A Day of Firsts

It was indeed a day of firsts.
Last year when we traveled to Cuba on a missions trip, I shared with the younger team members that they would get out of the trip just what they put into it, and encouraged them to embrace the opportunities that lay ahead.  It’s a philosophy that could really be carried out in daily life.
This morning we attended the fair where my HSMM brother, Super Dave, was sharing the message.  I had not heard him speak before in a public setting and was pleased with his God-given confidence.  Hearing Super Dave share a message – a first.  Afterwards, some of the other HSMM brothers and sisters were talking about our experiences in the past and how blessed we are to be in fellowship with one another.
As my family and I walked through the fair we came across a fry truck selling poutine, and we wanted some.  Let me tell you, many places claim to have poutine, but these guys knew what they were doing.  Real hand cut home fries, hot gravy – not lumpy or with the skin floating on it – shredded white cheese on a plate well worth the $5.  If you ever run across Mustards Last Stand, stop in try the poutine.
The usual petting zoo was at the fair; the one with the goats, the pigs, the llama, the alpaca, the porcupine, the….wait a minute.  Those two porcupines were there only to look at.  They really are quite adorable creatures.  Also there was a two week old lion cub.  We each took the time to pet this little guy.  If you have ever pet a young sheep, it feels much the same.  Tight fur that feels fresh and new.  He had playful eyes and sharp claws.  The pads on his feet were like soft leather, much like those on my childhood pet raccoon, Mandy.  Another first for the day.
There was an elephant at the fair this time as well.  Such amazing creatures.  Giants, but gentle at the same time.  I know guys like this.
The afternoon and evening were spent with friends.  Sue and John are a great couple.  They are real, down to earth, honest friends.  We laughed, we shared stories of our work in ministry, our kids played together, played cards and ate good food.  Sue and John are Mennonite, not horse and buggy mennonite, but Mexican Mennonite.  I tried these cheese stuffed peppers that were deep fried in dough.  Thems is some good eatin’, and another first for the day.
John recently bought a .22 caliber shotgun.  I have never shot a gun, aside from a pellet or BB gun, so we took the time to get armed and do some shootin’.  There it was, another first for the day and I gotta say, I quite enjoyed it.  Makes one feel like a man!
As we headed out for home around 9:00 p.m., I took a road that is mainly inhabited by horse and buggy mennonites.  It would seem the Amish were all heading home from church at this hour, I had not seen this many buggies before on one road.  Horse and buggies on the road at night is different than in the daytime.  I was on my motorbike and didn’t want to scare the horses, who are pretty comfortable on the roads anyway, so I took it slow.  I was distracted at one point with a seemingly random light shining in amongst the trees.  As I rode closer, I saw that it was an Amish lady, dressed in black, using a flashlight to lead another Amish Mennonite in a wheelchair.  That’s not a sight you often see.
All in all, after the 15 or more buggies, we made it closer to home, only to hit rain, but we arrived safe and sound.
The evening ended with word that my HSMM brother, Campy, had lost his 93 year old mom this afternoon.  He was able to be with her, holding her hand as she died.  God bless you and bring you peace Campy.
No matter our age or the life we have left in us, we just never know the day or time when it will come to a close.  Embrace each day you have.  Take the ‘firsts’ in you life and make memories.  You get out of life what you put into it.
Everyone has a story.  Make yours.

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