trip - We left the Monday after Thanksgiving (11/27/17) and arrived home at
1:00 a.m. Sunday (12/3/2017) morning. We packed and loaded everything up in
my truck. We took snacks and waters and headed out with a destination in mind.
We really haven't traveled very much and we wanted to see some different territory.
My truck had 182,000 miles on it when we left. It's been a good truck and we
haven't had any problems with it so we weren't worried about the mileage.
We left San Angelo at about 10:00 a.m. and our goal was to make it to Little Rock,
Arkansas the first night. I had checked out some places we could stay and they
had some reasonable bed and breakfast places. We didn't make the reservation for
the night until we were only a few hours away just in case something came up.
We enjoyed the drive. We stopped here and there for this and that and listened to
some old country songs. We prayed the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary and at
3:00 p.m. we prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet. I think it was about 9:00 p.m.
when we made it to the B & B in Little Rock. We were both tired. We shared
a sandwich and read for a little while before we settled in for the night. It wasn't
long until we were both out like lights! The next morning we found a Catholic
Church (I can't remember the name) and parked. We walked around the church
and all the doors were locked. The office was next to the church and I rang the
bell. A nice lady answered the door and I told her that we were from out of town
and that we were hoping we could go inside the church and pray for a little bit.
She smiled and said that praying was always good and that she would unlock the
door for us. Jim and I went inside the sanctuary and knelt down and prayed. Then
we walked up and down the aisles and looked at the stained glass windows. I love
how each window tells a story. Depending on the Catholic Church you visit you
will see different stories from the bible in the exquisite stained glass.
In this particular church there was a vibrant stained glass window of
St. Michael the Archangel. Isn't is awesome?
I always take pictures when we visit a church and this is the first picture I've taken of
St. Michael. We lit twelve candles before we left; ten for our grandchildren and two
more for a family that have asked for our prayers.
Jim and I went and ate a late breakfast, more like a brunch, and then went back to our
room. We decided to walk a couple of blocks to an old cemetery we had passed.
You can learn a lot of history from cemeteries and this was a really old cemetery.
Some of the people buried in this cemetery were born in the late 1700s. There were
tombstones of young men, one only twelve years old, when he joined the Army
during the War of 1812. Other tombstones told of teenage boys ranging in age from
fifteen through seventeen that served in the Civil War. The tombstones told stories
of lives lost and those who made it back home. There were family plots and many
of them had several headstones of precious babies that only lived for a day, a month,
six months. The monuments were so beautifully and skillfully crafted. The wrought
iron fences had stories of their own. It was so peaceful walking up and down the
rows. I prayed as I walked along and I shed a few tears too. Jim was amazed at the
craftsmanship and his heart hurt for the families that lost their young sons. There
were vines and climbing rose bushes all over the fence surrounding the cemetery.
There were a couple of roses still alive on the vines. Almost like a gift for us to see.
The following is one of the historical markers:
This all happened on Tuesday, the second day of our journey. I will tell you about the
middle of our trip (hopefully) tomorrow. I want to tell about the last day of our trip,
the day we traveled home.
Our final destination was Branson, Missouri. We had arrived in Branson on Thursday
morning. Now for the last day - We left on Saturday morning (closer to noon) to head
home. We decided that we would drive as far as we could and if we got too tired we
would stop and spend the night somewhere. We had about a ten and a half hour drive
ahead and that would not include all the stops. Our route would take us through
Joplin, MO, into Oklahoma and then Texas. We had only driven about an hour when
we stopped in a little town and ate lunch. I told Jim that I would like to stop at another
Catholic Church before we left Missouri. I looked on my phone and found, St. Peter
The Apostle Catholic Church in Joplin, MO. We missed the turn off and had to drive
quite a ways before we were able to turn around. I looked at Jim and said, "I know it
will be a blessing!" He looked at me and shook his head kind of like, okay but we
still have a long way to go. He might have been thinking something else but that was
my interpretation. We finally made it to the church and it was beautiful! The church was
built in 1905. Here is a picture of the outside and of the doors! I love the symbolism
of the doors!
I took a bunch of pictures of the inside of this church! I will share some more of them
with you tomorrow. I have to tell you about the "neatest story" now. I held my breath
as I pulled on the handle of the door and it opened! Jim and I were walking around
and looking at everything. Jim was at the back of the sanctuary and I was up by the
statue of Mother Mary when an older gentleman walked in. He sat down in the back
for awhile and then I saw him out of the corner of my eye when he moved to the first
pew right in front of the altar. He took a hymnal and opened it and began to sing
"Amazing Grace" - took my breath away! He had a beautiful voice and he sang from
his heart and the words echoed throughout the sanctuary. I quietly joined in and then
he sang the second verse. By that time, I was choked up and just listened to this
faithful man singing his heart out to the Lord! I walked to the back to be with Jim.
In a little while the gentleman walked to the back so that he could leave. I said to him,
"You have a beautiful voice." He replied, "I like to come in here and thank God
for another day." We said goodbye and he left. Jim and I left soon after. We both
felt like we had been given this amazing gift.
That's all for now. I have to fix dinner! Hopefully I will be able to finish tomorrow!
Blessings to you and yours!
Bye for now, Sharla