Last fall, my sister Jan and her husband Glenn had planned to drive out from California for a visit. Due to a number of different factors however, their plans were changed and the trip had to be postponed. They decided to come out during the spring instead, stopping to see Mount Rushmore as well as reconnecting with some of Glenn’s relatives along the way.  

Emails flew back and forth between us as the months passed by and time of their visit grew closer.  Family was coming! I was excited! Our brother-in-law even sent us a detailed itinerary, even showing approximate hours driving from one place to another.  

On April 21 they left Bakersfield, on their cross country journey with their small dog, Herman, riding in his own special car seat.  I followed the itinerary with great interest and also enjoyed seeing pictures of their adventure online.

We watched the weather reports closely, hoping and praying for nice weather while they were here.  There was snow on the ground at Steamboat Springs, Colo. and cold, blustery weather in Wyoming, while in Michigan, winter seemed very hesitant to leave!

Al and I had made similar road trips from California. We remembered what it was like and knew what Glenn and Jan were going through as they spent long hours driving every day. Herman, their “schnoodle” (a cross between schnauzer and poodle) was a happy little traveler though, spending a lot of time “schnoozing” in his special car seat. How wonderful that they were willing to go through so much just to come out and see us!

After passing through Wyoming, they visited Glenn’s cousins in Iowa and then drove through Illinois and Indiana, finally reaching our house in the suburbs of Detroit, Mich. on Friday afternoon, April 27.  It took seven straight days of driving including Mount Rushmore, the Badlands and a few other side trips, but they were still smiling when they arrived.  And oh what a happy reunion! 

Our time together sped by, with Saturday spent showing Glenn and Jan the thriving downtown area along the Detroit River and then driving to Dearborn for a tour of the Ford F-150 plant and the Henry Ford Museum. They were good sports and didn’t complain about more time spent in the car. In fact, it gave Jan and me the opportunity to get caught up on all of the happenings since we were in Bakersfield last December. 

The tour of the Ford plant turned out to be a highlight for Glenn. He had been looking forward to seeing the F-150 trucks assembled. It was an impressive operation involving the use of robots, computerized technology and ‘smart’ tools alongside skilled workers. More about that tour in next week’s article!

After the worship service at church on Sunday, we did a little more sight-seeing of some beautiful areas close to home, and then Glenn and I took Herman for a walk to Beverly Park. The three of us even climbed Beverly Hill, formed from the dirt in the park’s pond.  

That evening, our daughter Shanda, and her family joined us for a barbecue. We had another happy reunion because she had not seen Jan and Glenn for several years. Shanda’s youngest son, Elliot, 7, hadn’t even been born the last time we were all together. 

Early the next morning, Jan and Glenn said “good-bye.” Their next stop would be Niagara Falls! We had a wonderful, but too short, visit with them. It was sad watching them drive away, however, I was so grateful for the time we shared together. There isn’t anything better than seeing people you love face to face! What a blessing!

Another highly anticipated reunion is that of seeing Jesus Christ face to face! Whether it is in heaven or here on earth, I am looking forward to meeting Him and want to be ready. Now that will be a wonderful celebration!

“In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” — John 14: 2-3 NIV


Judy Lowery lives in Michigan. The Good News column appears regularly in The Porterville Recorder. You can read more at Judy’s blog,

Recommended for you