Today is all drizzly and gloomy, but I am not even sad about it because I am at Sheri’s house. Sheri is the woman who volunteered to let me stay with her for the summer. She is the sweetest! I mean it. This woman is strawberries with sugar and cream on a warm summer night. Also, she has the prettiest house in the world, and it’s hard to be sad about the weather when you’re sitting on a pretty chair at a pretty table on the prettiest wraparound porch in North Carolina.
I love living at Sheri’s house. That’s because it is a safe haven to come home to when I’m not at the Hope House. It’s also because of Sheri. We don’t get to see each other often because she is a very busy lady- she runs two beautiful shops (think Anthropologie meets boutique meets the South). However, she always leaves me encouraging notes on little papers and flowers for my bedroom. She’s the main reason I don’t feel like such a stranger here. This lady is Southern hospitality on steroids- her heart and her home are always open.
When I am not with Sheri, I am at the Hope House. We’ve had a crazy week- resident director Meredith went on vacation, there may be some big changes underway, and one of the residents moved out to live with a family that will continue to love her and invest in her. So we’re down to one girl right now. I will call her E. We’ve been together almost 24/7 for several days now, which makes us compadres, if you ask me. Or friends at least.
E is Hispanic, so basically I stalk her culture a lot (Spanish major, remember?), which means we have a lot in common. We listen to Daddy Yankee music in the car on repeat. Sometimes we turn it up as loud as we can, roll down the windows, and drive slow like we’re thugs, even though I drive a Honda Civic and that’s not very thuggish. Also, we’re slowly working our way through the entire foreign movies section at Blockbuster. I’m pretty sure the guy working there thinks we’re a little loco.
Speaking of my Honda, I’ve been teaching her to drive it this week, which she thinks is hilarious. We go to a huge church parking lot and drive around in circles. Now I know how my dad felt when he taught me to drive, because I was a terrible driver. Sorry, Dad. Nobody needs that kind of adrenaline rush. One time, E got really excited about doing something well. She started singing “I’m driving! I’m driving!” and dancing in her seat and forgot to keep her foot on the break. I started yelling “BREAKS! BREAKS! BREAKS!” and we rolled over a median where she finally came to a halt. She looked at me nervously and said “I’m parking, I’m parking” and then we both burst out laughing for a few minutes. After that, we made a rule called “No Dancing in the Driver’s Seat.” And then we got lime sherbet to celebrate.
So we’ve been having fun, despite the mediocre weather. Right now I am focused on praying for her, being her friend, and making sure she feels loved and accepted. Her birthday is coming up in a few weeks, and I want to throw her a party because she told me she’s never celebrated her birthday before! And I think Sheri’s prettiest porch is the perfect place! Once I have a plan, I will be sure to let you know how you can help because this party needs to be a serious fiesta.