Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Space.

Last night we hosted the Vandenberg family in our home for dinner.

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This family is unusual. And different. And wonderful. And our family relates to their family quite well.

Why is that?

Because they live in this.

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(Just in case you might wonder why a minister's family has a Budweiser sign in the front of their bus, this picture was taken by the former owners before the Vandenbergs bought the bus.)

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And they travel most of the year singing and preaching in churches around the U.S. and Canada; in fact, Lloyd and Cathy have been living on the road three-quarters out of every year for their entire marriage—25 years!

The main difference between them and us?

They have six children as opposed to our two. So for much of their time on the road, they had eight people living in a bus for 8-9 months a year!

Since their older daughter has recently gotten married and will be moving to China with her husband to do missions work and their next oldest daughter is in Bible school, they have “only” six people on the bus now.

Which is a lot of people in a little space.

We’ve known this family for about twenty years and used to run into each other occasionally in different parts of the country; we'd always try to grab a meal or two together before heading down separate highways. Since they home school, play instruments, sing, write songs, record CD’s, etc. it was always wonderful to get to meet up with them.

Getting the chance to spend the evening with them last night (after not seeing them for about 10 years) was an extra special treat. Sarah especially enjoyed talking with their kids; they have things in common with each other that very few other kids can understand or relate to.

This past Sunday, the Vandenbergs sang and preached in our morning service and then last night after our meal, they gave us a tour of their bus. That brought back so many memories from our own road days.

Here’s Sarah on their bus reading to their cute-as-a-button 3-year old.

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A little serious.

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A little not-so-serious.

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(There are seven people in this picture instead of the usual six because Katelynn—the young lady on the left--has been on break from school for a couple weeks.)

I have to admit to you that once we left their noisy, crowded, happy bus and arrived back at our home, I walked in the front door, took a look around, sighed and said to myself. “Ahhh. Space.”

I have lived full time for over twenty years of my life (first with my parents and then with Steve) in R.V’s and I have quite happily gotten along in the teeniest spaces imaginable. (Most of the time, we lived in less than 300 sq. feet of space.)

So I can truly say that I greatly admire the Vandenbergs for their long term commitment to their traveling ministry. I can also say that I’m glad I got to live that unusual and fulfilling lifestyle for twenty years. And lastly? I can definitely say that I appreciate beyond all description the fact that I now live in a home that has space.

Space, wonderful space. Ahhh.

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You all were so sweet to chime in yesterday about my post on Snowy’s liver results; I was touched by how many of you shed joyful tears and/or did your own happy dances over our good news. Snowy is a blessed little fella to have his own Smithellaneous Fan Club. (He says to tell you all howdy but he can’t write right now because he’s too busy trying to keep up with his grueling Napping In The Sun schedule.)

Here are Snowy and his sister before she left for school this morning. A good lookin’ pair, don’t you think?

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Before I close, let me respond to a few of your recent comments:

Mary H. said, “I, for one, would be heartbroken if there wasn't at least a little mention everyday of Snowy's brightness and funniness and health. A Christmas miracle, for sure - he came to you at Christmas time, isn't that correct? He was a miracle then and a miracle still.”

Mary, you have a good memory! Yes, we did get Snowy at Christmastime, Christmas Eve, 2000 to be exact. He was two months old, weighed about two pounds and was the most darling ball of white fluff you have ever seen!

AnonymousJodi said, I can barely see the screen to type this email as the HAPPY tears are falling. We should have known Snowy Stud Muffin (is that right?) Smith would be just like his sister PGC!
Yes, Snowy’s unofficial middle name is Stud Muffin.
(Jodi continued . . . .) And while we are talking about the functions of the Smith Children; how is Nathan feeling/doing with the thyroid issues--HYPER, RIGHT)? You haven't talked about his health "issue" in quite some time. I am hoping NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS; but assuming is not something I am good at so please let us know, if you wish.
After Nathan’s last visit to the doctor to have his thyroid checked, she said his levels had come back to near normal. He just needs to be re-checked every year.

BloggerAnne said (in reference to my post about time going faster the older we get), Hi Becky, I read somewhere about a theory that as we age our core temperature rises ever so slightly - the hypothalamus is the reason I think? And they postulated that it affects our perception of time.

Anne, I have no idea what all the means but it sounds very impressive and I am also impressed that you used the word “postulated” in a sentence. That is a lovely word that is so underused!

(Anne continued . . .) Happy Anniversary!!! Will you plan something extra-special for the big 3-0 next year?
Steve and I were just talking the other day about our 30th anniversary and what we might do. Since my dream of touring old buildings and castles in Europe is a little “much” and since his dream of sightseeing out west in a Mazda Miata convertible roadster may not be financially feasible till we’re about ninety, we’re still a bit undecided as to our 30th anniversary plans.
But as fast as time goes? We’d better hurry and start planning because 2011 is probably going to be gone within the next ten minutes.

4 Had Something To Say (Just click here!):

jmckemie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Love Being a Nonny said...

Love it when you *update*with answers to questions people ask! Glad to hear Nathan's thyroid levels are much better! Happy New Year!

Mary H said...

What great fun to reconnect with people you love and respect. Also, what great fun to be able to plan a 30th wedding anniversary celebration - what a wonderful gift that "constant" is in your life. A year of discussions and planning and imagining will be half the fun - ENJOY! You so deserve all of it. Hi, Snowy! Hope Sarah is enjoying the second half of the school year and it was good to hear that Nathan is doing well. I also enjoy your answers to questions or comments. This "spot" is such a comfort in this new year. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Nothing is impossible with my God!!! Amen???

Father God, thank you for the great report on Snowy...now I want to ask you to totally heal this little "Stud Muffin" of any irregularities that may have shown up in his tests. Lord, again, thank you for healing Snowy's liver. And his whole body...In Jesus' name I ask, Amen and amen!!!
Loving the whole Smith Family in Jesus sweet name...amen and amen!!!

fh from Texas