Monday, May 24, 2010

David Durenberger and the Family, 1993

Before there was John Ensign, there was David Durenberger. In 1990, the Senate unanimously denounced their Republican colleague from Minnesota for financial schemes sufficiently shady to merit a two year Justice Department investigation. He was also disbarred. At the time this article was written, he was in the thick of a paternity suit over a child that resulted, said the mother, from rape. That wasn't his last affair. One burst into public view when his secretary attacked him with her purse in an airport. He blamed much of his troubles on his wife. His chief regret, he told the St. Pioneer-Press, was that he got caught. But he kept on going until 1994--buoyed by faith and the Family.

It's all "ancient history" now, as my Family friends say of just about any past unpleasantness, but tonight I happened to stumble on a 1993 article from the St. Paul Pioneer Press in which Family leader Doug Coe, seeking to rehabilitate his brother's reputation, is unusually candid. Following are some excerpts.


--Bruce Orwall, Feb. 28, 1993

U.S. senators have a favorite biblical metaphor to describe the plight of their long-suffering colleague from Minnesota, Dave Durenberger.

``This is our version of Job,'' they say, as one Republican did last month when introducing Durenberger to a stranger.

The allusion seems apt - Job being history's most vivid symbol of steadfast faith. Despite being burdened with a lifetime of trial and despair, he never turned away from God.

Yet each time the comparison is made, Durenberger demurs. He chooses a different Biblical figure to symbolize his struggle.
``Not Job,'' he says. ``Joseph.''

In the Old Testament, Joseph was betrayed by those who were supposed to love him. But using his power as a visionary interpreter of dreams, he returned in triumph to lead his nation, forgiving those who had deserted him.

The ``new'' Dave Durenberger has risen again this winter.

The new Dave surfaces each time the Minnesota Republican finds himself neck-deep in controversy, which is often. This is how Durenberger fends off controversy: by unleashing a torrent of spiritual revelation, oozing New Male sensitivity and sincerity to assure voters that the old Dave - self-centered, egotistical, out of control - is dead and buried.

In his place, Durenberger says, is a man driven by self-improvement. He attends several prayer groups a week. He has a spiritual adviser and a new and improved relationship with God. He's not just a better senator; he's a better person.

Durenberger has turned to this explanation frequently over the years. In early 1986: ``I think in terms of just a `small p' person, I am so much better a person than I was a year ago.'' In 1988: ``My life continues to improve all the time. I couldn't say that four years ago.'' In 1990: ``I am looking forward to making amends the only way I know how: by being the most effective senator I can be, every day I serve in the U.S. Senate.''

Finally, in 1993: ``I spent a lot of time thinking about `The Senator.' Right now, I put a really high value on being `The Senator,' but I put a higher value on being me - whoever that is. And that's coming a long way for me. A long, long way.''

Who has helped him on this journey? Our man Coe, and some of his friends -- ranging from Mother Theresa to Tariq Aziz, a former deputy prime minister to Saddam Hussein currently serving 15 years for his role in the executions of 42 Iraqi businessmen.

Dave Durenberger and his inner circle are heavily invested in the power of faith. They say that a deepened spiritual conviction has carried Durenberger through his darkest days to make him a better, more effective public servant.

``It's his faith,'' says Sen. Alan Simpson, a Republican from Wyoming and one of Durenberger's closest Senate friends. ``That's the anchor he has plunged into the sandy earth here. ... He found out where to turn when he didn't know where to turn.''
At the heart of Durenberger's spiritual journey is Doug Coe, operator of the International Foundation, a vaguely defined spiritual center in Arlington, Va.

Coe, 64, is not a minister. He won't say where he gets money for the foundation, which is not affiliated with any religion. He floated from job to job during the 1950s before devoting himself to the spiritual development of public officials through the foundation, which runs prayer groups for politicians and oversees a number of charity projects.

Coe calls the foundation a ``family of friends''' from around the world that gathers to explore the spirit and soul. A key member of that family is Dave Durenberger.

``They're sort of compatriots in a cause,'' says Holderness, the friend from Dorsey & Whitney. ``They're ministering to leaders around the world. I think Doug has been a good counselor and listener and in some ways a minister to Dave.''

The International Foundation also owns The Cedars, a retreat house in Arlington where Durenberger has lived on and off during turbulent personal times.

Described by some as a ``commune,'' The Cedars is nothing of the sort. It features a mansion with a swimming pool and tennis courts on a sprawling campus, where friends from around the world stay when visiting Washington. No one lives there full time; Durenberger was an exception.

``When he and Penny were having difficulties, he needed a place to stay,'' Coe says. ``He was very depressed and he needed some company.''

Together, Coe and Durenberger have traveled the world trying to forge spiritual bonds with world leaders. They have prayed in Jordan with King Hussein, dined at midnight with Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister Tarik Aziz, and explored the power of Jesus Christ with Rajiv Ghandi in India.

It was during that visit to India several years ago that Durenberger met Mother Teresa, and was awed by her personal commitment to the poor. To explain her dedication, Mother Teresa took Durenberger's right hand in hers, counted his fingers and recited: ``I take my hand every night and I say: He-Did-This-For-Me.'' Then she grabbed Durenberger's left hand and counted: ``Then I say to myself: I-Did-What-For-Him.''

``Dave didn't wash his hand for two days,'' Coe says.

The two men have spent long hours together at The Cedars, on what they both describe as an earnest quest to change

Durenberger for the better. The Dave Durenberger that Doug Coe knows does not blame others for his downfall: ``He's saying, `Look, there's something must be wrong with me that I get myself into this sort of stuff.'''

The article continues with Durenberger's childhood as the son of a legendary Minnesota football coach. No special trauma, but Coe works what Durenberger has given him.

Coe, the spiritual adviser, explains the fallout of Durenberger's self-esteem problem with a long discourse on the importance of children being touched and loved. He likens Durenberger's upbringing to that of inner-city children from fractured homes who witness a world of violence and drugs.

``These little children are very emotionally scarred,'' Coe says. ``Now, you say that David didn't come from that. But I don't see any difference in my experience. ... He didn't ever learn about intimacy.''

The resulting scars left Durenberger unable to confront his problems directly, Coe says. And in the depths of a midlife crisis, Durenberger's actions often made him look like a hypocrite. Even as he told the public he was improving his life, he was having an affair and signing off on questionable business deals.

``He would tell you that he was not practicing, in a personal way, his Catholicism or his faith,'' Coe says. ``He would have a technical belief that (his actions were) wrong, just like Prince Charles has a technical belief that he appears and takes communion and does all the things right - but he has a regular bevy of women and so on. He was, I would think, very much like that, just like most of the ballplayers and the Redskins. That's kind of that Kennedy thing.''

Durenberger often avoids confronting people or problems directly - behavior that creates the impression he is dodging accountability. But Coe says it is a form of emotional denial, a trait that has allowed Durenberger to dodge deep pain.

``One of the reasons, in my view, that he's having trouble is that he doesn't want to be hurt anymore,'' Coe says, ``That's not excusing. That's just to say that that's what he has to battle within himself.''

But that was then. According to Coe and Durenberger himself, the new Dave Durenberger of 1993 has won his battle against low self-confidence. His strong spirituality now allows him to experience life in a way he has never known.

``This spiritual experience is giving him, for the first time, the capacity to be intimate,'' Coe says. ``He feels this is the first time he's ever had it, and he's very excited about it. He feels like he's getting a new lease on life in his relationship with God and people.''


Doug Coe has faith that his friend and spiritual confidant, Dave Durenberger, will be the Charles Colson of the 1990s.

Colson was the callous White House special counsel under Richard Nixon, best remembered for maintaining Nixon's ``enemies list.'' After serving a prison term for his role in the Watergate coverup, Colson accepted Jesus Christ and now runs a widely acclaimed prison ministry. Coe thinks that Durenberger, like Colson, will overcome the bad influences that have controlled him, and emerge a finer person.

``Everybody wrote every day about what a rat (Colson) was,'' Coe says. ``He was a rat, and he did all those things and a lot more things people don't know about. The thing is, some people are defeated by their errors. Other people grow.

``We're in a process where David is learning and growing. I don't think there's much more that can hurt him.''

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Family Adventure

Following is an account of the 2005 National Prayer Breakfast preserved in a screen save by Chris Rodda of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. I'm reproducing it in near entirety, without commentary -- it's a fascinating document on its own. I will bold some passages, though, and some names, that give a sense of the author's experience of this ostensibly "ecumenical" event

February 1-4, 2005
We never even knew to put this on our wish list of things to do in our life of adventure…till Ike and Trisha Thomas asked us to go to the 53rd National Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC.  The experience is beyond what we could hope or think or ask.  Thank you Lord and thank you Ike and Trisha....
Sister picked us up at 8:50 on Tuesday for our American Airlines 11:24 flight to Baltimore where our chauffeur awaited, sign in hand… “Ike Thomas”…that would be us.  Baggage collected, we stepped into a gorgeous DC day and into a realllly long black stretch limo.  Trisha had gotten their number from a friend and decided to upgrade at the last minute.  Now that girl knows how to travel!  Tom didn’t want me photograph the limo…might be too big-shotty, but I did get a couple of interior pics.  We traveled the hour and fifteen minute trip through snow covered landscapes and time as Ike told us stories of his brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Bill and Karyn Frist; how they met; of the Frist's family's medical heritage; Bill's double major in medicine and political science; Bill's establishment of a heart transplant unit at Vanderbilt University;  Bill's performing volunteer medical services in third world countries each summer; and Bill's venture into politics where he won his first Tennessee Senate race against a strong incumbent.  We would be having dinner with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and his wife Karyn later that night.
We arrived at the Washington Hilton Hotel around 4:00, freshened up and met downstairs to pick up our Prayer Breakfast packets.  Wow…the first thing we noticed inside our folders was the “Jesus Transcends All” card. “Jesus Christ transcends all religions! Judaism – Islam – Buddhism – Hinduism…He is greater than all these – including Christianity.  Religions are the inventions of men.  They may begin with a great leader in mind – Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha… But human traditions soon reduces the original to a mere set of ethical standards and a dead letter of the law which no one can follow.  The original sin was not murder, adultery or any other action we call sin.  The original sin was, and still is, the human choice to be one’s own god – to control one’s own life – to be in charge – to be religious.  Rising out of this choice evolved religion: mankind’s attempt to please God.   Jesus transcends religion because he is the incarnation of all that is true, good, loving, gently, tender, thoughtful, caring, courteous and selfless.  Jesus does not want you to become a Christian.  He wants you to become a new creation!  There is a great difference between the two.”  Dr. Richard C. Halverson.
Wow…so this is how they approach the multi-faiths attending the Prayer Breakfast.  There would be Muslims, Hindu, Jews, Christians…people from entirely different backgrounds and beliefs.  Some come for the experience and adventure of meeting people from around the world, praying the Holy Spirit will touch lives. Others come for the honor of being included in this event where heads of states and those of political and spiritual position will be attending…even knowing Jesus’ name will be lifted up, they come.  Wow.
Looking further in our packet… “The Strategy of Jesus”, “Remarks of President Ronald Reagan” and the Vision, Message, Purpose and Power of Agreement of “The National Prayer Breakfast Seminar”.  This pamphlet includes eight New Testament scriptures and one Old Testament.  We admired the subtle boldness and wondered if the foreign packets were the same as ours.
Time to depart for dinner at 6:00.  We caught a cab to the restaurant and were given a table upstairs overlooking the park.  We hadn’t eaten since our Friday’s carry-on box lunches on the plane and were ready for a quality meal.  Shortly after our arrival, two secret service men arrived and remained stationed at the top of the stairs facing our table.  Then Trisha’s sister, Karyn Frist, and her husband Senate Majority Leader, Bill Frist, arrived.  As we dined and conversed, Bill was staying in touch with the Senate via his Blackberry wireless.  “Sorry…just shutting down the Senate for the day.” What interesting folks.  We thoroughly enjoyed our meal and conversation.  They had just been to a wrestling match….wrestling match?  Both Tom and I pictured WWF or perhaps Suma.  But they had just come from one of their son’s wrestling matches.  In the midst of political life, the Frists take time for family.  Balance…one of the things we continue to pursue. Bill was kind enough to autograph a business card for our good friend Joe Mullens who is a big fan.  Joe will just die.  Following dessert we took a group picture and headed back to the hotel.  Tomorrow we’d meet up with Ike and Trisha at 10:00 A.M.
Our tour of the Capitol began and ended in the Senate Majority Leader's (Frist) suite.  When we first arrived, Speaker of the House Dennis Hasertt and Congressional Majority Leader Tom DeLay and several others came through  the office for a meeting in the Frist conference room. Brook Whitfield, Senator Frist’s assistant, gave us a VIP tour...
Returning to the Senator’s office to retrieve our purses and Tom’s hat, we took pictures in Senator Frist's private office which Karyn had decorated beautifully.  A treasure of art and furniture is available in the federal warehouses for use in the offices; Karyn had done a spectacular job of selecting pieces and arranging a perfect office environment for Bill and his guests.  Personal things made it his…a Covelle, a Granbury artist, sculpture of Travis …family photos in the book shelf… one of Ike and Trisha with Karyn and Bill and of course pictures of their three sons…and in the another book shelf, the books Bill had written.  The man is amazing.  In the course of conversation at the dinner Tuesday night, it was evident the Senator had no clue as to who Sharon Stone and other Hollywood personas are...because there is little time for T.V. and movies when time is so filled with other things.  We salute you, Bill…that says a lot about the man...
Ike and Trisha went back to the hotel to rest-up for their exciting evening (attending the State of the Union address) while Tom and I took advantage of our time to visit the Lincoln Memorial.  I love that man.  And the Vietnam Memorial, which brought me to tears.  I thought of the fun I was having while they paid with their lives serving our country. 
A quarter to four we took a taxi to Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison’s office where we met up with Ike. (Trisha went to the Ladies venue that included her sister, Karyn, as one of the speakers…we wanted to do both, but they were scheduled at the same time.)  Her office had extended invitations to the Texas guests of the Prayer Breakfast.  We found Kay to be diminutive and delightful.  As some asked politically based questions, I asked how much the cleaning bill was on the suit she wore in the christening picture above her fireplace.  She laughed and related she had tried three times to break the bottle whose contents burst into activity with every swing and upon the successful contact, filled the air and the Senator’s hair and suit with its bounty.  The papers the next day said she had christened herself.  Cal Thomas, America’s leading political columnist also spoke.  Both told of their belief in Christ and their participation in spiritual things in DC….the Senators have a weekly prayer breakfast and Cal has prayer lunches and invites both Christians and heathens of the media.  We had our picture made with the Senator in front of the United States and Texas flags by a professional photographer.  The pictures are being mailed. 
Back to the Hilton where small dinners were being held.  We joined about a hundred and fifty new friends from Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico and Texas in the Jefferson East Room.  Eighty percent of the room were Texans.  Great Racer Denny Pearce gave us a great big welcome hug.  He emceed the dinner and also hosted Texas Suite.  We sat by new friends on our left Debbie and George Lee, a banker from Houston, and on our right Mark and Debbie Littlestar from Boerne, friends of our good friends Mike and Tracy Kinchin of Fredricksburg.  Next to them were new friends Tom and Linda Wilson of Ft. Worth.  They’ve been with Young Life for thirty years.  Across from us sat Boone and Peggy Powell.  I knew Peggy from Bible Study at Anne Miller’s some fifteen years ago.  Then Kurt, the youth minister from our Dallas church, Northwest Bible, came in.  What a small world we live in. 
There was a table of guests from Argentina, one spoke….and the keynote speaker was Jock, a handsome young dynamic man from Australia, whose father had attended the National Prayer Breakfast years ago and returned a new Christian.  Since that time the son and speaker became a Christian and has traveled throughout the world encouraging other countries to take up the torch of Prayer Breakfasts in their countries.  Jock's home in Australia is always full of guests he’s met on his journeys.
After a delicious dinner of chicken on rice and a yummy ice cream cake dessert, the Texans retired to the Texas Suite on the seventh floor to watch the State of the Union Address.  We kept watching for Ike’s big smile and shiny head.  Later we learned he and Trisha had sat about 10 seats behind the First Lady.  We were all so proud of our President.
Thursday morning we dressed for the National Prayer Breakfast.  No purse, no cameras… long lines to go through security.  We arrived at 6:45 for a 7:30 breakfast.  Even-numbered tickets sat in the International Ballroom, the largest in DC, and odd numbers sat in the overflow ballroom downstairs and watched via multi-media.
 We were table number two-sixty-eight…Ike and Trisha, number one-thirty-nine.  The tables were set beautifully with perfectly ripened fruits, granola, bagels and sweet rolls, and beverages.  I had two large strawberries.  We sat by new (and really cool) friends Richard and Susan Davis who have a church in Zurich Switzerland.  He sold his Harley just before they moved there seven years ago.  It would be fun to rent a motorcycle in Europe and visit them.  They are central to so many day trips into the Alps and other countries.
The Prayer Breakfast began with black singer Wintley Phipps (amazing).  The pre-breakfast prayer was given by  Emanuel Cleaver, House of Representatives, Missouri; opening remarks by Jo Ann Emerson, House of Representatives, Missouri; the opening prayer was given by Tom Osborne, House of Representatives, Nebraska; opening remarks – Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Senator Norm Coleman of Minnesota; Senator Dianne Feinstein gave a reading from  Jewish spiritual literature; Wintley Phipps sang again; Army Sergeant Douglas Norman read from the Bible; Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, a Christian, prayed for our national leaders; Tony Hall, Ambassador, United States Mission to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Agencies gave the main message.  He was awesome.  Tom told me while Tony was serving in the House of Representatives he had gone on a hunger strike until  legislation was passed to help starving children in Ethopia who were literally dying by the thousands daily.  He didn't eat for thirty days; then our President, George W. Bush spoke to our hearts.  His message is included in another section of this book; Wintley Phipps then sang the most amazing Amazing Grace.  Wintley pointed out it was written by the Captain of a slave ship and many think the melody is an African chant.  He began the song with a chant of sorts in his deep rich baritone…sang the hymn as a Negro Spiritual….it was awesome.  Lincoln Davis, House of Representatives, Tennessee closed in prayer.  Most Impressive...Each prayer lifted Jesus name and was given in His name.  No "side-steps" were made in deference to our guests from other nations and faiths.  To You be the glory, Lord.
I whispered in Tom’s ear I was going to make a quick trip to the Ladies Room before we were served, to which is response was, “We’ve eaten.”  I later learned those in the downstairs ballroom viewing by screens were served a full breakfast to my two strawberries.  Ike and Trisha said they should have warned us.  We met them up near the stage and as we exited I got to speak to Chuck Colson, telling him we still use his taped talk comparing the Watergate 12 to the disciples.  We had seen him at the Interstate Batteries Convention in Orlando.  What an incredible ministry he has.
The Texas Suite was next on our personal agenda.  We met fascinating folks from Houston, Louise, daughter Vicki and her aunt Carolyn, who kept us entertained for the next hour and a half.  Ike and Trisha joined us briefly, then took off for a meeting with retiring Attorney General John Ashcroft, who spoke to an intimate group of about thirty.  Between meals various small groups of spiritual leaders met in the mini-meeting rooms.
Lunch was back in the International Ballroom.  It was by far our best meal of the trip…main course – salmon…my favorite.  Amazing that a wait staff of two hundred served three thousand a hot meal so efficiently.  Rick Warren, who wrote Purpose Driven Live and Purpose Driven Church, spoke followed by the keynote speaker, the President of Honduras, Ricardo Maduro Joest of the National Party  – a Christian. 

We anticipated a late night so we all took long naps after lunch, and met up for dinner back in the International Ballroom.  Tom and I met the most interesting lady, Pauletta from DC, who teaches defense in the Department of Defense and who travels to many foreign nations in upheaval.  I asked if she was a Black Belt, to which she answered, “Surrounding yourself with men with guns is the best protection.”  To my left was new friend Lynda Keese who lives in DC …and next to her was her new friend Carol from Oklahoma.  We had steak, mashed potatoes and green beans and the best dessert – my favorite – chocolate mousse cake.  Ike and Trisha were at the table next to us and when they rose at 7:30, so did we.  A seven-time dove winner was performing and we missed the speaker, now Chaplain of the Senate, Barry Black, but we had a dessert date at the Frists.
Ike and Trisha’s friends Warren and Lenore Carter, who provided our four invitations this year, picked us up at the front door.  We drove past the National Cathedral, where Ronald Reagan’s funeral had been held, and arrived at the Frist’s right on time – 8:00.... 
Bill gathered us all in the dessert room to welcome us and thank us for coming to a no-agenda gathering of Christians (most of whom were spiritual leaders) from various parts of the United States.  After his talk, Franklin Graham led us in prayer for the future of Bill and Karyn…and for each guest present and for their ministries.  Tom and I made note to add Bill and Karyn to our daily prayer list right behind the President.  It would be so awesome if the office of the President continued to be filled with God fearing committed Christians who consult our Father for direction and wisdom and who will run the country on Christian principles.  At dinner on Tuesday night we had repeated the words of one of Bill’s fans who had said… “You go for it!”
Among the guests were Franklin Graham (Billy Graham’s son); Luis Palau (Evangelistic Association); Chuck Colson (Prison Fellowship Ministry); David Barton (Wall-Builders); Rick Warren (Purpose Driven Life); Lloyd John Ogilvie (Author and past Chaplain of the Senate); Ted Haggard (President of the National Association) and Richard Land (President of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention).  All of these men would be among the list of twenty-five most influential evangelicals in the February seventh issue of Time Magazine currently on stands…five of them are on the cover.  May the Lord continue to empower them for reaching the world for Christ through their various ministries.   We also met other pastors we just fell in love with…especially the black ministers.  Their hearts and love for Christ literally beamed on their faces.  What an open book and joy filled soul they each had. 
One of our favorites was Wellington Boone, a pastor from Norcross, Georgia.  He has written a book published by Doubleday called “Your Wife Ain’t Your Mama” and promised to send us a copy.  His new book on shelves soon is titled “Woman – The King Maker”.
We missed David Barton…Ike saw him leaving before we got into the other room to even know he was there.  What a shame as he lives just down the road from us in Aledo, and we’ve used his video transcripts on America’s Godly Heritage in our Bible Study at the UpTop.  Now there’s a man everyone needs to listen to.  Our government has gotten our heritage so mixed up, and he reminds us of the documents, actions and beliefs of our founders and fore-fathers.
I visited with Franklin Graham.  “Franklin, I had the honor of hearing your Daddy at the Lobo Stadium in Longview, Texas, circa 1958, and they were coming forward by the hundreds even back then.”  He responded with enthusiasm… “You’re from Longview?  I went to Le Tourneau Tech for two years and still fly back in and get some Bodacious BBQ to go.”  I told him I had lived in the Le Tourneau barracks when my daddy was going to school there.  And how was his Daddy?  He had missed his first Prayer Breakfast this year.  He said he was doing OK.  I thanked him for all he does in the name of Christ.
We talked to Chuck Colson.  Tom asked Chuck for advice on how to begin a ministry in the Granbury jail as our new Christian sheriff, Gene Mayo is wide open for Jesus. Chuck referred us to the Prison Fellowship office in Dallas for assistance.
Our visit with Rick Warren was one of our favorites.  Rick is an "old rocker", and he is a hoot.  Turns out he plays the guitar and when we told him about Granbury Live, Rick  said he would come to Granbury if he could play onstage.  Tom told him, "Consider it done, you'll be perfect with Mo and Bro, the Blue Suede Brothers."
We finished our evening with a few pictures with new friends and a thank you to our hosts for an incredible evening in their beautiful home Karyn had decorated perfectly.  To the hotel and in bed by midnight.
Friday as Ike and Trisha were in route to Cancun to receive a Turf Grass award for Ike and as Karyn was on her way to New York to a red dress fashion show with the First Lady, and as the Senate Majority Leader attended to the business of the day, Tom and I ate breakfast at Union Station and boarded first class Amtrak for our twenty-seven minute trip to Baltimore.  Tom carried the luggage on and stepped back off the train to proclaim… “The first face you’ll see is ‘My Kinda Woman’”…a line from Granbury Live’s “God Bless Texas”:  “One thing you’ll never hear in Texas… The tires on that truck are too big, That song needs a little more French horn, That Hillary is my kinda woman.”  Sure nuff….there sat Hillary with her perhaps secretary and the secret service.  We had the option of sitting facing her or going on back to a private table.  We chose privacy, were served cranapple juice, diet Pepsi and the New York Times before we disembarked at BWI Baltimore where a too chatty lady cabby took us to the airport for a full flight home.
Sister picked us up, and we stopped for the much missed Mexican food of Abuelo’s and then home to the more than missed Granbury Live Family…where we played “God Bless Texas” and the lines “what you’ll never hear in Texas.”
Thank you Lord for a blessed adventure with Ike and Trisha, and thank you Ike and Trisha for choosing us to share your adventure, making it ours.  It was a blast!
                                              Tom and Sandi