Nearing the end of week two back home in Budapest, this time is speeding by. It is so good to be home, though we’ve had to tackle some major spring cleaning since arriving. We left after a long and crazy season of Danny’s Senior year and the house was clean but not sparkling, plus it was our own dirt, so we didn’t notice it that much. Our friend lived here nine months and we’re noticing his dirt, and probably lots of our own below it. So we’re just now seeing the end of our deep, deep spring cleaning of all surfaces, curtains, bedding, etc… It’s feeling so good to have our home back in order, especially as it’s finally all ours, mortgage and all. We’ve also finally installed an antique chandelier we bought years ago but were waiting until we owned our place to install it, as with our super high ceilings it is not easy. It’s so fun to start these projects we’ve been waiting so many years to tackle, as the process to buy our flat here was unusually long. We’re enjoying claiming our home as fully ours.
Norbi has been back to his ‘usual’ work schedule of 2-11pm, or East Coast hours from here – and we’re liking that too. We realized while in CA that while it was originally an adjustment, we now prefer those work hours as his morning times are free and he has energy for outings and projects then – as opposed to evening free time when you’re tired from a long day. So we’ve been enjoying morning errand runs together and some lunch dates – but we’re also seeing our days full again as we’re able to jump back into several gatherings that are still happening regularly. Norbert has two lunches with friends each week, and I have a lunch and a morning Bible study with friends each week too, plus our twice a month homegroup on Fridays – between them we have two ‘free’ days a week! But after months away it is spectacular to have the times to connect with dear friends on a regular basis, plus a growing number of individual planned coffee/meal dates – we are filling our social tanks to overflowing.
On Saturday we meet up with some friends who live in another town in Hungary and take the train to Szeged together, getting to spend time with them and show them our favorite city. They stay for just the weekend, but we’re so excited to have nine whole days in the City of Sunshine! Our list of places to eat in Szeged is always long, so we’re thankful for at least 18 meals to fit it all in, maybe. There are more dear friends plus some extended family in Szeged to connect with, and then on Thursday the Serbian Pastor’s Retreat begins. We are thrilled that our pastor from Colorado, Fernando Ortiz from Mile High Calvary, along with two of his associate pastors, is finally able to attend one of our retreats, after trying to for so many years! Fern, Rich and Zac will arrive in Budapest on Wednesday and another pastor friend will pick them up and bring them to the retreat on Thursday. After the retreat they’ll get to visit Serbia and speak in one or some of the churches before we take them back to Budapest with us and see them off at the airport. We love that the pastors will get to meet each other, especially for our friends from CO to see firsthand what they’ve been financially and prayerfully supporting for years.
We’re also hopeful for some time of good rest in Szeged, as Norbert has taken a full one of his three weeks of vacation time off for this week (we tend to travel on weekends to avoid his taking time off work – thus our arriving on Easter! LOL ). I know we seem to be constantly on the move and very busy and I think it can be deceiving, but he works constantly and his last vacation time of more than a few days in a row was last June. I actually didn’t realize he had more than Thursday and Friday off for the retreat until just a few days ago, and may have actually cried when I found out. So thrilled for this total down time in a beloved and familiar hometown. And I’m posting this now, because I’m not bringing my laptop – it’ll be a semi-unplugged week. I’m sure I’ll have lots to share afterwards too, with lots of gorgeous pictures – ahh, spring in Szeged! Until then, enjoy some shots of spring in Budapest, almost as good.