Valentine's Day honestly is the hardest holiday for me. It may have something to do with years working at a flower shop or the world telling me that I "needed" someone on this day as a high-schooler and not having anyone. Perhaps I dislike it because when I did have "somebody" to be my so called Valentine, we just hurt one another because.....well, we were kids and had no business being in that kind of relationship. Anyway, it is just not my favorite! Now, that we have been married over 18 years.......it is just another day......and that works for both My Dear and myself!
But this year was different. Since we have moved, there are no "date nights." (Yes, I see your post on Facebook!) There is no "running away for the weekend" (but furlough is coming!) We have kept our kiddos close to us in the early stages of the move because we were all shaking in our boots scared and crying could come at any time (from the children.... or me!) We had some sweet help with them when we moved over the summer months from an intern as we attended classes (so that time walking up rocky ole Thomassin was pretty precious as I hooked my arm in his so not to stumble.)
All week, our friends Chris and Jen with a Door to Hope ministry, have asked when we were going to let the kids come over to their house for an evening and us have time to ourselves. They picked the restaurant for us to go to and everything and said we would feel like we were in America. The kids caught wind of the offer and cheers abounded!
So tonight, we packed up some entertainment and refilled the recently emptied nest of The Wards with just what they left in the states....1 boy and 2 girls.....and maybe they left a Nerf gun, a baby doll, Swiss Family Robinson video, oh and Dolly fixed a lunch box of dinner for everyone.....oh, and socks, jackets, and blankets cause it is really amazing the temperature difference just a few miles up the mountain.
These two sillies snuggled under a blanket because they had the window down on the way there.
The gang was excited to hang out at The Wards high in the sky apartment...so high, heat no longer rises apartment!
My Dear and I dressed up and went out on the town! Miss B. was so funny. She picked out my necklace and shoes and made suggestions about my attire. She asked My Dear to wear a certain pair of shoes and told him he better brush his teeth if he was going on a date with Mom. He asked why and she said, "Cause you don't want to talk to her and she says, (waving her hand in front of her nose) 'Your breath stinks." Oh, let me add this...I also got to explain what contraception was today to another of our children since we did a grocery run and it is located with those "last minute items" at the check-out you know the ones: candy, gum, cigarettes (3 choices), playing cards, and contraception.
So, this place did not automatically take me back to the states because it was SO NICE! Nicer than where I would have eaten in the states. But I did find one thing on the table that you just don't see in the states anymore, an ashtray. Thankfully, no one was using one of these while we were there.
We had a nice time being alone! The folks saw us coming and knew it was an American holiday. They seated us, handing us menus in FRENCH! (Darn you high school latin!) I recognized a few words from Creole but glad to know that BBQ is pretty universal. The people were so precious. Our server was Ulysses. He was kinda "Unconditional Surrender" (U.S. Grant, get it U.S in Grant's name....I would not have gotten it either if not for homeschooling.) Mr.Ulysses came to the table and replaced the light bulb over our table. Then someone came and lit a candle for us and twisted the lightbulb off. Ulysses came again to refill drinks and turned the light back on. SO funny and it just cracked me up that they were trying so hard to make it romantic as they respected our holiday. We were just happy to get to finish sentences that did not contain interjections using "Stop!" or "Don't!" It was good, so good to just be us and to breathe...good think Miss B. reminded us to brush our teeth!
Have you ever seen a more fancy plate of French fries? We did have an idea what was coming with this meal.
BBQ chicken and I got to pick between fries of bannann (plaintains.) Those sticks are carrots.
We had left something for Chris and Jen at the house so after we ate, we came back to get it. When we got home, Dolly's pup Chester came out to greet us. He ran to the car and looked at me. I stayed outside so he could do his business but he wouldn't. Came back in with head down and tail tucked....and we finally got it. He couldn't find the kids. He probably does not remember a time when they were not with us. He was confused. When we returned from getting the kids I noticed that Chester pup had gone and gotten Billy's dirty sock out of his floor to love on...that is some kinda love...a dirty 13 year old boy's sock.
We are thankful that God saw fit to send the Wards to Haiti...and our part of Haiti just months after we moved. That the "chance" meeting of their friend to our friend on a beach in FL would lead to a discussion about their friends (us) moving to Haiti and their praying that we would meet. That following Sunday we did just that! God arrangements! He knew we (ALL 5 OF US!) needed this precious family to spur us on. Former KY youth ministers....meeting in this country....a continued reminder of God's great big LOVE! Thanks for loving us Wards!