Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Helpful, Caring, Friendly People
Made My Wet Weekend, Wonderful
Wednesday May 29, 2013

This past weekend included Memorial Day, so we planned a long weekend trip to accomplish many things on our "to do list". 

The thing that HAD to be done, was a trip to pre-register for my upcoming surgery, at Memorial Hermann Hospital in the Medical Center in Houston.  That couldn't be done on the weekend or the holiday so we scheduled it for Tuesday, the day after Memorial Day.  I have decided to cover the Houston part of our trip in a separate blog entry due to the length of this entry.

Having the Houston visit after the holiday, gave us a long weekend to do some fun things with family and friends.  Both of us needed a break.  We closed our office at noon on Friday, packed the car, and headed to San Antonio to have dinner with our son, David and his family.  Half way to San Antonio we encountered a blinding rain storm with very heavy winds and got the car wash that I had not had time to work into my schedule.  Each time on the trip when we needed to make a stop, the rain stopped and then started again as we drove on toward our destination!

 We arrived at our luxury hotel where Ron had gotten an outstanding price online.  Our room overlooked the courtyard of this spectacular Doubletree Hotel in the heart of San Antonio.  We met Dave and his family at Cracker Barrel for a delicious supper, great conversation and lots of laughs.  David and his wife communicate with me by either texting me on their cell phones or using the iTranslate program to speak into their phones and having it type out their words.  It was a relaxing evening of food, fellowship, and a little shopping.  Cracker Barrel always has wonderful, fun items in their gift shop!

The only real problem my hearing caused while we were in San Antonio involved my desire to take a bath Friday night after we got back from supper. Ron was exhausted and immediately went to sleep. I was all set for a relaxing, leisurely bath, but I could not get the water in the tub to turn on. I debated my options. Ron was so tired I hated to bother him. I couldn't "call" the desk since I can't use a phone. I thought about going to the desk, but if they offered to move us to another room, that would mean waking Ron and I didn't want to do that. I even looked for email addresses for the hotel, but that still would have disturbed Ron if they came to fix it or to move us. In the end, I skipped the bath and went to sleep. The next morning I explained the situation to Ron and he said I needed to "pull" the knob on the faucet and then turn it. I had tried pulling, but obviously, not hard enough.

I love thunder and rain.  One disadvantage to my hearing loss is not being able to hear those storms and enjoy the rolling thunder and the pitter-patter of rain drops on the rooftop.  Well, you would have thought even a deaf person could have heard the storm in San Antonio that night (but I didn't hear a thing).  Ron woke me the next morning with donuts from Shipley's (my favorite travel breakfast)and explained that it took a while to get them since so many roads were closed due to the flooding!  What flooding???  I had slept through most of the 9.9 inches of rain that San Antonio got - most of that rain falling in a 6 hour period during the night!  We had planned to leave fairly early Saturday to go on to Dallas to see our youngest son, but we waited until about 9:30 to head north when the worst of the storm had moved on out of San Antonio.  

As we headed north the storm traveled along with us for much of the way.  Again as we needed to stop for gas, the rain quit, we got our gas, and as we pulled out of the station, the rain began pouring on our route.  We took the loop around Austin and the rain stopped in that area.  Then we cut back over to Round Rock to go to Pok-e-Joe's for an outstanding Bar-B-Q lunch and got back in the car as the rain started again.  God was with us each part of the trip!  Spring storms in Texas make us think of tornadoes and the damage they can cause, but as we passed the exit to the little town of West, we were reminded of their recent disaster with the explosion of the fertilizer plant.  We pray for the people of West and the many areas recently hit by the springtime tornadoes in the Central part of our country.

We arrived in Dallas late in the afternoon and went to the Christian Bookstore where our son Stephen works.  If you live in that area and have not made a trip to Logos Bookstore, you must add it to your "to do list".  It is a great store and a wonderful young man on their staff named Stephen can help you find just what you need.  We spent time and money at the store while waiting for Stephen to close the store.  There were showers off and on while we shopped.  

I think all of our sons are romantics.  There is a very special young lady in our youngest son Stephen's life and he was eager for us to meet her; and he wanted us to meet her where he had met her - at Logos Bookstore.  He had arranged for her to arrive just after closing time and after we chatted a while he explained that he wanted us to meet her where he did, so I asked where and how it happened.  They took us to the corner where she had been sitting on the floor looking at a book and "reenacted" the event for us as we delighted in watching their antics and obvious feelings for one another.  After a little more visiting, we headed to Chili's for a good supper in a quiet corner.  The young lady, Kristina, had been prepared for my hearing difficulties and quickly adapted to speaking into the microphone on my amplifier.  We all laughed our way through a great evening.

Sunday morning we met Kristina at Park Cities Baptist Church for the worship service and Bible Study.  Another of Stephen's friends joined us for church.  Stephen had contacted the minister that would be preaching the service we were attending (they have several services) and had explained my hearing situation and he graciously emailed Stephen a detailed outline of the sermon. Stephen pulled it up on his laptop and would type in additional comments as the sermon progressed.  I appreciate the help of so many to keep me connected in the worship services.  I thank Stephen for asking and for his minister being willing to help out in the way he did. 

God was not finished.  He had a wonderful gift waiting for us in that service - unexpected and unplanned by all involved except for our loving Heavenly Father.  When Stephen was in college at Texas A&M, he was in a singing group at his church and met a young man named Curtis, who quickly became like a brother to him.  As we got to the sanctuary at the church, I asked Stephen if this was the church where Curtis had served a couple of years before while attending Southwestern Seminary.  He said that it was, but that Curtis was finishing his studies at another location and he didn't think he was on staff at this church any longer.  The music had just started as we entered the sanctuary and what a thrill it was for all of us to see Curtis as the Worship Leader of the service!  This is a very special, humble young man who has touched our hearts over the years.  Curtis was unprepared for my hearing loss, but the big, bear hug he gave me overcame any need for words.  After the service we were able to visit with him and Stephen asked if he was in that service every week (Stephen had been attending another service).  He said he was only able to be there about once every two months, and (in God's timing) it was the Sunday that we were visiting!  God is good!  He gives us more gifts that we can ever imagine and one of those gifts for us this week was getting to see Curtis again.  God is going to continue to use this young man in amazing ways in the years to come.

After church, we went to a small, QUIET, Mexican food restaurant to meet Kristina's mother (Omeda) for lunch.  We had a good lunch in a setting she had selected because of the quiet surroundings.  What a blessing that all of them had taken steps to prepare to make things as easy as possible for me. 

After a good lunch and visit, we headed to Omeda's lovely home in a family friendly neighborhood with huge trees and beautiful lawns.  Ron and Stephen spent the afternoon working on replacing the locks on the house (as per Stephen's request) and Omeda, Kristina, and I were left to have an all girls' visit.  Omeda had prepared a beautiful array of goodies for us to enjoy over the course of the afternoon, and not knowing how well we would be able to could communicate, she had prepared notebooks and pens so we could use them if necessary.  But as I have mentioned before, in a quiet setting, one on one, I do okay with the personal amplifier.  The three of us managed very well.  There were a lot of photos and stories shared over course of the relaxing afternoon at the breakfast nook in Omeda's kitchen.  Again, it was a blessing to me to see how others worked to make my situation easier.  Mother and daughter were gracious hosts.  In the early evening a close friend of Omeda's joined us and added to the laughter and fun.  Norman is just a big teddy bear of a guy with a heart of gold and it was a joy to spend time with him. 

Still, as much fun as we were having, there came a point that I had to go off alone for a while.  My brain was on overload as my hearing abilities were stretched to the limit, so I left the rest of them to finish up the visit and sought a little seclusion.  I hated to miss out, but mentally I was exhausted.  Straining to hear is WORK.  (I think I mentioned that before.)  Ron and I headed back to Stephen's apartment and Stephen took Kristina home.  It was a while before Stephen arrived and I had time to relax and read.  When he got home, he and I sat up visiting until the wee hours of the morning.

Monday morning, Ron started work on the locks on Stephen's place (after getting Shipley's donuts for us as he had done the day before).  Stephen and I went to the grocery store and stocked his refrigerator and I started lunch.  He helped his dad and about the time lunch was ready, Kristina arrived.  Following lunch, Kristina and I baked cupcakes and while they cooled, we all headed to a fabric store in Plano.  I was able to get a few sewing notions that I needed.  Back at the apartment the cupcakes were cool so Kristina and began to decorate them and before long Stephen joined in the fun.

As much as we hated to leave, it was time to head to Houston to be ready for my appointment the next morning at the hospital.  It was hard to say good-bye to Stephen and Kristina.  Reminded me of the song I loved in the musical The Music Man that says, "Where is the good in good-bye...?"

 P.S.  Most of you know that Ron can put on a "gruff" exterior and some worry how the grand kids and others will accept it.  Several (including some of the daughters-in-law) warned him to "be nice" to Kristina - not to scare her away.  For those who worried...
...I think she has him pegged!


  1. So glad you had such a great weekend. You and Ron both needed a break. So thrilled to hear about Stephens friend. He looks so happy!

    1. Thanks, Tiny. It was a very nice weekend - a little stressful with the combination of heavy rain and heavy traffic, but even the rain was such a blessing to Texas that we couldn't complain and it kept it cooler. Stephen is happy and it was a delight to meet Kristina.