After the first half of February 13th, where I flew on my own for the first time, I walked out of the tunnel and was attacked by two girls I will always count as my sisters. Kristin and Emily Keiter. I hugged them back and then hugged Joel, whom I will always count as my brother.
In our original plan, we would have waited around in the airport for half an hour for Harrison’s flight to come in, but his flight was delayed seven times, so he was still on his plane ride from O’Hare in Chicago to the Springs. We headed back for some dinner instead.
I was shown my room downstairs and I rolled around on the bed a bit before I unpacked, just because I could without falling onto the floor.
After dinner, Joel, Emily, Kristin and I played a game until Joel and I rode to the airport with Mrs. Keiter to wait for Harrison.
It didn’t take long. He walked out of the tunnel with the sister of one of his friends he had met at A Cappella Camp. (It’s such a small world.) I attacked him, and he lifted me off my feet, carrying me forward a few steps.
That night, we stayed up until midnight, talking forever. Harrison had brought five guitar picks with him, and he told me to pick out three.
It took me a while to fall asleep that night, even though I was so tired. I couldn’t wait for the morning, when I could see Harrison again.
During the week, we played many many games. Risk, Apples to Apples, Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, Frizzball (two hand touch football with a frisbee), We Didn’t Playtest This At All (Harrison’s new game), Firefly, and some other games I have since forgotten the name of.
Emily and I made glazed doughnut muffins one morning. She made muffins several mornings, and I don’t think any of them lasted through the afternoon.
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Harrison and I spend a morning with Emily and Kristin, having some music time. They sang some songs for us, and Harrison recorded them and taught them how to sing barbershop tags. I was content to just listen.
One night Emily, Kristin, and Mrs. Keiter went out to their Bible study. Us three older kids had a teen night and watched a movie.
There was also a day where we went rock climbing at an indoor climbing place. I had to sit in the lobby for a little while before I could contact my parents and get permission to go rock climbing before I could go inside.
I asked Joel to belay me on a wall before I tried anything else. It had been about two years since I had done any climbing like that, and I wanted to get my confidence back. I made it almost halfway up the wall before I asked him to let me down.
I went over to Harrison and he showed me the bouldering wall. It was a shorter wall, maybe twelve feet high, and you don’t use ropes. That was fun, and I made it up three times. To get down, you got to go down a slide. It made me think of the City Museum in St. Louis.
Harrison made it up one of the harder courses on the bouldering wall, but he down-climbed instead of pulling himself up and going down the slide.
I did another big wall with Joel as my belayer. I made it up almost halfway before asking Joel to let me down, like before. He said, “No, I think you can it make it up farther.” I thought, Oh, so he’s not going to let me down. Okay. I’m stuck up here.
With help from Mr. Keiter, who climbed up on the course next to me, I made it to the top of the wall and rang the victory bell. It was a very long ways down after that. Joel looked very small from the top of the wall.
Joel then tried the bouldering wall. There was one course he had been trying to complete for a long time. I watched him contort himself into impossible positions.
There was also a slack-line right by the bouldering wall. Harrison and I both made it across once. We listened to the help some other people were getting from an instructor as they tried the harder slack-lines.
It was a lot of fun hanging out at the Keiter’s, spending time with them. I can’t wait to see them again sometime in May!