Archive for November, 2009

Happy Early Thanksgiving

Holiday Wreath

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

-Colossians 3:15

Friday

Friday approaches quickly, and the boxes are stacked to the ceiling. Clothes are in suitcases, bookcases are empty. Yesterday some of the curtains came down. Tomorrow morning as I sing at Mass, Rob will cook the turkey and pack the dishes after he uses (and cleans) them. Then, we’ll head over to my parents’ for a Thanksgiving feast. And boy, will we be giving thanks this year, in spades.

Friday at 7am we pick up our moving truck. We’ll try our best to get a good night’s sleep and have a healthy breakfast, because it’s just Rob, me, and my dad to move our household. At least we’ll sleep well on our first night in Tehachapi!

And thus a chapter closes in our lives. As I type Rob is finishing his last day at a company that has served him well. I leave a town that I’ve lived in for 11 years–my whole adult life. We say goodbye to the familiar and enter into the unknown, but it is a blessed process. We’ve prayed so much for this opportunity. There is inevitable discomfort in the change, but such is the way in our faith-filled world of dying and rising.

I don’t know when we’ll get internet up there, but I can steal moments in a cafe or when I come out to school. The adventure begins!

All is well, and all is well, and all manner of thing shall be well. –Julian of Norwich

It’s Happening

Our new kitchen...wow!

Friday night, we got the news: loan approved. The moving truck is scheduled for this Friday. It’s really happening.

Sorry if posts are scarce for a little bit as things are hectic, but I’ll do the best I can. Who knows, writing may be what keeps me sane!

I feel so blessed, so grateful. I am overwhelmed, but not with anxiety or with worry about packing up the house. Sure, it’s a bit crazy, but more than anything, I just feel gratitude. How could I not?

The Final Countdown

One week away from the move, and things are going slightly less smooth than we had hoped, but we’re counting our blessings. It turns out that we won’t be able to get into the house as soon as we thought, but Rob’s start date at work is non-negotiable, so it will be a week or two of hotel living. We’ll be keeping our stuff in storage while we wait for all the paperwork to go through and give us the green light to get our keys.

One awesome thing about this experience is that our feelings toward the community in Tehachapi have been affirmed. We met with the sellers last Sunday and the spent a good couple hours showing us all of the ins and outs of the place. They’re good people–and I think they took to us as well. After the detailed tour, they invited us back to their house for a celebratory glass of wine.  A glass turned into two and we talked in their living room by a roaring fire until the sun went down. Strangers turned friends. This would never happen in LA…and that’s why we’re moving there.

Not that there’s anything wrong with the big city. It’s just not our scene any more. We’re longing for a place where we’ll know our neighbors, and where people look you in the eye and smile when you walk by. Heck, people wave all the time when we drive around the neighborhoods, and they don’t know us from Adam. It’s a neat thing when being kind is just part of the culture.

So, we’re getting down to the bare bones of what’s left to pack. Our household is running on a skeleton crew of goods. Certainly it’s a feeling of displacement, and it will only amplify in the next few weeks. But this too shall pass. God holds us gently in the palm of God’s hand. The time of peace shall come. We’ve been pregnant with this hope for a long time, and now the labor pains have arrived. There’s nothing left to do but go forward.

Borrowed Earth

IMG_6140

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.

-Native American Proverb

Things to Come

IMG_6028 - Compress

Sorry that the posts have been a little thin lately. There’s so much to do in preparation for the move, I’m struggling to fit everything into the few hours each day allows. Yet it’s all done joyfully, and so far I have not felt the debilitating stress that so many have warned come with a big move. I try to remain centered in prayer, focused in my intent, hopeful in the displacement that approaches.

I love two things about this future home of ours: its present state and its future potential. The photo above is of the chicken coop on the property–a coop probably not used in about 20 years. We may not be able to have chickens for at least a year–there are other things that need to take priority–but its very presence promises something to come. I like that. I like that the house is ready to move into, beautiful in its present state, and yet ripe with many possibilities.  The potential of the home dances in shadows across the walls, and I am both grateful for what is and excited for what is to come.

The boxes continue to mount against the living room wall. Our cats have decided that this is a wonderful new playground:

IMG_6183_copy

The pictures are coming off of the walls, the books are leaving their shelves. Like us, each thing in our house is leaving the home that it has known for the last three years. And as each piece of furniture moves, as each box stacks up against the wall, it seems less and less like our home. It’s becoming an unfamiliar space again. This is bittersweet–we don’t want to stay here, but we also are deeply grateful for this, our first home together. It is the slow process of saying good-bye. The former things are passing away.

Packing Up

IMG_6159

Our current apartment is slowly morphing into stacks of boxes against the living room wall. I’ve been going through the closets, cleaning out old boxes, packing away elements of our lives for the transfer into the next chapter. A few boxes actually hadn’t been opened since our last move, so I’m determined not to have “open much later” boxes this time around.

It’s interesting going through all of our things. In many ways we have already done a pretty good job of simplifying and taking stock. But looking through old letters and memory boxes, or seeing things that were really important to me three years ago that seem so much less important now–it’s a thought-provoking process. In some ways it’s like a longer version of an examination of conscience. Where have I been? What has mattered most to me? Who am I becoming in the wake of these experiences?

I think about where I’ve been and the contrast of dreams to come. I think about the long road Robert and I have walked to get to this point, and the work that lies ahead of us. I thank God for the trials and the blessings, those in the past and those that are inevitably waiting. This process is blessed, even if it is, at times, a painful or scary one.

Feeling anxiety about the unknown is also inevitable, I think. No matter how wonderful a future seems, leaving the warm comfort of one’s known world requires no small amount of courage. As I pack up each box, I think about all the things that will be different when it is opened again. It thrills me and makes me nervous all at once. The passage of time is stronger than the movement of glaciers across our lives. Each second gone, one second closer. I embrace the coming of this dream.

Three weeks to go, and it’s all I can do to keep my mind on school. I’m already planting gardens, hammering fence posts, sewing clothes. I’m checking the temperature in the greenhouse. I’m taking our dog on a walk. I’m watching our family grow older and bigger in this new home. I need to remind myself that the present is sacred, too.

And I cherish it. I cherish the “lasts” of living in the city. The last few times a Barnes and Noble is right down the street.  The last time visiting our beloved vet. The last time driving to my parents is an easy 40 minute car ride. Last, last, last. I cherish the lasts, as I anticipate the firsts. But I feel the tension of being caught in the middle.

Yes, I embrace the dream to come. But I also embrace the one that is here.