Two weeks ago I was home sick. I had a weekend full of plans that I had to cancel to stay holed up in my apartment with a box of kleenex and cough medicine. But it didn't turn out to be too bad. I slept in on Saturday and made pumpkin french toast, then walked to the library to get some fresh air and a new supply of books to keep me occupied. Sunday I called in to Rockville in the morning and made another batch of scones for the freezer. I listened to Silverton's afternoon service and then took an afternoon walk. My area has really gotten beautiful in the last few weeks.... The colors are phenomenal.
I'm doing a Bible study with a small group from church and right now we are studying James. Last week was about suffering working patience, and that we should take joy in that we have trials. I shared that a trial I had anticipatory joy for was moving, because I knew that I needed it. When I got my job offer I knew it would be good for me -- it would push me to see a new perspective, to grow in faith, to depend on others. Five years from now I'm sure that I'll be thankful for how I've grown, but right now it's hard to be joyful as a whole. I certainly find joy in the little things -- like the photography walk I went on above, enjoying the fall weather, or remembering names in church that I've been struggling over, or singing at SG -- but it is still too new to be joyful about it all the time. I find myself missing home and family more these days, maybe since the busy rush of summer and September are officially over and the season of holidays has begun. Life really is all about family and friends; nothing else in this world matters. The holidays (and being so far from home) make you see that.
I'm thankful I can count the weeks until Tiera comes to visit for Thanksgiving! We are already scheming about what to do and where to go for the days we have together where we don't have to work. It feels like the world is in our hands -- we could hop in a car and go so many places in just an hour or two.
Just two days ago I got back from a quick weekend to Ohio for an invite. On Saturday we dressed in rainboots and sweatshirts and raked leaves for older people in Rittman -- while of course having fun and the taking requisite leaf-pile pictures. The catch-up conversations I had with Anna and Emily and Alyssa and many others were completely worth the many hours of driving and few hours of sleep. So blessed to have this.
Three weeks ago my parents came to visit and it was a wonderful weekend. It was a rainy Friday in the office with most of the teams gone, so at the end of the day I toured Mom and Dad through the Unilever floors at 3 Commerce Drive. It was quite fun to show them where I spend my time and for them to see why I am loving working here.
Saturday was a lovely day in the city. We took the train in at 10:30 and arrived at 1 pm to have quiche, hot cider, and pastries at a bakery in Rockefeller Plaza. Then we took a taxi to lower Manhattan to spend the afternoon at the 9/11 museum and memorial. It was a touching experience, and the perfect people to spend it with. It was great fun to have my Nikon along and to enjoy the crisp fall city weather. We ended the day with burgers and shakes before catching the train back to Shelton, where I traded backrubs with Mom. I'm a lucky girl.
So the culture out here is pretty different than home. Here are some of the things I've learned in my first three months.
In other news, this is my first week in the office and it is going quite well. I'm cross-observing a lot of different teams in transportation so it is a lot of information but I'm starting to see how all of the different roles fit together. Plus, our office is bright and modern and full of windows to see the gorgeous fall weather outside.
Home. The word is so much sweeter now that it means so much more. I can't even describe how full my heart felt to see my mom and sister pull up at the airport to get me last Saturday afternoon, or know all of the faces in the sanctuary at church. It was beyond wonderful to be home last weekend, even for as quick as it was. Life is so busy here in Rockville that I don't sit around pining for home, but last week as I knew I was headed home for the weekend, I realized how much I really miss it.
I hadn't seen a fir tree since July, hadn't seen my parents or my sisters in that long either. I hadn't seen blue purple foothills in the distance on my drive to church, a sunrise or sunset unprecluded by trees, or Mt. Hood's spectacular beauty on a clear day. I missed knowing that a few hours away the coast would be cold and windy and hilly, not sandy and crowded and flat. I missed knowing how to get to the mall, the car mechanic, and my friend's houses without needing a GPS. I missed the level of familiarity you have when you've been attending the same church for thirteen years, with a church family that has seen you grow and repent and be baptized. A church family that knows your parents and the ages of your siblings; and you know what most people do for a living, the names of their kids, and how they are related to each other. I missed Sunday mornings, rushing the last ten minutes to get dressed so I could play a few hymns on the piano before riding to church as a family. I missed waitressing table four and asking what everyone wanted by name, catching up with the young moms and my friends' moms and all the other smiling girls at that table. I missed Sunday evening pizza and the lazy Saturday lunches we've been having for years. Sitting on bar stools at the kitchen counter talking about absolutely nothing or everything important with my mom. Doing homework at the kitchen table in shared silence with my sisters, just being together with our textbooks and Pandora and sometimes pretzels. I missed home.
By the time Friday came around, I could not stop smiling at the thought of being home in six (short) hours. I headed up to Hartford and was on a plane taxiing towards the runway when the pilot announced that the second engine wouldn't start and we were going back to the gate. The situation escalated quickly until I found myself faced with the news that there were no options to get me home that night and I would have to wait until noon on Saturday to be home. That was hard to take. There was nothing to do except for go to the hotel and wait for the next morning.
Saturday rushed by in a wonderful blur of being home. I got a swim with mom, dinner with Kyla, a gorgeous drive to the singing at church that evening, great reunion hugs with good friends, and some precious family time with the five of us that night. Sunday morning my sisters even agreed to a sit-down breakfast so we could have at least one meal together while I was home.... it was quite special. Church and the wedding were beautiful and all too soon I was on the way to the airport back to Connecticut. Thirty-some hours was not enough time to spend with the family and friends and home I've had for the past so many years. I was leaving a lot behind. But I have a lot waiting for me on the other side of the country.
I'm getting to know Rockville church and appreciating them so much. I'm getting closer with the sisters out here and making memories at parades and bonfires and in the City. I have a new appreciation for people who go to church alone, or who have lost their spouse, or who have moved to a new church. I am learning how to adapt and be flexible, to realize there are differences but cherish where I am right now. I am learning new freeways and new grocery stores; finding beauty in a different coast and in different trees. I'm getting to travel to different churches and big cities and to take trains and toll roads. I've been to a restaurant overlooking NYC at sunset, had pizza in Times Square, explored Boston with a dear friend, roadtripped to Philly. I've figured out how to get around by train, and asked strangers for help when I needed it. I've hosted in my own apartment, one that I bought furniture for and decorated myself. I budget and meal plan and work out and have my own health insurance. If I don't clean my bathroom or sweep my place, no one else does. I've come home from work and baked because I felt like it, or read a book for a few hours, or worked some more. I'm getting to know my coworkers and have shared my faith with them. I'm learning to navigate the calendars of my managers and director, of how to be effective and purposeful in my work. I have a life here, and I'm making it home. Oregon is still home, but Connecticut can be too. I love my little place and how God has knitted things together to bring me here. I am learning to trust God and depend on others in a whole new way. And it is hard sometimes. But that doesn't mean it isn't God's plan. We heard that in Silverton just a few weeks before I moved. So I am going to be thankful for where I am right now, and count myself blessed for having two homes.
^No captions necessary.
Autumn is slowly coming to New England.
The bridge by my apartment, and the tree starting to turn outside my window.
David and Marla Moser kept me overnight last weekend and we had a wonderful time -- Sunday afternoon we took a spontaneous walk out by Shenipsit Lake. Which was gorgeous.
Getting in the mood of my favorite season with some festive baking: pumpkin scones and apple crisp.
The plant wall at work -- this is the side of our cafeteria. The office is new and very modern and fun to be in. And the novelty of the free ice cream freezer hasn't worn off yet. I'll let you know when it does :)
I'm a twenty-something from the Pacific NW making home in new places as I follow where God leads.
My intent is to show Christ's love to the world and use business to solve some of the social problems we face: hunger, illiteracy, healthcare, economic hardship. For now, I'm in a stage of learning. A little adventuring, a few books, some good friends, and a whole lot of prayer and life runs on.