Even back in college, she was always looking for beautiful things to adorn her world. So it doesn’t surprise me when I go to visit my dear friend from those years when the mounds of evidence show that nothing has much changed, for the good.
The special touches began showing up the minute we pulled up.
When she comes to Fargo, as she does some years, we usually go out to a nice restaurant with our girls, shop a little and, if we’re lucky enough to hit it right, take in a Trollwood outdoor musical.
Then, we spend the rest of our time talking well into the wee hours of the next day. Our topics cover everything from faith and family to assessments of our lives past and present, as well as our hopes and dreams as we look ahead.
When we visit in her small Minnesota town, the flavor is different, but every bit as wonderful. It had been a couple of years since we’d gone there, so a few things had changed from our last trip, but I was struck anew with all of the small things she’s done to make her house a welcoming home.
Like me, she’s a lover of words and knows their power to change an environment, to change a heart. I had so much fun going around her home and collecting all these words, like flowers in a bouquet.
The boys could not get enough of her backyard, which is something of an oasis in the summertime. Whether it was sitting on the deck and having our grilled dinner, or in the patio chairs in front of the firepit, or splashing together in the pool, which the boys did for about six different sessions during our 24-hour stay, we made use of most of the corners we were invited into.
A new kitten graced our visit, too, and as is usually the case, ignited a hope in the kids that we, too, could maybe get another kitten someday soon.
I’m afraid I dashed those hopes for now, but it was a good try. There’s just something about new life that sends kids spinning. I find the looks in my boys’ eyes as they watch little creatures at play so dear.
That was the best of it, but not all we garnered from this trip. The way home pointed out some pretty little spots.
And as the sun further descended, we were treated to quite the spectacle and had to pause to take note. It made for a little longer trip but it was worth it to breathe in a Minnesota sky on a mild, summer evening.
Thank you, God, for life-giving words.
Thank you, God, for splashes in a pool.
Thank you, God, for summer nights.
Thank you, God, for forever friends.