Thursday, July 31, 2008

More Wisconsin....oh how I love it!

There is no way that I can tell you how much fun it was and how refreshing to go back to Wisconsin. You'll just have to wade through a bunch of pictures this time! But that's more fun anyway, right? Of course, I'll say "something" know me! After last weeks blog report, I had a girls sleepover at the Grovers (permission granted, for those of you who wonder!) and then went up into more Northern Wisconsin with my friends the Allinghams to their family cabin. I got back on Sunday in time to clean up (no running water at the cabin nor indoor plumbing!) and get to Faith EFC for Sunday services. The next few days I packed in time with people, both my girls and other friends from church. THANKYOU to the Lovett's (and especially Sorena) for loaning me their car! Tuesday I reluctantly packed up and took the shuttle to the airport in Minneapolis. Once again my spirit and mind and heart had slowed down to the pace that seems to be the healthiest. I had had quality time with people that I care about. I had soaked in more beautiful farmland and taken a few walks. But got to tell you about Monday afternoon. After breakfast with the Clark ladies, I visited with the Berglund family, catching up on their "to-do"ing" and then we all went over to the Bartz's farm. OH MY GOODNESS!!! Soooo much fun. The Bartz "clan" was frantically baling and storing the hay to beat the expected rains. They allowed me to climb up in the hay mow (sp?) and watch as they finished the last batch. They placed each bale on a (don't know the official name) motorized ladder thingy (how's that for official? hehe) and it then dropped off up high in the barn and a couple girls and Chris helped stack it. I didn't take my camera! I know, bummer. Just believe me it was so beautiful, that big old barn smelling of hay with the late afternoon light streaming in through the cracks in the walls and the big opening at the end. MAN! I am so impressed with how much work it is to do what they do at a dairy farm. Wow. Paul Bartz told me some interesting stuff about the hay and how they manage that. Did you know that cows don't taste their food? They only smell it! yeah, picky cows! hehe.
The best part about being there apart from the gorgeous scenery was visiting with the people that I know. They still made me feel like family and it felt like I left yesterday. I am so grateful that God sent me to Wisconsin last year. Who would have known I'd love it so much? I was blessed by the significant conversations that I was able to have and renewed friendships. I sometimes wonder why God would remove me from that place so soon. Only He knows the answers to those questions. But I got to be there for awhile, and my life is richer for it!
Before I left someone asked, "are you going for work or for vacation?" I didn't know how to answer. I felt like I was going back to re-establish the contacts I made in ministry and yet I knew that it would also be a comfort and refreshment for me. I had promised the kids I'd go back before a year was over, and well......I got back exactly the week I left last year! whew, just made it! So somehow God allows ministry and personal refreshment to go hand in hand.
Hope you enjoyed the pictures! (they include girls sleepover, cabin time with the Allinghams, little girls tackle-box, cows outside my window at the Grovers, local scenery, Kayleen and Cole at the Bartz's farm)