My flight arrived at DFW a little early, and I waited for a time before Dad and Porter picked me up. I should note, it was a miracle how perfect the schedule worked out. When I bought my ticket, I had just started at BambooHR. I decided to book the trip from Friday to the following Saturday, without really having any reason. Porter arrived on Thursday, and I did want to see that, but this felt right. Fast forward some weeks, and I am hired at ListReports, have the aforementioned trip to California….from Monday to Thursday. It would have been difficult to skip the first part of training, so the departure Friday was ideal. God is in the details.
Two years passes by so quick; I couldn’t believe Porter was back, and I couldn’t believe that I was approaching (at the end of the month) my two year mark of being back in the states.
It doesn’t matter how long I’ve been gone, as soon as I’m with family, I feel at home. And it feels good. I hadn’t been back since Christmas, and although Dad and Breyer came out to graduation, it was a LONG time since I’d seen everyone else.
Much has already been written by other family members, and too much happened to do justice without writing page upon page, so I shall touch on only a few happenings.
First, Sunday was Breyer’s baptism. Ordinances are so important. We need the gospel of Jesus Christ. We need baptism. Truly, “except a man be born of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5). I was asked by her to speak briefly on baptism, and I reminisced on my own baptism, which occurred nearly 16 years to the day. I don’t remember everything, and at that age I did not fully comprehend the significance of the event. Above all else, I do remember, distinctly, the feeling of being clean, and wanting to be perfect from that time on. Breyer’s was the first baptism since my mission, and it was a day I shall not forget. A bonus was hearing Porter give his homecoming talk during Sacrament Meeting.
It was great to have the Bach’s there; they always bring so much happiness. We played our traditional game of Rancid Tarantula. A decade in, the rule book we have created rivals the US Tax Code in length, but like Uncle Sam, I keep coming out on top.
Sunday night, before their departure early. early Monday morning, Bro. Bach realized his wallet was missing. While handy to have, this was essential as he needed the ID to board the plane back to Massachusetts. He remembered having it after church when we were home, so we tore apart the house looking in every imaginable place. The search started close to midnight, and about 12:40 I asked that we gather and pray. I prayed, and felt certain, completely certain that we would find the wallet. We looked for a little longer, but to no avail and called it a night. I still felt certain, and was glad to see upon awakening, a note left from Bro. Bach indicating that he looked in his suitcase once more, and although he had looked in the very pocket a few times before, his wallet was there. I testify that God does answer prayers.
Third, on Monday I took Sawyer and Miller golfing. This has likewise become a tradition. We wanted to try a new course and went to Sugar Tree Golf Course in Lipan, Texas. The course was beautiful! We arrived at 3:30 pm and played 18 holes in the hot, hot sun. I drank 160 ounces of water, 10 full water bottles. We had a great time. It was a hard course, and we saw some great shots, over water, out of the sand, etc. On 18, Miller Happy Gilmore’d his drive 270 and then hit his next one thin, saw it skip once on the water and land on the other side. His arms raised in both jubilation and disbelief, we were all glad we could spend the time together.
We did a bro’s trip to Tyler, with everyone but Tanner going to see the Merritt’s. We played lots of games, ate lots of food, and spent so much time in the pool. We all came back with varying degreees of sunburn, but nary a frown. I even escaped losing to Aunt Janel in ping-pong. Only due to running out of time and not playing before we left though.
Friday, the family was all together. The Friday before, Mom had surgery, and of course it takes more than surgery to replace the meniscus to keep her down, but it was nice to see her doing so much better and much more mobile.
That night, we went to a Cleburne Railroaders game. Miller’s team was being recognized, and he was memorably introduced as “Miller Schenewark, extra hitter” as his position, while walking out onto the field. We were the first fans to arrive, and had time before the gates opened to walk around the field behind the stands and find lots of home run balls. The game was entertaining, and the night capped off with a firework show.
My trip was wonderful. I know, without a doubt, that “The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan…Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.” (The Family: A Proclamation to the World).
I am thankful for parents who have taught me by example and who have always placed family, and especially their children, above any worldly considerations.