This Easter weekend we are watching the rain come down in the "Spring Break" destination of Panama City, Florida. Since my Easter decorations went to new homes during our downsizing, I won't be making my traditional "Lamb cake". (I always get asked, and no, it is not made of lamb meat, but rather is a pound cake in the shape of a lamb ... an Easter symbol.) We will miss our traditional Easter meal with my sister Mary and our sons, as well as enjoying the beautiful Easter music of our Minnesota church family.
But as we have come to discover during our travels, "family" is found in many ways. "Family" can be found when our paths meet up with treasured friends from our past. "Family" has also come in the form of new people we meet on the road. And it is always comforting to know that "family" can be found in the always-changing church communities where RVentures lead us.
Crossing Paths with Old FriendsDuring our travels around Florida this winter, we are grateful to be able to meet up with "old friends" whose vacation paths crossed ours.
A visit with Luis from Columbia convinced us to start learning Spanish so that we can someday experience RVentures in South America.
Relaxing stays on "the farm" in Panama City with Tami and family filled us with new appreciation of horses, grapefruit, gospel music, and laughter!
Time on the porch with Doug's folks in Ocala helped us to realize the value of slowing down and enjoying the gift of conversation.
A random call to a college friend led to the discovery that they were going to be 10 minutes away for us ... always fun to "catch up" with a dear friend who home is now on our Virginia travel plan!
We really enjoyed meeting up with our northern friends who ventured down south to experience how great winter can be without a parka and snow boots!
Meeting New Friends Along the WayWe are also grateful for the chance to meet and spend time with new friends such as ...
Habitat for Humanity Care-a-Vanners that we hope to meet up with again down the road ...
Fellow Full-Time RVers who know how to eat well and have fun ...
And all the friendly doggies always eager for attention!
Finding Friendship in our Church Community
And it is always nice to know, that wherever we travel, we have a church family. Celebrating Sunday with ever-changing church communities give us the opportunity to experience the local culture.
Around the retirement communities in Florida, the churches were massive and filled to the brim with our faithful senior citizens. We found that even retired priests can be "snowbirds" when we encountered our former Minnesota Bishop saying Mass in Florida.
The Basilica close to Disney World reaped the gift of having talented vocalists contributing to the worship experience. Their music was breathtaking ... so glad that Doug was able to record their rendition of "Ave Maria".
By far our favorite worship families have been found in the smaller local churches where the crying of babies and the chattering of toddlers provide the music of God. On Palm Sunday, I admired the cross that a youngster had made out of her palms ... without another thought, she made one for me!
Many churches take advantage of the year round nice weather and develop beautiful outdoor prayer gardens. It is always fun to stroll around the church grounds as we wait for the parking lot to clear out after Mass.
Celebrating with the small Spanish community made us realize that we've got a lot more studying to do before we are proficient enough understand a sermon preached in Spanish ....
Until next time ... Cherish your Easter family ... and enjoy the adventures in your life!