I love throwing around the word ‘Sheboygan’ as if I am intimately familiar with the Wisconsin city. I’m not; Sheboygan brings no connotations to my mind whatsoever.
Until a few months ago.
I did not go to Sheboygan. Sheboygan came south in the form of a delightful 25 year old millennial named Kate, who came with her boyfriend Kyle to stay in our Airbnb room on the southern lap of their hit-all-50 bucket list.
Kate and her boyfriend are scientists. Odds were that, as an English teacher who has lived south of the Mason-Dixon her whole life, I would have few connecting points with two scientists from Sheboygan. Wrong!
Let me describe Kate: engaged! She was a reminder of how rich this life is and to hang on to that. Her bucket list includes skydiving and Nashville. She kayaks and hikes and Cricuts and loves children and is the perfect balance to her quiet companion who is more what I had envisioned a Sheboyganite to be like. And yes, their accents were hard core. Mwahkee; Grammuh (your mother’s mother).
She was not afraid to invite us to our own back porch to talk. Most Airbnbers are properly reserved and that’s as it should be. But, oh, the refreshing one who breaks through and says, “Come visit!” That freedom doesn’t just come from youth. It comes from the heart of a person who doesn’t fear judgment because she herself is not judgmental. She takes in life with pleasure as it comes to her.
Thank you, Kate, for reminding me that God has no end of ideas when forming our personalities; that He had a great time making you; and that He blesses this big world with your warmth.
PS. Kyle, seriously about the wedding invitation. Kate’s one of a kind; don’t let her get away!