After receiving almost 2 feet of snow in less than a week, I feel confident in saying we have a lot of snow. One of our numerous piles is taller than Isaac. Or it was - things are melting quickly now, and I can already see a few inches of grass along the sidewalks. With all the snow came the usual snow days and delayed openings, which is to say we are still waiting for a full week of school. Not that I mind having Anna and Isaac (and occasionally, Jon) home. Jon jokes that it's a sign I should be homeschooling. Until he sees me "help" Anna with her homework, and then thinks maybe not.
Despite all the white stuff, the roads were surprisingly clear when we left to visit Jon's sister and her family this weekend. Much had melted, and I guess people were still digging themselves out in most areas. After debating whether or not to travel at all, we managed to shave 45 minutes off our long drive. Hurrah! We had a refreshing weekend with family, and it was a pleasure to see the kids together. This chaos of cousins made the most of their time, so much so that I barely saw my children. A good break for everyone, I think. Anna does girly things with our niece, Minecraft with her oldest cousin, media with the other, and mayhem with everyone. Isaac specializes in mayhem, peppered with a bit of media. Volumes and treats were up, sleeping and order were down, fun was had by all. Except the cats, possibly.
Meanwhile, Jon and I benefited from real, adult conversation. And by "real" I mean lacking in superficial small talk. We commiserated on the west-to-east conversion, the plethora of snow days, and the challenges of moving in general. It was nice to talk with people that have similar experiences, and simply to talk with other adults.
It was also a good opportunity to talk out our current church situation, and get some different perspectives. In brief, after a lot of prayer and deliberation, we have elected to seek out a new church. The one we've attended since arriving has great teaching and Christian education, but it has been hard to get to know people. Such difficulties aren't unique to this church, of course. Any such institution lacking an explicit mechanism for incorporating new members will present integration challenges. The simple fact, pointed out by many who give thought to such matters, is that individuals have a finite number of meaningful social connections that they can maintain. When one has lived in an area for awhile it's likely that those connections are filled. Some churches are good at connecting people who are new to an area or a community, while some are better at supporting the people they already have. A church that fits the latter profile won't grow, but maybe that's okay. A single church can't be everything to everyone.
And so, we are searching for a church home. My hope is that we haven't completely exchanged good teaching/education for community, but after investigating and visiting a few churches it may be that we have. I hope we can find a congregation in the vicinity that balances these things. I think that would go a long way to helping me feel settled here.