It wasn't so much a vacation, I guess, as it was a whirlwind visit to family. We flew out of Seattle on Tuesday, the 15th, and got back into Seattle on Wednesday, the 23rd. In that time, we visited three churches (two of which support us as missionaries), attended one ladies' luncheon, visited in two states, saw 31 relatives, talked to one cousin on the phone, met four old high-school friends and one online friend, and fellowshipped with my best friend from childhood and her family. I also saw her youngest sister out shopping in SC! LOL And we ate at Sonic and Cracker Barrel, too! ;)
Our visits with family were far too brief! We ran by my uncle and aunt's house in Easley, SC, for a couple of hours. My uncle is the oldest brother of my mother who passed away, so I like to go and see them whenever we're out there. My uncle, at age 69, is still working, so we only got to see him on his lunch break, but we took my aunt to eat at Sonic for lunch - one of her (and our) favorite places. Their son is the cousin I talked to on the phone. He is 46 years old and has a one-year-old baby and a one-year-old grandbaby! His own baby was a surprise for everyone! I told him I don't laugh about things like that anymore; he's only 3 years older than me. I would have loved to stop and see him and his family, but we just didn't have the time.
The rest of our time in SC was spent with my parents and the siblings who live there. I have tons of pictures of my nieces and nephew, but not one good one of any of the adults! I'll share some pics in the next day or two, probably as a slideshow. I also learned, while in SC, that my brother and his wife are expecting baby #5!!! As I said before, my mom, sister, Beth, and I went shopping - two days in a row! I bought three (!) pairs of shoes, all on sale, and a top and skirt. Beth got two pair of shoes and a new skirt and top. And we both bought some jewelry. I'm learning that my teenaged daughter can't buy new clothes without some jewelry to match! ;) I have to admit, it was fun to get some new things and step out of my box a little. That was my sister's mantra for me those two days - "Step out of that box, Susan!" She doesn't realize that my box is old and stiff and hard to step out of! ;)
We attended Pleasant View Baptist Church with my parents on Wednesday night. My dad is the director of the Hispanic Ministry there (they had two saved in this ministry this past Sunday night!). This is where I met the old high-school friends. It was almost like a reunion as I recognized people I haven't seen in 25 years. We all went to a smallish Christian school in the area (the one where Jungle Mom and I were in the same class in elementary school, but never got to know each other), so even though we were all in different years, we still knew each other to some extent. It was so nice to see old friends who are still serving the Lord, and to hear about others who are doing the same. It didn't take long to go down that list, but at least there were a few. I heard of a few of our classmates who have had some heartache and have made some bad choices, and it reminded me of how good God has been to me, to allow me to still be in church and still have my entire family around me. One of those that have met with heartache is still serving the Lord faithfully, though - I was so pleased to see that! Wes was allowed to present our ministry during the service that night, and he and the kids sang. The pastor of Pleasant View is married to my best friend's sister, although I didn't get to see her that night, as she had a sick child. We sure do appreciate Bro. Stacy allowing us to present our ministry to the people there, and to catch up on old friends.
I'm going to have to stop with this and pick it up in another post. I've run out of time for right now, and this post will get way too long if I don't stop now. So I'll be back later with a bit more about our trip!