At the end of July I decided I’d go relatively unplugged for the month of August. I didn’t look at Facebook nor my blog, and tried to stay out of the loop news-wise. I intended to check email less, but this proved difficult with lots of email-dependent aspects to life – I had to use email to close on our house in Florida and determine the boys’ practice schedules and for lots of details in between. And because of vacation and moving we had neither a working television nor the Internet for most of the month. Of course, with a smart phone, not having Internet wasn’t very impactful. Perhaps one day I’ll return from a truly unplugged vaca and be able to report back about the remarkable restoration of focus and peace. Until then though, I’m excited to be writing and engaging with many I’ve missed.
Quite a lot has happened in the last month. We moved out of one house, stored our belongings in PODS for three weeks, lived in a hotel for a few nights, then vacationed, closed on the sale of our house in Florida via the use of a notary in Michigan and Fed Ex, and then moved into our new place back in Virginia – which I have to say has more character and charm than anyplace I’ve ever lived. The more we get settled, the more I love it.
And I have lots of things I’d like to share (and process more through writing about them), but perhaps this one thing illustrates, in a complete and yet summary way, what kind of month it has been. The Jacksons have a new saying and it’s universal. Certainly not a day, and sometimes not an hour, goes by when it does not apply in some way. The saying: That Don’t Befrund Me.
It’s beginning goes back to August 1st. This was our first morning waking up in the hotel, and a family of five living in a regular-sized hotel room is less than ideal. Certainly it is wise to spend as much time away from the room as is humanly possible. Daddy Will was at work, and so after Will and Nate’s swim practice, I took the boys out to breakfast. We sat down at the yummy Original Pancake House and all was well. But then Sam started complaining that his tummy hurt.
I assured him that he was just hungry.
After his first bite of sausage Sam proved — in the most vivid way possible — that he was not just hungry. I tried to salvage what was unscathed in to-go boxes, helped as much as I could to clean up, paid the bill, and we headed — Sam and me vomit-laden — back to our hotel.
An hour or two later Sam appeared to be healed. Perfect. Ready to Rock. And Roll. So that night we took him, and his brothers, to see George Thorogood. We hadn’t been planning to take the boys along to the concert, but Will and I had tickets and the idea of having a babysitter in the hotel room, with a child who had vomited that day didn’t seem like a good plan either. And so off we went, all five of us, to Wolf Trap. Sam was even singing, “Who do you love?” as we found our place on the grass, and Thorogood ended up playing it!
That night was a mere foretaste though, because Thorogood became sort of the artist-of-the-month in the car, and we logged sufficient miles for the boys to memorize multiple songs. Perhaps it’s not a bragging right that my boys know every word to “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer,” but that don’t befrund me, because that’s where our quote comes from. If George adhered to the rules of English, he’d sing, “that doesn’t concern me.” But George is anything but a conformist, so he sings the enigmatic “that don’t befrund me.” (note: Urban dictionary has it as befund but it sounds more like befrund to us). Anyway, you can see how listening to this statement, which appears multiple times in the song, has it’s way of working itself into your lexicon.
But aren’t inside jokes just a gift? There is such a connection, a chemistry, a joy in making them. Do we ever stop to think that our Creator gave us this ability, that it is an expression of His love for us? That joy of laughing with your family or with your friends is life-giving, renewing. It’s vital. Job 8:21 is a reminder that it is God who fills our mouths with laughter and our lips with shouts of joy.
This morning I am thanking God for the many laughs I’ve had with my family in recent weeks. I hope you can give thanks for many laughs too.