Last week Jordan made several new discoveries! Most important was when she decided that home would remain. Not, necessarily, the home with James and Ana but home in general. Somehow she felt it would all be ok. And she would soon know if her theory was correct!
Annika and I talked for a long time. She loved singing, which was obvious, but she also liked to write songs! We made up several poems and were soon laughing hysterically! I was at ease! And I was having fun! It was such a delight to spend time with someone as friendly as she was! I was quite sure that we would be good friends! And she was the first person in a long time that I had thought would be my friend.
But all too soon it was time to leave. Still, as we headed home, everyone was happy and talkative! While Scott and Rhyan talked about two new friends they’d made, Kate told me about Annika’s sister, Kaia. She was as into singing as her sister. However Kaia liked computers just like Kate did!
The beautiful evening simply fit our moods! We were happy and though it was getting dark the world seemed happy too. Each house had lights twinkling inside it for everyone was settling in for a cozy evening! We strolled through the cool air and laughed and talked like any family should. It was superb! We had new friends and my fear of James and Ana was lessening!
We arrived at our wonderful, yellow house and Rhyan and Pearl dashed up the steps laughing and breathing hard! Scott headed straight to his room to change and Kate, Ana, and James trotted, more maturely, up after the girls. I followed them all smiling at how happy we all seemed.
As soon as we got changed we all appeared in the kitchen to help Ana prepare for company. We were all a little nervous especially when the door bell rang. But no amount of nervousness could’ve prepared us for what came next!
James got the door so we all waited wondering what Grandpa Bob and Grandma Clara were like! Up came James talking animatedly with them. And then we got the greatest shock of all!
Up came Grandpa Bob. And he was the coast guard. Our ghost on the beach. Jame’s boss. The man we’d only seen for a few minutes one night and who we never wanted to see again!
Needless to say we all stared. Especially when the frightening ghost, Mr. Bob, burst out laughing! He laughed till he cried. And Grandma Clara, a petite little lady especially compared to Grandpa Bob, just stood and grinned at him!
I was closest to them as I had been getting the cheese from the fridge. Grandpa Bob walked over to me and laid a hand on my shoulder. He was still snorting with chuckles.
“Sorry. . . kids!” He chortled, “But your faces are just priceless!”
Ana giggled behind us and right away I saw the funny side. They weren’t mad at us! They were teasing us! And all at once we all laughed together! The laughter eased the air and filled us all with something new. As Rhyan later said it, we weren’t facing a mean boss but instead a kind grandparent who knew how to laugh! And we were all glad of it!
We gathered in the dining room. The blinds were up and the last rays of light streamed in. It was warm and comfortable. And we had fun for the company was delightful and the food was very, very good! We sat down and chowed, chatted, and enjoyed the evening! By then it was totally dark and so, wouldn’t you know, we headed to the beach!
We took flashlights and slipped quietly out to the sea. Grandpa Bob, who turned out to be quite a tease, much to Rhyan’s delight, showed us how to find the crab holes. We would sneek up and watch as the ghost crabs would shyly peek out at us.
Just as we headed back to the house the moon slipped from behind the clouds. It spread gentle light around the people that were transcending the dunes with me. I turned and gazed at the ocean.
The waves lapped the beach, the wind whispered on the sand, and the moonlight encircled it all. It was so peaceful, so beautiful, so hopeful. I thought about Annika and her song, Amazing Grace. As I did I turned back and gazed at our bright, yellow house which was illuminated by moonlight.
If there is a God He has to be the God Annika sang about. I decided. God, I thought cautiously, if You are real, well, thank you. Thank you for this day, and that house, and Annika. She’s a blessing. And, please, show me what a home is, if you do things like that.
I scurried after the others and beamed. He had heard me, that is, if He was real.
The rest of the night was just as wondrous! We all swam in the pool. Even Grandpa Bob and Grandma Clara did! What we had not noticed about Grandpa Bob the previous night was how fun he was. But then again how could we have noticed that?
He had a short, white beard and receding hair. He was as tall as James but a little stockier and it seemed to be strength, not roundness, that made him stocky. He was an excellent swimmer which should not have surprised us! After all he was the head of the coast guard! He swam, played, and chased us till we were worn out and starving, even after our huge supper!
At last we all piled in, ate our fill of ice cream, and relaxed entirely. We were terrificaly sore from playing hard, full of sweets, and extremely satisfied. Grandma Clara left us with too many hugs to count, gave us each a bag full of candy, and promised to return the next day! And then they left with hearty, happy goodbyes. And we went to bed but were soon all back in Kate’s room for a sibling meet!
“I like them!” Pearl exclaimed, “I like them a lot!”
“And grandpa! I never pictured him like that!” Rhyan cheesed.
“I actually thought church was good.” Kate stated.
“The kids were great.” Scott decided.
“James and Ana, I think they like us.” I announced.
Everyone was quiet when I said that till Pearl nodded.
“They do. They didn’t know I was still behind them because an older lady came up and wondered ‘where are your kids?’ They said they had all gone outside and she said, ‘Well, I’ll have to meet them sometime else! But you know those orphan kids can be dangerous! You never know what they could do!’
Then James told her, ‘Yes, but God’s in control and it’s worth it. Kids are crazy but they’re blessings.’ And Ana said, ‘Especially our kids!’ And the old lady said, ‘Hmph, I don’t know.’ So they weren’t just trying to please they may have displeased her!”
I looked at Pearl, “Annika said the same thing that they love us.”
Kate nodded, “I guess our test worked!”’
“Yah.” Rhyan laughed.
“It was not what I planned on happening.” I noted.
“But it was what I wanted.” Pearl whispered.
I smiled and grabbed her hand, “Yes, and like they said this morning we will build trust over time. They will learn to trust us and us we’ll learn to trust them. Don’t you think?”
They all nodded and Scott added, “Boy, tonight was fun!”
And instantly we were all talking at once about the food, the fun, and swimming. And before too long Kate noted,
“Come on guys, go to bed. We’re sort of disobeying cause it’s bed time.” So we all said our good nights and slipped to bed. But I still wasn’t tired. Instead I wrote a long, many page entry in my journal. And I added the poems Annika and I had made to my notebook.
When I finished I stood up and popped the crinks out of my back. It was almost twelve. The outside world was dark and all was quiet. I sighed and massaged my neck. I went to put my notebook back in my cross body bag but I stopped and looked at my suitcase. After a minute I stuck my notebook in the nightstand and opened my suitcase.
Then I got my cosmetics out and set them on the desk to go to the bathroom. I put my slippers by the bed and my sweater on one chair. I hung two scarves on the bed’s headboard. I stuck my pencils and pens in the nightstand. Then I unpacked my jeans and shirts and pj’s and organized them all in individual drawers.
At last I closed my empty suitcase. Then I zipped it up and headed to the closet. I opened the door, set my suitcase safely on the shelf, and left it there. Last of all I slipped to the bathroom, unpacked the cosmetics, and stuck that bag in the closet too.
At last I crawled into bed and switched of the seahorse lamp. I grabbed Willy and held him close and closed my eyes. There was nowhere else I wanted to be. I had no place I wanted to travel to I just wanted to stay right there. I was full. I had people that I knew I would love. I had happy memories already. I had sad memories too. I snuggled deeper in the covers my eyelids were feeling heavy. And my suitcase was unpacked . . .
I awoke hours later to sunlight drifting into my room. It was morning and then I knew. I loved the house. I loved the sea, the people, the adventures! I loved it all. And they loved me. And I could trust people who loved me. And what I knew went beyond even that.
I was home for home was a refuge, a shelter, one’s own place. And that was exactly where I was. I was in my own room. And it was a refuge for I was safe and I never ever wanted to leave. And everyone else wanted me to stay too. And that is home, a place where you are wanted and where you want to be.
God, I breathed, thank you for showing me home.
And that was when I knew our adventures were just beginning and the summer was only going to get better! And just like the sun on the sea that night, it seemed my fears were finally disappearing into a sea of calm. After all there’s no better place than home!