Hello dears! Ready for the next installment of this series? *chuckle* Need I ask? 😉
Summer was passing rapidly by, and we girls were very much enjoying the activities we had going for us at the time. Our 2nd and last big gig of the year was over, which meant we could sit back and relax for a bit from singing. We were not idle with our time though. Sewing projects were constantly at our finger tips, gardening was at its finest production–in the weed department–which made for many a long hour for Mom and myself, and then of course I was enjoying flower harvesting work at a local farm. I like to think of these as our barefoot days; a time in which we could catch our breath and enjoy the rhythm of life. It was so nice! At the time, I couldn’t have imagined it getting any better, but it did, and in some rather unexpected ways.
The first surprise came one Sabbath morning after Church service was over. We were packing ourselves into the car when Levi came strolling up to ask Dad something. It turned out that he wanted to have his family up to visit for a weekend sometime soon, and would we be willing to host them for dinner when they came? It’s a funny thing with Levi; he is so very much “on his own” that you forget he even has a family. But he was aware that his family couldn’t be with him for everything, so he always made it a point to include his family whenever time allowed. We had heard about them, and they had heard about us, and now it seemed it was time for the “go between” to finally introduce us to each other. It was only logical that this happen since we had had been friends with him for the better part of summer, so we readily said yes, and we made plans to have them over.
In between the time Levi made his request and his family’s initial visit, we were given another surprise, and once more, it was on the Lord’s day. It was in the afternoon, in the later part of August, that our family was home enjoying the quiet time a day of rest will bring, when the phone rang. Guess who? Yep, it was Levi! He had actually been missed at Church that morning, due to his attendance at the largest D-Day reenactment held up north in Conneaut, Ohio. It was an all weekend event, and he wasn’t returning home until that very afternoon. Well, he called up to say that he was on his way home, and happened to be passing through our neck of the woods, so would it be alright if he stopped by to visit for a few hours? Dad, still on the phone, raised his questioning eyebrows at Mom, who said, “Sure! Why not?” which sent us girls into peels of hurrahs. It’s amazing what one little phone call will do to change the pace of your day! Can I just reinstate the title of this post; with Levi, one must expect the un-expected at times.
Within minutes, Levi’s car was pulling up our driveway, and we all ran out to meet him. He got out of his car clad in WWII military garb. He looked great, but people, it was HEAVY DENIM he was wearing! From head to toe, thick, heavy, army green DENIM, on a very warm August day! You can just imagine our exclamations, and incredulous facial expressions when we clapped eyes on him. He then told us that that was nothing, and that he had been clad in wool all weekend long. Then he had to explain that it actually doesn’t smother you, but helps to keep your body temperature regulated in the summer heat. We were flabbergasted to say the least. He assured us that he was quite comfortable in what he was wearing, however he did take off his heavy leather boots, and that made us all feel a little more comfortable. *grin* Imagine feeling uncomfortably hot just by looking at someone! It’s the oddest feeling, let me tell you. 😉
Any-hoo, we ended up spending the afternoon doing nothing less than sit around and talk about his adventures up at Conneaut, the friends he met up there, both old and new, and his interesting escapade in figuring out where exactly the reenactment was being held. Let’s just say he walked one too many miles his first day up there. Oh my… The things young men will do for a little adventure… Our family had heard stories about Conneaut from some of our other reenacting friends a year before we met Levi, and we had talked about going to it the next year. And of course, when we heard that Levi was going to make the trip up there, we were even more set on the idea of going. Unfortunately, those fun and exciting plans changed, and we ended up not being able to make the trip. It was mostly the girls and I that wanted to go so badly, which accounts for why we were so eager to have him over–he could give us more details of what it was like. And as a tag to this paragraph, it is fair to say that the Boyer family doesn’t normally operate on short notice get-togethers, but Levi was certainly becoming the exception.
Well, I could go on, but then I shouldn’t. My memory is foggy regarding the details he told us about his adventures, and that would be a pain for some of you to read about. So I’ll spare you the bore and cut it short by saying we had a superb time with him, and spent long happy hours chatting about all sorts of other interesting things before he left to go home.
It was only five short days after (the last Friday in August I believe) that Levi’s family made a visit to our area. I remember standing on the deck, leaning slightly up against the railing as we hailed their approaching car with waving hands, and big smiles. I also remember thinking as they got out of the car, “Levi’s family looks just like I pictured they would.” (It is funny how when you hear so much about someone, you invent this mental picture in your head of what they look like, and until you actually meet someone for the first time, that is all you can reference in your mind’s eye. Thus for me, it is always fun to see if my pre-configured picture of said people will turn out to be correct. In this case it was, and delightfully so.) Once we were properly introduced, we began as most people will when they strike up a new friendship–find your commonalities. Then, once we found common ground, the more interesting discussions were had. Oh, it was a wonderful time of fellowship. I will always look back on this memory with a smile and a grateful heart.
One thought that strikes me now as I type is how much we knew about Levi, and how little we knew about his family. I chuckle to myself every time I think about how odd these dynamics were for our family. Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying here, we hit it off with the Sherman’s right away, but it’s just the fact that our family, for years, has had the practice of making friends with the whole family; it sets the tone for the overall friendship of the parents and children alike. And if you don’t believe me, then you’ve never seen it work. There is a safety when a family befriends another family. Your parents are learning about the background of the other parents, which helps them to understand their family values, which brings about a trust (or a needful separation if both families don’t see eye to eye), and the children feel safe because they know that “If your mom and dad like my mom and dad, then we’re good to go.” When all this is done as a family, there is no need to go back and communicate what happened, because all the family members did it together. There is peace and unity built up, and everyone is much happier. With all that said then, it was really gratifying when we were finally able to meet with the Sherman clan face to face. The picture was at last made whole.
The weather that day was incredibly beautiful; not a cloud to be seen, and the humidity had blown off a bit. So we spent the whole evening out of doors to enjoy the rare climate. Dinner was eaten in the clear open air on our deck, which made for such a lovely and peaceful atmosphere as we ate and talked. Later on we got out our croquet set, arranged the wickets, and enjoyed a super hilarious game. How in the world can you have a hilarious game of croquet, you ask? Well, if you account for the fact that four out of six players were not very good at all, the lawn needed to be mowed and thus made for a lumpy turf, and to top it off, we ended up having to scurry after our balls with a lantern because it got too dark to see! And–just one more, I promise–because my ball was the “ba-lue” one, Levi made it a kind of joke and sang out in his deep bass voice the “Bear Necessities” song when it was my turn to play. Oh dear me! All that to say, there were so many kooky things going for that game that we couldn’t help but bust up laughing at nearly every silly thing that happened. In fact, I laughed so hard I cried until I got raccoon eyes from my mascara, and my sides were so cramped up it was painful to breath! But hey, I didn’t care! I was having a super duper time, as was everyone else. Besides, the doctors are always saying laughter is one of the best things in the world for you. I think we all got a pretty decent dose of that good medicine before the night was over. 🙂
That is one of the things I love most about Levi and his family, their way with making jokes and having a good time is so infectious! People of that sort delight me to no end. God gave us hearts to have all sorts of emotions, but one of the greatest ones he gave us was merriment. And when you come across people who love to have a good time, even though this is the first time they’ve met you, you know there is something pretty special about them. 🙂
By the time the night was through, and we were saying our goodbyes, it was with a bucketload of joy and merriment that we sent the Sherman’s on their way. These are good people, I kept thinking to myself. Not that I was expecting them to be any different, but you never know. Some family pairings just don’t seem to get along as well as others, but by the Lord’s gracious hand, he allowed our two families to harmonize well from the get-go. And I would soon find out why…
Stay tuned for Part 2!
Jessica, the Eldest Sister & Singer