Yearning to write, I did some Scripture meditations and lots of journal prayers. Worked six part-time jobs; Sligo Gardens Nursing Home Recreation, best, paid least. Ted worked three jobs including a Post paper route, but we could barely make payments on Aunt Ruth's loan. Still, joys multiplied: Rhonda's godmother Myrtle saw to it we got a piano; Christopher, Rhonda and Myrtle's son Newt bonded at church youth group; I found Body & Soul Aerobics at another church; got my ocean fix on trips to Virginia Beach where Gram VDK now lived with Mom & Dad. Beauty of trees and plants lifted my spirit.
Duff was 13, Rhonda 12, Jean 4; I felt like their big sister, helping D and R with the paper route, trying to "Be Happy" as J advised. T and I did Marriage Encounter and I taught art one more year at WCS while debts, delays and disagreements caused my first recorded death wish. The woodstove was finally installed; we moved to "Dome Shalom" in February. I was into needlecrafts like my Grandmas; praying about a ministry with seniors, glad to be a bridesmaid one more time as Nancy married Marvin Jager.
With birthday money I subscribed to Sojourners and The Other Side. We were back in Maryland, kids back in Christian school and I was pleased to be teaching Art there. Ted had bought a lovely lot on a wooded hill in Takoma Park where he would build his dream house, a geodesic dome. We rented a house in Wheaton for six months. On March 28, church friends helped Ted nail and raise the ninety-triangle frame, including hexagon & pentagon windows. I was eager to move in, but finishing would take many months. We were blessed meanwhile to live in Bosma's house. To stay grounded in the whirl of helping finish the dome, driving the kids to their Takoma Park paper route, teaching, and doing APJ work, I read at least a book a week: Lewis's Narnia tales, Lion of Judah, and space trilogy; O'Connor's Journey Inward, Journey Outward and Our Many Selves; Seerveld's Rainbows for a Fallen World; DeWitt's Earthkeeping. Wrote in my journal: We will not be permitted to finish building our house, I believe, until we build our home (family). Though it seems impossible to finance and find time to finish the dome, it is even more difficult to build a home--takes things that can't be bought with money or work, like humility, prayer, love, patience. And all the seeming gain of one day can be lost by a careless word or the slight overindulgence of introspection.
We sold our Hyattsville house with Ted's repairs and new siding, left the place I'd lived longest so far; moved to Virginia, Ted's new Capax sales territory, bought a townhouse in Burke where Dad was church planting, Mom or Gram glad to be with Jean while I subbed at Lake Braddock High School and followed Joyce and Mom doing Association for Public Justice mailings. Duff and Rhonda were in public school: no more daily carpools but church commute time doubled. Two or three mile early morning runs fused my body/mind/spirit. Praying the Psalm verse "Bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me" I wrote "Counsel me now as I seek a mission and a community." Graham Pulkingham's books and a New Testament class with Margery Bankson at Church of the Savior fired me up.