Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Mission Inn

It was a busy Sunday! I woke up early in order to get to Rancho Cucamonga, to go to Victoria Community Church for their worship service. It was such a blessing to be there! It was great to see some old friends again, and I also ran into a family friend who was there with his family on vacation! I used to do a lot at VCC back in my days with Youth Ministries, and have been able to keep in touch with some of those friends throughout the years. It was great to hear my friend, Erick, preach a great sermon on forgiveness and gratitude, and it was great to worship with familiar songs!

After church, I drove to Riverside for something that I knew would be hard. I went to the funeral for a friend's 3-year-old daughter who passed away last week. My mom lived in California for one year of high school and became good friends with Annette. In my growing up years we would come to California to visit Chuck and Penny fairly frequently. Whenever we did that, we usually also got together with Annette and her family. Her oldest daughter is Adrianne, who is two years older than I am, and Adrianne and I became great buddies. We would spend all our time together when I was in California (including going around Disneyland alone at ages 10 and 12!), and we were also pen-pals when I was back in Minnesota. I remember feeling very proud in second or third grade when I could spell "Pasadena" when it came up in school once. It's because that's where my pen-pal lived! Well, I last saw Adrianne at her college graduation party back in 1996 or so and then not again until Sunday when I went to her daughter's funeral. It was so good to see her, and for such a hard occasion. Please keep Adrianne and her husband, Mark, in your prayers as they learn to go on with life without their only little girl. I never got to meet her, but could tell from her funeral what a beautiful little girl she was -both inside and out.

After talking with Adrianne and all her family, I headed out. I was going to go back to Jim and Marilyn's to get my stuff before meeting friends for dinner, but Marilyn reminded me of the historic Mission Inn that's right in Riverside. I had seen a show once on The Travel Channel (I love Samantha Brown!) and wanted to see this old historic hotel in person.

It was a beautiful place to visit! Wonderful architecture, attention to detail, and friendly staff.

I was ready to hop in my car to head back to Fullerton when my eyes caught sight of an Antique Store/Gift shop. It's hard to pass those by, so I decided not to and headed right in! I wandered around a bit, enjoying all sorts of beautiful antiques, started dreaming of owning a home again someday, and then came upon one corner where a lady was selling wonderful hats. She was there and encouraged me to try on a few, so I had fun obliging her!

I finally left, drove back to Fullerton, packed up my stuff from the weekend, met someone from their church that's thinking about going to Africa on the mission trip I'll be on, and headed out again. This time it was back to Rancho Cucamonga in order to meet up with Erick and Melissa and their boys for dinner and hang-out time. It was SUCH a blessing to be with them! I've known Erick since about 1995 or 1996 and got to meet Melissa when they lived in Fergus for a bit. They are two of the nicest people you'll meet, have their heads on straight, and are so easy to be around! It was such a fun evening and I drove back home again feeling so blessed!

If you were to look at a map from the area, you'll see that I did a TON of driving that day, but it was so worth it to be with friends/family and was a great end to a great weekend!


doug&margarethe said...

Yes, maybe a "ton" of miles on your car but by the looks of your blog you were blessed! Thanks for representing our family at Karissa's funeral. I know they appreciated your presence..wished I could have joined you.
You wear hats well! Fun. love, Mom

Anonymous said...

We have never met but I have enjoyed learning about you through your blog and you have even sent a picture mail to my phone :) because Mark's phone wouldn't work.

We as well had to attend the funeral of our good friends two year old daughter this year who lost her battle to Neuroblastoma. It was by far one of the hardest things I have ever seen, but also one of the biggest blessings as God worked through everyone there. Please know that we cover your friends, you and your family in prayer as the adjustments of life come along. I know your presence there was a blessing to them!

May God bless you in your last weeks in California and bless your travels home! I look forward to reading your blog about Africa!!

Never Cease Giving Thanks,
Marcia Martens

Kari, RN said...


Thank you for your fun comment! I'm glad you've been enjoying my blog -that always brings a smile to my face!

I'm so sorry to hear about your friend's daughter, what an awful experience. Like little Karissa's dad said at the funeral, "How would people ever go through something like this without the Lord?" I'm so glad we serve a living Savior!

THANK YOU for your prayers for me as I'm getting ready for Africa. I'm more and more excited each day!