We arrived in Longmont and were happy to see Jeff, La, Kyra, and Zaque. Kyra will be leaving on September 13 for her 18-month mission in Bakersfield, CA. To celebrate, Jeff and La took all of us to Kyra’s favorite restaurant, Benihana, for a farewell dinner. Jeff has told us many times how much they like this restaurant, so Ted and I were eager to see what it’s like. (Remember the trail mix lunch in Cheyenne? We were ready for dinner.)
There were six of us, and Benihana seats tables of eight, so two other people were seated with us. The six of us ordered the filet mignon; the other two people ordered salmon. I mention this because you can tell which food is going where in the pictures below. If there are only two of an item, that’s what the other people ordered. Everyone gets many of the same side dishes, so there are eight of some things.
The first course (vegetables) included the onion volcano. I’ve got to try this at home!
This man had sharper knives than I’ve ever seen. He has to cut the food to chopstick size and his knives slid right through everything, from the zucchini to the steak. Here he’s stirring the chicken cubes he cut.
And now, the main course–our steaks. It was so much fun to watch him cook and to smell everything, then have it served piping hot.
On Saturday, none of us wanted to do much of anything, so we relaxed at home. I found an interesting lamp in the room where Ted and I sleep and asked La about it. She said her mother made it for her.
La’s doll lamp.
Look what La’s mom used for the lamp base: a weighted Clorox bottle. You never know what women put on under their clothes to look good.
Sunday was church day and it was special because it was Kyra’s last Sunday and she was scheduled to give a 20-minute talk to the congregation about her upcoming mission. She had worked on the speech a lot before we arrived and she also spent several hours Friday night and Saturday polishing it and timing it so it would be just right. The speaker ahead of her went over his allotted time, but Kyra was told to use her full twenty minutes anyway. Her talk was excellent. She has a gift for personalizing what she says and it’s always interesting to hear the personal side of people’s stories. Church worked up an appetite, though, so when we got home, it was time for a snack.
At 4:00, we headed back to church for Kyra’s setting apart service. This rite set her apart as a missionary and she will have to follow missionary rules from this point forward. Only family and close friends attend the setting apart, and Ted and I were honored to be present. I asked Jeff ahead of time if this was a photo op celebration or if it was reverent and without pictures. He said “reverent” (no surprise to me), but I brought my phone along anyway. After the prayers and congratulations, the man who conducted the service (I don’t remember his title) smiled at all of us and asked, “Does anyone want a commemorative photo?” I produced my phone and he took a group picture of us.
Knowing what a busy and important day this would be, La had a beef roast in the crockpot. Combined with fresh seasonal corn on the cob, we had a delicious dinner and then sat around talking and playing games.
Sheephead has become a favorite of Zaque’s and Kyra’s. They must have some Wisconsin blood in them.
At one point, we found ourselves talking about rewards and punishments parents use with their children. Jeff’s family started talking about the “bucks” the kids used to get for good behavior that could be redeemed for privileges. Naturally, that required digging out some souvenir bucks.
Zaque tried to duplicate the expression on his childhood 10-buck.
Kyra’s grown-up smile is the same as her little girl smile.
Alex is still in Peru, but we included his bucks in our discussion. When she was little, Kari would have called these recollections “rememories.” I’ve always liked that word.
Much too soon, it was bedtime and our time together was over. Ted and I plan to leave at 5:30 am; Jeff and Zaque will be going to seminary at 6:00 am; and Kyra’s missionary rules say she should get up at 6:30 am. It looks like only La can sleep in tomorrow morning. We said good-night and good-bye to each other before going to bed. Jeff was up and dressed when Ted and I were ready to leave, so he wished us a safe trip and we were on our way. This MAT was one of our best trips ever. (But we say that after every trip.)
The sun rose as we drove eastward from Denver.