As you can tell, it has been a while since anything was written here. That’s because my last post, written in Texas, came before we loaded up our belongings and headed to Pennsylvania. We made a relatively quick trip, considering the distance, spending two nights on the road, in Crowley, Louisiana and in Cleveland, Tennessee before arriving in the Pittsburgh area on the evening of July 31. On Sunday afternoon, the truck with our belongings arrived and we unloaded. The process of unpacking and starting a new job has taken up most of our time since then. It’s been an exhausting, but exhiliarating experience. We are tired, but excited.
We haven’t had a lot of time to explore our new environment. We have enjoyed the change of climate, and the comments of people who live here about how hot and humid it has been. For this part of the country, perhaps. For a couple of people who have lived on the Gulf coast for more than 20 years, not so much. Hearing the AC kick off at dusk, and only run for a few minutes during most of the night is a different experience, as unusual for us as going outside in the evening and not being hit in the face by sweltering humidity. The hardest place to find a table at a restaurant here in the evening is in the outdoor dining area.
We’re also getting used to living vertically instead of horizontally. In Texas, we had a single story house built on a slab. In Pennsylvania, we have a ground floor kitchen, dining room and bath, two bedrooms and a bath upstairs, and a den and laundry room in the basement. The stairs are obviously good for us, but going up and down takes some getting used to.
Some things haven’t changed much. In Houston, with the Astros fifteen games out of contention, attention was turning to football season and the sports talk there was whether or not the Texans might have a shot at making the playoffs. In Pittsburgh, Pirate fans are on the verge of anticipating an eighteenth losing season, and the sports talk has long since turned to the Steelers, and the possibilities that Pitt might win the Big East.
Tomorrow, Saturday, we are planning to enjoy some local culture. A co-worker brought me a big bag of corn this morning, waiting to be shucked, buttered, salted and eaten on the cob. Saturday will include a visit to the local farmer’s market and some of the local vegetable and produce stands. It’s that time of year and they are loaded, and on the way to work each day, I pass six or seven of them.
Our church participation may also be making a change. The options for being part of an SBC-affiliated church here are extremely limited. There are just three in our county, within reasonable driving distance, just two. There are several conservative, evangelical congregations in our community, including some Christian and Missionary Alliance churches that we plan to visit. And we are looking forward to serving in a completely volunteer capacity, using our gifts but not being on the church staff.
Obviously, those kinds of life changes will bring blog changes, too. Southern Baptist and Texas Baptist life were once frequent topics here, and I know some of you visited the blog because of that. I still have opinions about some of those things, though no longer in Texas, still feel somewhat qualified to comment on Southern Baptist life. But I hope the changes here won’t cause you to lose interest. Follow my journey. It might be fun.
From “Deep in the heart” of Pennsylvania…