In the process of getting our whole household sorted and packed up to move, I find it increasingly hard to keep up with the regular stuff. Besides that, the pile of "not sure where to put this" stuff is growing exponentially.
The living room is a twisted, jumbled wreck of boxes and bins that are either 1) waiting for those few more things that I just know I will find to fit in them; or 2) filled with the miscelleny of life in a ten person household and waiting to be sorted.
Besides that, my couch had been, until the last hour or so, heaped high with clean laundry, some folded, some not.
To get to the chair I like for my morning coffee, I have to wend and wind my way through the mess, planning the route ahead of time to descry a way through, and looking at each step before setting my foot down. And all this without spilling my coffee.
I've mostly managed to keep the dining room table mostly clear. But we have a second table in our dining room, still sitting there from before Christmas when Jeremy came with his gang. Every time we've gotten it cleared off, it fills up again before we get it out of the room. And now that we're trying to pack to move, it has become an extra place to stack and sort and store temporarily. Which leaves us squeaking and squishing our way around the regular table and seats when we have to sit down to eat or answer the phone or anything over that direction.
And I so I deemed today the day to get caught up on folding the clean clothes and sorting out all the bits and pieces of packing that has stacked up.
I find that I'm just ready to be done. I'm not in a hurry to leave this community and this town and these friends. But if it has to be done, I'd just as soon it just BE DONE.
Something that is perhaps unique to a pastor's family situation, is the attachment we feel to two communities. Our hearts are in two places. We are attached to these people here, and caring for them in times of happiness and sorrow. They've been our family for the last thirteen and a half years.
And yet we're eager to form those same attachments with our new church family. Different ones have been periodically calling to check on things since Joe accepted the call. But in the last week, we've had more calls from more people. Asking about Joe's preferences in scheduling things in his first few weeks there; asking about our preferences about paint or other household repair issues; and so on.
Today one of the ladies called to ask about window shades. She and some of the other ladies noticed that the current shades were nearing the end of their lives. And so she and her husband had purchased shades for some windows and were wondering about doing more before we come.
It's a rare thing in today's world to feel such love and care and support from people that one doesn't even really know. It's a gift in this broken world to see the members of Faith showing such love for their new pastor and his family.
And we see the same love here, too. Our people here have offered to help in so many ways. Some have taken a load of stuff to the thrift store or metal recycling. Another friend has picked up several loads of boxes and other packing materials from a local business. Others have come to help me clean or pack. Another friend taught Sophie how to finish the binding on the quilt she started long ago, and will take time from her schedule to teach Clara with the same. She also bought the kids a bucket of ice cream and some Fruit Loops as a special treat. Others bless us with gifts of money or food items to help out during this time.
And it's not becasue they are trying to hurry us away. It's because of the blessing of love between them and their pastor and his family.
I find myself constantly on the verge of tears, thinking of leaving here. And also emotional when anticipating the joy of being in a new community of similar love and support.
But to add one more thing to my precarious state, ... the snow melted. That is usually not a bad thing. It is this time, though, since it exposed my new flower bed that the kids and I put in last summer. Oh, I was looking forward to finishing it off this summer and nurturing the young plantings through another growing season, enjoying their growth and beauty.
We had planted a clump birch out our living room window the first summer we were here. We had to replant it twice because of damage from weather, kids, and youth group outings. But finally it's a wonderful clump of white and black boles and silvery green leaves. When I first planted that birch I envisioned it surrounded by a perennial bed, with a raised hill curving around one side.
And had babies. And mowed lawn. And planted vegetables. And put in other flowers here and there.
Finally last year was able to create my long awaited landscaping.
And this spring, we will leave before I even see it coming back to life after it's first winter's rest.
It creates a strange mix of sadness and excitement, and tears of joy and frustration, when I contemplate, among other bigger things, my flower bed here and the newly painted living room walls in the Clara City parsonage.