This weekend, in many ways, marks our one year anniversary here in Jacksonville. While it was actually the end of June last year that we arrived, it was the 4th of July when the reality of our having moved here struck us. A year ago we knew very few people here. Our world was ourselves, the beach and our beloved Lillie’s. We were determined to explore and to make this home. The night of The Fourth we went to Neptune Beach to see the fireworks. We were awed by the displays lighting up the night sky from Jacksonville Beach all the way down the coast to St. Augustine. One year later and much has changed. We have, once again, our own home. We have made several good friends. We have found a church – Blessed Trinity, which has become our spiritual home and anchor. Fr. Jhon (correct) Guarnizo, our pastor, will bless our new home once all the construction (and repairs) have been completed. We are hopeful this will be later this month. We still go to Lillie’s. Katy, Lillie’s owner, will be at our house warming and blessing party. She has played a big part in making us feel so welcome here. This year we probably won’t be at the beach for the fireworks. Instead, we will celebrate Independence Day with friends and possibly view the fireworks from the nearby Inter-coastal bridge that has sweeping views of the beaches. This past week has been a time of reflection. Cleaning out our apartment and turning in the keys brought a finality to the first chapter of our move here. Many good memories were made there with new friends and visits from family and friends from “up north”, including the North Carolinian’s. One friendship lost continues to bewilder us. For me, the loss is also a sadness which I cannot fully explain, even to myself. Reflection was also brought about by conversations had with several friends and family members this past week. Despite knowing that our move was absolutely the right thing for us to do, I miss them. Very much. Their visits are always too short and too infrequent. That reality is a compliment, I suppose. It is certainly the truth.
The construction of the sun room being delayed because of damage found (some wood rot) has been a set back. Finding it now, while a huge disappointment, is a blessing, though. Imagine, if the sun room roof was being built another way and the problem was not discovered until next year or a few years from now. The damage would have been much greater. Now, we expect the repairs to commence this coming week and all the bad parts will be cut out and replaced within 2-3 days. The construction of the sun room will then resume and, hopefully, be completed by month’s end. It’s a life lesson, for sure: cut out the bad before the damage is too great.
On another note, we are nearly done with all interior work. A few cosmetic touches only remain. For our “Florida” guest room we have found an interesting headboard. It kills me to buy a piece of furniture and have it painted. But, until I get the ole’ workshop set up, this is a good option. Ditto, with the small console for our living room.
Once I clear out the garage, having an outlet for my refinished/painted furniture should be no problem. Can’t wait!
Happy Independence Day!
Oh how familiar I am with the sting of close friendships stretched… I have to remember oftentimes it’s not about me. I’m thinking God provides friendships at the right time for the right season in our lives and maybe some are not meant to always be as close face to face. They’ll always be in our hearts though! I’ve enjoyed catching up on the house progress! Now get to work with that furniture! (Kidding!) Blessings on y’all Bill!