Mission: Possible (Code Name: Hampton Inn)

January 21st, 2016

Wednesday, Dec. 09, 2015, 09:53 hours: Mayday distress call received from South Dakota via text message.

Transmission is as follows: I have an emergency request to have someone put the attached words on a board. I won’t be in Henderson until a week from tomorrow and our Friesen Christmas is on the 19th. My son is shipping the board he made from Austin, I should have it Friday here in South Dakota. Is this something you can fit in?

Top secret photo attached:


Distress call response:  Sure I can. Just get me the board as soon as you get to town. Do you have the dimensions so I can mess around with the layout beforehand?

Distressee response: Oh my, I DO appreciate it!!!! It’s about 19″ x 41″. I will let you know when I’m coming. Thank you!!!

Top Secret Photo decoded: Upon investigation it was discovered that subjects Ken and Carol Friesen are not, in fact, owners of an actual Hampton Inn.  Instead, it was deduced, that family members from far and wide quite often find themselves imposing on the kindness of one Ken “Shorty” Friesen and one Carol “No nickname that I know of” Friesen.  Shorty and Carol, it was discovered, happily offer up their home as a sanctuary for relatives in search of a spot to lay their weary heads and presumably eat them out of house and home. Through surveillance of subjects it was deduced that the domicile of Shorty and Carol is located in… Hampton, Nebraska. Hence the name “Hampton Inn” being used to describe their home base.

Family members determined a sign needed to be made welcoming them to “The Hampton Inn”. You know, so future “guests” would be able to easily locate this oasis in the desert (or actually, farmyard on the prairie).

Second Transmission received Friday, Dec. 11, 2015, 12:56 hours: Sign received today.

Photographic evidence provided proving that sign has now arrived in South Dakota by way of Austin, Texas…


Said evidence is soon followed by what appears to be a code that needs to be deciphered: “No explanation point though please.” After many attempts to decipher code by examining original Top Secret Photo respondee is stumped and decides to just avoid including any type of ex-CLA-mation point on the finished product.

Additional request is then received through third transmission of photographic evidence: My son was also wondering if these could be put in the lower right and left corners…


included at the bottom of the photo was a crude diagram depicting the location of additional images.

Respondee replies with following transmission: Sure can you bring those papers along when you drop off the sign?

Distressee responds: You bet!! (there… there are some “explanation” points!)

Radio silence then descends until Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015, 10:15 hours. Transmission received: Headed out in a couple hours. Do you want me to come to your work or home?? (followed by a smiley face emoji)

Respondee replies with following transmission logged in at 13:20 hours: Bring it by my house, I took the day off today. (followed by smiley face emoji wearing a surgical mask to signify that respondee called in “sick” because  “cough, cough” she had one sick day to use up before the start of the new year.)

Covert operation is officially set in motion.

Next transmission received at 15:42 hours provided location update: In Norfolk. Should be there in a couple hours.

Following a quick mental calculation of distressee’s drive-time, factoring in possible inclement weather conditions, respondee decides she has time for 15:00 hours coffee with her Design Assistants. After spending an hour downloading all variations of small town intel respondee consults device and determines it is time to head to the drop site so exchange can be made.

Respondee pulls into garage facility just as distressee pulls up in front of said facility. The exchange is made without incident (aside from respondee almost dropping “the package” on her foot which would surely have resulted in numerous broken bones) additional instructions are given. Completion date set.

Production process set in motion. Design, prepared in advance by respondee, transferred onto wooden sign. Painting is soon underway.

Next transmission from distressee received on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015 at 10:35 hours: How are you doing? Anxious. (followed by a chattering-teeth smiley face emoji)

Respondee doesn’t respond right away as she is painstakingly painting away while racing the clock in order to complete her mission on time.

Next transmission sent at 13:59 hours stating simply: It is finished. (respondee appears to be trying to do her best God imitation. she fails miserably)

Distressee replies instantaneously: Whoop!!!!!! Will you be home between 4 and 4:30? How much?

Time and location set, compensation determined, product revealed…


Distressee relieved and elated. Respondee seconds those emotions, especially since she managed to avoid breaking any bones and wasn’t assigned the mission of installing the completed sign.

Mission: Accomplished.

2 Responses to “Mission: Possible (Code Name: Hampton Inn)”

  1. LaDonna Miller Says:

    Keri, you are so creative–in writing and signage!! It was so fun to give it to Ken and Carol!! They certainly deserve it!!

  2. Emily Says:

    Wow!! Just saw this!! Love!!

Leave a Reply