Saturday, October 24, 2009

Thrift stores, pizza and Henry David Thoreau

Settled into SK's house in Spokane for the next few days.  SK lives with four other girls in a very nicely kept home near her campus.  They call this house "The Infirmary" because they've all dealt with health issues, either acute or chronic.  Beve and I are bunking in SK's basement room on the hide-a-bed mattress which she and I drug down from the living room.  It came from the plaid couch that once lived in our living room, then was shipped off with E when she moved across the state.  In fact, SK has much of E's furniture and kitchen ware.  Now that E's living with the parental units, she doesn't need her glasses, a few pans and random mugs.  It's interesting to see all these things continually used.  Makes me feel like we're helping the planet, keeping things out of landfills, and our basement!

We're here with several other parents of the girls in this house. We (meaning the parents) seem to have done a lot of shopping for our daughters.  Not surprisingly, we found every thrift store in Spokane this afternoon.  SK's room, while very nicely decorated and clean, is definitely a basement, complete with styrofoam ceiling only covering part of it, cement walls and floor as well as exposed duct work!  And merely one tiny rod for a 'closet'.  Considering we brought ALL of SK's dresses over (she claims she needs them for costumes for the theatre department, but who really knows?), we had to find a free-standing clothing rack.  However, thrift stores are NOT the places to look for such things.  We did, on the other hand, find several buys we couldn't possibly live without!  A better frying pan, since Beve made breakfast for everyone this morning and was HORRIFIED by the quality of cookware.  A side note: the roommates and mom were amazed and appreciative that Beve went off to Safeway before 8 AM, then cooked for everyone.  "Including me?" the girls kept asking.  SK and I reassured him that of course he was cooking for everyone.  It's how he does things.  My servant-hearted Beve.  We also found glass containers for flour and sugar, a few really cool glasses, and (for us!) a key holder, which Beve has been looking for for monthes!

This is exactly Beve's kind of day. The hunt for specific things, several great bargains, and time with his little Bug (SK). Beve's passionate, relentless search for bargains has always reminded me of this Henry David Thoreau quote:
"I long ago lost a hound, a bay horse, and a turtledove and am still on their trail.  Many are the travelers I have spoken concerning them, describing their tracks and what calls they answered to.  I have met one or two who have heard the hound and the tramp of the horse, and even seen the turtledove disappear behind a cloud, and they seemed as anxious to recover them as if if they had lost them themselves."

This is the vigor with which Beve peruses the shelves and racks at Thrift stores or the offerings on Craigslist.  As anxious to find bargains as if those things were his to begin with. I tease him that he finds things he didn't know he was missing, but has clearly been searching for his whole life.

But it's also true that we look for connections this way, with passion, vigor, valuing their worth.  We had such a time tonight with some of our oldest, dearest friends. Around a table-full of pizza and rich laughter at moments, we dove deep, barely coming up for air, hearing the hound between us, the thing of value we're always--ALWAYS!!--looking for.  These moments make us better than we are, as we look for Kingdom moments, relish them when they rise between us.

And, I dare say, SK is on the verge of finding her own hound and horse and turtledove, her own passionate community with the young women in this house.  Shared interests, shared laughter, but even more, deep life and death issues have caused them to reach for something--and to find it!--that kids their age rarely know they're missing.  Community is what I'm talking about.  Community with our dear, old friends, whom we don't see very often, but know very well.  Community in this college house that has already become a home.  Yes, this house on this busy street, like that table in the pizza parlor is Thoreau's hound and horse and turtledove. 

What are you searching for?

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