the pictures are hung on the walls, the dishes are stacked in the cabinets, the backyard is littered with shovels and water guns, and daffodils from easter dinner with the bucks still reside in vases around the living room and kitchen. a rhythm, faint but audible, has begun to emerge in the months since moving to southern california. the boys run through the courtyard and into the library every wednesday, they have items to return, mostly tom n' jerry dvds and books about reptiles and insects, in their arms and they go without hesitation to the return slot and slide them down the ramp; they know the names of roads around here, favorite places to eat (habit, chic-fil-a, the natural cafe), and that it's always best to check the weather and wind down at the beach before going. we've found a church, a dentist, a mechanic; visited the school conrad will be attending next year; signed up for swim lessons at the nearby calabasas swim and tennis center for next month, and have weekly tot soccer obligations. i made cookies tonight, some for us, some for our friends, and some for our neighbors. the settling in has successfully commenced.
of course, the trajectory from relocation to acclimatization hasn't been a total picnic. the first few weeks in our place were a comical tragedy: the place was left in such a state of filth that we had to spend the first day and a half here cleaning, then once unpacked we started to see numerous problems and then the heater broke, the tub busted a hole, the disposal stopped working, there was a leak from our hot water tank going under our room, the carpet had to be replaced because of mold in it, and so on and so forth. still it was only temporary and more importantly God has been showing his goodness and His provision for us through it all. the manna is enough.
jon is enjoying his job. he works right down the rode from where we live, so close that most days he walks home, crossing the golf course behind our house before he swings through those rusty gates. as to how he is liking it here, well... he is for sure doing better than i thought he might. it's not oregon, and he brings that to my attention quite frequently; none the less, to the degree i know he misses oregon, overall he is coping well, even embracing what southern california has to offer-at times. we've tried to seek out a fishing hole suitable for him and conrad to no avail. the trails, while there are many and many felicitous for a good day hike, they don't really compare to the enchanting trails through the wilderness of oregon. however, what we do have is southern california beaches and the pacific ocean lapping up onto it. i'm hoping to put conrad in surf camp this summer, take paddle boarding lessons myself, and score some ocean fishing gear at a yard sale this spring for the boys. when in rome, do as the romans do.
this move is so different from the move jon and i did some six and a half years ago to oregon. foremost, we're in a healthier place in life: relationship sound, with children, a steady job, and community. but the biggest difference, other than the copious amount of sunshine i thank God for every day, is the fact that we knew this is what He wanted for us, and we were in a place in our lives to hear it and to obey it. to know your where He wants you makes all the problems that pop up, the longing for something familiar, and the missing of dear ones not just bearable but happily bearable. southern california doesn't make it to hard to happily bear it either.