01 September 2015

Two Years

{Celosia going to seed}

Two years ago today we drove into town, our little car weary and worn from more than one 2500 mile drive over the summer.

We didn't know where the car repair shop was.
We didn't know where the grocery store was.
We didn't know where we were going to live.
We didn't even know where we could stay the night.

We didn't know anyone who could help us find any of the things we needed, except maybe a new coworker or two from my husband's new school.

Although we were excited about the possibilities, we were entirely unprepared for the culture shock brought on by the climate, attending church in a language we didn't speak well, and the way people drive in this flood plain they call the Rio Grande Valley.

Yet somehow we found a little hotel room with a kitchenette that became our center of operations while we waited for the car repair, searched for a place to live, and began our new life in South Texas.

That first week, friends of a friend welcomed us into their home for Sabbath dinner.  We found a house to rent that turned out to be only a block or so away from a wonderful Adventist couple our age who have become good friends.  

We responded to a Craigslist ad for free lemons, bought a citrus juicer (all our stuff was still in storage in another state), and made lemon juice.  Because that's what you do when life gives you lemons.  (Couldn't resist.)

My mom sent word that not only was she coming to visit, but she was also sending us a piano that would arrive on the same day as she would, which turned out to be the same day our moving truck arrived.  

We camped out in an empty house for three weeks--what I went through to find an air mattress without a hole in it!--waiting for my mom, the piano, and the moving truck, just thrilled to have our own space and be out of hotels.  We bought 40 pounds of limes for $4 at the flea market, some jars, and a pot, and I spent days making and canning our own lime juice.

Because that's what you do in a new place, right?  Buy produce in large quantities and set right to work preserving?

And of course you plant your seeds for the fall garden.  We were a bit late--September 11 that year--but since South Texas really doesn't have winter to speak of, it worked out fine.  We had carried our little box of seeds everywhere we went that summer like regular Johnny Appleseeds, to good purpose.

This morning I looked at my kitchen sink full of dishes that I didn't get to last night, and thought through the day ahead.  Costco run.  Groceries.  Bank.  Gas for the car.  Teaching lessons.  Keeping house.  Saving seeds from the stunning celosia flowers that bloomed and attracted the butterflies all summer long.  Watching for the next rain, when I will plant some new fall crops.

A busy day ahead, for sure, but a day of blessings.  Dirty dishes are blessing dishes, evidence of good meals, a settled home.  Errands to run, without looking at Google maps, are blessing errands, especially when you know just which stores offer the best prices.

And teaching lessons?

Oh, my, that itself is blessing unbounded, and full of surprises and delights at every turn.


  1. Wow! It's been two years already! I'm glad you feel settled and adapted to where you are now. I hope that life will bring you other MUCH less traumatic moves that will surprise you in even more pleasant ways. And someday in Heaven we won't have the distance or the lack of time and we'll be able to not only catch up, but spend significant time interacting and enjoying all that has been prepared for us. I hope you have a great year! We have to make it to TX at some point to get to meet the Elysée babies. I wish it wouldn't be when they're already big, but maybe it will. Sigh... In any case, we hope to meet up with you somewhere closer to you someday! (unless you move away again, which could be a welcome change at some point, no?)

    1. I don't know...I'm planting my fall garden right now, and I think if at some point a change comes I will be sad to lose this amazing growing season! We will have to catch up again sometime--at least we got to see each other briefly this summer!

  2. So very sorry I have not visited in a while. It's partly due to not being on the computer very much lately but the other is due to the fact that I had thought that when you posted things - that I would be notified in Blogger- but apparently not. So I will need to go to my Blog and check when you have new posts up.
    I am glad to hear that you are doing well. That 2 years has gone quickly since you arrived in Texas.
    Happy Sabbath~ Lisa :O)

    1. I completely understand! I kept thinking Blogger would tell me when there were any comments, but I just now saw yours this morning! I will have to check more often. :) Thanks for stopping by--I always enjoy the updates on your blog! :)

  3. So proud of you for taking on the adventure with such gusto! You've done so well... and God has blessed!

  4. Living near friends is always great. We love having you guys so close!


Greetings, fellow climbers! Leave your marks on the steps--I'll be delighted to hear from you.