Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dutch Bingo (kinda)

We continue to meet a lot of wonderful people here in Grand Rapids. Today we visited Sherman Street CRC and while dropping Alex off at their nursery ran into Mark and Rachel Vanderwerf and their son, Owen. I was tipped off to the fact that Mark and Rachel were coming to GR for Mark to attend seminary at Calvin by a mutual friend. So I was on the lookout for them and while we were signing our kids in to nursery they said their names and we said ours, she mentioned she was reading this blog, and voila, instant friends. So they came over for blueberry pie this afternoon (which Jessica had artfully prepared the day before with fresh blueberries from our Fulton St. Farmer's Market visit on Saturday -- providential?) and we got acquainted. It was a wonderful visit and I think we'll get along just fine! I hope they agree. =)

As if that weren't enough, on our way out the door from church this morning, and literally as we were walking out the door, I here someone call my name -- "Michael?" I turned around and there was Matt Jeltema. Matt and I got to know each other during my Admissions days at Dordt when we were doing a big database conversion. Matt (a top-notch IT guy at Calvin) had been involved with the software we were implementing and he and I met at a conference and forged a relationship and he was great help to me during Dordt's conversion process.

Anyway, I hadn't seen (or even talked to him, really) in several years and he still remembered me and I him. He and his family live in the neighborhood and have been going to Sherman Street CRC for several years, so he invited us to stay for a church potluck and we got the chance to catch up. It was great.

And the icing on the Sunday cake, this afternoon some neighbors invited us to a church cook-out at their church, Boston Square CRC, which is about six blocks from our house. So we took them up on their offer and joined them for supper after the Vanderwerfs left. Again, we met some great people there including a man who was raised in Sibley, Iowa -- just a mere 20 miles from my hometown of Worthington, MN and just 40 miles from Sioux Center. Not to mention the fact that when I was in admissions at Dordt I recruited his niece.

So not quite Dutch Bingo in the classic sense -- I'm not related to any of these people that I know 0f -- but still, it's pretty hard to go anywhere and not find a connection to someone. Sometimes I feel like the Kevin Bacon of the CRC (


dm said...

Dude, you ARE the Kevin Bacon of the CRC... :-)

Paul Ten Haken said...

That sounds like a lot of ham buns and windmill cookies.

Mike Koetje said...

More Dutch Bingo: Matt Jeltema and I were roommates our Freshman year at Calvin. Matt & Ellen and their family have been long-time friends of Mindy and I. I didn't know that you knew Matt. It sounds like you had a great Sunday networking.

Paul said...

Glad you liked our frineds! We miss them! Enjoy Mark and Rachael - they are wonderful people!

Beth said...

We will be there in a few days and hopefully meet some of these people in real life! I have to admit though, that I am even more anxious to see you , Jess and those grandkids that I adore!! We still plan on driving through the night on Thursday, stopping in Zeeland to sleep a bit and then on to GR. See you soon!

love, Mom

Val Dooyema said...

I agree, Michael, you are the Kevin Bacon of the CRC, that will serve you well in the future. Hope things are going well for all of you there. Had to laugh when I read your last blog. I can remember visiting relatives in GR and attending Sherman Street CRC. I couldn't have been very old, maybe 6 or 7, but I distinctly remember sitting in church, being extremely warm, probably no air back in the day, and hearing an ice cream truck's tune out the window. I couldn't believe it, on a Sunday, by a church, have people lost their minds, man, ice cream would be great, all rushed through my mind at the same time. Btw they lived on Thomas Street and stored their bikes in the basement:) I asked my brother about it and he laughed at the memories and added having a kid tell him he was too white to swim the community pool. Man have things changed, relatives moved to the CRC burbs(Jenison), i'd love it if an ice cream truck went by any day, and I'm probably not going to drag my bikes to the basement. Some things just aren't done in Sioux Center:) Take care!