One of my bosses at the mission center reminded me on Wednesday that I’d need to spend some significant time saying goodbye before going overseas. I chuckled, because I’ll only be gone for two years, and because goodbying is an old, old habit.
The soonest series of small goodbyes comes this next week as I leave Alachua County and move down to North Fort Myers. I’ll be staying the summer with my folks at ECHO, which is a beautiful place and you should come visit.
Since January, I’ve been on the ancestral farm near LaCrosse, FL just north of Gainesville. It’s been lovely to be there for a season; to spend time with the grandparents and simply to be in Florida’s beautiful countryside. Earlier this afternoon I walked to the creek and back; a walk that ended up being a small farewell.
I say so because the critters all came out to make their goodbyes. There was a family of deer playing in the lane by the old Hargrave house; a gigantic old hoot-owl perched in the oak tree over the pumphouse; and even a four-foot rattlesnake sliding into the thicket by the lumber shed.
We’d occasionally visit the States when I was a kid, and folks would ask me about all the wild-ness of Africa: how I coped with the dangerous wild animals. This always seemed amusing– right here in Florida we’ve got more poisonous snakes, gators, and other dangerous critters than I’ve ever seen overseas. And Floridians, in general, cope just fine.