Monday, October 17, 2016


We had a wonderful trip to the Harper's Ferry area. That Dubuque/Decorah/southern Minnesota area is just beautiful in the fall. My mom's cousin (their grandmothers were sisters) Dolores, since Mom has died, has sort of taken ownership of the Bolger family lore and I know we blessed her by letting her give us the tour and listen to the stories.

We saw Paint Rock cemetery where some ancestors were married in the now-torn-down chapel, and several are buried there. Then we went down into Bolger's Hollow, an unbelievable expanse of land with bluffs all around. The Hollow is where my ancestral home was first built in 1850 and a couple more were added as the family grew up and had their own homes. So peaceful and serene. I can see why my people stayed there for generations.

Then we checked out the Wexford church where my people went to Mass on Sundays. It has the grave marker of among others, my great-great-great-great grandmother Catherine Bulger (They changed their name spelling).  

Dolores regaled us with family lore that was rich and made the trip very special.

The rest of our trip was meandering without firm plans.....except to bless anyone who the Lord led us to bless, and we had 3 of them. It was so fun! It brings so much meaning to be willing to do something for others and be used. I love the intentionality of making road trips not all about our pleasure only but a way for God to put us in situations where he wants others blessed.

The funniest moment was in a restaurant. Our excellent and sweet server came back to our table to see if we wanted a dessert. She picked up the check and I said, "One lemon meringue pie, to split." Just at that moment, Richie handed her a large tip and told her what a great server she was and I told her that she was really good at what she did and praised her work. Her eyes got huge and a little teary. She slapped our check back down on our table and said, "Your pie is on the house!" Here we were trying to bless her and she blessed us right back.

Those are the moments that make travel more than miles.

We are off to Mayo Clinic for the week for Richie's legs. I pray that after 20 years of chronic pain, they may be able to help him. We are going with the same goal of making it a blessing trip.

Here are a couple pics.

Cousin Dolores
Dolores is pretty sure this old barn is original

More of Bolger's Hollow; you could have built a small town in it, but it remained in the family for generations

The ancestral Bolger home was on this site. It was torn down in 1900 and this home was built. It is still lived in.

Wexford cemetery

Morning along Dubuque's Mississippi Riverwalk

Dubuque's Riverwalk

I have to share with you "proof" that the Holy Spirit has our backs. We had been planning our first retirement trip for the past year. Savannah, Georgia. A year of anticipating seeing our best friends in Athens and then spending the week on the coast. In July, I had a strong check in my spirit. I didn't feel like we should go. It didn't make sense. Why was the Holy Spirit telling me to cancel this long-awaited trip? I "sat on it" for a week and then shared my feelings with Richie. Without understanding whatsoever, we cancelled our trip.

When was it supposed to be? October 1-8, the week the hurricane blasted Savannah. 

1 comment:

Cole said...

Wow!! I'm so thankful you listened to the Holy Spirit's leading!

Those photos are wonderful. It sounds like it was a great trip all the way around.