My name is Autumn Buzzell and I live and work in Ghana, West Africa with City of Refuge Ministries. Here, I run our school, Faith Roots International Academy, and get to be a part in rescuing and the healing of children who have been trafficked into the fishing trade, orphaned, abandoned, and those who just need a little extra loving. What an amazing gift this life is!

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Monday, February 14, 2011

It's Valentine's Day

The past few years, I have spent Valentine's Day with some of my best friends, lovingly referred to as "The Beatniks". Each year, we travel to somewhere great to spend President's Day weekend together. And each Valentine's Day, we dress up nicely and the boys bring us all roses (whether we're single or married) and we go out to dinner somewhere nice. I have been thinking of some of the highlights of the past few President's Day weekend trips. . .

*Last year, we gathered in Carlsbad, CA and got to spend time together. I loved getting to hear T talk about her pregnancy and at that time, we had not yet met Brylie Kay...to us, she was still BK--Baby Kolding (or Beatnik Kolding if you held true to the Beatnik family rule). I can't believe that now she is a bright, beautiful baby of 9 months!!! And Yona was pregnant as well--though I'm not even sure that she knew at the time. And Isabella Grace has also joined the beatnik family!

*A few years ago, we all rented a cabin in Tahoe. We spent time out in the snow and cozied up together in this amazing house. We got to spend a lot of time worshipping together and cooking food. We even had a real Thanksgiving/Christmas dinner together with a turkey and everything. It was such a refreshing weekend!

*Before that, we spent quite a few years heading out to the desert to Palm Springs. We had our favorite Mexican restaurants that we went to and we had our favorite place to karaoke. We've had quite a number of memorable events there: Evan's first Beatnik weekend away with all of us, Joanna mooning Ev at his first beatnik weekend away, random illnesses, some beautiful hotels, and awesome memories!

*We've even been camping a few President's Day weekends (though that tends to be a little chilly since it's in February and even California can get a little cold in February).

In fact, this is our first time NOT doing the President's Day trip in years--since my junior year of college 8 years ago. Wow! It's weird to think of all of the changes that we've all experienced and it's even weirder to think that we won't get to be together this weekend--and I suppose that is why this Valentine's Day has been a bit melancholy for me.

Kat and Isaiah now live in North Carolina and are only able to get out to California the occasional summer. T and Evan have now moved back to the Bay area and with T staying at home to take care of Brylie-girl, the weekend away just wasn't quite as feasible. Yona and Eric have Isabella now and getting that girl just comfortable with the normal life schedule has been a hard row to hoe. And Joanna is working to get back into her nursing school classes. Blabe, well, I'm sure Blabe would have been down for anything--and Jake too for that matter! And I, well, now I live in Africa and I'm afraid that weekend trips just aren't in the budget anymore.

Life changes and while I love so many of the changes--marriages and babies--it is so difficult to be so far away sometimes. This Valentine's Day, I would have loved to be eating Mexican food with my beatniks, a rose in my hand, a smile on my face, and the full knowledge that these friendships will never end.

And while I know that they will never end, the change is inevitable.

I am looking forward to our week-long annual trip this summer. Maybe we won't be celebrating with roses and Mexican food, but the family of friends--that will be just beautiful!

1 comment:

  1. Love you Autumn! Happy Valentines Day! Hope you have a lovely day, even though you are missing friends and loved ones.