We had such a full weekend! From visiting with old friends to needing a new chainsaw...
Beginning at the beginning, our dear friends the Whitehouses were coming from Grove City to visit Gettysburg and York, and now that we're here, us! We have known Janet and Terry since Kate and their son Jeremy were in the church nursery together at First Baptist church in Grove City. Janet and Terry came to Florida a couple of times to see us, and now that we're back here we'll be seeing them more often. How fun to welcome them to our new home. We reminisced over old times, looked at photos old and new, learned who' gotten married or passed away- a few shockers there, oh my...
Jeremy spent the night with us and joined us for the final home game of this football season. Having lived in Florida, we're not afraid of a little rain, especially unaccompanied by lightning. But rain+ cold+ wind = perfect recipe for a miserable evening! So we ditched the game at half-time and went home to dry out and warm up. Having a fireplace in the family room is a beautiful thing, by the way.
The next day dried out some around mid-day and even warmed into the 60's, but then came the wind. Being inside with warm panini sandwiches and friendship is nice on such a day. Our friends left around 3 when we were leaving to go to a church Fall Harvest Festival at a farm. Visits with dear friends always seem too short. Knowing that we'll see them again helps!
The farm where the festival was held sits nestled in gently rolling hills that provide a perfect avenue for biting cold winds to blow right through one's many layers of ineffective clothing. Joanne (from South Africa) joined us for this uniquely American festival. The hayride was guaranteed to chill everyone to the core, but our kids went on it several times, Isaac pledging to keep Joanne warm and protect her. Jim won the hay bale toss contest, (the wind was helping everyone!) A bonfire was kindled, but walking down the wind tunnel to reach it almost wasn't worth it. What with kids trying to cook marshmallows, I couldn't get close enough to get warm! Dinner was as fabulous as any gathering bringing potluck always is, and the fellowship was fun. After dinner the barn was cleared for a hoe-down. Now, we were so cold we couldn't feel our extremities, and I don't mean only the wimps from Florida. Everybody was cold. Square dancing is the remedy for such cold, let me tell you.
When it comes to dancing I normally play the role of avid spectator, otherwise somebody might get hurt. But after watching several rounds of dancing, in which all of my children took part, (Kate reluctantly, the others enthusiastically) and Joanne as well, Jim and I were pressed into a square. Before long we were not only enjoying ourselves but shedding our coats too! Live music, a humorous caller, and laughing couples made for a great time.
Sunday morning we were grateful for the extra hour to sleep in. The day was promising to be dry and sunny, but the wind was still mighty strong. After church Jim took Vali for her walk while I got lunch together. Standing in the kitchen near the window a loud gust of wind caught my attention just as it blew over the tree that shaded our back porch! Our bird-feeder tree! (not a small tree either) I couldn't believe my eyes- our tree was truely and really down! After recovering from the shock, we did a quick survey out of the windows to discover that a couple of other trees were down in the yard as well. (and Jim nor the dog were under any of them...) Turns out that the weather conditions over our little hilltop had caused a severe weather advisory to be issued due to the heavy winds. And we didn't even have time to board up the windows! No damage to the house, thankfully, but the house being constructed down the street lost a couple of walls. All's quiet today. When Jim gets home tonight he'll get out his new toy- the chainsaw, and take care of the trees down in the yard. Wow. I was looking for a place to plant a red Maple without taking up much of our open ground... Found it.