Friday, July 11, 2008

Let's Get Out of This Town ...

It's been a week full of up and downs.

Bruce and I decided to live the Carrie Underwood song, "Get Out of This Town" last weekend. The Fourth of July was last Friday and, surprisingly enough, the dealership was closed and Bruce had the day off. He was lucky that this Friday off happened to coincide with with his Saturday off (he has every other Saturday off) so we decided to get away for the weekend. We drove down to Florida to visit Jen, Tim, RT and Lauren. It was the first time we had been down there since either of us had been engaged so we got to celebrate on both ends. Bruce and I always seem to be more exhausted leaving than arriving when we got to visit them - they cram so much into a day!! We got in late on Thursday night and woke up Friday, took the motorcycles to Jen's friend Carol's house to drop some stuff off and then to Tim's dad's lake house for a Fourth of July picnic with his family. His family is always very hospitable and his dad remembered us from Easter and was happy to have us back. Their lake house is beautiful - because of the conservation bill placed on the lake, the twelve existing houses around the lake will be the only houses to ever be built there, so it was really quiet. We were really the only people with boats out. Bruce and I learned how to drive jetskis!! It was the first time I had ever been on one but Jen and Tim were really good about riding with us and explaining to us how to drive them and then they let us go off on our own. At one point Bruce's jetski ran out of gas so he dropped it off at the dock and then hopped on with me. We switched drivers out in the middle of the lake so Bruce could teach me some of the "tricks" he had learned and he ended up flipping me off into the water!! And there were gators in the lake!! It was funny, though, I didn't mind - it made a fun story to tell. Tim also took us out on the boat later on as the sun was going down - it was a beautiful sunset. The next day RT took Bruce to the beach to teach him how to surf and Tim, Jen, Lauren and I went riding. Other than a guided trail ride in Arizona in college and a couple times around the ring last January, I hadn't been on a horse since middle school. Needless to say I was a little rusty - but I didn't want to hold anybody back so I held on tight!! I had fallen off the jetski the day before so I was bound and determined to stay on King!! I did stay on, though, and Lauren was really helpful when it came to how I was sitting and how relaxed I was, etc. Every time we cantered, she would ride behind me and call out suggestions for how I could sit better and it made me a lot more comfortable. Once I got more comfortable on King, I had a lot more control when we were cantering. And I stayed on!! The next day we went to the Flea Market, which was a lot of fun. I tried on a diamond ring that was worth more than a year's tuition plus room and board at Ursinus!! I will NEVER own something like that but it was fun to just try it on. Bruce and I also bought some cool pottery stuff that had come in from Mexico. All in all - a fun trip, but we were definitely exhausted at the beginning of the week.

I came back to Atlanta to Vacation Bible School at the church. I knew there was no way I would have the energy to drive to Marietta all week and then still go to work so I opted to go to VBS two days and then still try to get at least four hours worth of work in. That seemed to work pretty well. This was the first VBS in a long time that I was really a follower and didn't have a lot of participation in the planning process. That was very strange for me - I'm not used to taking a backseat when it comes to things at the church. I'm in a very strange position right now, church wise. Because I'm in school in Atlanta, I can't be as active as I would like at the First Congregational Church of Kent - it's hard to make meetings when I'm 16 hours away!! But because Kent is sponsoring me as I walk through the In Care process I have to maintain my membership there, which means I can't become a fully active member at Pilgrimage. It's frustrating because I really want to be ordained in my home church - I owe it to the people who knew I was called to the ministry long before I knew or acknowledged it myself. But while I'm on one of the most crucial stages of my journey I can't be fully involved in a church the way I would like to be, or the way I'm used to being. I think I can become an associate member at Pilgrimage, but I think that only gives me voice without vote and that's a frustrating position to be put in. Sometimes I hate the politics of the church!!

I've also been spending a lot of time talking to my parents while they finish up their move to Kent and get their house in Gaylordsville ready for the renters. This was such a good move for them and I know they made the right decision. It still, however, is really hard to be so far away from them while they're doing this, relying on pictures e-mailed to me when they have the chance to see the progress. I wish there was more that I could be doing. I didn't think that, a year into my living away from home and after four years away at college, that I would be missing CT so much - it's not home, but I still miss it. I think once I see the house I won't feel so sad about not being there, but it's just hard right now. But I'm still so happy for my parents and this new stage of their life that they are embarking on.

On a sad note, I heard word today that Jen's yorkie, Tank, died yesterday. It's SO awful. He was such a wonderful dog with such a great spirit and I loved to watch him play with all of the other dogs. Jen loves her animals like they are children and I know this must be so incredibly hard for her. I wish there was more I could do.

I guess I continue to think: "I wish there was more that I could do." I suppose I'll always be saying that. In an effort to spread my wings, and experience life in a new place, I've had to leave behind some of the places and people who are so close to my heart. But I pray that my time in Atlanta will be well-spent, and that my thoughts and prayers will be with those that my physical presence cannot be.

With Grace,

Let's get out of this town tonight
Nothing but dust in the shadows
Gone by morning light
Somewhere we won't ever get caught, ever be found
Baby, let's just get out of this town
-Carrie Underwood, Get Out of This Town

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