Going to the Schwagers' house is always fun when I'm visiting my home town. I have known both Markus, or Koozee as he is better known...that's not how you spell it, but that's how it sounds. He's Swiss and it's some sort of Swiss formula nickname. Something about the last part of your name, so marKUS = Kusie. ANYWAY, taaaanngent. I have known Kusie and Meris for a long time, but in different ways.
I used to drive around in Kusie's light blue BMW when I was in high school and hang out with him and his skater friends. He had long greasy hair and like to yell things out of his car at passers by to embarrass me. I would usually end up on the floor of the passenger seat because I was a shy little 15 year old and cared a lot about what strangers on the street thought about me.
I met Meris later in life through our church community, but we really bonded on a two week service trip to Turkey of all places. Faith, Meris and I endured many trials such as:
- Being solicited for "favors" by our hotel room neighbors in "Hotel Fatih". Think business card shoved under your door at 3am with INAPPROPRIATE suggestions written in broken English.
- Faith lost her contact in the dirt by our construction site one day and of course she is blind as a bat and did not have spares. We searched in the dust under a bus while local men stood by and laughed.
- Then there was having to clean and "sweep" a piece of plastic the size of half a football field because it had been rained on while covering the still wet foundation of the building we were there to construct. Apparently the construction team did not want to buy a new piece, but we couldn't use this one again if it was this dirty. We had to roll it out little by little in this empty DIRT lot next to where we were working and try to keep more dirt from getting on it as we were sweeping the old dirt off.
Needless to say, we became fast friends. Sometime after this trip Meris and Kusie got married and now they have three beautiful children. We did a family photo shoot while I was there and these are some of my favorites. Meris is America's Next Top Model, as Faith says, and I agree. She could do runway.