I'm practicing my Southern. Someone asked me just yesterday where I was from and I gave him a quick drawled Hartwullll like a local. I'm home and loving it but few moments go by without my wondering what's going on without me in Mozambique. Twice now I have mistaken a screaming child for a bleating goat and once I thought I spotted Ishmael in The Dollar Tree. I have not stopped since I got off the plane and even though I told myself not to stay so busy I kinda am. But it is a good busy and it is an entertaining rest, kinda like Granny McCarley's "wet rain".
My most treasured moments are just sitting on the sofa with friends, so close we touch. I have twice now visited friends and taken a nap during the visit. This either means my friends are very close or maybe they are just old. Myself included. I treasure the naps and the closeness of those relationships. I am sitting with a friend now. It has been my only moment with Internet and uninterrupted time. The only reason I can write instead of visit is because she is napping. We are under bad fluorescent lights and poor thing is in a hospital gown about to have her gall bladder removed. I am perfectly happy. Just glad I can be here for her. Glad to have friends like this. Kinda enjoying the quiet and watching her sleep and happy I can help.
I recently overheard two Hartwell locals catching up across the dinner table. They knew each other so well. Apparently went to high school together 45 years ago or so. They asked about each others kids and grandkids, calling everyone by name and knowing each other so deeply. I thought, "What a gift". To know each other so well, to have grown up together, to raise your children alongside each other, grandchildren. To enter each others' homes and go to the fridge like it is your own.
I adore being in Hartwell. But I absolutely don't belong. Just simply not where I am supposed to be. Sometimes I can almost hear the audible voice, "you don't belong here". The belonging of somewhere else is greater. For now, Mozambique is my home. Now that I am in this life, I see how it will forever be a part of me and home may never be America and I am completely at ease with that. Where He leads I will follow. The adventure with God is way better than all I could ever hope or imagine.
I am playing tennis three days a week with the retirees and having an absolute blast. They have welcomed me into their little group with open arms. It blesses my soul. We have fun and they are all very good and wear me out. I will miss them.
I am sending photos of all I see and do here and am sending back to my friends in Mozambique, things I know they will love seeing, like good food and Fall weather. Here's a sampling...