25 Aug
This word is on the brain.  Home.
According to my handy dandy dictionary [yeah.  I’m going to the dictionary.  *cliche*], a home is the place where one lives permanently.  I’m going to have to disagree, mr. dictionary man.  [I’m picking a fight so I’ll make the dictionary male.]  I’ve felt lately like I have more than just one home.  It’s not about permanent residence but about a lot more.
I spent last night in Dawson and when I return to this small southwestern Minnesota town, it feels like I’m going home.  The downtown is familiar, the air is sweet, and it’s where my Grace family lives.  It took me a long while into my year-long internship in this town to say that it ever felt like home, but now, even after I’ve been gone for almost exactly one calendar year, it still feels like going home.  
I arrived and promptly went to the home of my friend, C., to check in with him and his family which included a new addition of baby brother.  I drove up to the house, C. came running over, said, “Hi Lindsay!” and promptly ran past me and jumped into the driver seat of the car.  For the rest of my visit, that’s where he and his sister sat, pressing buttons, wearing my sunglasses and enjoying Sprocket.  It was fine by me because then I could hold the new baby, sweet as sweet can be.  I even got to feed him a bottle.  I think I want one some day.
From there, I picked up Mr. Organist and we went off to the Taste of Grace, an annual fundraiser supper at Grace.  I was wonderfully greeted and hugged by many congregation members.  [Others just kinda looked at me, realizing I was an anachronism.]  I loved it.  Harry, the member who consistently called me Sweet Pea, found me and used the nickname more than once.  [Only he can pull it off; I think I’d punch anyone else who tried such a name so get no ideas.]  I loved the catch-up conversations and the laughs.  I love the people of Grace.
I had a wonderful time with many former coworkers – a party that lasted until 2am and a lunch the next day thrown on top like the quintessential cherry.  It was the perfect night to sit outside and be like we used to be.  I think the staff agrees with me when I say we were tight-knit; I consider them great friends and I miss not being with them every day.  We talked about decorative grasses and extensively about oatmeal. [yeah. we’re that cool.]  The following day I had awesome conversation and lunch with Lori, the interim pastor I worked with upon first arriving in Dawson.  She has become a great mentor to me and it had been a year since we had seen each other – a year!  Certainly too long and not to be so long in the future, as plans will hopefully work to cross paths in Austin.
Now tonight, continuing the nomadic lifestyle that is my August, I stay in Stillwater with my Stillwater family.  Mark and Karen have welcomed me into their house so many times before; I even know where the spare key is.  [No, I will not tell you.]  It’s another place to me that feels like a home.  I feel comfortable, welcomed and always loved when I step inside these doors.  I feel known.  It’s a safe place of friends and great conversation.  
While my driver’s license currently reads with an Edgerton address as my permanent residence, that soon will change too.  Minnesota plates will be attached to Sprocket and my license will hold an Austin address.  A parsonage – to which I move in just over a week – will become yet another home to me.  The Edgerton home fits the dictionary definition; it is certainly a place that is a home and always will be.  But I think there’s more to home than the dictionary tells us.  It’s a place to feel loved, welcomed, and appreciated.  A place with friends and family, and a place you love to gather, to stay, and to visit.  Edgerton, Dawson, Mark and Karen’s house, and more to come – I’m blessed with many homes.  Incredibly blessed.

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