Archive for April, 2011

unexpected night in Chicago


If you’ve ever travelled long distance, you may have had this experience.

Picture it – it’s almost 30 hours since you woke up on Tuesday in Brisbane, did final packing, headed to airport, flew 13 hours to Los Angeles, had lengthy layover, flew on to Chicago with the final leg: short connecting flight to Cleveland, found flight cancelled, rescheduled onto flight next day (28 hours later). Wow! So near and yet so far.

So – I type this from a hastily-arranged Holiday Inn room near Chicago Airport; we ended up here on a “distressed passenger rate” for the night. See pic below. Not distressed at all – just mega-tired; both of us. Presented a few challenges though, prompting the hasty purchases of matching Chicago t-shirts @ airport (see pic).All our luggage, you see was in transit to Cleveland. Anyhow, had the best ranch salad at hotel restaurant. Fantastic, after airport/airplane food previous day+

So – today we check our from here at 11, with Dad (Herb) Butrick picking us up from Cleveland airport not quite 24 hours later. It will be REALLY good being with him again.

From the ” Windy City”




Fly away … yet again

Well … we’re at Brisbane airport waiting for our flight to the States: 13 hours+ to L.A., 4 hours layover, then to Cleveland via Chicago.

It’s the trip that sadly has been in the wind for some years now, as Dale’s Mom’s health has declined at first slowly then rapidly in the past months – she passed away peacefully on 9 April.

We’re heading over for the memorial service at the Roman Catholic Church in rural Garrettsville in N.E. Ohio on 7 May. Chance for Dale to catch up with a whole cast of rellies, many who she has not seen for decades.

The past few weeks have been so, so stressful – especially for Dale of course. Turned out mega NOT straightforward for Dale to get the necessary leave from her school, and of course we needed to pack all of downstairs stour church residence house in Oxley. We’re ‘over’ packing &unpacking let me tell you!

Until this past Saturday we were in a sense ‘homeless’ – no temporary accommodation linedup via insurer come 3 May when repairs start for at least 5 weeks on the house. Good news is we now have a house to move into – 3 bedrooms & compact but we’ll do fine, methinks .

All this time we have felt carried by love; God’s love especially shown through supportive friends and church folk. Or lads have done their bit too.

Though the flight is a long one,being still for those 13 hours may well prove a blessing. Might even surprise myself and catch a few hours sleep.



“mudhouse sabbath” … highly recommended

“Mudhouse” is a coffee shop in Charlottsville, Virginia.  Sabbath – the Jewish day of complete rest. I’ve just finished reading a delightful, encouraging and thought-provoking book by Lauren Winner – Mudhouse Sabbath. It’s subtitled “An invitation to a life of spiritual discipline”.  Just a little paperback, but what makes the book so interesting is that Winner (now on the teaching staff of Duke University) converted from Orthodox Judaism to Christianity as a young adult.

Says Brian McLaren –

Lauren Winner explores simple, do-able ways of keeping company with God in the ordinary, day-to-day world of eating, working, resting, romancing, aging, earning, grieving, and celebrating. Her rich identity as a Jewish/Christian/scholar/writer informs every sentence.’

A great read … and a great invitation during Lent.  Highly recommended!


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