Dear friends.

I wish I could clearly express how precious this part of our vacation was.

I have had a hard time writing this, because it’s so deep, so close to my heart.  Because of its significance to me, I didn’t want it to sound mundane:  “We had a great meet-up with some friends.  Here are some documenting pics that aren’t nearly as great as I wish they were.”

There simply aren’t adequate words for the knitting of hearts.

It makes me tear up, even now, thinking about it.

I’ve been Daja’s bloggy-friend for… I think five years.  I feel like she is a long-lost sister;  we have so much in common and feel and act so similarly on a huge range of topics*.  We have communicated much — at first, just commenting on each other’s blogs… Then, I enlisted her help with a writing project.  We have chatted on the phone a few times, mostly in our efforts to get our families together, one way or another, and it never worked.

This most recent trip to California, it finally did.

I knew I would squeal and rush to hug her when I saw Daja, and I did just that.

I knew our children would love each other and play merrily together, and they did.

I wasn’t 100% sure about our husbands getting along, but I thought they likely would, and I hoped.  And they did.  In fact, post-trip, there was a loose end we were tying, and at one point, my husband asked me multiple times, “Have you followed up with Daja yet?”  At the same time, Gana was asking Daja, “Have you called Karen yet?”  😀

During our week-long trip, our families spent time together twice:  Sunday afternoon, the 2nd of September, Daja traveled with her seven children to the cottage in which our family was staying.  Thankfully, it was on 1/2 of a wooded acre, and it really didn’t seem crowded or over-loud with twelve children romping.

The second occasion, we drove up to her home for an afternoon and dinner the following Friday.

During that trip, Daja and I needed to make a run to the grocery store, and we took my family’s vehicle.  I noticed that the truck was running VERY rough.  I theorized, upon my return, that it wasn’t firing on all cylinders.  Martin and Gana left, right before dinner-time, to try to get the truck fixed.  It did turn out to be a spark plug that needed to be replaced, but on a Friday evening, fixing that simple problem turned into a three-hour ordeal.  I think it worked out for the best, because Gana and Martin very much enjoyed their time and conversation together, and the dinner that occurred in their absence was THE VERY LOUDEST meal in which I’ve ever participated.  It was joyful — with twelve children hollering to be heard, showing their best funny faces, exchanging jokes, asking for seconds and thirds….  I grinned the whole time;  it was so fun.  But, I think my husband would have popped an eardrum and stressed out at the unceasing, ever-escalating noise level.

During all our time together, I can’t remember even one sad face or squabble.  Well, not any serious ones;  every minor squabble was quickly resolved…  Such love and joy and goodwill flowed from everyone to everyone.  It was absolutely ideal.

I cannot wait until we are blessed to spend time with this family again.

Martin and his buddy, baby River

It’s really hard to get a good picture of 15 people (and a dog), all at once, especially when one’s husband is clowning around, wearing one’s own sunglasses. FUN pictures are just as well as lovely pictures with everyone smiling, though!

I’m actually a little angry that my camera keeps not-quite-focusing at all the wrong moments. If this wasn’t a weensy bit fuzzy, I would frame it.

Both Daja and I love to cook, and I rather envisioned us, bumping hips in the kitchen, prepping food for our families for dinner, and that’s very much how it happened.

It was difficult to get a shot of JUST the parents, as children kept darting into the frame, wanting to be included. It was a happy problem.

I know this picture is fuzzy and isn’t well-composed.  We got too few pics of our children playing together, as, well, all kids were busy playing, and all parents were busy chatting.

Back at the cottage. Another not-great shot of children playing together.


The lovely Meg.

On the way back to our cottage, fairly late on Friday night, our 6-year-old Audrey burst into tears, crying, “I don’t think we will ever see them again!”  And my husband Martin replied firmly, “Yes, we will.  We will.”  I looked over at him with startled eyes, cautioning him with my glance to not raise in vain the hopes of our daughter.  He just nodded and repeated, “We will.”


*Even on unimportant things.  For instance, we were at the grocery store together, and decided to get a bottle of wine.  “Reisling is my favorite white,” I said.  “What?  Me, too!  A good, dry reisling is my favorite,” Daja replied.  We got a bottle.  And a red for the guys.

About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on September 21, 2012, in California, Friendships, Holidays, Relationship, Summer Plans, The Dear Hubby, The Kids, Travelling. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I am totally all teary-eyed now.

    It was such a great time. I wish now more than ever that you lived next door!!!!!!!!

  2. Oh, and I’m so glad that Martin liked the crazy people you met on the internet! LOL!

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