Everything is now in Yakima!!!

Carolyn and I just took the 10′ U-Haul Trailer to the dealer here in Yakima this afternoon!  It’s all here, all of our stuff is now in our new home.

I flew from Yakima to Seattle to Dallas Fort Worth to Grand Island on Thursday.  It was an uneventful journey this time, and I got to GI around 10pm.  Stayed in the Travelodge on South Locust Street because they’re one of the few motels that shuttle people to and from the airport.  The Travelodge is also just a few blocks north of the U-Haul store on South Locust Street.  So it was handy to walk there Friday morning to pick up the second truck.  Our move to Yakima took a completely full 26′ truck PLUS a full 10′ truck…we MUST downsize even more!

I was packed by 11am, after carrying some very heavy boxes up the 14 steps from the parsonage basement.  I picked up some Runzas to take home (the Director of Youth and Family Ministries at Central Lutheran Church in Yakima has relatives living in Dannebrog near St. Paul and remembered eating them before.)  So, I guess we’ll share Runzas with the staff!  After visiting Carolyn’s mother at Brookfield Park, I left for home.  It was raining “cats and dogs,” figuratively!  Lots of wind and rain, hard to see an difficult to keep the truck on the road sometimes.  I took the northern route this time, just for a change…up US-281, catching Interstate 90 in South Dakota and then Interstate 82 to Yakima from Ellensburg 35 miles  north of here.  It seemed to be a much longer trip than the Interstate 80 route, but it was interesting!

All of our belongings are once again in one place.  It feels even more like home now!leavingdfwforgi fourteenstepsparsonage truckfullstorage emptypasronage runzastogo windrainleavingstp

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We’ve settled in…

Here’s what our home looks like right now.  We have lots to do to it, but we find it very comfortable!  Come visit us sometime!  We have plenty of room for guests…2105Maclaren LivingDiningRm CarolynsStudy Kitchen OurBedroom BethsBedroom MainBath LaundryRm DownstairsBath DanEmilysRoom OfficeFamilyRoom TVFamilyRm

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We are now residents of Yakima, Washington!

It’s great to be here!  We just got our Driver’s Licenses, and registered to VOTE!!!

Yakima is a beautiful city, and Central Lutheran Church is a wonderful congregation.  They’ve all made us feel so welcome and comfortable!  The staff Carolyn works with are fantastic, and the people are eager to focus on the mission of the church and what they can do to share their love of Christ with the rest of the congregation, the community, and the world!CarolynsNewOfficeCLC The signage confirms, it’s for real:CLCSignageUnfortunately, her first week here, the driver’s side rear view mirror was ripped off and taken from the side of the car parked in the church parking lot.  Got that replaced, hope it doesn’t happen again…it’s kind of expensive!  NewMirrorYakimaYakiimaCostcoThere’s even a Costco here!!!! Yippeeeeee!  It’s fun visiting different stores and restaurants and places around town.  The Fair is coming up, and some other activities that should be fun!  So much to do around here!  It’s amazing!!!LenaiView FlowersOutsideFRWindow DinnerOnLenai MinersBurgerYak RusillosPizza

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Dave Returns to St. Paul to Load and Move EVERYTHING!

We got a “preliminary” estimate from the moving “coordinator” long ago, but waited and waited for the final, more accurate estimate.  After someone finally made it to St. Paul to visually see the items to be moved, we asked and asked for the estimate, but it was delayed time and time again.  Finally, just days before we left St. Paul, they have us an outrageous estimate we and the church could NOT accept.  Moving companies, we hear, get better deals moving form metro area to metro area.  Few, we found, want to bother with small towns off the beaten path.

Our backup plan, then, was to have Dave return to Nebraska, get a 26′ uHaul truck and tow our mini van behind, and bring Jambo, the cat, along.  So…on August 18th, Dave flies out of Yakima to Seattle, DallasFortWorth, and into Grand Island so he can finish packing and load the truck the next Monday.  Unfortunately, the flight from DFW to Grand Island was canceled, as it often is, and he stayed in the airport overnight.  No flights had seats to GI the next morning, so he flew to Omaha and managed to get a ride to Omaha with someone traveling from the Omaha airport to Kearney.  Thank goodness it all worked out!

Dave got a call that Sunday saying the truck is available in Kearney, not Grand Island, so that delays him and complicates everything.  After finally getting the truck, loading the mini van on the trailer, and dropping off the modem at Charter in Grand Island, it was time to load.YakimaAirport AlaskaAirView UhaulTruckTrailerCharter PianoOnAHandtruck StPaulMovingDay MovingTruckLoading

Dave did ALL the work by himself.  Loading went well, but it was a very long day.  Finally, by 8pm, the truck was full.  Unfortunately there were still some boxes that didn’t fit, he’s going back later to get them since we found out that nobody wants to drop those moving PODS off in a place like St. Paul…would have been so convenient !!!

The trip in a 26′ truck towing a trailer with a mini van on it is not pleasant.  It’s bumpy, slow uphill and over mountains, and takes lots of gasoline.  Fortunately, the trip was uneventful and Dave and Jambo made it to Yakima on Wednesday, August 24th without incident.  After staying in the local Super 8 motel a few nights, we signed the paperwork on Friday, August 26th and moved in to 2105 Maclaren Street.  Thanks to all from Central Lutheran Church who helped us with this enormous task!!!  All went well. It was a relief dropping off the Uhaul that evening!!!

MovingJambo MovingWestward MovingScenery JamboSuper8 MaclarenMoveIn MaclarenMoveInHelpers UhaulDropoff1

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Time to Pack and Move to Yakima!

On August 15th, we left St. Paul for Yakima, arriving the next afternoon, after traveling through Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and into Washington.  We stayed in Ogden, UT the night of the 14th.  We stayed in Yakima with Kathy and Don Moen, members of Central Lutheran Church.  We thank them for their hospitality!WyoUtaIda YakimaExits WelcomeToYakima MoensPorch MoensView

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Our Last Sunday at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in St. Paul, Nebraska

August 14, 2016 was our last day in St. Paul, Carolyn’s last service at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church.  Dave arrived about 8am that morning from New Orleans.  Worship was at 9:30am, and we’re grateful to all who attended.  A service of Farewell and Godspeed concluded worship, and Carolyn turned over the keys to the church and parsonage to the council president.  A nice meal followed and Carolyn received a beautiful new alb and stole!  Thanks to everyone at St. Mark’s!  We will miss you!!!WAug14SMLC EAug14SMLC SMLCgodpeedService SMLCgivingKeys SMLCByeCake SMLCgifts

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Dave attends the ELCA’s Grace Gathering and Churchwide Assembly in New Orleans

Carolyn and I had registered for the Grace Gathering at Churchwide Assembly in the Spring, but with the new call, her final month’s vacation schedule made her attendance impossible.  Grace Gathering was an opportunity for people to experience some of the Churchwide Assembly sessions while meeting separately to focus on the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in October of 2017.  Remember Martin Luther and the nailing of the 95 Theses on that church door?  It was a rainy time in New Orleans, but very interesting.  Got to hear many good speakers, including Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, attend some business sessions of the assembly, sing great music and participate in exceptional worship experiences, eat a lot of good food, and meet with old friends and make some new ones…and learned about a lot of great information to use at Central Lutheran Church in Yakima throughout the anniversary year!

NOMusic NOWorshipSpace NOBishopEaton NOConventionHall NewOrleansRain GraceGatheringVal Killinger, the organist from St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in St. Paul, was a Nebraska Synod delegate to the Assembly!  It was great to get together with Nebraska Synod people one last time for Dinner that Thursday evening…lots of cajun dishes!Dave&Val NONebraskaSynodDinnerGot to visit with some members of the Deaconess Community as well, Sister Mary Arie and Sister Nora Frost.  So much to do and hear, a great time was had by all.NOJazzWorship GGCuisine SrsMaryNora GGWorships NOSpeakersUnfortunately, my drive home was delayed by torrential rains that flooded the interstate around Baton Rouge.  Thanks to Carolyn for helping me navigate around the flooded areas as she searched for routes still open via the Louisiana 511 services online.  I sat on the interstate for over 3 hours before reaching an exit that led me around the troubled areas.  Prayers for all those who lost their lives, homes, possessions due to the floodwaters.BatonRougeInterstate

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Winding up things in St. Paul and Nebraska

After receiving the call to Central Lutheran Church, we had 4 weeks to do what we needed to do and be ready to move in mid-August.

We visited Dan and Emily once again in Plymouth, Minnesota, taking our extension ladder to them and bringing home the boxes they used to move earlier this year.  They recently purchased a baby grand piano, a nice addition to their new home.  We also went to the new Star Trek movie!  It’s always nice to drive there to visit in the past, but now will look forward to probably flying there in the future.  Bethany, on the other hand, will now be much closer, and we hope to visit her and have her visit us more often in Yakima.

NotBenHurMovie DanAtTheKeyboard StarTrekBeyond Chloe BabyGrandDave thought it would be a good time to catch up on some local family history, so we traveled to cemeteries near Broken Bow and Holdrege to get information from tombstones of relatives buried there.  Kind of morbid, but good information to complete some files!

BrokenBow Cemetery Holdrege Cemetery DaharshTombstoneHoldregeWe also got to visit the church Dave’s great-grandparents (on his mother’s side)  helped establish near Ithaca, Nebraska.  Thanks to Pastor Kris Bohac for meeting us there to review the 1880s documents stating that the first meeting of the congregation was in my great-grandparents’ living room!  Very interesting stuff, so glad we got to see it all!ZionLuthIthacaNave ZionLuthIthacaOutside ZionLuthIthacaRecords ZionLuthIthacaThomsHistoryUnfortunately, we weren’t able to get information from Immanuel Lutheran Church in Ceresco, Nebraska where Dave’s father’s family were members.

Of course, we had to do a few things before leaving for old times sake.  We visited some of our favorite restaurants, like Ticos and Valentinos…and visited with Dave’s sister, Mary,  in Papillion and checked out some cemeteries and did some family genealogy research with Dave’s brother and sister-in-law, Doug and Barb.  After all, we’ll be living very far away!WithMary WithDoug Ticoritto

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Carolyn has been called to serve Central Lutheran Church in Yakima, Washington!

Last winter, the bishop of the Eastern Washington-Idaho Synod contacted Carolyn about a church vacancy in the synod.  He felt Carolyn might be the right person for the call.  Not much happened for months.  Carolyn’s name was sent to the church in May, with two others.  She was interviewed by their Call Committee via Skype, twice.

We flew from Chicago, where Carolyn was taking classes for her Doctor of Ministry in Preaching program at LSTC, to Seattle on Friday evening, July 8, 2016.  The Call Committee Chair, Jason Moos, picked us up at our hotel on Saturday morning and we went to Yakima, Washington, 2.5 hours southwest of Seattle, through the beautiful Cascade Mountains.

That day, we toured Yakima, had an outdoor lunch with many of the youth and their families, toured the church facilities, had an outdoor dinner with members of the Call Committee.

On Sunday, Carolyn preached and Dave delivered the children’s sermon at the 9:30am eucharist attended by much of the congregation.  The nave was full.  We all enjoyed lunch in the fellowship hall afterwards, followed by a question and answer session for Carolyn.

Later Sunday, we met with a realtor and looked at 6 area homes, not knowing if we’d need to buy something there yet or not.  Then we had dinner with the Bishop and the combined Call Committee and Church Council, which Carolyn met with afterwards to discuss the weekend and the future.

It was a busy, exciting, anxious, full weekend.  Jason took us back to SeaTac Monday morning, and after having lunch with Phil Nesvig, the current interim minister, we flew back to Chicago and then drove home to St. Paul.

The Call Committee recommended Carolyn to the Church Council, who in turn recommended Carolyn to the congregation, who met on Wednesday evening, July 13, and voted to call her to be Senior Pastor of Central Lutheran Church.  Carolyn accepted the call, and it was announced in worship on July 16 & 17.

Our last day at St. Mark’s will be August 14th, and Carolyn’s first service in Yakima is August 21st.

On Friday, July 15th, we put in an offer on one of the homes we’d seen Sunday, and it was accepted.

Yakima is a city in south-central Washington State, east of the Cascade Mountains, with a population of 95,000.  With suburbs and the surrounding valley area, the metropolitan area population is 250,000.  Central Lutheran has a Senior Pastor, an Associate Pastor, which is currently vacant, and a Visitation Pastor, along with a Christian Education/Youth Director, and an after school program Director, in addition to the Secretary and Custodian.  Membership is 800 with 200 average attendance Sundays.  Photos of the church are below.


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Dave’s Birthday and MORE happening in Chicago!

Very busy week ended with a very busy weekend.  My birthday was yesterday, and we began with brunch at Medici’s Restaurant on East 57th Street here in Hyde Park.  We’d never been there for anything but pizza, which is fantastic!  Their Eggs Benedict and Sweet Potato Pancakes are amazing, too!  Went to the Loop in the afternoon to see the sights and had dinner in the Walnut Room on the 7th floor of Macy’s on State Street, formerly Marshall Fields & Company.  Delicious chicken pot pie!  Fireworks are every Wednesday and Saturday evening throughout the summer, so we went to Promontory Point Park about 20 minutes from our housing at the seminary, and watched the fireworks from Navy Pier.  Today, we worshiped at Augustana Lutheran Church across the street from the seminary, then went to the worship at Rockefeller Chapel on the University of Chicago campus.  Got to tour the Carillon Tower and heard a concert, too.  Lots of photos here:


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