Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Leaving Alaska

Thursday, March 12

The teams left at different times today.  We had them all through lunch and by dinner time we were just down to 12 or so people.

Anchorage had really cooled down when we got back from Fairbanks.  We needed some milk for Howard to make some pies.  We walked over to the local convenience store to get the milk. 

The last airport run was made at 11;30 at night.  Some of the younger staff said they would take us out of town a ways and maybe we would see the Northern Lights. They had seen them Wednesday night.  We bundled up and rode about an hour out of town to a place that would be a good viewing area.  Well, guess what.  We stayed out until 3:00 am and never saw any!!!  I was so disappointed.

Friday, March 13

We did not have to have breakfast ready, so we slept in some.  We did go to the mall for a bit.  It was warm in there.  I got some pics of Ships Creek.  It of course was all frozen.

Saturday  March 14

Today was our youngest son (Matt 33) and our youngest grandson's (Clayton 9) birthdays.  We talked to both of them.

We got most of our packing done and we decided to go out to lunch.  Anne wanted a good halibut sandwich so we went to the Arctic Roadrunner.  We decided not to eat outside, like we like to do in the summer.  I wonder why? Doesn't look too inviting with the frozen creek.

They have the best halibut sandwiches around.

It felt good to sit in the sun!  We decided to take one more ride Saturday night to see if we could see a moose.  Anne thinks she is jinxed, because we never see a moose with her around.  Scott likes to tease her about going all the way to Fairbanks and back and never seeing a moose.  Well, guess what? We didn't see one Saturday night either.  We did see a nice sunset though.

We did see the star up on the mountain.  There is a star lit on the mountain when the Iditarod starts.  It will stay lit until the last team comes in.   We are still waiting for the first team to come in.

Some of you have asked what kind of ministry GraceWorks Alaska does in the winter.  The teams that come all have ministry assignments that they do.  They were cut short two days because of the travel that we had to do.  The teams go into the parks after school and have sandwiches and  hot chocolate for the kids when they get off the school bus. The teams also ministered to the children at the Boys and Girls Club of Anchorage.  They also helped at the soup kitchen for the homeless.

I want to thank you again for all of your prayers for us.  We really felt it when we had to get up so early and prepare meals.  God gave us the strength to do our work.  Also my back did not hurt at all while we were gone.  That was a real answer to prayer.

Sunday, March 15

You know when we lead mission trip teams we talk all the time about being flexible.  We put that into practice on Sunday.  Our plans were to go to Wasilla for church Sunday morning, It's about an hour away.  We like seeing the people we minister with during the summer.  Anne was not able to go the first Sunday we were there.  As we were leaving Howard suggested that we grab blankets.  We were getting a few snow flurries, and we didn't know what the day would bring forth.

As we were riding along, I kept telling Howard that the car was not putting out any heat!  It was 0 degrees outside. The car was getting cold!!  All of a sudden the radiator started steaming.  We pulled off.  Sure enough, it looked like the radiator hose was leaking.  We called Jerry back in Anchorage.  Jerry is in charge of all the vehicles.  We were about 20 minutes out.  It did get cold in the car.  We were very thankful for the blankets we grabbed.

Don't let the smiles fool you.  Brrrrrr

Jerry and Melissa were there in about 30 minutes.  They had a nice warm car to get into!!  Jerry put coolant in the car and we followed him.  He drove it part way, and couldn't go any further.  We left it parked by the side of the road.  We found out later it was the radiator was that leaking.  We thank the Lord for His protection.  We were disappointed we didn't make it to Wasilla, but we could have been a lot further away from Anchorage when it happened.

I had to take this picture and text it to Anne.  She was in a different terminal and I don't think they had one there. 

We left for the airport about 6:00 pm.  Our flight was to take us from Anchorage to Chicago and then to Nashville.  I do not like red-eye trips.  Airplanes are so crowded any more and I don't sleep well on a plane.  There was a medical emergency on the plane and we were diverted to Fargo, ND.  Because there was not enough oxygen on the plane, we all went into the terminal until they could get oxygen.  I guess Fargo didn't have enough so we had to wait until a plane came from Chicago to pick us up!  7 hours later we were in the air again.  I will say United did a great job with rerouting us.  When we got off the plane in Chicago, they had new boarding passes waiting for us with new connections (There was also a $7.00 meal voucher attached).  21 1/2 hours after we left the church in Anchorage we were walking in our house!!  Needless to say, we showered and went right to bed!

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