Iowa, Part 2.

8:05 AM

    "Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up." -Ecclesiastes 4:10

    Thank-you Jesus, for friends.  I have made and lost friends over the years, and my experiences with different friends have taught me many things.  But most of all, they have taught me this:  They are often taken for granted.  You never realize quite how precious a friendship can be until it is lost.  Or how much of a gap it fills in your life until it is gone.  Or in the case of my friendships now, how much light they shine into your life, until you are too far away to see it.  

   My visit home was lovely in a lot of ways.  Having Jocelyn meet and spend time with my family is priceless to me.  I wanted to freeze the moments, savoring each one and locking it away in my memory forever.  There is something about having a child that makes my thought patterns a little morbid at times: I wonder when I'm with loved ones if perhaps it will be the last time I get to see them.  If that snapshot will be the last one I take.  If that kiss on Jocelyn's chubby little cheeks will be the last they get to give.  

  I'm not sure why I think this way; my family and friends are young.  But hey, we won't live forever.  

   Meeting for breakfast.  A cup of coffee.  Shopping in town.  A day at the pool.  Lunch.  These are simple things, not ground-breaking, newsworthy events, not paparazzi-filled moments.  But these were the moments I cherished on this trip, moments of connecting with dear friends.  Thank-you for those.

   No trip to Kalona is complete with a visit to the Bakery, of course!  We enjoyed a long, leisurely breakfast and solved most of the world's problems before we were through. 
   Jossie finally got to meet her friend Eli! Younger by two months, he's definitely a boy and catching right up there in size!  Aww these little munchkins just get me.

   On the way to the Kalona Coffehouse to meet with friends, I just had to swing by the place I used to babysit and see the Ferreira family!  
    *Seth is not pictured*  The kids are all growing up so fast, and they just loved meeting Jocelyn.  It helped get them excited for their baby brother soon to arrive!  Then they will have seven boys and two girls! 

Then it was on my way to indulge in coffee, conversation, and cherished fellowship! Cheesy? O.k.

 (Joce with cousin Jeff. He and his wife own the coffee shop.)

 This adorable cowboy would be none other than the one, the only, Lucas.  Floyd & Elaine's son.
 And there's the lovely couple themselves!
 Michelle, their oldest daughter.
    Christopher, their firstborn son.  Doesn't that sound...Biblical?  And lookie here ladies, it looks like he's on the menu, and "hot" at that!  (Man, what is it with this post and corny jokes?)
 Lucas again, with his ice cream cone.  He's just hard not to take pictures of!
    Love this.  Looks like Janene and Floyd are deep in discussion and Merlene and Lindsay are just trying not to laugh. 
 Me and my girl with Elaine and hers, Michelle and Audrey.
 Thanks for all the good times, ladies, I loved every moment.

   I was also able to meet with the volleyball team I used to coach, and catch up on each other's lives over coffee, ice cream, and a walk around Kalona.  Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of that. :(  But hey, that's kind of a theme of this trip.  I certainly didn't capture everything, just little glimpses here and there.  So there you have it folks, my journey has come to a close.  Finally, I can blog about other things now!

   Must run, I have a camping trip to pack for!  Whatever you all are doing tonight and tomorrow, I'm sure it will not be as wonderful as sitting in a chair around a fire, fishing, boating, and lounging.  Sorry, had to break it to you.  

I truly love camping. 

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