Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Emma and I just returned from a 4-day trip to visit my friend Carol Blanchet in Washington. Carol has been a dear friend of mine since we met 25 years ago in college, on the steps of Delta Delta Delta sorority. We ended up being in the same pledge class and became good friends from the start. Besides being sorority "sisters" we have a sweet bond as sisters in Christ. The fact that she had just had her 7th baby combined with great airfare deals made it an opportune time to go see her.

First, I have to start off with a little story. We flew from Burbank to Oakland where we had a layover before our final flight to Seattle. On the flight up, I turned my phone off, and in the airport in Oakland, I had trouble turning it back on. I have had trouble turning it on and off before (and it's not just because I'm lame, it's lame). After much attempt to turn it on, I decided to try and find someone to help. I turned to the man next to me in the waiting area, and asked him if he knew much about cell phones. Before he could hardly answer, a woman turned around and said, "give it to me, I have the same phone." She went on as to all the trouble she had with it, and that the battery had to be replaced before hers was a year old. She suspected the battery was my problem, so she removed it and put her battery into my phone. It worked. She then put my battery into her phone, and it also worked. Kind of funny. So then she put my battery back in my phone, and it worked! Something must have gotten jarred during flight.

After the phone was fixed, and I was most grateful, we struck up a conversation. She was with her teenage daughter and was taking a trip to visit a Christian college in Canada that was offering her daughter a good scholarship. We talked until it was time to line up for boarding. We flew Southwest, and there is no assigned seating. Instead, you have a boarding number, which you receive when you check in (either online or at the airport). The sooner you check in, the better your number. The first people onto the plane get first pick of seats. I asked her what her numbers were, and she said Group B 7 & 8. Ours were Group B 5 & 6! So we lined up together, and introduced ourselves (Mom was Robin and daughter was Karianne) and decided we should sit together. We all sat on four end seats so we could talk, Robin across from me and Karianne across from Emma.

As our conversation progressed, it was clear I was talking to a woman who truly loved the Lord. She talked openly about life, family, kids and her personal walk with the Lord. I was impressed with her attitude and her desire to obey God in all she did. Meanwhile, the girls were getting more acquainted and discovered they both enjoyed photography and musical theater!

Anyways, my conversation went on with Robin, when all of a sudden the gentleman in the window seat next to Robin started talking to her. He had heard our conversation, which was mostly about our faith. I thought at first, boy this is going to be interesting! And it was. If any of you know C.J. Mahaney, imagine him 10 years older...that was Joe. It was amazing to find out that Joe, too, was a believer and for the rest of the flight we continued our conversation about God, the Bible, and what we believed. Joe has had an amazing life, he was a commercial pilot who fought in the Korean War (he's almost 80). He told of his wife leaving him because he was a believer, and raising his three daughters on his own to love Christ and see them all marry believers. What a passionate man for the gospel! By the time we all got off the plane, we had exchanged contact information and were hugging goodbye! It seemed as if a two hour flight went by in minutes. We are all friends on Facebook now! Joe even took Robin's dad's phone number down to share the gospel with him.

new friends

left to right: Karianne, Robin, me, Joe, & Emma

When Emma and I went to get our rental car, which was supposed to be a compact, we were pleasantly surprised that they gave us a convertible Toyota Solara! Not the best for Washington weather, but we had fun, nevertheless. We took the top off a few times for a short ride. I guess in Washington, a convertible is not a premium rental, but a car nobody wants, so we got it! Emma was pretty excited!

We arrived at Carol's in the mid afternoon, and had a wonderful, wonderful time. They live in a beautiful place, surrounded by woods, all lush and green. They live down a neat windy road, very secluded. They even have their own milking goats. When they need firewood for their wood burning stove (which kept the house so cozy) they just go chop down a tree on their property! Anyways, it was a wonderful haven for our extended weekend stay. We had such a sweet time with their family, sipping goat's milk lattes (insanely delicious!), talking, cooking, admiring the baby, and just hanging out and enjoying everyone. Some friends threw Carol a baby shower on Saturday, and we went to church on Sunday morning. Other than that, it was really low-key just hanging around the Blanchet homestead.

Here are some photos from our time:

blanchet 003

Sweet baby Abigail (3 weeks)

blanchet 169

Adorable Ellie (2 1/2)

blanchet 184

Sarah (17) & Caleb (15)

blanchet 089

Cuddly Daniel (6) with Emma

blanchet 181

Lovable Hannah (10)

blanchet 208

Emma and the boys (Caleb, 15, left and Matt, 12, right)

blanchet 132

Carol & hubby Eric

blanchet 075

Ellie & I...

blanchet 077

...and I get a kiss!

blanchet 066

I love this pic...sweet baby

blanchet 082

Me and my dear friend...I miss her already


Sarah with the horses

blanchet 122

Eric is the best latte maker! mmm.

post signature

1 comment:

Suzi said...

Your plane story is just so cool! Read the Companionship Principal and thought it was great, have passed that on... have a great weekend!