It had been way, way, way too long since we had played in person with our Beloveds in Florida. April and I managed to find a couple days that worked for both schedules, and even though our crew knew there were several long driving trips in their near future, when asked if they were game for the long drive to Florida to hang with our buds, it was a resounding “YES!”
The girls were nervous about seeing their friends after not being together for so long. The Buster wasn’t nervous about that, but he snuggled in with us at 1 a.m. on the morning of the trip because he was nervous about the drive. Everyone has to work through something.
We hit the road at 5 a.m., and the drive was easy peasy by our standards. Lots of music, games, books, and Starbucks stops. Rolled into their subdivision around 4 p.m. and all nervousness was quickly forgotten as giggles and stories and games rang out throughout the house.
The value of friends that you can slip back into easy conversation with no matter how much time and distance have passed…one of life’s amazing blessings.
I tried to convince April we could have more private time if I brought the Cone of Silence, but she was not intrigued.
Thanks to the wonders (or intrusiveness) of Facebook, I discovered that some of our best friends from our Nash Church were vacationing in Florida only about 30 minutes from us. We were all able to meet up at the beach to hang out, and they altered their plans so our two families could drive north together at the end of our vacations.
I love when friends get to meet friends. One of April’s crew said, “How do we know we’ll like these new people?”
April replied, “Because they are friends of Ms. Jennie.”
Child responded with a nod and shrug.
This is before Matt burned off the bottoms of his feet walking the paraphernalia down to the beach. He’s such a trooper!
We didn’t manage to get a stairwell shot with all the kids as we generally try to do. Suffice it to say everyone is a little taller (except for the adults), a little older, a little wiser, and just as wonderful and comfortable as ever.
It’s tough to describe in words how happy it made me to hear my crew, especially Monkey, crying from laughter and chatting and giggling and just generally loving life. To have J and S snuggle in next to me to show me a game or tell me a story, it made my heart swell. We absolutely love this family, and being together was just perfect.
Now that we know the drive for us feels so short, we plan to make it happen again in the new year. (Yup, already making plans for 2016.)
Thanks, Florida Friends, for a fantastic gathering.