Breathless is the word for the last two weeks! Our 'recognition' evening left us with gargantuan feel-good. How wonderful to close full-time working life on such a high! Actually, several older friends have since commented how important good closure is and rather lamented what happened to them (oh dear). We remain so grateful to all who shared with us and it took some time to read through the greetings and cards properly. Alas, in our excitement we opened all the cards and later found a lonely gift card without a name on it! Embarrassingly we thanked one set of friends profusely who then told us they had not given it! So, somewhere among our generous friends there is a donor who needs to know how grateful we are (in spite of appearances)!
Simultaneously, while living in the after-glow, we undertook the exhausting task of emptying my store room (25 large boxes and innumerable carrier bags), closing down my office leaving a remnant library, and filling the final boxes for removal to the UK. It demanded a relentless pace with no breaks. Fortunately, meal times allowed us farewells with dear friends, but each morning brought full-frontal countdown pressure until, last week, we stepped onto a plane to Knoxville, Tennessee, where I gave the Craddock Lectures at Johnson University (and preached twice to the university). Suddenly from a freezing Chicago morning we were in the 80's, enjoying great Southern hospitality. It was new material which brought its own pressure but after two nights we were back in bitter cold for the last gasp packing.
A couple of days ago we completed the 850 mile road trip to see our family in New Jersey which is always wonderful as grandchildren Elliot and Sophie treat us like equals! Tomorrow, the next lap with flight back to Cambridge demands yet more strategic packing. So, not much happening......
a big thank you to all our friends, both sides of the Atlantic who are part of our special circle who have followed our progress.