Monday, May 22, 2017

The Journey Home - The Chronicle of my Reunion Weekend

Part Three - Sunday

Sunday morning dawned sunny and fair in the valley. This was great news after the threats of a storm all day Saturday. So I dressed quickly, loaded the car and headed off to the Pancake Breakfast, with one minor detour to fill up with gas before heading to the Adin Community Hall and breakfast with Mr. and Mrs. Harper.

As I loaded the car, Mr. Harper was also loading their van. They had planned to rough-it in the van to save a little money, but the cold breezes made it feel nearly icy last night. Luckily they were able to get a room at the Bieber Motel as there had been a last minute cancellation. Greetings made and our breakfast plans confirmed, I head to get that much-needed fuel.
Adin Community Park and Hall

At breakfast, the food was lovely, as were the Harpers. The rest of the class were as communicative as always. So, having made plans to attend the church where I grew up, I ate, browsed the pictures on the walls and left to find a place to write before church started. That place became the outdoor dining room at the Oney’s Frosty, where I had eaten lunch the day before. This was perfect as they weren’t open for business yet and was deserted.

At 9:30 am, I put the computer away and pulled the car around the block to the side street of the Adin Community Bible Church before Sunday school started. After parking, I entered the church and sat in the last pew … many were the times I had spent here growing up and again when I came home to have Jeremy. Every Sunday and Wednesday for more than six years, combined.

As I sat in the empty sanctuary awaiting service, Pastor Ryan walked in to pick up something for the Sunday school class that was about to start. He invited me to join the class, which I did. Growing up, the adults had their Sunday school class in the sanctuary, but with time comes change.

This welcome into their Sunday school class was a world apart from what I had received at either the dinner or the breakfast I had attended just down the street about half a mile. I KNEW I was loved and wanted here! There were eight of us in that classroom, and I knew about half of them from my youth; they were Mrs. Cauldwell - my youngest brother’s third grade teacher, Rene Leventon Torres - a girl in my middle brother’s class who married one of their classmates and Karen Wolter Babcock - sister of one of my classmates who graduated three years ahead of us. But even those that I hadn’t known previously were just as welcoming as those I did.

This was a great weekend to visit the Adin church, they had a couple visiting that had a traveling music ministry. After the lesson, pastor reminded the class that there was a baptism and potluck celebration after the visiting ministry team sang and he invited me to join them. I finally felt that I belonged somewhere in this valley!

The visitors sang many of the old hymns, even a few I had never heard before. They were a lovely, older couple with lots of tales to share, which they mingled with their songs. I think they said they had been together since courting in Bible college sometime back in the ‘70’s.
203 Main St, Adin CA
Dad's Garage
Our house and garage

After service, I adjourned to the youth building (a large gym with a kitchen and bathrooms downstairs and classrooms upstairs) to change into slacks for traveling later while the ladies put dinner together in the kitchen … really reminded me of home, which I was beginning to miss a bit less by now. And Pastor Ryan got the baptistry ready for today’s candidate, another of the ‘kids’ that rode the same school bus we did; LaDonna Terrill, I don’t know her married name.

As Pastor prepared for the baptism, Mrs. Wolter-Babcock decided she wanted to take the plunge too, so to speak. She had been wrestling with the decision to be baptized for a long time and, with LaDonna already going in, it was just the right impetus she needed to go through with it.  Now it was a double celebration! How the Lord and His Heavenly Hosts rejoiced with us this afternoon.

Before I left the church, I gave Pastor Ryan a set of my books for the church library. I also gave one to his young daughter, which I had signed for her. Such a sweet child who had become a tightly stuck friend throughout the baptism and potluck.

After lunch I left the church and drove through Adin to take some pictures, about half of which I just learned were lost when my phone battery died before they finished uploading ... oh Well.

These are of a deserted ranch on Eagle Lake, CA.

I stopped at the mini-market across from the old planer mill and grabbed some drinks before I was on the road toward Susanville and home. All of the ponds and small lakes were fuller than I had ever seen. Even Eagle Lake’s shores had grown much closer to the highway than I had known. It was a beautiful sight, especially since we had just come through seven years of severe drought. The lovely views only added to the peacefulness that has enveloped me since I undertook this journey.

I began this adventure by questioning why I was going, what I was supposed to learn/teach others on the way, how I was to do this and to whom. Driving home I have come to realize that it was I who needed to learn. I who needed a new perspective on where my ‘home’ is and who were my family … my friends.

As I drove through and spent time in two places I had I had once called home, I found that neither actually were my home, just stop overs on my journey. The first of these places was Rackerby, CA. This was the place I had lived the longest, other than Adin. It was the place I hid from reality for a time so that my mind could start its healing process. I lived there for seven years with a great guy who tried to help me along this healing path. I had planned to be there indefinitely, but God had other ideas. He brought me to a fork in the road, I chose to follow Him.

Another way station in my life was Adin. It was in the house at 203 Main Street where I came to the age of maturity … though I never did ‘grow up.’ I even called Adin and this small valley community my hometown, but it never really was. It was a safe haven that God used to protect me and teach me the first steps I would need to know in order to dance with Him.  And dance I shall!

After this short, but insightful, journey I KNOW that my Home is where God is. So, wherever I am, as long as He is my constant companion and guide, I AM Home. But the location that is my home base, my base of operations, is Carson City, NV, and it shall remain such until He tells me different. So it is from this base that I bid you TTFN.


The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying:
“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
   I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.
I will build you up again, and you,
Virgin Israel, will be rebuilt.
Again you will take up your timbrels
   and go out to dance with the joyful.
Again you will plant vineyards on the hills of Samaria;
the farmers will plant them and enjoy their fruit.
Jeremiah 31:3-5, NIV


  1. I've enjoyed reading this, Leigh. I hope you are going to keep us up to date in similar manner on your new adventures :-)