Dear Ray and Janice,

December 10, 2008


I thought of you today, as I do often. This letter is long overdue. 🙂

Thank you.

Thank you for reaching out to me and a bunch of other college kids twenty-some odd years ago. I enjoyed meeting in that little Sunday School class in the basement of Oak Grove Christian Church. I loved it when Janice would bring in breakfast treats and “russian tea” for us to sip on some cold Sunday  mornings. I loved having a place that felt like home while I was hundreds of miles away from my own home. I loved having people that cared for me like family.

Thank you for opening up your home… perhaps against your better judgment… so that a group of us could come out and do our laundry now and then. I know that there were some nights when you probably regretted that decision, as we banged around downstairs according to our own crazy schedules while you were trying to wind down for the night. For what it’s worth, we really enjoyed lying around on the floor of your downstairs family room, studying (or not) while the clothes got clean. I hope we didn’t seem ungrateful.

Thank you for hosting Sunday School parties at your house. One of my fondest memories is of having a big group of us college kids coercing you and/or another adult couple who was involved with the class to join us in a game of “Ha-Ha.”  [Remember that game, where everyone lies down in a long chain on the ground, each person resting his head on the next person’s stomach? Then one person says “ha” and the next person has to say “ha, ha” and then the next person says it three times and so on… but if anyone cracks up and actually laughs, you have to start all over again.] I guess it doesn’t take much to entertain a bunch of kids from the Christian college down the road…  I remember laughing hysterically while lying on your  lawn for a long time that evening.

Thank you for being there all these years since I graduated. Thanks for keeping “my room” ready for me in the basement whenever I come to visit.

Ray, thanks for the wonderful conversation we always enjoy when we are together. I love how you have us join hands at the table to say grace together before every meal. Thanks for greeting me each morning with a hug. Thanks for moving the mirror up higher on the wall in the guest bathroom downstairs… I like to think that you did that just for me 🙂

Janice, thanks for the friendship and the fabulous cooking. I can’t tell you how special it is to pull into your driveway on a Friday afternoon in October, to be greeted at the door by your sunny smile, usually with a dog or cat scampering around your feet, and some wonderful aroma coming from your kitchen. Thanks for knowing that I don’t like mushrooms. Thanks for staying up late to chat even when I know you are exhausted and sleep deprived.

I am thankful for friends – for family – like you guys. Sometimes I don’t do as well keeping in touch as I should. Thanks for loving me anyway. Your generosity, kindness, and integrity have been an example to me for many years.

I am glad our paths crossed all those years ago, and I look forward to keeping in step with you for many years to come.

Much love,



  1. Thanks for the sweet sentiments and very kind words. When we count our blessings, we include you.

  2. thanks for the walk down memory lane. I remeber playing a game in the living room where we would pass a broom around? And the “living dough” that was in Janice’s refrigerator. I bet it still lives! And who can forget the russian tea. I haven’t drank tang in 20 years. So nice to see a photo of Ray and Janice. I second Laura’s gratitude!! Thanks.

  3. Marty… yes! I remember that broom game, too… I couldn’t remember what it was called, though. I have distinct memories of sitting there while Reba was holding the broom and would point it at different people. I wish I could remember exactly how the game worked.

  4. Marty,

    We also have many fond memories of you and Jamie. It would be great to see “you all” if that were possible in the future. My prayer is that both of you are continuing to serve our Lord in your part of the world. Don’t you agree with me that my little Janice is still a doll. I will never forget the many talents you and Jamie possessed and I knew in my heart you would be sucessful beause of your committment.

    In Him,


  5. Thanks Ray. It would be fun to see you both. Maybe if we come out to an Alumni event we’ll get in touch in with you then.

    Laura – about all I remember is “the broom has chosen” maybe something about the first person who spoke after the phrase was spoken was then the chosen one. What was the minister’s name at the church? I remember he let us use his home for the engagement date/party. I’ll check back to see what new posts are up occassionally. I checked out Rick’s blog and his flicker site. Feel free to put my http://www.pbase.com/martinphotography as a link on your blog if you want. Nice to be connecting again. Happy New Year.

  6. Marty, I do remember something about the broom “choosing” someone from the group, and I think the game for us was trying to figure out how the broom chose the person each time. It drove me nuts!

    The minister at Oak Grove at that time was John Houchens. I was part of the group that helped you plan out the whole engagement scheme, too… that was fun!

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