November – I don’t know where you went. You were probably my favourite month this year. Despite a busy stint at work, all the planning that needed to take place for December (if anyone has family abroad, you know that Christmas gifts need to be sent a month in advance!) and a few big parties – you, November, oh you, spoiled me with a trip to my favourite place in the world. The Schroeder’s.
We have been friends for nine years. Looking back, who knew our friendship would grow so deep and so strong, even though we have never lived in the same city (we did, however, live in the same country for a very short period of time!). Looking back, I wonder when we became best friends. I think it is more in the how.
I remember, week after week, receiving hand written letters and timely gifts across the world. I remember, during my first year abroad and my first year of “real” marriage, my best friend calling me long distance on my “pay by the minute” cell phone at a moment’s notice – when finances on both ends were tight. I remember a Christmas tree being sent to my bomb-shelter-like apartment in Michigan so that I could enjoy Christmas with a little flare. I remember sharing secrets, like when she first found out she was pregnant with her son, while I was walking around cheese stands at a market in Zeist, Netherlands, unable to contain my excitement. I remember her tears and mine as we wish we could live life side-by-side.
Each year I have been fortunate and blessed beyond measure to have at least one face-to-face encounter with my favourite family. It never feels like enough, but it is just enough for my heart to rest and hope in our next visit.
Enjoy a few pictures from our visit to Tennessee, treasured deep in my heart.