Denvy and Gail thought it would be fun to
mimic the European trip of '94 but with some brothers and sisters. The
invitation went out and George and Karen bought into the idea. They met
in London on a hot muggy August day with nothing on their minds but to
find a place to rest until they flew to Germany. The pre-arranged hotel
was not air-conditioned and was very minimal in accomodations.
Germany they visited the Saxowsky descendants and Marc's German foster
parents who gave them a tour of villages and a farm in northern Germany.
In Lahde, the source of most Saxowskys they explored their ancestoral
home. Around Kolberg they climbed the steeple of the church of great
grandfather Birkmaier. In Lichtenstein they sought out the castle and the Wagners,
relatives of Karen's family. After driving hard and planning the entire
trip around a four-hour annual opening of the castle, they missed it by an hour.
However, they did accidently meet a Wagner in the parking garage which
made the day a grand one.
This also was the year for a Cameron/McLean
Reunion in Minnesota. All the Saxowskys were in attendance, except for the spouses Tina and Adam, plus Darron's biological mother, Joan. The setting was a Methodist camp about an hour from Minneapolis with a lake and all the toys for playing in or on the water. Songs were sung around the campfire and worship was in the chapel on Sunday morning. Again it was a reunion without either of Gail's parents, and as time would tell, the last with all the siblings.
A Couple Mission Trips
In keeping with the tradition of doing annual mission trips and trying to balance trips far and near, the mission trip for this summer was to paint the Methodist church in Dundee. It stood on the main highway between Portland and points south and was badly in need of paint. A group of some 24 cleaned the building one day and painted it the next including the steeple with the help of a couple young friends who painted professionally in the past.
Late in August a major hurricane named Katrina hit Mississippi and New Orleans essentially destroyed everything along the coast including a church where the minister of Chirst's Church was married. The idea of going to Mississippi, Gautier to be exact, was born and in December two groups under the leadership of Denvy and Gail helped clean and rebuild houses. This trip was followed by three more such trips.