Having just seen Jamin off on a two-weektrip where he will be helping to build a church in Cantamana, Peru for a couple of weeks, the kids and I are settling into the home of my family here in Idaho.  We all get Grammy and Papa Bob time and time with my sister Promise, and my brother Stan.  I plan to see many friends and family members while I am here as well.

It has been one month since we packed up our belongings, rented out our home and headed out of our town of Anchorage.  Time seems to be flying.  We said “goodbye” to our beds and”hello” to the road.  Here are some things I have learned about myself so far:

As much as I thought I was detached from my home, I discovered that I still held some strings.  When I checked our new renters into our home and watched their golden retriever loping on “my” couches I started cringing.   I had to turn my eyes away and say to myself, “It is only stuff, it’s only stuff”.  I walked away praying that God would help me live my life “open-handed” and treat everything and everyone as loans from God.

In order to relax on the road, home school, and keep up with bills and business, I realize I have to change my mindset.  I have to make the most any downtime to accomplish things that I will not be doing during our play times; and during our play times I need to just play.  So I have to lower my expectations some (okay alot!!) in order to relax.

Almost everytime I leave Alaska to visit another state, I feel like a “hick”.  The first thing I want to do is get my hair done and shop for clothes.  Over the years living in Alaska, there are certain aspects of style and “hipness” that you just have to surrender.  For instance–  shoes.  You can easily recognize a tourist if they are wearing white shoes.  The severe changes in weather here are certain to soil your shoes and if you want to keep them long, you don’t buy white ones.  Shoes in general in Alaska are as practical and basic as you can make them.  Mud boots are a staple for at least  six months of the year, and snow boots the other six. And “fashion”? “Style”?  Who the heck cares?  Designer jeans smell the same in a fish hold as well as Walmart specials.  So I always feel like I need to update myself  here in the world where they dress up to buy groceries.

We have stayed with relatives and friends on this trip.  Each home we have entered has held a story of its own.  Staying with others gives us a chance to become a part of their life,share their favorite things, and learn their trials and sorrows.  Our prayer lists grow a little longer and our hearts become a little larger with each household we visit.

All in all, this trip has had some challenges thus far, like when our bird trained dog Denali decided to hunt the “laying hen” of our friends the Dupea’s and left it alive but without feathers on her hind quarters, but we look forward to more destinations and more friends along the way.

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