Welcome to this life Mr. Joshua Luis Salvador, first born son of Joe Salvador and his lovely wife Laura Michelle, our eldest daughter.
This wonderful event called Joan to California. It was more like a homing device that could not be prevented from its programmed destination. I was content to let Joan partake while I held the fort down at home and saved a few dollars by working. Then my mother called and requested a visit. I have been away from home for 42 years. This was a first. I do my best to visit but I was honored as her son to be asked to visit. I followed Joan out to San Diego after she had been there 10 days.
My arrival found the gang still waiting for Joshua’s arrival. I visited the hospital but really didn’t feel like it was my place. I retired to their home and enjoyed the San Diego weather. The next day started at the hospital. Joe took Joan and I out to a wonderful breakfast at Hob Nob Hill. They would have the rest of the day to wait for Joshua’s 9:57 PM arrival on Tuesday May 5.
That would give Joan and I the opportunity to spend some time together before the baby arrived. We had an early dinner at Pho Poway Noodle House. We were going to order the standard soups when the owner decided to take the time to share a bit of her life with us and recommend the specialties of her restaurant. Her choice of choices was a lightly breaded white fish that was as good as I have ever tasted. She also gave us a lesson on tearing up the leaves of lettuce, mint, basil and cilantro and adding the sauce and cracker before combining with the fish, or the pork with our other dish. So good we would take Joe, Laura Michelle and a sleeping the whole time Joshua the Tuesday before we left.
Vietnamese restaurants bring back one of our pioneering memories of Seattle. We had taken to South Seattle to pass out flyers along the Martin Luther King parade. Laura Michelle (almost 4) with me and Joan with Audra (6 months) and Brooke (2 years old). Heading home to Ballard I was describing cheap bowls of soup in Japan in my high school days. Joan suggested we try one of these oriental joints that were inspiring these memories. I had $10. We stopped at a Vietnamese restaurant next to one of the best bakeries in Seattle. I walked in and was greeted by the proprietor, a man named Paul, explained my ten dollar desire and he said come right in we will take care of you. Thus began our wonderful venture into Vietnamese restaurants. He always treated us well for the 12 years we were in Seattle.
Wednesday, while Joan and Laura Michelle attended a class to keep babies happy, Joe and I had breakfast at the Original Pancake House. We came back, switched cars, and met at the house after they were released from the hospital. Life with a baby begins. Joan and I went to Oceanside that evening where we did my science slide show for Pastor Tim Moynihan and church. He, his wife Sue, Joan and I had some great fellowship shutting down a small hole in the wall taco joint. They had to turn up the music to finally move us.
Thursday was a quiet day of life with the baby. Joan and I packed up to go and preach in Fallbrook before heading to Reno for Mother’s Day with my mother. Fallbrook is a baby church out of the Oceanside church. Pastor Eric Zeledon’s church had attended the Oceanside service and now some Oceanside folks would attend the Fallbrook service. I would be preaching an evangelism sermon with an emphasis on the Word of God with the intent of introducing the idea of “One Minute Bible Studies” to the congregation. It is one more arrow in the quiver. Joan and I arrived early enough to get a Starbucks. I took the moment to do my first “One Minute Bible Study” from my phone with two young men. It is in a Word document and I have bookmarked the titles and they hyperlink on my computer but not on the phone. Still exciting having one of the young men scroll through the titles while I held the phone in my hand. The service went well. I had started the sermon off mentioning that I had been a landscaper in Fallbrook 40 years ago. It was nice to be informed by the pastor that he wasn’t even born yet.
I had two people share some memories with me from my days as an evangelist. In Oceanside a woman came up to me and asked me if I remembered what I prayed for her. I didn’t and she asked me if I preached about garages filled of useless stuff that poured out when you opened the garage. Yes, that was me. She said I assured her that she would get married and 3 months later her future husband came to church. Now, would I pray that they have children since they hadn’t yet. We prayed. Then it was Eric, the Fallbrook pastor’s turn. He kept insinuating that I had said something special to him years ago as an evangelist. I asked him if I had said he was called to preach. He unbelievingly looked at me and wondered why I couldn’t remember what I said.
After dinner we went to a great Mexican restaurant with Eric and Monica. The deep fried avocado restaurant was closed. Finally, he let me know what I said to him: “Do you love your wife?” It turned out to be a do or die moment for him. How great it was to pray for his two sons in the service and then enjoy dinner with a smiling and happy Monica and Eric.
We got started about 11 that night to make it to the other side of LA. Uncle Knute in Madera let us know we could stay with my cousin Brett in Bakersfield. They let us know they would wait for us but when I saw the time of our departure we let them know we would catch them another time and find a motel for the night. Which we did.
We slid into East Madera for a visit with my Uncle Knute and Aunt Carol. They have a family reunion every once and a while and we are never able to attend, so I decided to make a stop on the way to Yerington. (I would sadly miss a swing to Las Vegas to see Audra and Jesus to do this). We had a great visit. I enjoy the comfort of their faith. They asked us to pick grapefruits and kumquats. We brought them home with us. I am eating the grapefruits and Joan has made kumquat candy, marmalade and a delicious chili, pepper sauce that we had on our chicken tonight. He had a boyhood friend who has a creation ministry out of Florida. So I will give Mace Baker a call about his ministry. We had a pleasant lunch and got back on the road.
He let me know I could continue up the highway to Yosemite and let them know I was traveling through and they would give me a time limit to make it for free. Things have changed; they wanted their $30. Plus the passes I was heading for were closed due to the rain/snow that had just touched California. If two Christians visiting could bring this much rain just think what could happen if we multiplied. We backtracked a bit and headed for 88 across the mountains. Things were going beautifully when I began to worry about my estimate of distance with a rental with a small gas tank. As we reached the summit towards the Nevada side my dashboard began to talk to me. First it was a warning with estimated distance and then it blanked out with just dashes. By then I was going slow and coasting whenever possible. The beauty of the mountains became shrouded in the fog of passing clouds. Turn off where I could or risk running out of gas where I couldn’t get off the road safely only to be accidently hit by a passing car in the fog. A little prayer and I opted to keep going. We hit a town that was not a town that had gas pointing in two directions . We arrived at a bar that was closed but it had a single credit card usable pump to the side. Can’t say I have ever enjoyed pumping some high priced gas as much as I did that night.
We made it to my Mom’s where we shared a turkey dinner with my two sisters Kelly and Laurie. I think I will break now and continue later.