When Auld Lang Syne Comes Back Around

We were twenty-one and newly married when we met Charlie and Cyndi at the newly launched Denton Community Church. They were a little older, enough to regard us as “heart-children,” as Cyndi later told me. We got to know each other over mugs of Charlie-made coffee and long conversations in the living room of their log cabin in Little Elm. The cabin was like them: warm, unconventional, authentic. Our new friends thought deeply, spoke honestly, and laughed a lot. They loved Jesus, big dogs, the outdoors, people, music, and anything handmade.

The fabric of married life changed when I got pregnant the first time—and I do mean the very first time—Greg and I “tried for a baby.” (Women have ways of knowing these things.) The pregnancy was a difficult one, weaving threads of pain, stress, and fear into our joy. Sick as I was, I could usually muster the will to make it from my bed to the car for church and for Charlie and Cyndi’s Bible study in Little Elm. Greg and I took great comfort in being surrounded by a loving community that prayed for us and cared for us in practical ways.

When at last our son was born, skinny but healthy, Charlie and Cyndi rejoiced wholeheartedly with us. I have never forgotten their hospital visit or their unmixed delight on our behalf—which, considering their own long struggles with infertility, showed great generosity of spirit.

They both played in the DCC band, Cyndi on vocals, Charlie on banjo and harmonica. Eventually I joined too. I spent many years at Cyndi’s side, harmonizing with her. I grew very familiar with her profile, and very fond of it.

Charlie and Cyndi moved to East Texas when our youngest child was too young to know them well. Later they relocated again. After our own family moved south, we learned that our old friends were now only a couple of hours away, living in another log cabin in the Texas hill country. Most joyfully of all, they’d adopted two girls, the same age as our own daughters. We’ve seen them a few times since our move, once with Steve Johnson, another North Texas transplant who was a long-haired single guy back when we all started making music together at DCC.

Following a recent illness, Cyndi found herself writing a lot of music, and she’s asked me to play pennywhistle on the CD she’s making. So last Saturday we again drove to their lovely home in Bandera for chili and cornbread, brownies and Charlie-made coffee, music and conversation. We listened to Cyndi’s demo and played around with parts. Before we left, Anna played and sang two of her own original pieces, and Cyndi offered words of encouragement and praise.

Just to see these cherished friends again and sing and play together more than a decade after sharing the stage at DCC is a delight past describing, and to see my children laughing and talking and playing with the daughters they once thought they’d never have is a gift from God so gracious it takes my breath away. What a boon. What a blessed, blessed boon.

I don’t really have a theme with which to wrap all this up. I can think of nothing more to say than, in all reverence, “Thanks be to God.”

Kim was looking for stray airsoft pellets when we drove up.

Reminds me of Little Elm.

Charlie and Cyndi’s view!

Charlie took his glasses off after Greg started taking pictures.

Getting ready to try some pennywhistle licks on one of Cyndi’s songs.

Executing one heck of an F#.

Aren’t we glad they make these harmonica-holding things so Charlie can play two instruments at once?

Cyndi with the guitar given to her by Margaret Ashmore. The title of her upcoming CD will be “Margaret’s Guitar.”

They assured us they would use the airsoft guns on leaves only.

Taking a break from tennis balls.

Aren’t they charming?

One comment on “When Auld Lang Syne Comes Back Around

  1. Lori says:

    This post makes me indescribably happy and a bit melancholy all at the same time- So happy for the gifts bestowed on all of us in the form of our children and sad because I miss all of you and the wonderful times shared in Charlie and Cyndi’s log cabin-
    So glad you guys got to share some time and music together last weekend and thankful for the little glimpses of their life now that you have provided.

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