I spent some time in South Carolina, (which I mentioned earlier) and it was perfect. Well, except for the sunburn. The friends whose house has always been like a home, are old Louisville friends. Paul and Shauw Chin were youth leaders when I was in high school youth group. (One of the realization of this trip was that they were younger than I am now when they taught me as a high schooler. I don’t feel as wise as they seemed then.) The summer after I graduated from high school, they hired me to house-sit for them while they returned to Singapore to visit friends and family. Even thought they paid me, it was more meaningful because they entrusted me with their home and bills and cats and car. (There’s this motif through my life of others recognizing in me what takes me years to see in myself. In this case: a responsible, mature (enough) young woman.) Circa nine months after that (you do the math) they had their first daughter, Phoebe. I stayed with Shauw Chin for about two weeks when Phoebe was only a few months old, and Paul was traveling with a church group. I babysat her here and there when I was home from college, and over the summers. When she was two, I took care of her in the mornings most days of the week. She has always been funny, easy-going, precocious. That summer we became good pals – two year old Phoebe, and 21 year old me. (My mom has always said we’re kindred spirits.) The three of them moved in 2003 to Beaufort, South Carolina, to be closer to Paul’s family, and had their second daughter, Lydia, a few months after they moved. I have tried to make regular trips out there to visit with them, and they have always welcomed me and allowed their home to be my home. We go to the beach, we watch the Food Network, we read books, we take long walks, we take naps, we eat really really really good food, and always laugh a lot. Oh, and Paul shares his homebrew with me. Now Phoebe is 12 and Lydia is 8. Returning to their home still feels much like returning to my own home. Which is such a gift.
From there, I headed north to Durham, North Carolina, to visit former next-door neighbors, Danny, Johanna, and Marley. Another family and visit that felt just like being at home in so many ways. All their familiar things, just in a bit of a smaller house. And without my house across the street. And with more trees! We also ate lots of food – Monkey Bread, FTW – and enjoyed Dawson’s Creek, and Marley’s cuteness.
From there, I left for the greater DC area for a night (and narrowly survived the crazy storm that swept through!), before heading into West Chester, PA to visit one of my dearest friends for a few days. That catches up through the first few days of July.
To come, I’ve got some news. And also some thoughts on Fifty Shades of Grey. Ugh, doesn’t everybody?