Though all love originates in God and is for that reason God's own love, yet we are permitted to catch and reflect back that love in such manner that it becomes our love indeed, in much the same way that sunlight reflected from the moon becomes moonlight. - A.W. Tozer

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Sweet Friendships, Right Off the Vine

Two great volunteers - Mim W and Mary Lou
We spent the second week of March with a family who feels like part of our own now, but who were almost complete strangers when we pulled up to their vineyard on Saturday afternoon. Mim W. came to Crisfield in January as a short-term volunteer. She did a whole lot of drywall mudding and sanding and still wanted to see her crew leader again someday. She told Aaron and me that we were welcome to come stay with her and her family on their vineyard in the Shenandoah Valley.

Sherando Lake, still iced over

We planned to spend a few days with the W family, but they were so hospitable and fun that we stayed a whole week. Either they were good actors, or they actually had a good time with our family too. We not only were able to visit with the W's, but our former project director, Alvin, lived in the same town, and Ms. Mary Lou, another MDS volunteer, was also able to join us for a morning hike.

It was a very full week. We got to hike on the Appalachian Trail, climb a mountain, go on a homeschool co-op field trip, visit a museum, bowl, shop, work in the vineyard, and just generally have a wonderful time in what Miriam called "our home in Virginia."

The actual Appalachian Trail
       Mim W. has a daughter and her family (whose names will be changed here) living almost next door, and they homeschool their two boys. That means the kids got to play with other people close to their age, which they really enjoyed. "Zack" was a real trooper, hiking and throwing snowballs and playing board games as if he's known us all his life. His four-year-old brother, "Silas", was one of the cutest kids ever, and played right along with the others with no trouble. Their instant friendship was one of those little things that make homeschoolers laugh when people say our kids aren't "socialized."

We went on a field trip with this family and they made it a fun experience, despite the weirdness of the museums and cave that we visited. In fact the whole day was pretty hilarious, and we accidentally taught "Silas" the word "creepy." In our defense, it was a series of museums by a guy who not only purchased his own tourist cave, but also collected giant animatronic parade floats and shop window displays.

Giant Zombie Bears!

We left the Valley with homemade grape jelly, juice, and various canned goods and other things. It was a great week, and we're eager to go back and visit someday when the grapes are growing and we can help with some of the other things that Mim and her awesome family will be doing.
Mim and Zack dig a hole for a new vine
Zaya learned to drive the tractor

Working even a tiny bit with grapes make you think about all those parts of the Bible where we are compared to grapevines. I have a little better understanding of those now, and I look forward to learning more someday. There's nothing like pruning or carefully tying a vine to make you think of the 'fruitfulness' of your own life.
Mim W and Mim T made a great team.