In our first blog entry way back in June – we began this journey with the statement: “And then we drove away.” Thinking about that moment Lisa and I remember how excited and nervous we felt as our adventure in Pennsylvania and her first travel assignment was about to begin. This past Saturday we drove away again only this time to finally return home and see our family and friends for the first time in four and a half months.
But as excited as we were to get home – we were equally sad to leave a place that we had come to love so much – especially leaving the good people who helped us and befriended us along the way. For Lisa (especially) it was difficult to leave her co-workers at Hanover Hospital. They embraced Lisa and loved her and valued her and asked her to stay and made her welcome. For that – words cannot adequately express our gratitude. I remember that first day dropping her off at the front door feeling like it was my child’s first day at school. We said a quick prayer asking God to bless her work and the people she was about to meet and boy did He ever. How great it felt after that long first day picking her up from work and seeing her smile and say how much she was going to love it here. The next eighteen weeks went by like a blur but the memories of Hanover and Gettysburg will be with us forever.
As for me – Gettysburg and its history filled much of my time. I marveled daily at what happened in this small little town nearly 150 years ago and how those infamous three days – arguably – changed the course of history. What would we have become as a country if the Confederates had taken control of a hill called “Little Round Top”? – What if Pickett, Trimble and Pettigrew charges had been able to overtake the Union line during their famous march across that field? – What would we remember of this place if not for a 200 word speech?
This place is special for its place in history but more than that for us it is special because here we made new friends we will remember for our lifetime.
But let us also say there is nothing like coming home. We found our hearts when we finally pulled into our hometown but realize now our hearts are in two places. We will be spending the next week or more (depending on Lisa’s next placement) catching up with our family and friends. It was so good to drive down Frederica Street again, see the new Smothers Park and riverfront development, and eat a “Rolling Pin” long john. Lisa and I felt a little like Peter Bailey running through Bedford Falls on Christmas Eve – “Hello you wonderful building and loan!” Owensboro has never looked so good.
It is good to be home but as we reconnect with our family and friends we think about those we left in Pennsylvania fighting through the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. Our prayers are with them as they try to recover – but we know they will.
We will continue to blog throughout our stay at home and will share with everyone as soon as we know where Lisa will be sent for her next assignment. It could be Hawaii, Montana, Oregon or Arkansas – we do not know. But if they ever need someone in Hanover, Pennsylvania again – we know the way.
Steve and Lisa