A post from Donna – what a novelty! It’s Monday, we’ve been here since Thursday afternoon, and we’re beginning to sort things out. As Mark wrote, it was great to be greeted at the airport by familiar faces. It must be part of getting older, though, because although everything was so very familiar (down to the little things at the airport), it was more mentally jarring to have two realities so very present in my head at the same time. We had just been in Katy, TX and were so there, and to plop right back into this one as if we had never left – whoa!
It will be no surprise to those who know us well that our first meal was McDonald’s – how do you feed a lot of people fast when you’re really, really tired?! But thankfully our teammate who came up from Donetsk graciously averted McDonald’s for breakfast by practically providing some breakfast and lunch supplies for the next day.
We have since made a trip to the grocery store and will need to get our heads adjusted to the numbers we are seeing, larger both due to inflation and changes in the exchange rate. Last spring I paid $2.27/lb for ground beef, and now it’s $3.42/lb (milk is up to $5.05/gal for .05%). We had known things had become more expensive here, but it’ll be a while before I can say, ‘that’s reasonable’ or ‘that’s really expensive!’.
We did walk to the grocery store – Mark, Anna, and I – with backpacks and bags in hand. Our car was stored for the year but will need to be registered before we can use it. This means we get ourselves registered – that requires a fresh rental agreement from the landlord – then get the car registered, then get the car operationally up to speed, and voila! we can drive again. We’ll meet with the landlord tonight to pay him and get the lease process started, so the process is already moving ahead and we may have the car by the end of the month.
Poor Anna so graciously planned out a menu for the next week or so, but wasn’t sure how to start making some of those meals when the pantry was lacking so many normal things. She did see that we had eggs and had thought boiled eggs for lunch one day would work, until we couldn’t find where we’d stored the pots! Thankfully we’ve since found the pots and the sheets, as well as a couple of towels. Being the organizer that I am, I saw very clearly that this part of the leaving/returning process needed a little work!
It was really great to be in church yesterday. So many familiar faces, a great time of worship, and just reconnecting with friends. And we found out that next Sunday is the 16th anniversary of the church’s founding – what a great reminder of the work the Lord is allowing us to be part of here! I do have a grin on my face as I relate to our Texas friends that we wore jackets to church yesterday morning… It’s not hot here yet and it’s so nice!
Thank you so much to all of you who have been praying for us. We are so thankful and know your prayers are making a difference. Please continue to pray for grace as we sort out all that needs to be done in the next few weeks. Our desire to get the plaster and wallpaper in the apartment repaired and redone is a big project that we cannot tackle until we can find someone who’s able to do it. Upgrading some of the furniture in the house here will mean research – time, discernment, etc. – which all mean grace. Waiting for the various players in the car scenario (the landlord just called and we’ll start the lease process next Monday) will mean time and patience, especially as we try to manage on the grocery front.
I’m thinking this may come across as disjointed and perhaps, negative. That’s certainly not my desire! Thank you for your great patience as we try to communicate with you!