The kids and I had a wonderful little visit to our family and friends in western OK. Art went on a business trip, so we decided that it would be a good chance for us to reconnect with our loved ones back home.
We made a list and tried to schedule in as many people as possible, and I think we did fairly well. We left a little something behind in almost every house: a jacket here, and sock there, a cd, toothbrush, chip bag...you get the idea.
I spent most of one morning just trying to re-collect all these tokens of our presence. Some remain uncollected.
It was especially nice to see Mr. M again this week. He was very sick this last summer when we moved, so the kids weren't able to visit with him next door like they have for the last five years. He and his wife moved to a retirement village in Kansas right after we ourselves moved out of state, and we didn't think we would ever have a chance to see them again.
We were so surprised to hear that Mr. M had been spotted at morning coffee at the cafe. We drove to three different businesses trying to track him down, but finally found someone who knew that he was at their old home, even though the car was gone. (His wife had the car downtown at the hairdresser's. I love small towns!)
We were all ecstatic to have the chance to visit with Mr. M again. It was just one of many blessings this week. Another highlight was the opportunity to hold my new "sort-of" nephew. He's only a few weeks old, and the pictures over the internet weren't enough. Now I know he's real because I held him, all tiny and sleeping, in my own arms.
All that to say, it was a wonderful week, and we enjoyed every last bit of our visit. I got to see friends I haven't talked with in years, and friends I used to spend hours with every week. Mom and Mom-in-law, Dad and Dad-in-law, siblings, siblings' spouses, nieces, nephews, cousins...whew!
I'm exhausted, and glad to be home, but I'm so thankful that God gave me the courage to make the trip on my own with Mim and Zaya. I apologize to everyone who had to clean up after us when we left, and I hope we improve in our packing and preparation abilities as time goes on.
I don't regret a moment of it, though, only that there weren't enough moments to visit everyone. Going home always renews my faith in human-kind and the power of love to cover distances, both physical and temporal. I can't wait until we're all together in the presence of God someday, and I can see absolutely all my loved ones at the same time, and for eternity.