~ Chris Alan Foreman ~

My book of life is presented in two volumes. Volume One of The Dash between the Dates is a retrospective of my first seventy-two years, written as memoir, progressing through 32 chapters, and concluding in March, 2022. Link to A Retrospective of my First Seventy-two Years

Volume Two of The Dash between the Dates, is a Monthly Journal of my life with each calendar year forming an additional chapter. Volume Two began on April 1, 2022, and will continue as long as my health, my mind, and my God see fit.

The years of 1988 to 2022 may be viewable in a Photo Journal format at chrisalanforeman.com

As I begin this cyber-journal, I identify with the old man depicted by the preacher in Ecclesiastes, in the first eight verses of Chapter 12. I am the man whose years have "drawn nigh".

1. Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them; (In my evil days, pleasure has shifted from vigor and stamina to doctor appointments and perseverance.)

2. While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain: (My universe has not yet darkened. Perhaps this is so because I do not live out my days "under the sun" as the sons of Solomon.)

3. In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened, (The keepers of the house - muscles - do tremble; strong men - bones - do indeed bow themselves; grinders - teeth - would indeed be few if not for the miracle of dentistry; and having recent cataract surgery, my windows - eyes - are no longer dark.

4. And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of musick shall be brought low; (The sound in the streets and grinding is lower, but my hearing, although less acute, is still adequate to enjoy music and conversation. My nights are not yet sleepless. Random sounds do not awaken me.

5. Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets: (I am more afraid of falling and breaking something these days. I don't suffer from insomnia, but I am much more fearful of losing my health.)

6. Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern. (These four metaphors of death -- loosed and broken bodies -- will all happen to me. No doubt. My dash between the dates bear witness that I am aware of my mortality, my heritage, and my destiny.)

7. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. (I recognize myself as a "conditional unity". Someday soon, my material self will crumble into the earth, while the real me -- my soul -- will rise into God's care.)

8. Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity. (Indeed, Preacher Solomon, all of my words demonstrate foolish vanity. Of all God's creatures Chris Foreman must rank as the prince of vanity.)

~ Months of the year ~


~ Events of of note in 2022 ~

April ~ Death Valley with Frank
May ~ Triangle to visit Zachary & Simon
June ~ Trip to Missouri to encourage Franc
July ~ Mission to Africa
August ~ Road trip to Portlandia
August ~ Camping at Kit Carson Pass

April 2022

April 1, 2022 was a busy day. On the way to the San Matero gym, I dropped off my 2021 taxes in the mail box. It was a lot of money, but the $162,925 to the IRS and the $76,384 to California was less than I had anticipated. H&R Block charges $1000 dollars, but I figure that was worth it. I'm not yet sure how I'll file my 2022 taxes. In the afternoon I got an iPad message from Simon informing me that Gia had been accepted into the BAK middle school art program. The family was celebrating. Liz and I also sat at Starbucks with John and Tami Kamperschroer. His Fuller Seminary position had relocated him to Illinois.

April 2 proved to be even more challenging. Liz and I joined in a CSM hike with Tom Tabor. This was the first such outing in 29 months, since the onset of COVID. We drove in my Prius to Almaden-Quicksilver County Park in San Jose. This seven-mile hike challenged me physically. My feet, knees, and legs hurt. I made two mental notes: next time take two bottles of water; remember to clip my toe nails before a strenuous hike. This being said, we both enjoyed the wild flowers, the views, and the history (especially me). I was pooped when we got home and on Sunday settled for a CPC Live Stream service.

I began to prepare in earnest for my road trip to Death Valley with Frank, making last minute changes and preparations to spend all three nights in the National Park.

~ Death Valley with Frank begins ~

On Wednesday morning, April 6, I walked with Steve at Seal Point, came home for a rest, then headed the camper south. My first stop was at Los Banos Reservoir Campground. That short drive put me two hours down the road. On Thursday, I drove down Highway 99, through Bakersfield, to a place called Mountain Valley RV Park. The spot was right next to a little airport. I watched as small prop planes towed glider planes into the air then released them to glide back to the runway. On Friday, I arrived in Las Vegas about 4:00 pm and stayed overnight at the Motel 6 Tropicana near the airport. I walked the streets a bit before turning in for the night. I received a message from Zachary that his family was on a road trip to Minneapolis where Ruth was attending a convention. The four of them stopped in Tomah near the home we once lived in.

I picked up Frank at the Las Vegas airport at 8:30 on Saturday morning. We filled up on gas, then entered Death Valley National Park. On this first day, we drove down to Badwater Basin which is the lowest-hottest-driest point in the USA. We then drove through the Artists Palette, then to Furnace Creek. It was the hottest day of our road trip, reaching a temperature of 104 degrees. Wanting to avoid the heat, we drove west to spend the night at Wildrose campground in the mountains where it was much cooler. We saw three burros by the roadside, then heard them bray during the night. Frank slept in a four-man tent on an air mattress while I stayed on the camper bed. My brother and I had a great time in company, conversation, and cooperation.

On Sunday morning we read scripture about Palm Sunday as we walked down a dusty road. It was always surprising to see springs of water in these desert places. We drove past Stovepipe Wells Village and north to view the Ubehebe Crater, walking the ridges taking pictures. We had planned to drive down a dirt road to see the Racetrack of moving stones, but the roadway was washboard and driving too difficult. We spent that night at Mesquite Springs. While rummaging through my stowed clothing, I ran across an old doggie coat that Jody used to wear. Frank helped me memorialize it with stones in the cleft of a rock. I STILL MISS MY DOG!

On Monday we stopped by a few more sites at the National Park: a borax works, Zabriskie Point, and Twenty-Mule-Team Canyon. We bought gas, ice, and a few grocery items at the General Store in Furnace Creek. We also watched a short video of Death Valley and munched ice cream bars. We exited Death Valley and set up camp at a place named Desert Pads near Death Valley Junction. The site appeared to be an array of abandoned concrete pads. Who built this place and why? Was it a government experiment gone bad?

To call the night windy would be an understatement. I used eight ropes to tie down Frank's tent. My camper shook with gale-force winds. Frank was a champ to endure the night as the red tent pitched, rocked, and nearly collapsed. My brother said the chill was worse than the wind. He was fortunate to survive the night with his shelter intact.

It was still windy when we broke camp on Tuesday morning. Only later did I realize my blue pantry box must have blown away in the night wind storm. Alas, I lost Tupperware, a bag of corn chips, bread, and a can of chili. We ate breakfast at a place called Moms in Pahrump, then entered Las Vegas. Frank's departing flight would not leave for a few hours, so we walked the Strip visiting the Luxor and Excalibur. I later put together a video of this three-day road trip through Death Valley. Frank later made a post on Facebook.

After dropping Frank at the airport, I began the return phase of my adventure, spending one night at a KOA near Barstow and a second night at the Basalt campground on the San Luis Reservoir. That was a lot of driving and I spent hours listening to an audiobook called The Next 100 years; a Forecast for the 21st Century. I was happy to finally arrive home, to swim and shower at the gym, and to play puzzles with Liz. Like all good adventures, it was great to be on the road but good to be home again.

~ Death Valley with Frank ends ~

On Good Friday, I sent an email to Eileen about meeting Snoopy's brother (Spike) in the desert. She returned a smile to me. On Saturday Liz and I had scheduled a hike with Tom Tabor, but it was raining! We decided to suck it up and I drove to Long Ridge Open Space. I wore my 49'ers rain gear, but the wind and rain still made hiking a challenge. I ate my salami sandwich lunch on the drippy Wallace Stegner bench.

Easter was a special day. I drove to Sterling Court, picked up Becky and her friend, and attended First Pres in Burlingame. Liz received her Easter picture (posed for a week earlier) and I received an Easter photo of Zélie and Zofia.

I spent much of the next week puzzling out my next book, trying to mesh together the Rwanda Genocide, Simon Bikindi, and the source of evil with the story of my friends and my own adventures. Before beginning to write this novel, I strove to establish a list of characters, a timeline, a narrative arc, and chapter headings. I seemed to go round 'n round, not even having a good working title yet.

The final week of April passed with a busy schedule. On Saturday morning, I walked the Sawyer Camp Trail from the north end. I wanted to see the "second tallest Bay Tree in California," but it wasn't worth the effort. The tree had crashed into the ground. Nonetheless, the long walk was good for my body. Then on Monday, I began to repair my camper at the Union 76 Station. The check-engine-light flickered and indicated an "evaporative issue". Can you believe that little light cost me $400 to fix? I'm glad the place was close, because I walked back and forth three times. Hari was the name of the guy who does the repair work. I told him, "It's not a good thing for me to be on a first name basis with my car mechanic." It may be time to sell my over-sized toy.

On Wednesday, I received my second Covid booster at Laurelwood Rite Aid, and on the last day of the month, Liz and I did our last hike with Tom at Memorial Park. It was a long drive to get there but the weather, wildflowers, and scenery were marvelous. Twenty hikers participated in this event.

May 2022

The first day of the month fell on a Sunday. Liz was attending the SF Ballet matinee -- a performance of Swan Lake -- so I attended CPC alone. After church I began to mentally prepare for my first Deep Dive into the Gospel of Mark. Then I answered my cell phone. My Table 1 friend, Gil Limtangco, was comatose in intensive care at Mills Peninsula Hospital. Gil's wife asked if I could visit him to pray and give some kind of last rites. And so, after my deep dive, I drove to the hospital. I laid hands on my friend and encouraged his wife and daughter. Gil was always such a positive and godly man. I later learned that the plug was pulled from his life support and he died of septicemia at 9:00 that evening.

The next day I drove the camper to Prayer Mountain for two nights. I was able to focus on my writing, keyboarding into my iPad the first tentative words of my nascent novel: "Victor Kwizera rubbed his red-flecked eyes."

On Friday I spoke at Gil's CPC memorial. I knew so little about his life and his wife, yet she mentioned how important it was for him to locomotive himself into Thursday morning meetings. I will miss his shining presence in our midst. Whenever a table member might moan about difficulties, I would silently gesture to Gill smiling from his wheelchair.

On Saturday Liz and I hiked at Sweenie Ridge near Skyline College. It was a one-way trek down a dirt road with a car-share start and ending. Tom Tabor told me he had been leading hikes like it since 1982. No wonder was he so good at it. The trail margins were bright with a spectrum of wildflowers and an ocean breeze moderated the sunlit day to perfection.

I dreaded following my investments at Wells Fargo Bank. The war in Ukraine and on-going inflation had pushed the market into bear territory with my portfolio plummeting by 12% since the first of the year. A picture from Zoshie cheered me up. She was such a drama face!

I continued to conceptualize my novel landing on the title: "The God of All Hope". Will that name stick? To research my topic, I ordered four books concerning the Rwandan genocide.

On Thursday, May 12, I spent the early morning presenting slides at Men's Fraternity. Then in the late afternoon, I strolled with Lizzy at Filoli. The first half of May had sped by and I began to pack my bags for my mid-month triangle: a flight from SFO to PIT to PBI back to SFO.

~ Visit to Zachary and Simon begins ~

As I began my triangle to visit Zachary and Simon, international news continued to focus on the Ukraine-Russia War. Will that struggle end with a bang or whimper? I missed out on some weekend family events. Zélie performed in a ballet recital and Lorenzo ran in a track meet.

Jeffery picked me up at the house at 4:30 on Monday morning. I was off to Pittsburgh! Zac had booked the Hyatt Hotel inside the PIT airport and there I stayed for my first and last night in town. The three Z's met me as I was pulling my single bag from the carousal and we spent the afternoon together - - in the hotel room, in the pool, at a restaurant, and to the zoo. At two and four years old, Zoshie and Zélie required constant supervision. (As a grandpa, I had forgotten about these details.)

I spent Tuesday night in Zachary's dark basement and on Wednesday morning we five headed out to Great Wolf Lodge all the way in Sandusky, Ohio. It was over a three-hour drive, but it turned out to be a great place for kids - - lots of water fun and a magic scavenger hike. The suite was perfect and I got my own upper bedroom. The weather turned wet and stormy, reminding me of my young days in Indiana. In the mornings I was able to translate my Koine Greek and to listen to my audible book as I walked outside. I was able to balance kid-contact time and horizontal rest time.

On Thursday, I hung out with the three Z's, first at a Zélie soccer practice, then on the way to the airport, at the riverfront walkway. Zachary was a meticulous planner and his activities fell together like clockwork. My number-one son stayed up with me talking religion and politics past midnight. I had to remind him of my early morning departure. This was a delicious slice of life.

I flew Allegiant Airlines on Friday to Palm Beach where Simon picked me up at noon. I rested a while and enjoyed hanging out in his magnificent home. His living quarters, both inside and out, have evolved into a work of art. He keeps this masterpiece spotless and in perfect order. He adds bit by bit in a continual series of household projects that appeal to his aesthetic sensability. Simon taught me how to feed his six koi in a pond outside his front window. Gia pointed and recited the names.

My son's time is one-third house / one-third kids / one-third work. He never seems to rest. On that Friday evening, I attended Lolo's band recital to hear his trombone. Gia attended with her mother.

It was Dilia's weekend to look after Lorenzo and Gia, but we had plenty of time together; to eat, play, watch TV, and drive about West Palm Beach. I gave Lorenzo A Wrinkle in Time / Spanish version and pledged $100 if he would read through it and give his mother a book report. I entrusted to Gia my Jesus People denim jacket from 1971. I'm hoping it will inspire her faith and she will remember her gwampa.

On Saturday, we went to Lorenzo's taekwondo sparring practice and, after church on Sunday, we bobbed in the ocean at Lake Worth Beach. Gia got buried in the sand. After a Korean dinner with Dilia, I returned to Simon's place in time to facilitate my Zoom Bible study of Mark. At the end of chapter one, we were introduced to Simon Peter. The group was amused when I introduced them to my own version of Simon Peter.

Sunday, May 22, was also Zachary's forty-seventh birthday and Ruth posted an Instagram of the celebration.

I spent Monday shopping with Simon for shrubs to set outside of Gia's bedroom window and for a basketball pole/backboard/rim to set on the street for Lolo to practice his jump shots. My utter lack of mechanical skill made it impossible for me to assist in the assembly of the basketball mechanism.

My time with Simon ended in style with a steak and salad on his back patio on Monday night. Simon was a wonderful host and we got along so well. On Tuesday morning he packed sandwiches for my long return trip - - PBI-EWK-SFO - - home to California. I felt blessed as I considered my time with my Florida family.

Jeffery picked me up at SFO and soon my adventure was over. Liz was really into the Golden State Warriors and we watched the first half of that game until it was apparent that our team would not sweep the 4-game series. It had felt right to be away to see my kids and right again to be home with my wife.

~ Visit to Zachary and Simon ends ~

A few days after my return, I received a message from Simon. Both Lorenzo and Gia were showered with honors at their end-of-school ceremonies.

The final week of May whizzed by. I walked with Steve on Wednesday, Zoomed with Men's Fraternity leaders on Thursday, and did a deep dive into Mark on Sunday afternoon. In preparation for my upcoming trip to Franc's graduation in Missouri, I packed ten copies of his book - - Spitting Beans -- and put together a one-page appeal to partner in Rwanda.

I ended the month at Prayer Mountain, catching up on sleep and reading. On May 31, I walked the grounds and counted 35 scripture verses emblazened on redwood trees. it was a blessed way to end the month.

June 2022

I woke up on June 1 stretched out in the back of the camper. I completed the first six verses of Philippians converting them from Greek to English. The morning at Prayer Mountain was leisurely with walking and breaking camp.

When I returned home, I decided to upgrade my desktop computer. It had been grinding so slow with lots of hiccups. After doing some research, I bought a $604 "Office Computer" at Central Computer paying another $149 for the new Office 2021 suite. On June 3, Liz led me on a hike along her new favorite trail, "Sheep Camp" not far from home. Then on Sunday, after my Mark Zoom, Liz and I watch the Warriors whip the Celtics at a restaurant called Nick the Greek. I messaged Simon asking him if he had celebrated the win. I thoroughly enjoyed the several minutes of back and forth. His old Marin friend, Danny, was in town and he was clearly having a ball, talking especially about the blue crab that had appeared under his car after a hurricane.

On Monday Liz hiked with her friends, Alan and Carolyn, then on Tuesday I prepared for my trip to Missouri.

~ Trip to Missouri to encourage Franc begins ~

On Wednesday it was off to the airport for another adventure. Jeffery drove me to SFO at 10:00pm and I flew to Saint Louis via Denver. I rented a car and rested at the Extended Stay hotel until 8:00pm when I picked up Franc inbound from LAX. Wednesday night was short because we headed out at five in the morning.

Thursday, June 9, was Franc's big day to graduate from Global university. In the morning he posed with his fellow graduates, then at noon he walked for his diploma. It was fun to participate as his long-time friend, mentor, and colleague. At the luncheon, we sat with folks and Franc passed out his book, Spitting Beans.

At one table we talked about Africa. "What's the greatest need?" I asked.

One said, "Jesus" and all nodded in agreement.

Her husband added, "I worked in Zambia for a few months. I helped install solar panels. If every household had a panel and a battery, Africa would prosper."

A third person described the difficulty of ministry in Africa because of rampant political corruption. Nothing could be done until that was cleared up," he sighed.

"Yes", I said. "All three are needed, but the proper order is 'Jesus first- then non-corrupt government - finally technology. Let's pray for all three". And we did.

We talked with several Assembly of God people over the next day. One such was Grace - a Korean woman who reminded me of Kim. I gave a copy of Forgive Like a Rwandan and Franc promised to look into her primary school not too far from Butare. All in all, it was time well spent. I'm thinking we made a difference for God's Kingdom.

Franc and I left Springfield on Saturday morning and spent one night near Lake of the Ozarks. I had planned to walk by the lake, but at 95 degrees it was just too hot. We rested in the room.

On Sunday we attended the AG church in Jefferson City then drove on to St. Louis. Much of this driving time, I quizzed Frank about his youth and experience during the 1994 genocide. (I'm still hoping to write that book!)

We enjoyed a few hours at Gateway Arch National Park strolling the outside grounds and touring the inside displays. We watched a movie on the making of the bridge, then traversed a weird 5-person elevator up to the viewing windows, 630 feet up in the air. That arch was quite a marvel of construction.

I dropped Franc off at the airport, spent one night alone, returned my rental, then headed home myself. My bargain-basement flight included a seven-hour layover in Las Vegas - Ugh! But I endured, watched the Warriors beat the Celtics in game 5 of the finals, and made it to SFO by 9:00pm. The Uber ride home was up to $64, but then, gas prices are up too. Liz was asleep when I unlocked the door and I rested most of Tuesday. I learned that Franc got stranded at LAX because he had not taken a COVID test as required by the Rwandan government. Alas. Poor Franc spent three extra days in LA and had to buy a second ticket home.

~ Trip to Missouri to encourage Franc ends ~

My focus now shifted to my upcoming mission to Rwanda, just fifteen days away. I began packing, corresponding, printing material, withdrawing money, and buying supplies. I also resumed some aspects of normal life- - procuring a military ID for Liz, keeping a doctor's appointment with Dr. Teng, walking with Steve and David, as well as facilitating my Zoom Class in the Gospel of Mark. I was happy that my two sons had also grown into two friends. Zachary's family was spending a few days in West Palm Beach with his brother. Liz was delighted that her article - Bunny Tacos - had appeared in her on-line magazine.

On June 20 to 22, I camped in solitude at Prayer Mountain, listening to an audible book and walking through the woods. It was fretfully hot, yet hotter still I learned in San Mateo. Liz lost power in the house for fifteen hours.

I was surprised by three big decisions announced by the supreme court: on June 23, the right to carry concealed guns was upheld, the next day Roe vs. Wade was overturned, and a few days later the right to pray on a sports field was affirmed. A lot of victories for conservatives; a lot of tantrums from liberals.

As my day of Rwandan departure approached, I completed my lesson on "African Friends and Money Matters" and put together a 19-minute video show of CASA in Butare. I packed my bags, took two Covid tests, and awaited my long flight to Istanbul thence to Kigali.

Mission Trip to Africa begins
June 29 - 30 ~ Wednesday & Thursday

Just before going to bed on Tuesday, I checked my email. There it was. Kaiser reported I had tested negative for Covid which was a relief. In the morning I drove to my Covid back-up site in Burlingame to cancel my appointment. No one was there at 8am. I hope I can claw back my $69. Upon my return home, I hugged Lizzie good-bye. (She was about to hike with friends.) Jeffery drove up at 10:00, packed my 4 pieces of luggage into his trunk, and we were off to SFO.

I showed the Turkish Airlines rep the Covid test result before my two big bags were loaded for Kigali. There was just enough extra time for me to drop by the USO for a short visit. I hadn't entered the place since my volunteer days ended at the onset of Covid. I snacked, then proceeded through TSA security, and boarded the flight at 1:15.

Twelve hours was a long time in the air and the older I grew, the more challenging the discomfort became. Let's just say I sat through 2 meals, 6 movies, and a fretful nap. My layover in Istanbul lasted five hours. I did some walking and caught a few winks on a hard bench. Remarkably, I did feel a bit refreshed. Then at 6:00pm, I was off to Kigali consuming 1 meal, 4 movies, and catching a possible nap.

July 2022
July 1 ~ Friday

When I exited the aircraft at 12:30 am local time, I knew I was in Rwanda. There was something in the air. Charcoal burning? I stood in 5 lines: 1 to get off the plane, 2 for a passport stamp, 3 for a $50 visa fee, 4 for baggage claim, and five to pass through customs.

I was happy to see Franc emerge through the crowd. He drove me across town to his friend's hotel. We talked a while then I handed over $3000 for the conference and $1000 as my mission fee. When I finally stretched out, I registered 3 kinds of fatigue; the first caused by sleep deprivation, the second by lack of activity - especially cramped sitting, and the third by jet lag. It was 2:00 am in Kigali, but 5:00 pm in San Mateo. Sleep was illusive on this first day of July.

Franc said he would meet me at 10am. That never happened. I didn't see him until 6pm. He reported that his car brakes were repaired and his phone screen was fixed. While waiting, I dozed as best I could, then talked with two men in the courtyard. One was Amon, the hotel manager, and the second was John de Deus, a police official. We had good conversations and I gave each a book of Forgive Like a Rwandan.

I figured we would stay over the night, but Franc said he preferred to travel in the darkness. With my time sense out of kilter, it didn't matter to me. Franc had to drive slowly. He pointed out the 60 traffic cameras along the route. We paused at the Kim Memorial. The lavender paint was chipping, the photo fading, but the concrete pillar was surviving well. We arrived at the Lighthouse about 10pm. It was great to be back - like a second home to me. The place looked wonderful with new paint and scrubbing. Sleep was difficult; very little and very light.

July 2 ~ Saturday

Sunrise brightened my eyes and I snapped a dawn photo of orange skies peaking over green hillsides and red roads. I stayed in bed resting until I heard the distinct voice of David Nahayo. I sat for breakfast with him and with a new-comer named Emmy.

The remainder of Saturday I endured in the unhappy land of Jet Lag. I remember I consumed two meals, but I couldn't sleep and I couldn't stay awake. I would be alert for a few hours talking with Franc, then retreat to the horizontal position eyes fatigued. I walked on my balcony a bit, but remained exhausted. So the day went.

July 3 ~ Sunday

On this Lord's Day, I was scheduled to preach at 9:00 on campus. My sermon would be titled "Which Nicodemus Are You?" However, confusion reigned. After checking out both the auditorium and the stadium, Franc discovered I was booked at 2:00 pm. That was okay with me. I still wasn't feeling 100%. When I finally stood to preach to 100 students, I felt mentally prepared. My message was well-received as was Franc's follow-up evangelical altar call. We call it "Popping Popcorn" when an African shouts and gesticulates. The corn must have been savory because 20 young men and women stepped forward to accept Jesus as their savior. I felt blessed to play a part in God's un-scrolling saga.

Franc was in a unhappy place. Earlier he had directed one of the house boys to wash a friend's car. The washer cranked the ignition, put the car in drive and smashed the front end. Franc called it a bad day.

After the message, we returned to the Lighthouse for a meal where I continued to converse with Franc, David, and Emmy. My jet-lagged sleep schedule worked to my advantage, because I found it easy to stay awake for my Mark Deep Dive at midnight.

I had sent out this email to my class:

"Chris Foreman is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting. All are welcome. Topic: Deep Dive into the Gospel of Mark, session 9. Time: 3:00pm to 4:30pm, July 3, 2022. For this Zoom meeting I will be in Huye, Rwanda. For me our meeting will begin at midnight-9 hours ahead of you. This is an experiment. I hope I can pull it off. Please be extra patient. If you cannot connect by 3:15 your time, I guess the experiment was not successful."

July 4 ~ Monday

I did begin this Fourth of July with a bang and the Zoom class was a success with six in attendance. I wanted to use my iPad to show outside views of Rwanda, but of course at midnight there was not much landscape to see.

I began Monday morning with a walk to town. I was looking to buy a missing cord and coffee grounds. Emmy walked the few miles with me, but we discovered that all the shops were closed. July Four was a holiday in Rwanda too - Liberation Day, marking the entry of RPF troops into Kigali. On the walk home, David pulled up behind us in his car and we all stopped for ice cream.

Once more, I spent much of the day in idleness and rest. Franc had gone to Kigali to pick up Frank, Dave, and Ben at the airport. I prepared lessons, napped, ate a few good meals, and lounged. I snapped a picture of monkeys on my patio and climbing on the roof of the neighboring church. I sent one to Liz who responded, "So adorable. Brings back memories of my visit."

July 5 ~ Tuesday

After breakfast, Emmy and I walked again downtown. This time we were able to buy a cord for my MP3 hymn player, a bag of ground coffee, and a pack of paper filters. I put nearly 10000 steps on my feet. I posed by a road sign that pointed in multiple directions.

I recuperated the rest of the day, talking variously with David and Emmy (I like this young man, born in the same year as the genocide - 1994). I also liked the climate so much in Butare - dry and cool. I checked my weather app and discovered Huye temperatures were nearly identical to those in San Mateo. Odd

At 8:00pm David Nahayo drove me to the stadium. I taught a message called the last words of Jesus, taken from Acts 1 and Matthew 28. It's amazing to me that 100 university students sit in bleachers to sing praise, pray, and listen to Christian speakers. Emmy was my interpreter. May God bless every student who sat in the bleachers.

My fellow missionaries finally arrived at the Lighthouse about 11:00pm. Franc hung around for a while then went home. It was good to meet Ben Clifton from Adventurous Apologetics and re-acquaint with Dave Scott from Fuller. The sad news involved missing luggage. Ben had lost one bag and Frank two. We hoped the errant luggage would catch up to us soon. Both of these guys had to buy clothes in Kigali. We talked an hour or so, the three being in a jet-lagged state. Frank spoke about the good visit they had with Gary Friesen. After midnight, the trio retired to their rooms to recover from the ordeal of travel. I stayed up a while fiddling the iPad.

July 6 ~ Wednesday

Another new day arrived before dawn, my circadian rhythm still out of whack. I prepared the coffee maker and soon Frank, Ben, and Dave joined me for caffeination. We discussed the three-day conference, finally determining who would do what when. I expended the day honing my presentations, consuming three meals, and napping. I checked out the library, new gym, and sauna. It felt a little like a calm before the storm.

I did a tour of the house, opening every door I could. I noted an expensive clothes washer and dryer sitting in a corner room, unused. The 120 electric current and expensive Rwandan electricity rendered them impractical. I then noted out the balcony window a group of women washing and drying laundry. Conclusion: In America appliances are cheap and human labor expensive. In Rwanda the reverse is true.

The only ministry event involved meeting the 28 mamas of the rural co-operative. We gave each woman a hoe and a large lunch. These colorful impoverished laborers inhabit a place so alien to me. Yet, when I lie on my bed, looking out the patio window onto the distant green vista, I feel like I am African, at home- having never left this country located on the far side of the world.

July 7 ~ Thursday

The conference began on Thursday morning, which we called "Benday", because Ben did the bulk of teaching. As typical, the event was scheduled to begin at 8:00 am with 70 pastors. We actually began about 9:00 with 40 in attendance. This number included a cohort of 10 pastors from Uganda who arrived in the wee hours.

Ben's specialty was apologetics and worldview. I sat at the side table of four buzungu (plural for muzungu) for a while as speakers and guests were introduced. Then I rested and spent one-on-one time with Franc and Dave. After the 11:00 tea break, I walked with Dave down the valley trail. We decided to be adventurous and cut across the soggy valley floor. My tennis shoes got wet but I attained my 10000 steps.

After lunch, I led a class in African Friends and Money Matters for the 10 Ugandans. Dave sat in and provided commentary. My African friends were amazed at the cultural differences, being especially surprised that we Americans expect our gifts of money to be used as designated, not shifted to another arbitrary purchase.

In the evening we walked to the front gate of the university. A dozen of us stood for thirty minutes denied admittance through security. When we finally entered the auditorium, we were ushered to the front-center seats. A large music speaker stood ten feet from my face, blasting at a hundred decibels. That was more than I could tolerate, so I re-located to the rear. Ben spoke for a short 20 minutes about apologetics then Frank and Ben fielded questions on-stage for another hour.

As we walked back in the dark to the Lighthouse, I taught Gordon to March in military cadence. He couldn't get left-right-left straight. The first day of the conference was complete.

July 8 ~ Friday

Friday was "Frankday". He presented his apologetic on sexual disfunction in the Western world his warning/plea that African Christianity not follow down America's sinful path. It was historical, sociological, and theological. I took video of Frank as he taught with passion.

I enjoyed my time with Gordon and the Ugandans. I provided bonus funds for them to enjoy the Lighthouse sauna, which they greatly appreciated. This day was balanced with periods of conversation and recuperation. I made a point for Frank, Dave, Ben, and me to pose at the entrance of the Lighthouse and next to a basket sculpture at our intersection. Dave sometimes labored on his own laden with Fuller responsibilities.

In the evening, our group traveled down the road to the university stadium. After an hour of preliminaries, I rose to speak to 500 students. Emmy interpreted as I articulated principles of sexual integrity. It was a joy to see students react to scripture, principles, and semi-explicit stories. I ended with Every Man's Battle: bounce the eyes, guard the mind, protect the heart. Once again, I felt blessed to share my knowledge, and once again, many in attendance thanked me for the critical teaching.

July 9 ~ Saturday

This third day of the conference was the capstone according to Franc - chuck full of graduation, awards, and dignitaries. But first I presented a two-hour class to pastors called Marriage: Five Old Testament Couples in Relationship. This presentation featured: Adam & Eve, Isaac & Rebecca, Samson & his bimbos, David & his wives.

A European guest to the Lighthouse sat in a back chair eavesdropping on the conference. She shook her head and grimaced whenever I spoke of Adam being the head of Eve. So goes the way of the world.

About 11:00 we transitioned to the graduation of 13 Lighthouse students. The graduates had completed 38 courses of study. The four missionaries donned caps and gowns, then walked the circumference of the building, led by traditional Rwandan drummers. The elaborate program called for speeches, awards, and songs. CASR recognized four men with glass and gold awards: Frank as CASA president, me as CASA founder, David Nahayo as retiring president of CASR, and Paul Gasigi as long-time advisor. Cake and sparklers augmented the festivities.

As I briefly spoke, I set on stage the large picture of Kim adorned with her "love of God" t-shirt. I disclosed to those in attendance that 2022 would likely mark my final trip to Rwanda.

The highlight of festivities had to be the appearance of traditional dancers, drummers, and singers. Because the performers were attached to the national museum, the troupe was awesome. I got coaxed into participating with one of the female dancers. Old friends like Jane, Florida, and Paul gathered with me and Frank for a photo op. Franc and Claudine posed with baby Chris. I passed out a dozen copies of Franc's book - - Spitting Beans - -in both English and Kinyarwandan.

As things wound down, I headed to my room/sanctuary for some horizontal-recovery time. There was an evening event at the stadium featuring a Ugandan evangelist. I heard it was so dynamic that Emmy could hardly keep up with the popcorn. However, I opted for a peaceful evening and meditated on a day well spent.

July 10 ~ Sunday

After a leisurely morning, I preached at a nearby Baptist church. Franc interpreted as I spoke about doubting Thomas and a blessing upon those who have not seen and still believe. I especially appreciated the style of singing with the swaying and pairs of women admonishing each other. The words were from James 1:12.

My brother Frank preached at another church but made it back for lunch. About 1:00pm I bid farewell to Ben who would be catching an evening flight back to the USA. I went for a long walk with Dave, then with Frank. I purchased a brown African backpack as my carry-on for the return flight, in order to leave behind my two big 50 pounders.

I wanted to clear the library of a pallet of useless paperback books. They were "donated" by a Korean cultist proclaiming a false gospel concerning John the Baptist. I conferred with Dave and we "donated" the boxes of heretical literature to the sauna furnace.

I napped from 10pm to 11:30, then prepared for my Deep Dive into the Gospel of Mark. It was great to have my brother sit at my side as we dove into Mark, Chapter 3. Several joined us on Zoom as we discussed the twelve disciples.We got to bed a second time about 1:30am.

July 11 ~ Monday

This was a day of decompression. With the conference complete, I went for a long walk with Frank and Dave; first up the hill to Paul Gasigi's house - we couldn't find it - then into town. We each enjoyed a smoothie. Mine was mango-banana. We also did some shopping at the tourist store. Dave bought some souvenirs and bought a small gift for Dasha (asking Dave to deliver it). I also looked for 4 animal gifts for my 4 grandchildren.

I walked down the back trail behind the Lighthouse. Frank was disappointed because the second story of the new church blocked the view of our magnificent building. My brother then gave Pastor David a box of seeds that Lelia had sent to him.

I wrote this message to my wife:

Lizzie-bird, It's been like a farewell tour, saying good-bye to many long-time friends. Lots of tears. All was very successful. Dave Scott is fully on board. Ben Clifton plans to return. Frank and I are meeting with lots of people, preparing for our journey into Uganda. I'm glad you're resting, hiking, and meeting friends. Enjoy the quiet because your rowdy husband will return home soon. luv u.

July 12 ~ Tuesday

After a lazy morning, we traveled to a nearby locale where Claudine once lived. We were accompanied by Norbert (Claudine's brother). This was a place of sad memories, where a family of nine suffered genocidal attack. Claudine hid in the bush. Norbert huddled in a ceiling space where he lost much of his hearing. He thinks insects may have invaded his ears. Two boys and two girls fled to Kigali and managed to survive. The mother posed as a Hutu. Denise as a newborne orphan was chopped and left for dead on a pile of corpses. The father was machete-chopped to death at a roadside. All these horrifying circumstances were explained to me, Frank, and Dave. Some of these stories may appear in my next book.

I rested, read, and wrote in the afternoon. Frank spotted some monkeys on the deck up to monkey business. Then at 5:30, Frank and I went to the home of Paul and Maryjane for dinner. A confrontation was possible, but the evening passed in peace. I showed them pictures and a 20-minute video I had created about my time in Africa. We reminisced about our 22-year-long relationship. We posed for photos with Paul's 98-year-old mother. I was tired after a long day.

July 13 ~ Wednesday

This was my last day at the Lighthouse. I handed out small gifts and envelops of cash to several of the lighthouse helpers. Then, after breakfast it was time to head to Kigali. We paused at the gift shop for me to buy 4 carved animals: Lorenzo=lion, Gia=gorilla, Zélie=zebra, Zoshi=elephant. We also stopped along the way to visit David Nahayo in his rural retirement home. The Rwandan government had set up roadside cameras every few miles along the route, so going in Franc's car was tedious. We planned to arrive in Kigali at 1pm, but it was 3pm by the time we pulled into the fancy restaurant.

We met immaculate there, but also Claudine's extended family: 3 sisters, 2 brothers, and many of their descendants. Franc was away re-fixing his brakes much of that time. It was fun to interact with all of these delightful African people, yet sad that I was parting for a final time. I passed out a dozen of Franc's Spitting Beans.

About six we relocated to the hotel. The board meeting included Franc, David, Jane, Florida, Paul, Immaculate, Charmant, Frank and me. Dave Scott sat in for a while sharing his positive observations. Pastor Paul was a bit belligerent, but I just nodded and agreed with his complaints. I enjoyed speaking Korean with Charmant. The meeting broke up and I voiced tearful goodbyes to Jane, David, and Immaculate. Just before midnight Franc drove Dave to the airport for his travel back to the USA.

July 14 ~ Thursday

The next morning, Franc, Frank, and I departed on our adventure into Uganda. My brother had never stepped foot in the country and looked forward to this part-two of our mission. Roadside cameras slowed us as we headed east from Kigali, then north toward the frontier. Along the route, Franc shared with us his experience serving with the RPF during the time of the genocide.

At the 2-hour mark, we relaxed at a coffee/art shop. I liked the paintings on display. Next, we endured an hour-long delay, first on the Rwandan side of the border, then on the Ugandan side. After a $50 visa fee, we entered The Pearl of Africa.

Soon we were cruising through Ugandan the country side. The dirt roads slowed and jostled us. Franc grew concerned about his brakes, so we stopped by the side of the road for 30 minutes. A roadside mechanic showed up on a boda-boda and tightened some bolts.

Soon we arrived at the Oruchinga Refugee Center. Franc spoke into the video camera of his memories about this refugee gathering place inside the enclosure. As we were driving out of the camp, the car sputtered to a stop. Franc managed to coax his vehicle back to town, but we sat for three hours as the car fuel filter was repaired as the sun set. As Frank and I wandered the local streets we were amused to discover a complete roadside furniture manufacturer.

I felt so bad about Franc's problems. The fuel pump was repaired after dark and we did manage to find a decent guesthouse near Mbarara. The day ended on a high note.

July 15 ~ Friday

After a pleasant morning, we traveled further down Franc's memory lane into the deeper bush. His poor car rattled down rutted dirt roads. My Rwandan son delighted to see (1) the pond where he bathed, (2) the soccer field where he kicked the ball, (3) the mountain where he hauled up a jerry can of water for the reward of one banana bunch. He finally marched us up a barely-passible path to the location of his childhood home. I stumbled much of the way. The habitation was gone but Franc recognized the view into far-off Tanzania.

In the afternoon we headed west then north toward Kampala. Then the car once more broke down. It was the fuel pump again. Once more, Frank and I sat for a few hours walking and visiting a coffee shop. I received a message from Liz. It seemed jarring to have suburban California abruptly intrude on rural Uganda. Finally, we decided alternative transportation was needed.

Gordon sent a driver down from Kampala and we loaded into the hired car. The ride was not pleasant. The driver was grumpy, the pop music irritating, and the driving was wincing. How can one describe the way African drivers dart into the oncoming lane to bypass a few obstinate trucks? I told Frank it was like playing Tetris: left-right-up-down-stop-go.

We did make a quick stop at the equator where I snapped a photo of Frank in the lamplight. Then it was back on the smoky, bumpy, overcrowded, noisy highway. When we finally chugged into Kampala, the driver said he was hungry and tired. Our Ugandan friend - Steve - showed up and escorted our grouchy driver to the Kampala Kopling Hotel. Wow! More over-the-road adventure than I had ever cared for. It was late, so we just showered and hit the bed. I heard that Franc made it into town some time after midnight.

July 16 ~ Saturday

In the morning Frank and I relaxed in the courtyard of Kopling Hotel. The remainder of the day was hectic with road travel, ceremony, and tourism. Steve drove me, Gordon, Frank, and Franc down highways, roads, paths and trails to get us to Gordon's distant school near the village of Bugulumbya. It took almost 3 hours. The school sign read: "we achieve by worship and toil". At the entrance gate we received a Ugandan welcome of shouts, songs, and ululation.

We were ushered into a classroom packed with 200 students. We each spoke a few words and awarded 2 books and 2 soccer balls to the head mistress. My guess is Frank and I were the first 2 buzungu to appear in this outback in ages. We symbolically planted 3 trees then rushed out to keep a second appointment.

This nearby celebration was at the opening of a rural activity center/medical clinic/meeting hall. A high government official showed up with a significant security contingent. Again, we sat at a front table, spoke a few words, then endured a dozen speeches from locals thanking us for our presence and "partnership". We cut a cake and fed a large crowd with traditional food. I passed along my bouquet of roses to a dozen mammas. Looking at the lavish celebration, I could guess how Gordon spent the eight hundred dollars I had provided him.

Steve then drove us four south to Jinja at the source of the Nile. We arrived just before dark, enjoying a boat ride to that uncertain demarcation that separates the calm of Lake Victoria from the current of the Nile River. I was glad to take a break from formal duties to take in the beauty of the unique setting.

The return drive to our Kampala hotel was dreadfully slow, lurching behind large trucks in the left-hand lane, then "playing chicken" with onrushing cars in the right. At times the stench of burning trash permeated the tropical air. Squalid shops and knots of people lined the overburdened roadway. Around ten we pulled through the iron gate of our hotel, concluding another remarkable day - viewing both the beauty and the ugly of Africa. A shower never felt so cleansing.

July 17 ~ Sunday

For me and Frank, this day marked the finale of our mission trip to Africa. I insisted that Frank and I use most of this day for rest, girding ourselves for the long journey ahead. Frank preached the morning service at the nearby church that Gordon attended. I preached the second, re-furbishing my sermon of doubting Thomas.

The concrete house of worship was not located in a pleasant environ. Trash, open sewage, and darting goats marred the urban landscape. Yet, the people inside the building were beautiful - overflowing in the joy of our Lord Jesus Christ. Franc and Gordon concluded the worship service with fervent African popcorn.

I switched from my gray vestment suit coat to my traveling khakis. At three, a group of local pastors gathered around a courtyard table to thank us for our missionary effort and to bid us farewell. As part of this proceeding, I officially passed on my muzunju/Museveni hat to Franc. I told him, "You are now the chief. This hat represents me handing authority over to you".

As our time wound down, I sent Liz a photo of the Jackfruit tree in the courtyard and conducted a three-way Face Time with Simon and Zachary. The rest of the day I napped and packed - just one small check luggage and my Africa-fabric backpack. I sent Liz notice of my negative Covid test and charged up all my gadgets.

Gordon roused me from slumber at 10:30, time to catch my Ethiopian flight. Frank would rest a few more hours before his own car ride to Entebbe. I stopped at a coffee shop with Steve the driver, Gordon, and Franc. Finally, parked outside the terminal, while standing with me to pass through security, Franc broke away to a gift shop to buy me a broad-brimmed hat replacing the muzungu hat I had bequeathed him.

Then it was midnight. Then it was time to part company. "To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under the heaven" A time to begin a ministry in Africa (2001) and a time to bring the same to its close (2022). As I once learned: Imbedded in every hello there lurks a final good bye.

July 18-19 ~ Monday & Tuesday

I loafed a two-hour wait in Entebbe. I concluded First Thessalonians, translating from Greek those short verses: "Rejoice evermore - Pray without ceasing - Quench not the Spirit". Then began a two-hour flight to Addis Ababa. I walked the airport about 5 hours.

Then came a 6-hour flight to Lome, Togo. I remained in my seat as the aircraft refueled. About half the passengers de-boarded while a new crowd filled all the seats. We were on the ground about 90 minutes. Outside jet doors were opened and warm humid air flooded the interior. I snapped a picture, but I don't think Togo counts as my 40th country visited.

Then came the 10-hour transatlantic leg to New York City. I slept some, watched a few movies, and consumed a few meals. Stuck in seat 33D, I got few steps and lacked horizontal time.

The 9-hour overnight at JFK was a daytime event according to my bio-clock. I managed to make a sleeping nest on lobby chairs courtesy of a pillow and blanket obtained from Ethiopian Airlines. I straightened my back and caught a few hours of light sleep.

I stood in Alaska Airlines queue at 4:30am and began my 6-hour transcontinental flight at 7:00. In a window seat this time, I gazed at my nation, America the beautiful - -from sea to shining sea. The six hours passed with dozing and movie-watching. I looked eagerly out my window seat to snap a photo of the San Mateo Bridge with my home in the background.

Jeffery was on time at terminal 2 door 2. Twenty minutes later I walked through the door of my home at exactly 11am. I had to take a shower before I could hug Lizzie.

I looked back on this return of air travel - wait time - ground transport - and 9-hour time shift - and figured my ordeal lasted about 46 hours. My final mission to Africa was now complete. Only memories would remain.

Mission Trip to Africa ends

I was dead tired. I finally closed my eyes about noon on Tuesday and didn't really wake up to 5am on Wednesday. Afterward Liz said I had "hibernated" for sixteen hours. As upon my arrival in Africa, it was physical exhaustion coupled with 9 hours of jet lag. On Wednesday I did manage to walk with Steve at Seal Point and receive an urgent haircut from Joaquin at Sheer Design.

As I slowly recovered from my travel, I put together a journal of my African travel. When finally posted, this epic boasted 5000 words and 82 links. My project of love kept me occupied for several days and allowed me to re-live my African adventure.

I did get an update on the co-vacation of Zachary and Simon in the Smokey Mountains. I so enjoy seeing my four grandkids laughing together. On Sunday I lead my Zoom class in Mark 4: the Parable of the Four Soils. That evening I began to feel sick with scratchy throat, coughing, and general weakness. On Monday I confined myself to bed. I self-tested negative for COVID, but kept feeling worse. I hacked up phlegm most of the night.

On Tuesday morning, Liz was on my case about my chest cold. I determined the best solution was to check myself into emergency at Kaiser. Probably my symptoms didn't merit that extreme, but I wanted a thorough and immediate evaluation. I arrived at the KP in Redwood city about ten and figured I would be out by noon or so. WRONG! I lay on my back stuck with wires, pumped with fluids, and a needle inserted into each arm. Not pleasant. I counted ten tests which I underwent: COVID, malaria, chest x-ray for pneumonia and TB, 2 sputum samples, blood from each arm, heart monitor, urine.

Unfortunately, I didn't have my cell phone or iPad with me. As the hours slowly passed, I could not contact Liz. I knew she would be anxious. About 3pm my wife got a hold of me on my room phone. She scolded me of course, but was glad I was not too ill. I got home, got a shower, and got to bed, still feeling rotten.

I improved somewhat on Wednesday and Thursday, still staying mostly in my room. I did get a few FaceTime visits from Zachary, showing me what his girls were up to in Pittsburgh.

After a walk and talk with Dan Reid on Friday morning. Liz was still whining a bit about my cough, so I felt it best to isolate. I packed up the VW camper and headed to Scotts Valley for a two-night getaway at Prayer Mountain. As typical, I rested, walked, studied some, and listened to The Return of the God Hypothesis on Audio. My appetite was lost, so I ate little food. After posing by my camper, I departed from Prayer Mountain on Sunday and the last day of July. I returned home in time to swim at the gym and lead the Zoom Deep Dive.

August 2022

The month began with fire and rain: rain on my walk at Lauralwood Park and a wildfire along I-5 route north to Medford. The rainy day turned muggy and the evening required a fan.

~ Road trip to Portlandia begins ~

On Tuesday, I prepared my Prius for a road trip north, packing the back with tent and mattress. I chose my car over my camper because my purpose was to visit family. Also, I had misgivings about my VW's roadworthiness. I headed north at 8:00am on Wednesday. I wasn't in a hurry and dallied along the route. I saw wildfire smoke near Yreka, but there was no slowdown.

I arrived at Jim Walker's house about 5pm. He had just relocated from Crescent City to Medford a few weeks earlier. My nephew was alone; Val and Juju being away on a family visit. I passed a pleasant evening and night at his home catching up on life, mitigating the heat.

I continued north the next day arriving in Longview in the late afternoon. Traffic was heavy as I neared Portland. I talked with my sister and interacted with her two schipperkes. Jim and Char dropped by and we enjoyed the company. I turned into the guest room about ten.

On Friday, I walked the neighborhood, talked with Eileen, then visited the Francises at four. Jim was in constant motion telling stories. We walked across the street to visit the tree from which he tumbled and shattered his clavicle.

I noted my brother-in-law progresses through four degrees of conversation: 1. sitting and speaking 2. standing and gesturing 3. standing and acting out parts 4. standing, acting out parts, and speaking the parts. He's so much fun to listen to. Shelley was present and we drove to her home to Kelso. In the evening, I introduced Eileen to the TV series The Chosen.

Saturday was the big day of our sibling get-together. After a quiet morning, Frank and Lelia showed up with Jeanne. In a short while Jim and Char arrived as well. We celebrated Lelia's 70th birthday and our unity as five brothers and sisters. After catching up on family news, Frank and Lelia returned to Vancouver; Jeanne, Char, and Eileen retreated to the office area; while Jim and I entertained each other by playing and identifying old rock & roll songs. So the evening went until it was time for me to return Jeanne to Canby. After dropping my oldest sister at Hope Village, I went to the home of Sue and Don Davis to pass the night. I stayed up late taking to Sue, mostly about old times and her mother.

On Sunday morning, I picked up Jeanne at Hope Village and we drove to the Canby Foursquare Church. Jeanne seemed discombobulated and after dropping her off, I phoned Sue about my concerns. I'm glad Sue is near Jeanne to look after her needs. I headed south, driving to Eugene, then cutting to the coast at Florence. At 3:00, I led my church Zoom call at a park near Reedsport. The Bible study of Mark turned out really well. I then continued south down Highway 101 past Coos Bay to Humbug Mountain State Park. My road trip transformed into a camping trip. I set up a tent, inflated my mattress, sparked a fire, and settled in for cool camping experience. The night was restful with raindrops pelting the nylon tent cover.

On Monday, I packed up and continued south into California, past Eureka, and onto Westport-Union Landing State Beach. This was my fourth time at this place and I was blessed to park at site 100 on the far end, overlooking the ocean and a sunset. Over a camp fire, I warmed up a hobo meal of ramen noodles and canned chili. I burned the palm of my hand on pot handle. I walked the last of my daily 10,000 steps just before zipping up the tent flap.

I arose on Tuesday morning looking out my tent entrance upon an immense placid ocean. I lingered on my back for thirty minutes marveling at God's magnificent creation. Or was I just lazy? I was soon on the road again, racing home: Willits - Ukiah - Santa Rosa - San Francisco - San Mateo. I stopped at the gym to shower and tidy up the car before entering the house and giving a hug to my longsuffering wife. The next day, I put together a video of the road trip, re-living a wonderful six days. "I Get Around".

~ Road trip to Portlandia ends~