Catching up with old friends. Today I drove about 20 miles to see the couple who used to babysit myself and my siblings after school, and before school, and my brother all day. They are very salt of the earth type of people. I don't really know what "salt of the earth" means, but the title seems to fit them. They have worked hard every day of their lives. And their days are probably longer than most. mine for sure. They raise chickens, and rabbits and they grow all sorts of produce and sell it at a roadside stand of sorts. When I pulled up, Mrs. K. didn't recognize me. She was behind the shed, and she heard the phone ringing, so she came running, in her rubber work boots, waders, and puffy vest, in the awkward sort of run that only a 72-yr-old farmer lady can do. I said, "Mrs. K.! It's me! Emily!" and her eyes got big and she opened her arms to give me a hug, and I did the same, and at the same moment we both recognized that a hug wasn't a possiblity... I had caught her and her husband in the middle of butchering chickens and she was covered in chicken blood and guts. Now, butchering chickens was always a fascinating process for my brother and I to watch as kids. Maybe that's why we don't get grossed out at stuff like that, because we were introduced to it at a young age. So I stood on a small rock, giving the nearby tree a side hug, as I watched them process the chickens from live animal to ready-to-eat. It wasn't gross, because this was their livelihood. And it felt so familiar, watching the routine I had seen so many times before. After the last chicken was finished, I watched them strip the messy, gory waders and vests off, like kids who had been playing in the snow and were now ready to go inside, but didn't want to track the wet snow in with them. We wandered inside only to find that the lemon-lime linoleum in their kitchen looked exactly the same as it had 20 years ago. And that was comforting.
I also ran into a family friend who has kept up periodically with my family through the last 20 years. And she gave me some really good advice. Essentially, she said that everyone has to learn at some point how to stand alone with only God as your support. Some people, like herself, learn this the hard way after their spouse passes away at too early an age. Other people, like myself, learn this as they wander through their 20s being single. The latter is definitely the easier way, and I should be grateful to God that He continues to allow me to learn how to lean on Him exclusively. She also said that for God, connecting two people is easy for Him (I mean, duh, He created the Universe and all that is in it!), so I shouldn't worry about it. Good words.
I realized today that my camera and iPod are missing from my suitcase. And its been in my possession the whole time, except when I checked my bag in Austin, and picked it up in Philly. And the airlines "is not responsible for electronic items". too bad. Its just stuff, I realize this, but at some point, I paid for these things, (or in the case of the iPod, my parents did for my birthday), and being the stickler of finances that I am, its a hard pill to swallow.
RIP Rudolph "Rudy" Valentino. (My aunt and uncle's dog that bit me on my second day here.) Don't worry, I wasn't the sole reason for him being put down. The scars of previous bites were evidence of that.
On Sunday at church, I was asked by a very nice lady if I was of "voting age". That's 18 for those who aren't up to date on their 26th Amendment...