Now I am sure of it: we are moving to Italy! Although we have been in discussion with the University of Dallas for many months about a possible transfer of Ron’s work to the Rome campus, I have wondered if it would really happen. But now that our house is all boxed up and ready to go, I am positive: our move to Italy is fast approaching.
Yesterday, movers came and packed up all the personal belongings, books and furniture that we are taking with us. On Monday they will load it all onto a container that will then ship across the ocean.
The packing day went strangely well–I am sure that is due to the many friends and family who were praying for us (thank you, friends, for your prayers!). We woke early and sorted through our last shelves and drawers, deciding what to take, what to store here, and what to give away. The movers came and we worked alongside them until all our decisions were made, and the last drawer was emptied.
I had prayed that our family would work so well together, and that we would have such pleasant demeanors, that we would be a blessing to the movers. This was my way of guarding against barking orders at my kids and yelling when tensions mounted. We would inevitably have an impact on the movers, for the good or the bad, so I prayed that it would be for the good.
Truly, by the sheer grace of God, by the end of the day we had made great friends with these guys. The last piece of furniture they dissembled was a girl’s desk. As he took it apart, the guy asked our family, “Who’s Josh?” We turned and looked at him inquisitively. He continued, “Here on this desk, someone has written, ‘I love Josh’ and next to it, ‘I love Jesus.'” We all laughed and jeered, “CLAAAAAAARE! Do you have a crush on Josh??” “NO!” she insisted. “It must be Mary who wrote that!!!” Our family had the biggest laugh over who wrote that (and we never got a confession out of anyone).
Once our family had finished our work, we found ourselves gathered in what remains of our living room. Jacob made a comment about the early church, and Ron launched into a description of St. Macrina the Elder, St. Macrina the Younger, Gregor the Wonderworker, Gregory of Nazianzus, Gregory of Nyssa, Peter of Sebaste, and Basil the Great. He ended with a description of Justinian the Apostate (whom I had not remembered ever learning about). Ron’s soliloquy was a sure indication that we were relaxed and happy.
A bit later, our favorite friend of Jacob’s came over with a dozen donuts, and asked Mary to go to the prom with him.
What a wild, surreal, and enjoyable day!
(Here’s Annie in her moving-box-cottage, stylized after Little House on the Prairie, starring Annie as “Laura.”)