I am so happy to be home. The trees in our yard are at peak color, our neighbor has begun using her wood burning stove so the aroma of woodsmoke meets us as we walk in our front yard, and the air is gently cool... after freezing our giblets in New England. It snowed all day on our final day there but more about that later.
Staying at the home of my daughter and son-in-law is as good as the best Bed & Breakfast. The food is incredible, their Master Bedroom is beautifully decorated and peaceful, there is an entire library of great books, Bleak House was playing on the DVD each evening... and let's not even begin to start talking about the grandchildren. :)
There is so much to chat about that it will take a few days. Perhaps the best day was on Sunday when I finally got to meet Sally and Clay in person (not to mention Joel took the train over from Boston). I'd already adopted Sarah as another daughter since she flew in on Thursday. She is truly one of the most remarkable young women I have ever met.
I was disappointed waking up on Sunday morning to fairly heavy rainfall. Little did any of us know that the rain would turn into snow! That meant we would not be able to travel to Old Sturbridge Village... sigh. I love that place. However, that turned out to be a good thing as we spent an entire afternoon and evening chatting and eating and eating and chatting (did I mention Stephanie cooked a lot last week?). Of course there was coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon.
After knowing someone online for awhile, there is always a nervousness about meeting them in person. Would they like me in person? I believe the actual meeting of the two families was far above what we had hoped. My husband and I talked a lot about how much fun we had on Sunday. We so enjoyed Sally and Clay and after meeting two of their kids... we know whatever they write about certainly works. :)
One of the most amazing memories Stephanie, Sally, and I will take away with us must be the drive through the small New England town where our kids live as multiple large, fluffy flakes of snow were falling gently on the colorful trees and vintage New England homes.
It truly was as if we were caught in a moment a couple hundred years ago when two seasons came together in the quaint town (overlooking the automobile, of course). If it were not for the rusts, golds, yellows, and deep crimson leaves... I would have expected to view Christmas tree lights through the windows as the falling snow was more often found on Christmas Eve rather than October.
Elisabeth sat in the back seat with me since I had already visited the town before and wanted Sally to have a perfect view of it all. It also gave me a nice excuse to hold Miss E.'s hand as she was a little under the weather. That evening ride was full of Narnia magic. Along with the food and beauty and fellowship of the rest of the day... what remarkable memories were made.
Perhaps the funniest part of our entire week and a half was when we were on this drive and Stephanie decided to stop by her friend's house... the one who so loves Sally's books... without calling ahead. The look on her face when the four of us walked in her lovely home was priceless.
After church the first Sunday.
I mentioned Bleak House earlier, that turned out to be quite unexpected as Stephanie had taken it from the library for the two of us to watch and it was her father who became hooked on it! (We must bring home the rest of the series from our own library.)
I watched the first night and really liked it but found myself each evening after that reading (fast) three John Piper books and another by an author whose name escapes me right now... becoming spiritually fed by good teaching while I had access to their library. :)
I'll write more about the rest of the trip later. Stephanie and I were talking before her Dad and I left Monday morning that it had been worth all the effort and money spent (by she and her hubby) and the long days of travel by us. They paid completely for all of our travel expenses as well as the two nights at the Bed & Breakfast in Western Ohio.
We pray for them that they be blessed as they have blessed us. We live on a very small income so being able to go out to tea and coffee or stopping at the Cracker Barrel on the way home was so appreciated. :)
The trip was amazing but it is good to be back, once again typing away while a chicken is baking in the oven (for dinner immediately and soup tomorrow). Matthew was asking why we had to go home and I told him Uncle Christopher needed his mommy... he understood completely.
There is still time to leave comments about favorite books and media, I will not be able to even start assembling all of it into one post until this weekend (at earliest).