My parents and sister are well on their way to St. Louis, Missouri. They are spending 32+ hours together in a very full car. Chrislyn is venturing off to spend 2 years teaching 6th grade Science at an inner-city school with Teach for America. I am so proud of her - her adventurous spirit, heart to see students succeed, and desire to follow God's promptings even when she is stretched to the max. (She's blogging about her adventures: http://www.chrislyngail.blogspot.com )
I drove down to Grants Pass last weekend to bid her farewell. The 4 of us (wish you could've joined us, Parker) enjoyed a glass of white wine with dinner on the back deck. It was a peaceful weekend, despite everyone's attempts to squeeze all their necessities into the car. (Grandma cars do come in handy when moving large amounts of things; spacious trunks are imperative!) I sat around daydreaming and petting the dog.
There are definitely parts about Grants Pass that I miss very much. Going to my parents' house (no longer "home") feels like a retreat. Their 3 acres in the country has never felt so peaceful or comfortable. The Rogue River was cold, yet inviting as Chrislyn and I spent a couple hours floating down with tahitis. We decided not to get out (100% intentional) where we left the car in order to enjoy the water a while longer. A nice man and his young son agreed to take her to the previous stop to retrieve our car while I stayed with the boats.
I had hoped for some deep, thought-provoking sister-conversations. Instead, we simply enjoyed the sun and each other's company, merrily, merrily, merrily merrily floating downriver. It was exactly what I needed.
At a wedding reception later that day, I saw several of my parent's friends whom I have not seen in years. It was so fun to catch up as adults. Each series of comments/questions was exactly the same: "You're all grown up! What are you doing in Eugene? How was Cambodia?" This repetetive set was always followed with "Sooooo... anybody special in your life?" It's as if they had somehow known about my new, exciting news, and for the first time since leaving home 6 years ago, I got to answer "Yes!"
My drive back up to Eugene was quiet and uneventful, except for my routine stop for ice cream in Rice Hill. I climbed back into the car, cone in hand, and continued on my journey. With 50 miles to go, ice cream dripped all over my lap, hands, seat belt, and steering wheel. I felt like a 2 year old and when I met up with a friend for dinner that evening, she kindly advised me to wipe ice cream remnants off the corner of my mouth.
Needless to say, it was a beautiful couple of days.