This was Saturday a year ago

This day a year ago was the Saturday before we left. Our family had been with us a lot during the week before, emptying the house, having the estate sale at the gym, doing last-minute projects on the house in preparation for sale.

It was an exhausting week. We were giving so many farewells and shedding so many tears and making good memories.

Lois was a real heroine those several days of the sale the weekend before. It was a relief to have her getting our things sold off for us. I think it would have been harder on us to have witnessed people rifling through all our things, our memories and gifts, things touched with love. Lois saved us from that.

Bradley’s were a tremendous help over the sale, too. They helped get a lot of the stuff moved out of the house and to clean up around the place and keep us fed.

So the last more than a week we lived with a mostly empty house. We had our clothes in suitcases, ready for Peru, but we were still needing to get dressed daily.

The church family was such a support over those last days. People went out of their way to make sure we had what we needed. Mark and Arline kept a bed and breakfast going at the church for our visitors.

And of course, Andrew’s family poured hours into helping us get ready. Huh. Does that mean they were the most eager to see us leave?

I still chuckle over our freshly painted sidewalk and steps. I hadn’t even realized they needed painted.

At lunch on that Saturday, we said farewell to my oldest brother’s family. They were to be the last of my family that planned to see us off. They were a huge help in getting the house detail-cleaned and ready for market.

Saturday evening some dear friends from Christian Light came up to feed our children sugar while we went out for ice cream with Andrew and Lauretta.

I remember lying in bed that night and crying, knowing the next day would be our final service with our church family before we left for Peru.

It was one of the more emotionally wrought weeks in my memory. Joy and sorrow all wrapped up together, every moment poignant. Leaving is tough stuff.

Today, we decided to all ride into Izcuchaca. Steph needed a few things from town, and the children thought it would be fun to have a ride in the truck. Besides the birthday party, this was the first they’d been off the farm since the end of February. They were thrilled to see town again.

Rafael said his truck is broken down, and he needs a ride into Cusco tomorrow. We’ve talked about how this vehicle can hopefully be a blessing to our friends and neighbors. It will be interesting to see what God chooses to do with it.

Before doing chores, we needed to mix feed. Dane put in alfalfa concentrate, Abbey put in oat grain, Steph put in barley, and I handled wheat and corn. We mixed up a tub that should last a few weeks, but we barely made a dent in our big sacks. That feels good.

I also strained the apple cider vinegar to put into the cupboard. It’s been brewing for three weeks. It needs to rest in the cupboard for a few more weeks. I immediately started another batch. We’ll use it for our animals and possibly for ourselves, depending on the flavor.

In the back seat of the truck