This is my first blog post from St. Joe! I am here safe and sound after a busy weekend. Thanks for all your prayers as I said goodbyes in Lexington, made the 12-hour trip, and settled down this weekend.
As I mentioned in my last post, I had been stressing out a lot at the beginning of last week. God really started showing me the need to change my attitude, so the last half of the week was much better. I was able to really enjoy my time with family and friends before I left.
I spent all day Thursday packing and doing laundry – making sure everything was ready to go the next morning. Thursday night, I didn’t want to go to bed because I knew when I woke up I’d have to leave behind the people I love most.
6:45am: I said goodbye to my mom and three of my sisters: Abigail, Lydia, and Elisabeth. They were all leaving for school. It was tough to watch them leave. As I hugged my mom, we both started crying. After they all left, I kept crying. Not on purpose, but I just couldn’t help it. I think I had a lot of emotion I needed to unload that morning.
7:45am: My grandma Emma, who had been staying with us for the week, headed home to Virginia. I only see her about every ten weeks, so the goodbye wasn’t that hard for me. I was really glad that she was able to come spend my last week in Lexington with my family.
8am: Johny (my boyfriend, for those of you who don’t know him) was taking Rachel (my 16-year-old sister) to school for the day. I hugged Rachel and she started to cry. And of course, so did I. I walked her to the car and then it was time to say bye to John. That was the hardest goodbye. There are a few big reasons why leaving Johny at this particular time is going to be really hard. He hugged me tight and I cried even more. I didn’t want to let go, but eventually I knew it was time to say goodbye.
8:10am: I met my dad at the gas station and followed him to the airport in Louisville. That time alone in my car was good for me. I spent time in silence, praying, reflecting, and struggling with the goodbyes I had said. We left his car at the airport and traveled the rest of the way together.
7pm (Central Time): We had made pretty good time on the trip, and arrived in St. Joe in time to eat dinner and run a few errands before going to my new “home” around 9pm to meet my hosts.
I’m staying in a loft apartment in downtown St. Joe. It’s a really quiet, historic downtown district, and the police station is close-by. (So I am safe, family.) My hosts are Deborah and Pat Rafter. They’re incredibly nice and they make me feel right at home!
I liked this apartment building from the moment I stepped in. The old-shoe-factory-turned-living-space is just my style! There are stained concrete floors, exposed brick walls and pipes, wood rafters, and huge windows. It’s great! Here are some pictures of the apartment:
I have a nice, cozy room here, too! I brought plenty of things from home so I feel comfortable. I was able to unpack everything Saturday. My bed feels a lot like my bed at home, and I’m adjusting very quickly to the new setup! Here are some photos of my room:
Living here is great so far! I’m glad that I will feel comfortable and at home for these ten weeks.
Now that I’m officially “on my own” I have a lot of free time. I dropped my dad off at the Kansas City airport Saturday. It was surreal knowing he was the last family member I’ll see for (what feels like) a long time. I have been hanging out at the apartment, talking a lot with Deborah, and running errands.
My first day at work is tomorrow, Tuesday. We will be nailing down an official weekly schedule tomorrow afternoon. I’ll be sure to keep you all updated!
Until I post again, keep in touch!