Saturday, January 18, 2014

in which it is shown that 40 hours is not enough time but you CAN make every minute count

Last weekend, I saw Carrie.

That statement itself is sufficient to describe the weekend, but since y'all might want some more information, I'll elaborate. You're welcome.

I'll admit, it was little weird seeing my dear friend in her "native environment", but it was also glorious fun. Long hugs, that unreal air of "Wow, I haven't seen you in forever but some how it doesn't seem very long and wait, am I ACTUALLY IN YOUR HOUSE???", and those cheerful, but slightly awkward pauses that come when the majority of two families are meeting for the first time. But that dissolved quickly when we sat down at a table set for seventeen for a delicious supper. As Mr. Mike put it, there's a such a sweet blessing about sharing a meal together - and all our meals at their lovely farmhouse were just that.
every meal was incredible - thank you for all the time and effort you put into serving us, Miss Kathy!

My sisters say I talked too much that first night. While I wish I could deny it, it's most likely true and tends to be my natural course of action when I'm excited about something…or nervous, but I don't remember feeling the latter emotion. I don't even remember much of what I said, except that we talked about Ellerslie (of course!) and probably theatre (*sheepish grin*) and I can't remember if that was the night we talked about hot peppers or not…but it doesn't matter. I just remember sitting by Carrie and being so ridiculously happy that we were together again.

And so began a whirlwind 40 hours of sweet fellowship with a family that is so much like us that it's uncanny, and yet both our families come from so completely different backgrounds that except for the Lord, we never would've met them. 

I think we (or maybe only me, I don't know, ask them :P) mostly just talked that whole first evening. About eight of us older ones stayed around the table so long that the younger children had gone to bed by the time we got up to umm…..clear our spots? Oops. Hehe.

Friday started out with us watching old videos of us (for real, us, the Morales children) on our old video channel - msistersproductions aka the homeschool channel. It was actually more funny than embarrassing. Little glimpse into early Morales life! :) We also got to see some of Travis and Landon's videos - theirs are more recent (better quality too) :)

Then the girls and guys struck out in two separate groups to explore Abbeville and the surrounding countryside. The guys went to the fireplace factory - which, I might add, my brothers are *still* talking about, so it must've been really cool. We ladies began an exploration of the various local artisan and antique shops - not really looking to buy, more just to browse and find little interesting things and make memories. Like the soaps that smelled exactly like their labels - ex. Salted Caramel Popcorn, Freshly Cut Grass, Fresh Earth (dirt, basically), Citrus Hot Pepper, etc. 

We ended up at a thrift shop and I actually did find a skirt, a nice memento of a fun day.
no, this is not my skirt.

Both groups met up later at the coffee shop and promptly took over most of the establishment. Much coffee and chocolate was consumed by all - as evidenced by the happy faces.

I didn't know what drink to order, so I just asked Carrie what she normally gets, 'cause ten to one I'd like it too. As a result, I ended up with a white chocolate gingerbread steamer - new and fun!

After our delightful sugary break, we trooped down the block en masse to the old post office/library/now-being-converted-into-a-youth-center building and explored.

The door to the attic was…hard to reach, so getting up there was an adventure in itself.

Catherine and Harmony climbed through a tunnel and found another room in the attic…
we (briefly) stepped into the extremely outdated and rather out-of-order bathroom in said attic which sported two solid marble showers, as well various other oddities. I didn't take pictures of that...

my brothers and Harmony played some kind of tag/chase game with the rolling office chairs...we climbed up and down flights and flights of steep iron staircases, all the while commenting on what an incredible movie set the entire building would make...

Outside, the rain had started again a little bit - the whole day was pretty wet, but we made the most of it. As our family likes to say, "Rain makes memories!" (back to my photos again)

Following the explore, the van went home with the guys and Caroline and Harmony, and the rest of us girls continued to a few more shops before we followed them.

most of Abbeville was in a state of denial that Christmas was actually over….we didn't mind :)

"We're going to South Carolina! FLIP FLOP TIME!!!"  - Catherine Morales

The effects of chocolate on a certain sister of mine.

Carrie liked the moss. So I took a picture of it.

Friday evening, Carrie's oldest sister and her precious family came over for supper, bringing the gathering to a grand total of twenty-two. If seeing Carrie again in her home setting was unreal, meeting my "prayer baby", her little nephew, was even more so. So thankful to hold that little boy for the first time and rejoice at God's perfect plan for life :)

Susannah was thrilled to have little people her age around, and a rather hilarious game of Doctor went on for quite a long time upstairs. I think Harmony got more than her fair share of check-ups, though. :)

The evening rounded out with more chocolate and sugar, plus a two-and-a-half hour game of "Prince of Wales", followed by "Crossed, Uncrossed."
did I mention how incredible all the food was? *yumm*

We stayed up till the wee hours of the morning watching clips from Brayden and Tali's wedding video, some played Dutch Blitz, and we talked about random things until the unanimous decision was made to call it a night around 1:30am.

The next morning, we sort of lolly-gagged our way through our pancake breakfast and packing up - I don't think any of us wanted to leave. We almost didn't, since a tornado watch came up for the county and we ended up driving home in a red and orange rainstorm and stretched from New Orleans to New York. But eventually we tore ourselves away, but not after singing Multi Ani Traiasca (the Romanian happy birthday song) to Harmony in honor of her golden birthday. :)

And so ended our gloriously fun, yet all-too-short weekend. It was a such a sweet, blessed time - we are so thankful Mr. Mike and Miss Kathy and their family's generous hospitality; and the wholehearted fellowship with likeminded sisters and brothers in Christ was truly priceless.

"Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing."
- 1 Thess. 5:11

 "And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near."
- Hebrews 10:24-25

"For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them."
- Matthew 18:20


  1. Hahaha, actually, I probably couldn't tell who belonged to what family! That's awesome! : D

    1. And you were just over at our house........