The “moving” part of moving

Because of extra get-togethers with friends, the reality of moving, of actually packing up and pulling out and heading south is going to happen, but it’s not here yet.

It takes discipline to maintain friendships. Perhaps retirement will permit that, but we’ll have a longer road to “old” friends’ doorsteps.

Maybe the lesson we’re re-learning now is to almost ruthlessly carve out time for friends. Whether we acknowledge it or not, opportunities do run out. Longing for “one more time” may be another validation that eternity is stamped in our hearts.

Next Sunday’s “final” service is to be primarily a retirement celebration. As we sit together for that service, I suspect we'll begin realizing our Stanton ministry chapter is ending.

We’re grateful we sunk roots deep here, but as a pastor/wife, we know no parsonage is to be our final earthly house.

Among the changes ahead is my first time to “church shop.” I’ve always known who my trustworthy pastor was going to be. That will be entirely different for me. Hopefully, we’ll soon discover where our spiritual gifts are needed in our new location.

Glancing back at previous “chapters”, leaving friends we’ve shared life with is always hard, but God’s wisdom and trustworthiness will become evident as we adjust to our new surroundings.

We are blessed to live in a time where changing locations does not end friendships. We fully intend to stay connected with friends here, and we expect many of them to find our new doorstep. Emails will likely sail back and forth with regularity, though, of course, our role in these friends’ lives is changing.

As we move, hopefully our travel will be without incidents or “new lessons” about moving. I don’t need another adventure like when I did what U-Haul thought was impossible, but which became the Proverbs 19:2, “Enthusiasm is not good and impatience will get you into trouble,” visual.

I had reasoned that surely engineers designed U-Haul ramps without the awkward step up or down while carrying furniture. Paul thought it impossible to remove the ramp entirely.

Using my back, I wiggled the ramp until it released. My triumphant “I was right!” lasted until we tried to put the ramp back in place. A thing-a-ma-jiggy blocked our attempts.

I explained the predicament to U-Haul. When a U-Haul voice said, “This I have to see,” I began realizing engineers had not thought my thoughts. Eventually a man, wearied from pounding down the metal safety bar and unimpressed with my “better design” suggestions, told me, “Don’t ever do that again.”

Four years later, after the last speck of space was crammed with our belongings and we were an hour into our new chapter, I casually told Paul it had been impractical to save the large metal container holding our five-year-old wedding cake top, though it had survived two previous moves. Supposedly, there’s a tradition for a couple to eat it on their 25th anniversary. Did a wife, who couldn’t bake, before the FDA was established, start that?

Imagine my chagrin when Paul said matter-of-factly, “Well, I guess the honeymoon is over.”

In another chapter, we discovered trying to find a host’s home just north of a farm pond on a country road is impossible on a moonless midnight.

I think that’s when we first seriously said, “We could die here and nobody would care.”

That is a bit prideful, I suppose. But really, ought we not live so our lives matter to someone besides family?

Whether you’re moving or staying, choose to be neighborly enough to matter in another’s life. That’s Biblical.

Marge Warder is a reporter and columnist for the Red Oak Express. She can be contacted at

The Red Oak Express

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P.O. Box 377
Red Oak, IA 51566
Phone: 712-623-2566 Fax: 712-623-2568

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