I am not really sure what that means, but I think it is an accurate description of my relationship with the great friends we visited earlier in the week. You know that kind of person you love just as much (maybe even more!?) than your real family? Dwight and Judy are just those kinds of folks. They were our Sunday school teachers for a few years when we first moved here and we clicked almost right away. Their grown children lived away from our city, just like my folks, so we filled in for one another - so much in fact, we actually had people ask if we were mother/daughter. When Miss M was born, Judy was there! All was great until December 2006 when they retired and moved 4 hours away.
We try and keep in touch and manage quick visits when they are passing through, but it was time for a longer visit. The wee ones and I enjoyed two nights in the country at their beautiful place. We were blessed to have our good friend Jenny and her wee one as traveling companions. We stayed up WAY to late both nights, let the wee ones eat too much ice cream and cake, and just enjoyed the fellowship. We also promised that we wouldn't let two years pass between visits again. When we got home and the car was unloaded, I found Miss M sobbing in her room. "I just miss Dwight and Judy and Rosie and Rusty so much. When we can go see them again?" I am counting the days too Miss M.Miss M and Mr C got a ride around the yard. It was the first time Mr C has ever ridden but I think he liked it!
Even I got a turn on Rosie...reminded me of riding on my grandparent's ranch in Texas. Notice the beautiful surroundings...
Mr C is all grins with Dwight!
Fun times with Rusty - he was just a puppy during our last visit. Also, can you BELIEVE we are wearing jackets the last week of July?? We even wore long pants the next day.
Shucking corn with Judy and Jenny - everything tastes better on the farm!
Miss M is busy telling Judy some big plans, I'm sure!
Hi Rosie! I don't have any more apples for you today...eat this weed instead!
Another treat with some special folks happened today. The Stinkin' Bakers informed us they were about 1 1/2 hours away for his high school reunion. They don't really stink but we started calling them that when they moved to the other side of the world for 2 years. We met in 2001 in Dwight and Judy's class and have come to know and love them like family. Now they live in Florida, but return to our area a few times a year to visit his parents. Usually, they are able to drive on over and spend a night or two with us as well as attend church. This visit was already jam packed, so we made a day trip over the river to see them instead. I think Mr B got a few other pics, so check facebook if you are friends with either of us...maybe he will post there. Here is one good shot of Miss M reading to the little ones. As always, Mr B's parents were so hospitable...I would claim them as family any day!
If you are still with me, here is one more closing thought. My friend in real life posted recently about friendship and I really had that topic on my heart and mind lately. OK, honestly I was almost having a pitty party. Then I get to spend some time with very special friends and I was reminded of how God gave me a special gift in each of them - and not just one friend but FIVE in one week!
Also, at our MOPS steering retreat last weekend, I asked each leader to share with the group someone who was a person of influence in their life. Each story varied, but several qualities were repeated: encourager, generous, trusting God in ALL things, knowing what matters, positive attitude...I hope I can be those things to others. At the close of our sharing time, I encouraged each leader to contact their person and let him/her know how thankful they are for the influence. Why don't you do the same this week?