Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Michigan Vacation Part 6

Monday was less go-go-go than the rest of the trip.  It was the last day for both Aunt L and myself, and we didn't really plan anything exciting.  I woke up feeling pretty crappy.  At first I thought it was just pain from the bed I'd slept on, but it seemed to get worse as the day progressed.  I never actually took my temp, but I think I may be been running a low-grade fever.   Somewhere around mid afternoon, I broke down and took some pain killers.  The day greatly improved after that.

Gramma had to spend a couple hours in the morning and evening at her church's food pantry, so the rest of us went along with her.  Her church is the church where I grew up.  Before I was born, my parents and a few other people started it.  When I was little, we met in a house that they had converted into the church.  As the church grew, my dad and others added on to the building, and made it into a very nice facility.  I attended there until we moved to Florida in 1991, and even then, I considered it my home church for many years.  We would spend the summers and often Christmas in MI, and we always attended that church.  I had many close friends there...people I still get to occasionally see or talk to.  

It was a strange feeling to walk around the building.  It was so familiar yet different.  I guess it was kind of like going back to your childhood home.  The walls and windows and memories are all still there, but the life you had in it is gone.  I walked all through the building.  I saw the rooms where I was cared for as a baby.  I saw old Sunday school classrooms and the gym we would play in on Wednesday nights.  I walked through the bathroom and went up in the balcony.  I walked up the ramp that I once was carried up as a spewed forth purple, grape juicy, projectile vomit (you are most welcome for that mental image.) 

 The church basement, where I used to be in nursery, Sunday school, and Kings Kids, is now used for the food and clothing ministry.  I remember spending the night with my sister and Gramma in the room in the top right picture once.  She would clean the church at crazy hours of the morning, and for some reason we ended up having a little sleep over there.  We rented Little Women and The Secret Garden I think. 

Once, in the gym (on the bottom right), a bunch of our friends got together for a big sleepover.  This was after we had moved to Florida, but we were "home" for the summer.  I guess we would have been in our early teens at the time.  We watched Newsies and stayed up all night talking and playing and being silly.  I have so many wonderful memories in that church.  Revisiting them made me a little homesick for my childhood.

In the afternoon, between shifts at the food pantry, I took a walk with my Aunts.  There were several pretty trees on our walk.  Have I mentioned that I love the colors of fall?  I have? Oh well.  I LOVE FALL COLOR!

Our evening at the food pantry was interesting to say the least.  Many of the people who help her there have various mental and physical issues.  I think their families bring them over there to give them something to do.  I'm glad they can have a place where they feel welcome and needed.  I must say though,  they would make for a good cast of characters on a TV show. 

When we finished at the food pantry, we went out for Thai food.  The four of us shared a curry fried rice and an order of Pad Thai, and had we could have fed another person on the leftovers from just those two meals.  It was delicious though.  

Monday night we played a quick game of dominoes and then all headed off to bed.  Tuesday morning Aunt L and I had to be at the airport around 5. 

I'm so glad I took this trip.  There are a lot of places and people that I want to visit, but I felt like I needed to go see my MI family.  I had been looking forward to it, but I'm happy to say that it turned out to be even more fun than I had expected.  It was also nice to be able to have the job flexibility to do it.  I was able to take my work with me.  It meant a lot of late nights and a few stressful daytime interruptions, but for the most part it worked out really well.  Thank goodness for WiFi and mobile hotspots!   :) 

I wonder where my next adventure will take me...

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