Monday, March 18, 2013

A Little Southern Comfort

Oh my goodness!  Well, this has been the longest I have been away from my blog since I began regularly posting in December.  Just back from a wonderful Spring Break Adventure down south, we have some catching up to do! 

It was nice to enjoy some warmer weather, visit family and friends, and take a little break from our Midwest routine.  While I knew we would be staying in a remote location, I did not expect that an Internet connection would only be available once in the past week.

Admittedly, it was nice to just relax and have no deadlines or plans, but I did miss writing these blog posts and sharing my Quest Adventures with you.  Of course, I did read my book daily and checked off my March Quest.  I finished the book Girl Scout Mom recommended, read an entire local cookbook cover to cover, and began a new book:
One of the things I love about reading books on my Kindle, is that I can download a sample of a book, read a bit of it, and decide if I want to read the whole book.  I don't do this every time, but I do choose this option often, because occasionally I have started a book that turns out to be a disappointment and I wish I had not spent money on it. 

Because Kindle offers the sample feature, I have the opportunity to take in a few pages before deciding if I want to purchase the book and finish it.  I chose that option with this book, so I'm a few pages in and will probably decide tonight if I will purchase it and read the entire book.

The book description depicts a story of a mother's effort to cope with both of her sons going off to war by praying everyday for strangers.  It sounds like a heartwarming and inspiring book and I am in the mood for some heartwarming inspiration. 

Speaking of heartwarming inspiration...let me share a little about our Spring Break Adventure.

Our Adventure began with a road trip down south to visit Hubby's parents, his dad, Dodge, and his mom, Darol.  (This is not what I actually call my in-laws, but these names are family nicknames bestowed on them by a sweet little niece years ago, and I thought they would be the perfect Blog Names for them.)  They recently moved to a new location and this was our first visit to their new home.

It was a long, but thankfully uneventful drive in our loaded down van.  It was also our first time to take our Twins on a road trip with us and they did much better than expected.  It turns out they are INCREDIBLY well behaved away from home.  We didn't have any issues with them the entire trip. 

Of course, as soon as we arrived back home, they reverted to their "puppies out of control" state, and any hopes of an amazing transformation were quickly dashed.  Sigh. 

At least while we traveled, they were super easy, which made for a much more enjoyable trip. 

We were delighted to finally get to see Dodge and Darol's new place.  We toured their house, and surrounding land.  It's all very beautiful and peaceful and we are super happy for them.  They were, of course, very excited to have us visit.

Hubby, Scientist, and I ran down quiet country roads.  We ate Darol's yummy homemade food, met up with Dodge's brother, Uncle Hardly and his gal, drove through quaint little towns, walked along the banks of a beautiful lake, and played cards late into the night.  Dodge took Hubby and our boys out on the lake in his new boat.  They returned with ruddy faces and big smiles. 

A highlight for me was when we toured a glorious historical mansion guided by a gracious silver haired Southern Lady.  She mesmerized us with her picturesque stories of days of yore delivered with the most amazing southern accent!  It was just music to our ears and we all agreed that she made the experience!

When time to return home came, Hubby, Engineer and I loaded up the Twins and hugged Dodge, Darol, and our Scientist one more time.  Dodge and Darol drove our Scientist to the airport to return to school.  We headed north for another long awaited visit.

Over 21 years ago, before I was even a momma, new neighbors moved in next door to us and a very special friendship was born with the first hello in the front yard.  My sweet friend, Southern Belle, has been such a blessing in my life.  We clicked from the very beginning and there are just so many areas of our lives that parallel. 

We had baby boys just a few months apart, went to Bible study and Jazzercise together, shared happiness and heartache, prayed for each other, laughed, lunched, and supported each other as we supported our husbands who worked at the same place.  

Seventeen years have come and gone since our last visit with Southern Belle and her precious family.  We both moved a few more times...more babies were born...we chatted here and there, emailed, and sent Christmas cards.  Our babies grew up...we connected on Facebook...and last week we finally found ourselves driving to their home. 

And let me tell you, seventeen years just melted away in one hug as we found ourselves chatting as if those years had never happened.  Our afternoon flew by and soon it was time to hit the road again.  As we drove away, tears caught in my throat and I waved until Southern Belle was no longer in sight.  My heart was full with immense blessing to have such a special mentor and friend. 

The funny thing is, I really didn't even know how much I needed that visit with Southern Belle until it was over, but driving away I felt such gratefulness to have that time again with someone whom God has made a heart sister. 

In the wee hours of morning as we neared the little Midwestern town we call home, rain that would soon mix with a bit of snow, poured down around us.  A text from our Scientist let us know he was safe and sound back in his dorm.  We pulled into our garage, tired and ready for our own beds. 

Our little Adventure was over, but we made memories, relaxed, and renewed.  In the blink of an eye summer will warm us up and bring our little family back together...until then I will cherish our Spring Break Adventure with a thankful heart.

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