It's been a very eventful week or two since I posted last.
It's been a hard week or so, since I had to say goodbye to dear friends.
It's been hard work, as we've shoved all our possessions into a POD and watched it get driven away.
It's been a busy week or so, as we've closed bank accounts, cancelled services, and tried to get everything squared away for the move.
We actually packed the POD last weekend. Paul, Brian, Linda, Emily, Esther, Ben, Taylor, Trevor, Yasser, Les, Chris, Sandra, Nicole, Jessica, Steve, and Ruth were all here to help us shove stuff in. Thank you all for the effort, sweat, and (in at least one case) blood. It wouldn't have been possible to get that done without everyone's substantial help.
We spent some time with old friends over the last couple weeks. People we met when we were younger and more idealistic 12 years ago: people who surrounded us when the kids were born, who helped us move from Charlotte to Rockingham, then from Rockingham to Grand Rapids, then from Grand Rapids back to Charlotte. Friends who've always dropped what they were doing to come and be of help, no matter how little notice they had.
That reminds me of something that happened to me once: we moved from North Carolina to Michigan in 1998. We had rented a U-Haul truck and packed it up Saturday. Sunday morning, the transmission broke. We called U-Haul from the meeting hall, and they agreed to swap a truck with us that afternoon. So someone stood up in Sunday School and said "Ox and Ames need help changing trucks this afternoon at 2:30." That was 11:00 AM. At 2:30 PM, there were between 20 and 50 people at the hall to help us move stuff from one truck to another. One dear friend walked up as I was in a panic, put his arm around me, and said "See? The Lord trashed the transmission of your truck just to give us one more chance to show how much we love you"
That's the Christianity I want to live out.
We said goodbye to Chuck and Stace last night: that was a rough night. Ames has been red around the eyes since we pulled out of their driveway. I know how she feels. Chuck's been my big brother since we met in '97: he's been a very patient one, calmly reining me in when I get into a panic; quietly spurring me to consider how I live and what I believe. I'm going to miss him. I see him more online than I do in real life, but that doesn't change things as much as it might seem.
We've said goodbye to friends who sat with me in the waiting room while we waited to find out if Ames was going to survive. Things like that make friendship deeper than you might expect.
And to top it all off, I had to destroy my first Mac today. My 2002 iBook finally died this last fall, and I've been carrying it around until I could figure out what to do with it. I finally realized I ought to take out the hard drive, in case there's potential identity theft data on it. I tried---really tried---to take it apart nicely and put it back together, but I finally resorted to the brutal approach, as it won't start anyhow:
I feel like a vet who's just euthanized a kitten.