<I wake up. Sunshine fills the room, which is much bigger than I expected. The light on the ceiling is different and the walls are cream colored. Harold lies next to me softly breathing. Why is the dresser in the corner? I get up. There is a large double closet. Next to the closet is a long counter with a sink and a space where a small, padded stool is tucked underneath. A door leads to a room that contains a toilet and a roomy shower.
It’s disorienting. We have been in our apartment for 14 days. I still wake up with a bit of a start to the not yet familiar surroundings. Last Thursday my best friend, Patty, flew out to help me finish unpack and decorate the apartment. It seemed even stranger picking out rugs, pillows and wooden giraffes to scatter through our space.
Before we moved we sold most of our furniture, which was pretty old, and bought new things last week. While all this was a huge amount of fun, in a way it added to the bit of strangeness we are feeling. We have been finding our way around, which Harold is much better at than I am. We have settled on a preferred bank, grocery store and gas station. There is a Starbucks on the corner a couple of blocks away. The vast number of places to shop is crazy, and I’m from Los Angeles!
Through all of this we feel the continuing grace of God and are acutely aware of his presence. We have been received with such love by Bread of Life church and for that we are most grateful. Everyone has been so kind and are a big part of helping us adjust to our new surroundings. Moving to a new city is one of the most stressful things you can do but when you are surrounded by friends near and far who support you and pray for you makes all the difference. Thanks to all!
That is pretty much how we all feel. The last 2 or 3 weeks have run together so that they are blended into a frappe of images. Packing the U-Haul truck in 102 degree heat. Long conversations at the Smoyer’s as we reminisce about the last 21 years. Saying good-bye to Debbie M. and Sherry S. at the tiny Kirksville airport. Evan & I almost missing our connecting flight to Fresno because the plane got to Phoenix an hour late. (“Mom, I have to go the bathroom!” “I don’t care! Keep running or we’ll miss our flight!” We were the last 2 people on the plane.) Harold, Doug & Linda arriving Thursday and unpack the truck in 100 degree heat at 5pm but with tons of help from our new church family.
So many emotions too. The scary happy feeling you get before embarking on a new adventure. Harold & I have joined the Middle Aged Adventurers Club. Tremendous, painful sorrow saying good-bye to so many friends, not knowing if we will see them all again in this life. The confusion of finding my way around a new city when I can’t tell west from east. Happiness when we discover the grocery prices aren’t any more expensive than Kirksville so that means our budget will work. Exhaustion bringing deep sleep. Crankiness at having to unpack yet another box. Amazement at the provision and mercy God has shown us as we buy new furniture and pay cash for it, a first for us.
I’m going to upload some pictures later today and will post a link if you’d like to see them. But for now it’s off to the pool for Evan and I before it gets too hot. Supposed to be 108 today but hey, it’s a dry heat!
Evan and I arrived in our new city of Fresno Monday night, exhausted from plane delays and running through airports. Gilbert and Ann picked us up and whisked us away to Mimi’s for a yummy dinner. We have spent the last couple of days recuperating from all the work of moving and the emotions of leaving our beloved friends in Missouri.
Life Church threw an amazing going away party last Wednesday night. I told people it was like going to your own funeral and listening to the eulogies. We were beyond blessed to see friends who drove over an hour to say their good-byes. We laughed at stories that were told about us and cried when the stories were about challenges we faced with our friends.
Sunday, however, was painful. Our friend Jeremy, one of the elders at Life Church, gave a wonderful and humbling message about following God wherever he takes you. Then was the time for prayers over us and the actual personal farewells to our church family. There is no way to get past that without tons of tears. Over and over I was reminded what a blessing it has been to serve with all these people. It is a great comfort to know that we will be together in eternity.
There is much to be written about the weeks preceding the move. I plan to elaborate over the next few weeks but for now I need to get ready for a 4th of July party where we will meet new friends for this next season of our life. Hug and appreciate those who you live life with every day.