Sunday, February 19, 2017
T H E C H U R C H S E R V I C E
“I’m getting my braces off tomorrow!” I announced to Abi and Ainsley. They cheered. “And on Tuesday I am going to get glasses!” I joked.
“You know that with glasses you would look like the world’s biggest geek, right?” Abi checked. Yeah, sure, whatever you say. 😂 😂
I was cleaning my room yesterday (because Abi was coming over today) when I picked up some old, cut up towels I had just sorted from my cloth drawer. Haydn and Ansa were hanging out with me, so I said, “I am going to delete this.” All three of us burst out laughing. “I mean: I am going to put this in the trash.” I corrected myself. “Oh my word, I am such a geek!”“What?” Noah, who had just joined our circle, asked. I opened my mouth, but an explanation came out of Abi’s. “That’s bad!” Noah exclaimed once caught up.“And coming from Noah!” Abi, who keeps me well informed on how big of a geek Noah is, exclaimed.“That’s bad!” Noah repeated, and we all laughed. 😂 😂
I will admit that for awhile now, whenever I make a mistake (whether it be while crafting or coloring) the first thing I always think of is “Command Z,” which is the keystroke to make when you want to undo something. Yeah… 😂 😂
Exactly one year ago today, we moved into our building. I feel like we’ve never been anywhere else. It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year. Wow, how time flies. I guess that’s what happens when you’re having fun.
To celebrate, there were cookies set out in the lobby after the service. I was in line to get some when I thought of asking Imani and Noble if they were going to be in the choir tonight. I looked up just in time to see the two girls walk out the door with their parents. Oh, well.
I joined a circle where Abi was quizzing Cameron about his prom date. “What color is her hair?” Abi asked.
“Uhhh…” Cameron said.
“Is it me brown or Abi brown?” I asked.
“There isn’t much difference,” Noah said, comparing me and Abi’s hair.
“Her’s is darker,” I explained.
“Oh,” Noah replied.
“Or Ainsley brown?” I volunteered to a still thinking Cameron. “Or Haydn brown or-” I looked around at Noah and Patricia’s hair. “We have a lot of brown in this circle.” 😂 😂
“It’s brown,” Cameron concluded.
“You’re such a guy!” Abi exclaimed before imitating Cameron’s answer. “How tall is she? This tall, this tall, this tall, this tall, or that tall?” She asked, pointing around the circle from herself to Haydn to me to Ainsley to Cameron and lastly to Noah.
“Uhhh… That tall.” Cameron answered pointing at me.
“What’s her eye color?” Abi asked. Cameron put on a thinking face. “I’m not a stalker, I just want to know,” Abi explained. It was concluded that Cameron does not know her eye color. 😂 😂
Haydn asked Cameron if it would hurt if he stabbed him and, while Cameron observed the oddity of the question, I was reminded of a distant memory. I turned to Abi. “Once Kyler and I were talking about what would be the least painful way to die.”
“When was this?” Abi asked.
“I don’t remember.” I honestly replied. “We agreed on a gun to the head.” Abi nodded in agreement. “The other option was a knife to the heart.”
“What?” Noah asked.
I turned to him while observing Haydn in a conversation with Cameron (which was somehow related to the imaginary knife in Haydn’s hand 😅 😅). I repeated my story, and Noah nodded in agreement before the conversation continued.
A D A Y W I T H A B I
Abi and Sarah went home with my family, so (because of them, Cross Current, and choir practice) we didn’t go to Grandma’s for lunch. After setting her stuff in my room, my best friend and I talked until Sarah called us to come help set the table. Once prepared, us kids went to the backyard where Abi and I sang whatever song came to our head.
After lunch, my best friend and I helped clean up before returning to my room. We gathered stuff to bring down to the woods before going to the garage to get hammers and nails. With our arms full of supplies, Abi and I headed down to the forest and were soon at the cabin.
I (sadly) had not been down there since Abi visited just after Christmas, but my siblings kept me informed about our creation’s deteriorating state, and that is precisely what I found. Everything was falling apart. My best friend and I were fixing the roof when Ansa and Sarah brought us Apple slushies. Yum! 😋
Upon realizing that merely nailing the roof back up was not going to work, we immediately regretted not bringing the various ropes I had left on my bed. Deciding that that was the best way to fix the fort, Abi and I gathered our stuff and returned to the house to get it. My best friend and I retrieved the rope but forgot to get the rake, and I accidentally left my hammer. 🙄
Back in the woods, we fixed the roof, replaced the IKEA bag wall with some old umbrella tops, folded and nailed the IKEA bags over the hole in the front left wall, and made a few additional repairs. Haydn joined us about halfway through, and on the way back I suggested that we go for a walk to the creek.
When we returned to the house, Mom told me that we would be leaving in 15 minutes. So, after I washed and dried my feet, I went upstairs and informed everyone else. While Ansa and Sarah changed, Abi, Haydn, and I sat on the floor in my room until Mom called us.
C R O S S C U R R E N T
When we pulled up to the church building, Cameron and Mrs. Ballard were just outside the back doors sweeping up something while barefoot Noah watched. Mrs. Ballard informed us that she had been unable to open the door, so she attempted to balance her glass dish of cake on her leg, and it slipped, fell, and shattered. I sympathized with her while making sure Cameron wasn’t about to eat the piece of cake he was holding. 😂 😂 Mom (who went shopping with the girls for a snack for Cross Current) bought a new dish for Mrs. Ballard. Mrs. Ballard was very touched.
Mrs. Rawlings, to my disappointment, had come to take Abi home so that my best friend would not have to sit through band practice. Noah’s presence must have been a last minute thing since he had no shoes. 😂 😂 As I came to this conclusion, I looked down the hall and through the open back doors where Noah was pretending to stomp on the glass shards with his bare feet. 😂 😂 After a hug from Ansa and Sarah (at the same time) and one from Abi, I took out the needed lyrics and stepped onstage.
I ended up being the only fraction of the choir that showed up, but it wasn’t until later that I found out why: all four girls (Ainsley, Cailin, Imani, and Noble) did not feel ready to fill the role they had expressed interest for- which is totally fine with me. I wouldn’t want any of them to do something they don’t feel prepared for. I did my best to make sure they understood that. I didn’t want them to feel bad that I had to sing all by myself. Surprisingly, I was not nervous at all. Maybe it’s my abundant love for this church, or perhaps it’s the spiritual growth I’ve experienced since I last stepped onto a stage (to perform), but the whole situation felt very natural and comfortable.
Facing the stage, I was on the left behind a mic and stand. Behind me was Mrs. Ballard and her piano. On the right of the stage was Mr. Phillip (who led worship since Mr. Childs was speaking) and behind him was Cameron who was playing the drum. Before we began to practice, I asked if I needed to sing harmony or something or if they just wanted me to sing the way I usually do. Both adults began to speak words that I did not know, and I told them so. They asked me about how I typically sing, but I had nothing but “the same as the original singer, but I sometimes go higher or lower.” Mrs. Ballard said something about singing a “half step lower,” and so I moved down to the stair leading up to the stage.
“Here?” I asked, and laughter filled the air.
“That was funny.” Mrs. Ballard said.
“Thanks,” I replied. “I try.”
“She has a lot of her dad in her.” Mr. Phillip said, which is true. It was decided that I just sing however I normally do. 😂 😂
We went through the songs with a significant “technical difficulties” break in the middle before finishing with plenty of time to spare. Mr. Phillip and Mrs. Ballard had a very technical sounding conversation about transitions after which I asked if we could go through the transitions because, from what I heard, they sounded very short and I wanted to know if I had enough time to switch the lyric papers on my stand. Mrs. Ballard showed me how she rotated through her’s and I copied that before we practiced the transitions which were much more straightforward than they sounded in words. We finished at 5:46 (14 minutes before Cross Current is supposed to start) and so, after getting some water, I went to go throw the frisbee with Haydn.
“Who’s that?” I asked Haydn when a green van pulled into the upper parking lot.
“Maybe the Haskells?” He suggested.
“I doubt,” I replied, but something about that van seemed very familiar… Moments later the Rawlings turned into the lower parking lot and we ran to greet them.
As I dashed across the parking lot to where Mr. Rawlings had parked, I noticed two figures standing at the corner of the building: Kai and Ian Haskell. I couldn’t believe it. “The Haskells are here!” I exclaimed to Abi as she closed her door.
“I know!” She exclaimed in reply before both of us began to chatter at once about how we came to this realization.
“You guys sound like groupies.” Mrs. Rawlings said as she opened the trunk and reached into it for something. “You need to stop, it’s rude.”
“Abi,” came Mr. Rawlings’ voice. “You need to stop.”Although Abi was addressed, I felt equally as guilty. I hadn’t meant to be rude, I was merely excited that good friends I missed were here to fellowship.
Now quiet, Abi asked, “Should we go say hi?”
“Yes,” I replied. “They’re visitors.” We began walking towards them, and when we were stepping out from under the awning I exclaimed, “Hi! How are you guys doing?”
“Good,” Kai replied.
“Would you like to come inside?” Abi asked.
“We were just waiting for our aunt,” Kai explained.
“Imani and Noble’s mom?” I asked.
“Yes,” Kai replied.
“Are they here?” I asked, looking around the corner of the building. All I saw was a green van.
“No,” Kai replied. “We were waiting because my aunt is usually late and we didn’t want to stroll right into a building because that would be awkward.”
“Oh, no, not at all.” Abi and I replied as Mr. Rawlings walked up. He introduced himself, and Kai introduced himself and Ian before we headed inside.
“Introduce me,” Abi whispered in my ear as we followed the guys into the Multi-Purpose room.
“Kai,” I said, and he and Ian turned toward us. “This is Abi. Abi, this is Kai and Ian. Ian, this is Abi.” They exchanged hellos as Noah walked up. I looked back from Noah to see Ian whisper something to Kai before they laughed. “Do you not like to be called ‘Ian’?” I asked. When Kai had introduced him earlier what I heard didn’t sound like “Ian.”
“No,” Ian replied. “She just forgot my name.”
“I said, ‘Hello, I forgot your name.’” Abi explained.
“Oh. Do you guys want to go throw the frisbee?” I asked.
There was a little, random conversation before Kai said, “Yes, we can go throw the frisbee, but I have terrible hand-eye coordination.”
“That’s okay,” I replied. “I do, too.”
I had so many questions about Kai’s upcoming trip to Japan that I was going to start a conversation before Kai ended up behind me and next to Noah, who seemed to ask about the said trip but I could not hear most of what was said. So I turned to Abi as we approached the corner of the building. “I’ll race you,” I said, and no questions were asked. 😂 😂
Cameron, who was already on the front lawn with Haydn and the frisbee, faked fright at the sight of two teenage girls running straight toward him. Abi and I, however, fell down laughing long before we neared him. 😂 😂 Abi helped me up, and we played a game of frisbee that, although it did not expose anyone to be downright terrible, the frisbee itself did go on a few adventures. The first of which was its flight into the middle of Highway 14 and the second was when it landed on the roof of the church building. Both times Kai came to its rescue. We love our visitors. 😂 😂
After worship and small-group discussions, snack time began. I sat down next to Haydn who, I quickly caught on, had asked Kai about his travel schedule. “You’re not coming back?” I asked Kai.
“Unless his plane wrecks,” Haydn said, leaving to refill his cup.
“Well, that’s dark,” Kai said. 😂 😂
“Then he couldn’t come back…” I trailed off. “So, you’re not coming back?”
“I am,” Kai replied. “Around Christmas.”
“So you’re gonna be gone for less than a year,” I said.
“Yes and, if everything goes well, I hope to go back to stay and be a translator.”
“Oh, cool,” I said. “Where did your interest in Japan come from?”
“I was reading about other cultures.” He replied before going on to say something about a 1 : 80 ratio that shows that people here are really selfish while people in Japan are very selfless. Abi pointed out that he just called all of us selfish and dramatically announced that she felt condemned before Kai continued. “Plus, the people are nice, and I like their food.”
“I should go,” Haydn said, liking the idea of friendly people and good food.
“Yeah, totally,” Kai replied before excusing himself to take a phone call from his dad. Ian sat down in Kai’s spot.
“Hey, will you pay for my trip to Japan?” Haydn asked.
“No,” Ian replied. “I’m paying for my own trip to Japan.”
“Are you following your brother?” I asked.
“No. Only for, like, a week.” Ian explained.
“Oh. That’s cool.” I replied.
Haydn and I talked to Ian for a couple more minutes before I glanced over at Dad who motioned my brother and me to follow. “I have to go- We have to go,” I told Ian. “Maybe I can drive.”
“How good are you?” Ian asked.
“Uhhh…” I thought. “Well, I’ve never been pulled over by the police or smashed any mailboxes.”
“Well, You’re better than my brother,” Ian said.
“What did he do?” I asked, already laughing.
“He backed a truck into a basketball pole which somehow scratched up the front of the car.” 😂 😂 Ian paused a moment to let Haydn, and I laughed before explaining that he’ll be able to drive by himself before the end of the year.
“Well, it was nice talking to you,” I said.
“You, too,” Ian replied.
“Thanks for coming,” I told him before looking up at Noah. “See you Sunday.”
“See you,” Noah replied.
I walked halfway across the Multi-Purpose Room before remembering the sheets of lyrics I had left onstage. I changed course to get them and was surprised to find that the stage had been cleared all except for a pile of papers and a purple pen (which I let Mrs. Ballard borrow). I gathered up the collection before continuing on my original route out the door.
Noah was now in the hall with the circle including his mom and Kai, so we exchanged goodbyes again before I turned to Kai and exclaimed, “Good luck in Japan!”
He had told us that a farewell party was to be thrown for him on March 4. “That’s a command: march forth.” 😂 😂