Although the title question of this post is usually asked when traveling somewhere by car, it can also be asked in a variety of situations and circumstances. In early December I wrote about Jan’s and my move from Southern California to the Texas Panhandle under the title “A Bright Sadness.” She left a couple of weeks ahead of me and as I packed my car to drive from Moreno Valley to Texas I concluded my thoughts: “Right now my bright sadness is sadder than it is bright. Soon, however, the brightness will outshine the sadness.” After almost three months I’m asking myself, “Are we there yet?” The short answer is “Not yet, but we’re making progress.”
I have been overwhelmed by the welcome and warmth of so many of the people we have met. It seems like everyone we meet is cordial and interested in us. I’ve never been addressed as “honey” so often in my life. One lady two weeks ago actually called me “sugar.” I think the last person who called me that was my mom many years ago. When we walk the dogs we almost always see people we greet by name and who greet us by name. I joined Gold’s Gym and a racquetball league and the guys have all been friendly. I have yet to win a game, but after each match the guy who beat me has given me a free lesson!
I’ve played golf a few times and joined up with others a couple of times, but have not yet found any regulars with whom I can play. I hope to connect with a couple of the guys I play racquetball with and return the favor in golf they have shown me in racquetball. As so many told me ahead of time, the real drawback for golf here is the wind. I did join single players on two occasions and exchanged contact info with them. The one sent me an email saying I was “a hoot to play with.” The other, who is 79, told me to call him if I was willing to play with someone that old. I am and I will.
All the churches we have visited have welcomed us with open arms and we have officially become members at one. I am looking forward to the opportunity to preach in a couple of weeks as all the preaching pastors will be gone on a Mexico mission trip. I believe this church is going to be a great place for Jan and me to worship, serve, and fellowship.
I do have a gentleman I would call my best friend in Amarillo. And he truly is a gentleman. We connected over three years ago when Jan and I first started thinking about relocating to Amarillo. Over the course of those three years we stayed in touch and since arriving he has been a great help and friend to me. He is a man of faith, we are about the same age, and so far, he is the only person I have been able to beat in racquetball!
I am still exploring potential opportunities for part time work that will allow me to serve in ministry in some way, but nothing yet has solidified. I am not, however, discouraged.
The brightest aspect of our move, of course, has been the opportunity to live with our daughter and two grandsons and help take care of them. Jan and I stayed home with the little guy (age 3) sick last Tuesday and I stayed home with the big guy (age 6) sick last Thursday. I have rug burns on both knees and elbows. We move into our own house in a couple of weeks, but we will stay deeply involved and closely connected with them.
We have transferred our cars and put Texas tags on them, but we cannot get Texas driver’s licenses until we have utility bills. We still grieve the passing of our cat, but our dog, Macy, is doing great playing with her new friend Leonard (Audrey’s dog). I am looking forward to a return to Southern California for a visit in late April or May.
I think people ask the question “Are we there yet?” because they have unrealistic expectations with regard to how long it will take to get to where they are going. And those unrealistic expectations result in impatience which makes the trip even more frustrating. It would probably be helpful if we tried to enjoy the trip itself. Jan and I have not fully arrived, but we are making good progress—and we will get there.
(If you have not read the post “A Bright Sadness” you can do so at https://bobmmink.com/2016/12/05/a-bright-sadness/ )
Feel free to leave a reply below and/or share these thoughts on Facebook or other social media.
photo credit: iainmerchant <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/135123601@N08/32968356026″>Road Trip!</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>
Let me know when someone calls you “Baby Doll” like a nurse 30 years younger than I am called me on the way to the examining room. They use a lot of enduring names in Louisville too.
Hi Bob, Just a quick note to let you know how much i enjoy your weekly blog. Your writing style lends itself to a personal style that speaks directly to me. In a sense it seems like I know you better now 1000 miles away, than when you lived in Moreno Valley. Glad to hear you are adjusting to life in your new hometown.
Thank you Bob for sharing this. Young are so righz about enjoying the trip… Being patient for the end results. I think I always feel like I’m holding my breath waiting impatiently for the end results. Learning to enjoy the ride is a goal of mine! For me everything is black or white… I need to learn to throw in some color! Be a little bit more flexible and patient.
It sounds like you and Jan are settling in however… So happy that you have been so welcomed and have met so many wonderful people. One of these days I would love to come visit you once you get settled into your new home. Would love to hear you preach again! Thanks again for the “are we there yet” post. I love it!
Sorry Bob for all the misspells…and the first paragraph it was supposed to say …”you are so right”
Bob, I didn’t even know you had a blog but what I read today was very helpful to me even after all of these years. I loved my life in Okla. and I met my husband and had my family in Ohio but I’ll always feel like I’m still from Media. I can identify with what you are saying and it seems like you and Jan are making progress which is good so hope your journey home ends soon.