Our Last Day

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Passing by the LA skyline

Wednesday, August 29, we left Visalia bound for Southern California. We had a few special stops.

The home we live in is what our family calls “The Robbins’ Nest”. That’s because for over thirty years, our dear, sweet friends, Doris and Wally Robbins lived here. It was their home and they’re the original owners, so it only seems fitting and right. Our whole neighborhood misses them. We miss them so much. So when we had the opportunity to stop by their new home in SoCA, we jumped at the chance. To know Doris and Wally is to personally know what God’s love feels like.¬†Wally was a Baptist pastor for many years back east, in Nova Scotia, and here in AZ. Doris was always a very important part of his ministry, using her gift of loving people to connect and share.

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They knew the approximate time we’d arrive, so were outside waiting for us. It was a priceless greeting!

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit of about two hours. There was so much to catch up on.

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Wally and Doris are both enjoying a long and healthy life. Without a doubt, their secret to longevity is their love for and relationship with God, their love for each other and their family, having a cheerful and positive attitude, and staying active. We pray God blesses them with many more years. They’re still doing all they can to share God’s love. (Wally began cycling at age 50, and when he quit after turning 90, he had ridden 98,000 miles!!!)

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Doris very thoughtfully got out a game called Gravity. She knew the boys would have fun with the challenge, and they did! Then, after we got home, the boys received a box with a Gravity game inside – a “welcome home” gift from Wally and Doris.

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This is how we left them as we pulled away in Big Boy. Saying good-bye to them always comes with tears, but we know they’re in God’s care and the wonderful, loving care of their family close by. One of their granddaughters is their next-door neighbor, and they can see their daughter’s house from right where they’re standing.

We headed down a traffic-free SoCA freeway, thankfully, toward Riverside. There’s a beautiful National Cemetary, and my grandpa is buried there.20180829_135801-901176598.jpg20180829_141858892563041.jpg

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Brodee’s middle name is in honor of my grandparents.

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We’ve driven through SoCA so many times to and from AZ, but have never had the time to drive into Riverside to make this stop, so this was very special. I’m so grateful Albert found Grandpa here in this big cemetary.

After leaving the cemetary, we drove to Indian Wells. There’s a professional tennis tournament that’s held here every March, and we wanted to see what it looks like when there’s not a tournament atmoshpere.20180829_1708425058062.jpg20180829_171607337731055.jpg

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During the tournament in the grass behind us, you can usually find several athletes training, stretching, doing interviews, or playing frisbee or soccer.

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This is the grass parking lot we park in. We always wondered how they kept it so nice and green. Now we know!

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The beautiful mountains are a great backdrop for this #TennisParadise.

After going to Chipotle for our last supper, we had a decision to make. We had one more stop planned, but found out they were most likely already closed. Should we chance it and drive the two hour round trip to see if they were still open?…If not, that’s wasted money and gas. Or, we could stick around and wait unitl 6:30 the next morning, which would mean we’d be driving home as the day warmed up. And, at this point, home was five hours away. Home was only five hours away… Stay here in the SoCA desert, or drive home to where our family and sweet kitty were?…We talked it over for a few seconds and made the unanimous, lightening quick decision to HEAD HOME!!

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The girls had a better-than-expected reunion. We all enjoyed lots of hugs and kisses!

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On Sabbath, we were back at our home church. Then that afternoon, we went out to the Salt River. The adventures continue…

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The boys and my sister are treasure hunting, looking for anything tubers may have lost along the way. A few weeks ago, my sister and her family found a phone and were able to return it to its grateful owner.

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We got to see some of the wild mustangs that live out here in the desert.

It feels so great to be home. It’s sad to admit our trip is over. That whatever we did is now locked into family history, never to be added to or changed. We’re all done. But we’re home, and home is a wonderful place to be. We’re grateful God saw us through to the very end with few problems. And when we did have a couple of problems, He helped us get them solved expertly and quickly.

We set out to give our boys a lifelong memory and invest in our family. We wanted them to have opportunities to learn more about themselves and grow personally. This is a beautiful country, and we were excited to introduce them to it in a very personal way. We wanted them to grow closer as brothers. God showed us even more clearly that when you’re living your life for Him, it’s a small world. He shows Himself so much throughout the day and in very specific ways – no conincidences. That goes along with the most important goal — we wanted the boys to experience more God’s love for them and care. We prayed they’d know Him better. This makes me think of a question Doris likes to ask people when she feels God is leading her to. Do you know Jesus? Do you love Jesus? It’s not just a prayer we have for each other as a family, but we pray it for everyone who reads this. For everyone we’ve met along the way. For everyone. Period. All it takes is asking Him to come into your heart and believing He died to save you. If you do this and choose to live your life for Him, one day you’ll go Home, to the home Jesus is preparing for you. He’ll come again to take you there. That’ll be a trip none of us want to miss.

Thank you so much for being a part of our Walkabout through the summer!