My friends, a pillow does not count as a carry-on or personal item – it is beyond those restrictions – which means I will have enough room for my summer bedding and my father’s nice camera. This is good news.
I’ve finally managed to corral the masses of clothes and books strewn across the bed and floor of my parents guest-room. I expected to be done sooner, but the business of saying goodbye cannot be rushed. This leaves packing to the end.
Almost a week ago, I moved out of Grand Rapids and returned to good ol’ B-town. Within the hour of my arrival, I was standing over a huge stove with my father making palacsinta, a Hungarian crepe. Every other month, my Bloomington church throws a birthday party for church members, and May/June was a fundraiser for my trip. We made gulyas leves as well as the palacsinta, and I gave a presentation about the work I would be doing. (Many of the pictures in the slide show I presented can be found on my flickr account.)
The generosity of Arlington United Methodist Church makes my soul smile. That morning in worship my mother had asked for extra pans for the crepe making. I think we were brought 20. The church donated a case of English Bibles for me to use in the English Bible studies I’ll be leading. Before the end of the night, they gathered around to lay their hands on my hand and put their prayers in my heart. And I raised enough money that I am no longer worried about buying a return plan ticket.
I’ve actually raised over $4600. I can only respond with deep, deep gratitude.
And now, I am working to be fully present in each of these last days – waltzing with LaSheena to Oren Lavie; riding down the road with Emily and Colin with the windows down, breathing in the smell of hay fields and wet woods and home; savoring a family breakfast of pancakes; sleeping in cuddled up to Delaney. I’m slowly packing these moments in as well, and there are always enough room for more.