Last week on our way home from Augusta, we made a side trip through Kentucky where we were able to visit several connections from here in Illinois. We stopped to see the daughter of dear friends who we watched grow up with our own three at church.
We also visited the sister of another dear friend here in town who now lives across the street from the high school I attended. She and her husband are renovating one of the beautiful historic homes along that sweet street I walked down many a day.
On Friday morning, I got to have coffee with my beautiful French teacher who I have been blessed to reconnect with. My teacher has become my sister and friend and it was a wonderful treat. My only regret was that my French was terribly rusty to speak, but I could understand a lot…like “croissant”…I definitely knew what that was <3
She had arranged for us to meet at a coffee shop with patisseries that were tres bien.
AND as an added bonus, two of my childhood friends joined us to round out the joyful reunion. One of them owns a darling shop next door and these two ladies were the best of friends to each other growing up. They attended the same church I did and we poured out memories of school and church and Danville for two solid hours.
Bless Russ for listening and smiling and taking pictures.
In the midst of all the talk, another lady sitting nearby kept filling names and facts from church that we couldn’t remember. Finally my highs school friends realized I would know her. She was the daughter of one of the doctors in town back in my day. Imagine the surprise of everyone when I proclaimed I had babysat her and her brother!
She immediately apologized if they had been awful, which they weren’t. I was able to honestly tell her that her parents and their home and those two cute little kids had inspired me to think maybe I could be a mom and also they were benefactors to all our babysitters because I learned the value of paying sitters well from this couple. Also…leaving specified snacks and drink choices for the sitter so she doesn’t feel like she is sneaking a snack after the kids are in bed <3
When we drove away from that place that had been my longest tenure in a “hometown” until my adult years here, my heart was so full. It was a feast.
But I do have one takeaway to share that we all need to remember.
Very shortly after my two classmate friends showed up to the table, one of them said how jealous they were of me every summer because I got to travel to so many places. She said she remembered how I didn’t want to go and felt so sad, and they all wished they could be doing this.
I laughed so hard and Russ was shaking his head because this has been my sob story for far too long. Any time adults share their summer memories of going to the pool and playing baseball and such, I share my tale of woe how I never got to be home and just be with all the normal kids.
I was the oddity that won the “how many states have you been in” contest and wrote at least three pages of travel facts on the “what I did on my summer vacation” paper the first week back at school every fall.
And somehow along the way I missed that others actually were interested and would like to have had the opportunity to see so many things.
There are multiple lessons to be gleaned here but the two that pop out in the forefront are…
#1 Perhaps we need to move some conversation material to the archives and add new information into current conversations. Because I am pretty sure everyone who knows me since the beginning of forever has been apprised of the situation regarding my parents and their traveling ways every summer
#2 We need to understand that the very thing we complain about may be something someone else longs for and vice versa. Comparison and coveting are thieves that rob us of the peace that comes in accepting what is ours to have, enjoying and celebrating what others have on their behalf and making the most of the hand we have been dealt by living generously and graciously.
I hope this old dog can learn some new tricks and I will attempt to bite my tongue heftily when any new (or current) friends share about their childhood summers!
Lord give me the grace to smile and lean into their story as I gently close the file on what I feel I missed out of on mine and be grateful for what I had. Let me share when asked and keep a zipped lip when others are sharing memories…sigh….LORD…help me.
We can grow and change the narrative we speak to ourselves and others no matter how many years have flown by <3