Living the questions and trying to think theologically... and practically. Learning that these things are more synonymous than I once thought.

Location: Dallas, TX

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Beautiful Crazy

Foreword: I haven't been able to get to an internet the past couple of days due to my traveling, so here's what's been happening.

Wednesday June 2, 2004

Earlier this evening, I typed a beautiful entry telling you all about my day. I pressed the wrong button and it vanished like dust in the wind. That put a damper on a perfectly marvelous day along with the fine white dust found all the things in my room, the pungent odor of mothballs coming from my house, and the complete upheaval to my routine. Still, the day was simply lovely. Allow me to explain.

The last days of a trip home seem to be the most hectic. This week has been no different. Just when I almost get into a rhythm of being here, just when I have things to do and I start to enjoy myself, I have to leave. Sad story.

This was a really happy day because of all the reunions that occurred. First, I saw my oldest friend, Hollye Whitehead Rhodes, for the first time as a married woman. Her house was stylish and cute, her hair was long, and her shiatsu Jazzy is so big! She says that money and sex cause lots of fights when you are married. I buy that. For the most part, she seems really happy, and I am sincerely happy for her.

When I came home from lunch with Hollye, I played with the girls for a while. Allison was cuddly, and I always love that. If they grow out of the cuddly phase before I have kids, I’m not sure what I’ll do. They formed a human chain across the door when I tried to leave. This was a little annoying, but mainly it was just plain cute, and it made me feel loved. They don’t like it when I go. Last night, Allison said, “Aunt Jana, do you love us?” I was slightly surprised by the question to which I replied, “Well, yes baby. You know I love my girls.” With a hurt look she said, “Then why do you leave us and go to Texas?” Yes, that was the sound of my heart breaking. There are things about my hometown that I despise, but comments like that make me want to high tail it back here for good.

A second reunion was with my fellow prodigal daughter of Kossuth, Amanda Marsh. She’s a friend from high school who’s been all over the world doing missions for the past few years. She even spent sometime at a Bible college in London just to soak up the Word. Her father was killed nearly a year ago when an 18 wheeler hit his tractor alongside highway 45. Obviously, we had a lot to talk about. We compared notes on the pain of losing a father. It’s rare I really talk candidly about losing my daddy. I find that people love me and want to listen, but there is always a degree of discomfort attached to such a heavy and painful topic. There was no awkwardness in this setting. The pain is just too real for the both of us. We didn’t have to try hard to imagine the grief the other was experiencing, or think of just the right things to say. Grief is an ever present force in our lives, and we both know there’s really nothing that can be said. Being able to relate to someone in this way is a sad but beautiful thing.

We also shared about life beyond the borders of Alcorn County and the important spiritual lessons we’ve learned along the way. We talked about our frustrations with the legalistic brand of Christianity widely found in the Bible belt, and our frustrations with ourselves for being overly critical and cynical about the whole subject. Overall, it was the kind of conversation I’ve been longing for. When we said goodbye, she called me a kindred spirit. That touched me deeply. It made me feel like it was okay to be me, and that having the kind of connection I want to have to people really is possible. Thank you God.

The crazy part of the day was that Yancey Heating and Air spent the day at our house installing CENTRAL! That’s right. For the first time in 24 years of living in the same house I can finally throw away my electric blankets and ugly air conditioning units. I can sleep naked in the winter, and I won’t have to sleep naked in the summer anymore. Yippee! THE DOWNFALL- Our attic has not been entered by humankind since the house was built 30 years ago. When the worker started climbing up there today, they came across a most unwelcome visitor. While I’m sure it is only a chicken snake, these big burly young men were scared out of their wits. My dad was never frightened by a little old chicken snake. Where are the real men I ask you?

There are presently holes in the ceilings, and so mom and I are currently residing next door at Maw’s house. Still no sign of our reptilian friend, but the house is scattered with mothballs. Pray they do the job. There is also a thin layer of white dust on lots of my stuff from the holes they made in the ceilings and walls. We can’t get much done during the day tomorrow with workers traipsing through the house. I want to leave early Friday morning for Jackson, so this will make for a hectic Thursday evening of packing, and much less time for goodbyes.

Today was worth the inconveniences that had to be endured. Thank you God for the beauty in the midst of the crazy.


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