But Kevin and Sharon were going to be installed as Lead Pastor couple at Coastal Hills Community Church at 10:30 am, so I hauled my butt out of bed and drove around Cloverdale looking for their meeting place.
I finally let Google maps direct me and I got there just in time to find one of the few empty seats down the centre aisle right in the front. Exactly my favourite spot to sit in a brand new environment where I only know one family and they'll be busy getting commissioned on stage.
Seriously. You'd think that after 20 years of going to places alone, it would get easier. Hell no. Every. Single. Time. I have to pep talk myself against turning around and driving home.
Anyway, two seconds after the service started, I was being hugged by behind from a friend from the olden days. Like, olden, olden, days. Haha. And then two worship songs later, her husband, whom I went to high school with, tapped me on the shoulder and gave me a hug too. Turns out, I knew a few folks there. And they all were in huggy moods.
And then I got super lucky and had the privilege of being able to hold this little angel for a few minutes...
She is so very sweet.
Then, seeing it's right in the same neighbourhood, and it just seemed like the right thing to do - I stopped in to sit with my dad for a few minutes.
He loved Kevin and would've been at this service today, had he been able to/still been alive.
If people in heaven have the option of watching us bungle around on earth, I think he would've been cheering Kevin on.
It would've been his 80th birthday on May 18.
And today was my brother's birthday.
This was my first visit to the graveside.
I don't think of him as being here, at all. He's in heaven. Telling stories. And making things with a Holy router, smelling like sawdust.
Memories of him abound up at the lake, or over at the farm. And even in the house I'm living in.
This was very pleasant, but not terribly meaningful.
From here, I went over to the mall.
It was drizzly when I got dressed at 9 am.
But the sky was clearing and the black pants, brown boots I had on were all wrong.
The mall was packed and hot. And I was uncomfortable x 1000.
I returned two bathing suits, then bought some sleeveless tops and a pair of rhinestone-y heeled flip flops. And some flat white shoes and an over-the-shoulder/cross-body bag to hold my camera and passport. And brought my camera and neck strap over to London Drugs to ask them to attach it for me. She talked me into getting a wrist strap instead, which she put on for me. And then I got an adapter and a bunch of $1 chocolate bars. And luggage tags. And travel size tooth paste and other misc toiletries and my feet were on fire and my legs were boiling hot and I still had more stores to go to. Like Sephora, for make-up, which was 100 degrees with all those lights. And the afternoon seemed to take forever. Because, MALL.
And I really hate shopping. So much walking carrying bags and a purse, and legs in pants and feet in boots and sigh.
I eventually made it home and immediately removed all unnecessary outerwear and my room looked like this:
I was going to go out for dinner with Drew and Danica, so I called to see where we were meeting and he said, "We're coming over to your place instead."
Me: OK. Am I cooking? What do you want?
Him: Let's order pizza.
And then SURPRISE! They all them showed up.
And they brought me a gift.
A new camera.
For my trip. (And my birthday.)
(Was important to them that I have the latest equipment.)
You should hear the shutter on this baby.
So I took many pictures.
And they put up with me making that shutter clunk 100 times in 15 minutes.
Pizza and wings for supper.
And then I brought up all my $1 chocolate bars (intended for the plane ride) which we ate for dessert, while we played Scattegories.
And then the mosquitoes came out, so everyone went home and I cleaned my room and started packing. It's now 4 am.
I am an idiot.
Three things I'm thankful for:
1, These people in my family.
2. Sunny evening after a morning of wet.
3. Full day overflowing with Very Good Things.
4. My new camera.