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Hospitality

 

Oakley was the first stop on our trip to this area, and it is quite a drive from Crestline, especially in our motor home which we don’t drive as fast as we do our car. When I’m driving, I set the cruise control at just over 60; Jerry drives a few miles faster. (Yes, I drive our big motor home. It sports a wide body and extends 40 feet long; additionally, we tow our Jeep, which makes for a combined length of 60 feet or so. To tell the truth, it sounds harder than it actually is, and I feel pretty comfortable driving it. Such a motor home has excellent mirrors and sets high over the roadway, so it is quite easy to see and to judge both the traffic ahead and that approaching from the rear. But if I haven’t driven the rig for awhile, and I look hard at it before I climb inside, it seems awfully big and dangerous. And of course, it is, and traveling in such a vehicle requires constant and close attention. My real concern is if something should go wrong when I’m driving, such as a failed tire or other emergency. I just pray I would make quick and accurate judgment. Jerry is always in the passenger seat, for although he is comfortable with me driving, he has yet to go to the bedroom and take a nap while I scamper down the highway.) Anyway, our trip to Oakley was an all day affair. We had planned to leave Rebecca’s sooner than we did, and even though it was a Saturday, we still mixed with lots of traffic in the Inland Empire and through Los Angeles.

In the afternoon, Jerry’s cell phone rang again, and Peter Connell asked. “Will you be here in time for dinner?”

Jerry hesitated, then said, “Let’s not plan on dinner with you tonight. We’re running late, and we are not able to say when we will be in Oakley.”

But traffic cleared away, we made “good time” the last couple of hours, and it was still daylight when we made the phone call to Carol and Pete’s home. “We’re in Brentwood.” Peter gave excellent directions and soon we pulled into their neighborhood, greeted by the smiling face of Peter Connell who had walked a short distance from their house to show us where to park. The Connell’s live on a cul-de-sac, so Jerry parked the rig a block away and disconnected the Jeep, which I drove on to their house. The men walked. Paul, their eleven year old black-eyed son with a smile as dazzling as mid-summer fireworks, preceded me on his bike, guiding me to their home.

For their daily devotions a month—or a year—over, Carol and Peter Connell must have dissected the subject of hospitality, settling on Titus chapter 1 as a theme for their home: “For a bishop must be…a lover of hospitality.” Believe me, when I say, that in a loving and masterful way, they prepared such a meal as has seldom passed my lips:

Thick Filet Mignons

Lightly marinated in wine (and something else—can’t remember), then quickly grilled on hot grates

Giant Shrimp

Brought just to a boil, seasoned, dried and placed on a second sizzling backyard grill.

Hand Cut Fresh Veggies

Splashed with olive oil, tossed in a bowl, sprinkled with savory spices, then placed long side the shrimp.

Loaf of Crusty Bread from Panera Breads

Served with slathers of fresh creamery butter

Strawberry Ice Cream Cake

Couple the thought of this delectable meal, if you can, with a charming, hospitable family, consisting of those I have mentioned and 14 year old Jen. She is charming, beautiful and talented, and I tried to think of one of my grandkids she could marry when she is old enough, but the only one close enough is Nathaniel, and he’s only 9, so I doubt that will materialize.

Was not Jesus Himself a believer in hospitality? We have extensive record of His eating, drinking and fellowshipping, both with neighbor and stranger. Opportunity for such ministry circles each of us, and, I assure you, my friends the Connells are masters in this arena. No doubt it would embarrass them, as well as it would Jerry and me, if I wrote an extensive list of their gracious and giving ways demonstrated over the past days.

 

 

 

 

 

By Shirley Buxton

Still full of life and ready to be on the move, Shirley at 81 years old feels blessed to have lots of energy and to be full of optimism. She was married to Jerry for 64 years, and grieves yet at his death in August of 2019. They have 4 children, 13 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren...all beautiful and highly intelligent--of course. :)

7 replies on “Hospitality”

Yes, Dean. yummm yummm.

Jen, of course we would like to go to your home again, and we definitely want you to visit us in Crestline. Not sure we can cook up steaks that delicious, but I assure you we will whip up something.

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