Saturday, February 14, 2009

Back in the Heart of Texas

Ahh. The smell of grass mixed with oil. I knew when I smelled those two smells, I was back in Texas. We’ve been here a week now. And we’re having so much fun reconnecting with friends, exploring old haunts and reliving memories of our time as newlyweds when we lived here. And the 70-degree weather has allowed us to thaw out after spending the winter in snowy Indiana.

It’s been five years since we lived in Longview, Texas. And it’s hard to believe. In many ways, not much has changed. My favorite sandwich shop (Jack’s Natural Foods) still serves the yummy Bruce’s Best sandwich. Bodacious Barbecue still serves the best Texas sweet tea. Many of our friends are still here. And two of our favorite churches—Fellowship Bible Church and Calvary Baptist Church have welcomed us so warmly back into their midst.

We’ve seen a few new buildings at LeTourneau University, a couple of new Super Wal-marts, and met children that our friends have had while we’ve been gone. But except for those landmarks, it almost feels like we’ve never left.

While here, I’ve broken a rule that I made when I was a kid. As an Army kid, who lived mostly on Army posts, I made a rule to never go back. That’s because Army posts are never the same—all the friends are gone, the pastor of the church has moved on, and the teachers have joined their military spouses to go to new posts. I’ve always been one to look forward, never look back.

But now, returning to Longview has been therapeutic. We’ve spent time with close friends who knew us before we worked for MAF. These are our friends from our early years of marriage—such special years those were! And during these years apart, they’ve supported us, encouraged us, and prayed for us. Now they listen to our stories of our years in Indonesia, and share with us the stories that we’ve missed in their lives.

Thank you, sweet friends, for welcoming us to one of our many homes.

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