When we first began to make our plans for our weekend with Levi’s family, we incorporated them in around a singing gig the girls and I had committed to, which was on the Saturday of the weekend they were in town. The event we sang at was a bicentennial celebration for a small town out in the Ohio countryside. We met up with Levi and his family at the event, arriving early enough to enjoy some old, familiar Americana tunes played by a Civil War reenactment band, until it was our turn to take over the stage. I recall that the street on which the stage was set up had a pretty sporadic current of wind running down it, which posed a bit of a problem for me. I was wearing my fetching, wide-brimmed hat (wind and wide-brimmed hats should never ever be mixed, ever.) and during our performance, any time a gale would blow, which was every five minutes, it nearly swept the hat off my head! So there I was, trying to keep up with the girls in our choreography, and suddenly my hand would have to jerk up in an uncoordinated fashion to clap my hat back in place. It was the first time I had to deal with such an awkward turn of events while performing! Not pleasant, but I’ll have to admit, a bit comical. Despite all awkwardness, I managed to sing well, and keep my hat on…mostly. 😉
To smooth it all over though, there was a happy moment when I looked out over the audience to spot where our families had settled themselves. It was a wonderful sight, one that truly warmed my heart. But I think the thing we were most happy with was the fact that Levi’s family were able to experience a pretty nice example of what our girls’ singing gigs looked and sounded like. They enjoyed it very much I think, and seemed to understand the value in what my sisters and I were doing–bringing back good memories of the past to our audience, and adding a picture of hope for the future.
Once our show ended, we gathered up our stuff to head to a local Diner we had seen on the way into town. This was the first time we had ever been to a cute little Diner before, and the girls and I had always dreamed of going to one just to have a mini photo shoot of us posing outside one of those glinting, retro styled eateries. Oh, and if you have been one of the people who visited your local Diner dressed up in a vintage ensemble, then you can guess right away that we got several side glances, backward looks, and oohs and ahs when we entered. We were asked by various onlookers what we were dressed up for. Many of them had heard about the bicentennial going on in the nearby town, and a flicker of understanding lit up several pairs of eyes once we girls explained the style of music we had sung at the celebration. “Oh! You’re the Andrews Sisters then!” or “Are you kind of like the McGuire Sisters? Because you sure look like them!”
Anyhow, we really enjoyed our meal at that cute place! And the food was pretty tasty! But the desserts…! Oh…! You might want to consider staying away from those. They’re a bit dangerous if you ask me 😉 My mom said her coconut cream pie was the best she’d ever had! The delicious food, and good conversation kept our minds so busy, that we ended up staying well past a typical customer’s welcome. But I really don’t think anyone minded that much. They probably enjoyed the “entertainment”! *chuckle* We eventually checked our watches, and promptly made for our departure.
Here’s where it gets good…
Before we parted ways in the parking lot, Levi went up to Dad while we ladies were still talking about I can’t remember what. Somebody tuned in to what was going on between Dad and Levi and the conversation died down. Recognizing the silence of curiosity, Dad turned to explain that Levi wanted to have a chat with him, and would it be okay if we all went back to our house? Well sure! Why not? So away we went in a caravan back home.
My dears, there are some things that are meant to be shared, and some things that are best left unknown. You all have gotten the gist of what had been happening over the summer. Apparently, my family had become rather special to Levi, (he kept that secret pretty well) so much so that the night of which we’re speaking of, he made an advance to ask permission from Dad if he could go beyond just a casual friendship, and begin to think of us more like family. When we were told the news, our hearts leapt into our throats and a silence of pure excitement and disbelief came over us all. I think we felt a little scared to be the first to say anything, but we were really not expecting such a sudden turn of events. This young man, who had become so dear to our family that we girls had really begun to think of him as a brother, was now expressing the same sentiments towards our family that we had had towards him for so long! None of us girls had ever shared this fact with him, as we didn’t feel it was our place to say such a thing yet. But now…
Maybe you have experienced strong feelings of joy and happiness towards a certain good friend at some point in your life; feelings so strong that at some points they seem as if they could just burst out like a rocket and explode! And maybe you have felt the need to hide those feelings, because you weren’t certain if your friend shared the same regard for you. So you wait, reigning in those feelings until you find the right moment to express them towards your friend. When you find it, and can speak what has been on your mind for so long, that moment will become gilded in gold, and stay that way for the rest of your life, only because you saved it for the right time.
Ever since we first met Levi, I had been waiting for the right time to express to him what the girls and I had so long thought of him as–the brother we never had–and that moment had at last dawned. Once I made my little speech of excitement and thanksgiving, the cork in the bottle popped and everyone else’s excitement bubbled over in a pool of blissful joy. The night went on from there like a dream. I can hardly remember the sequence of events, nor even see in my mind’s eye even the smallest fragment of a scene. I only remember the sensation of being on cloud nine. And it seemed that for days after, there was too much warm air to keep us from sinking into anything short of happiness.
The unexpected journey had begun, and two weeks later, Levi and I were courting.
Jessica, the Eldest Sister & Singer