I'm not even going to try to make a nicely written summary of everything that's happened since then. I plan to write a few little posts on some of the bigger things that have happened.
But for now, some highlights:
- Sad to leave our old home.
- Excited to meet our new people.
- Former members gave us a great send-off with a parish-wide final service and a nearly all-afternoon going-away party. We had a huge turn-out of helping hands to load the truck and finish off the packing. And I am still embarrassed by how we left the parsonage. But we are grateful to those who said, "Just go, ... we'll finish up. There's not going to be anyone moving in right away anyway."
- New members helped much here, with unloading truck and unpacking necessities. And they worked diligently to build a second bathroom in our basement.
- Living on the edge of a small town rather than 13 miles from closest smaller yet town.
- Farm fields across street one direction, much used BNSF railway line closer in another direction than our mailbox was at the old place.
- Kids can play in the creek and catch crawdads in one direction and can walk to library, pool, grocery store, bakery, in other direction.
- Lesser used city park with playground and extensive green space right next to our house, and separating us from the rest of town.
- Tight fit in smaller house, still trying to figure out how to best make it work.
- Installed storage shelves and working on additional living space in basement.
- Louisa and Else came home from college for summer.
- We get to see more of Jeremy, less of Matt.
- Clara spent most of the summer at Tiffany Bs outside of Plummer, MN, doing farm chores with horses and other animals, helping with toddlers, continuing to train her filly, working for Doc Hagen
- Swimming lessons and annual pool pass = very brown kids and mom, and some pretty good swimmers
- Louisa and Elsie working at Clara City Care Center as CNAs
- Joe's office in the living room = oft-frustrated dad and many spur-of-the-moment outings for mom and kids
- First one-day VBS experience: Jesus the Good Shepherd: prophecy and fulfillment. The church here does three one-day VBS's a year, one at Christmas, one at Easter, and one during the summer.
- Helped Louisa move to Moorhead and into her first apartment.
- Egress window in basement done.
Besides that, I can say that we love our new church and our new members and our new community. Just as each pastor is wonderful and challenging in his own way, and each pastor's wife and family, can be both a blessing and a challenge, so too each new home and community, and each of a pastor's calls presents it's own challenges and blessings. We are still getting to know everything and everyone here and they are still getting to know us. But in all things, God is good.
The summer has flown by, with getting settled, kids coming and going, Bible camp, visiting new members, and all the regular stuff like meals and laundry and cleaning toilets. And eating and preserving all the wonderful garden produce our new members and friends have provided for us.
We look forward to next Sunday attending the installation of Pastor Jeff Merseth as the new pastor of Clearwater Lutheran Parish. Jeff and Megan and their kids are very dear to us, as are the members Joe formerly served, and among whom we lived and made a home for over 13 years. We pray for all involved God's richest blessings, and many years of joy through this special temporal manifestation of the Communion of Saints.