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Wednesday Update: 06/18/08

We had a great weekend…and things have been settling down nicely into a normal life – imagine! We rented some movies Friday night for the first time in Ankeny and enjoyed an evening sprawled out on the couches, munching on popcorn and watching movies. Saturday we spent doing usual Saturday things…it was so great! I cleaned the house and we just hung around lazily passing the day alone together. They were having a Friday the 13th movie marathon on TV, and we did get sucked in to watching (and LAUGHING) at a few of those. We grilled up some chicken for supper and spent time hanging out on the deck…it was a beautiful evening. Sitting there in the dwindling daylight, we talked about how great our new house is…how beautiful the neighborhood is. It really is just a great spot for a house. We sat enjoying the fresh air and Matt mentioned that it reminded him of Minnesota…that he expected to see a lake off in the distance. It’s just so peaceful in the evenings and being able to look out and see trees and blue sky is such a welcome change from the urban view from his window in Tianjin. We are very, very blessed to live in such a beautiful house in such a wonderful neighborhood.

Sunday we finally made it back to church…and of course Matt was greeted with many hugs, handshakes, and hearty pats on the back. Everyone was elated to have us back and welcomed us, as they always do, with lots of love and smiles. Pastor Ken gave a wonderful sermon about troubled times, and God being near. He had originally planned to do a sermon on Father’s Day, but felt compelled to change it after the long week of flooding and loss so many people in the Midwest are dealing with. One particular section of scripture he read really resonated with me, as I’m sure it did with everyone else. It was Psalms 46: 1-3,7. ‘God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. The LORD Almighty is with us.’
I know that for me, during all the rough times we’ve been through these past few years, I’ve always tried to keep remembering that God is always with us. It’s hard, of course, especially during incredibly trying times. I know there are many people dealing with things right now related to the bad flooding and wondering where the relief is…why this happened to them…how they’ll ever be able to recover. Unfortunately, there is no answer except to turn to God and know that He is with you. I pray that in the coming days those who have lost so much will be able to begin to rebuild their homes, businesses, and lives.

After church we spent the afternoon with Matt’s parents and grandparents, celebrating Father’s Day with a yummy lunch and homemade ice cream. Of course, I thought for SURE we had rock salt at home, but as I was getting everything together before lunch, I realized I did not. No worries, I thought, I’ll just run up to Wal-Mart after lunch and pick some up. Surely Wal-Mart will have rock salt, either in their grocery section, or next to the ice cream makers I’m SURE that they sell. So, I headed up there (which is no easy task on a weekend…almost all the carts were in use!) and went to the baking section, no rock salt. I went to the small appliance section, no ice cream makers. NO ICE CREAM MAKERS!? In JUNE!??? I was shocked! Then I went to the summer/outdoor section…nothing. I stopped a (very helpful) store clerk to inquire…she didn’t have a clue and sent me to customer service. I asked another (oh-so-helpful) clerk at the customer service desk…he also didn’t have a clue, except to send me back to the small appliance section; which I perused once again just to be sure…but no ice cream makers were to be found. Then I went back to the baking section…still no rock salt. Defeated and frustrated, I left (after 30 minutes) and decided to head across the road to Menard’s. Surely Menard’s would have it…they have everything. You can buy cereal, milk, a can of beans, along with your patio furniture, grill, and drywall at Menard’s. This time I went straight to a sales clerk to ask…she wasn’t sure so we went to the computer and she searched. The only rock salt came up under building materials in 18 pound bags…NOT what I wanted. Then we walked back to their small appliance section to see if they had ice cream makers. NONE! I couldn’t believe it!! Does anyone sell ice cream makers anymore!?!? Or is it too late in the season…Halloween IS just around the corner, after all.
SUPER frustrated, hot, and increasingly grumpy I headed to Hy-Vee, after a mad call to Matt who assured me they would have it at the grocery store. I crossed town to head up there, walked right to the customer service counter to ask. A clerk took me back to where it SHOULD be…but alas, they were SOLD OUT! GRRRR….I sulked back to the car once more and headed further across town to Dahl’s, my grocery store of choice…what SHOULD have been my first choice…and sure enough, rock salt…only now they call it ice cream salt. I grabbed two boxes and headed for home. ONE HOUR LATER!!!! I couldn’t believe I wasted an entire hour searching for ice cream salt. I couldn’t believe that I couldn’t even find an ice cream maker anywhere. But, finally, around 4:00 we had ice cream!!! And it was good – well worth the wait and super frustrating experience! I guess sometimes I wonder why all these incredibly frustrating things always seem to happen to me…but then maybe it’s so a few days later I can parlay the experience into a funny little anecdote for you all, and you can be grateful you’re not me!! Who knows!?

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