Twenty three and half hours in the van… We left our homestead in Texas at 7 pm on Friday evening (much, much later then intended) and we arrived at our house in the hood at 6:30 pm on Saturday.
The trip included a couple hours of sleep at a rest stop and a couple more in a parking lot, nursing the baby while buckled in a seat-belt and leaning over her car seat with a blanket over the top of us (because the awkwardness of that was definitely preferred over another forty minute stop at the next gas station), little boys peeing into a water jug, and several hours of Oddesy plus a little NPR and an episode of Click and Clack.
Cedar Rapids, Iowa welcomed us with its new sign (apparently it’s no longer the city of five seasons) its new buildings and businesses along First Ave, and its many aromas. After a quick shower and freshening up in our old empty house we enjoyed dinner over at Stephen’s parents’ along with his Grandma, who the kids and I had not yet met. After dinner we drove back to the house where one of the new neighbors in the four-plex next door was urinating in the bushes on the side of the building… a proper “welcome home to the hood” indeed.
Although we were exhausted… there was a bit of a misunderstanding with the electric company and without the electricity on yet… it was hot and not extremely comfortable to fall asleep.
After spending the previous night in the van… the night did prove to be restful, though there was that half hour or so that I spent listening to the sirens and the yelling and the apparent police chase outside. Our second night was even more eventful; Flashing lights right next door. There was a scruff that had Brice and Stephen and I peeking out the windows. Brice was ready to head home, but we reminded him of that mornings scripture… God is our strength and our fortress.
I also reminded him that this used to be everyday life… How comfortable we have gotten on our quiet little homestead in Texas.
All of the commotion has kind of made me miss this place.
Several things have changed… a few new neighbors, the house next door is all boarded up but was purchased by habit for humanity and is being fixed up and will eventually be re-sold, the boutique that had opened at the end of the street is gone, but the neighborhood barber is open and back in business. We’ve already made arrangements to get the boys in there before we head home. Several of our old neighbors are still around and it’s been kind of neat to see and chat with them. We were even invited to join a grill out happening at the corner and it was really great to see some of our old neighbors dote on the kids and welcome us as if we’d never left.