For the last two weeks Sr. Wantabee has been visiting in Los Angeles as a reward for finishing her internship and her first year of teaching ESL. Trips are fantastic because they get you out of your normal setting so you get a different perspective as you search for words to paint a verbal picture of reality for people who live elsewhere.
“Density” took on a new meaning flying into LA, driving on their freeways, and visiting homes. It felt like for every house that had been there in 2002, there were now two, if not three. For every car on the road there were now double the number. Get onto the side streets was a life threatening experience. The glare of neon signs was blinding and confusing. Six lanes of traffic on each side of the freeway can stream along at 70 mph, even at midnight, full!! But somehow in the mass of humanity, motion, lights and sensory grabbers, friends mingle and form a social bubble that keeps them focused.
Meeting with family that knew the “old time” stories from youth, before marriage, before ministry, before whatever brought a whole new level of integration to life. People who hadn’t gotten together, got together because Sr. Wantabee was in town, and stories flew. “Tell me the big fish story again!” “remember the time” “How is…” Hours were spent recreating the past and informing the present.
Thirdly, the “I’ve got your back” phrase took on a new level of meaning. At the supporting church of her husband Sr. Wantabee was able to ask, “And what happens if my husband dies…” (as widows and widowers are now appearing in her social circles.). “We’re aghast you ask! You’re one of us!” We’ll see but those were nice words. And the retirement policy is tied to social security. suddenly Sr. Wantabee realized she was married to a man who is turning 64 next month. How did that happen? The importance of community took on a whole new level of meaning as Sr. Wantabee reflected on her life.
Home? Home is a place she chooses to be because that is where her family, her new friends, and her life calling is now. But those roots from the past that make the present even more wonderful the trip a trip to remember. “That was a trip!”