On September 24th, we loaded up the van (that was very stinky because I spilled about 2 gallons of gas in the back of it on my way home from the gas station), and headed out to Art's house to pick apples. He has two beautiful apple trees that he has given us free reign over.
It was a very breezy day, but the sunshine was warm. The boys had a hard time waiting until we got home before sampling some of the apples.
The best part of the trip was spending some time with Art and admiring some of his woodworking skills and sculptures. He's very talented, and very hospitable.
Art has recently been having some health problems. His lungs "are shot", (his words), and he has been placed on oxygen and is in the care of the hospice workers. Our youth group had the privilege of visiting him Wednesday evening during church time. We surprised him by showing up with about 15 teenagers in his room, but he had just the words to say to the teens. He challenged them to never be ashamed of Whose they were, and to share Christ every chance they got.
Art has done bible studies with a lot of the teen boys in our church, and has been a faithful helper in AWANA. He has touched a lot of lives, and is excited about going to meet Jesus.
Today Art was able to return to his home in the country. His daughters will stay with him until the end. He is an incredibly neat man.
During the late 1920's and 1930's Art's family lived in the house we live in. He lived in Chicago, but would spend the summers in Iowa. We had the opportunity to host Art at our home this fall, and he walked through each room and reminisced about how it used to be. It was a really fun time. He's promised us there are hard wood floors under the carpet in the dining room. One of these days we're going to get brave enough to rip up the carpet and see what condition it is in!
Please pray for Art's comfort and peace in the coming days.
"Keep my commands and live, and my law as the apple of your eye." Proverbs 7:2