This week has been a whirlwind of sorts, but YES, we are in North Carolina!
(Actually, I’m on a staff retreat in South Carolina for my new job, but I’ll get there. Hold on.)
A week ago today, Mike and I left the Bahamas with Wesley on a very small plane. Wes was SO good on the flight! We got to West Palm with no problems. Mike’s mom met us, and we even got to have dinner with Don and Carrie before her knee surgery the next day! We spent the night in the Best Western that folks from Hope Town have deemed the “Abaco Inn,” since so many Abaconians stay there.
The next day, we fly to Kansas City and arrive around dinnertime. My brother and his whole family picked us up and we had a great time at dinner, and ended up spending the night at their house. Friday morning, super early, we drive to my parents’ house in Boonville to organize and move all our stuff to the garage for pre-loading (my dad is such a great mover/planner!). Saturday, with the help of my brother and a neighbor and his friends, we got the truck loaded up to the brim in less than 2 hours! Also, our awesome friend Dane flew in from Durham to drive us east.
We drove on Sunday morning as far as Nashville, where we got to see my friend Amanda from high school and meet her PRECIOUS daughter, Penelope! Monday, we finished the trip to Durham and spent the night with Dane and Natalie, since our move-in date wasn’t until Tuesday. I went to bed that night thinking about how wonderful the trip had been, and how I should write in my journal about all these changes.
Ok, here’s where the story gets a little more interesting.
Tuesday morning, Natalie was taking her dog Finnegan for a walk and saw that the back of our Penske truck was unlocked and wide open. She comes and tells us this, and we instantly called the police. We run out there and find that none of our stuff was stolen– crazy, right?! As I’m walking back to her apartment, the complex calls me and tells me that our carpets have not yet been cleaned, but they’re probably coming this morning, but we can’t move in yet. I’m thinking, this is not how I planned this morning, but it’s going to be ok.
THEN about 2 hours later, we get a call about our electricity account not being set up. You know, the one that I sent 2 faxes for the week before from the BAHAMAS despite power outages and everything else. Yup– apparently we needed to re-fax. This is important, as we don’t get the keys to our apartment until we have an energy account. Later, we need to re-re-fax since the notary’s stamp couldn’t be seen. By the end of the day, Mike and I are in our car, hunting for the payment center office to get this thing all straightened out. We spend two hours fruitlessly driving in search of this place, and are encouraged by Dane to just come back to their place.
“SURPRISE!!” We walk in the door, surrounded by our friends who live in the area, and I am blown away. At this point, I was pretty much ready to give up. Thankfully, the day turned completely around! I got to talk to some people who I haven’t seen in a long time, and felt so welcomed and loved. Apparently, Dane and Natalie had arranged for this surprise party long before we knew this would be such a tough day. Who knew that we would need it then more than ever?
The good news is, Mike fixed up our energy plan and got the keys to our apartment today. Several people from the church helped and unloaded our truck in less than an hour, and sound like they’re doing great. Meanwhile, I left at 8:00 this morning to come on my first staff retreat with the folks at Christ UMC, where I now work! It’s a little bit crazy to jump in straightaway like this, but I am so thankful for the position and this community. Everyone has been so kind and encouraging, and I am still in a bit of a daze.
I have moments where the Hope Town youth will come into my mind, or I’ll long for my coffee house coffee, and I will think “how did I end up back in the states?” But the timing is right, and it’s ok to miss friends. After all, no one can stay away from Hope Town for long!