Leaving Things Behind

I sit in the legacy club at Union Station in Chicago as I write. Yesterday I was at Kinderhook Reformed Church in Kinderhook, NY. I left on the 7:05 train out of Albany and arrived in Chicago about 15 hours later, having slept in the coach on the way back.  I’m in the club waiting for the evening train back to Michigan, which stops within a mile of where I’m staying these 6 months.

This trip is a process of leaving things behind.  We’ve scheduled our retirement for 2018, and the mission board has asked, for administrative convenience, to be able to end our employment at the end of their fiscal year, which runs to September 30th.  That fits well. We should be able to clear out of Taiwan by July 31st, and will remain on the payroll, with the responsibility to visit churches, for the next couple of months, about 9 weekends in all. With about 30 supporting churches, that means we’ll not be seeing 20 or so of them again. So, with most of the 25 visits we’re making this year, we’re saying goodbye.

I don’t really want to say goodbye to ANY of them. Each visit I’ve made since February 7th this year has been good enough to repeat, and I feel especially so having just been in Kinderhook.  I don’t want to leave that church behind, so I’ve been leaving “stuff” behind me.

Saturday night I stayed with Gary, a retired pharmacist. I was in the house where he grew up, and to which he returned from a career in Virginia to take care of his father until he died.  Gary and I sat on the porch talking about many, many things as the sun went down and into the night (until 11PM).  The next morning he dropped me off at the church an hour before worship and then returned home to get dressed and come back. When he entered the church he handed me the bag with my hairbrush, toothbrush, razor and other things, which I’d left in the upstairs bathroom.

After church I went with Jim and Bonnie Dumphrey to their house, and then onward to a family picnic in a relative’s back yard.  I was included in an extended family of about 30 people, and it was wonderful.  Returning from the picnic I took a nap until it was time to leave for the Albany station.  I read for a while, then slept.  Jim knocked on the door to rouse me, so I dressed quickly, brushed my teeth and we jumped into the car.

After I boarded the train, I discovered that my reading glasses were not with me.  I must have left them on the bed. Thankfully, I don’t need them “all that much.” Additionally, not being able to read so much meant that I slept more on the train. This morning in Chicago I went to a drug store and got a new pair.

Going forward, I’ll check better behind myself, so others don’t have to pick up after me. However, considering that it was Kinderhook where I lost the glasses, I wouldn’t mind going back THERE to retrieve them, or anything else I may lose.




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