Europe/South Africa Vacation

The journey begins

Friday, September 5th I began a lifelong dream to go to Europe. Celebrating 40 (+1) years of marriage and my 60th birthday seem appropriate milestones to realize this dream. First stop Houston where I meet up with Mike, and from here, on September 9th we fly direct to Amsterdam. I can hardly wait! But first we catch up with friends who we have journeyed 37 years with. Elvia and Alfredo know us better than anyone else – and they still love us! They have been faithful friends through all the ups and downs of life, have cried and laughed with us, been there for us countless times, continue to grow in the Lord and are some of our greatest joy on this earth. Thankyou Lord for adding them to our lives back in Guadalajara, Mexico in 1977.

Elvia’s sister is here and so we stayed with Ron and Leslie Sanchez down the road for the first night. It’s Norma’s last night and Elvia wanted to do something really Texan for her so we all went to a country and western club. All the cowboys and cowgirls were there with their boots and hats and studded belts. Line dancing and couples dancing on a large circle dance floor with seats all around the outer perimeter. Yeehaw!

Saturday we had eggs and chorizo for brunch, mmmm, did a little shopping and moved ourselves over to the Gaxiola’s. Sunday morning I Skyped with Beda and Isabelle to ask last minute questions and let them know when we will be arriving in Switzerland. We also met Beda and Isabelle 37 years ago in language school in Guadalajara, and due to Isabelle’s faithful Christmas letters have kept up with them ever since. This will be the first time to see them in 37 years! A lifetime to get caught up on! Off to church, Mike preaching – he did an awesome job – and reconnecting to folks who we’ve known for 32 years when we moved to Houston in 1982. There was Deany Lowrey who was my midwife for the delivery of Amy, (also present for the birth of Emma) Betty Ferguson, who used to be the secretary of the church back in the day who also celebrates the same birthday as Mike (they had cake together this year – Mike turning 63 and Betty 84), the Marconi’s whose son Gregory and Joel were in our regular play dates together, Miss Vicky who was our neighbour and whose daughters are some of Lisa’s best friends to name a few. So many memories, so many experiences. Never realizing while you are in the journey where life will take you, where God is leading you and what he is preparing you for.

We had lunch at a great Mexican restaurant with several friends then braved a Texas downpour complete with thunder and lightning to see an iconic movie ‘Cantinflas’ with Alfredo and Elvia. Cantinflas would be the Charlie Chaplin of Mexico, although a few years later. It was his life story ending with the making of the movie ‘Around the World in 80 Days’ for which he won best actor over Marlon Brando and Yul Brynner. After conquering Hollywood he went back to Mexico to continue being one of their best loved entertainers and to live out the rest of his days. Quite appropriate to see this with A&E.

Monday we visited with Irene, a kind and gentle soul who came with her family to our little church in Guadalajara and embraced the gospel. They moved from Mexico to Houston with us and has had her share of heartache, yet is still faithful to her God. So wonderful to see her, brings back so many memories.



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