after a nearly week long road trip, we’ve made it to bend and have begun to settle down. the travels were awesome. 10 hours in north dakota, a view of the badlands, 60 episodes of 99% invisible (best podcast ever!), a torrential downpour, mountain passes, good beer and a friend in seattle, working from the passenger seat, and finally, arriving in bend.
i think this is the fun part, settling down for just a bit. it will also be the hard part, but it feels more real now which is what i needed. tomorrow chris will start his job and i will continue to work at mine. we went grocery shopping for the first time in weeks and i made a real dinner for us (no cooler to keep in mind, single knife to use, or restaurant to resort to in exhaustion). this was fresh, wonderful, and mind blowing. we emptied our car that we’ve been living out of for two weeks. our dear scion’s shocks gave a sigh of relief. i organized our clothes again so we will wear more than the three t-shirts that were on top. i went for a bike ride by the river and started thinking about what my route would be. we went for a walk around the neighborhood to see what it is like. there is beauty in establishing routines, no matter how small they are.
but it also will be hard. we looked at church websites last night and picked one to go to today. it was the body of christ, but not the body we know. we were a bit uncomfortable, didn’t know the groove of the church, and didn’t have community there. our deepest conversation of the day was with the cashier at trader joe’s as he talked about the trails he loved to hike.
it’s an odd thing transitioning from people who spend a night or two in a city to actually trying to establish some roots (maybe extremely shallow ones, but roots none the less). we’re trying to memorize roads and lanes and the best way to get from here to there. when we see someone pass by with their subaru full of bikes or kayaks, we start to think that we should have kayaks and a subaru to match them and fit in (silly, i know, but subaru has a monopoly here. it’s ridiculous). we imagine places and activities that we should participate in to make friends. oh, and of course i’ve already scoped out the real estate market.
i think we’ll like it in bend – there’s so many things that are right up our alley. biking, hiking, swimming in rivers, kayaking, running trails, coffee, organic food, and local breweries. i also think we’ll be challenged here. we are out of our comfort zones, we’re the foreigners and everything is new to us. in this moment, there is so much opportunity but also so much challenge.
as we walked along the river tonight, holding hands and watching the kayakers and swimmers and dog-walkers, i was grateful. grateful that we have this opportunity, grateful that we are safe and in a place that offers so much activity, and grateful for the unknown. in some weird, crazy, and fearful way, i know this is what we are called to right now. there are moments of fear, frustration, and asking “why did we ever leave grand rapids and the people we love?”, but we are also trotting upon God’s green earth, exploring more of what and who he’s created. and that is enough.