Back in the "dirty Jerz," as I've heard some of my classmates refer to it. They aren't kidding either. After spending my summer in the Pacific Northwest, with the mountains and the ocean and the mild weather, this place feels dirty and crowded. It doesn't help that it's hot and humid and the thought of walking outside makes me a little nauseous...
Anyway, done complaining. My last few days at FPC Salem were busy, but great. It seemed like everyone suddenly realized I was leaving and that they would have liked to get to know me better, so I got about eight invitations to lunch or dinner. No complaints from me. Eating alone was getting old, anyway. Given a couple more weeks, I would have been attached to the point of tears. As it was, I didn't cry, but I sure wanted to.
Jarrod, the youth pastor, is getting married in September to Megan. Megan and I became fast friends and in the past few weeks especially formed this unit in which we laughed constantly about things a sixth grader might talk about. It was wonderful and fun and I already miss her. It reminded me of the way my friendships with Laura and Rebecca formed when we first started at Houghton. There was nothing to force, we just enjoyed each other's company.
This past Sunday was a little overwhelming as dozens of people stopped me to wish me well and ask what my future plans were. Everyone was kind and gracious and made me feel like my time there had actually meant something to them. If any of you need to do an internship at a church and think you might like Oregon, get in contact with First Presbyterian Church of Salem...stellar group of people.
Leaving wasn't fun, but it wasn't awful either. My flight didn't leave until 12:30 a.m. on Wednesday, so I spent several hours waiting at the airport after Audrey, the CE director, dropped me off. Other than a small boy watching Charlotte's Web at top volume in the waiting area, it was a pleasant time.
The flights themselves were not very restful. I understand why the cram airplanes full now, but that doesn't mean I like it. Usually I can fall asleep on any flight, but I don't think I got more than half an hour while I was in the air. I almost missed my connection because fog was delaying arrivals but not departures.
I rode the train into Philadelphia, where Geila picked me up after she was done with her CPE meeting. Then I was finally introduced to the hostel in Wissahickon Valley Park, where Geila has often found retreat. It was lovely to transition back to the east coast there rather than in a lonely, half-unpacked dorm room. After not having slept for nearly fifty hours, I finally nodded off while watching Aladdin. (tee hee)
Now I'm back. My room is bare... Better get started.