It all started a couple months back when a friend I met at TBC, Katie Russ, came up with the brilliant idea of a summer staff reunion. The idea sounded crazy at first and definitely too idealistic to actually happen. But then plans started to form and the idea became reality.
On Monday, November 21 the festivities began when Jacob and Abby (and a cardboard cutout of Anne’s head) arrived from California at about 1am (Thank you buy one get one free Starbucks holiday drinks!). Scott joined the party Tuesday evening and then we sat and waited for the “roadtrippers” to arrive. Faithe and Liz left Wyoming early Monday morning and made a stop in Fort Collins, Colorado to pick up Katie and Whitney, spent the night, picked up Rachael in Topeka, Kansas and then continued the long drive to Chicago (with a short detour to Missouri). They finally arrived at approximately 2:35am on Wednesday. Needless to say, I have wonderful friends. It was a joy to catch up, laugh, stayed up way too late, reminisce, and make new memories.
Wednesday was a pretty low-key relaxing day. We slept in and then ate breakfast all together (once the guys came over from the house they stayed at across town. Thanks Wood family for the use of your house!) However, a camp reunion wouldn’t be complete without a Skype chat with James (the TBC director), Sharon (his wife), Eric (the director of TLC) and Sarah (Eric’s wife). It was great to all be “together” again and talk about life.
Thanksgiving Day was when my world’s collided. My entire family came over for Thanksgiving dinner – my parents, brother, sister, brother-in-law and nephews. If you did the math that’s 16 people – in my house – for Thanksgiving dinner. My issue with food amounts (mentioned in the previous post) took over again and we had enough food to feed twice that many people. It was delicious, there was just way too much. Who knew a 25lb turkey would have that much meat? We had all the traditional goods and more: turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, an hors d’oeuvres tray (with pickles, olives, marinated artichoke hearts, etc.), rolls, fruit salad, pumpkin pie, hot apple cider, sparkling grape juice, and cranberry apple crisp! When I write it all out it sounds like a lot, but when I was planning it seemed completely reasonable.
Somehow after eating all that we managed to go out and play at the park with my nephews and run off some energy. My family, especially my nephews, loved spending time with these camp people that they had heard so much about. All in all, it was a fabulous day of being Thankful for my family and for my friends who have become like family. I think Scott put it well when he said that the summer staff chose to be family and put up with each others’ shortcomings. Rachael, being her creative self, brought a “Thanksgiving Tree” and we all made leaves and wrote what we’re thankful for one them.
Friday morning we all decided to head to Chicago for the day (minus Abby who had to fly back to CA that morning). Scott and I did a whirlwind tour of the city including Moody, Giordano’s, Oak Street Beach, Cloudgate (aka The Bean) & Millennium Park, the Signature Room (96th floor) of the Hancock, the Watertower, Ghiradelli & the Hersey Factory, the Art Institute, and even a ride on the El. When we got back to my house I completely crashed, especially after seeing 3:30am three out of the four previous days.
It’s hard to sum up the week but it was capped off with a couple games of Four on a Couch, a poetry reading by Scott, playing frisbee, taking pictures with Anne’s face, a musical performance by Whitney, a competitive game of Quelf, some humorous rounds of Truth or Truth, sharing what God’s doing in our lives, a trip to Jalapeno Nacho, a couple trips to Elmhurst, a crazy game of Pilgrim’s Progress, trying Nutella on different types of food, several trips to Midway, and countless pots of coffee.
Thanksgiving has always been a favorite of mine, but this one has got to top all the rest!