Thursday, September 04, 2008

Early Furlough Impressions

This is an excerpt from my musings during our first weeks of furlough travel. Enjoy!

"Mom, Have You Seen My...?"

Our vagabond days have begun. We missionaries pack up a four bags of clothes and African do-dads, secure tickets and visas and passports and the appropriate immigration stamps. And we fly.

Then we land and can’t sleep well. Children who normally sleep for hours through the night wake up at odd times. And ask for food.

We haul our bodies and bags over time zones and through airports. We hug necks and eat yummy, yummy food. We re-establish connections, hear news we’ve missed, listen with astonishment as newscasters talk and talk and talk and talk and talk…about nothing and everything and opinions and elections…

We are at once blessed and overwhelmed by choices and options. We fight the battle within us that Ice Cream is just there on the corner in that 7 Eleven so why aren’t we eating as much as possible right now. Because it will be there tomorrow. It will be there tomorrow. It will be there tomorrow.

We rejoice at ever Target and savor our first sips of Starbucks. We giggle through chips and queso and delight in daily phone calls to family and friends with good connections.

Jeff says the soft carpet hugs our feet. Water can be taken straight from the tap. Power supply is sure and food is easy.

Time is important. Church is fast. Freeways are huge, well lit and signs direct you everywhere.

People smile when they serve you food. Everyone is doing something most of the time.

Commercials are funny.

And no one in my family can find their underwear without asking Mom first.

I know Mom is the Great Holder of Knowledge. But this is amplified when we start living out of bags.

Vagabonds. And loving most of it.


Trisha said...

In my heart is a post about the wonderful blessing of being the ones on this side of the water who get to welcome you, rejoice with you in the chips and queso, hug your kids again and again--and again...You all bless us by your presence!

Alex has said a half-dozen times..."Mom said we weren't going to see the Cashes again, but WE DID!!!" What a gift! Love you!

laura said...

So well said! I only pray for the day that it's underwear my boys are looking for, not blankie, sippy cup, diaper... etc, etc, etc :)

Kelly Vaughn said...

Are you still here? Can't believe I missed you if your gone...
love you Friend!
Love the new look on your blog

Tom Rathjen said...

Cheryl, I'm a member at Sugar Grove. I didn't have a chance to talk to you during your visit, but I wanted you to know how much we enjoyed your remarks and insights. You and your family are doing great work for the Lord. Safe travels, and we wish you all the best.

Anonymous said...

I hope you are getting settled back in well. We miss you in Tyler. Although, seeing you was often hit and miss. I sure enjoyed our time together and think and pray for you often. Take a moment to eat some chocolate, sip some nice tea, read a good book ... and think of those who love you!


ddouglass said...

Any chance you's guys are still stateside? Would love to chat. Would have driven to Sac had I only known... Argh!
David Douglass
(out-of-touch-since-the-80's old friend of Jeff's)

Katherine@Raising Five said...

Oh, that is precious! I hope y'all somehow found this crazy time at "home" restful and refreshing.


Bryan & Tracey said...

Are you still in the States? I would love to chat with you over the phone. I'm going to see if I can find your number! Blessings friend!

Susan said...

Hi Cheryl,

I don't know if you remember me or not, but my husband, Vann, and I were at the Northlake Church of Christ in Atlanta. He was the youth minister there. We're now in Abilene, TX. I was looking for Africa blogs and found yours and Jeff's blogs.

We have an "adopted" son from Rwanda that goes to ACU and I'm trying to find people in Rwanda to correspond with.

Hope you are all well.

Sue Conwell