$4000 in 7 days. My sister knows how to shop. No wonder my mom said, "Don't buy anything for your new house until Amy gets there!" But she's gone and I still can't believe it. This week has gone by so fast. She was here, we shopped, bought a couch and love seat, bought an ecologically-friendly washer/dryer unit, painted my bedroom and living room, picked out a duvet and shams, ate out every time we had the chance and then she was gone. It was so fun having my sister with me in my new house, sleeping in the same bed with me just like we did when we were kids. She loved my friends, she loved my ex, she loved Austin. And I loved having her here. But then she was gone, as fast as she came.
And then I was gone. Amy left Saturday and I left Sunday. I went from ultimate American consumer to pee in an outhouse wilderness adventurer. Monday: white water rafting. It was amazing, challenging and beautiful. My head got sunburned and my body got hypothermia. Figures. I'll save you the details. Tuesday: rock climbing and repelling off a cliff. My favorite day. In high school, our church youth group planned a trip repelling. We practiced repelling off the roof of the one-story ministries building. But that's as far as I ever got. It rained at our destination and only the juniors and seniors got to repel. As an eighth grader, I got to play in a creek. But all that changed on Tuesday and with complete confidence that I could not begin to tell where it came from, I bounced off the cliff, flying down to the ground and climbed a rocky cliffside that would put fear in Ann Catherine any other day of her life. But it was amazing. I slipped back into bouldering mode when Jessy used to coach me in good bouldering technique and I shimmied right up that 50 foot rock. Wednesday we hiked. On top of a mountain hiked. Through snow and over rocky hills. Van Trapp family hiked. 5 miles at 10,000 feet will not take you an hour and a half like it would in St. Joe or Austin. It'll take half a day. You just can't breathe in enough air. I'd love to say that you can't breathe in all the beauty of the mountain view all around you or something poetic like that, but literally, you can't freakin' breathe up there. Nature. Weather. Altitude. God was creative.
And then we came home. 30 people learned about leadership and life and their limits and themselves and I came home knowing that I could make it through the rest of the week.
If I can repel off a cliff then I can say good-bye to my sister, and officiate my first wedding all in one week. Not to mention welcome my parents into my new home, plan worship for a Youth camp and perform all my normal weekly duties. I will not freak out. I hiked a mountain and didn't die.
Mom and dad drive in Saturday while I'm in the hill country marrying my first couple. For the first time in my life I can say no longer say "Always the wedding singer, never the bride" because now I'm performing the ceremony.
I am their friend and I am their pastor.
Then I drive home and my parents will welcome me in my new home. They arrive here Saturday, I get home Sunday. We'll meet at church and celebrate my dad's birthday and hopefully the new house. Today (yesterday as of three minutes ago) is my dad's birthday. Although I talked to my mom twice today and my grandma once, I never talked to my dad. I'm not sure how that happened. But that's his picture at the top of this blog. He and Potter at Christmas. Potter is much older now and so is my dad I guess.
So good-bye Pittsy, "Sanders" misses you; good-bye mountains, thanks for the encouragement; hello weekend wedding, I promise not to screw up; and hello mom and dad, I'm sorry I didn't call the day of your Birthday.
But I love you dad, so this long post is dedicated to you. You gave me life, you gave me Amy, you gave me the strength to move away, you taught me to use my gifts, and now you visit me - not only your daughter, but a fully grown adult.
I think so too.