It’s almost a year since I last drove a car . . . it was a Dodge station wagon on steroids, or a sort of shrunken SUV, and ideal for what we were doing those last days: trying to donate the desk to Bibles for Missions Thrift Store, hauling books to be sold, etc. I remember filling it up with gas at the gas station and throwing away my sun glasses before driving the last bit.
Don’t drive, don’t need them.
Threw away an awful lot of stuff besides the sun glasses, but they were kind of the last thing to go. There is a landfill in Minnesota with all my files, the thrift stores of the area surely have not finished selling all our goods, and elsewhere in the USA—I’m thinking Granite Falls, MN and Dallas, TX—our former stuff is carrying on its existence. Our former stuff: it reminds me that we had a lot of towels.
And you know, of all life’s comforts, it seems the cloth ones are the ones I value most. I had a lot of cardigans, we had a lot of blankets, and we had some fine, good table cloths. Ten years of Minnesota comfortable were good years—not to mention all the stuff you get as a result of having a wedding.
The change was radical, but the change was good, and we are actually getting comfortable once again.
Soon the books will come. I am extremely grateful to the friend who decided to store for me 300 of the cream of all my old crop of books. I was hesitant to ask anybody to volunteer to help me out, as one is taught that people say a lot of generous things but very seldom mean them, and so much less does one ask for them. But probably thinking it was a chance to rescue me from my own folly, the old girl volunteered herself, and how glad I am for it.
Tomorrow she should arrive, with Charles Williams, C.S. Lewis and the remaining 170 lbs. A good bit of my books, if not the final settlement.
We were walking around talking about it, the wife and I. How things have changed in a year, how there is very little to regret. How easy it was to leave Minnesota.
Why was it easy to leave Minnesota? It was easy not because it was an awful place. Minnesota is an awfully nice place and I love Minneapolis a lot as well as Duluth (Duluth! Duluth of the Unexamined Life!). But it was easy because the ten years there were a completed phase of our life. The training was over, the fellowship of Gravitas had broken and was breaking, and we were eager for another place. I know that what my soul craved in the scant rain of Minnesota Bogota has in true and real proportions. Here I have been longing ever since I left this country when I was twelve for steady rain for days and days—which sometimes we had, especially in Ohio, but not on the same basis we have here. And what else?
And what else indeed. I just went to buy an English teaching book and came away realizing I understand that vaina too. Pre-Intermediate? As long as the book has three or four lessons on the Present Perfect, it’s pre-intermediate. Discount? I begged like a Colombian: till I was ashamed of myself. And walking home it was hard to imagine living anywhere else.
So here we are, and almost one year, and our first visitor. And I’m paying for the visit. That seems the only drawback in all this. Why don’t people want to come and see Colombia, eh? Well, the good part is that the longer you wait, the better we’ll be at showing you around. We are saving for a trip back: at this rate in seven years. But I hope you’re saving for a trip out. It’s nice here.