Well, it's all coming together. Our move is imminent and we are on the final leg of preparations. The truck will be here in nine days for loading, and in the meantime we have pulled the pictures and the shelves from the walls downstairs and have painted over the patching of the holes. Our living room is now a storage/staging area for the packed boxes. The plans for where we will stay as we pack up our house here and before we unpack in San Antonio have been made. The flight plan for Bekah, Patrick, and Isaac is in place.
And I'm beginning to savor Last Things here in our beautiful home state.
Last Runs in places that I love, experiencing the views, the light, the smells, and the rolling terrain of our corner of Pennsylvania. I was blessed to participate in my last PA half-marathon, running through the farmland and enjoying the hospitality of Amish country. Last Saturday was my final run with some of my running group friends who won't be there this week. Next week will be my last Nolde run... I'm going to miss Nolde Forest.
Isaac's Last Court of Honor with his Scout Troop. The leaders and boys of Troop 241 have played a role in the last 7 years of my son's life that cannot be measured. Together they have grown and overcome obstacles and experienced (literally) the achievement of mountaintops. Isaac joined this group as a little Cub Scout and is now a young man, a leader among his peers, equipped with skills and character traits forged on trails; in snow and in heat; on climbs; in canoes on rivers, lakes, and oceans; and around campfires with this tremendous group of guys.
I took a Last Drive across Pennsylvania to see the friend dearest and closest to my heart. We were young Mommies together, learning to parent our babies and toddlers, and then begin home education back when it was finger-painting, phonics, and field trips. Life was crazy-busy, but simpler too. We've learned in the years since that there can be more difficult things in life than morning-sickness and spankings. These past few years I've been close enough to hop in the car for a spontaneous weekend or even day trip. Any visit with her in the future will involve much more than a five-hour drive. Our visit was, as always, much too brief.
That visit being a Last Thing, the drive itself was also a priceless final gift. We live in such a beautiful state, and driving across from one side to the other took me along and through mountain ranges, rolling farmland, and small towns. The autumn leaves are already beginning to show their colors, far stronger in the middle and western end of Pennsylvania than over on our side.
All of the waiting to move, de-cluttering, decision-making, and now preparing to leave being difficult in its own right has coincided with a couple of our older pets declining in health. A couple of weeks ago I held my sweet Milo One Last Time, stroking his fur and loving on him as the Vet gave him the injection that would end his suffering. My sweet kitty fell gently to sleep in my arms...
That's all I can say about that.
This Sunday will be the Last After-Church Fellowship Lunch for us at Covenant OPC. The following Sunday will be the last time we worship with our church family here. We'll have tissues ready. I can't even begin to write about that at this time; this is a whole post of its own.
In all of these Last Things I am keenly aware of the many blessings which have been poured out for us while living here. I'm learning all over again how gratitude and sadness can share the same space in my heart. While I'm looking forward to getting to our new home in Texas and having the boxes unpacked and the dust settled, I'm savoring the moments left to me here and trying to be present in the moments of bittersweet finalities. Perhaps that in itself is a lesson for me in this move.