Kristen and I are having one of those fun weeks that is also really busy. Other than Dave, we’ve not had many visitors since our moving to San Diego. That has been both good and bad. Good in that we’ve been forced to find new friends… and we’ve been doing that. Bad in that we miss so many of our friends.
Yesterday we had a chance to catch up with Bill and Shannon Bailey. Back in fall 2007, Kristen and I had the chance to spend a week on their boat, the Pacific Catalyst. It was a great week of fun and relaxation for us as we explored the San Juan Islands. The San Juan’s are a group of islands that create the border between Canada and the United States in northern Washington. During summers they lead adventure cruises in Alaska but in the spring and fall they like to lead trips near their home in Friday Harbor. We shared hilarious memories, including Shannon’s attempt to get me into a sea kayak. I fit, barely. As Bill described, my belly formed a perfect seal which didn’t need the kayaks skirt to keep out water. And I’m pretty sure you could hear a suction “pop” when I got out a couple hours later.
Bill and Shannon are some of the most hospitible people I’ve ever met. You know someone has the gift of hospitality when they make you feel completely comfortable in their space without effort. Within an hour on their boat you feel at home.
We felt at home in their company about 8 seconds after they came to the YS offices yesterday. We tooled around the offices (They’ve been youth workers forever and have known YS and the conventions for about two forevers.) then we headed out for an early dinner at Casa de Pico in La Mesa. It was fun to re-connect with them and linger over dinner, not wanting it to end. We caught up on life, ministry, YMX, and shared some stories. We even connected their lives to the life of a staff member at our church. (I love that small world feeling in the Christian world!) It was one of those nights that Kristen and I really needed.
We came home feeling very normal when we’ve not felt normal in a while. There are times when we feel like we’ve been in San Diego for a while and everything seems routine and as if we fit in. But the last few weeks we’ve felt very much like foreigners on a vacation that lasted too long. Tough to explain that emotion. But if you’ve ever moved and had to start over in life… I think you’ll understand. San Diego seems like home at the end of a long trip when we come home. But we have a long way to go until we can comfortbly declare “we’re from San Diego.”
Perhaps that what was so odd living in Romeo? We felt like we were “from Romeo” almost immediately and maintained that small town pride as long as we lived there.
At the end of our time with Bill and Shannon we said our goodbyes and made plans to meet up again this fall in Washington. I hope we get to spend more time with them on the Catalyst and I hope we get to see orcas this time!