Laughter’s Past

I’ve had enough tears this Christmas break, so in honour of the New Year why not post my top 10 favourite moments of the year filled with laughter?

10.)  Library chair moments.  Every once in a while people may have heard a couple of loud bangs that echoed through-out the library along with a peel of laughter.  I’ve had a couple of doozies but my favourite one was with Jen during finals week this last semester when we were having a thoroughly enjoyable discussion on faith, what it looks like at Anderson, and how the bubble gets popped a lot.  During that conversation the look of horror on my face was probably priceless as I slowly toppled backwards on the chair and Jen tried to reach out and save me.  It was a wonderful act of heroism on her part, however, she failed.  What followed suit was a bunch of man laughter from Jen and snorting from me,  along with a couple of huge bruises that did not disappear very fast.

9.)  I have to admit that there are a lot of funny moments that happen at club.  Like the one time it was raining outside, I had my flip flops on, and I turned around quickly to go back outside and fell flat on my face in the hallway, or seeing Justin trying to put on the Christmas tree outfit.  But my number one favourite memory of ALL time from this year is with the lovely Jordan as we tried to pop home-made popcorn for the first time.  Needless to say, there was a lot of running around, a very smoked filled kitchen, and a ball of fire.   Don’t worry folks, we had flour.

8.) One of my favourite stories to tell is of when Sammy proposed to me and then a couple of minutes later told me how much he loved my body parts as he was sitting on my lap. (This of course is when he was 6 or 7)  Honour and I have never fully recovered from that moment…but as I was visiting her in one of my many random drop-ins she asked   ‘Erin, how do you like your coffee? Although I should know this by now.’  I replied ‘Strong and black…..just like my men.’ (head thrown back with a snort and a laugh at how funny I am) Sammy shocked at this answer replies in a rather high pitched and paniced voice ‘WHAT?!?’  (Sources informed me that Sammy started to do a lot of sunbathing later that day)

7.) My girls at school are learning rather quickly of my random driving habits.  Let’s just take a quick journey back in the past of what I’ve done which I probably shouldn’t have done…like cut through the cinema grass to get to the Wal-mart parking lot, or putting a queen sized mattress on top of the car and only having it secured by reaching out the windows and holding it with our hands.  But my favourite moment of this year was with the girls as I was trying to find a parking spot at school, and decided to just drive through the morrison lawn and create my own parking spot…but then doing a wide turn around.  Their faces were priceless, and my stomach hadn’t hurt that much from laughing in a while!

6.)  Randomly dressing up like old ladies with Bloom, quite hilarious and brilliant.  Even more hilarious was the 10 minutes of walking up the path to our friend’s house, in full act, with a walker and cane.  By the time we rang the doorbell, no one was home.  HA!

5.)  The occasion was not very funny in the sense that I played the violin for my great uncle’s funeral.  However the fact that my Uncle, in front of everyone at the memorial service, introduced me as his nephew Erin was indeed priceless.

4.)  Living in an old house that is full of creaking and random noises is probably not conducive with having a proper nights sleep after reading murder mysteries before bedtime.  Imagine Erin wielding her Russian dagger while investigating the noises coming from the hallway and downstairs at 1:30 am.  With super kung fu and dagger slashing skills, intruders should always beware.

3.) Poetry night moments with Hope and Cody.  We love this night so very much.  The last time we went we were graced with some harmonies.  We were caty-cornered to the stage, trying to keep a blank face listening to a guy sing his heart out.  There were high hopes for him, since he looked like Jesus.  Instead it was more like listening to cat’s howling in the moonlight.  One false move and I would have lost it in a fit of giggles…though I almost lost it when we heard him tell the other cat howler ‘Dude, those were some sick harmonies!’

2.)  Getting to walk through the Princess Diana exhibit in Grand Rapids and then the next day seeing how green my sister’s face can get as we walked through the Bodies Revealed exhibit was a fabulous experience.  Each exhibit was spectacular in their own way, however watching Janelle’s walking become slower and her face turn greener through-out the Bodies Revealed was absolutely priceless.

1.) Tackling your RA into the snow is pretty intense but the fact remains she still witnessed me fall three times trying to get out of my car after coming back to campus from Iceacolypse.  Imagine the iced steps scene in Home Alone, because that is basically what I looked like as I tried to get up and find my footing only to fall back down again.  If ever a time for video recording, that would have been it.

There have been so many wonderful moments this year, trying to remember them all is crazy.  But remembering the laughter and smiles is always good for one’s heart.

Happy New Year everyone.  🙂


Sentimental Journey

Jasmine asked me the question yesterday as we were skyping, “Aunty Erin if you could have any present what would you want?” I told her truthfully that I really did not need anything.  Now there are things that I would love to have but they are not a necessary item that my life needs.  I would love to have more books to read and start up new collections of series that I have fallen in love with over the years.  I would love a new violin, or a plane ticket to England.  I would love all those things, but they aren’t essential to my life.


Today as I was scooting around in the deli trying to accomplish all the tasks that I needed to fulfill, I was thinking about her question.  I started a journey through my memory of every Christmas that I can remember.  It use to be that I would go through the Toy’s R Us magazine and pick out all that looked fun and exciting.  Sometimes my cousin would even pitch in and help me choose things that she liked.  I never had a rhyme or reason of why I wanted certain toys.  Whoever the advert creator’s were, they did an amazing job of convincing me that I absolutely needed a glow in the dark shadow maker.


Of course, I think for everyone at some point, the love for receiving presents is over-shadowed by the love of giving presents.  If I had my way, I would be giving presents all the time because I love to see the joy on the faces of my family and friends when I can find that certain gift I know will bless their socks off.


But if I could have any one present, it would be to have my family all together again.  I treasure the memories of our last Christmas all together and the family pictures taken.

This certainly has not been an easy break. It’s been full of tears but yet there are plenty of moments that I will fondly look back on.  Sunday we will officially have our family Christmas with another member missing this year, and as much as my heart aches, I look forward to us being together.  As long as we are all together that is all that matters, for my family is what I treasure most these days.  They are the true gifts in my life.



Watercolour, Crayons and a bunch of Nonsense.

Yes, yes, yes I capitalized the word ‘Nonsense’ however do not faint, for I was not personifying nonsense and making it into a noun or even trying to humanize the word.  For as much as I think some people encapsulate nonsense perfectly, I do not believe I would want to see a personified Nonsense walking around campus.  The end.

The last couple of weeks back from Thanksgiving break were crazy-as!!!!!!!!!! (Yes I need that many exclamation points! Fun fact, I almost wrote explanation point. HA! I have been saying it wrong all my life…that’s embarrassing.)

The library became my home as I worked on the finishing touches of my poetry portfolio, annotated bibliography, literary arts magazine, group projects, and studying for finals.  My roommates at one point didn’t recognize me.  Okay that was an exaggeration, but they noticed that I never was in the room between the hours of 8 am to 1 am.  Yeah, that’s how commited I was to these projects and to be honest they were not half as bad as they could have been.  I worked on them little by little through the semester so most of it was finished they just needed to be perfect.  I got close to perfection on the final grades. (Though my poetry portfolio was a bit average, I’m not surprised, it was the that one gave me the most trouble. urgh)

Work at club was chaotic as usual.  I am officially Miss Erin, the mean teacher.  I lay down the law.  I don’t remember if I mentioned the last project I worked on with the Crayola club, but I’m super proud of my kindergarteners and first graders.  I stenciled out a large umbrella on a huge canvas, and glued crayons to the top of it.  I sectioned out the umbrella so each of my kids could paint one section of the umbrella, and then they each took turns blow drying the crayons and melting them.  It turned out to be brilliant!  I helped Cody with his club these last 2 and a half weeks and thoroughly enjoyed listening to the kindergarteners and first graders talk and learn about the Bible.  It was definitely a change of pace for them, but it is not very often they get to talk and learn about the different people and stories that are in the Bible.

Candles and Carols was wonderful as always, I sat in the same spot my mum and sister did last year.  So my friends and I will definitely be in the video, and I was able to get some of the chamber orchestra peeps to smile by making faces at them.  It felt weird not being a part of it this year, at the same time I am so thankful I was not, otherwise I would have been a mental case.

I had a couple of firsts happen too.  I experienced Christmas at the Zoo in Indy with my friends, and then walked around downtown for just a bit.  I really want to go back during the day sometime to experience Indy day-life.  That will be wonderful.  Hope, Cody, and I traversed down the road and ate at ‘Eva’s Pancakes’ and absolutely LOVED IT!  If I ever have visitors I shall take them there to eat.  I just ordered pancakes, and received four pancakes as big as the plate and super thick.  I only ate about a quarter of them, and ate some the next day for breakfast and still couldn’t finish it.  So wonderful.

I’ll be heading home in the morning.  I can’t believe this semester is finally finished.  As much as this semester was one of my hardest, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting to know newpeople, exploring and the amount of memories I have made with my friends.  I can only imagine what next semester will have in store.


Oh and the watercolour, crayons and a bunch of Nonsense title explanation. I’ve been sitting around these past few days painting, and making crayon canvas art.  Plus watching ‘What About Bob’.  The nonsense is probably the amount of laughing, grimacing, parallel parking, steak and shake, and opera singing memories (with a 7ish year old) I’ve made in the past few weeks.


Tom once told me to write, write, write.  That in his darkest moments, writing was what helped him sort out his emotions and relieve stress.  He would fill up journals and every once in a while he would flip back to past entries and reread what he wrote.  As I have been sitting here, wishing that I could fall asleep, stop crying, and stop feeling ill I’ve re-read his letters to me which have brought me great comfort.

“write, write, write.  You have a gift, my friend.  When you put your thoughts down they have an immediacy, an honesty and a directness that reaches into the soul of the person who reads what you have said.  I began a journal in Russia and learned that I can work my way through depression by “letting it all out”.  Later, when I had the time and/or inclination to revisit what I once felt so keenly, I found that I was somehow unburdened.  Reflection is one of the ways we can assess and, hopefully, learn.  I am convinced that my journey in Samara was made more possible by allowing myself to vent in this very personal way.  There is no one to judge, to criticize or to ridicule.  It is the moment you can be most truly yourself.

   I went through every emotion of which I am capable in Russia and wrote much of it down.  In retrospect I must admit that some of what I wrote was petulant.  Some of it was selfish and self-indulgent.  But it was honest, and it had to be said.  God has given us this way of coping.  By looking backward we are given the ability to move forward.  It is a difficult fact of life that much of what we do must pass.  At times it seems we say goodbye more often than hello.  It seems that we lose friends more than gain them.  But this is simply not true.  A friend once made is there forever.  Separation is an illusion.”

“Everyone of us has a part to play in the working out of God’s plan.  Just when we feel we are too proud, too vain, to ineffectual, and so on is when God can be closest to us.  At the risk of sounding preachy, I believe with all my heart that when we reach the point when we feel we have failed most dismally, God is there.  He, I truly believe, is telling us to let go and allow Him to do what He alone can do.  This does not mean that we should stop doing what we can, but it does mean that we should stop looking for results.  Our role before God is to be obedient to the best of our ability.  That is what Mother Teresa said, and she was right.  The power and the control over the outcome is not ours.”

These are words that I have come to treasure and store in my heart for many years now, and I hope that they bring as much comfort to those who read them now as they continue to do for me.