Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Three's Company


That old show conjures up memories of being young and having fun. I don't remembering it being a particularly edifying story and I am no longer young – but I hope this next season on life will be a little light-hearted on the home front. (That is not to say I haven't enjoyed the dear friends I have stayed with over the last year. But it is to say that I am glad to be in my place and settled. See previous post.)

About a month ago I was joined in my house by a new friend, Alice. How I found her was unlikely and farfetched. However, once we met we discovered that we had one set of close(ish) friends in common. I guess that made the agreement to live together a bit easier than total strangers. Turns out Alice is almost exactly 5 years younger than me, an age I consider to be in my range. AND she is also going back to school so she can pursue a new career path. She returned from 'the field' after 18 years of service just two years ago. She has some very different interests from me, but so far it's been a very good combo.

Tomorrow Lorraine is starting to move in. I met her almost the same way, just as unlikely. She is starting her second year of furlough from 'the field' in the hopes of recruiting new teammates for her area during this year. She's put in something like 32 years on the field. So she's a little older than me.

All three of us were working with people from the same continent, but those two speak French. (Is it too late to learn?) I really feel like God came through for me here in the housemate area. I was dreading renting to young people again because some of my past experiences were challenging. One good thing is that I'm a different person! But there is a camaraderie with like-minded, over 40-year-olds. I am hopeful this will be a good combination for the three of us. We'll see what happens.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Moving and Settling


I have moved a lot of times in my life. I have lived in several places in the past year, including a 12 passenger van! Now I'm back in my house, my own home. I love having a home and making it mine. In fact, I am feeling close to settled for the first time since May of last year. But I'm not completely settled. I did hang up some art today, a few of my mom's paintings and some other d├ęcor, but I didn't quite get it all up. In fact, I feel like I'm missing a few things. Things I may have stashed away and still haven't uncovered.

On top of feeling like I'm not finding all I thought I had stored, I have a nagging feeling that I shouldn't enjoy all these things. I should be content to live in a fox hole, or something simple anyway, but I'm not. I feel somehow guilty about my life back here in the US. To some it may sound silly, but that's how I feel. I haven't lost my love for Africans but I like making a home nice. It's important to me. I do that overseas too, but without my resident's status there, feeling settled alluded me. It seems to me that I am hardwired to want to feel settled.

I'm done moving around for a while, but I'm not totally settled. I may never feel settled. I was asked the other day if I miss Kenya with a deep longing to go back. I replied that both places are home to me. So maybe in a sense I'm never fully at home anywhere.

That is the point. We aren't at home anywhere here on this planet, our home is elsewhere.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Seven Years


Today I had enough time and presence of mind to look at the calendar and realize that it is just two short days until the anniversary of my Mom's death. Hard to believe it was 7 years ago. My wise older brother commented how it feels like it is so far in the past and yet just happened all at the same time. I agree. Still, being in transition after a whole year back in the US makes it even harder to be without Mom. I miss her most when I am in transition.

Just this morning I was thinking again how I wish I could talk to her about what is rolling around in my head these days. It's just the kind of processing of thoughts that you don't blurt out to casual friends. And sometimes your close girlfriends don't have time for these conversations. Mom would always have time to help me think through things without trying to solve it all for me. I have probably said this a hundred times here, but my mom was not your typical controlling or even overly doting mom. She was laid back, easygoing and never fussed by the things that jar life. She took it all in stride as if it were no bid deal. But she did make a big deal about congratulating accomplishments or loving on you for who you are.

And she had a special gift for seeing you as you really are, so it made the loving-you part all the better. I wish it were easier to be without her but it's not.

Mom and Dad in 1992