This post is just a brief breaking into the Lenten interlude that I am observing.
I have been occupied for the last several weeks with getting things ready for my father and step-mother to move from their cottage in a retirement village to a two room apartment in a sheltered environment. Any moving process requires much preparation, but some take more time than others.
As it turns out, my father has lived in this location longer than he has lived ANYWHERE in his whole life. He and my mother bought their cottage in 1987. And he has lived there since their move there in the summer of 1987. Twenty-five years. Longer than any other place he has lived.
My dad grew up as a missionary child. He was born in Pennsylvania, and then when he was a bit more than a year old went with his parents to southern Africa. He lived there until he was ten. He moved around with them, living first in Oklahoma for several years, then in southern California, where he lived his teen years. Southern California reminded him very much of southern Africa--and he loved living there.
But when he graduated from high school, his parents moved back to Pennsylvania, and he along with them. Only--he was not to live with them. Hard times called for hard solutions. His parents had three younger children, and they basically told my dad that he was on his own. So he worked on farms as a hired hand for a while, until he saved enough to go to college. When he was able to, he returned to southern California to enter college. After completing college, and getting married, he and my mother went to Africa as missionaries. That was 1946. They were to stay there, returning to the U.S. twice for vacations, until 1965.
Back to Pennsylvania once again--where he lived until 1972 when he and my mother moved to Indiana for a decade. The last stop for a few years before my dad retired was some time in Ontario, Canada.
So, the long journey of moving around as a child, then as an adult, finally ended with retirement in Pennsylvania, and the retirement cottage in which my parents lived. 1987 until 2012.
Twenty-five years--of house furnishings, of personal possessions, of memories, of joys, of sorrows.
Tomorrow, my father and step-mother will move within the same complex from one living arrangement to another. The big move.