Camp Lutherhaven's New Cabin Project

Posted by Big Papa | | Posted On Sunday, October 30, 2011 at 6:50 PM

The last three weekends we've tried to spend as much time as possible in Southern Indiana helping James and Shel on their house.  I love that type of work and have really enjoyed the time there.  However I received an email from Jim Berning asking for volunteers to help with the construction of the first of several new cabins being planned at Camp Lutherhaven.  I told Verna I thought I needed to give some time to Camp also, so Friday afternoon I left to ride my motorcycle over to Camp. I planned on spending the night and helping with construction on Saturday.  Before I left I told Verna that there was only one thing better than a motorcycle ride and that was a motorcycle ride to camp.  I had a great ride over there the fall colors along route 24 were spectacular.

This is what we started with early Saturday morning.  A good sized crew with a slab and a pile of lumber.

By the end of the day this is what we had come together.  It's actually going to be three cabins under one roof.

By the end of the day the crew had shrunk down to only four of us left and I was thinking that I needed to get on the road headed back to Lafayette, but I stuck around and helped clean-up and pick-up all the tools.  Before I left I jokingly commented to Jim that I was going to head of into the sunset.  As soon as I got out on the open road I was immediately rewarded with one of the best sunsets that I've seen in quite some time.  I thought to myself that I should stop and take a picture, but then I thought no this is my reward from Delia just between me and her, kind of like she was saying "Thanks Papa I know some of my cousins will enjoy that new cabin one of these days.

Oh yea, before I left I texted Verna to let her know I would be on my way.  I sent a message saying the only thing better than a motorcycle ride is a motorcycle ride that leads me back to you!  She replied yea, yea.  Not so sure that she believed that line, but it was great to be back home in a warm house.

Delia Jean Rockhill

Posted by Big Papa | | Posted On Monday, August 29, 2011 at 12:01 PM

It is with a heavy heart today that I think about God finishing the chapter about our dear Granddaughter's time here on earth. 8 months is such a short time for her to have made such an impact on our lives. Of course we are very saddened by the loss that we've experienced but the optimist in me won't let me stay sad for long as it amazes me to look back over this time and see how evident it was that God was very much present through this whole ordeal. Time and time again things would just fall into place and just work out better than if we would have been trying to make our own plans.


The service for Delia was amazing and just one of the many things that will live on in our memories of this special child of God.
I feel honored to have been able to have a small part of it with her eulogy and I just wanted to share that small part with those who were not able to attend.


HI, for those of you who may not know me my name is Mike Vandercar, I am Michele’s father.  I’m also proud to say that I am Papa to six lovely granddaughters and one grandson, I’m still hopeful of that boy girl ratio being improved as my wife Verna and I are anxiously awaiting the arrival of another grandbaby early next year.

My grandchildren have gotten to know me as quite a storyteller which I enjoy very much even though I can’t get Levi to believe all the stories I tell them.

With this said I would like to tell a true story to my newest Granddaughter Delia.   Some of you may already know this story but I would welcome you to listen in, for if this story had not unfolded the way that it has we would not be here today.

Once upon a time there were  two young people we will call them Mike, the son of Robert & Helen Jean Vandercar, and Verna the daughter of Albert & Verna Elser, my mother-in-law who I’m happy to say is with us here today.  One day Mike said to Verna “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me” and asked her to marry him.  She said Yes, “I Will”.

The next thing you know they had three sons, Joshua, Luke & David.  Just when they thought that their family was complete God surprised them with another child, Michele, affectionately known to me as “Michele My Belle”  and what a blessing she was to this young family.

Mike went off to work and Verna stayed home to raise their family, that’s what you did in those days.  Michele’s dream for the future was to grow up and be a Mom just like her Mom.  Seasons passed until one day Michele met the love of her life one summer at Camp Lutherhaven.  This relationship flourished and faltered but eventually took root and lead us to August 2, 2008 one of the most bittersweet days of our lives as we gave up our little girl to James Rockhill so that they could start their new life together.

Again time marched on as it always does and soon Michele & James announced that they were going to add to our list of grandchildren and the next thing we knew we were headed to Georgia to welcome Eliza June into this world.

After several visits to Georgia we got the news of a deployment to the other side of the world and shortly after that news of more grandbabies on the way in Indiana, Minnesota and Korea.  Unfortunately as my father once said “God does not always want the old dried up flowers, sometimes he takes the first blooms”  We lost our Minnesota grandbabies as some of the first blooms and shortly thereafter learned of the plans that God had in store for Delia also.

As heartbreaking as this was for us the many “Words of Love” shared has helped us to remember that this is truly God’s plan and even though we do not and may never know his purpose we will openly accept it and “With a Little Help From My Friends”, which I’ll paraphrase to say with a lot of help from our dear friends and family, we will persevere and get through these troubling times.

Now I would like to direct my words towards my newest Grandbaby Delia,  Oh how I wish that I could hold you on my lap and tell you how much your Mommy and Daddy love you and how much they have done for you but it is not to be.  I will have to rely on my dear friend Jesus to hold you on his lap and tell you a true story of the best Mommy and Daddy that he gave to you.

Delia please know that Nana and Papa love you very much and are looking forward to meeting you and spending eternity with you in God’s house.

Just me and the dogs!!

Posted by Big Papa | | Posted On Tuesday, July 5, 2011 at 6:19 PM

Early in the weekend I was thinking of making a post on the fourth stating that  Maggs, Macy, Georgia and I were the only ones in our immediate family that are still in Indiana to celebrate the holiday.  Well....they didn't do much celebrating.  Between the thundershowers and the fireworks they spent pretty much the whole weekend hovering around me.

Finally on Monday evening I put them all in their crates, hopped on my bike and went downtown to enjoy some of the celebration.

I started at D.T. Kirby's, what has become one of our favorite watering holes, for a 32 oz. Old Style and a sandwich that they call the Wedge.  Hot turkey, ham, and roast beef with motzerella, grilled onions and green peppers on homemade bread.  Yummy good.

Then a short walk down to Riehle Plaza to see the Lafayette Citizens Band and the Freedom Singers in a Stars & Stripes Celebration.

Which also included a performance by the Tippecanoe Fife & Drum Corps.

The whole time wishing that Nana would have laid out an outfit like this for me to wear so that I could have taken center stage dancing with this party-goer.

The dogs were fine in their crates with the stereo blasting so that they could not hear the fireworks and all in all it was a good weekend.

Heaven Is For Real

Posted by Big Papa | | Posted On Sunday, February 6, 2011 at 4:31 AM

In bed listening to the Lutheran Hour this morning Pastor Klaus ended his sermon with the song Precious Lord. I knew the day was coming close, so I came down and got on my computer to reminisce for a moment on some of Nancy's, the memory keepers, blog. After reading her Feb. 9, 2010 post I had to make one more additional comment. Heaven Is For Real and thanks to Jesus someday we will be together again.