This autumn season has been a particularly lonely one, as I described in my post Sojourners. My old group of friends is winnowing down to a few faithful ones, and my new group of friends is mostly still in that semi-awkward stage. I feel my world tilting, and I’m waiting for it to balance in the direction God has planned.
Yesterday I decided to stave off the loneliness by going to the blood drive here in town. I had a busy enough day without that–piano lessons for the oldest boys in the morning, a dentist appointment for Elijah in the afternoon. But I got back from the dentist in Pratt in time to make it to the blood drive.
(When I sent Will a text saying that I was giving blood, he replied, Bleed well, sweetie.)
At the door, I met Andrea. Will is working on her dad’s ranch house. She welcomed me warmly and signed me in. While I was waiting in line, Mary Lou came over and gave me a hug. “How are you doing?” she asked. Mary Lou is one of the most motherly people I know. Her simple question made me cry. But she didn’t mind. She stayed beside me and talked until the nurse called me back.
While I was “bleeding well,” I chatted with the nurse about kids and schedules and different kinds of blood donations. Another nice lady brought me orange juice and commiserated with me about marrying a last name that nobody can spell.
All done, I walked to the food table and sat across from Mike, who is part of the book club I joined. I found out that he is an ambulance driver and I told him about my two years as an EMT working for a volunteer EMS. We also talked about books and dogs while we ate our sandwiches.
Heading downstairs to fetch my kids from the nursery, I passed Judy, Betty, and Kandace. They are all lovely women, and they all took time to acknowledge me in some way.
And then, when I turned from buckling Keane into his car seat, I saw Pastor Paul crossing the street. He came over just to say hi to me! You’ve got to live in a new town to realize how special that is.
I drove away, cheered. When a person receives comfort from a new place, it means that place is becoming home.