I rarely see my sister without a pen and piece of paper in hand. It might be a napkin or the back of an envelope or a stray piece of cardboard - whatever's at hand to take notes on. J. finds inspiration everywhere and isn't satisfied until she gets in down on paper. (Case in point, at a recent meeting at a funeral home, I caught her taking notes about the vintage, dragon-embroidered sofa we were sitting on.) Anyway, she'll see something that gives her an idea for a craft project or a book or the color she wants to paint her son's room. And when she goes on vacation, she all but writes a travel guide. It's not her fault really - I egg her on. She takes such copious notes that reading them or hearing her recount from them is like going away with her. And so, it's become a tradition, that after her latest travels we get together to debrief. She loves reliving her time away, and I feel as if I'm vicariously visiting faraway places with her.
So last week J. called a lunch meeting. It was time to share the details of living on an island for a week, and it was best to do it in person. She and her family had just returned from soaking up the rays on a little island off the coast of South Carolina, and she wanted to share every minute.
She recounted their tales of bike-riding to breakfast and bike-riding back from supper (and having to use the flashlight of their iPhone to do it by). We howled over stories of open suitcases and flying delicates, and of her glow-in-the-dark family who's untanned skin stood out like a neon sign on the beach. She told me of lying in bed and watching a line of pelicans fly by and seeing alligators creep up out of the swamp to lay quietly at the side of the golf course. Of marveling over God's creation - tiny hermit crabs running along the beach, a live starfish that they gently examined, finding a creature in every shell they picked up. Of the amazing food and intense heat and fascinating history of their day-trip to Charleston. Of carriage rides and little boys doing a can't-wait-to-get-to-the-pool dance in front of the elevator. Of how she wants to cultivate the idea of island living at home. Of joy and laughter and fun.
And that was only through Tuesday. We still have Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday to go. So she called for a series of travel luncheons to take place. Because she doesn't want me to miss a single moment of their joy. And neither do I.
Have I thanked You lately for my sister, Abba? What joy she is to me.