So much has happened around the Reid house in recent months. This time next week Will and I will be en route to Johannesburg, South Africa, where we will then fly to Zambia for a visit to Victoria Falls. Last year we were able to do a safari prior to our mission trip, and this year we chose to take the trip to Victoria Falls. We are really excited about getting to visit this part of Africa. Victoria Falls is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the world, and I have heard it is just breathtaking.
On July 22, we will meet up with the rest of our team back in Johannesburg and begin the journey to Malawi. We will fly to Lilongwe, which is the capitol, and then make the beautiful drive up to Chitipa. This year’s trip includes one other friend from Greenville and eight folks from Peachtree Presbyterian Church in Atlanta. More on PPC later. We will be holding another youth camp for about 330 students from all over the district. I’m excited about getting to see familiar faces, especially the girls who were in my small group last year.
I cannot wait to see my adopted son Fidelis. It has been a whole year, and though we are able to email and Facebook message, it just isn’t the same as seeing him face to face. His smile lights up a room, and I have missed it and him so much!
After camp is over, the team will head to Lake Malawi for a day of rest and respite before getting back on that big Delta jet that will fly us home. The flight is like 18 hours long, so I’ve loaded my iPad with books and episodes of The Good Wife. I’m bringing two knitting projects and Will and I are listening to an audio book. I’m sure the time will just fly by, right?
The other big thing that’s happening while we’re gone is that our youngest daughter is moving to Atlanta. She has served First Presbyterian Church here in Greenville as the Interim Contemporary Worship Director for the last 11 months. It’s been a great experience for her and the people and staff have loved her well. This was her first job out of college, and it was a great experience for her personally and professionally. This Sunday will be the last time she leads worship at First Pres, and we will be there . And then we’ll head to the airport.
The next morning, Frances will head to Atlanta, move into her apartment, and start her life as a grown up. All while Will and I are in Africa. She has accepted a job as a Worship Producer at Peachtree Presbyterian Church. Yep, the same church we’re going to Africa with on this mission trip. It’s ironic and lovely at the same time that our girl is going to work at Peachtree, a church we feel connection with through this Malawi trip and our dear friends Jay and Rebecca Madden, who are both on staff there. If we have to lose her to Atlanta, we’re delighted she’s going to Peachtree. I’m having a hard time knowing that she is making this move without us. There’s something that feels wrong about that, but who knew the timing would work out this way. I would love to be able to go with her, help her get moved in, set up her apartment, and make the requisite run to Target. It feels weird that she’s making this move all by herself. But she’s got a safe place to stay, friends to help, and people there who already love her. This mom has to let this one go. She isn’t this little one any more.
We will return home in August to an honestly empty nest. After 30 years together, we will live in this big old house by ourselves. We’ll have two dogs, two cats, two cars, four guestrooms and a whole lot of lonely. Come see us in August! There’ll be plenty of room.