"My tongue is the pen of a ready writer…I will make Thy Name to be remembered in all generations: therefore shall the people praise Thee for ever and ever" (Psalms 45: l, 17).

A long time ago when I was young, and admission to movies was ten cents, you really got your money's worth. Before the movie began, you saw a news reel, comedy (cartoons), and travelogue. I loved seeing the faraway places all over God's beautiful world, and dreaming of visiting them some day. My husband had no desire to travel outside of Texas…except for bowling tournaments! During our 55 years of marriage, we only took three real vacations:

to the Holy Land where Jesus walked, a Caribbean cruise, and his return to Pearl Harbor.

Our daughter Dortha is the traveler with five weeks of vacation from her job. She and Dale take lots of pictures for me to enjoy. They attend the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo almost every night. Spent four days in May in Nashville, Tennessee at the Country Music Association Music Fest, listening to western music from 10:00 A.M. 'till midnight.

In June, they flew to Los Angeles, boarded a ship for a cruise along the Mexican Rivera, visiting Cabo San Lucas, where they rode dune buggies over the desert and along the beach.

In Puerto Vallarta, they went horseback riding to the top of a waterfall; swam in the pool below.

Their hotel in Cancun had a private Jacuzzi outside their bedroom. They took a ferry ride to Isla Mujeres (three miles long; seven miles around) and toured the place in a golf cart. A family lived in a concrete house shaped like a conch shell! From the water park, they floated down the river on inner tubes…not an easy trip with the current flowing one way and the wind the other! Someone constructed a floating "island" of plastic bottles and built a house on top of it.

Dortha is a member of the International Association of Administrative Professionals. Their conference in May was held in Boston, Massachusetts for the election of an International Director for the Southwest District. The 98 delegates would vote on three candidates including Dortha and a good friend, Suzan. On the first ballot, Suzan received 10 more votes than Dortha.
Without a majority, a second ballot was required. Dortha received 5 more votes than Suzan, winning the election. The term lasts two years, and surely Suzan will win next time. Dortha was most impressed by churches on almost every corner in downtown Boston. Two chapels were in the mall housing the conference and there was a very large church on the corner.
Dortha and Dale are consultants in their church, witnessing to new Christians.

My brother Jerry was in Florida April 5th at 6:00 a.m. to see the lift-off of the shuttle to the space station. He had a front-row seat -- two miles from the shuttle, with a lake between!

An hour before, the Space Station traveled overhead -- an awesome sight! The shuttle weighs three million tons! The thrust was like several atomic bombs; a ball of fire at the bottom. In ten seconds, it is up and in orbit, 1,800 miles away -- traveling 2,000 miles per hour. WOW!

Jerry is pastor of Farrington Baptist Church. He holds a weekly Bible study on Tuesdays
9:30 a.m. at the Amegy Bank on Hwy 6 in Santa Fe, TX. It's open to the public, non-denominational, averages 35 attendees. He's an excellent teacher. I wish this wasn't so far away.

My granddaughter, Sarah and a team from her church flew on a mission trip to Bulgaria Arrival in Budapest, Hungary at 11:00 a.m. gave them a day for sight-seeing. The cab drive to the hotel was along the Danube River. Sunday morning, they flew to Sophia in Vienna; enjoyed a Bulgarian church service with an English translator. Sarah wrote, "It was wonderful to see God is working in people all over the world, in all different languages. God and love are universal."
They toured the city all afternoon, deriving pleasure from the amazing architecture. At a large church, they were blessed with special singing and a visit from the Patriarch of all the Orthodox churches in Bulgaria. Sarah was greatly impressed by the gorgeous chandeliers.

That evening, the group joined a translator to practice their skit…a continuing story with a chapter each night. It is about an "unsaved" boy whose adventures lead him to God. He accepts Christ in the last episode on Friday. The night ended with group prayer.
Early Monday morning, after breakfast, their hosts arrived in a large van, with a small trailer behind for holding the luggage, to take them to TRAN, Bulgaria. Here, they would build a playground and host Young Life club for the local children. The scenic drive took over an hour up and around mountains on the western edge of Bulgaria, near the Serbian border.

The group accommodations were at a hotel being renovated -- should be ready for guests in a couple of weeks! There was no electricity all day, but it did come on at nightfall. Even when the doors were locked, they could be opened by the handle! They weren't sure what would happen with their stuff all day while they were working on the playground. There were no window coverings; no shower curtain. Sheets and towels were brand new -- unwashed.
They went to the playground sight to access supplies, scope out plans, play games with the 50 children, none of whom spoke English. These summer days were long and very hot.

The children helped sanding a lot of boards for priming and painting. Some just hung around.
All seemed friendly, hungry for attention, and hugs. One of the children, Ekaterina, taught Sarah how to count to ten in Bulgarian. The first night, 112 people attended--adults and older kids of the town. At each service, they sang songs, played games. The team put on their skit. Their associate pastor gave a talk, with the translator, followed by a closing song.

I am proud of Sarah, a fashion designer and a sweet, precious Christian, faithful to God.
My sister Cora took a vacation in the Big Bend Country with her three daughters this summer. Cathy and Eddie and Norma and Craig rode their motorcycles. Linda and Cora rode in the pickup which held all their luggage and supplies. One evening just before they reached Ft. Stockton, Eddie's cycle "died". There was practically no traffic on the highway which was bordered by those tall trees and very thick underbrush. They pushed the Harley into the bushes where it was well hidden, and drove on to Ft. Stockton to spend the night. The next morning, they drove to a rented house in Marfa and unloaded the pickup. They learned the closest Harley-
Davidson Co. was in El Paso. After retrieving the hidden cycle, they took it there for repairs.

I wished I was able to make that trip. I would love to visit the towns of Alpine and Marfa. I haven't been there since childhood. My mother's family grew up there on a farm three miles east of town. On April 4, 1918, their two-story frame house caught on fire, presumably from the kitchen stove about 1:00 in the morning. The children slept upstairs, where a stairway divided the two bedrooms. The younger children, Claude 14, Joyce 8, and Maurine 6 slept on one side.

Beatrice 16, and Mother 21 were sleeping on the other side of the stairs. Mother and Beatrice were awaken by the smoke. The fire was reaching the top of the stairway. They jumped out of the window to the ground ten feet below; grabbed a ladder to rescue the children just as the roof fell in. The little ones were burned to ashes. The undertaker gathered the fragments of bones and placed them in a small casket for burial. I have researched in vain for their gravesite. Cora said she might have located the homestead at the foot of Davis Mountain.

Marfa is still a small town, 2,000 population. Perhaps on Main Street, one could locate the café where Mother worked as a waitress, and the candy store across the street where her sister Adelaide worked. Daddy met Mother in the café. They were married in 1920. Both are in Heaven, now. On earth, they greatly loved children and young people. They sponsored a camp for all the church teenagers and grandchildren every summer. Mother was active in PTA and Girl Scouts. Both were faithful and involved in their church. Dad was too busy working to take trips; but Mother took her grandchildren on vacation trips. Once, I took my grandchildren to Rockport.
Other trips were taken during this year by my family. My daughter-in-law Ethel Rose made her annual trip to Denver, Colorado in July to visit her family.

On October 18, Cora and I drove to Palacios, Texas for a four-day Senior Retreat at the Texas Baptist Encampment. I really needed this get-away vacation. I was honored, and received a gift, the prize for being the oldest lady in attendance! The runner-up was 8 months younger. I NEVER thought that would happen to me! I'm really getting "up there"…almost 90. I needed to be there, for rest and worshiping God. We had good preaching, morning and night; lots of great singing the old time songs that tell a story, a memory, feelings. I do not enjoy the new songs in churches. Just "Give Me That Old Time Religion!" May God shower you with blessings!

Home > Stories > November 2010 Travels, Dortha's house, Jerry, Palacios and Sarah