Daily Grat: A Late Night at IHOP

Maria had a gymnastics meet in Corinth last night. Corinth used to be a sleepy little town in the middle of nowhere. It was, arguably, the most rural part of the journey between Dallas and Denton. Now, it’s really just a suburb of Denton. It also used to be the turnoff for Lake Sharon, which used to be the retreat center HPUMC used to own.

That’s a whole lot of “used to be-s.” But I suppose that’s how the place feels to me…a strangely and vague reminder of a used-to-be part of life.

Anyway, the meet ran late. VERY late. We didn’t get out of there until about 11:30. We decided to grab a midnight breakfast at IHOP, remembering that I’d seen one at the very intersection that used to be the sleepy turnoff for Lake Sharon. (Now, it’s just a busy suburban strip mall…)

What could go wrong at the Corinth IHOP at midnight?

Turns out, the yearly ROTC dance. It was apparently a two-school dance and apparently every single couple who attended converged on that IHOP about two minutes after we came in the door.

The dining room went from us and three other tables, to packed to the rafters with a couple of hundred teenagers.

It was a little crazy. And yet, it was awesome too. A great late night moment with my girls.

And for this, even though we didn’t get home until after one, I am thankful.

(During this year, my goal is to find something new to be thankful for every single day, and to add that thanksgiving as a blog entry, under the title “My Daily Gratitude.” I started this kick back around Thanksgiving, and it’s already resulted in a favorite new song of mine. The goal of this ongoing spiritual exercise is to see if doing such a thing might inspire even more gratitude within me, and to foster general awareness of life on a deeper level.)


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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He is Senior Pastor of The Woods United Methodist Church in Grand Prairie, Texas. For seventeen years, he was pastor at Northaven UMC in Dallas, Texas. Eric is an avid blogger and published author. Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy.

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