As I drove the two-hundred-and-fifty miles toward home this past Friday, I reflected on my work week. I thought about the high points and low points and some of the points in between. I remembered conversations, reflected on decisions and considered ones yet to be made. There’s always, I suppose, some degree of flux and flow in our goings on. Some things change, some things don’t and some things seem to but don’t.
That seems to be the nature of organizations, communities and families and pretty much everything else. We either adapt or we don’t, take advantage or suffer both real and imagined inconveniences.
Somewhere to the northeast of the Flint Hills I began to think less of what had passed and more of what lies before. I began to think about Randa and Sam and getting home. I thought about the younger couple we’d planned to have over for supper on Saturday. I thought about the work Randa had done to finish up the dining room project: painting the big built-in cabinet, including the trim around the thirty-six individual glass panes in the upper doors. These good thoughts ushered me into the darkness near Emporia.
Two hours more of driving got me back to our home near Wathena, Kansas. When I finally turned up the long gravel driveway to the house, I saw what looked like flames rising up near the southwest corner of the house. Not near enough to shock me; I knew it wasn’t the house on fire!
Instead, Sam decided on an early Christmas present for us. He’d heard us talking for months about getting an outdoor fire pit. So, being the kind of guy that he is, he’d bought us a nice metal brazier and thought this was the perfect opportunity for an early Christmas present. He had the fire going and the wine poured. As soon as I stepped out of the truck, he gave me a hug and a glass. Randa stepped out the door about that time. She gave me a hug, too, but kept her glass.
We sat out there for hours, watching the fire, laughing, talking, sharing and sipping. These are the things that turn minutes into memories and friends into family.
Some day, a larger crowd will welcome us home and we will drink the fruit of the vine anew, with Him who has made all things new. Until then, this will do nicely.