We live right in the inner city. Our home is an old-fashioned British-style row house. We have neighbors. Like, right on top of us. It’s kinda like living in an apartment or attached townhouse. In many ways privacy doesn’t exist. Everyone knows what’s happening in each other’s lives. And that’s okay–it just goes with where we live. We feel so blessed that we have amazing neighbors. They’re kind, thoughtful, and extremely considerate. Given the number of kids that we add to the block (and thus, the increase in noise, toys on the sidewalk, and one huge bus which takes up parking space for two vehicles), they are just so, so gracious.
But every now and then comes the urge to escape–to just get out of the city and have some space. This weekend we did just that. We loaded up the bus and took off for two days. I am definitely a country girl at heart.
It was wonderful! I love the mountains. Though I certainly do not miss the very long winters we had in Colorado–I do miss the breathtaking beauty of the mountains. There is just something about fresh mountain air and wide open spaces.
We had such a wonderful time together. I love getting away as a family–making memories.
And I’ve discovered another little something that I quite like. Bluegrass! Actually, I love it. I never grew up with country music in South Africa. Come to think of it, I don’t even remember hearing it much there. But now I love it. It is quite funny, though. Every country song I hear seems to be about falling in love, losing love, finding long lost love, broken hearts, and living happily ever after. What’s up with that?
We spent one evening on the sidewalk listening to music. The locals gather there every Friday night this time of year. It was awesome. The kids loved it. There is something so entertaining about watching other people dancing on the sidewalk, in the chilly air, having the absolute best time. Music has a beautiful way of bringing people together.
The city slickers watched from a distance.
We didn’t quite go as far as to try that shuffle dance they do. What’s it called, “flatfooting” or something? Is there really even a specific way to do that? Or do you just kind of shuffle your feet and make it look all fancy?
Perhaps next time we’ll try it. Anthony and I both have two left feet–but country dancing looks like something that even we could master. Maybe.
I will never forget when we got engaged. Anthony thought it would be a great idea if we learned how to dance properly for our wedding. A fine idea. He enrolled us in the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. On the night of our first lesson, he arrived at my house appropriately (or, maybe not) dressed in his “zoot suit.” His black suit with white socks, shiny shoes, and a Hawaiian shirt (lovely!) completed the outfit. I was mortified! I laughed so hard at his attempts to learn to dance in his ridiculous outfit that we completely failed the class. The instructor refused to have us back. Nice.
Flatfooting may just be our thing. Anthony will just have to add a cowboy hat to his zoot suit.
One thing’s for sure–my accent sure does stand out in those parts. I lost count at how many people asked me what part of England I was from. When I told them I was actually South African, most had their geography kinda sorta in the right direction. Unlike a dear man I met in a quiet country store a couple of weeks ago. When he inquired where in the world I was from I told him, “‘South Africa.” To which he responded, “Oh yes, I know exactly where that is. Which part are you from…Kenya or Nigeria?”
Ummmm. Actually, that would be neither. But it really doesn’t matter. Africa is a very large place indeed.
Yup. These dear country folks had their geography all figured out. Or at least they pretended to.
Harper thought their dancing deserved some sweet applause. Girlfriend LOVES to give applause where applause is due. And sometimes even when it isn’t quite the right time. And that’s perfectly okay, sweet baby girl.
This time she was right on cue.
“Yayeeeeeee,” she says every time, clapping her hands. The two just have to go together.
Later she played a game of spot the toddler under the sobrero.
We spent quality time with a dear friend. I am forever grateful at how the Father brings such amazing people into our lives. Thank you, Lisal, for loving our family and for letting us invade your space. We love you back.
Connor and Harpy shared sweet moments together.
Melts my heart. I cherish these moments and sometimes wish I could just freeze time. But I can’t. So I take a ton of pictures because I never want to forget these days, these little impromptu getaways, the memories being made between siblings. The love between a brother and his darling little sister. This is what makes my life awesome! I honestly would not trade it for anything in the world. I feel so blessed.
Lovely big sister, as usual, was always ready and willing to give a ride. My beautiful Hannah-Claire is becoming a young lady. Gone are the days when she was my little girl. She is blossoming, growing, and becoming the young woman God created her to be. I am so proud her. There is just something so special about my angel girl. Her passion for life is contagious. Her joy bubbles over. She lives life to the fullest, and teaches us all how to do the same.
And she is such a wonderful, wonderful big sister.
Tonight I am so thankful to the Lord for the short time away, for time with my family and for the way He provides just what we need, when we need it. He is just so good like that.