Last week we had an opportunity to travel to Wisconsin. The Metz girls were throwing a surprise birthday party for Mrs. Metz, and Mother, Faith and I were delighted to be able to attend. So we set out Monday evening stopping for the night at a charming Inn located in Porter Indiana. If you ever are over that way (at the bottom of lake Michigan) we highly recommend "The Spring House Inn". The Inn is made in the Swiss chalet style, and is set in a peaceful wooded area.
The next morning we awoke and began the second leg of our journey. We traveled through the flat lands of Illinois, and the "wonderful" experience of toll roads (The payment points are often, and the rest stops, or oasis's, are few and far between!).
Then we made it to Wisconsin, (Goodbye Toll Roads;)and took a quick stop at the Wisconsin welcome center.
This is where we were...
and this is where we were going. Practically all the way across the state.
So we jumped back into our faithful Buick and continued on our journey. God had blessed us with a beautiful day; the sky was a brilliant blue and the sun shone brightly lighting up the ever changing landscape.
As we got closer to our destination the lay of the land changed and ever growing hills seemed to arise out of the plains.
Here and there the roads sliced through such mountains (at least they looked like mountain to us Michiganders) revealing jagged rocks and sand layers.
There were many little ranches and large farms set at the foot of the hills, many of which we admired photographed and sighed over;) One farm had its name painted boldly on the side of a small barn; Almosta. Almosta Farm:)
We passed many quaint country churches surrounded by corn fields, and finally turned on their road. Because it was a SURPRISE party we parked in the parking lot of a church a 1/4 mile down the road.
The house was already full of laughing voices and cheerful bustling activity. Tea was being made, bread cut, desserts displayed, and decorations hung and scattered around.
We soon received the call from Mr. Metz that Mrs. Metz was on her way. Quickly everyone crowded into the kitchen and squeezed as far away from the windows as possible.
Despite several Ladies telling Mrs. Metz that they couldn't come to her party (I guess they missed the Surprise part;) she had no idea of the party being on this particular day, and was entirely astonished and pleasantly shocked.
After Mrs. Metz had recovered from her surprise and had greeted everyone in turn, Elizabeth managed to gather everyone into the living room, for prayer and then tea.
There was an astonishing variety of beautiful, and dainty teacups; enough for everyone, and plenty of delicious and dainty foods.
Once the luncheon was over we played a few games, one being a questionnaire on how well you know Mrs. Metz!
The games over, we squeezed into the living room for the opening of gifts.
There was plenty of laughter and stories and thank yous over each and every gift.
The girls stood after all the presents had been opened, and proceded to sing a beautiful birthday song that they had written for their mother. After their tribute was finished, we all raised our voices in praise to our Creator, whoever had a hymn book would name a hymn and the number and so it went for the rest of the party.
As the sun sank lower, the guests all left, except us, as the Metz were kind enough to have us spend the night.
Faith and I were treated to a new experience while at the Metz - that of butchering a goat! It was quite an educational sight, and Faith is sure now that she could butcher a goat herself if ever called upon to do so:)
The next morning we rose early to help with chores and see the farm in the daylight before we had to head homewards.
The sun had just recently peeked over the hills, as we marched out to the barn to milk the goats.
The Metz have a "slightly" larger farm operation than us, and Faith and I enjoyed helping them milk a couple of their row of goats.
When the chores were finished the girls took us up to the hay loft of the barn. The Metz grow and cut their own hay, and the loft was filled with stacks and stacks of bales. We finished our tour of the farm and rather reluctantly began packing. We left amid waves and hugs, and began to retrace our steps (or the road) to Michigan.
We passed back over the Wisconsin river, as we drove towards Madison, but after Madison we changed our plans, and decided that since it was midday, we would drive through Chicago!
So through Chicago we went, the skyline rising before us, majestic and solid.
We took the Chicago skyway, which rose above the city and passed right by Lake Michigan.
It was the first time Faith or I had seen the Lake from this side:)
Soon we saw the sign welcoming us to our home state, and we settled in for the last leg of our journey.
God blessed us with a beautiful sun bow which shone in the sky as the sun set, a beautiful reminder of the beauty of our Creator. It was a wonderful trip, and we were very happy to be able to see our new friends again. Thank you for your hospitality Metz family, may God bless you!