Before I board that flight tomorrow (!!!), I would just like to take a second to thank the WONDERFUL friends who invited me into their homes this summer and surpassed all my hopes and expectations by not only allowing me to be their guest, but also to be a part of their families!
In order of (my) appearance : )
That lovely girl you see there in the middle is Susannah, and I had a really nice time staying with her for two nights in Newcastle, England. She, too, has been to Africa which gave us lots to talk about, and her home was so warm and friendly and welcoming. She makes amazing coffee and bacon sandwiches! She is so laid back and gave me a key to her house so I could come and go, and made me feel so very much at home! Thank you, Susannah!
As you know, I wrote a HUGE post about the Shells here. Definitely a summer highlight for me! Besides the fact that they are an amazing family, the opportunity to “live” for 4 days on a farm in the middle of absolutely nowhere was priceless. Thank you Duncan, Laura, Miriam, Pippa, Josie, and Enoch!!!!!!
Meet Laure! Isn’t she lovely? (and doesn’t she look like the chick from Brave?). While I didn’t spend a night at the Dobie home, I was still their guest. The Shells dropped me off there on my last day in the Borders (the day after the wedding), and after a great visit for a few hours, Laure and her (lovely) mother brought me ALL the way to Edinburgh so I could catch a train to Glasgow. Thank you, Dobies!!
Oh my word, Fiona and Stu (and Molly the Lab, and also a wee little baby in Fi’s tummy—YAY!) in Glasgow, Scotland. You haven’t heard me mention these guys yet, or at all. It’s not because I don’t love them to pieces, which I DO! It’s because the precious few days I spent with them were spent sick as a freaking dog on their couch! I felt awful (literally and figuratively). Fiona and I met in Canada in 2005 when she came over to travel and work for awhile. Our friend Dave hooked us up and we became very good friends. I haven’t seen her since 2008, and had barely spent any time with Stu before that, so naturally I was very excited to see them! But I give them a lot of credit for having me, because I wasn’t only their guest, I was also their patient. They took good care of me, and by the time they brought me to the airport I was feeling a bit better! Thank you, Beggs! (and let’s try that again soon!)
This is Rachel and her precious little girl, Elisha, in Bristol, England! Rachel and I met and taught together at Gateway Christian School in South Africa in 2008. That was the last time I had seen her, and she had only just gotten engaged, so lots has changed in the last few years! Things have even changed since I saw her last month, as now she has another baby—a gorgeous new son named Reuel! Even though I was still quite sick for this visit, we still had a lot of fun catching up and visiting Chedder, England…you can imagine what was “invented” there, I’m sure : ) Sadly I don’t have a picture of her husband David, but he was a very good host as well and it was great getting to know him! Thanks, Enchills, and huge congratulations!
And last but not least, you know all about the Lonanders from this post. It was AWESOME to see them and catch up on the last few years, and I am confident it won’t be the last time we see each other. I have amazing memories from my time there and can’t wait to laugh about all our inside jokes one day down the road. Miss you guys already…thank you, Londanders!!!
When we love anyone with our whole hearts, life begins when we are with that person; it is only in their company that we are really and truly alive.
My heart is full of gratitude, and I can only hope and pray that I can extend the same hospitality to these dear friends should they decide to one day visit Canada (which I definitely think they must!)