Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Bollacke family - New Fairfield, CT (Thur.9/13-Mon.9/24)

Introducing the Bollacke's, we met them Aug 30 in Acadia National Park. We mentioned them last month – the great family we met... Well, our plan was to visit them for a few hours in Connecticut on our way to NYC (staying in Long Island). Mike knows the city well and after showing us how Long Island is really... well... Long and that the train commute from there would be at least 2 hours, we decided to stay with them a little while... make that 12 days.

They are like family and I know the one about how family are like fish... but that hasn't been true with our biological family and it certainly wasn't true with our new adopted family.

After meeting Mike's mom “Omi” and Lisa's, parents Richard and grandma Dorothy, we can certainly say that they are from good stock. They truly are Salt of the Earth people.

Their neighbors Harry and Joanne can testify to the love that flows out of this family (by the way Harry who's nearly 90 years young, has a great wood shop and house full of his creations that I was privileged enough to see).

Here's the kids in full costume and face paint in the middle of filming their own “Wizard of Oz”

Allow me to introduce Michael

Mike was teaching me the way things are done Out East. Not how you honk and yell at other drivers for the smallest things – no, that I was learning on my own. But Mike still knows how to play hard ball. We took a boat ride and went out to eat. I caught the waitress first, secretly handed her my credit card, explaining how nobody likes to see a fight over the bill. She thanked me for it as she tucked the credit card away. Mike stepped out to catch the waitress after we were almost done with our meal only to find out that I had beat him to the punch. Mike then tells the waitress how he tips better (above the built-in 18% large group gratuity tax) and convinces her to take his card. She believed Mike, took Mike's card and handed me back mine. You're familiar with the Chicago way, the out East way (honk early, honk often), but here's the Bollacke way. We paid for almost nothing while we were there (from food, to Kim's haircut) and were so greatly encouraged by them – both directly and indirectly. From discussing life's deepest to seeing their kids respectfully interact with the rest of the family, we were blessed!

Mike is very very talented. He is an artist with a video camera. He has filmed every big game including Super Bowls and World Series. He has won Emmys for some special feature clips. In the last few months, he has interviewed the likes of Jeff Gordon and Tiger Woods. At first hearing this, I thought “Lucky” - in a Napoleon Dynamite sort of way.

I really can't say enough about this family. To think of meeting someone while camping and then crashing at their place for 12 days with 4 kids – it's just Weird. The love of God has never been more clear to me than in this family. The greatest Bed and Breakfast and lunch and dinner ever! I like to joke, I occasionally speak in hyperbole, but straight – up this is the best family. period. But praise God and not the Bollacke's, the giver and not the gift. It feels much like when we left friends and family in Minnesota. A bit sad to leave, but our tank is full (nay, the tank runneth over). When I see Jeff or Tiger on TV, I'll be reminded that Mike might have filmed them, but I will mostly think of how “Lucky” they are to have gotten to know Mike.

If you're in Connecticut stop by and see them, heck stop by and stay for a couple weeks!

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