Friday, October 4, 2013

BILL FROM GRAND MARAIS

It began on 9/11.  I told you the story recently about how I began to have a serious depression a couple weeks after that horrific event. I was sent up there to seek God's kindness that would break my depression and turn me to joy. While there I was "camping" in our van at Tettegouche State Park.  I drove up to Grand Marais, about 40 miles further north.  While entering the town, I stopped at a store that was a real eye-grabber.  It was called Blue Moose and had a funny entrance.  When I went into the shop, the lady in charge, named Mary Beth, was really nice, and, in a while, I discovered that she was the owner, not just the worker.  While there, I saw cards by Jackie Kotlarek, and bought a few.  Loved her cards, and truly hoped to meet her sometime, since it was obvious she was in Duluth. [And the next time I was
up, with Dave, I called her from her card, drove up to her house, and we loved her work.  Dave bought an oil paint based on the Lake Superior with waves and rocks.  THAT was the beginning; we've bought paintings, cards, and other bits and pieces from her over this past 11 years.  We have become very good friends. And met and enjoyed her husband.]

I spent a nice time going up and down the whole area between Duluth and Grand Marais.  Then I went home.

The next year, Dave and I went up together.  We went to
Grand Marais along the way.  I took him to the Blue Moose, because I'd really liked the shop.  We went.  Mary Beth was not there, but a man was.  We talked.  His name was Bill, he was a football coach, a ski trainer, and we really liked him.  When Mary Beth came to the shop when we were there, we found out that he was her husband.  We had so much fun together and we went to dinner together.  They took us to a really fun place up in the hills. 

That was the beginning.

Every year when we hit the North Shore, we hit Grand Marais and Blue Moose.  The 4 of us always went to dinner and we went to their Baptist church, met the pastor and his wife and hung out with them, too. Bill played during worship on a piano, and eventually Dave played piano also.  This went on for 2 or 3 years, and we were up more often or staying longer.

Then seriosity hit us.  Mary Beth came down with cancer.  We did get together when we could, and she died about a year later.

Bill ended up married in Florida when staying with his dad who was dying.  People from the church were working at the shop.  It was doing well.

We saw Bill a couple times when we happened to be there at the same time.  He would spend the summer and early fall up there to work in the shop, keep track of things, worship at church.  He was a blessing to many.  Then we didn't see him for 3 years, because we went up in the Thanksgiving stretch of time and he was in Florida with his dear wife.  We missed him very much, but couldn't connect.  OH, and he had cancer, too, and eventually was healed. But his legs, feet, arms, and memory are all challenging.  He's begun to play guitar now ... began when he was about 64, and will be 67 this month ... and does well, but struggles.

This time when we went up there to check it out, the shop had no workers, and we were wandering around a bit, and suddenly Bill walked in.  Talk about rejoicing!  He
remembered our names, he was so happy to see us, he took us to the the other shop area and played the guitar for Dave, and sang some great, fun songs.  It was a real treat. 

When we stopped there on Wednesday morning so I could drop off a card, assuming he wouldn't be there that early, he popped into the yard.  And, after talking for a little while, he said he'd like us to go to breakfast with him.  Now, he'd already eaten, but wanted us at a particular restaurant.  So, we went.  He had coffee.  WE ate Swedish pancakes [as he suggested] with strawberries and whipped cream, bacon, and juice.  And when the bill arrived, he grabbed it.  So, he truly blessed us.

We left with hugs, kissing cheeks, planning to email, call, keep in touch.  Next year when we go to the North Shore again, we plan the timing will be around the time of our anniversary towards the end of September, so we can be with 
Blue Moose with him last Tuesday.
 Bill.

What. a. treat!






  

Tell Me a Story

1 comment:

Hazel Moon said...

You make friends where ever you go and this is amazing that they remember your names too. Thank you for sharing with us here at "Tell Me a Story." What a wonderful time you have making this trip again and again.