This one stepped into our life in the fall of 2011. His entrance has become a thing of legend in our family.
In true Finley fashion, we decided it wouldn’t be enough for David to simply meet Bill. He needed to meet the whole family.
Since David and Sara Maria were in school about 3 hours away, I found a spot I thought would be absolutely perfect halfway between. Alberta, Virginia.
Look how cute!
Not only did it look cute. Not only was it halfway between. But it also had a short looping hiking trail. This meant that while Bill and David talked, me and the kids could walk the trail. Pretty smart, right?
So, the morning dawns bright and beautiful. And we head to Alberta. As is the norm, we pull into town a bit behind schedule.
At this point, I’m getting a little bit unsure about my choice of location. There are no cars or people anywhere. I mean none. I’m getting a bit weirded out, but, this doesn’t dampen the moment.
We pull up to the trailhead.
David is standing there. Waiting for us. On the way, we’ve talked about not overwhelming him. About trying to tame the Finley-ish-ness of our tribe. About trying to tone it down. But when we arrive, there is no holding back. We pretty much erupt from the car.
But David doesn’t seem to mind. And look at him.
He’s not the type of guy that minds. We love him already.
So, Bill suggests that he and David take a walk around town. And the kids and I head down the Alberta School Park Trail.
Not so bad. A little weird. Because again there is NOBODY around. But, that’s okay . We find a rusty water tower. Which of course Josiah and Cameron want to climb. But, they don’t.
The trail is REALLY short. So, in about five minutes we are back at the car. We decide to walk toward the town. As we walk toward the town, we see Bill and David talking on a lovely bench positioned in front of this caboose.
Cute, right? They continue their Caboose Talk and we keep walking. Again … no cars, no people. We find another trail. This one has rusty old-fashioned farm equipment positioned along the way. I’m not sure if they’ve been discarded or are there for decoration.
This trail lands us on the other side of town. The other side of town. This is not impressive, though it might sound that way. At the 2010 census, the town of Alberta has a population of 298. Town might be a stretch. And still, we have not seen one of those 298 people.
We walk up the street which is lined by about five houses. One of these houses has a chain link fence holding back about 20 pit bulls. Next door we notice a beautiful oak tree in which a flock of turkey vultures are roosting. Cue the Twilight Zone music.
We walk back toward the caboose. David and Bill are still talking. We round the corner by the Alberta General Store. Not opened, of course. It’s mid-day on a Saturday. Why would it be open?
We see a library. Which, of course draws Finley progeny the way that a flame draws a moth. The library is, of course … not open. And as you might guess, this stirs the Finley girls to sing Christmas carols and try out a few ballet moves in the middle of the street.
Eventually, the Caboose Talk wraps up. David and Sara Maria are officially dating.
That Caboose Talk happened three-and-a-half years ago. Their dating relationship didn’t last.
Because … this!
Today’s David’s birthday. And we get to celebrate with him tonight!
Happy birthday, David! We love you and are so thankful the Lord brought you not only to Sara Maria, but also to us. And it started with a Caboose Talk.
We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people. Colossians 1:3-4