My rock and redeemer, eternally faithful, the Risen King. Though I grew up a Christian, I have definitely wrestled with doubt and faith questions. Still, I have found that all of Christianity hangs on the saving miracle of the resurrection. Christ proves true, and He has transformed my life to be one in which I love and serve others because of His rich love for me. Following Jesus doesn’t make life easy, but it makes it fruitful and good.
My people. We’re pretty crazy altogether, but we’re also very close. Everyone calls my dad “Hoffa,” and you should too; he is both ridiculous and fun. Mama has a true servant’s heart and glues us together. If I can be half as good a mother as she is someday, I’ll still be on super mom level. I am the oldest of four — two sisters and a brother — and we’re all spaced two years apart. Georgia, next in line, studies at Furman University and forever reigns Miss Popular. Rosa Marie, world’s best snuggler and Clemson tiger, is sweet, loving, and a speed demon on the track. Then there’s Mr. Cain, who is quite the shag dancer and will never be afraid of girls. The family joke goes that if he had been a girl, we would have named her “Damn It.”
Summer evenings on the dock, Italian dinner outings, early morning runs, roommate mealtime, backpacking trips, weekend reunions…it seems everywhere I go, new and old quality friends alike come alongside me and make the journey that much more fun.
In 1993, Hoffa bought a piece of property on Johns Island, South Carolina for his business, but we like to use it for our own recreation, too. My favorite place in the world, Sugah Cain is 65 acres of two-century-old Lowcountry oaks and grassy meadows. Next to the pond and rope swing, we built the Pond Pavilion a few years ago for parties and weekend getaways. It’s listed on Home Exchange, so if you live somewhere neat, let’s swap!
Traveling & Adventures
Let me hop on a plane. I’m there.
My parents backpacked the world themselves as young newly weds nearly three decades ago, and they have since instilled that love in each of their children. Beginning in 2007, we jumped across the Big Pond to Ireland and England, and each year, we have continued to explore somewhere new.
2007: Ireland & England
2008: San Francisco & Yosemite, CA
2009: Back to Ireland
2011: Cross Country Skiing in Oregon
2012: Vancouver & Whistler, Canada
2013: Nosara, Costa Rica
2014: Durango, CO
2015: Banos, Ecuador
2016: Big Island, Hawaii
As we enter college and young adulthood, travel has also become her primary scheme to keep the family glued together. It’s working.
I’m more of a “safe adventurer”… I don’t really like to do stupid things that have a high potential to compromise my life, but I’m all about getting out of one’s comfort zone. Different cultures and challenging experiences can really expand you. I’ve lived abroad in the past, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I do again in the future. Wherever I go, I want to give back and serve.
Walking, Hiking & Backpacking
..or as the Kiwis call it, “Tramping”
Like Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice, “I’m very fond of walking,” as the title of my blog attests. I do it a lot more than the average individual. I love going places, and I love that God gave us a free form of transportation. I appreciate the slow burn after hours of putting one foot in front of the other, of stretched-out tendons and the feeling of pulling off a pair of hiking boots at the end of a long trek.
Humans are, by nature, selfish creatures. We are #1 on our own list and serve ourselves above all. The key is to act toward others as you already naturally treat yourself. When I put others in positions above myself, I often find that the work I do also fulfills my own desires. True service, the dying of one’s self for others, is the most authentic form of love.
More than any other place, the mountains make me come alive. There is something almost magical about being on a trail and looking up at the towering trees around you, or down into the valley of the summit you just conquered. The crisp air, the camp fires, the bitingly cold streams, the upward climb. It’s all good.
Reading & Writing
I was an English major; I better like it! But really, for choosing this discipline, I am not a remarkably fast reader or a phenomenally gifted writer. Reading, however, over movies and TV and music, is my favorite entertainment, and this blog has become a space for me to exercise and practice the craft of writing.
Shag, swing, salsa, contra, flat-footin’, free style… I’m kind of mediocre at all of them, but I’m not afraid to try. I even got a pair of ballroom shoes for Christmas in 2012 and found a partner to dance with in Roanoke that Spring. My best kind of Friday or Saturday night is spent on the dance floor becoming disgustingly sweaty (sorry boys).
Lists (& checking them off)
Does this list of favorites prove that point? Like normal Type A people, I use them for my everyday to-do’s and long-term goals. They surround me, and have since middle school. They help organize, visualize, prioritize and prevent procrastination. I probably find too much satisfaction in a whole column of scratched out activities. But lists can also help one reflect, to decide what is the best, or what is most important. It is a simple, yet very difficult exercise.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Run with the Horsemen, The Whisper of the River, When All the World Was Young; A trilogy by Ferrol Sams
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
The book of Matthew
Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare
Surprised by Oxford by Carolyn Weber
Dan in Real Life
Hunt for the Wilderpeople
A Walk to Remember
Pride and Prejudice
When Harry Met Sally
She’s the Man