Joey and I have Fridays off. Feels like we won the lottery. Yesterday morning Jersey woke us up with her ear flapping at 4:00am to play–she was the only one having fun. Then Finn followed at 6:00. Joey left around then to begin swim training at the Y with Dustin. They are attempting a triathlon slated for September. I’m jealous…my knee won’t let me run more than two miles these days. Gotta get that fixed.
We walked to Starbucks as usual and reflected that the weather was unmistakably “Slovene.” Cool and sunny but with storm clouds looming, threatening downpour. Many of you know we spent an entire summer in Slovenia to fulfill a requirement for Joey’s master’s degree. Our goal was to minister to local rock climbers, kayakers and campers through intentional relationship building. The Slovenes love the outdoors, and how could they not? It’s one of the most awe-inspiring places on earth, with turquoise rivers and imposing Alpine mountains. We met some of the most kind, hospitable people in Slovenia. They let us camp in their backyard among their sheep and eat out of their garden. They picked us up on the side of the road when our backs ached from the load of our climbing and camping gear. They offered us homemade Jagermeister after long hikes (didn’t exactly quench our thirst). They took us out for dinner and ordered us their favorite Slovene specialties, usually involving goat cheese. One couple even flew to the U.S. the following year to spend a week with us in Waco learning our culture.
It rained on our tent all but six nights that summer. We learned much about perseverance, overcoming fear, frigid canyon-jumping-kind-of-friendship (love you, Katy and Josh!), being a believing family in a foreign country (thank you, Kelleys) and selfless hospitality (thank you, Tijana, Vasja, Ana, the Kobals, Monika, Lisa, and many others). I’m always grateful for Slovene rain. It reminds me that sunshine will come, even after months of stormy weather.