Tomorrow (today if I am late getting this posted) we will be on the road again, this time headed to the Caribbean where we will be for at least the next two years; beyond that we don’t know. My teaching contract at Cayman International School is for two years. If I am offered a renewal, chances are good that I would take it. We are itinerant, but transitions are always difficult, and we don’t like to move more than we have to. Besides, I have found that it is easy to get lost in the details of moving and lose track of what is really important.
What is really important to us is our family and the those friends who have shown us by their care and faithfulness over the years that they are truly our friends. We count ourselves fortunate to have as many as we do, and this trip to Ontario has been all about renewing and restoring those family and friendship connections. We started off this visit to Ontario in the best way possible, by greeting our daughter, Liz and her husband and two year old son at the London, Canada airport. Despite the lateness of the hour, little Russ was as friendly and game as he could be, and apparently had been a little trooper on the plane. We would have been happy just to let Liz and Greg have some time together after their long flight from Calgary, but they were up for a walk through Victoria Park and eating a mountain of poutine before hitting the sack.
On the Saturday we went to our niece Megan’s wedding – which was absolutely beautiful – and met up with several members of Pam’s family, some of whom have also married during the time we have been in Malaysia. It was great to hear brothers Ben and Joe thank their sister Megan for her godly influence in their lives. It was another late night for Liz and co, who then had to catch an early morning flight back to Calgary while we went to church to meet several friends who greeted us with love and warmth and offers of lunch and coffee. We accepted as many offers as we could pack in.
We also took in a few local events, such as the Home County Folk Festival, now in its fortieth year, and a nostalgic visit to St. Thomas. We limited most of our visiting to the London area, but we did get in a great visit with missionary friends and colleagues from Asia, Beth and Stephen Laur in Cambridge, and a whirlwind visit with my family in Toronto.
After a few days we settled into a routine of doing course work for our Master’s in the morning at the Byron Public Library, the afternoons doing banking, storage, and other maintenance chores, and then visiting in the evening. This evening as I write this has been the first we have been alone the entire month! We are very grateful for our son’s foresight in providing a vehicle – an Audi A4, no less! – for all this driving. It was an absolute joy, and we have kept the good vibe going by gifting it to Pam’s younger brother who is feeling a little pinched with three of his children’s weddings in three years!
The end of all of this visiting has been a deep appreciation and gratitude for all the people who have affected our lives for the better. We didn’t see everyone we would have like to see on this trip home, but those we did see were so very encouraging and supportive that it has done our heart a great deal of good to be here. If you are reading this post and you were one of those, thank you. Eight years is a long time to be on the other side of the planet. We are looking forward to being a little closer in the future and being able to share with you the journeys that we are all taking.
Our journey is taking us to the Caribbean next. We are most serious in suggesting that perhaps the next visit we have would be in our new place in Snug Harbour, Grand Cayman Island. We have a guest bedroom and it is a ten-minute walk to one of the best beaches in the world. We won’t even charge you for the room!