Monday, April 16, 2012

to fresno and back ~ on behalf of the team!

Over the past few days...Anneliese, Ellen, Lovella and I had the privilege of representing Mennonite Girls Can Cook at the West Coast MCC Relief Sale in Fresno, California.  Ellen went on ahead...and 'prepared the way' for us.  She rented the car, checked out our hotel, scouted out some good spots to eat...

...and then waited for our arrival at FAT (that would be the Fresno Yosemite International Airport).  And for the duration of our stay...she was our most capable chauffeur!  Not only did she always know where she was going...

...she also knew how to drive in a city that was in danger of washing away!  As you all know...we have a fair share of rain in the Pacific Northwest.  A Fresno get-away seemed like the perfect chance to experience some California sunshine and leave the umbrellas behind.  As it turned out...Fresno was experiencing a deluge of rain of record-breaking proportions.  Most would-be-sale-goers opted to stay high and dry on Friday.  But we were expected at the sale venue...whatever the weather. 

We dashed from one building to another...and and wished for the gum boots we left at home!

Though it wasn't exactly ice-cream weather...the show went on!

The homemade ice-cream...topped with boysenberries from the vendor's farm...disappeared as quickly as it was made. Ice-cream for a good cause tastes good even in the rain!  Not only did this couple donate their services for the weekend...they also provided all the boysenberries used in baking the 850 pies that were sold in the 'country store'.  The purpose of the relief sale is to generate funds for disaster relief around the world.  It is most heart-warming to see how tirelessly people work to raise those funds...and how generous others are when reaching into their pockets.

We sampled all kinds of ethnic foods...Mexican and German...

...and Mennonite favorites.

Though the Friday night sale was a bit of a 'wash-out'...things looked much brighter on Saturday morning!

We did a cooking demo first thing in the morning...and had an enthusiastic group show up to learn all there is to know about making rollkuchen

Rose...who together with her hubby was the organizer of the sale...sewed aprons for all her girls and joined us for a photo once the rollkuchen had disappeared.

We had the opportunity to tell our story several times over...

...and met many wonderful people who stopped by our table to chat and have their books signed.  Some generous souls joined us in our efforts to raise funds for the Good Shepherd Shelter (an orphanage in the Ukraine) by paying exorbitant amounts for our cookbook.  One bidder paid $1000 for his signed copy.  Most overwhelming!

Quilts, quilts and more quilts!  Hand-made with love...and purchased at auction to send aide around the world.

Kevin was our most gracious host over the weekend...and also the organizer of the entire sale.  Thank-you, Kevin and Rose...for making our time so enjoyable!

We sat in on the auction for a bit...and had a lot of fun!  I saw #951 being raised...more than once. It was all about pushing up the price...since Ellen really had no room in her suitcase for a quilt or two!

We met some wonderful new friends...and even some family!

What a surprise to have my 'cousin Linda' and her family drop by to chat.  Linda used to spend a lot of time with us when she lived in my part of the world.  It was so good to see her again!

The sun brought out the crowds on Saturday...

...and a good time was had by all!  And at the end of the was time to count up the pennies! 

Blessings on all who who worked so tirelessly on behalf of those in need of help around the world.  We consider it an honour to work together with MCC.

It was a good weekend...and a great time with my friends Ellen, Anneliese and Lovella.

Yesterday morning we left behind all things Californian...and hopped a few planes back to Vancouver.  I should have known that hubby would want to know what kind of planes we were on.  Hmmm.  Good question.

I took this photo out the window as we landed in Vanouver.  I'm thinking it was a prop plane...of some kind!  Back at home the sun was shining...and all was well.

Have a wonderful Monday...


  1. What a wonderful picture story!!! It looks like you had an amazing time. I had to laugh at your comment about the kind of plane you were on....have a wonderful week as you reminisce about your adventure.

  2. And the final summary (I should look up Anneliese) and each one of you have shared in a slightly different way. I had no idea that Ellen is such a good chauffeur nod did I know that Elmer likes certain other details. You gals did a wonderful job of fundraising and looked as if you had some fun doing it, too. Well done!

  3. Wow....what a storm....glad you were able to have sunshine to greet you upon your return. Today...and this week...more rain! What a great time you all had. I can't remember on whose blog I had commented this but those quilts are unbelievable! I'm surprised one of you did not come home with one. lovely!

  4. Love your recap and your great photos Judy. I'm glad you went out and about around the sales grounds.

  5. Another fantastic summary.. I so enjoyed your retelling of our weekend. It was an amazing time wasn't it?

  6. The Alaska/Horizon planes we were on are called Bombardier. You can tell Elmer...

  7. Sounds like you really beat the storm. It's always good to see you gals in action and you all know how to continue to inspire people regardless of the weather.
    And what's new as you come back home again...RAIN!
    Want a game of tennis?

  8. I'm thoroughly enjoying reading all the different takes on this trip. What an amazing effect your book is having in the lives of people.

  9. So exciting! I feel like I was right there with you via the photos.

    Made me happy to see on "proper" Mennonite lady with her cap on in one of the photos.

    Not saying that you are "improper" of course...

  10. I'm smiling at Jill's commment. Maybe if I'd looked proper, I would not have been questioned by the customs officer... but it did give me an opportunity to share.
    Loved reading your take and seeing your great pictures.

  11. I'm so glad the sun came out and that the weekend was a success, Judy! It looked like a really fun event.

    Send some rain to the east coast -- we are in drought conditions right now!

  12. Congratulations on your fundraising. We have a similar sale a few hours up the road in Kansas. There is always a huge turnout and lots of fun to be had by all. I enjoy your blog terrible much.

  13. How funny Judy...

    I lived only an hour away from Fresno for 23 years, and it never rains in the valley. Well only between Feb-April, LOL. Looks like you were there for that time of the year. I saw flooding in Tulare and Visalia too from friends on FB. Well it still looked to be a wonderful trip and a great time for you and the girls. Great pics.

  14. That was a whirlwind - a wet one, but a whirlwind nonetheless!
    It was fun to read the different versions of this trip - what a time you all had!

  15. Your cookbook adventures never cease and quite frankly, I am thrilled to be a tiny part of the adventure, by my frequent visits to your blog. What a whirlwind of a trip and so many activities. So many great pictures! Thanks for sharing Judy!

    Your banner picture is breathtaking!

  16. Family time would surely be more fun if road trips are enjoyed without having to worry about commuting. With this in mind, you could either opt to buy a brand new car or perhaps get more bang for your buck by opting for what used cars Fresno dealers have to offer.


'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson