On life's journey, whether traveling around the world or walking around your block, there's lots to learn about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness, so lets dive into a new ocean together!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Lady travels down Memory Lane to Seattle

Forground: House boat in movie 'Sleepless in Seattle'
Background: Dry dock where Restoration had her
Extreme Makeover in 1994

Rob and I returned from our holiday in Seattle refreshed and full of rich memories.  Spending time with family and friends in the midst of God's beauty does that to a person.

We were invited to stay with our friends Stan and Sharon Langaker.  Their condo overlooks the Puget Sound, so we spent most of our mornings drinking coffee and evenings sipping wine as we watched the ships sail by while soaking in blue waters, tall trees, and breathtaking mountains.  We shared our Restoration memories as if we had been on that old World War II ship just a few months ago instead of nineteen years ago.

Many who have read my novel, Lady and the Sea continue to ask me about the people from whom I based my characters.  Rob and I had a reunion with four who now live in the Seattle area.
MS Restoration 1994

Captain Stan and his wife, Sharon Langaker (Captain Stuart and Shelly) have devoted their lives to the Lord.  After giving the WWII ship to Word of Life Church in Sweden and spending over seven years on the Restoration, they returned to America and worked for the non-profit organization, Friendships, based in Louisiana.  They are now beginning to reap the harvest of the many years that they have sown for God's kingdom.
Sharon, Stan and me
near Pugent Sound, WA

Rob and Clark Davis (Clive) worked side by side on the Restoration, from the engine room to the monkey bridge.  From Seattle's dry dock to the many ports-of-call on Restoration's maiden voyage that ultimately ended in Haifa, Israel, they made lifetime memories together.  Clark is married with two children, owner of American Family Insurance, and is involved with missions work in Africa. Rob and I, Clark and his family, and Stan and Sharon, spent a memorable evening at his home.
Clark (Clive) on Restoration 1994
19 years later: Rob (Jesse) and Clark (Clive)

Jeannie (Jeans) with 2 of her 6 kids
on her backyard deck in Cascade Mts.

We spent a cool autumn morning with Jeannie in her home nestled beside a lovely river near the foothills of the Cascade Mountains.  Jeannie (Jeans) still journals and creates delightful books about her family.  Most of her time is spent with her husband and six children.  She is still as beautiful as she was nineteen years ago, and her contagious laugh still brings music to my ears.

The highlight of our trip was taking a road trip south to Richland, WA to visit our son, Shawn, and his wife. Three years is too long to be apart so our reunion was sweet and fun!  They live on the Columbia River so Shawn took us on a grand tour of the area, including lunch on the river at one of their favorite eateries.

Mom and son on the Columbia River, WA

Our daughter-in-law, Frances, is a producer of a local TV station so we went to her studio to watch the 6:30pm news.  I vowed to myself to not make a funny face at her while she was on the air.  Wouldn't have mattered.  She's too professional to succumb to faces.
Back in our hotel, watching Frances on the 11pm news!
All too soon it was time to board our red-eye flight home.  Travel TiP: Buy one of those cushy pillows for your neck so you can sleep without your neck wobbling all over, then leaning on the person next to you and slobbering all over them.

As I sat on the plane, gazing at the lights below and the stars above, I recalled our ten days in Washington, and I was reminded once again that God can speak to us while we enjoy life.  He doesn't take vacations when we're seeking answers from Him.  Our answers can come through a friend's comment, or directly from that still, small Voice within.  The important thing is to listen, ponder, then respond.  That's my homework assignment for the rest of my life.  In the meantime ...

... I wish you smooth sailing through these autumn days, and oceans of blessings.

Stand at the crossroads and look... 
ask where the good way is,
 and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.
  Jeremiah 6:16