>Hello. Welcome to my world. It’s the beginning of an adventure.
None of those really seem to fit. Anyway, since I don’t really know how one starts a blog (maybe a clever catchphrase? No, that’s how you sign off…) I’ll just dive into it.
It’s Christmas Eve, I’m currently sitting on my bed at home(!) listening to Jack Johnson and wondering if this blog is actually going to be interesting/an adventure/worth the time and agony that will no doubt accompany it. I suppose I should explain the reasoning behind my decision to start blogging.
I actually entertained the idea of starting a blog before going to Capernwray in September but somehow lost track of time and wasn’t really interested enough to bother with it. I’ve kind of failed at journaling, and sending out email updates hasn’t really worked either so I’m hoping that with something new will come some enthusiasm that will allow you to keep up with my life (I assume this is either a friend or family member reading since no else could have stumbled across this!).
So, what’s going on in my life right now? Or maybe you’re wondering what’s been going on since I sent out my last email update in mid-October (yikes! sorry…). I’ll try and give summaries by the month starting with October. The last weekend of October I had the opportunity to travel to Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, with several other students from Capernwray. We stayed in a backpacker’s hostel in the heart of Edinburgh for three nights. We did a lot of sight-seeing, shopping, and exploring. A few highlights were that I got a chance to visit the Edinburgh Castle, attend mass at St. Giles Cathedral, find a Mexican restaurant, see Princes Street, the National Monument, and the rest of Carlton’s Hill.
The highlight of November would be Thanksgiving. We had a “night of celebration and thanksgiving” that conveniently occurred on American Thanksgiving. All of the phones were busy throughout the day. It was a little strange because we had our regular morning lectures, kind of ruining the “holiday feel” of the day but everyone managed to get back into the swing of things by “tea” time. We were served a traditional Thanksgiving meal of mashed potatoes, turkey, gravy, green bean casserole, rolls, and carrots. After our delicious meal we had about an hour of free time before we had our Pilgrims V. Indians edition of Capture the Flag. The school was split up by “family” groups, half had to dress up like Indians and the other half like Pilgrims. I was on the Indian’s team, along with two of my room mates. Not only did we have more fun dressing up, but after an hour and a half our team won! When the game was finished we had about 15 minutes before “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” was shown on the projector in the Conference Hall. It was really fun to watch a holiday classic that my family watches every year with new friends, many had never seen it before! I was a little disappointed at the end of the day, the forecasters had been predicting snow and we didn’t get any. Little did I know!
Sunday night it started snowing around 5:15 and didn’t stop until about 6:00, during that time we got about 5 inches of snow! That was definitely the fastest accumulation I had ever seen. Almost the entire school ended up out on the croquet lawn throwing snowballs, making snowmen, and sliding the hills. The really exciting part for me was that it didn’t melt by lunchtime the next day! However, that excitement wore off after about a week and a half of snow on the ground and miserable cold. Then, we woke up one morning and the snow was completely gone! It had rained in the night and washed all of it away.
December was a busy month. I really only had two full weeks at Capernwray during December. The first week of December everyone started getting excited, we had just had Thanksgiving which meant that Capernwray was getting into the Christmas mood. Christmas trees, lights, garlands, and wreaths covered the main house. People knew they were either going on in a couple weeks or getting the opportunity to travel Europe. Unfortunately, there was a bit of sadness as well. At the end of the first term everyone has to switch room mates. During the past two and a half months I had become very close to my room mates, when you’re around people 24/7 you get to know them a lot faster and it felt like we had known each other for a couple years by the time the Christmas banquet rolled around. December 14th (Tuesday night), the entire school got dressed up and headed to the Dining Hall to be served a Christmas meal. It was a really fun night, with lots of pictures and a Scottish dance at the end!
The next day was absolutely crazy! We had a late breakfast at 8:30 which was very appreciated, then we were told exactly what was expected as far as cleaning our rooms went. After lunch we had to pack EVERYTHING in our rooms and put what we weren’t taking home/traveling with into storage. This was a little stressful for most people, especially those who were going to be traveling and didn’t want to accidentally put something they would need over the next three weeks into storage. I only put one thing in storage I regretted: socks. At three o’clock everything in the room had to be in storage or downstairs ready to go. Then we cleaned our rooms, making sure we had absolutely everything clean for the guests who were coming on holiday the next week. It was a little sad to see our room completely bare when we were finished, it had gained a lot of personality with pictures, tickets, and other miscellaneous items tacked to the cork boards over our beds. We had tea at 5:30 and then the internet came on for people who needed to print boarding passes, mine would NOT print until 9:00 and the coach I was riding to the London Heathrow Airport left at 9:30!
We drove through the night until we reached LHR at 2:30 in the morning. When we got there we learned that the shuttles to some of the terminals don’t run until 5 am. Only one other girl needed to go to the same terminal as me so we sat in the main part of the airport and watched “A Bug’s Life” on her computer until the shuttles started running. When I got to my terminal we separated and I slept on a row of benches for about 30 minutes, then wandered around the terminal until 8 when they announced which gate my flight was using. After that it was an un-eventful day, just sitting in an airplane watching movies, listening to music, and doing some assigned reading. I got to the Charlotte-Douglas airport at about 5:30 after a bit of excitement while landing (another plane was still on the runway the first time we tried to land so we had to pull up and go around again). My parents, sister, and grandparents were at the airport waiting for me and we went out to dinner. After dinner we drove home(!) and I showed them pictures and told all sorts of stories. Even though I hadn’t really slept for over a day at that point I forced myself to stay awake until bed-time to beat jet-lag.
The next day I photographed the wedding of some friends and enjoyed being able to drive myself places! It was a bit frustrating at times to not have my own mode of transportation at Capernwray after being so used to be able to take myself anywhere whenever I wanted. Since then I’ve been catching up with friends, enjoying homemade food, seeing more of my family, and finishing some Christmas shopping.
This ended up being a really long post, thanks for sticking with me and hopefully I’ll be able to figure out this blogging thing a little better and start including pictures and stuff! Have a merry Christmas remembering what it’s really about!
“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and the were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.'”