Blog BHAY, #13 in my 14-part series on “Good to Go, Hard to Leave”: Joy Comes in the Morning, My Penultimate Post in this Series.

Betty with the bag of goodies she brought me for my first day on the job!

After a long, miserable night I went off to my first day at my new job, and I’m so glad I did! I received a gracious welcome from Betty, a lovely member of the hiring committee, who in a rainstorm brought me a cloth bag with my favorite Pro football team’s logo. In it were chocolate truffles, ginger cookies, herbal teas, lavender hand soap and lavender hand sanitizer. A delicious, thoughtful and practical gift. She was also generous with her time, helping me unpack my boxes of packs and placing them on the shelves.

The church secretary Sarah helped me get connected to both the internet and the printer and efficiently and capably produced the bulletin. She and Betty shared information and stories to help me get to know the church.

By this time the rains caused by Tropical Storm Ida were pouring down, so Betty treated me to a delicious lunch of Greek food before she went home to handle issues caused by the downpour. It was a welcoming gracious start to my new work life. And then my friend Katy called to welcome me, my friend Crow texted me “Good luck on your first day”, as did my siblings and several others, and I had people I could call if necessary. And this evening I had the opportunity to do work for the church, getting my feet wet, so to speak, while staying warm and dry inside.

Which is great because the night before had been a horrible start to life in my new apartment, complete with an air mattress that was more comfortable once I deflated it, cats that were hissing at each other, and then alternating going into the other rooms in the apartment, rooms with hardwood floors and long, tall windows – echo chambers, basically, and crying or meowing piteously, or whining. They would try to curl up next to me, but I couldn’t get comfortable so I would move, and they would whine or prowl. There were the mandatory strange noises from the refrigerator, and I would toss and turn with worry that the sad cats were annoying the neighbors. It was a long, seemingly sleepless, physically uncomfortable night. I didn’t weep, but I did miss my house and my furniture and being comfortable.

There are others suffering much more than me, perhaps even more than the cats think they are. My sleepless night will be a memory to call upon when I hear of those with insomnia, or so ill they can’t get any rest, or whose worries keep them up. Being awake when you don’t feel good is very hard, being able to rest really is a blessing.

That long night is the epitome of why it’s hard to leave – leaving my comfort zone in every way.Today’s gracious morning is the hope to be found in “Good to go” – that when you travel, there is a warm welcome waiting for you when you arrive at your next destination. May you also find that to be true.

Today’s Prayer Poem is actually one of my favorite prayers, I learned it at the Iona Community in Scotland, a community that practices hospitality and values welcome as part of their community norm. “Watch now, dear Lord, with those who wake or watch or weep [or work] tonight, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend your sick ones, O Lord Christ, rest your weary ones, bless your dying ones, soothe your suffering ones, pity your afflicted ones, shield your joyous ones, and all for your love’s sake. Amen.

Grace and peace,

Caroline

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