Saturday, July 23, 2005

Aunt Linda Meets Her ZFT Friends IRL

OK, this will be my last post about my trip to Philly, I promise.

The trip I described in my previous posts was to attend a wedding of a couple who had met each other at an online forum that I've been chatting on for over a year. Nine people from this forum were able to go to Philadelphia for this wedding from all around the country.

It was interesting to me to think how they were the same or different from the mental picture I had built in my head. Here's a little description of each of them, all twenty-somethings. First the girls:

1. The bride--I'm sorry I didn't get very much opportunity to talk to the beautiful bride. But of course, she had bigger fish to fry. She did express her pleasure that I had been able to attend her wedding.

2. The bridesmaid--Also beautiful, she was both laughing and crying. She spent the last night in my hotel room since she had an early flight out the next morning. I wish we'd had more chance to talk.

3. The girlfriend--pretty and friendly. She was my roommate and we had a nice couple discussions together. I even talked to her mom on the phone a little too.

Next, the boys:

1. The groom--he came to our room the morning of his wedding and we had a nice little visit. I noticed he was left-handed. He seemed a little younger than I was expecting, but every bit as pleasant and intelligent as I had expected.

2. The best man--He was pretty funny! I liked him better IRL than online. He promised his current and future tatoos would all fit perfectly under "professional business attire."

3. Groomsman #1--a man of substance, and possessing above average social and communication skills. It was a pleasure to hold an intelligent conversation with him.

4. Groomsman #2--a man of many words, but words are needed to make people feel included, which he did for me. Nor was he offended when I asked him to stop talking so I could say something. I liked him.

There was one other ZFT guy there, but I already knew him IRL. I have to be careful what I say about him because he knows where I live :-) So maybe I'll just stop there.

I greeted each of my young friends with a hug, and I could tell by the way they hugged back (or not) whether they were from the north or the south. They all seemed kind, polite, and accepting of me inspite of the fact that I am "your mother."

It was a lot of fun for me to go to this wedding, which was possible since I had enough frequent flyer miles for my flight. No ax murderers, not a one. I wish others from the forum could also have been there.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Lancaster County (Monday)


Monday morning I cleaned up my guest room and boxed up the pocket knives for mailing to Chris and Ken just in time to attend morning prayer meeting at the Northeast Regional Office. After that, Carol took me around Lancaster county to do some of the tourist things. We visited Intercourse, Paradise, and Bird-in-Hand. I'm not kidding.

If you knew Carol, you'd know we had to go to a quilt shop or two. Many beautiful quilts of several kinds. Very impressive indeed. Each quilt pattern has a name and Carol knew them all.

We ended our morning of gawking by going to a wonderful Amish diner for lunch--yummy home cookin'. After that, it was time for me to head back to the airport. By some miracle, I didn't get lost until I discovered that I had read the instructions for returning the rental car incorrectly. So I drove around Philly for a while, but I did finally arrive plenty early, only to discover my flight was delayed two hours. Another time it was nice to have a cell phone.

My family was at the airport to pick me up, happy to see that I hadn't been killed by an ax murderer.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

To Lancaster (Sunday)

ice cream

I didn't sleep at all well on Saturday night, nursing a headache as well as general conditions that were not conducive to sleep. About mid morning I found Colin and Ken and took their engraved pocket knives so I could mail them to them so they wouldn't get confiscated at the airport. Stacy gave me hers as well. Kenny gave me his nice PA map, which was some help to me in finding my way west. By some miracle I made it to Willow Street and to Carol's house without getting lost, and I didn't need to use the cell phone until I was already in her building and didn't know which door was hers.

Carol made me a very nice Sunday lunch, and then we went to the creamery for a Snickers ice cream cone in a homemade waffle cone. Yummy! After that we visited some of her friends including Sharon who showed me the quilt Carol had made for her. Isn't it beautiful?


After that we watched the Amish buggies go by on their Sunday drives.


I had a restful evening, all by myself in a large building that housed the Wycliffe regional office and four guest rooms.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

ZFT Wedding Day (Saturday)

Stacy at Wawa
Stacy woke up early, so I did too. I know I'm not her mother, but the mothering in me can't just be turned off--I could always sleep through a thunderstorm, but one of my kids made a peep and I was wide awake. We went to Wawa for some breakfast food--funny name for a convenience store, but they had real food like fruit and bagels ready to serve. Stacy thought she would be nice to her bf and his roommate, so she bought them some OJ and donuts. She took them to room 126 and gently knocked to see if they were awake. This she repeated every 30 minutes.

In the meantime, the groom came by our room and we had a really nice time to chat with him for about half an hour. It was fun to learn what his plans were. I also asked him to draw me a map of how to get to the church so I wouldn't get lost. And I gave him a map to our house since they plan to come visit soon.

About 11am Stacy discovered that her bf was in room 136, not 126. Whoops. She was finally able to deliver her gift and then we went down and had a chat with them while her bf got his tux on (he being one of the groomsmen). After a few photos of the two of them, he left for the wedding photo shoot and the rest of us got ourselves ready to go to the wedding as well.

Off we went, rain threatening. Around and around we drove, and around and around some more. This was one time when I was glad to have Rachel's cell phone. The groom's map had a few things on it we saw along the way, but we didn't make it to the church until 5 minutes before it was to start. We did, however, see some nice countryside.

Then the wedding venue had to be moved from outside to inside as it started raining. I felt sorry for one of the rain-soaked butterfly flowergirls who ran through the foyer in just her diaper. But her mom seemed more concerned than she was. I guess they used a hairdryer to dry her dress because it was dry when the wedding started about 45 minutes later.

The wedding did eventually get started. Six attendants: purple, pink, yellow, purple, pink, yellow, followed by purple, pink, yellow butterfly flowergirls. Very pretty. All went well except for an attack by an angry butterfly who was tired of being cooped up in a box.

The reception was also lovely, with a picnic theme. Cute ant stickers too. I got to eat whoopie pie and other good things. We took a fun photo of all the ZFT people--there were 9 of us altogether.


After that, there was cleanup of the reception area, another party at the bride's house, and by the time we drove to the hotel I was getting pretty tired. However, these youngsters were just getting started, and the fellowshipping continued until daybreak for some of them.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

To Philadelphia (Friday July 15))


I'm going to give a little summary of the four days of my trip to Pennsylvania. I'll just dish it out a bit at a time.

My flight to PHL was the first one of the morning, so David had to get up to take me to DFW. I used frequent flyer miles, so I didn't get a choice on which flight. I got a Dodge Neon rental car-drives nice, but I am too short to see out of the back very well. My first time to get lost was finding the hotel. After a scenic tour on the Pennsylvania turnpike ($.75 there, and $.75 back) I found the place. It was one of those places you can see but can't figure out how to get there.

After checking in I phoned the groom, Chris. (Thanks, Rachel, for letting me use your cell phone.) In a bit Chris and Matt came to my room and introduced themselves. They couldn't stay long as they were on the way to get the tuxes, so I watched a really stupid movie for an hour. I turned it off, decided I was hungry, and got in my car and drove around the hotel parking lot to see if there was a back entrance. As I drove around, I met up with Kenny, who had just arrived (he too had trouble finding the hotel). So we went out to eat together at Bennigans. I had Kilkenny Salad.

The next while I was a bit bored until Ken (not to be confused with Kenny) called and invited me to go meet the rest of the forum guys, which I enjoyed doing. I also met the groom's mom and stepdad and a set of grandparents. Stacy showed up after 10 pm, and then we two drove back to Bennigan's for some gooey chocolate dessert and a nice chat.


In other news, the New York Times published an article about the Ethnologue today. Gary did a lot of work on helping the journalist, but his actual name got cut on the last edit.

I had a nice chat with Rachel today about her trip to LA. Thank you to those who prayed for her. She got home a day before I did. They had a good and safe time, and I think she learned a lot. She was the youngest one on the trip and her teammates thought she was a bit naive about life. They kept making fun of her every time she said, "I didn't know that." But I pointed out that at least she is learning new things, think of it that way. One nice thing they said to her when observing her work at the Boys' and Girls' clubs: "Rachel, you've chosen the right field. When you work with those kids, you just glow. They love you and respond so well to you." That was a good word of affirmation for her.

And speaking of Rachel and prayers, she has an interview on Monday for an aide job at one of the elementary schools in our home school district. Pray that God will give her peace during the interview process and lead her to the job he has for her.

I'm Back!

It is way late, so this will be short. (I'm also too wound up to sleep.) I just returned from a trip to Pennsylvania. I attended a wedding of two people who met online on a forum I'm a part of. It was a lot of fun--no ax murderers, but I did leave the hotel with three pocket knives.

After the wedding I went to Lancaster to visit a friend--driving through Paradise on my way to Intercourse and then on to Bird-in-hand (no, I'm not kidding you about these town names!). I had a long day getting back with a flight delay of two hours, but I'm here safe and sound. I'll be posting photos and telling about my trip over the next few days.