After 12 years in Michigan (well, including a short stint in Mishawaka), we are moving on. Upward, remains to be seen. Downward certainly, at least geographically. Around in circles, sometimes. But I think just “on” is the best description. Life goes on, even when it seems like there’s no possible way to go, somehow it marches on. Josh has no job in San Antonio yet, we have no house there, and we are still stuck trying to sell our mobile home in Michigan – still we believe God is leading us to San Antonio. For many reasons, and maybe one day I’ll try to think through and list them all for you, but today I’m just focused on the leaving, not the whys.
I don’t want this to be a depressing, morbid post, and as I look back through my first paragraph it certainly seems to be drifting that way. To quickly reroute and avoid water damage on my laptop, I’ll tell you about the Great Lemonade Experiment at my going-away party, thrown by (who else?!) Erin and Ashley. Erin craved homemade lemonade for some reason, so she stopped at the grocery store on her way to Joel and Ashley’s (party central) to pick up the ingredients.
I craved chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream (I have an excuse, remember) so she got me some of that too :). None of us actually knew/remembered how to make real lemonade, though, so we prevailed upon Joel to Google us a recipe. He obligingly found one, but it required about 4 hours of prep time (!!!), mostly involved with making simple syrup and letting it cool (the author was obviously not familiar with refrigerators as a quick-cooling method). Since none of us had that kind of patience, even all put together, we decided to modify the recipe. Surely if we had lemons, a juicer, water, and sugar, we could dump-and-pour and come up with something drinkable, right?
Wait, scratch the sugar part. Ashley and Joel, as you might be aware from reading Ashley’s blog posts, are living on an “eat nothing invented in the past 100 years” diet and therefore had no normal sugar in the house. She had some sort of sugar replacement (maybe she can comment on this and tell us what it is?). Unfortunately, it didn’t seem to act or taste quite like sugar in lemonade. But I’m getting ahead of myself. First they (meaning everyone but me, who was enjoying the “i’m pregnant” excuse to relax and put my feet up :)) had to peel and juice the lemons.
This created a most amazing scent wafting through the house – way better than a citrus-scented candle. If only it didn’t take so much time and effort, I would use freshly-peeled and juiced lemons as an air freshener every day. As the “supervisor,” I reminded them to slice some lemons for garnish, too. We had plenty – Erin went a bit overboard and bought about two dozen.
After the peeling, juicing, and slicing, Erin started concocting. I’m sure we all got an ample dose of Erin-cooties from all the sampling/testing. 🙂
Like I said before, the “sugar” wasn’t quite up to normal sugariness, and (in my opinion) left the lemonade a bit lacking. But certainly not for lack of effort! And we drank and enjoyed it anyway. In terms of memories and good times, I don’t think I’ve ever had a sweeter, tarter glass of lemonade. A good analogy for how I feel leaving Niles, I suppose. Leaving my home of 12 years and many, many friends (not to mention Josh’s family!), along with all the uncertainty that’s surrounded this move, leaves a biting tartness in my heart. But the possibilities and excitement of a cross-country move, a new place to explore, new friends to meet, and better job prospects for Josh bring sweetness into the mix (the real kind of sugary sweetness, not that weird all-natural fake stuff). I don’t think my life-lemonade mix is quite right yet – our lives are still in too much turmoil, with too much tart uncertainty hanging over our heads. But I’m sure soon, as we trust God and move on each day in faith, He will bring more sweetness into our lives. And eventually, I trust we will find the perfect balance of missing our friends and our old home, and enjoying making new friends in a new home.