Tonight was my last free night in Seattle before leaving. I work Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday overnights, will sleep and pack on Thursday, then take off Friday morning. Wow, hard to believe! This time in Washington has gone really slow and really fast all at the same time. In some ways I feel like I've been here forever, but then it feels like I just came last week...
I worked the last three nights, so after I slept a little today, I drove up to Everett. I was able to meet some family at a restaurant there, and it was really fun to just spend a little time together before I leave. After dinner, we headed over to Maple Park Lutheran Brethren Church for their annual Christmas concert. My mom's cousin, Dennis, directs an amazing choir there. Wow, that church has some great musical talent -both with singing and with instuments! It was so fun to just soak up a taste of Christmas as well, since I don't have a tree this year (or ANY Christmas decorations for that matter) and without the snow it hasn't really felt like Christmas yet to me.
The whole concert was WONDERFUL and a HUGE blessing to me. I didn't think to get my camera out until the very end, but here's a picture of Dennis singing a trio with his two sons. This song actually brought tears to my eyes, it was so beautiful! I should've taken a video instead of just a snapshot... Thanks to all the musicians for a great concert!
After the concert, it was also really fun to visit with old friends from Maple Park. Each time I've been to an LB church out here (this was #4), I'm reminded again how much I've been CRAVING that fellowship. That's definitely one thing I'm looking forward to about being back in the Midwest -attending Oak Hill every other Sunday again!
Tonight one funny thing that happened is that I was thanking one of the musicians (the bassoon player), and in introducing myself to him, he asked where I was from. I've learned in Puyallup that if I say I'm from Minnesota, most people have heard of Minneapolis and that's about it. Well, when I said that I grew up in Minneapolis but spent the last six years in the west central part of the state (my standard answer here), he kept pressing. It turns out his mom grew up in Dalton and went to Battle Lake High School (both towns near Fergus)! I had gotten so used to people not knowing anything about me or where I'm from, that I was surprised when it turns out he knew not only where I was from, but all about my big Erickson family as well! (there are a lot of us out here in WA!) I love connections, and of COURSE that would happen in an LB church, but I had just gotten so used to it NOT happening that it took me by surprise!
At the end of the evening, I had to say goodbye to my wonderful family here. Words can't really express how amazing they've been to me. June and Joel, Erick and Merrily, all their kids and spouses, and others as well have just taken me in and made me feel so at home here. It's been an incredible blessing to me to get to spend this time with them, and I will be forever grateful for their hospitality! THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!