We woke up to a much more peaceful morning on Saturday. It was quiet…and we had a little more time to rest. However, we did want to make one more stop before leaving town.
Some of you will recognize this face. Maybe you know him from the Towson area, or from Young Life, or maybe he did your mortgage! 😉 But to us…he will always be a dear old friend and the best man in our wedding: Tim Donohue.
The last time Joe and I were in Colorado was for his wedding!!! They actually lived in Baltimore for a few years, but now he and his family live in Colorado and we just couldn’t pass up this opportunity to see them! He and Leslie (who is a doll ❤ ) have three adorable girls now! Time flies! But we loved hearing about what’s new in their life and seeing them in this new stage.
Soooo…remember how all our plans are up in the air now? We had only talked to them the day before about stopping by and they didn’t blink. They offered several different times and scenarios to get together. What we *didn’t* know was that simultaneously, they had a HOUSEFUL of nieces and nephews visiting from Maryland!!!
These are all sweet kids that we’ve known for a long time! They had been arriving in shifts…and then the Raabs call about stopping by in Rigby…what are the chances?! 😉
But, as I said, Tim and Leslie never made it a big deal…and they had lots of hugs and a huge breakfast spread waiting for us when we got there! ❤ And some of these kids, we hadn’t seen since we taught them at Cambridge! You can imagine our shock! But we LOVED catching up with them and they were all so sweet to the boys.
Thanks for the hospitality, Donohues (and Saunders)! We love you!
From there, we needed to make our way into Nebraska. Most people complain about this portion of the trip…through middle America. But for us – it was long and flat, with NO DRAMA…a welcome sight!
It took us about 20 miles to find a Welcome Center on 80 East. We hopped out of the car, all excited, based on our prior experiences…but…wah wah….
Everything was closed!
What the heck? We were feeling a little underwhelmed… 😉
After getting back on the road, we decided I should probably try to find a campsite for the night. Our goal was to get to Lincoln, NE, so we wouldn’t have too far to drive to the church we wanted to attend in the morning.
I called FOUR different campsites in and around Lincoln…they were ALL sold out!!
This has not happened ONCE on our entire trip!!
I finally asked the girl on the last call if there was an event in town or something that may have been causing this. She said, “Well, it’s Christmas in July!” Cute. ❤ (But I didn’t get it.)
So I went back to the All Stays app (great resource!) and took a gamble on a site closer to where we were coming from than Lincoln. It would mean less driving that night (we had already been on the road for several hours) but it would be more driving in the morning before church. Hmmm…
But, they had a site available! Yes!!!
According to the GPS, we would arrive there around 6:30. Here’s ANOTHER thing that hasn’t happened so far on our trip! Usually, we have so much driving to do, we don’t get to the site until after dark! And we never get to actually enjoy it! (This was another factor in my meltdown the day before.)
But now, we would actually get to “camp” – yay!
MUCH to our surprise, we pulled into the RV park and it sits right on this beautiful lake! The boys instantly got out and ran right down to the water. I can’t describe how this felt… Peaceful is a good start, but it was more than that…
I took a blanket down, sat in the sand, and watched as they skipped rocks and played in the water. It was a dream… It takes me back to the calm we felt at Sherman’s in Virginia. And the simple things we enjoyed at Joey’s. We just didn’t have these opportunities lately, once we started having problems with Eleanor. The day before, I think I was just having a hard time getting over the disappointment of not getting the trip we imagined.
But this sweet moment by the lake, was like time stood still. I had so much gratitude in my heart for that place. I publicly confess I had a bad attitude about Nebraska, back at the Welcome Center. Who knew?! Thank God for Christmas in July!! 😉
Then, we actually got to cook on the camp stove – haven’t done that since Space Camp! And eventually, the boys went for the gusto and started swimming. We had a relaxed dinner and the weather was beautiful…even a little chilly – perfect camping weather! Afterwards, the boys were ready for hot showers in a real bathroom. ❤
But what’s more?? The campsite had free wifi! That’s what allowed me to catch up on the blog while they were all in the bath house!! Everyone was happy!
Lord, thank you for this unexpected blessing in Kearny, Nebraska! Please help us to keep our eyes open for more – in the midst of the challenges of life.
| Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for his mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness! |
– Lamentations 3:23-24