Sunday, November 16, 2008

Return Home

We're back! The kids and I had such a great time back in our former stomping grounds.

First, after nearly two hours in the car (with construction, on a Friday night, it was not a good time to be on the road), we rendezvoused with friends at an exit off the tollway, who took B17 went one way, B3 and Chicklet another, and left one friend of B13's with us. Then we were on the road again, headed to the opening night of the first production of the newest chapter of our nationwide theater group (in Aurora, Illinois)!

And it came off fabulously. It was great to see kids in lead roles, who usually had second-tier parts in our old county, performing like pros!--plus new faces that are surely the seeds of more families to come. And it was inspiring to see the dreams of a few become a reality for a whole geographical area. I was at the first informational meeting for this new chapter, just last spring, and to see them now mounting a full-scale production was so exciting. As I've mentioned before, we are hoping to do the same thing in Kenosha next year--so to think that our dream could similarly become reality in such a short time is so encouraging.

(Please pray, if you are so inclined, for the Wisconsin operating license that our not-for-profit organization needs before we can move forward. Thank you!!)

We stayed a while after the show to catch up with friends, then I dropped BC15 and B9 off at one family's home, and B13, his friend and I drove to another home for the night. The next morning I had breakfast with the mom there, one of my best friends, then attended a baby shower where I got to see around 20 women from my old church, some old friends, some newer ones. We had a fancy tea (including exqusite Dulce de Leche cake) and a prayer service (complete with liturgy from The Book of Occasional Services) for the expectant mother. Margie Fawcett, of The Fruitful Vine, shared humorous and heartfelt remarks on childbirth and motherhood--definitely a highlight.

Then I traveled around town picking up all my kids, and we all went back to the home where I had spent the night so that BC15 could hang out with their daughter and a mutual friend. While we were there, another family friend--BC's voice teacher, in fact--stopped by with her 3-week-old daughter so we could meet the baby and catch up.

I had hoped to have dinner with yet another friend, the mom of six that we homeschooled with two years ago, but she was sick, so we chatted on the phone instead. Then, after ordering our favorite cheap-o pizza, we headed home.

I feel homesick every time I go back. Everything seems so familiar there, where I spent 20 years of my life! My friends there are people who've known me since when, who remember when I only had one or two kids; some of them knew me even before I had children.

Yet this time--maybe because it was a longer, more satisfying visit--it felt more like coming home as I headed back here to WI. Maybe it was because Papa Rooster was here. Maybe our home is starting to feel less like a vacation house, and more like somewhere we live. Maybe our friendships here are growing and developing history--though brief, at this point--of their own. Certainly there is conviction that home is where God wants you.

I miss my old home and friends. But I like my new ones.

Praise the Lord!

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