Just as we left hours before a spring-type Alaska snow storm, we arrived home just ahead of another fresh coating of the white stuff. Memories of blooming daffodils, flowering cherry trees and rain pelting the moss-covered-just-about-everything and slugs slithering and stinkbugs stinking will be savored (except the moss/stinkbugs and slugs!) until OUR spring, still a good month away. I figure lilacs will bloom in July??!!
It was an amazing trip that could only be orchestrated by the Big Boss Himself. It was a trip down memory lane, with friends and family and new friends who have upheld us and covered us thru every adventure and opportunity we have travelled. From slam-dunking great nephews, to snuggling with giggly little grand-nieces for a photo op, and sharing with many “at the end of your hand”, Bill spoke along the way (besides being my chauffer and bouncer)
Thanks to all who made the trip possible and for all who stretched out their welcome mat to their homes and welcomed us ‘home’ at each stop. More to come in the days ahead. Just wanted you to know: we’re baaaack! And glad to be ‘home’ where our hearts have truly settled.
Now, no more comments from the peanut gallery about this schedule!! Yes, it LOOKS like we’re travelling at hurricane wind speeds, but HONEST (with Bill as my ‘bouncer’!) there ARE rest times built in!!
Check the schedule to see when and where I am speaking, and if you (or friends or family) are in the area, come by!! We have plenty of books to autograph, and at each place I will have a time to share some of our adventures!
March 17: Red -eye into Portland, OR; meet with my webmaster and publishing consultant Don Woodward and Jay Fordice, and time with sisters Mimi and Marnie and spouses. Tour Luis Palau’s ministry facility (Jay works with Luis!); Evening at Marnie/Wayne’s Bible Study; overnight at Don/Beth Woodward’s – Beaverton.
March 18 – Head up I-5 into WA; Pit stop (no pun intended) at Kennedy Creek Rock Quarry (Bill used to work with owner) in Shelton; continue up Hwy 3 to see Care’s brother, Bob’s business in Belfair area: North Mason Fiber (see my book for more info!); Leave around 2:30, head over the NEW Narrow’s Bridge to meet up with missionary friends Jim/Becky Brown for early dinner; overnight with Gwen/Phil Phibb’s @ Tobey Jones (in guest house).
March 19: Breakfast with Gwen/Phil; Visit with Lynn Tanner; Lunch with Bill’s niece, Annette (shhh! Bill doesn’t know that nephew Jon and wife Nicole/daughter Emily are surprising him – they are driving over from Wenatchee since we couldn’t get to them!) Lunch on Tacoma waterfront; Head to Seattle overnight with Care’s high school/college friend Terry/Klem Clements and REST!!!!!
March 20: Speak at Fauntleroy UCC 10 -12; 1-2 meet up with Care’s nephew/niece/kids Charles/Laura/Riley/Talia/Casey from Washington DC; Care’s family dinner event; overnight back at Terry/Klem’s
March 21: ?? Time with Charles/Laura/kids in morning? Head to Enumclaw; Burial (family friend) 4pm; 6 PM: Speaking at: Enumclaw Church of the Nazarene (OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!!) Overnight at Marilyn Hash’s
March 22: Breakfast at the Kettle, Enumclaw; Head to Yakima to Dan/Judy Miller (author of Living, Laughing and Loving Life and my book ‘mentors’!); share with their Bible Study;
March 23: Morning with Dan/Judy (can you say RELAX?!) Head to Spokane; Speaking at Manito Methodist Church 4:30 – 7pm OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!! Book signing and sharing. Overnight at Lynn Swedberg’s
March 24: Speaking at Providence Visiting Nurse Association 8-9 am; 10 am Rockwood At Hawthorne; lunch with Jacki McManus; afternoon with Doug/Riki Watkins; 4:30 – 7pm speaking at Elk Fire Hall/Community Center/Country Church of the Open Bible at Riverside – OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!! Book signing and sharing! Overnight in Spokane.
March 25th: Head to Colfax/Three Forks Orthopedics (one of my “Jiffy Lube mechanics”!) and see friends in Pomeroy. Leisurely “memory lane drive” to Centralia. Overnight with Dan/Louann Burns
March 26th: Women’s Brunch speaking event at Centralia Church of the Nazarene 10-12. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!! (Please contact the church if you are coming!) Spend afternoon/evening with Von Rotz’s? Cookes? Other friends. Overnight with Dan/Louann Burns.
March 27th: Our 35th wedding!! Church at Church of the Nazarene. Lunch with Frankovich Family. Late afternoon head to Kalama/Matt Cooke’s to prep for Monday.
March 28th: LaCenter High School!! Will be in Matt’s classes, sharing my story, cancer awareness/prevention; Tag team with American Cancer Society (Karla Signs); Evening event: OPEN TO THE COMMUNITY 6-8pm: Joint event with book signing, cancer awareness, my sharing and Relay for Life information. Overnight Kalama or Beaverton (depending on if need more time with web/publishing guru’s)
March 29th: AM: Web/publishing time or rest/re-pack; afternoon with Carole Swedberg/Prayers and Squares from her St. Paul’s Methodist Church in Milwaukie, OR.; ??meet up at airport with nephew Brent Dressel?? Fly out 7pm.
March 30th: HOME SWEET HOME!!
So: There you have it!! Keep up with us, show up at one of the events or see you in the funny pages!!
Blessings! Care and Bill
he last two nights we have bundled up in our Arctic gear to stay toasty warm even though the wind were whipping us to and fro. Front row seats to the Greatest Show on Earth were waiting for us to display God’s handiwork at its best. We sat mesmerized watching the Northern Lights. It is the first time I had seen ‘color’ other than green or white that would outline the mountains that sit at our feet. As the patterns gracefully moved across the night sky, a cresent moon and a star-studded palette as a back drop, we could do nothing but sing praises and whispher humble thanks. The reds, oranges, purples, blues, white, yellow and green colors wove themselves into funnels; others made outlines of the mountains, while still others pulsated with each beat of our heart. Bill used his new camera to capture the image above, as Kula (our missionary mutt!) faithfully stood by my side as I raised my heart and hands in thanks for the new day and new health and life we’ve been allowed …..a present. A year ago right now I lay grasping, clinging to life itself, unsure I would see another tomrrow. But tomorrow is gone, yesterday is a dream, and for the very right now, we have the present to be present…..and what a presence we were in tonight! I am filled to over-flowing, and ready to fall into bed, lulled by the site, hushed by the wind. Kissed by the Night Sky. Sweet dreams to be had, under the Midnight Sun!
As I was driving home last night throught the hills, by the lakes and river that lead to our place, the quietness pierced my heart. In the background, one of my favorite (Mary Beth Carlson!) praise/worship tapes was softly playing…..
It was a great time to be still, and to reflect and to hear the voice that comforts, leads and enourages. A verse from 2 Corthinthians 6 (and cross-referenced to Is. 49) came to mind.
“NOW is the appointed time, the acceptable time….I have called you – even before you were born. I made you….unique, special and for a very special purpose. And now….now is the appointed time. Is it too small a thing that you should be my vessel to share the gifts and talents I have given you?”
“Now….even now as it has been a time of affliction and a time requiring much endurance; Even though it has been a time of hardhip, a time requiring much patience; even in dry and hungry times. But it has also been a time of genuine love and kindness, with truth, and with My power sustaining you , and with my weapon of righteousness (making right choices/uses), whether you have been on a mountain top of glory or when you have been dishonored; or when in good report or when others are telling you are wrong. NOW is the appointed time. ”
As I continued to drive, the stars began to peek out from behind the night clouds, and the moon, ever so bright, began to emerge and shine on the expanse of the forested road. I became encouraged, for it HAS been a dry time for me of late; a time when I wrestled heavily with my worthiness as a wife, a mom, a friend, a peer. It has been especially hard with my physical assaults and challenges. I look fine on the outside, but inside the pain is searing. I’ve been tired, in distress, lacking endurance and certainly not patient. I wonder if anyone can see?
But now IS the time. It is time to say “in spite of it all, there IS hope, and there IS a new day, a new beginning.” Maybe I can’t do what I want each day. But as a dear friend would say “pain is inevitable, but misery is optional.”
Someday we will know the rhyme, reason and purpose for all this. Until then, I know we have each other, and now IS the time. What an exciting time to be launched back into writing, speaking and encouraging…..
Care Tuk is a nationally known speaker, educator, and retreat/workshop leader. She has been a school, hospital, and home health occupational therapist for more than 30 years. She has been named as a Top Business Woman in America and recognized for her work with youth, disability outreach and awareness, and the American Cancer Society.