April 9, 1970
We planned to live in our apartment until the summer of 1971 (more than a year away). But during that year, many life-directing decisions would have to be made, and we sensed that as we left Champaign, our blissful bubble might burst. Life might continue to be good, we reasoned, but how could it be THIS good?
It was August of 1969 when we first began feathering the nest there. I had moved in after leaving Chicago, bringing very little with me. But 4 months later, a pile of wedding gifts had changed all that, and suddenly we owned all kinds of things.
Now, 4 additional months later, several furniture contributions were coming our way. Aunt Agnes was donating some of her things, and my folks were cleaning out their basement. The youth pastor was moving and blessing us with more.
As different items arrived, I found myself more and more interested in making our home attractive. Even though rearranging furniture wasn’t Nate’s forte’, he was appreciative of my efforts and was glad we actually had furniture to move around.
After the big things had found their places, I splurged on a few candles and some fake flowers. My 1st graders supplied wall art, and I made a giant wall hanging with glue and pom-poms (right). Winding thread around nails in geometric patterns gave us other things to hang, along with favorite photos. When we were done, the whole place looked homey.
Both of us loved returning to our little nest each day, and it was sad to think we might only be there one more year. Whenever moving day finally did come, we knew it would be a struggle to say goodbye.
The picture-taking process was a lark. Many of the photos we took that night were not of our apartment but of each other, some of them slightly inappropriate for public viewing. But we hoped to have enough appropriate pictures to fill a small album.
After we ran out of film, Nate set the camera aside, picked me up, and spun me around. When he stopped, his face wore a solemn expression. He locked eyes with me, and I wondered what he was going to say.
“You know something? You’re really nice.” He was looking at me as if he’d just met me, right then.
Precious days indeed….
“You are precious to me. You are honored, and I love you.” (Isaiah 43:4)