Let me show you some snap shots of my summer, beginning with the wonderful week Lory and I spent at Chris and Harvey Place’s condo in Mammoth Lake, California.
Look at the scene from their windows: see the snow-capped mountains in the distance and a fast-flowing stream in the foreground, carrying the melting snow into the valley. Notice the wild flowers spotting the meadow with red, yellow and gold, proudly and humbly waving Nature’s flag. Awesome. Nature was never displayed more magnificently.
We drove from Mammoth to Yosemite National Park, where I was able to purchase a Golden Age Passport: “A Lifetime Admission Permit,” it says, “issued to any citizen or permanent resident of the United States who is 62 years of age or older,” It’s a great $10 investment.
The cascading waterfalls can’t be captured with cameras, but you can get a hint; the ragged rocks towering above the valley floor…one scene after another. Take a look at this picture – it’s a big rattle snake we watched slithering along the edge of the water across from El Capitan.
This is a photo of Lory and me as we drove through the mountains in Yosemite; and here we are hiking and trying to find words to describe the experience; words like amazing, wonderful, majestic, and word-of-the-week: awesome…the emotion that mingles reverence and wonder.
Here’s a shot of us reluctantly loading our luggage back into the rental car and looking at the map to find our way from Mammoth to Santa Rosa, to the home of a great high school buddy, Rich Robbins and his wife Belvia. We’ll skip the pictures of the seven-hour drive and go straight to their kitchen where you can see us sipping the champagne Rich popped for this special occasion. Notice the picture of the four of us sitting in the shade at a picnic table at their favorite winery – and, yes, that is a linen table cloth, silver and elegant wine glasses. Three days with our friends, including an exciting day in the hills of San Francisco and two days of wine-country touring, whizzed by, but they remain imbedded in the appreciation we carried from their home.
Now we’re off to Monterey, where we stayed for five days to attend the concerts at Carlyn’s camp – the California School of Music. That’s Carlyn smiling in the cellist chair.
There’s a lot more we could show you from these two wonderful weeks away, but we need to fast-forward to some recent pictures close to home. Here’s one of Manish and me, sitting in my office talking about the direction his ministry will take between now and June – notice the big smile on his face and the notebook in his hands with lists of the committees with whom he’s already working, and the people with whom he’s been visiting. He’s inviting you onto that list.
Here’s a snapshot of our new Social Justice Director, David Vita, meeting with Jan Park, Frances Sink and me. His enthusiasm and warmth leaps out at you. We’ll all be there for our special Homecoming Service on September 11, and we look forward to seeing you in person.