Friday, June 24, 2011

oh the stories we will tell...

I have wanted to write all about my road trip in the States for the past three days...but instead have been amazed at how much life one can cram into three days. I have acquired a new job starting in August (another blog post), I have ran wedding errands and attended wedding rehearsal and dinner (and then there will be the stagette tomorrow night and wedding on Saturday...another blog), and I drove back down to Seattle this week after returning home, for an unbelievable concert of the Civil Wars and James Vincent McMorrow (yet another blog post pending...).

And we are.

This road trip, designed to visit friends from my years in Costa Rica, was such a good thing for my heart.

I called Carleigh the second-to-last night I was in the States, and told her I felt so full and that God was so good, and how I had the sensation that I could just cry.

Happy tears.

You see...
Friendships formed in Costa Rica are not run-of-the-mill friendships.

They are formed in high stress situations. They are formed as we bumble through speaking a new language and trying new food. They are formed when we brainstorm plan B's and C's and D's...cause it's raining, or the church is locked, or the youth group we are hosting needs to work through conflict instead of doing door-to-door prayer, or it's raining, or no children showed up to vacation bible school...or it's raining.

They are formed through late night chats in the staff house. They are formed through impromptu worship sessions...and prayer sessions...and sharing our stories sessions...

They are formed through kind words, and not kind words. Grace. Forgiveness. Learning.

They are formed through sharing one bathroom...and two sinks.

And so, when Sheldon emailed me in January letting me know he wanted to invite me to his wedding...and when Chad emailed me in February letting me know my friends wished I lived closer...and when DeLynn and Gloria decided to extend their furlough in Ohio...and when Missy had once said: "You. Me. An indian restaurant with good tea. Bookish philosophical life conversations. Sigh...if only wishes came true."
...I knew it just had to happen.

And last week, it did.

In 10 days, I saw parts of Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Virginia. I saw 13 friends from my years in Costa Rica. It was more than I could have ever wished for or imagined.

I got to see Dan's life in Baltimore. Film guru he is. Tiny apartment owner he is. Dan was graciously the "bookends" of my trip, and it was great to catch up and share new music and hear new dreams...go and do it Dan, it will change your life!

I got to see Chad's life in Pennsylvania, complete with football and mountain stone and dreams of his own. Chad and I continued on the majority of this road trip together...a request I had made of him early on...and I was so thankful he was willing, and that he is his own boss who grants himself vacation time. I couldn't think of a better road trip partner. Well, other than George Strait. Right, Chad? ;) Next time, I'm opening with that question..."who would you want to do a road trip with?" You can figure out what you'll ask me.

Chad and I continued on to Ohio, to spend time with DeLynn and Gloria and Carmelinda. It was good. Soul good. I got to take Carmelinda on a date, and have a special breakfast just with Gloria. It felt right. But honestly, I haven't eaten that much food in a long time. The Hoovers aren't kidding around. Maybe that's a new hobby you guys should take up? Food reviews. Get paid for trying out all these places? I say you do it.

From the plains of Ohio, we drove through the mountains of Virginia, to catch up with Patrick and Missy. These two take after my heart. Growing vegetables in their community garden, seeking to live sustainably and locally...and investing who they are, where they are, until God calls them elsewhere. We were there for Missy's birthday which was such great timing. So again, I got a special breakfast just with was our version of the indian tea...and we talked about life, in bookish philosophical terms...and also in just plain honest nitty-gritty terms.

I continued on, on my own, further south in Virginia to attend Sheldon's very fun wedding, and to meet his sweet bride, Amber. Much to my joy, this also meant spending time with Lyndon and Krista...a great surprise and God-send. More soul good all around.

As I drove from Marion, Virginia, back up to Baltimore for my last night in the States, I reflected on all that I had heard and felt and dreamed while spending precious time with these folks. There were others too, that I haven't mentioned here, who I was privileged to see (Maria, Luis, Ethan...). I imagined the journeys we will continue to take...and curiously questioned whether or not they will intersect again without our own prompting. I was reminded that we live in a world where distance does not prohibit friendship. How privileged we are to have met in the first place.

I returned home...grateful.


  1. Sounds like a great trip Kathleen, I am so glad you got to do this and 'fill up'. Oh, and I would love to take a road trip with George Straight:)

  2. Wow! God is good. Loved hearing about your trip. Can't wait to see you and share a month with you in just a few short days. By the way...that last picture made me laugh, because it kind of looks like you are wearing a lopsided hat! Can you see it?