This weekend my nephew married his high school sweetheart. I drove to Iowa to see the wedding, as well as go to a conference at Fourth Baptist Church in Minneapolis. When those things were finished, I had some free time. I went to church Sunday morning, and then spent the rest of the day visiting with family. Sunday night my best friend Mike and I made plans to go fishing this morning.
I had planned to spend Friday in Minneapolis, Saturday and Sunday with my family (wedding included), and then Monday with Mike and his family before driving home Tuesday. Mike said that he had plans for Monday afternoon, but we could go fishing in the morning, and then I could go home early and surprise my wife and kids.
So we fished. I paid $10.50 for a nonresident one day fishing license. I asked the guy, “Do you have a three hour license that’s cheaper?” No dice. Oh well.
We went to some body of water near Lake Red Rock. Mike had his canoe, which was funny, because the idea was for us to spend time together fishing and talking, but he spent the entire three hours staring at my back. At least we are guys, so we don’t need eye contact to communicate.
After drowning a worm for three hours and annoying a bunch of flies, we pulled the canoe out of the water. We didn’t get a single bite. But we did get to spend three hours talking, catching up, and reconnecting.
We parted ways there after loading up the supplies in his truck. I let him keep the rest of the worms, because hey, what am I going to do with them? I drove to Pella, Iowa, and spent some time at Jaarsma Bakery. This place is amazing. They have traditional Dutch pastries, as well as other bakery stuff. You could get fat going there regularly. I think they should have insulin available on request.
While I was there I bought some Dutch Letters, some chocolate and peanut butter covered pretzels, and an apple fritter. Now, I like apple fritters, but this one was the best apple fritter I’ve ever had. It had real pieces of apple in it, and had maple frosting on top.
I left there and drove out of Iowa on a road I’ve never used to get out of Iowa: Highway 34. Funny story: usually as we enter or leave Iowa on I-80 we encounter a pig truck, along with its smell. But on this road, I encountered something I’ve never seen before: a turkey truck.
The bridge at Burlington is very nice, but the 45 miles of Highway 34 in Illinois between Burlington and Galesburg is not very nice. Add in the lane painter I sat behind for a good ten minutes, and yet again Illinois takes the prize for “Worst State to Drive Through.”
I made it through Illinois and Indiana without my wife finding out that I was on the way home. Remember, she was expecting me to get home Tuesday night. I got home around 9:30pm and called her from the driveway.
“Are the girls in bed?” (Nathan usually stays up later, in case you are wondering)
“Not yet,” she said.
“Did you give them a hug from me?”
“Not per se…”
“Well,” I said. “How about I just come inside and hug them myself.”
It was a successful surprise with laughs and hugs all around. We prayed together and the kids went to bed.
Tomorrow they get to see the gifts from Grandma and the goodies I got from Jaarsma (Dutch Letters!!).