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.
My family & I are freshly back for 8 days in Fresno. It was quite the trip. We arrived Friday evening and were whisked away to an amazing, authentic Mexican restaurant where we made up for the lack of airline food. We had left at 7am (CST) so by 7pm (PST) we were faint with hunger. Well, okay, a mild exaggeration.
On Saturday there was a church picnic at a beautiful park. We had a chance to meet some new people, refresh some friendships, and eat fist sized strawberries. Well, okay, a very slight exaggeration. There were games planned by the lovely Alejandra who had devised games that kids and adults could play together. Pure genius, huh?
Most of the week was spent meeting with church people, looking at houses & one amazing apartment, and enjoying the California weather. Harold had interviews with 2 different property management companies. He is awaiting a follow-up phone interview with the company who, coincidentally, owns the amazing apartment complex where we want to live. Well, okay, not coincidentally.
We got back to the ‘ville on Saturday evening and have been recovering ever since. Right before we left on our trip, a realtor in town had a couple who he wanted to show our house. That happened the day we left. Today we signed papers selling our house! It’s stunning how everything is falling into place so quickly. We will be out of our house on July 1st. Which is coming round the bend at a ridiculous rate of speed!
In the last several days I have felt at turns overwhelmed, overjoyed, exhausted and full of energy. Mostly I feel like a good cry would really help! (It’s a woman thing.) I’m sure I’ll get there soon.
Thanks to everyone for their prayers. We have felt them and needed them!
Our house is, as I mentioned yesterday on Facebook, ridiculously clean. It has stayed that way this week because of a Herculean effort on our part. I have always kept a casual house, not too messy, not too clean. Because we are getting ready to put it on the market, we now have to live like obsessively clean people.
Since last weekend there have been lots of discussions on staging, packing, painting, etc. The owner of the largest realty office in town came by yesterday to see the house. A friend of ours, Jeremy, had told him we were getting ready to put it on the market. Mr. Realtor was very impressed with what he saw. He is bringing a young couple to see our home today.
We were a young couple when we bought this house 21 years ago. It was the first house we bought which means this is the first house we have sold. It is more emotional than I expected. All the cleaning, rearranging, trying to figure out what a buyer would see, gets to me sometimes. Everything seems to be moving too fast almost. I mean our house isn’t even on the market and people want to look at it.
In the midst of this we are going to go to Fresno to scope out the land, looking at neighborhoods, jobs, etc. I have been thinking more about Peter, walking on the wet, sloshing waves, his eyes on Jesus keeping him calm and full of faith. Oh, and the part where he looks away and ker-splashes into the ocean as if someone had dumped Peter into a dunk tank. Of course Jesus rescues him.
So today I am avoiding the dunk tank, focusing on the only one who can keep me safe and dry, Jesus Christ, my calm in the storm
REO Speedwagon certainly understood how I feel right now. So many things to do, to think about, to ponder, to decide. Right now there are to-do lists in several different categories which makes it a bit hard when trying to pick which one to tackle first. Today we are going to excavate Evan’s room which should be interesting. He is so much like his dad when it comes to keeping or tossing things. Me, I’m a pitch it kind of girl. I am sure there is some kind of happy medium but not in this family. Maybe we should have someone come over just to say “Are you sure you want to keep/toss that?”
We have 5 weeks to get the house ready to put on the market. Harold observed yesterday that in January it seemed like we had plenty of time yet now at the END OF MARCH (how did that happen?) it’s turning into a sprint! There are three bedrooms and 2 bathrooms to paint. Fortunately we will have help from our small group and my 11th/12th graders who offered, before I ever asked, to paint.
I feel like when we put that For Sale sign out front it will be a point of no return, a “this is it moment” in time. In a few weeks we will fly to Fresno to look for jobs, a place to live, and to get Evan signed up for insurance and a job. I have never been someone who can wait patiently, it’s just not in my DNA. When we return home it is quite certain that I will want to move immediately.
Several years ago a preacher named Kevin Leal spoke to our church about how transition feels like water being poured from one glass to another and you’re in the middle, free-falling. He was so right! I feel pushed in all directions, surrounded by things that must be done. I am grateful to God that I don’t feel horribly stressed just every day stressed.
Friday night I went to a Republican fundraiser, something I’ve never done before. My political history is Democrat>Republican> Independent. (I’d be nothing if they’d let me.) My best friend Patty invited me, so I went to hang out with her and a couple of other friends. So I got to find out who is running for what and why. I also got to see a real auction which was a blast and made me want to have one just because of the excitement.There are not many social invitations that I’m turning down. Soon it will be time for good-bye’s.
I will admit to being in a lot of Fibro pain so prayers are appreciated for that. In fact, I am home from church today which I do not like. So I dream and hope for a time when my pain will lessen or vanish for good.
Here’s the song that gave me today’s title. It’s also a song that Harold & I consider one of our songs.
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.