By half-way through the next day I had decided I thoroughly liked this place a lot. The family we stayed with was a lot of fun. They were very relaxed and easy-going and open and welcoming and so hospitable. Highlights of the week?
–We’d all gather for devotions outside by the river every morning, and then the dad would send us off down the trail by ourselves for about 15 minutes with just us and God. That was definitely one of my favorite parts of the week. Somehow, it was easier to quiet my heart before God during those times than even my own quiet times. I came away refreshed and rejuvenated and more focused and that was a huge blessing.
–My brother endured 1,003 insults one day…he says he counted. The one evening he was laughing at Kay for not being able to multi-task with something she was doing. She promptly shot back, “I CAN multi-task — I can sort pictures on the laptop and shoot you at the same time!”
–The oldest kid in the family, a boy, age 14, joking about hot-wiring trucks (I think the guys were drooling over a truck — I honestly don’t understand that. Must be a girl) — “They steal a lot better with the keys in ’em.”
–Driving back from one hike with the littlest boy in the front seat beside me. Nesser: “I think you made a new friend, Lois.” Yup, that I did. He was a hilarious kid. The one morning, Nesser and I were supposed to get up to make breakfast. But he slept in. So, this charming little kid came out, and we were sitting on the swing on the front porch watching Nesser sleep (he was on the roof of the barn across the yard) when we decided we needed to take action. Now, I certainly wasn’t going to traipse over there and wake him up, so this charming kid said he’d do it. I went inside and we found him some ammunition (an ice cube) and off he went. April came out and we got our cameras and videoed the fun. Anticipated reaction was achieved. Plus more. It was worth it!
–Church!!! Definitely a highlight! Between the kid escaping from his mom and running up front, to the interaction between the pulpit and the people, to the number of songs sung, to the general informality, it felt so much like home and I loved it!
–Riding up the mountain hanging onto the back of the truck. And riding back down the same way. Wow, what an amazing view!
Peculiar things you wouldn’t find elsewhere:
–Climbing a mountain. Stopping part-way to change in a biffy that was chained to the mountain so it wouldn’t fall back. Oh, and did I mention this one didn’t have a door either? (What is WITH these people!??!!?) The angles weren’t quite so secure so Sanderly came and stood guard for me. Slightly unnerving, I must say.
–A goat coming to visit me in the biffy at the home place. Freaked me out. Noise of something/someone approaching. “I’m in here!!!” Noise continues. “Hey!! I’m here!” Noise slows, but comes closer. “Who’s there?!?” (almost panicking). Then a goat sticks his head around the corner. If I hadn’t been so relieved it was just a goat I’d probably have thrown him over the cliff!
Something I am thankful for:
–Sanderly’s life. She had a really bad allergic reaction on Saturday morning, and we raced her into the hospital. April was in the front seat, speed reading the directions for an epi-pen and I was in the back with Sanderly, trying to help her, and praying out loud because that seemed to be the only thing that would calm her down. Wasn’t really scared. I was sure she’d be fine. But then her reaction seemed to be getting worse again, and she suddenly went all limp at one point and I was afraid she was going unconscious and then Nesser’s 160 km/hr was NOT fast enough for me. But we got her to the hospital in time and after a rather tense half an hour or so she was on the mend. I haven’t been so scared since I-don’t-remember-when. That was not a fun morning. And man, did I crash when the adrenaline wore off!
One of the best things about that day, though, was when we climbed part way up a mountain later in the evening. The painkillers she’d been doped up on were wearing off, and her energy had returned and she was running and jumping and skipping and twirling and skating (minus the skates and ice) across the slope and I sat down and cried ’cause I was so happy and thankful that she was ALIVE.