Our Journey West

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It was a lovely Friday afternoon when the three of us -Phebe, Yalonda, and I -packed up and headed west to Cherry Creek, South Dakota .After eight hours of driving and 17 miles of  dirt road we arrived safely in Cherry Creek eagerly anticipating a weekend spent with Randall and Sharon Zimmerman and their family on the Indian Reservation.

Saturday morning we ladies went on a walk to the river. Frandy and I walked along the bank to the place where we could see where Cherry Creek runs into the Cheyenne river.

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I was just soaking in all the beautiful landscape. The rolling hills (mountains?) in the distance,the bright, blue sky, the sage bushes and grasslands of the west.

We then walked to the ancient Catholic church where the Catholics still hold services. The graveyard right next to it was interesting.Their methods of burial and the headstones are  different from what I’m accustomed to.

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Frandy, Yalonda , and I posed for a picture…. of course! Old church buildings provide a great backdrop  but I realize that the door of this church isn’t as old as the rest of  the building 🙂 It was still a very nice place for a picture none- the- less!

Later we toured the : DSC_6166

and right next to it in a different part of the building was the Pop Shop.DSC_6165

The fridge to the left was stock full of candy and in the door was a gallon jar of giant dill pickles ( notice the full jars on top of the fridge?). For $.50 you could purchase a dill pickle , put it in a sandwich bag ,and munch on it as you stroll through town. The fridge to the right had the pop and the money-box!

In the afternoon we girls had a water balloon fight to help cool off a little. Samantha is pictured here with an empty bucket, a water gun , and a grin of victory. It wasn’t long before we realized that a gun like that can squirt a lot more water in short order compared to the water balloons that burst at our feet.

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Some of the native boys had a basketball game going in the heat of the afternoon. At one point they had to wait  for cold water because the 5 gallon jug of ice water was used to put out a small fire that started from a  carelessly handled sparkler.

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Hills and valleys, blue skies with puffy white clouds, scrubby grass and sage bushes, cacti, rattlesnakes, prairie dogs, cattle, and ranchers pretty much describe that area. It was beautiful in its own way.

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I was told that if you chew the inside part of the root of an Echinacea plant, your mouth will go partially numb. I wanted to try it so Frandy helped me dig up a couple of plants and I peeled away the outside layer of the root and chewed the white,woody flesh of the inside for a couple of minutes . The flavor reminded me of a strong-smelling flower , the texture was woody , and the end result was a tingling mouth , bitter after taste, and a grainy feel in the mouth. It was interesting and I’m glad I tried it although I would hate to have only that as a numbing agent when it comes to dental work!( Those poor pioneers and native Americans :/)

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Afterwards, we girls went to take more pictures at a long abandoned truck. Frandy drug the shovel along in case we would encounter a rattlesnake. Thankfully we didn’t have to use it although it would have been exciting to see and kill one.

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We made it safely to the truck and perched precariously on the fenders for a picture. They said they’ve seen rattlers in that truck before so I wasn’t going to climb all over the thing for the sake of a picture and was content with one pose . That small tree right there in the center adds a beautiful accent , don’t you think? 😉

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Phebe, Yalonda, and I provided  Saturday supper. We had tacos for the main course and fruit slush and chocolate cake for dessert. It was a simple and delicious meal~ the way I like it !

After supper we hiked Holy Hill. The hike was tiring but rewarding with a complete view of Cherry Creek.

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Randall and Sharon  Frandy-17, Christy-11, Jenna-8 , and Samantha -5

We left for home again Sunday afternoon. It was interesting to attend their church service  and a blessing to see a few Indian faces in the small congregation. I was challenged by the way the staff there serves these people. They willingly give their time and energy to serve when it seems they will get nothing in return or see a difference. Are the cookies and water they give the children that knock on their door going to make an impact on those children’s lives? Will these young boys and girls learn of Jesus and later live for Him?

I was blessed and encouraged to visit there but at the same time I came home with the realization of  just how selfish I am with my time, energy,and resources. My life isn’t mine after all .It’s Gods and I need to be willing to do whatever He asks of me no matter what it is or how much energy  or  time it takes.

I also learned what a blessing and asset it is to be taught how to work , save, and earn a living. That gift is invaluable and too often I take it for granted!

Please pray for the missionaries everywhere. They have major responsibilities and need the prayers of God’s children.