I am slightly disoriented after this weekend’s wild ride.
I am here, in San Antonio, with boys and animals in Craig’s three bedroom apartment. Donny and Jordan have an adventure of their own these next two days, which I’m quite sure is an independent post, so I won’t ruin the story. Craig is skipping off to work because our family is now, finally, after four months of separation, living together.
We have the best team of movers I’ve ever had before. The leader, Tom, has moved more celebrities than People magazine could name in one issue, and he really likes to name drop, which is both fascinating and entertaining. Celebrities don’t impress me, but if he named some iconic authors well then my jaw would drop. He did however say he moved President Bush into and out of the white house. Can you imagine having that responsibility? I might try to get more information out of him about that, right after I buy them all dinner.
Anyway, they are so good at what they are doing that we have left them to their job. They will finish the packing and loading on Tuesday and then they will deliver our “household goods” on Thursday in the new house.
While all the moving business was happening at the house we had the most social weekend of our lives in Katy. We scratch our heads now and think how did we do all that socializing and manage to move out of our life in one town and hop over to the next. On Friday night we had the reunion with the mission team at the Anthis’ house. It was such great fun to be together again, share a meal and reminisce. This group had a tight bond, a genuine sense of family, and we are certain that we will keep that alive. On Saturday we shared a fun adult dinner out with some friends while the kids went their ways with their own friends. The kids that evening enjoyed a game of hide and seek in our dark, big house full of towering boxes and stacked furniture. That sounded like fun to me, and if there were two of me I would have been a player. But the one me was exhausted and fell into a deep sleep at a hotel.
It was strange to wake up in a Holiday Inn and then go off to church. It was just plain weird. At church we hugged the necks of our dear friends, and refused to say “good-bye”, though we knew it would be different. It’s really a see you later, or as Patrick McCrory coached me to say, “see you sooner”. We can’t possibly express what Kingsland Baptist Church means to our family, and how rooted we became in three short years there, but it is a permanent part of us. As Donny said while we drove out of the parking lot, “our family became a lot closer at that church.” Indeed. I need to shift subjects because my face is wet with tears.
After church there was much to do with the animals and moving business at the house. These were draining, frustrating, emotional end bits of leaving a home. It was the sort of sick to my stomach knowledge that it was officially finished in that space. I refused to look at a single plant and say good-bye. They will all call me a ditch and run lover. I hope their new owners love them as I once did. I won’t forget them but their beauty is too great to behold and know they aren’t mine any more.
Next we were on our way to a special lunch with my dear friend Jackie at her home. It was the FIRST time in all our years living in Katy that someone invited us to their home for a meal. It is hard to believe that is true, but it is. I know why. But that too is an independent post. I’m just so grateful that their family gave us the very final experience of our permanent residence in Katy to be a shared meal together in their home. It was a special occasion in my heart, an honor, and such a privilege.
It seems odd to go relax in the middle of a day that is actually moving day for us, but nothing could have been more balanced or perfect for us to do. Her family convinced us to feel like this is our new home when we return to Katy. And the same thing happened on Friday at the Anthis’ house, they showed us the guest room, and said this is your home whenever you need it. That’s probably why leaving doesn’t really feel like a final break. Our friends have embraced us and given us the distinction of family and a welcome without an invitation. That is PRICELESS.
Somehow, I look at the future of developing these friendships and I know it can only grow deeper and richer between us. The great sense of gratitude this gives me in my heart and soul is that the body of Christ is connected by blood. It is family. These friendships take me to my knees and I thank God for the love and support he provides. I believe we are like bamboo. We bend but we don’t break, and when we look down at the root system of bamboo there are no individual plants, all of the roots are joined. A big clump of bamboo which looks like individual trees on the surface is actually one plant. With our friends in Christ nothing could show the phenomena of a loving bond better than the example of bamboo. We may be apart from the outward view, but we all share the same root system. I know this. And it comforts me now that our own clump of bamboo looks so much further away from the others. I will just remember our roots are forever intertwined, strong and drawing nourishment from the same Source. This gives me peace, and an overflowing sense of God’s love. It strengthens me for the fresh start I face this first day of August, my first day as a resident of San Antonio. I am not alone here. I do not have to fear loneliness, what a relief.
* * *all weekend something in me refused to photograph our last times with friends because I couldn’t label it “last” with a photo. Some memories don’t need prodding with a picture. The times with friends this weekend were etched permanently in mind. If I close my eyes I can see the party at the Anthis, dinner laughter with Christy and Alex, and Jackie’s table where we laughed and ate together. It is as fresh and real and alive as if I were still there. No photo could reproduce those feelings like my own mind. I am satisfied not having recorded them. That’s says a lot as a photographer.