How blessed I am to feel that I have several homes scattered about throughout the Northwest! Although I am quick to claim this specific town in Washington as my true home, anywhere I gather with my family (or “family in Christ” as so many others are to me!), I can consider a home. I do long for the day when our homes won’t be separated by such distance, but in the meantime, an hour on the plane isn’t too long of a trip to go visit southern Idaho and the people that mean the most to me down there. And like every visit when it comes to an end, we all heave a little sigh, and wish it could have lasted even longer.
This time, I was able to see not only the oldest sister and her family, but also sister number four, who until recently, I was able to see with greater regularity … now, I must wait for visits like these to see her again. But it was such a joyous, laughter and love filled visit … with the brown-headed nephews I’ve grown up with since age 5, the brother-in-law whom I can’t not remember being in my life, and my two very dear red-headed sisters, so unique in their personalities, yet similar to me in so many small ways.
I smile over the little nuggets that gleam in my memory – of a small, husky two-year old voice asking “what’s happening?” or “where’s Lydia?” or “I want a piece of cake” as he lugs the cake container into the living room … of solving math problems with my favorite fourth grader – having him beat me at Mancala – and having him hope that the lights go out during a hail storm so that “we won’t have to eat any yucky food.” 😉 The two older boys, now like my brother, consuming more food than I can believe is quite possible – taking “nose-picking” pictures of me – “teaching” me chess (how I have been ruined forever – thank you Miguel!) – giving us classroom antics – and delighting us the only way boys know how … 😀
Joy – forever baking – things that I cannot resist, for they are so delicious … sweetly singing around the house … chatting over afternoon coffee and watching “Enchanted” together … going for a late morning walk or a trip to WalMart … Ezequiel insisting that he’s not cheating at ImaginIff, and being the patient camera man for myne & Vicki’s pictures, since open-eyed pictures are somewhat difficult for Vicki to accomplish (and there is nothing strange about my spellings, by the way, Ezequiel!). Discussions about the word “disaster” and games of tag on Facebook … our game of Settlers which lasted 3 days – which Joy finally won! … and all the other thousands of conversations tucked in there about random things – the subjects which we may have forgotten now, but which knitted our hearts together in love.
And of course, there was the beautiful (albeit freezing) walk with Vicki through the most gorgeous historic neighborhood you’ve ever seen! Down a boulevard simply reeking with personality, charm, character, and history … a place I can only dream of living someday. And the cozy lunch at a bistro after church on Sunday – warming our insides while the outside was a whirlwind of wind, cold, and random snowflakes … rich, warm conversation peppered our time together – in Vicki’s cute little apartment while she industriously cooked away (I need to learn to follow in my sisters’ footsteps!) …
Hot tea, pieces of cakes or chocolate chip cookies, good books and movies that make you smile – fun games and plenty of laughter (although don’t ever let me drive a car/truck with an e-brake down by the gas pedal again!) – the warmth and comfort that only come from family ~ these are the things I cherish in my heart above all else, and which bring tonic and rest to my busy, hurried life. I couldn’t possibly love them more.