Saturday, September 28, 2013

You know you're in a friendly town when. . .

. . . you can call your child at the library!

As I sit here in the public library using the free wi-fi to shop for towel racks at IKEA because someone offered to pick up anything I needed there when they went next week, the phone rings and the librarian answers. I hear her say "Yes she is," and then, to my amazement she gets up, walks down into a stack, and says "Emily, phone call for you." Emily wasn't that thrilled to get a call from her mom at the library but it certainly highlighted how different things are when the whole town is part of a child's community.

Another sight that warmed my heart this week was the bike rack at the elementary school literally overflowing with bicycles. There is concrete evidence that as  parents here feel their kids are safe.

I have mentioned to some of you that the school mascot is a BLOSSOM. Fitting for a town called Blooming Prairie, but not exactly fear-inspiring for the football team. However, last night the team prevailed 35-14 against the scarier sounding St. Clair Cyclones at the High School's Homecoming Game. I sat on my patio and could hear the announcer and the cheering. . .

This is a picture I took at yesterday's Homecoming Parade. 

It didn't last long, but it was great fun, and the band sounded pretty good, the Homecoming Court were carried along in convertibles, and the day was sunny, warm, and filled with little kids, big kids, parents, grandmas and grandpas, and of course, the whole church staff showed up to cheer them on!

I'm sure it won't all be sweetness and light, but I am savoring it while I can!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Not this but there's that.. .

Just a quick post to continue the story. . .

All that stuff has come home to roost in my new place pictured on the right.
My new address is:
741 Center Avenue N. #2
Blooming Prairie, MN 55917
I think I'm going to love my new place. It's a re-purposed space so it has some funny quirks, but I really think I'll enjoy living here. The windows to the right of the front door on the first floor are all mine. There's lots of light on this bright September day. The bedrooms are small, but there's plenty of parking, and room for company so I hope you'll come to visit. In the meantime I'll be unpacking all that stuff I discussed last time.

I got a lesson in turn-around-time right away. One of the first things I did when I got here was call the cable/internet company that serves my building to set up an installation. That was Thursday. On Friday an enthusiastic young salesman (who looked to be about 19) came to sort out all the particulars. I signed and initialed everything needed and he said he'd take the order to the office to get it processed and they would be calling to schedule an install. They called this morning (Monday) and I will have internet and cable installed on Tuesday: that would be Tuesday October 1st. Almost two weeks from my first phone call . . .  On the other side of this story: this will be the fastest internet I've ever had, and the cheapest 200 channel cable package ever.

I also have a mailbox. I mean a real mailbox, in front of my house. Before this I have always had a lock box down the street or over by the office of the complex. I expected to have to pick up my mail at the Post Office here so that mailbox was a delightful surprise!

Other discoveries:
  • There's no pizza delivery but you can get your milk, butter and sour cream delivered
  • There's no place to go out for brunch on Sunday but it's a rare week without a pancake breakfast fundraiser somewhere
  • My apartment has no dishwasher, but lots more cupboard space
  • The grocery store carries fewer convenience items than I'm used to but sells incredibly fresh meat cut right on site, and to order if you wish
The adventure continues!!!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sorting It All Out

Everything about moving can be painful. For me, one of the hardest parts has been the sorting. Going through things drawer by drawer and shelf by shelf. Deciding what goes, what should be given away, what should hit the dumpster. The decisions are hard, and some of them bring regret. Why didn't I do this kind of sorting more often? Why didn't I give that dress away while it was still in style, or keep up with those people in the pictures I haven't put into albums yet, or mail that birthday card? Why didn't I use this cake mix before the 2010 expiration date?

On top of that there are unanswerable questions: will I need this? How many sleeveless tops are necessary in Minnesota? (Do people my age even go sleeveless in Minnesota's more moderate summers?) Will this dish drainer fit my new sink?  Is this sweater too hopelessly out of style to go? How much cabinet space will there be in the new bathroom?


Into my over-thinking, inefficient sorting rode my friends. God bless them all!!! Some of them made short work of my sorting crises: "It doesn't amount to a shoe-box full of difference. Just pack it." Or, "If you haven't worn it in the last year, let it go." Or, "It really doesn't matter. Replacing your dish drainer will cost next to nothing."  I am so grateful for all their patient and good-natured help and encouragement.

My friends sorted themselves out by their best gifts: sorting, packing, cleaning, running errands, reminding, making custom boxes, deconstructing modular furniture, feeding, housing once the beds were taken apart, distracting and entertaining, gathering groups together to mark my transition, crying with me, and taking care of things that couldn't be accomplished until after I was out of the apartment. I needed all of them and all their gifts because sorting, packing, and asking for help are all missing from my arsenal.

Today they are all in a box in my heart marked BELOVED. And none of them will be discarded!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Goodbye and Hello

Triumphant Love Lutheran Church, Austin, TX
My church home since 1984, and my place of employment since 2002.

First Lutheran Church, Blooming Prairie, MN
Lutheran Church
My new church home and place of employment as of September 2013.

Sunday morning I got a loving send off from Triumphant Love, and then spent a sweet evening with some of the people I've known the longest and with whom have shared countless experiences and memories. It's at their request that I have decided to share the transition experience in this public forum.

I have spent most of the summer saying hello and goodbye. Looking for work and a new place to live; looking ahead to the inevitable day of departure. I have felt frightened, worried, hurt, excited, hopeful, uncertain, stretched, loved, despised, incompetent and blessed. And countless shades and variations of those feelings. But now that the time has come, I go forward knowing that I will not travel alone; my journey will be accompanied by the One who will support me through it all, and who ties us all together - old and new friends. Adios Austin, Buenos Dias Blooming Prairie.