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Packing Obsessions


in Chelmsford ParkEnjoying the beautiful weather in Chelmsford, Essex

Packing—ah yes. I first began packing at the tender age of five when I moved for the first time. Since then I’ve packed numerous times: for trips, for moves, from dorm room to dorm room, across cities, countries and continents. Hopefully I’m pretty adept at it by now. I think I’m a little obsessed with it as well. John doesn’t do the packing. I don’t know if I pack right, but I do know that I don’t approve of the way he does it. Stuff thrown loosely in a box doesn’t cut it for me; I want to have somewhat of an idea where to find an item once it’s packed. So, when it comes to moving or travelling, I’m the packer. His role is organizer (i.e. plane ticket purchasing and such details).

Aria with Boppa and GrandmaAria with Grandma Beth and Boppa in Green Park, London

Our last sleep in England was to be brief as we had to leave for the airport at 2:30 a.m. and come 11:00 p.m. John suggested that I just throw the rest of the stuff in plastic bags and stuff them in. Of course, I couldn’t do that so I spent the next hour packing everything in their places while my daughter and husband slept deeply. Finally satisfied, I fell exhausted but peaceful into bed past midnight. (I might add that the alarm I set to go off for just past 2 a.m. was subconciously turned off by me through my dreams and I woke at 2:33 a.m. with a start to find the alarm clock in my hand and our ride waiting outside!)
When I move into a place that I am not going to be living at for so long (such as here), I am tempted to leave some things packed. I feel much more confident knowing that my belongings are all crammed into some suitcase and not sprawled about everywhere. At the same time, there is that awful feeling of living out of a suitcase and when I stay somewhere with empty drawers, I tend to utilize them. I suppose this too, must have balance.

The Clancys and HillsEnjoying a day with our college friends, the Hills, who just happened to be passing through

England was delightful! Spring was everywhere wrapped into cool breezes, rainy days, pleasantly warm sunny days, flowers, and the scent of freshly cut grass. No wonder it’s the season of love! Aria is no longer frightened of the grass and enjoyed pulling at the green strands as she sat in it. She also spent a bit of time in the sand by the English Channel, which she also enjoyed. I took every opportunity available to walk, whether the sun was shining or the drizzling rain was falling. I wore the blossoms of trees in my hair. I kissed my husband in the park in public!;-)
It was such a joy to meet with my family again after so many moons. My brother came from Alberta, his girlfriend, Leilani, came from Oregon, my parents came just newly returned to Canada from Mexico, and we were all thrilled to meet Nathaniel, Jessica’s Australian-born love. I was so pleased that Aria could spend time with my family, and her grandparents especially. My dad was so enamoured with her!:-) She warmed up to them very quickly as well for which I was thankful. She enjoyed other social outlets as well. The people we were staying with had a dear little dog called Gem and Aria took to her right away and didn’t care about anyone else when Gem was around. They got on pretty well and even played together. Aria also enjoyed the two Sundays in the nursery as she loves other kids and doesn’t have a whole lot of interaction with them here in India.

The weddingNathaniel and Jessica with the three bridesmaids, Rachel, Vicki, and Jyoti

The wedding was lovely and it was so wonderful that we all could be there. Nathaniel reminds me a lot of my dad in many ways. I think they get on pretty well (my dad and him). Jessica was the most peaceful, un-stressed bride I’ve had the pleasure of sharing the day with. She and Nathaniel are so in love, gazing at each other adoringly. It feels so normal to me that Jessica is now a married woman.
The family we stayed with were overflowing with hospitality–I felt sad to leave them. We were so blessed by our time with them and I found that I shared many of the same passions with Alison, our hostess—especially baking treats and recycling!
We ventured on a few little day trips: visiting my dad’s godmother who lives in a dear English cottage and turns 90 this year, seeing London’s splendours, exploring for castles, discovering ancient churches of silent stone, laughing at some absurdly crooked old houses, breathing in salty sea air, enjoying tea with my mum and Aria in the little two-story teahouse Jessica used to work in, and savouring the bright green fields.

However, with all of the different delights, what really meant the most to me was the rich fellowship we shared with people: my own family, the church family in Chelmsford, a day with Gavin, Tara, and Eden (college friends passing through London), and the family who hosted us. I realize that here in India I’m homesick for fellowship. The human heart simply yearns and aches for it, doesn’t it? Please pray for God’s grace for me as I return to somewhat isolating conditions. His grace is enough, isn’t it?

8 Responses to “Packing Obsessions”

  1. Jayne Gilge
    May 22nd, 2006 01:21

    My husband Dean met you and your husband at the grocery store the other night. We leave tomorrow for a quick trip home. Dean will be back to India June 8 and I will be back June 23. I am looking forward to meeting you. We enjoyed reading your web site and feel like we know so much about you. We have a xanga site if you want to see what we have been up to while we are here. Last fall when we were here 3 months I had so many amazing opportunies to see what God was doing in India. We arrived back in India March27 and I have had 2 months of quiet solitude with the Lord while Dean is working, I have enjoyed the isolation but realize I can’t spend 2 years sitting in my AC bedroom. We have wanted to stop in at CBN but never took the time we have a friend from the states Donna Testa who has done some work with CBN and she encouraged us to meet the people there. We have enjoyed going to New Life Assembly. When we were here last fall we were only in Telegue churches though we enjoyed that it is good to go to church where they speak english.
    to log into our xanga the name is ogemanews and the password is india. Once in that site click on subscriptions IndiaGen I am sure you will recognize many of the sights. God Bless looking forward to meeing you. Jayne

  2. Rachel
    May 22nd, 2006 06:07

    Dear Jayne,

    Thank you so much for reading and responding. I too am looking forward to meeting you after you return from the U.S.– how nice that you live so near. God responds to our every need, doesn’t he? I’m looking forward to exploring your site.

    Sincerely, Rachel

  3. carrien
    May 24th, 2006 15:56

    I am the exact same when it comes to packing. I pray you will be sustained while you are away from many of your core relationships and that you make new friends.

  4. Rachel
    May 24th, 2006 23:30

    Thank you… I’m living off prayers like those right now!

  5. devon
    May 31st, 2006 23:41

    I did’nt realize i could leave a comment til i just read the fine print, finally! rachel you are way too amazing and now i kick myself for not getting to know you when you were here. i hope we get another chance one day. I love reading your packing fanatics and about every bit of England and times with your family. I just love you and i so want to talk to you one of these days and really catch up on everything. tell John hi for me. I’ll be looking forward to all your future posts and also to sending you comments.

  6. Rachel
    June 1st, 2006 00:27

    Those San Francisco days were crazy times— some of the busiest (I think) of my life. But it was so great to get to know all of you a bit though we left just as I was really beginning to build friendships. But I’m so thankful to have met you, Rae, Renee, Candace and all the other people who we lived with! Yeah, hopefully we’ll see you all again before the next millenium!;-)

  7. Amory
    June 13th, 2006 19:56

    That’s what reading about your life does, it makes me smile.
    Lots of love to you guys!

  8. Rachel
    June 13th, 2006 22:29

    That made ME smile–I’m glad you enjoy reading about our lives.:-)

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