Saturday, October 31, 2009

Doing My Research

I Saw Him There

I gazed in awe, in wondrous adoration,
I asked myself, "Why should he come to me,
This one so pure, so holy and all gracious?
Why take my load and give me liberty?

I saw Him there, His hands,
In deep compassion,
Were stretched toward me.
I heard Him humbly say,
"Come unto Me, I am the resurrection,
I am the Truth, the Way."

His hands were torn and in each palm there rested
A gaping hole for all the world to see.
My Lord, my God! I recognized my Savior,
It broke my heart, but He broke His for me.

He lifted me, in tender arms He bore me.
He cleansed my wounds and set me on my way.
He spoke the word, my chain was rent asunder,
Now He is mine and I am His always.

With each weekend comes a renewed longing for Dad. The waves come farther apart now, but the feeling of loss still washes over bringing a few more tears and nostalgic thoughts. On one old cassette tape I found a song my father wrote back in the early eighties along with two other rather obscure songs. I knew these two songs well and remembered singing them as a small child. I searched for them on the internet but came up empty-handed. I asked friends, but no one had heard of them. We wondered if he could have possibly written them himself... I decided to check his last old diary; it was a long-shot but worth a look. Amazingly, I did find both songs mentioned and finally came across an entry dated August 11, 1970 that read "Practiced our song for church Sunday ("I Saw Him There") Beautiful song and message." Although it is a beautiful song and message, I don't think he would have made the comment had he actually written the song himself. Regardless, it is still a rare treasure and I am blessed to have it in my collection. I had to smile at the entry for August 21 "Tonight Ar and I sang and played guitar at the Open Door Mission... ("I Saw Him There" & "Sweet Jesus") Good time. Good chance to give testimony." Dad had started going to the Open Door Mission again (a homeless shelter for men in Rochester) this past year or two, the first Thursday of each month. It was one of the ministries he was sad to leave behind, but was blessed to see covered by a friend from church. No wonder when asked where donations could be given in his name, Mom picked the Open Door Mission.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Falling in Love

It would have been an absolutely incredible day to go out for a ride, but I woke up with a tremendous headache and opted to sleep in the chair while the girls destroyed my living room instead. By about 10:30 I was feeling much better and decided maybe we should at least go out in the yard, get some fresh air and enjoy the falling leaves. I grabbed my laundry basket and picked the few remaining apples off my little trees. Most of them have already dropped off on their own as fall has gotten away from me this year. Rather than three full baskets, I have a half of one, and I think that's probably enough.
It turned out to be a Ladybug kind of day as several were crawling up the sides and posts of Hannah's Place, and on the fence pieces leaning against the back. There wasn't an overabundance of bugs, just enough for a few pictures. The girls found it fun to run in and out of Hannah's little house. They tried out the hammock inside, looked out the windows, and hollered to me whenever they found another ladybug.
While they were busy playing, I decided to clean out my little garden boxes. I pulled up dead vegetable plants and dried out flowers, and tossed rotten tomatoes into a wheelbarrow. My tomato cages were stowed in the barn for next year. I even decided to cover the boxes with plastic to try and keep the cats out and the weeds down.
Maybe next summer I will do a better job with my gardens. This year just wasn't a good one for me. We got off to a rough start and although the weather finally warmed up, my enthusiasm never returned. Too many distractions. Oh well, maybe a batch or two of applesauce will make up for feeling unproductive. I sure do have a lot of room in my jelly cabinet. Might as well fill it up with something.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Ice Cream and Cake

Nothing quite like a Carvel ice cream cake! (especially with a generous helping of apple crisp on the side)

Thursday Thirteen- Josh Turns Two!

Never in my life has time gone faster than while watching my grandchildren grow. Today Josh turns two. I blinked my eyes and here we are. In honor of my first grandson, a Thursday Thirteen about Josh.

1. He has blond hair, blue eyes, and an award-winning smile.
2. He is built like a football player, or maybe a hockey player...
3. Josh loves his Aunt Hannah and Uncle Ben.
4. Daddy is his all-time favorite.
5. He is a talker. I can scarcely recall when this boy didn't have something to say.
6. He likes cars, and trains, and tractors.
7. He's pretty good at doing puzzles. (Better than some 3 year old girls I know...)
8. He likes eating and always has.
9. He has a shoe fetish.
10. He has a bunch of "Buppa's", at least half a dozen.
11. Would like a bedtime story, please.
12. Carries a picture of his great grandpa in his backpack.
13. And has a birthday today!


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Running On Autumn-matic

It has been a rather sleepy kind of week. Every morning seems darker than the day before, and each morning the bed feels more cozy. I have been squeaking out each moment of sleep and rising just in time to pull on my clothes and wash my face. Emma arrives at the door while it is still dark. I am eagerly awaiting Saturday night when I can turn my clock back and catch that extra hour of sleep. Maybe the sun will actually be rising by the time the alarm goes off on Monday.

Rain was on order this morning. One would never know Ben and Hannah raked leaves just the other day. The lawn is covered with a thick wet carpet of gold and orange. The driveway has all but disappeared. (Okay, so maybe it has disappeared.) It's so pretty! We will need some dry, windy days if we are to have any more fun jumping into fluffy piles of freshly fallen leaves. We can always hope.

Tomorrow is Joshua's birthday. I can't believe that little guy is turning two already. I guess that makes me an official Grandma. No denying it anymore, not that I ever tried. The title is getting easier to bear and sounding sweeter all the time. I'm still not sure I'm old enough to be a grandma, but I do like rocking chairs and wrapping up in a cozy blanket on cold days. I have about a dozen pairs of reading glasses lying about and can't read a lick without them. I suppose I must qualify as a grandma even if I don't have gray hair.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Secret Garden

Between Grandpa's garage and the next door fence is a Secret Garden. Once upon a time, when Grandma did daycare, there was a sandbox hiding here, but now there is nothing, and that is why it is a Secret Garden. There are no pretty flowers planted in its sunshine because the sun does not shine bright here, instead it is shaded by arborvitaes, the garage, and a woodshed. The ground is covered with a thick layer of gravel to keep the weeds down. It's one area Grandpa never had to mow.
Nothing much lives in the Secret Garden but a few vines which grow over the fence from the wildly unkempt yard next door. Maybe a squirrel or some chipmunks make their home in the shadows, but I didn't see them. Quite possibly there is, or has been, a family of birds dwelling in a hidden nest, but I didn't search it out. I suppose some little mice just might scurry into the weeds whenever someone ventures near, but they left no tracks to follow. All looks quiet and abandoned in the little Secret Garden between Grandpa's garage and next door fence.

I wonder if David knows the garden is there...

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Double-Barrel Shotgun

Back in the spring of 1965 a small boy named Danny wished for a double-barrel shotgun. (I know, you're wondering why the picture of Dad in the lawn chair, but it really is part of the story...) Since Danny's father (aka Dad) enjoyed hunting and fishing, the request fell upon a soft heart. I don't know if toy makers ever considered producing double-barrel shotguns for small boys, but Dad did not need a toy maker for this project, he became one instead.
One day in mid-June, Dad found a piece of wood and fashioned a gun stock. Some pieces of metal became the trigger and the armrest to a worn out lawn chair was cut up, sanded smooth and recycled as the barrels of the gun. Once the stock was finished, Danny was all set to hunt bear in the woods. We were warned as children never to shoot people, only animals. As a seven year old Dan loved his gun and even took it to bed with him on occasion. (Dad wrote about it in his diary.)

One hot night in the middle of July, after hunting with his friends down in the little strip of woods, Danny couldn't sleep. Instead, he tossed and turned. When Mom asked him what was wrong, he told her he had left his gun in the woods. This was in the days when it was still okay to leave your sleeping children safe in their beds and venture outside without them. With flashlights in hand, Mom and Dad set off for the woods in search of the lost gun. Danny had been fairly certain where he left it and, in spite of the darkness, it was soon located and returned to its much relieved owner.

As a child I also loved to play with my brother's gun. It was unlike any other a neighborhood kid might have. I have to be honest and tell you that I don't recall hunting bear with that old gun. We played Cops and Robbers or Cowboys and Indians instead and, uh, I guess we shot people...

(The picture, of course, is Josiah at Mom's house yesterday. I think there may be an old photo of Danny with his gun somewhere, but I haven't got a copy. I'll have to keep my eyes open for one.)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

It's A Puzzle

It was Sunday. We took three pumpkin pies along to Grandma's house after church. We gathered in honor of Bethany's birthday and filled the house with people. Rachel brought Mom a new puzzle. I'm not sure she moved from the table all afternoon. She was tired today and I guess I can't blame her. She probably wanted to take a nap but decided against it.
Yesterday was a 100th birthday celebration for Mom's Uncle Louie and she was worn out from the party. He is the last of the older generation. I'm thinking maybe Uncle Louie may have been worn out too after all, he is twenty-five years older than Mom!

Saturday, October 24, 2009


Objects in mirror are closer than they appear...

I have been doing much reflecting these past weeks. I've learned some things about myself and some things about others. I've faced grief in a new way and come to the conclusion that there is much I do not know or understand about the process. Some people cry and others do not; some are not afraid to grieve publicly and others prefer solitude; there are those who surround themselves with memories and others who shut them out. I cry, and although in times past I often hid my grief, I am no longer embarrassed by my own tears. Memories are a comfort to me; pictures, videos, audio tapes, and old journals all bring my dad close again. They instill in me once more his great faith in Christ and keep that Dad connection that was so special. I pray I will not cause pain in the hearts those who are also grieving and that as I reflect on Dad's life, he will continue to be an encouragement to others.

I will miss him every day for the rest of my life.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Birthday Blues

I hadn't planned to write a second post today, but I was looking through some old photos and found this treasure. She was about to turn three and I wanted to make her birthday special so I asked her what color cake she wanted. Deductive reasoning had already been in my favor; pink- strawberry or cherry, yellow- lemon, green- pistachio, orange- orange, brown- chocolate... I secretly hoped she wouldn't pick blue, but my dear little darling did some quick thinking of her own and came up with the one color cake she had never seen. Blue! So, I bought a white cake mix and added some blue food coloring. Her father was not impressed.
Good thing her grandpa was easily amused. He was not fazed at all by the blue cake, which this little girl thought was oh, so special. She beamed as we sang her birthday song and thought herself quite brilliant to have decided on a blue cake. (Wouldn't you know it? When her big brother Dave turned three, he picked pink.)


Your Golden Opportunity

The world is wrapped in gold and kissed with bronze this afternoon. Even a thick cloud cover can't keep the beauty of autumn from shining through. This is still my favorite time of year, cold enough for a fire in the wood stove and a sweatshirt, warm enough for a hike in the woods, and perfect for a steaming hot cup of coffee or bowl of spicy chile. ( I spell it with an "e" on purpose, because that's how they do it in New Mexico.)

It's a perfect day to bake an apple or pumpkin pie for someone special who just might happen to have a birthday today, but I think I'll wait until tomorrow so it will be fresh when it's time to eat. Actually, Bethany chose pumpkin pie which makes me smile because it's my favorite. She is twenty-four today! (I turned twenty-four just a couple days ago...)

I'm still enjoying yesterday's trip to the farm market. The little ones had such fun feeding the animals and running through the crisp autumn air. I wish I had the money to buy them all a pumpkin just for the fun of it, but instead we went to Burger King for lunch where Emma informed me that she does not like meat and refused to eat her hamburger. I learned to pack a lunch next time.

If the weather turns nice again, maybe we can take the kids out to the fish hatchery or visit the animals at Lollypop Farm. Maybe there will be a chance to take a quick walk in the woods before the hunters take up residence in the trees. Maybe we can scuff our feet through the crunchy leaves like Mom and I used to when I was a little girl. If nothing else, surely we can toss those bits of gold into the air, sweep them into big, fluffy piles, and jump into their middles.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Hay! That's Amazing!!!

They Never Get Old

I was sure my parents never took any photos of us playing Fisher Price, but I was wrong. I found a few slides while looking through a box the other day. The looks on our faces tell the story. This was our all-time favorite game. We built houses with blocks, picked out furniture and families, and played for hours. In the summer we sometimes took our Little People out in the back yard, but the best time to play was during the colder months: Saturday mornings began by pulling the dishpan of toys from the closet and pushing the boxes of blocks out into the living room where we set up our towns. Each Christmas a few more packages of people and furniture would show up under the tree, and sometimes at birthdays a whole set would appear; a farm, a house, the houseboat or school, the castle, or maybe a school bus to replace the old one whose wheels were bent from play or melted after being placed on the heater.

When I had children of my own I was sure Fisher Price would be their very favorite too. We bought a second hand farm and house at a garage sale, a firehouse and circus train from Kiddie City, and gladly accepted any offerings from friends and neighbors. Sadly, my boys were just not all that into Little People and, regrettably, I sold much of our collection in a yard sale years ago. I figured I could always replace them. Not so... not unless I shop on ebay. Most of my present collection is still the toys my parents bought for us when we were little girls and they are still well loved. The little girls play with them every day.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sliding Away

Rachel will like these....

....Priscilla will like the next bunch.

A Bigger Hill to Climb

I am finding the job of cleaning closets and cupboards to be more difficult than first imagined. Though Mom knows that the job must be done, she has a tough time actually seeing it accomplished. She says she feels like a "displaced person". I suppose that is somewhat how Dave and Leta are feeling also. In a few month's time they have gone from living in their own home to a small basement apartment to two rooms at Mom's. We are simply attempting to make room for them by cleaning out a few closets and a large back room cabinet.

We've purchased some banker's boxes and what is taken out of drawers and off of shelves is packed away and taken to the attic room. We've thrown out nothing but empty boxes, containers, and little nothings. We've taken home precious little, maybe a shirt or two, a harmonica, or a file of Bible study note cards. Dad's boots stand near an old table, his instruments grace the walls, and his diaries and drawings are tucked safely away.

Maybe the reality is slowly sinking in. Maybe Mom has managed to put all of this out of her mind until now. Maybe I really don't have any clue... I find it hard to know what to do or how to comfort my mom. I am quite certain life will eventually settle into a new routine, but until then we will be groping our way through. Then again, maybe if I grab hold of the Hand that is bigger than mine, He will lead the way... In the meantime Dad has left us plenty of things to smile at.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Couple of Matches....

This morning Hannah and I took a field trip to the fire hall with the preschoolers. I have to admit that, although I am very grateful for our volunteer firemen, a trip to the fire station is just not my thing. I'd much prefer the farm market. The children were asked about fires and encouraged to be safe around fire. The preschool teacher asked them what they should do if they found some matches. Emma raised her hand. "Put them together!" she said. The teacher looked somewhat confused and went on to explain that children should never touch matches but rather tell Mommy or Daddy to come and get them. My mind was spinning. What had Emma been thinking? Here is a three year old whose mother does not smoke. Maybe she doesn't even know about starting fires with matches. What she does know though, is that when two things match, they make a pair, and so we put the matches together; cards, socks, colors... She is one smart cookie!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Out and About

I planned to stay home today, let the girls play, and catch up on some housework. So far I have folded a load of laundry and filled the sink with hot soapy water... Bethany called this morning wondering if I would like to meet her at Burnap's Farm Market. The sun was shining, the air was crisp, and the outdoors was calling. I decided to pack the girls in the van and meet her and Josh there, and enjoy this beautiful autumn day. The little wooden train was just as much fun today as it was a week and a half ago and the sandbox so much more inviting.

I took a stroll through the market. Though the building is a good shelter from the wind, the concrete floor makes it rather cold inside. Every so often I had to go back out into the sunshine to thaw myself out. In spite of the chill it was a very nice day and the kids didn't seem bothered at all.

We didn't buy much in the market, just a gallon of liquid gold (aka apple cider) and some cranberry orange muffins to share. (I have been gluten-free for almost two months but kind of blew it this weekend and again today. I expect a tummy ache later...) On the way home we picked up a few pears and Bethany bought some apples. Lunch and naps came late this afternoon, but I think the fun in the sun made it all worthwhile.

So that was today's story... I had a busy weekend with Hannah's last soccer practice and game on Saturday morning and another memorial service (for a friend's father) at church in the afternoon. I stayed overnight with Mom on Saturday and took her to church with Dad's car Sunday morning, and we spent the afternoon with her also. Rachel stopped by and we dismantled out photo boards from last weeks service and put the pictures into an album for Mom.

This afternoon I need to see if I can find some good packing boxes for Dad's things. Dave and Leta will be moving in with Mom this week and we must make room for the few things they will be bringing along. This is the hard part, moving Dad's stuff. We aren't quite ready to haul it away and yet it needs to be moved. Mom cannot do this job by herself so we need to step up and help her without unintentionally stepping on her toes.

I can't believe the cold weather is so close at hand. It seems as if we have stepped directly from summer into late autumn. There is no looking back, only forward, so I guess I must enjoy what is left of this colorful season and brace myself for what is too follow. Maybe a big, fat book full of soup recipes would be nice...

Friday, October 16, 2009

One Day Late

It's hard to believe twenty-six years have passed since this little guy arrived in our lives. Yesterday morning I made two apple pies and we shared a birthday celebration for David at Grandma's house. The years are flying by!

Happy Birthday, Dave!

The Punkin' Patch

Preschool... At the little preschool here in town the teachers have always said grace before snack and taught children the story of Jesus birth during the holidays. This year however, there is a rumbling in the crowd. It seems there is at least one parent who takes offense to children's snack time prayers and the story of Christ. I knew there was a mom raised Muslim who had a child enrolled, but assumed she had no issues with these practices, after all she did is sending her son to this particular preschool of her own volition. So the preschool board has decided against prayer before snack and is now questioning whether to allow the story of the Nativity. I find it heartbreaking that we as Americans can allow our foundational freedoms to be so easily stripped away for the chance that someone of a differing viewpoint may be offended. It seems that we will give and give until they have taken away our very right to worship God or speak His name at all. Why do we keep backing down?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Friends and Family

As much as I hated saying goodbye to my dad, I looked forward to the Memorial service and seeing friends and family. Dad hadn't wanted "Calling Hours" but I intervened and said I thought we needed at least a small amount of time for meeting with friends and family. My husband's cousin, Lisa, came all the way from southern California. She had really hoped to visit with my father, wrap her arms around his neck, and tell him how much she appreciated him, but she didn't get here in time. Instead she spoke on his behalf at the service and came to visit Mom on Tuesday evening along with her sister, Angel. (They grew up with us.)

I met some of the cousins my father loved so well, saw friends from previous church fellowships, talked with old neighbors, and received encouragement from present friends. I wish I had stood my ground and kept it at two hours. The time was gone too fast.

Although all our visitors are special there is one who stands out in my mind. His name is Hobart Lerner and he is an ophthalmologist. Not only was he my father's and grandfather's eye doctor, but he did my eye surgery when I was just a little girl of four. His voice, loud and commanding down the hall of the hospital, could strike both fear and comfort into my young heart. Part of me wanted to hide and part of me wanted to crawl up into his arms for surely he was a great protector in that strange place. Now in his nineties, he no longer practices surgery but is still seeing patients in his office. Dad was there in August. A few years ago I got to wondering if anyone who he helped as a child had ever bothered to return and say thank you. I picked out a nice card and sent him a note. (My mom assured me he had received it as he mentioned it to her on one of her visits.) I saw him right away when he entered the church cafe and went to greet him. He held my hand, spoke kind words and lingered long. I felt the tenderness in his touch. Known for being harsh and gruff, there was no sign of anything but gentleness and sympathy. Ten years ago he was at my grandpa's memorial service. He gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek before he disappeared into the crowd. I don't know if he stayed for the service and Mom never got a chance to talk with him. He is on my heart and in my prayers.

PS. I finally did get a video to upload on yesterday's post...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

God Be With You

No video to watch, just a song to listen to. Poor quality here, but touching none the less.

It is impossible to convey all the thoughts and emotions running through us these past several weeks. We haven't yet completed this journey of saying goodbye, but as I go through papers, journals, songs, and photos, a clearer picture begins to form in my mind and I realize just what kind of man my father was. I am amazed at what my dad left behind to encourage us, not just words spoken but a life lived. He was dedicated, constant, meticulous, committed, consistent, steady...

I have been slowly reading through one of my father's old diaries. Though he kept one as an older teen and young man, I chose to start at the year of my birth. I found his entries to convey the man I knew and loved. I had to smile when he mentioned certain Bible passages, an "itch" to go fishing, and splitting wood. He wrote of spending time with his kids; reading books, drawing pictures, playing blocks and tinker toys, and showing slides. Each evening he shared some time and a cup of tea with Mom. He worked hard and often fell into bed exhausted. He struggled with his job, how to help his handicapped son, extended family relationships, and called upon God for strength to get through dark times.

I am ashamed to say that I have not followed very well in my father's footsteps. There have been too many times when I have not spoken for Jesus, have not shared His love, and have been afraid to speak His name. Writing here is not the same as sharing with people face to face. I pray God will forgive me and instill in my heart a new boldness to share the gospel.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Hidden Treasures

Since today was a holiday there was no school. Since there was no school, I had no little girls to watch. Since I had no little girls to watch, I went to Mom's house to see if I could help her out with any tasks that need accomplishing.
Mom does not want to live alone in her house so she has invited Dave and Leta to come live with her. This is something that we have been thinking and praying about since Dad went to the hospital. It looks like a good deal for all involved and so now we must clean out Dad's room for Dave and Leta, and the small bedroom for Lukie and the new baby. (Baby arrives in the spring.)

Today I decided to help Mom clean out Dad's small closet. We pulled out bags and boxes of collected items and sorted though many years of history in the form of cards, letters, and documents.

Anyway, in the process of cleaning I came across some old drawings Dad did. The top picture he drew when he was about seven years old, the ship as a young man, and the train is very much like those he drew for us when we were children. I love memories and I am enjoying looking through these old treasures.

Jim flew back to Minneapolis this evening. I'm looking forward to his return home again before too long. I still need to make him an apple pie.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Memorial Service...

There was so much we had wanted to share, so much we had to say, so many thoughts running through our minds. How did the time get away?

"Long before he was ever my dad, he was somebody's little darling. A little boy who loved to run and play with his older brother, who couldn't sit still in school, and who made the mistake of calling his father a "son of a gun". He got into plenty of trouble throwing rocks at his uncle's bull, water on passing cars, and chickens out the haymow window. He had a girlfriend named Jane Ellen, a dog named Pal, and 46 first cousins. He loved boats and water, and even a spanking couldn't keep him away from Irondequoit Bay.

He married my mom in 1953 and together they moved to "the farm" where he accidentally locked Mom in the chicken coop. She had open toed shoes and red painted toenails, and was none too happy with the experience of chickens pecking relentlessly at her feet. Dad took us camping almost every summer, washed our dirty feet in the bathroom sink, and on cold winter days threatened to warm his icy hands on our warm tummies. He drew pictures for us and with us, read bedtime stories, and taught us to pray. He still sings songs and plays his guitar and harmonica, teases his grandchildren, and laughs at his own childhood antics. I wouldn't trade him for the world!" (excerpt from post dated April 12, 2008 when I had missed Dad's birthday)

For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Philippians 1:21

"As September 2009 slipped away, so did the man I have loved and admired my entire life. I could tell you stories of my childhood and that of my children because he was a wonderful father and an adoring grandpa, but the greatest thing about my dad was his love for Jesus Christ and the gospel he lived from day to day. He was the same man at church as he was sitting at home on the back porch playing his banjo and harmonica. As he reached out to residents in the nursing home, so he reached out to his own family. Though he poured his heart and soul into his ministries, he was never too busy to help celebrate a grandchild's birthday or be at family picnics, and his dedication to Mom remained constant through the years.

In his seventy-seven years Dad's commitment to Christ allowed him to touch many lives. As the years passed his love for Jesus grew and we watched him undergo a transformation as he allowed God to direct his life. The songs he played and sang became those not only of living for Christ, but dying for Him also.

Dad's cancer diagnosis came as a surprise to us. Though there were signs of illness in the months previous, we never heard him complain, instead he moved steadily on. He had hoped to return to church and his ministries after being released from the hospital but never regained the strength to do so. Instead he was a ministry to his family and friends, constantly quoting scripture and encouraging us to "hold onto Jesus". Even in his final hours his words were the same.

When he moved on to heaven he left behind the treasure of his music on cassette tapes. We can still listen to Dad play his guitar or harmonica and his banjo. We can still hear him sing those old songs, and the words have taken on new meaning. He lived the words, finished well, and waits for us there."