On Thursday of last week I received a call from my good friend Jane wanting to know if they could show up at the house a day early. They were scheduled to arrive about noon on Friday. One of my life mottoes is, “Nothing says clean like company.” Jane and Bruce are company. We were going to clean on Thursday night. But Jane and Bruce are also friends, so we let them come early anyway.
On Friday I gave them the obligatory tour of the most beautiful office in Maryland and then we spent time at Antietam and Harpers Ferry. We got home around 6:15, had dinner and some good conversation and then went to bed.
On Saturday we drove into Baltimore where Bruce looked up a couple of Aikido facilities (he is a practitioner of that particular martial art) and then on to Camden Yards. We spent some time at the Inner Harbor before entering the stadium where we watched the Orioles trounce the St. Louis Cardinals 15-7. I also purchased my very first hat from Baltimore, where it is now prominently displayed on a lamp.
Sunday was worship and Jane's promised Father's Day gift of preaching for me was redeemed. I always enjoy working with her on the liturgy, and I especially enjoy it when I get to listen to her preach. Following the two services we hooked up with old friends of hers who just happened to have spent a lot of time in Montana; so we did some west coast reminiscing. At home later that day, Joelene cooked up a great batch of ribs and we all had an excellent Father's Day dinner. Jane and I then sat on the deck watching fireflies and discussing church stuff. She thinks I'm in a good place.
Monday was bittersweet as Jane and Bruce packed up their RV to head out on the next leg of their cross-country adventure. I cherished the time we had together, soaking in every moment, every laugh, every word, every good-hearted back slap, fist bump, and hug. The blessings of good friends came up against the realities of living on two coasts.
But as she pointed out more than once, and as was pointed out to her more than once, this is a good place. It is a place I am happy to now call home. It is a place that has happily received us. And while I do miss old friends and the frequency of our conversations, I am happily looking forward to filling in those holes with new friends, new conversations, new “old” memories – because this is now home, and I'm looking forward to creating a time together that will have as strong a place in my life as Jane and Bruce now do.
Thank you to Jane and Bruce for keeping me connected to what was.
Thank you to everyone here who help connect me to what will be.