses, and to seeing several former colleagues who will be in attendance on Friday evening. I'll have to update you on this in my next blog post. I'm sure you can expect something about aging - these "kids" are now about 42 or 43 years old! They're 12 or 13 years older than I was when I was their class sponsor. Yikes!

I was looking through my files to find something appropriate for our current situation. We have commented several times today how nice the firemen, EMT personnel, and policemen were last night, the 4th of July - a night when there was probably already much going on that demanded their attention. They were so kind and helpful! The story below is funny, and we hope it won't be our experience as this latest saga in our lives continues to unfold.

Yer not from here, are ya?

The owner of an old-fashioned corner grocery store in a small country town was fond of quoting a Scripture verse after each sale. He had three old friends that would sit around a pot-bellied stove, playing checkers on a faded board. His ability to produce a Scripture verse for all occasions never ceased to amuse the old timers, and they would listen to see what verse he would come up with relevant to the sale made.

A lady purchased some material and he said, "She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands."

When a man bought a sack of flour, he said, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God."

A little child came in and bought some candy and he said, "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven."

It was nearly closing time when the chimes over the door jangled loudly. A well dressed young man entered, obviously a stranger from one of the larger towns down the road. "Help you?" offered the proprietor.

"I need a blanket for my horse," said the man. "He's out in his trailer, and it's too cold for him without a blanket. Bring me the nicest one you've got!"

The store owner went in the back store room and came back with a brown blanket. "That'll be five dollars."

"Five dollars? You've got to be kidding!' said the man. "This horse is a thoroughbred. He gets only the best! He wouldn't stand still for an old five dollar blanket."

Without comment, the store owner took back the blanket, then merely selected a different color and brought it out. "This one's $25 dollars."

"Now, look," said the young man. "Perhaps I didn't make myself plain. This isn't just any old horse! He's worth thousands! Now I want the best, most expensive blanket you've got! Comprende?"

The owner once more went into the store room, pulled out another color of the same material and brought it back. "This is the only one left, and it's $100."

"Now that's more like it!" exclaimed the man enthusiastically as he paid. Throwing the five dollar blanket over his shoulder, he left.

The old timers stared silently at the shopkeeper as they waited to see what possible Scripture he could come up with for that sale!

Going behind the register, he rang up the hundred dollars and said, "I was a stranger and you took me in."

quotation...

(This rings especially true to us!)
"Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you're alive, it isn't." - Richard Bach

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

A woman who is in assisted living with my mother said something to us the other day that I thought I'd share with you....

"Europe is a nice place to visit, but I sure wouldn't want to have to dust it!" - Joan