Monday, May 27, 2013

Another weekend home: sisters, suicide, storms, weddings, and rock n' roll

We made another journey back home this past weekend (Sat. - Mon.). My cousin's daughter was getting married and my sister and her boys were going to be there. We hadn't seen them in awhile and we wanted to go to the wedding anyway.

We left FW around 11 am EDT Saturday and once again went our new route through Chicago. It took us right about 4 1/2 hours again and traffic was not too bad. We got 37 mpg. It started to sprinkle just as we entered Bureau County. It was a good trip.

My sister and her son Kevin were already at my parents house when we got there. They arrived the day before. They were playing dominoes with my mom so we joined the game as soon as we got there. We played for awhile and chatted, then ate supper eventually. We kind of just hung around the house, and then around 9 pm we headed over to Brother's and listened to Windjam again. Deb & Kevin went too. We had a good time there and chatted with several old friends. Jane's brother Terry and his wife were there too. Deb & Kevin left after the band quit playing at midnight, but as usual we somehow managed to stay past closing time. I think we got back to my parents house around 2 am (which was 3 am our time). We sat in the car out in front of the house for awhile talking, and all of a sudden a red fox went trotting past our car down 'A' Street. It got to the end of the street and took a left down West Street. It was kind of funny. Small town living.

We only got about 4 hours of sleep and got up and went to the 9 am service at Bunker Hill Sunday morning. My parents, Deb & Kevin didn't go. I like Stephan's preaching even though his english isn't real great (he is Korean). Afterward we had coffee with some old friends in the fellowship hall and stayed through the Sunday School time chatting with them. We got back to my parents house around 11:30 and Deb and Kevin were just getting out of bed. Then we had lunch. Mom made a meatloaf.

After lunch one of my best friends from high school (Tim K.) stopped by. He has lived in Korea for a long time. Has a military job even though he is no longer in the military. Something to do with protecting top secret information or something. Anyway, it was great to visit with him even if only briefly.

We left for the wedding around 2:30 Sunday afternoon. It was in Peoria at the Imago Dei church on Arcadia. It was a neat old church with lots of stained glass windows. Very cool. An interesting thing about this wedding.... My cousin Lori is the brides mother, and she married my sister's ex-husbands brother. It sounds a little odd, but really, they're not related. But it makes our families related. And the groom is from Germany. He came here as a high school foreign exchange student, then came back for college. So there were quite a few people from Germany there too. It was kind of cool. Germans seem to be a bit wild. :) Anyway, it was a very nice wedding. I liked how the pastor did it. And they had a neat video presentation at the end. Then we headed to the reception at the Gateway Building on the Peoria riverfront. I got mixed up on directions so we saw a car from the wedding and just followed them down through the city. It was easy to find. A beautiful building.

I almost forgot.... We drove my parents down because my sister and her son were staying overnight in Peoria with all of her ex's family. So I was driving my mom's Hyundai SUV and my sister and her son followed us in her car. So, anyway, the reception place was really really nice, and it was a really nice reception. Those Germans came to party, and everyone was having a good time. Everyone except my dad, that is. He was ready to leave before we even got there. So once the dancing started he made us leave. He said he had to get home. I don't know what for though. So we headed home around 9 pm.

That is when things got a bit tense. I have traveled the 40-some miles from Peoria to Buda thousands of times, and this was the worst trip ever. When we left the river area downtown it was pretty nice out, but just as we left the north side of Peoria it started to sprinkle a bit, and it was getting dark. So we were tooling along rt. 40 in the rain and the dark, and it started to rain harder; and there was a lot of thunder and lightning; and then the wind really started to blow. I managed to find the defroster and figure out the windshield wipers in my mom's vehicle and it wasn't too terribly bad. However, all of a sudden we hit a wall of water and mud and you couldn't see a thing and I felt the vehicle starting to slip and slide. I had never hit mud and water like that before. Finally the wipers cleared the windshield off and we were somehow still on the road. The roads were covered with water and mud from the fields and since it was dark it was impossible to see. It continued to pour down rain and we hit areas like that a couple more times. My heart was beating a million miles a minute. We finally limped our way to Tanner's Orchard and pulled off there with several other cars. I can't believe none of us got thrown off into the ditch. We sat there for awhile and started back out. For awhile it wouldn't be too bad, but then it would start pouring again and you would hit water across the road. We just kept creeping along about 30-40 mph and the further north we went the better it seemed to get. It took what seemed like forever to get back to Buda. We were all very relieved and didn't think we had ever seen water across the roads (with mud and rocks) like that before. That ranks right up there as the most scared I have ever been while driving.

So we made it back and went to bed. We slept really good that night. Today we got up and it was still rainy. My dad was quite frantic right away as he is in charge of the American Legion Memorial Day service every year in our town. So he was up and ready and doing stuff. We had breakfast and then got packed up and left around 9:30 am. It was a nice pleasant drive - even through Chicago - and we arrived home in the 4 1/2 hour timeframe. It didn't start raining on us until about an hour from home and it never did rain hard.

On the way to Buda we listened to a great blues radio station out of Chicago. It was really good. On the way home we caught a really nice oldies station out of Mishawaka, I believe. We don't usually listen to the radio, or anything, but for some reason we did this time. It was kinda nice.

We also learned while we were there that a friend and classmate of Jane's committed suicide. One of the twins. His dad shot himself years ago, and that's what Tony did. He was apparently living with his twin brother at the time, and one day just rented a motel room and did it. I used to work with him at the chimney factory. We talked on several occasions. I knew he had some issues, but just never imagined this. Though I'm not really surprised. Makes me feel bad though. I wished I'd talked to him more openly about stuff. Crazy world.

So I guess that's it in a rather large and long nutshell. I forgot to mention visiting with the friend from Katmandu, Nepal, and Jane's family, and the band members, and discussing the bar church idea again, and lots and lots of things Jane and I discussed about church and faith and the future. It was a good trip in spite of some of the usual minor family issues. And now it's Monday evening and raining.

Peace out; and in.