This will probably be the last opportunity I have to blog before we hit the road tomorrow. Our last week in Florida has come and gone quickly. The house looks strange; very much in that same awkward transition-like state as we find ourselves. We're surrounded by packing boxes and random items that we don't exactly know what to do with yet. We confirmed with the movers the time they'll be arriving, had Robby and Andrea over to sign the lease agreement that will change our relationship to that of landlord/tenant, and said most of our final good-byes.
We were on the phone several times yesterday with the Pastor of Worship & Arts at King Street who was trying to finalize arrangements for us to move into a brand new townhouse owned by one of the members at the church up there. At the eleventh hour, he came through for us with a place to live right in Chambersburg. The other places we had found were too far away, or there were agencies and landlords who wouldn't give us any information about the rentals since we weren't there in person. By yesterday afternoon, we were running out of options and had to face the very real possibility that we would need to put our stuff in storage while we searched for a decent place to rent. So at this stage, we are pretty confident we can move right in upon arriving in town towards the end of this week.
On my last day of work, Friday, I finished training the woman who's taking my place and left my keys. My boss took me and Gregg out to lunch at Carrabba's and let me go home after that. He expressed his appreciation for all the things I brought to his business, and for Gregg's work at the church. In the parking lot of the restaurant, it was a little weird saying good-bye for the final time. Because, most likely, it will be the final time.
Last night we went to one of Gregg's volunteer's who was hosting a Saltshaker's Dinner. We were on her list for the month of April so we had known about it for several months. Honestly, I wasn't that excited about going with all the stuff we still had strewn about the house and needed to put in boxes. Well, we showed up and saw two other couples walking up to her house that have been very instrumental in the Sound & Vision Ministry this past year. My mood instantly changed because I was happy to know they would also be at our Saltshakers. Then I saw their kids and thought wait a minute... We walked into the house and were greeted by more of Gregg's volunteers and a handful of church staff members. We were so surprised!
The host, Linda, had organized a surprise going-away party for us under the guise of a normal dinner. She cooked a fabulous meal and put out an assortment of little desserts. People also brought gifts for us. They were things like candy and technical related things for Gregg, and a few things for our new place. Linda had gotten me a huge basket full of bath salts, lotions, body washes and scented candles. I guess she knew I needed some relaxation therapy! It was such a nice and thoughtful gesture that we were not expecting at all. We didn't think we had made that big of an impact during the course of our year here, but now I know we will be greatly missed.
Leaving this place will be one of the hardest things I ever do. I've had many mixed feelings these past few weeks about moving, but I know God is with us and leading us. As I was lying in bed last night, I thought I'll actually get to wear my winter wardrobe this year and see our families more than once or twice in a 12 month period. I'm excited about those things and what the future holds for us. When I write again, we'll be up in Pennsylvania beginning a new chapter in our lives.