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Wrapping up one adventure; preparing for another one!

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Grandaddy w/Shep

Grandaddy w/grandchild #9

   When our 9th grandson was born, my husband and I were blessed to be able to travel to where he was born. Then after about 2 weeks, my husband left for home and I remained in order to work with the staff children during a training session in the bush.

Sweet Togetherness!

Sweet Togetherness!

 

 

   On July 5th I wrapped up my ‘back to the bush’ posts about that great adventure entitled, ‘My final adventure-flying home!’  

 

 

The land of my dreams.

The land of my dreams.

   And just in time too. For in August, my husband and I will be meeting our son and his family in Scotland.

Why Scotland you may ask?

  Well, it just so happens that next year our son will be studying at the University of Edinburg working on his master’s in linguistics. Therefore, they will be taking care of the details involved in finding a place to live, etc. They will take some of their vacation time to accomplish this.

Now here’s where we get involved!

Our grandson (grandchild number 10) was born back in March. We were not able to travel to visit with him after he was born like we were able to do for his big brother. Therefore, we planned this trip to meet them in Scotland. Not only will we have the delight of seeing our new grandson for the very first time, but we will also get to see his 2 1/2 year old big brother, our son, and our daughter in law.  I have dreamed of traveling to Scotland for years and now thanks to my son’s need to study at the University of Edinburgh, my dream is coming true.

   Now, there’s a verse in Luke 6:38 that pretty much describes how I feel about embarking upon this new adventure:

“Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure–pressed down, shaken together, and running over.

Yep, in about 25 days my husband and mine’s blessing register will go off the scale. 

TOGETHERNESS!

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   Next year, my son and his family will be returning home for a few months prior to heading out of country again in order for my son to take graduate courses. But during this year and in about 3 1/2 months my husband and I will be joining up with them for a couple of weeks vacation in that same country. The first few days will be spent taking care of details having to do with registration, etc. The days after that will be all about making memories! 

 

HOW WILL I SPEND MY TIME?

 

   Holding and cuddling my 5 month old grandson for the very first time. Singing songs to him and playing games with him like I did with his daddy. Lending a hand in his care and feeding; allowing him moments to become accustomed to my face and the sound of my voice. 

   Playing with my 2 year old grandson. Reading books to him! Showing him pictures and telling him about his daddy’s family (his cousins, etc) back in the States. Doing as much running around and chasing after him as these grandmother’s physical limitations will allow. Singing him songs I use to sing to his daddy and teaching him some of the words. Learning some of the new songs and games he might want to teach me.

   Taking long leisurely walks with my son; talking about whatever comes to mind. He has ventured out in new directions since I saw him last. I am curious about his take on all of that. 

   Sitting on the side lines and listening to the thoughts and ideas my husband and son will share with each other. (One of my favorite past times when we are all together)

  Enjoying the interaction that transpires between my son, his wife, and their boys. Watching them being a family; filing those moments into my memory banks to keep them close to me after we have to part. 

   Having precious moments to focus on my daughter in law; exchanging thoughts and ideas, sharing the sights and sounds together. Her life’s experiences have expanded as well. I long to hear all about those. 

  Doing some real honest to goodness babysitting, while our son and daughter in law venture out to explore and experience the fascinations of the land we will be visiting. 

  Spending quiet moments absorbing God’s spectacular handiwork; recording in word and pictures all that I’m able so that I can share with those back home. 

  Seeing places with my own eyes, that until then had only been experienced in my dreams.

And all of this in the context of togetherness!

 

 

Safari!!!!!!

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Shortly before my husband returned to the States, our son planned an event for us that exceeded all my expectations.  I had read about people doing such things but never dreamed I would ever have the opportunity myself!  So what was it?

Yep, a Safari!

But don’t get any crazy ideas that we marched single file through the jungle while the natives sang (I know, been watching too many Tarzan movies)with a tight grip upon our big ole elephant guns.  Nope, fortunately those days are gone (at least I hope they are) for this was a photo safari.  We just gazed in wonder at these grand animals grazing peacefully without the restraint of metal bars and tiny habitats. It stirred something deep within me to see these animals living in freedom.

There were several of these majestic creatures, all ages.

There were several of these majestic creatures, all ages.

Grace in motion.  Saw 3 of these giraffes.

Grace in motion. Saw 3 of these giraffes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Game park tukals.

Game park tukals.

 

Above is a picture of the dwellings we stayed in at the game park (we stayed overnight).  These tukals were unique because unlike the tukals I had seen and would be living in a few weeks from this time, it had an attached bathroom.  NICE!

 

Our guide spotting elephant herds.

Our guide spotting elephant herds.

Let me back up a minute.  You will be amused, I think to know how our excursion to the game park began.

“You might have laughed at us when we pulled out for not only were the 5 of us Lanes in the truck, we also had 4 men in the back + a goat.  One man was dropped off in a town where he was going to buy some sorghum and tomorrow we will pick him up.  The other guy and goat rode almost all the way to the park.  We dropped them off right as we turned onto the road to the entrance.  The goat rode well, and we did too as long as we kept the windows down!” journal entry 1-10-13

Oh well, when you don’t possess a vehicle you just wait around long enough and someone who has a vehicle will be going where you want to go and you simply hitch a ride (animal/s included).  It’s the way of life there.

After getting to the park, we unpacked our vehicle, loaded our stuff into the tukals, and set off for our (mine and my husbands first) safari.  All I kept saying was “Wow”, for I just couldn’t get over the fact that these zoo animals were roaming around free as a bird.  No cages, no glass walls between us, no zookeepers tending to them, and most impressive to me, unrestricted room to spread out.

Off we go, with the best view in the house, or game reserve!

Off we go, with the best view in the house, or game reserve!

Our evening at the game park was indescribable.  Peaceful beyond description.  After helping my daughter-in-law prepare supper (I’m from the south and that’s what we call it) of super delicious chili, we sat around a fire and visited.

The elders, one American and one African.

The elders, one American and one African.

Great day, tasty supper, sweet fellowship.

Great day, tasty supper, sweet fellowship.

The next day we enjoyed our 2nd safari and saw more cape buffalo, hardy beast, water buck, tiny antelope animals, warthogs, zebras, giraffes, elephants, and there were more just can’t remember their names.  But I’m disappointed to write, we never saw lions.  But that wasn’t from want of trying.  I suppose I’ll have to hope for better luck next time.  And God willing, I’m definitely looking forward to a next time.

 * * * * * * *

God has poured His grace upon me in a variety of ways to make learning how to live so far apart from my son a doable thing for me.  This being a missionary’s mom is certainly a difficult life to live.  So hard, in fact that I couldn’t pull this off without God.  For it is His strength that equips me to make it through these days I now live as a missionary’s mom.

But having the memories of our visit to where my son now lives, goes a long way to keeping my spirits up and my focus on God.  By being there, I saw with my own eyes how contended and at peace with life my son is.  Knowing that my son is loving his life there is all I need to be okay with him being so far away.

 

 

 

Vacationing in Africa!

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The suv was as tightly packed on the inside as it was on the outside!

The suv was as tightly packed on the inside as it was on the outside!

With Christmas behind us and the suv packed and loaded (that was no small task), the 5 of us set out for our son’s home.  If you drive straight through, you could make it in 13 hours.  But with a nursing baby in tow, that’s just not possible or wise!  And considering we were taking advantage of the opportunity to insert a couple of side trips, we extended the drive to a 5-day trip.

Ever driven on roads in a 3rd world country?  Let me put it this way.  If you ever do, it will create a whole new appreciation for the smooth blacktop roads here in the U.S.  The bumps were so frequent that I think my son needs to seriously consider wearing one of those belts around his waist to protect him from all that jostling about.

In the U.S. we (the 4 of us) have enjoyed a couple of memorable road trips.  This trip was memorable as well, but for vastly different reasons.  This American girl had a difficult time adjusting to the horribly bumpy roads (bumps were mostly due to potholes).  And when we got to an area where a road grater had recently been, the word “smooth” became completely redefined.  I felt a less bumpy road beneath me but I would in no way describe it as smooth!

In America stops along the way for ‘necessary’ reasons are easily managed.  Not so on this road trip.  It’s a 3rd world country remember and even if you could find a toilet, you probably wouldn’t want to use it.  So what’s your options?  Yep, pull over!  But slow down for you need to make sure there’s no traffic (people or vehicles).  Then do what you have to do.  (Staying close to the vehicle is advisable for women. Just so you’ll know).  I avoided this option for as long as I possibly could.

Next stop?  The mountains and clear running mountain streams!  This certainly did not prepare me for the area where my son lives but the memories of this picture sustained me.  I am not a dry climate kind of a person!

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The whole time I was in Africa, I kept pinching myself because it seemed so surreal that I was actually there.  It was like living out something that I had read in National Geographic. My journey had just begun.  I had no idea what God had in store for me!  I’ll tell you all about the above picture in my next post!

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