the rest of my brother’s visit

I’d checked the forecast and noticed we would have a beautiful sunny day on Wednesday but rain on Thursday. Since we live a few blocks from downtown Newberg, I thought we could take a long walk and enjoy the sights along the way. We stopped by the church office to say hi to my coworkers (three were “in”) then strolled through Critter Cabana and out onto First Street.

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If I’d thought more clearly, remembering what a shopper Johnny is, we might have looked the other way as we passed the new antique store in town. It’s a really nice one, open only a month, with reasonable prices. It didn’t take him long to find a few treasures.

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And while the shopkeeper packed the bowl and the framed “Bill of Rights” for easy travels, he found this rocking horse. Let’s just say if I lived on the opposite corner of the country and had to carry these items home, I would without a doubt have talked myself out of the purchases. But even the following day he had no regrets. (Mauri offered to go back later to pick up the treasures so he/we didn’t have to carry them on our walkabout.)

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Chapters Books then the Chehalem Cultural Center and lots of tour-guiding later, we made our projected lunch stop at Jac’s at just the right time for this serendipity—eating with Pete and Linsey. We love our small town!

After lunch we took a long cut past Jem 100 for ice cream then up the road a bit farther to show and tell about our church—Hillside Fellowship.

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The final stop on our tour was maybe the highlight. A dealer who specializes in the oldies.

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We might get a call from brother John sometime, taking us up on our offer to drive this beauty from Oregon to Florida. The salesman assured us it would make it. That would be quite a road trip!

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When my friend Deborah sent me a very high recommendation for the movie “Queen of Katwe” we looked online and found it at Bridgeport, not too far away—and made a plan.

We loved it, sharing Deborah’s regard for this inspiring story. My movie buff friend wrote: “The 14-year-old Ugandan girl that stars is beyond good…she is simply brilliant. I was in awe of her. You would absolutely love the story. It was a refreshing, positive break from the darkness that seems to be the world right now.”

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The third of three days provided some memorable fun. Johnny and I have enjoyed singing together for many years, going back to our youth at Wheaton Bible Church. Back then our mother accompanied us, but who can resist a chance to sing trios with Mauri at the piano? Not me!

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The finale included a simple meal with all the local Macys. Lincoln was called upon to ring the dinner bell. I love how this picture tells a story.

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Fifteen people around the table. My heart was full.


The kiddos dug into the toy box . . .

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John strummed a tune.

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And just about the time I got attached to this guy, it was time for him to catch the redeye to Chicago. He was heading to a 60-year reunion of his Wheaton Academy class. On Monday he’ll head back to Jacksonville (Palatka, specifically) to begin the hurricane cleanup. I don’t envy that task!

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My brother is a self-proclaimed dud with electronics of any kind, which means our only means of communication has been phone calls. Ugh. I would rather eat fish than make a call. But he carries a smart phone now, and I thought it might be worth a try sending him a farewell text.

I was rewarded with a response, emojis and all! Wonder of wonders!

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