The empty nest week has begun. After the Bryan family Millennium Falcon acquired new treads — the tire dealer said we had at least two rotations left, “You could have driven around the block one more time,” — Jamie and I enjoyed a quiet Saturday of watching the Royals win (a nigh-miraculous shutout!) and grilling out and exploring new shows on Netflix. Both girls Facetimed Jamie at exactly the same time, which is pretty humorous considering they are 7 hours apart.
Today is the last day my church will worship in its present building. For the last month, our services have been without air conditioning. For the last year, any time it rains, it leaks inside the building. Next Sunday we will be moving into a building on the west side of town, one that has both air conditioning and an intact roof. Changing locations also means finding a new place for before and after worship games of catch. The empty parking lot of a former funeral home has been a great venue; hopefully a grass lot is near the new building.
After worship, Heather walked to the empty parking lot with me and Harper for her first game of catch with a glove since high school.
“I played on a youth group softball team,” she said. “Now, I shoot baskets and play ‘knockout’ for fun.”
Wearing a vintage Batman shirt — I’ve been a Batman fan as long as I can remember — Heather borrowed the new Wilson glove and told me about her adventures worldwide. Over the last year, Heather’s faith carried her on a journey that crossed three continents and at least a dozen countries. She talked some about the food and the intentional decision she made not to complain about whatever was served.
“I could eat anything once.”
Returning to daily life in flyover country, Heather is quick to express gratitude in a variety of less-than-ideal circumstances.
“Not having air conditioning doesn’t really bother me,” she smiled, “I’m just thankful for worship services in English.”
Her big dreams for 2018 are simply taking care of herself, making sure she eats well and gets plenty of exercise. Playing catch after worship on asphalt in triple-digit heat indexes count as double exercise.
Jamie and I went to lunch at one of her favorite places and Kaylea texted pictures of a church she toured. I don’t think our new church here will look anything like this, though.