Monday, November 26, 2012

Make-It Monday: Memories

Thanksgiving behind us, Christmas before us, many of my projects and crafts have turned in the direction of gifts. There are some few spare items floating around that I will post about eventually - socks, leg warmers, fingerless gloves - but in the meantime, I will reminisce about my favorite things to make: memories!

A few years back, a small, dear group of friends and I began what was to become our annual "Beach Weekend." A teeny-tiny cottage by the beach, complete with pint-sized hot tub and quirky but endearing leopard-print carpet was our original destination (you can read about our first adventure here, but no one blogged Year Two, to my knowledge). Due to shaky schedules and questionable availability of "our" cottage this year, however, we opted for an entirely different experience: A weekend in Portland! It was such fun to explore a city we all live near (our hotel was a mere half hour from my house!) but rarely peruse. Despite the fact that two of our gang were in and out because of school and work, we had a grand time!

Day One was our shopping day...

We took the max downtown, and popped into all sorts of fun places. Tea Zone, Anthropologie, Powell's -

{I do beg pardon, but I must interrupt myself here for a (brief?) paragraph about Powell's! The largest used-and-new bookstore this side of the Mississippi, Powell's takes up an entire city block and stands an impressive three stories tall. We wandered around in dream-like delight, blissfully ignorant of all time, for several hours. I love having friends as book-crazy as I! Exercising GREAT restraint, I bought only two books: a brand-new Wuthering Heights (after reading it, I had to own it), and an old (and copyright-date-less) A Child's History of England by Dickens which I had been longing for ever since Anthony Esolen's mention of it in Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child. I could here launch myself onto a soap box about how much I love that Dickens and MacDonald (to name only two) wrote children's stories using complex sentences and large vocabularies - relying upon the interest of the subject to keep Littles engaged - rather than using 3-letter words in 4-word sentences, but I shall hop right back down again and get back to our weekend. :)}
- as I was saying, Powell's and any other shops that struck our fancy along the way. As you can see from the pictures, it was characteristically windy and rainy, but beyond an umbrella flying up in completely the wrong direction, we were none the worse for wear!
Nonetheless, we were glad to get back to our {luxurious-feeling} hotel room, change into warm, dry clothes, and commence all sorts of goofiness refined entertainment. From four of us "hiding" under the covers in an attempt to keep one tired friend from going to bed, to playing "chubby bunnies" with exceptionally juicy grapes, I think we must not have had many rooms around us occupied, or our noise would surely have turned out many disgruntled neighbors!
What seemed like a few short hours later, we were up and breakfasting, having bid adieu to one friend, and waiting hopefully for the arrival of another. Settling down with notebooks and Bibles, we worshiped together that Sunday morning in our room, with mugs of steaming tea and a wonderful sermon by Alistair Begg. Our theme for the weekend, the lesson that seemed to repeat itself over and over, was the overwhelming truth that every insignificant thing - the quietest person, the most mundane schedule, the smallest choice - does not merely "matter in eternity", but has the power, by God's miraculous grace and pleasure, to transform the lives and futures of all around us. Even the coffee cup from the breakfast room reminded us...
We Know Small Choices Make a World of Difference
After worship, we had lunch, hit a few shops, and came "home" to dress up for our special evening! Salt and Straw ice cream (now a highly-recommended P-town stop!) was our first destination. Notorious for its unique flavors (the most popular being Salted Carmel Ice Cream), Lauren, Mikaela, and Kaytra bought Lavender Honey Ice Cream (it was delish!) while I opted for the slightly stranger-sounding Cardamon Ice Cream With Carrot Custard And Pistachio Butter Cream (in case you couldn't tell, I forgot the actual name). Scary-sounding though it be, it was a true treat of unique and tastefully blended flavors.
Stop number two was a lovely church hosting the beautiful performance of Bach's Cantata Number 8 ~ it was wonderful! Finally, we finished our evening out with a trip to the original Old Spaghetti Factory. Back at the hotel, we played games, ate cookie dough, and watched the entire four hours of North and South from start to finish. Thus ended a delightful Day Two.
Monday morning dawned far too early, but as we rolled out of bed we were greeted with the happy prospect of a Tea Taste Testing (thank you, Lauren and Mikaela)!
A trip to the store, a visit to a friend to congratulate her on finishing a test, and the weekend was over {far too soon}. Next year, if the LORD wills, we will return to our little cottage by the sea, but I (for one) will never forget the year we did our "Beach Weekend" in Portland!
There is, of course, so much more to spending a few days with wonderful, Christ-seeking friends than shops and restaurants. Together, we eccstatically discovered a "new" author of whom we'd never heard (Joseph Addison) and shared histories and lessons that, in the telling, served to pull us tighter together as sisters in Christ. I am so grateful for these dear, dear girls I call my friends! These memories...they'll last forever. :)


Mikaela said...

*happy sigh* Thanks for bringing back those sweet memories. You posted some rather incriminating pictures, though!

And I'd love your pics of the weekend if you get a chance to email them. I don't think I took any on my camera.

Red said...

I like the girls weekend pictures. They are very sweet and fun to look at all the time.
actually this is your little sister Megan.

SarahJayne said...

Mika, I worried you might feel incriminated by the coffee cup, but don't worry - I won't tell anyone how much you had! (how's that for willful misunderstanding? :) I'll send you the pix soon!

Megs - thanks for the comment! And thanks to JT for letting you use his accoung! :)