Friday, August 26, 2016

summing up summer

Good grief in five days it'll be September. This means I haven't posted ALL SUMMER which is lame if you ask me. But our new life has me still unsettled and ... I don't write well when unsettled. I'll try to sum up the summer.

We headed back to Ohio soon after my last post: dear friend and neighbor, Steve Johnson, died in early June. Such a fighter. I was thankful to sit with his wife Siobhan on their back porch for a bit, sharing our hearts and tears. We helped each other as young moms and Siobhan is the closest friend I have to lose her husband. I realize, obviously, the brevity of life, but also that we're entering the season of life when friends lose spouses.

We learned later in June that the buyer of our cabin demolished it. We figure it was his plan all along, a plan he'd revealed to no one, especially not us nor the realtor. While we knew this would probably happen someday, it was a real gut-punch to know someone valued that piece of property (the size and view) a whole lot more than the historic little cottage. And you know how special it was to us.

Only now am I beginning to feel a bit more comfortable here, JUST a bit. The adjustments are huge. Like who'll cut my hair (it's real!), where's the nearest library (in Delaware it's just "where's the library?" because there's only one), grocery store decisions (no Kroger in sight: this is still disturbing to me but I'm dealing), how to fit everything in a much smaller house (daughter Katie moved back home with us; that upped the 'stuff' factor), and navigating my way around (in our area of Charlotte, plus Dan and Jenny's area of Harrisburg): figuring out routes but also becoming an assertive city driver in the incredible traffic.

I know God brought us to this little neighborhood for good reason, if only for a time. Their names are Jack and Frances, next door neighbors. True Southerners, as friendly as they come. We've enjoyed many a chat about gardening, God, and life in general. So thankful!

We've found a church we really like: Connect Christian Church in Concord (still another community) and the people and worship are terrific. But to make new connections in a community takes intentional time and effort. I have gone to quite a few women's events (Monday breakfasts, book club and ministry events) to meet more women. I had become so complacent about this in Delaware, but now I feel it's essential for my mental state to forge friendships. But it isn't easy!

I spend some time with the grandchildren and that's pretty special: babysitting to help out Dan and Jenny, having the kids over to play, taking them swimming. It's so dear getting to know them better! I surprised Jill in June, showing up to spend a few days. Really fun! Will be going again soon.

We had a "birthday weekend" here in late May for three of the grandchildren: lots of fun!

                                                                                                 by Katie Haller

I'm also looking around for a job. It'll help our finances and I just have a sense that God wants to use me somewhere, somehow. I spent a lot of years at home with kids, but I'd love to use my skills and develop new ones. And I plan to get back to my photography. I'd appreciate prayer!

"Petey" by me
Bill had some crazy back pain this summer but after seeing a neurosurgeon he's working hard at physical therapy. It seems to be helping. "Go Popsy, work hard!" as 6-year-old Ari says! I'm hoping he can strengthen and improve his mobility.

David and Chelsea will fly up for a weekend in September: really looking forward to that! David is usually on hiatus from seeing us for most of baseball season.

So that's where we are. Having stayed put for 26 years, we'd forgotten what's involved in a move. But also, we're middle aged and all of it takes much more effort. We're getting there but it sure takes some time.

Hope your summer's been smooth. Fall is just around the corner and we will welcome it here in North Carolina!

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him. Psalm 37:7