The last of the celebrations was a breakfast given by Sid’s parents. The teachers and graduate students were traveling later in the day, and the locals were going to take down the tent and decorations at the farm, so it was not a lengthy meal. We sat at the dining table with Eddie’s mother and sister, Eric, Eric’s daughter, and his father-in-law. The FIL asked about Eric’s dad, so John told the story about Haakon’s boarding the Queen Mary during World War II. It’s an amusing story, which everyone enjoyed.
We were among the first to leave. Thom and Barbara headed to Maryland, and we were going to see cousin Peter and Debi in Illinois. We drove together for a few hours before they pressed on and we stopped for lunch.
The next day John told Debi and Peter about our going to church on Sunday. John and Peter share the grandfather who was the pastor there 100 years ago. There was only one cousin who was not aware of our going to that church, because he lives in Norway. I’m sure Kirsten and Eric will share with their brother.
Since we were in Illinois, we decided to drive through the town where our pastor grew up. He refers to Mulberry Grove in his sermons from time to time, so we knew it was a very small community. It was a little town that time passed by. I thought it was something like Mayberry, NC, a fictional town we knew from television. John pointed out that Mayberry had a barber shop and a police station, which we did not see in Mulberry Grove.
I texted Pastor M before we got to his town, and he replied after we left. I sent a photo of the post office as we rode down the highway. He wrote back, “I grew up one block from the post office right next to the old elementary school.”
I asked, “This one?”
That was the one. His home was across the street from the school. He went on to say, “On the corner of the street was an old stop sign for 30 or 40 years, and in the back of it was a dime that I lost when I dropped it down the slot as I waited for the ice cream cone truck to stop.”
We felt sorry for the little boy who lost his ice cream money, but we laughed, because it’s the kind of story he tells so well.
We made it to Tennessee and will be home tomorrow.