We plan to pull away from our house in about eighteen hours. I would say we are about 3/4 packed at this point, with nearly everything else staged and ready to be shoved in bags at the last moment. The house is a wreck, but it’ll keep.
We aren’t really bringing that much (the hideous scooter stays), even though three weeks is a pretty long trip for us. Everything has been logistically analyzed to death, what with having to be able to carry everything we’re bringing, and take it on a plane, which we’ve not done in a while. But some of the things we’re bringing are just a little different from our usual trip. We have a whole carryon suitcase full of warm weather clothing that we won’t wear onto the plane in Ottawa, but will very much want to wear off the plane in Iqaluit. We have half a suitcase of snacks that we got on the super-cheap here, so we don’t have to pay for them there, given the expensive combination of a munchy pregnant lady and a small toddler who requires five meals a day.
Of course, the travel knitting has been thoroughly thought through. All big-ish projects on small needles. Evenstar, one of the last pairs of Knitting on the Road socks, and a couple baby things I agreed to finish on commission for someone else. (I hope it isn’t terribly bad form to take them on an epic journey to another country. I figure it’s the most effective way to get them done before I have my own new baby to worry about.)
You’d think we’d have enough woolies around the house to protect us in even the coldest climate, but I’ve been feverishly cranking out a couple last minute items.
Some luxury leftovers destined to become wristies for N and/or myself, in the next few hours.
A small repair job on Jared’s favorite sweater, which has languished in the repair bin for at least a year.
And a little toque (or so they call a beanie in Canada. Pronounced “touk,” rhymes with “spook,” incidentally a homonym with how Peregrin Took’s last name is meant to be said). It’s made of the last of some hand-dyed 100% cashmere I splurged on years ago, which had already become two adult hats, and I couldn’t bear to part with the last bit of it without good reason. N’s best winter hat this year is bulky but hole-y, so it needs a liner.
I showed it to her after I cast off, and she popped it right on her head, ends and all. “Mama knitting! New hat!” Quite disgruntled at having to take it off for naptime. I’ll call that a win.
There are a bundle of tiny things left to do (one of them making sure I can blog through Jared’s chromebook, hence this post), but they are all listed and prioritized and there’s not much point in stressing about them. All this minute detailing is probably just the efforts of a planner, dealing with the fact that when we get up to Iqaluit, there is no plan. We are putting ourselves in the hands of our guests, prepared to follow their guidance, and to take our own initiative, as necessary. Not that we know nothing – we’ve learned a bit about Iqaluit, some ministries we’ll get to visit and serve, and some sampling of the local color we’ll get to explore. But there’s no set schedule. We’ve learned from prior trips to foreign soil that this is absolutely the best way to go, and we have every reason to trust that we will be taken care of, and we won’t be bored. But I won’t pretend it’s not slightly unnerving. So I cope with a few lists.
All that said, we are very excited. I don’t think we’ve gone somewhere for the express purpose of finding out if it should be our new home since we came up to Ambridge to find an apartment four and a half years ago. This is a titch more of a jump, and we have a slightly longer term in mind. And we’re not just talking about “can we cope with the weather” – we’re trying to answer questions like, is this where God wants us to serve him next? Is this the context in which we’ll finally take the training wheels off and start working full-time for God’s church? Are these the people we are called to love, to be loved by, to be our neighbors?
All we can do is cling to Jesus – keeping our nose in the grounding words of Scripture, ordering our lives around prayer, and trying to stay as sane and healthy as we can so that we can be as open as we can to God’s way of arranging things, one day at a time. Beyond that, there’s really no pressure. Everything else is on Him.
Not really different from the rest of our lives. Just this time, we’ll be on the frozen tundra.
See you on the flip side.