We’re moved in. Nearly all of the moving boxes are unpacked, and I can find most of our stuff (though it took me a [expletive deleted] hour to find my iron last evening – I didn’t want to show up for worship at my internship congregation in a wrinkled clergy shirt). The girls have done an amazing job adapting to a new home, new neighborhood, new routine.
I can’t thank the folks from my internship congregation enough for the amazing assistance and outpouring of support they’ve given us. From the gifts of food, paper products and wine (10 bottles!), to the crew of 10 people at the house who unpacked boxes, played with my baby, and re-engineered an IKEA cabinet to fit in our house, they people of my new church have been a Godsend. I continue to get calls almost daily from the chair of the Welcome Vicar Chris committee to see how we’re doing (I’m not kidding – they formed an ad hoc Welcome Vicar Chris committee, distinct from the internship committee that will work with me throughout the year!). We have truly been blessed. If not for them, we’d still be swimming in boxes, tripping over junk, and struggling to keep our sanity.
The girls and I are living here in Northern Virginia, whereas my wife continues to work at her church in the Philadelphia area for the next three weeks. Through the end of the month she will be up north Sunday – Thursday, and then drive to Virginia and spend Fridays and Saturdays at home. It’s a schedule that is not easy on any of us.
When Tali made a toy out of a large moving box, coloring it and
decorating it with stickers, it was a reflection of the lack of
attention she had received last week from her parents and a testament to her amazing ability
to adapt to crazy and changing circumstances. Now that we’re mostly moved in and settled into our new house, I am dedicating this week to doing fun stuff with the kids – including a trip to see some dinosaur bones at the Smithsonian and a morning at a really cool park. My vow – no more playing with boxes!
I don’t yet have an internet connection – I am currently hijacking a neighbor’s weak wireless internet signal that goes in and out with regularity. The Verizon FiOS guy comes on Friday to install high-speed internet to our house. We also don’t get great television reception in our basement – where our lone rabbit ears-equipped television is housed. Thus I get my news the old fashioned way – from the newspaper and radio. No Google News, no Nightline, no local news, no Jay Leno.
(One consequence of my current low-tech status is that I must be the only avid baseball fan in the world who has not seen a replay of Barry Bonds’ record-breaking home run – not on tv, not online, not anywhere. I read about it in the Washington Post, and heard the radio call and commentary on NPR, but I have not yet seen the home run with my own eyes. And that’s ok with me.)
As alluded to above, I worshiped today at my new internship congregation even though I won’t begin to work there until September 1. I had extremely mixed feelings about wearing the clerical collar today, reminding me that my pastoral identity questions are creeping up on me quickly. This is something that I explored as a hospital chaplain and something that I’ll continue to explore as a vicar at this congregation.
In other news, I keep getting comment spam on an old post, Details of Caring for a Sick Child (and I keep deleting it, of course). What’s the trigger?
I’ll write more by week’s end. Have a good week!