Sunday, August 17, 2008

Surrounded by boxen.

Well, we made it, and we brought the rain with us! It's starting to feel like the Rands have the gift of rain since both our long-distance trips this summer have been to places that don't get all that much and it starts raining as soon as we get there... Red Lodge, Montana, and Littleton, Colorado. We got here Friday and got our first glimpse of blue sky & mountains this morning! Since the weather's been nice this afternoon, we unloaded the POD... now we're surrounded by boxen. Boxen upon boxen upon boxen.

(Translation: Boxes. Boxes here, boxes there, boxes freakin' everywhere!)

Since arriving, I've been downright giddy. I love the couple we're living with, I love the town we're living in. I love the bike trails that criss-cross the city. I love the mountains outside the front door. I love the cool, dry air. I love the fact that our housemates (who own the place) have an incredible garden in the backyard - an itty-bitty corner that produces a whole lot of stuff! (Maybe Cori's green thumb will rub off on me!) Most of the time, I feel like I'm home... but there's still a lingering feeling of having been uprooted. This uprooted feeling hit me like a train (even though I saw it coming) this morning at church. I realized that as much as I love it here, what's missing is deep-rooted community: the kind that comes from wrestling and discussing and playing and being together, the kind that comes from being real and open and honest, the kind that loves unashamedly, the kind that comes from fighting for each other, the kind that takes time. The kind that doesn't happen in a weekend. :-)

I miss my DCF family, scattered as it now is. I miss the pilgrims I walked with there. But at the same time, I look forward eagerly to the time I will spend here - wrestling and discussing and playing and being together in a new (to me) community, being real and open and honest, loving unashamedly, fighting for the family I will soon join, for as long as God sees fit for us to dwell in this place.

* * * * * * *
P.S. I hope to get the boxen under control by the end of the week, at which time I'll draw a name and having a special block-printing party just for that person!

Bike vs. Car: 8.7mi / 2.7mi :-)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Day 8 - Rollin', rollin', rollin'... in!

So, today's our final day of travel. Somewhere around 5pm mountain time, we should be rolling into our new town. Heh. "Town." Don't know if Littleton/Denver qualifies as a town. :-)

Here's the route:

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On tap for today:

- delicious breakfast at the Parkview House B&B
- adios Amarillo!
- hola pseudo-backroad that will take us through part of NM
- maybe a small-town antique store or two?
- ugh... hola interstate...
- shenanigans of some sort, mixed with driving driving driving
- arrive in Littleton & meet our housemates, the Hamiltons!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Day 7 - Dallas to Amarillo... still in TX

Today, we'll venture "onward and upward, whichever way that may be-" to quote my Grandy. In this case, it means heading out of Dallas in a generally northwestish direction toward Amarillo:

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On tap for today:
- stockpiling a bit of Dublin Dr. Pepper
- lots of Texas
- finding a good place to picnic, since my grandmother (who we call Mom-Pat) packed us an incredible lunch
- consuming some yummy Dublin Dr. Pepper
- more Texas
- stopping for the night at a bed & breakfast Jeromie found in Amarillo

Off we go!

Days 4, 5, and 6 - Messing with Texas

We've been in Dallas for the past couple of days hanging out with my family (mom, grandparents, aunt). We had trouble connecting to the internet initially, and decided not to bother with it until last night, so I'll edit this post later to add pictures & details of the fun.

Messing with Texas included:
- Dallas traffic
- expanding my mental map
- lots of outings with my mom
- a trip to the Dallas Museum of Art (Pigeon got attacked by an old Japanese warrior!)
- dinner with Leafy (Adam Green Grace)
- messing with the lifeguards at my mom's YMCA
- yummy Einstein Bros. bagels
- lots of monkey-doodles and merry-sunshines
- Dublin Dr. Pepper

Check back in a week, and I will have (hopefully) updated the post to include pictures.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Denver-bound, Day 3 - Mobile, AL to Dallas, TX

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Day 3: Mobile, AL to Dallas, TX

On tap for today:
- early morning walk with Darla (hopefully!)
- drink some coffee
- drive a lot
- take pictures of Pigeon at every state line
- sing along to a lot of songs
- probably cry some more when we think of the incredible people we've left
- drive a lot
- drive a lot
- collapse on my grandparents' floor in Dallas!

Anyone know of any interesting stops on this route??

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Denver-bound, Day 2 - Rockin' out in Mobile, AL

You know, sleeping in is awesome. Today has been the first day in weeks that I had the option to, and boy did I ever need to and take advantage of it. Just thought I'd share that. I don't prefer to sleep in, but sometimes it's a necessity.

So... today is a non-travelling day. We're in Mobile hanging out with the Rand side of the family and I *love* it. I am definitely a Rand at heart... no less a Goudelock, but definitely a Rand. Twas a perfect day to be here too... it's Darla's birthday and the weather played nice! We slept in, bummed around the house, and then went golfing at a local Par 3 course. I've never played golf before, so it was pretty amusing.

My impression of me golfing:
- 25% of the time - wind up, swing, keep swinging in a circle without hitting the ball
- 25% of the time - wind up, swing, dig a hole to China
- 40% of the time - wind up, actually hit the ball and make it go about 10 feet
- 10% of the time - wind up, actually hit the ball and get it actually kinda near the green!!!

All in all, twas a fun time though. Pigeon came along and elicited a chuckle from the golf course guy, who said he was the hugest club cover he'd ever seen. Pigeon also managed to keep his mouth shut for the most part, til the end when he begged for a picture with the Noodle ball & pouted when he didn't get it. :-)

Don't worry, he's been in plenty though:

Eating cars in Georgia

Signing the guest book in Alabama

Celebrating Darla's birthday in Mobile

Thursday, August 07, 2008


Well, we're officially en route to our new home.

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Day 1: Clemson, SC to Mobile, AL with a stopover in Atlanta!

On tap for today:
* breakfast with Kalbaughs
* little bit of driving
* lunch with the most awesome Diane and Drew
* good bit of driving
* 2 nights & a day with the Original Random Rands

We've made this trip many times before, so we're not in new territory yet... but I'm curious - does anyone have any interesting stops or stories along this route?? :-D

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Take Me Home...

Well, the move's starting to sink in. Before the POD arrived this morning, it didn't take too much of a stretch to imagine that, perhaps, we were re-arranging the house. The normal person doesn't pack things up in boxes for a simple re-arrangement, but, hey, we're not exactly normal people here in the Rand house, so it could happen. This definite sign of uprooting has brought tears to my eyes much more easily than before. (For example: turning onto the campus that I once hated but now love to meet someone for lunch, hearing the first few notes of a song that I love sung by a favoritest musician.) I suspect this may continue for a while after we've moved too, especially when remembering the folks I'll miss & the unique places I've dwelled these past many years.

You know, I've called these places home because they are what I know of home:
- little house, large yard, plenty of trees (until I went off to college)
- a dorm room or apartment shared with a variety of fun characters (myself included!)
- the forests of my fluffy Blue Ridge Mountains
- the high limbs of favorite trees
- a cabin full of excited girls
- a tent miles from the nearest road
- a room full of truth-telling, BS-detecting family known collectively as house church
- a house in Greenville, an apartment in Clemson with my dear husband
- a basement full of folding chairs and leaks, surrounded by fellow children of an incredible, merciful Father
- eyes closed, lost in the music of the DCF band
- a deserted road on an early morning, by bike or running shoes
- a green lake surrounded by old peaks, history speaking from its depths
- deepening friendships with grace-giving fellow pilgrims

I could go on for a very long time.

I was reminded this morning (as I drove in to meet my beautiful friend Rachael for lunch) that these are only previews of home. Surprisingly, the song that usually reminds me of this is not a typical worship song... it's my favorite cover of any song ever: Genesis' "Take Me Home" as done by Dave & Co. Singing along (in the car... yes, I am one of *those* people), I remember that I am a pilgrim on a journey to the home God created us for. This doesn't mean I should disconnect from this world I'm in, but rather engage - love deeply, serve joyfully, persevere purposefully, ask meaningful questions, give meaningful answers, think bigger, believe even bigger than that, because God is beyond what I can fathom, and He's made a way to live and breathe and dwell with Him, wretched as I am.

That might be the longest run-on sentence ever. Or not. I don't care. :-)

The countdown stands at ~3 days now, but it's ticking onward. I will not coast through them, as I am prone to do, but live awake and aware as I'm called to. I'll probably cry some, but I really do welcome that now. :-)

* * * * * * *

P.S. This just happens to be my 100th post as the Prodigal Pilgrim. I feel like that (and so many other things) might just call for some celebration.

So. I'm giving away something handmade!

Set of 5 hand-printed cards,
which are also available in my Etsy shop

When I arrive in Denver, I'll do a random drawing to figure out who gets them. In the meantime, leave me a comment that includes your name and how you found the blog! If you pass it along to another friend who enters, I'll stick your name in again just for kicks. I'm a little curious to find out how people get here. :-)

We roll into Denver on the 15th, so sometime that weekend, I'll post the winner.

Saturday, August 02, 2008



* * * * * * *

Pigeon is the awesome main character of Mo Willems' illustrated children's books. Pigeon is also a puppet that's been living at the Open Book until this past Thursday. Pigeon now lives with the Rands. He thoroughly understands that he is in no way a replacement for Molly. Molly is irreplaceable. But he also thoroughly understands that living with the Rands means shenanigans... and a move to Denver. In classic pigeon style, he's been begging to drive the moving truck. The jury's still out on that one.

So here are some pictures of Pigeon's life so far with the Rands:

After his last day at the Bookedy, Pigeon eyes the hummus & pita at the Rands' favorite Greenville restaurant, The Bohemian!

Pigeon promptly selects a choice pita and... NOM!

Pigeon jams out with his flamingo friend at Horizon Records
(which is the awesome)

Pigeon participates in the tired & slightly blurry reading of a very good bedtime story for his new family

And now... on to the packing!