18 09 2009

Well, it’s been two months now, and although I miss Louisiana deeply, I’ve noticed that Atlanta is starting to feel like home.  Here’s why:

1. My socks don’t match.  You know about the laundry machine monster that eats socks, one at a time, so that you can never find a matching pair?  Well, when it came time to pack up our boxes in Ruston, I somehow managed to find almost all of them again.  But we’ve kicked off our shoes enough times, done the laundry enough times, and avoided doing the laundry enough times, that my socks have started to separate.  Yesterday, I wore a blue-and-white sock on my left foot and a plain white sock on my right (I did the best I could–better than green and purple or something, right?)

2. I survived rush hour. To be more specific, I successfully merged onto I-85 in bumper-to-bumper traffic and then moved over 4 or 5 lanes within half a mile in order to get off at the right exit.  Given my irrational fear of driving on the interstate, I would say this is a huge accomplishment.   In any case, it made me feel invincible for the rest of the day.

3. Our futon is already well-used.  We waited a few weeks before finally breaking down and buying a futon, and we have enjoyed it ever since.  It does need a new mattress, as there are already indentations the places where we sit  It has twice been used by house guests, first by my sister and brother-in-law, and one week later, by one of my very best friends!   And just three evenings ago, I spilled a can of Diet Mountain Dew on it (Note to self: NOT a good idea.  Taking the cover off of a futon mattress is way more trouble than it’s worth).

4. I found an orchestra. When I arrived at the first rehearsal,  I didn’t recognize anyone and didn’t know what to expect.  What if I couldn’t hang with the Atlanta freelancers?  What if they did rehearsals differently?  What if the music threw some curveball that I wasn’t prepared for?  What if “concert black” meant something different here than in Louisiana?  But as we began playing the first song, I felt all my anxieties melt away into a feeling of familiarity.

5.  My planner is full.  I have determined that, to a certain extent, being busy makes me feel fulfilled.  Or at the very least, involved.  Last weekend, between work, orchestra rehearsals, auditions, church services, and teaching commitments, I hardly had time to breathe… and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Finding Our Way

25 07 2009

For nearly a year I resisted getting a GPS.  “It’s just another expensive gadget,” I told Jordan, over and over again.  “Why bother?  Between mapquest and google maps, I think we’ve got all that we need.”

Never mind that I am quite possibly the most directionally challenged person on the planet.  For nearly a year I made it work as I navigated my way around the backroads of north Louisiana.  Getting lost was never a problem, I reasoned: instead, it was an adventure, a challenge.  I always allotted a few extra minutes to account for the inevitable wrong turn, and I was never too proud to ask for directions.

But when we decided to move to Atlanta, we had to re-evaluate.  Atlanta is a lot bigger and a lot more confusing than Ruston.  There are a million angry drivers on the road.  There are giant, terrifying, eight-lane, one-way streets.  There are at least 10 streets/roads/avenues called Peachtree.  Not to mention, “rush hour” lasts at least half the day, and it’s best to avoid driving anywhere during this time.

So, two months ago, we bought a GPS.  And the funny thing is, having a GPS does not keep us from making wrong turns.  But whenever we do skip a turn or find construction blocking our way, the GPS doesn’t even skip a beat.  “Recalculating…” she says in that annoying voice (or maybe we’re just already annoyed by our own stupidity?), patiently turning our screw-up into a detour.

(By the way….yes, we are those people. We talk back to the computer voice and even call her by name: Samantha)

Last night, we celebrated our first anniversary by going out to dinner at a Lebanese bistro.  We thought we knew how to get there, but after we entered the address into the GPS, Samantha sent us in a different direction, through an unfamiliar and busy part of town.

The remarkable thing was, we didn’t doubt her route for one second.   After all, she had the computer chip, the satellite reception, the mapping technology.  She knew the destination and the best route to get there.  And we trusted that she would tell us about every turn we would have to take.

We just drove, one road at a time.  And sure enough, we soon heard her say, in triumph, “Arriving at destination…on right.”

Psalm 23: A Modern Version

The Lord is my GPS.
I will never need another map.
He makes me drive on busy roads
And leads me beside quiet subdivisions.

Even though I drive through unfamiliar territory
I will not fear, for You are with me.
Your “recalculating” comforts me.

You prepare the way before me where I do not want to go.
You take me down this route, one turn at a time,
Until I find myself “arriving at home” with You forever.