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My Michigan trip, Part 4 – Southwest Airlines’ flights

Looking out the plane window at the clouds - love it!

Looking out the plane window at the clouds – love it!

This is my Michigan trip blog series, part 4 – Southwest Airlines’ flights.

You can read part 1 (God has surprises in store) by clicking here;

part 2 (the beautiful RV) here;

part 3 (the Encounter ministry weekend) here.

me at Lake Michigan

me at Lake Michigan

I love flying on planes. It never ceases to amaze me when the plane is taking off so fast, how man has created something that flies in the air over the clouds, inspired by God creating the birds.

Yes, I love traveling, period. It is so fun (usually!) and makes me so happy, visiting new places, seeing new people and things, and trying new kinds of food! God has blessed me and my family, enabling us to travel to different states and other nations, for mission trips, business, and fun!

 

Me working as a flight attendant for Mesa Airlines

Me working as a flight attendant for Mesa Airlines

I have a motto for traveling: “Pack light, take lots of pics, and have fun!” As a former flight attendant, I learned how to pack light for faster and easier traveling (usually just my roller board for the plane). It was one of the most fun jobs that I’ve had ever had in my life. I loved it!

One of the great perks of my job was being able to fly free on my days off work, and my immediate family, too. I flew Ray and Leah to Orlando, where she saw the beach and ocean for the first time in her life, and to New York for us to see Niagara Falls. We crossed over to the Canadian side to see the falls there, too –it was breathtakingly beautiful! We went to Sea World, where she rode her first roller coaster, a water ride, and we petted and fed dolphins- two dolphins came up to Leah! So awesome! She had the biggest smile on her face and I did, too.

I also flew to Portland, Maine alone one weekend to see a beautiful lighthouse and huge boulders on the coast and watched amazing sail boats in the ocean. I saw the “whaling wall” (pun for the wailing wall in Jerusalem) and took a shuttle tour around the city. I was able to fly home to see my family on time off work, but not nearly enough!

If I had worked there at Mesa airlines longer, I have no doubt that my family and I would have traveled much more to different, exciting places. It is a big reason that people work for airlines, to bless them and their families. I was also able to sight see pretty cool stuff alone, in various cities on the southeast coast when I got off work. One specific thing that comes to mind is a Pompeii volcano museum exhibit in Alabama. I had dreams of traveling to other nations, but those trips came later. (In a different way – God provided! He’s a miracle worker!)

But my base was in Orland, Florida, and my family lived in Missouri. I just missed my kids too much to be that far away from them (I would cry in the jump seat on the plane, missing them!), so I resigned after working about six months, at Christmas time. 

me with Ray and Leah when I worked for the airlines

me with Ray and Leah when I worked for the airlines

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Blog, Faith, foodie, Friendship, Spiritual Gifts, Stress, Travel

My Michigan trip, part 3 – Encounter ministry weekend

Lake at the Encounter ministry camp

Lake at the Encounter ministry camp

This is part 3 of my Michigan trip blog series, about the Encounter ministry time. Recently I traveled to Grand Rapids, Michigan to visit my friends Herb and Diane Bishop and for the Encounter ministry weekend. You can read part 1 about the tulips and Lake Michigan here and part 2 about the beautiful RV where I stayed here.

Encounter ministry session

Encounter ministry session

I’d heard before about the Encounter ministry but had never been to one before. Herb recently went and wanted his wife Diane and their ministry Board of Directors to attend, because he thought it was amazing. (I’m on their Board of Directors, so they invited me to go.) I’m so thankful for this trip!

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Blog, Family, pets, prayer, Stress

Rescue cats update

You may have seen my blog post, Lessons From Stray Cats, on the cats that I’ve been rescuing here at our house. I thought that I’d share an update with you. I already have a beautiful black cat with green eyes, Natalya, who I adopted from a cat shelter in Belton, Missouri, several Christmases ago.

My cat Natalya

My cat Natalya

I’ve been feeding about 4 stray cats (intentionally) since spring 2023 (other stray cats may be sneaking around here, too). My husband Ray would joke that the good news spread, and we began seeing more cats hanging around to beg food from us.

My heart went out to them when they would meow at me. Ray bought me a coffee cup with the inscription, “You had me at meow” and a cute graphic on the other side of a woman and her black cat looking out at the sunset, with my name and Natalya’s on it. At Christmas, he ordered another cup with a graphic of a woman representing me and ALL the cats that I’ve been feeding and taking care of, looking out at the ocean, lol!

the cute coffee cup Ray bought me with all the cats

the cute coffee cup Ray bought me with all the cats

Silas is a Main Coon-tabby mix, male cat with a bushy tail and green eyes, about 2 years old. He was friendlier than the other strays who were semi-feral, so Ray thought that he had been around humans before and was possibly someone’s pet. He joked that some little girl was crying about her missing cat that I now had inside my house. It turns out that Ray was right – Silas had wandered away from his owner one day and didn’t return!

Silas

Silas

Recently, Silas was returned to his original owner, Lesslee, who lives here in Butler, Missouri, not too far from our house. I was posting on the Butler Facebook page to try to find a home for the other two stray cats that I’d been feeding here, Nichodemus (a male, Main Coon-tabby mix with green eyes and a bushy tail like Silas has) and Marmalade (a male, orange tabby).

Lesslee publicly posted under Nichodemus’ picture that I had posted: “That looks like my cat O’Malley who ran away forever ago!” 

Silas, the day before he was neutered and got his vaccinations

Silas, the day before he was neutered and got his vaccinations

I sent her a private message and she sent me a picture of her “O’Malley.” I looked at it and replied to her, “That looks like our cat Silas, who we have inside our house now!” She asked if she could come see him. I told her yes.

The day she came, Nichodemus just happened to be outside on our back patio eating. When she walked quietly to the steps where I was sitting, watching him, she shook her head and said, “No, that’s not him.” As usual, Nichodemus (who is more feral and gets scared easier) ran off into the bushes. I didn’t think that he was her cat, from her picture. Although they resemble each other, Nichodemus has darker markings on his face and his back than Silas does. Silas is also bigger and more territorial (aggressive).

Nicodemus on our back patio

Nicodemus on our back patio

When she came inside our house, I called Silas. He came walking up to us both in the utility room. As soon as Lesslee saw him, she began crying. While he had gained a LOT of weight since she had him (he loves to EAT!), she thought it was her cat O’Malley who had wandered off over a year ago. Silas came right to her and seemed to KNOW her, letting her pet him. She was shocked when I asked if she wanted him. My heart was aching at the thought of him going, but I felt it was the right thing to do.

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