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.