June 2013 Recollections

What a busy spring we had (can you believe it’s summer already?)!  We’ve already had some wonderful road trips and met lots of wonderful people.

If you follow us on Facebook (you do like us on Facebook, right?), you probably have been reading the interesting journey we’ve had with our friend Mal.  (If not, here’s a post that will give you an idea of what’s been going on.)  During the month of June, we made a number of trips to different hospitals and assisted-livings; it was a roller coaster ride with cancer, surgery, and recovery.  Mom has given much time and energy to assist Mal, and though he is recovering his strength, his dementia is progressing rapidly.  We do appreciate your prayers for him and our family during this season.

Visiting our friend Mal.

Visiting our friend Mal.

One of the most exciting happenings in June was the arrival of Jayme’s new mandolin.  She sold her violins that she had outgrown and used the money to purchase a Loar LM-500.  She is thrilled to finally have her own mandolin (and is already becoming a better picker than I am)!

Jayme's new mandolin (she sold her old violins to buy it).

Jayme’s new mandolin (she sold her old violins to buy it).

The weather finally warmed in June, and of course, warm weather means working and playing outside!  With the wonderful rain we have been receiving, our lawn has been demanding numerous “mowings”.  At least once a week, Dad, Ben, and Sam fuel up the mowers and spend the day cutting grass (and dandelions).  The only downside to the warmth and rain are the mosquitoes.  Eek!  They have been particularly nasty.  We have also enjoyed playing games of “Horse” with the “new” basketball hoop Dad recently hung up.  Our grandpa gave us his old hoop earlier this spring – the same one much smaller versions of Ben, Leesha, and I tried used to shoot hoops with – and Dad mounted it on our garage.  Sam, Jayme, and Caleb (or as they call themselves, “The Pioneers”) can often be found having some serious basketball games!

Tis the season for outdoor sports!

Tis the season for outdoor sports!

June found the Glory Bus heading into northern, southern, and western Minnesota…and even into Wisconsin!  We enjoyed going to several new churches and sharing brand new songs.  Our first stop for the month was at Hosanna Lutheran Church in Mankato, MN.  It is our grandpa’s home church, and he’s been wanting to get us there for quite some time.  So, Cindy Rupp, Hosanna’s extremely talented music director (seriously, she’s probably the best piano player in Minnesota!), invited us to sing during worship on June 8th and 9th.  Grandpa couldn’t have been any more excited! 🙂  Despite a dying water pump on ole Glory, we made it safely to Mankato and had an absolutely delightful weekend.  It was refreshing to worship with and minister to the people of Hosanna!  And it was great to spend time with grandparents, 1st and 2nd cousins, and other family members.  Grandpa took us out to eat at Old Country Buffet on Saturday and wowee, was that good – and filling!

Here’s a video of Sam, Jayme, and Caleb sharing “Boundless Love” (one of the songs on our new CD, “Out Front”) at Hosanna:

Regrettably, I didn’t get any pictures at our next stop, Living Savior Lutheran Church in Nisswa, MN, but we had fun meeting up with friends we have gotten to know over the years!  Thanks to Dick and Mavis Erickson for inviting us up again, and special thanks to Mayor James Wallin for the brats and beans – they were fantastic!

We had sound issues before the concert in Nisswa, and we decided that we needed to set-up our equipment in our house to E-Q the troubling frequencies.  So, for the next couple of days our home was filled with all our sound equipment.  It had been years since we practiced with microphones and speakers, so it was a very beneficial time for us.

We spent the weekend of June 22nd and 23rd in Wisconsin for the Blessed Assurance Gospel Fest.  Linda and Kurt Holtz hosted the event and we were glad to be able to attend this year again – thanks Linda and Kurt for asking us to come!  Also at the fest were The Herrlinger Family, Gary Froiland, Almost There, Rich Eberly, and Cindy Begert.  It was enjoyable to visit with friends we’ve made over the years.

That Sunday morning we sang at Wesley United Methodist Church in Marshfield, WI; what a fun, supportive congregation!  It was a special opportunity to join them in worship.  Pastor Joel Deaner-Rogers and his family were great to meet and talk with.  We hope to come again soon!  (And thanks for the rolls and mugs, y’all!)

Pastor Bob Benard invited us this year to come back to Eagle Bend Assembly of God, Eagle Bend, MN the weekend of June 29th and 30th, and we were excited to return.  For one thing, Pastor Bob makes the best grilled pork chops ever (his secret is his secret seasoning!), and for another, the folks are so kind and encouraging.  There was a community concert on Saturday evening, and we sang during worship on Sunday.  Mom and I even played piano for a couple of congregational songs!

Here is a photo gallery highlighting the concerts I mentioned above.  Enjoy:

We look forward to meeting you somewhere along the journey!  God’s blessings to you today and always!

“Good and upright is the Lord; therefore He instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble His way. All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.” (Psalm 25:8-10)

 

The TGF Blogger (aka Taylor)
 
Respectfully submitted by
The TGF Blogger (aka Taylor)
Pictures taken by Taylor and Jayme
 
 
 
 

Pictorial Recollections (December 2012)

The Garms Family blogger was slow to post this picture post of memories from December, but enjoy the photos anyway!

Also, thank you to everyone who submitted captions for this silly photo!  To read all the captions, click here, and check out the winning one below!

Was that Scott Fowler who just walked by?

“Was that Scott Fowler who just walked by?” (Caption submitted by Daniel Mount)

The 2013 concert season kicks off next week at First Baptist Church in Baxter, MN, so be sure to visit our calendar to see when we’ll be in your area!

Pictorial Recollections (November 2012)

Since I don’t have as much time (or motivation!) to write out entire reviews of our past concerts like I used to, I thought I’d instead share some pictorial memories from our November engagements.  (Pictures say a thousand words, right?)  🙂

Enjoy!

Blessings and Joy in the Journey!

Taylor for The Garms Family

 (Click on the photos for a larger view.)

The Great Alternator Saga

Yesterday, I posted these 147 characters on our Twitter account:

But, 147 characters are not sufficient enough to explain the craziest day in the history of our band!

This week, after returning home from the Midwest Quartet Convention, Dad discovered that the Glory Bus’s alternator had failed.  (Mind you, this is the very same alternator which replaced the one that went bad back in June.)  Since the warranty was still applicable, Dad got another alternator on order, which arrived on Saturday – the day before we left for a concert in Duluth, Minnesota.

Saturday afternoon and evening found Dad working hard repairing the bus…and then he discovered a washer/spacer that needed to be removed from the alternator to fit properly on the bus.  Unfortunately, the Braham NAPA store was closed at the time, and would not open until the next day.

Late Sunday morning revealed the news that the alternator Dad was trying to install on Saturday had failed, new out of the box.  So another trip to another NAPA was required.  Dad and Mom were at the second NAPA for almost an hour and half, waiting for the man to pry the washer/spacer off the third alternator, which they then took back to Braham’s  NAPA to have it tested.

Mom and Dad prayed and held their breath as the the third alternator was put on the machine.  Would you believe the third alternator out of the box…failed?

Okay.  So the Glory Bus was out.  It was not moving from Quail Street.  Plan B was to use Mal’s old pickup truck and tow the trailer, while those who did not fit in the truck would ride in a different vehicle.  Ben went to start the truck while Dad and Mom were on their way home.  He had a sneaky suspicion, and sure enough, it was confirmed when the truck did not start.

It was time for Plan C.

Now, I should mention that the concert in Duluth had been rescheduled from a date in August because we couldn’t make it.  Our Glory Bus’s alternator belt had been destroyed, and all of our other vehicles were handicapped as well.  So we knew we had to make this concert.  Rain, snow, sleet, or hail…well, you get the point.

Plan C turned out to be raiding the trailer and evaluating what we could or could not do without for a concert, and then stuffing what we could into two cars.  Monitors, wires, microphones, guitar, keyboard, mandolin, harmonicas (by Sam’s request!), and a few other assorted items were squished into the small trunks of our ancient Mercury Topaz and Toyota Tercel, and whatever did not fit in the trunks was piled between the seats.

So, the Garms Family took off – later than expected – with Dad, Mom, Leesha, and Sam in the Mercury and Ben, Jayme, Caleb, and myself in the Toyota.  We had visions of tire blowouts all the way, but aside from noticing several dead creatures alongside Interstate 35 and seeing blue smoke coming from the Mercury’s exhaust early in our travel, the trip north was wonderfully uneventful.

Once we arrived at Emmanuel Baptist Church and were greeted by Pastor Dave, the fun began trying to figure out how to set-up our “sound system”.  The original plan was to plug into the church’s board and use their main speakers, but (you guessed it!) their board was gone for repairs!

Dad, Ben, and Pastor Dave finally figured out how to make it work: We’d use our monitors as main speakers (raised up on hymnals) and use our piano monitor and one of the church’s small speakers as our monitors.  It certainly was unique, but we were pleasantly surprised to find it worked great!

The concert at 6:30 p.m. was the most interesting we have ever experienced (other than our state fair experience – but don’t ask us about that one!).  Ben and I were the main instrumentalists, with he on guitar and me on the piano for almost all the concert.  Sam covered a few harmonica solos, Dad played guitar on a song, and I played the mandolin on our opener.  We sang many of our standbys with minimal instruments, and it was very different to say the least!  We did toss in a few previously unrehearsed songs, like “I Will Magnify the Lord” (a Capella) and Sam, Jayme, and Caleb’s arrangement of “Amazing Grace” (whew – that brought tears to my eyes!  And the congregation’s singing on the last verse was outstanding!).  Though there were a few people who were disappointed by not seeing all our instruments, many people enjoyed the simplicity of the program, and the message still came out loud and clear.

After the concert, we enjoyed fellowshippin’ with many friends we hadn’t seen for a while, and even got to meet some relatives (our grandpa’s cousin and his wife)!  That was very special to us.

But…the night wasn’t over yet.

When it was time to load up the cars, Dad went to start the Mercury.

Nothing.

He tried again.

Absolutely nothing.

We couldn’t believe it.  By then, most everyone had left, except for our friends Steve and Rose Oswell and Pastor Dave.  Steve went out to help Dad while we all stood in disbelief and prayed.  Dad and Steve determined that the Mercury’s battery had died, so Steve drove Dad and Mom up to Wal-mart to get a new battery while Rose and we kids hung out at the church and ate our packed suppers (and then later solved the world’s problems with Pastor Dave!).

By the time the new battery was installed, it was getting late.  We thanked our friends for their amazing kindness and patience – what a blessing!

The trip back home started.  We were a little anxious because of the huge amount of deer alongside the road…and let’s just say, when one almost stepped in front of the Toyota, we were really nervous!  But God protected us on our journey home, and we made it to Braham safely.

Yes, it was a B.A.D. day – Battery, Alternator, Duluth – but God preserved us through it all.  Though Satan was trying everything to discourage us and keep us from singing, God triumphed!  We praise Him for His goodness, and we do ask for your continued prayers for our family.  Now more than ever we have been battling discouragement because of many different circumstances, but we need to keep our eyes focused on the Lord!  (And thanks to all who prayed yesterday for our family; we certainly needed it!)

“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.” 1 Peter 4:12-13

Below are some pictures from the ordeal yesterday – enjoy!

Blessings and Joy in the Journey!

Taylor for TGF

P.S. As of 12:14 a.m. (which means it is now October 23rd, and yes, I know it’s late!), we have now discovered the Mercury’s brand new battery from Sunday night is DEAD.  So the saga continues to continue…  🙂

And, apologies for the pictures being still small when you click on them – I’m still trying to troubleshoot that issue!