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Wait. What Day Is This?

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!

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Time, the Cross, and the Blessings

Know how to live the time that is given you. – Dario Fo

An enormous amount of living has happened since my last post 3 weeks ago. My husband, Harold, told me yesterday that we have received so many blessings so quickly that we are in danger of starting to forget how this blessing shower began in January. I’ve decided to do a quick re-cap to not only remind us, but to continue to bring glory to God who is the source of all blessings.

January, 2012 – We receive an unexpected inheritance from Harold’s Aunt Erma who passed away a couple of days before Christmas. No one knew that she had any money socked away as she always lived with extreme frugality. This blessing enables us to pay off all of our debts. She also leaves Harold a gently used car, which we desperately needed.

February – April – Said inheritance also helps us to make needed repairs to our home so we can put it on the market.

Early May – We fly to Fresno to spend a week looking for a place to live and for Harold to work on getting a job. We look at a lot of houses and one apartment, which we fall in love with. Unable to put a deposit on the apartment because we don’t have Fresno jobs, the manager tells Harold he needs to come to work for the large company that owns the apartment complex. She extols the virtues of the company and gives Harold the name and number of the Human Resource lady. Next day Harold has an hour and a half interview with her. We return home hopeful.

Also – the day before we leave for Fresno, a realtor calls us. We have not put our house on the market yet. A friend of ours had mentioned we were going to sell our house. The realtor feels he has a buyer for it. They come and look at the house on Thursday. On a lay over in Dallas on Friday, we learn they have made us an offer. By the time we get back home a week later our house is sold never having gone on the market!

May 16th – I teach my last class at school. There are lots of tears. I will really miss these kids! Harold finds out he has the job with the property management company. What an extreme of emotions in one day!

June – On the 4th we celebrate our 29th anniversary by finding out that we can rent the apartment we had seen. Evan does a jig because the place has a pool and a basketball court. I am personally thrilled by the pool and the workout room. I plan on being slimmer and tanner. By the end of the week Evan and I have our last days at work.

Three weeks from today we will load up the U Haul and head out to our new home. There is a lot of packing yet to be done, but we are taking every opportunity to hang out with our friends. There is a wedding this afternoon that has brought friends from different states here. We consider that a huge blessing not just for the bride and groom, but for us. Can’t wait to have some time with everyone!

Every day we are praying for God to give us wisdom to live the time that is left here in Kirksville.  We feel the weight of the sadness of leaving our friends every day now. I know that really this is a “light, momentary affliction.” and I”m daily grateful that I will share eternity with you, my friends.

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Cutting the Apron Strings

It has been quite the week emotionally speaking. My husband and I are experiencing a disconnecting of ourselves from here. Our church is currently undergoing some major changes. People are stepping into different roles, the school is getting a major overhaul with training classes starting soon for the teachers and lots of other new things are happening.

I am trying to be happy seeing things come to pass that we have worked hard towards over the years. But I also feel like “Really? Now all this happens? Why not a couple of years ago so we could enjoy it all?” Of course all timing is in God’s plan and for his purposes. And I will acknowledge that some stuff couldn’t happen without our moving out.

The hard thing for Harold and I is that we aren’t in the middle of it all, like we have been for the last 20 years. Standing by the sidelines seems alienating, which in reality no one is doing that to us. We are still asked our thoughts on various things, we still are helping where we can, it is just that we can’t do the new stuff.

Harold and I have worked to “leave a deposit” as they say. We know that we are going through the necessary separation as we shift from one place to another. I feel like I’m getting spiritual stretch marks from this growing thing inside me that is Fresno. The labor pains are almost upon me but I know when I hit transition I’m gonna put up a bit of a fuss.

We are making preparations nearly constantly now. Our house to-do list is getting smaller. Today Harold fixed the laundry room door that always sticks. And, gulp, he painted over Evan’s growth marks on the door frame. He almost couldn’t do it and found himself surprised that he felt so emotional about it. I proposed ripping that part of the door frame off but that we vetoed. We took pictures instead. Which, in the end, is what we will do here right before we leave, take lots of pictures with our friends and family here so we can remind ourselves of how much they’ve grown.

And on an up note:


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7 Things I Won’t Miss and 6 I Will

I won’t miss:

1. Driving painfully slow behind some kind of large farm equipment.

2. Watching local news story about reporter driving large farm equipment for the first time. (It was on last night’s news) 

3. Winter although this winter has pretty much been a piece of cake. 

4. Ice skating on sidewalks.

5. Only having 3 grocery stores to choose from. There were 5 when we moved here 20 years ago. 

6. Lack of dining options, especially when it comes to ethnic foods.

7. Dodging deer on the road.

Things I’ll Miss

1. The lack of traffic at rush hour or any hour really. Except during fair week.

2. Experiencing the true four seasons in a year. As much as I have hated the cold and the humidity, the change of seasons have always been amazing.

3. Catching up with friends at Wal-Mart. There’s been lots of great impromptu conversations in those aisles.

4. The bunny family that has lived under our deck for the last dozen years or so. It’s always so much fun to see the new batch of babies as they learn how to fend in their bunny world.

5. Having the UPS guy ask if I want the package he has for me dropped off at home or work. 

6. Discounted medical care from my many doctor friends who have made being uninsured much more manageable.



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Tiny Funny Stories

You probably know the actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt from the amazing movie Inception as well as his role in 3rd Rock from the Sun among other things. Not only can he act but he appears to be a sort of Renaissance man. He founded an open collaborative production company named  hitRECord. Members contribute music, videos, texts and drawing to ongoing projects.

Out of this interesting work comes the Tiny Book of Tiny Stories. Sixty collaborations were picked from the 8,569 submissions to the project. HitRECord sent me a (tiny) copy to review. I must say this book took me by surprise. I didn’t exactly know what to expect. A quick flip through revealed short sentences paired with pictures.

Since I get a lot of (free!) books for review I have to kind of pick and choose what I want to read. I am glad that itBooks sent this to me. I put this one at the top of my reading list. I love its quirkiness and sometime wise writings. One of my favorites is : “A man touched me, his hand…my thigh. I touched him too. My fist…his jaw.” Now that’s something I can totally enjoy!

Tiny Book actually made me laugh out loud at times, which is always a plus. Because of the books size you could devour it all at once but it is better savored in small bites. It sits on my reading table next to my side of the couch for easy access.

If you would like more info on Mr. Gordon-Levitt’s collaborative projects and see what other artists are doing visit You can also follow Gordon-Levitt on Twitter at hitRECordjoe.