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Silver Linings



The last week has seen me watch some dear friends pack up their home of 10 years and move to Texas. They got caught in the micro-chip lay-offs a couple of years ago and with a new baby, well, monies have been super tight.


I watched them purge, sort, pack, and purge some more. Not everything fit into the moving van. Those things look huge on the outside but once you start squirreling boxes here and there, it fills up fast.


Suddenly I realized, yet again, how much STUFF we have. I wondered why I have so many clothes, tools, dishes, books, and furniture. It is all really essential to living or necessary for comfort? It forced me to reflect that if I had to do a hard-core purge of my belongings this week, could I do it?


Absolutely. What would I pitch? "Trinkets". Things that look nice in a home but are window dressing. Decorations, non-practical items, pictures, drawers filled with paper from my graduate work, notebooks from EVERY single class I've taken (that's been A LOT!)…a box of xmas things someone gave me (yeah, why do I have THAT?!)…the list goes on. It's spurned me to sort more and do more for our own organization.


As I watched them sort, I offered help and was told, "Oh, we're doing it little by little, but thanks." I was NOT surprised when I got a call on Saturday (they were packing the van Sunday) from a frantic friend, "Please, can you come help? There's so much to do and we're running out of time. The baby is driving me NUTS!"


So, I did. What was going to be a couple of hours turned into 6. I offered help packing or watching the 2 year old. I'm thrilled that I got 'baby time'. I did pull my shoulder out a bit, but swinging that giggling baby through the air will stay with me for a long time. I also got to hear bath-time laughter and chortles over his favorite snack of cheese and peaches. It breaks my heart that the next time I will see this child will be when he's in elementary school.


The move for them hasn't been easy either. They got no more than a day's journey and the moving truck breaks down, throwing them a day off schedule. The carefully packed van is now re-packed in disarray. A tiny tree branch is caught in a side mirror and broken and they are threatened with a 'bill for damages'. While they are getting closer and closer to their destination every day, I'm getting closer and closer to the realization that I can't just pop over and say 'hi' or love on the baby whenever I want.


I'm regretting the days I put off having tea or lunch with my friend because one or both of us were too 'busy' we couldn't make the time. Yet again, it seems, I've learned this lesson – don't put off spending time with people who are close to you. Life is too short, time flies by, and you never know when that afternoon lunch might be the last time for a while.


The sadness does have a silver lining. Friends who are true friends are not bound by miles. Technology allows us to keep in instant touch by e-mail, photos, etc. Should I visit them in Texas, I will be expected to stay with them. I could also connect with a dear friend from college and make a boatload of new friends in some Congregations down there. Somehow, though, it only tempers the loneliness…BUT, with that does come the joy of anticipation of their new life.


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Awww..it's hard when friends pack up and move. As a person who has moved all over the country, my friends are a patchwork map of long-distance relationships now. True friends stick with you, though, even over the miles. Hugs!

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Yes. It's doubly hard here, for these folks were our best man & best woman in our wedding. As we were sitting at a farewell dinner, it hit me that for the last time for a while, all of our 'wedding friends' would be together. It makes me glad when I can stop my day and enjoy friends.



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I hope you'll be able to stay close with your friends by internet/phone etc...


I'm right there with you, too much stuff! It's a constant weeding out here. And being prep minded with seven growing children! Yikes!! It never ends...so, I never quit trying to thin it out a bit.

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