Life Chronicles · Memories

A Summer in Retrospect

It’s only the second day of September, but the weather has obediently responded with the correct overtures of fall weather just waiting to happen. I always think it’s that much cozier to light my candle in the morning if there’s rain pitter-pattering outside my window. 🙂

And as autumn approaches, I feel like I finally have time to catch my breath and realize that yes – summer 2013 happened – and now it’s over in a flurry. What was that all about?

Well, it was about suffocating (but rewarding!) busyness at the beginning as I went through the first week of camp and finished up details for the HYPE Conference with Josh. Then away our group went down to Expo 2013 in Santa Cruz for a crazy blur of days spent with CYT-ers from all over the country. And another HYPE Conference was led – another set of memories was made – and then we were whisked off on our plane home just barely in time (rental cars, upset stomachs and all!).

Then it was about that first day in nine months where I didn’t have to get anything done – no deadlines, no homework, no projects – and I could choose to do whatever I very well pleased. And what I pleased was running through the sprinklers with six-year old nephew Theo, then watching “Monsters, Inc.” (me for the first time!) and eating ice cream in the fort we built around the computer.

It was also about the family reunion which happened that next week of summer. Still a bit hectic, since I was in charge of planning the schedule and activities, but loads of fun to bond with sisters, parents, grandparents, brothers-in-law, nieces and nephews. I love our sense of humor, our traditions, our games, and all the nylon-over-the-head pictures (facelifts!) that we laugh over for days.

And then it was about two weeks of respite … weeks where we still had camps, but the evenings were mine to cherish, soak in, and just be.

… which all quickly went away when the four-week summer theater intensive began at Eastern. There were days when I nearly lost my mind from 7-8 hour days at camp then straight to 5-hour nights of theater class … but thank the Lord for my steady support team of camp staff members who graciously stepped in to hold me together. I think I’ve never appreciated such an amazing group of friends to work with quite so much as I did this summer. Camp days may have been long and stressful, but that staff team made it all worth it.

Summer intensive was incredible, though. So worth it to spend my nights out at the EWU Theater with those 13 other thespians who taught me more about theater than I could have dreamed. They made my potentially last experience with Eastern theatre a beautiful one … from rolling around on the floor warming up our voices, to actually crying real tears onstage, to Jeff & Dianna teaching me how to walk through the experience, to getting extremely close with everyone!, to all my scene partners who truly made my scenes and song come alive like never before onstage. It was a privilege to work with them all.

And the last part that summer was all about was HYPE Retreat up at Priest Lake for three gorgeous days, then a quick weekend trip to Wisconsin for a wedding of a dear Capernwray friend whom I haven’t seen in 5 years … then a week of recuperation – and now I’m here!

Summers … no matter how busy and full they are … they’re always such a blessing. The long days and cool nights driving home from Cheney with windows rolled down … the random adventures like Harry Potter nights & blanket forts at Paden’s … the reconnecting with friends gone at college for the rest of the year … adventures with Maggie chasing down possible pedophiles in the park! … donuts in the morning at camp … sweet little campers who squeeze your hand tight [and won’t let go of you at the last camp!], give you back massages, and tell you they’ll remember you forever … painting your nails coral with some Norwegian friends you just met … singing in a field around 10pm under a full moon … scribbling character descriptions in a layover at the airport (and making up stories in your head about people sitting next to you on the plane 😉 … going on secret agent spy missions in the backyard with a round-eyed, excited nephew … singing at the top of our lungs downtown with Haliey as we left the Bing … successfully riding a tandem bike for the first time with Christina – and planning our futures in Manito Park 🙂 … Coeur d’Alene dates with Danika for walks through the park, gourmet pizza, and MARY POPPINS onstage! … ponytails … exploding nail polish … filming epic videos with your friends with just a little bit of war paint and a torch … passion iced-tea lemonades … and spontaneous game nights and piggy-back rides.

And I started a new quote book. You know why I love quotes so much? Someone once called my quote book a “scrapbook of words” – and it’s true. I collect little bits of life in words, and when I look back on them, they remind me of moments in time I would have forgotten otherwise.

Scotty: Brian, if you could describe that deep-friend Twinkie in three words, what would you say?
(after much deliberation)
Brian: I only have one word. ‘Murica.

Jessica B: I don’t care how your day went, because I know your soul already.

Morgan (being an usher at “Hairspray”): We’re going to ush people!
Havalah: We’re going to ush better than Usher because we’re more dedicated. The DJ has them falling in love on the dance floor, but we have them falling in love in the theater! We’ll ush our way into their hearts.

Lydia (teaching stage fighting with Scotty at camp): You can slap someone who’s taller than you. I’ve done it before.
Camper: How many boyfriends have you DUMPED???

or at HYPE Retreat:
Morgan: You like applesauce. He likes applesauce. It was meant to be.
Landon: Get in the car, loser. We’re getting married.

or in good books:
“In life, the hardest decisions often have to be made more than once. But each time, it gets easier.” (from “Icefall” by Matthew J. Kirby)

or from famous people whom I respect:
“He has chosen not to heal me, but to hold me. The more intense the pain, the closer His embrace.” (Joni Eareckson Tada)

But the best one was from my favorite blog … from author Ann Voskamp who reminded me just why I did what I did this summer:

“You are doing something great with your life – when you’re doing all the small things with His Great Love.
“You are changing the world – when you are changing one person’s world.
“You aren’t missing your best life – when you aren’t missing opportunities to love like Christ.
“The answer to everything is relationship.”

And so help me, God … I pray that’s what my life is always defined by. Thank you for a beautiful summer … now I lay it to rest in the box of memories.

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