Sunday, October 12, 2014

And then ...

... and then we got up early on Sunday morning and flew back to BC.

I went directly from the Vancouver airport (at 7 pm) to Chilliwack to pick up Vern (my friend from Bible School, a hundred and seventy two years ago). We met in a Starbuck's parking lot at 9 pm, stopped in at Safeway to get groceries and arrived at the lake at 10:30 pm.

From the beach at Clearwater to the beach at Cultus in 12 hours; tired, but oh so happy.

I warned her that I likely wouldn't be getting up before noon, which she totally anticipated. So thankful for friends who have tolerate my sleeping-in habits.

And when I got up in the morning, (erhm, noon), I found her on the beach... with her camera, in awe of our mountains. As per usual. (These prairie folk just love our mountains.)

Personally, my love of beaches usually leans more toward those with white sand and turquoise water. But this beach? My beach? Holds a special place in my heart.

Especially when it's this calm:

Her and I walked along the creek, And oh my goodness, it's the absolute best way to experience the fall.

In about a month all those leaves will have fallen and the path will be a thick carpet of golden leaves. I am looking forward to kicking my way through them.

I love BC.

Anyway, it was time to eat. So we made wraps. And ate them on the deck. And, man. SO good. (Every. Single. Part. of this day was stellar.)

The sun came out from behind the clouds so we moved to the lawn.

And chased the sun across the lawn all afternoon, finally settling on the beach:

.... where we tanned and talked for hours.
It was Monday October 6 and she was getting a burn. From the sun. In October. (I wasn't. Burning, that is. Because, Hello. My skin is tough. Like leather. And I'd just gotten back from sitting on the beach in Florida where it was 90 degrees.)

But still.
It was hot.
And perfect.

And it was Oct 6.

And there are days when I feel like the luckiest person alive.
This was one of those days.

The last time Vern and I were together was almost five years ago.
Totes didn't matter.

Her: We have so little time to visit. I hope we don't waste it on shallow, superficial talk.
Me: So we're not going to talk about fashion or diets? EXCELLENT.

And then we dove right in to the deep end of the conversation pool.
Where we floated for a few hours.

And then.
Then, I'd invited Sherry and Lori to join us for supper.
They were in our unit at Bible school too.

I've been in touch with both of them, but none of them had been in touch with each other.
So, it could've been awful and awkward.
Or awesome.

And it was ALL kinds of pure awesome sauce,

Sherry offered to bring supper.
Because she's kind and good and helpful and a great cook.

And Lori brought some dessert.

And I got to benefit from their generosity, by having only to contribute a table and chairs for the meal.

Choose your friends wisely in your youth, and they will bless you with salads and cupcakes in your old age.
I think that's a proverb.

Such a rich evening.
These women?
Are real.

I am honored to know each of them.
The love passionately and care deeply.

Between the four of us, we've been touched by/experienced/dealt with divorce, death, drug addiction, alcoholism, abuse, suicide. Our parents, husbands, children and grandchildren have brought great joy and crippling pain. So, we're completely normal is what I'm saying.

And the results of that joy and pain?
So much wisdom.
So much experience.
So much love.
So much emotion.

So much acceptance.

Women are pretty amazing.
I think we just get better and better with age.
Little things just don't matter anymore.

So we visited til midnight.

And then the next morning Vern and I got up when it was still nightime so that I could get her to the Abbotsford airport for her early flight home.

From there I went straight to work, arriving earlier than I ever have in the history of working there.
We were having a Thanksgiving Potluck lunch, that day, but because I hadn't been home in 10 days, and still living out of my suitcase, I just took and didn't contribute. Loser.

And during the meal, with 50 people all sitting at long tables in the staff room, we stopped to sing the Doxology. In harmony.

And it did me right in.
I couldn't sing along. (Well, I can't sing in the best of circumstances, regardless.) (In fact, I'd been told by two different people (who previously only knew me online), in the past two days that my voice was way lower than they expected it to be.) But on this day, I was just too overwhelmed with feelings of gratefulness (and likely fatigue) to even hum along, that I blinked back tears and choked on emotion while everyone else sang like angels.

Praise god from whom all blessings flow 
Praise him all creatures here below
Praise him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Dear God.

You're spoiling me.
With things. And people. And circumstances. And this life.
I am just overwhelmed at times.

Terrible, horrible, very bad things are happening on the other side of this world, and I just have so many good things happening on my side.

Could you be with those who are suffering and scared? Can they please have a run of good days like I've been having. Can they please experience friendship and love and laughter and good food and great conversations and could they be overwhelmed with gratefulness too?

God. Thank you for this life.


Three things I'm thankful for:

1. Yellow leaves
2. Sherry's cabbage salad
3. Cupcakes from Traci cakes


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