26 July 2016

Remembering My Roots

Some Seattle friends were visiting Ark Encounter (a full-size replica of Noah's), a new attraction just a mile from downtown Williamstown, Kentucky, where my roots are on my mother's side.
We had invited the 3-generation crowd to meet us at Elmer's General Store for ice cream/sodas/sundaes. Local musician Jimmy Million started playing his guitar and signing. When mom stood right in front of him and started singing the alto, he said, "You need to come up here!" I joined them onstage and sang tenor. Our friends sat the church pews in front of the stage, taking video and enjoying the music and folksy atmosphere.
In this down-home environment, I felt so connected to my heritage. I also realized that even though Papa's hardware store is no longer standing, and the Grant County newspaper has moved out of the building where it was when my mom worked there, the Lusby legacy continues in this town. My aunt has a table at Elmer's where she sells books authored by her and by my mom, along with other items that are part of her Go Far, Go Light business. At Bruce's Grocery, up the road a ways and just a mile from the Lusby home, they still have the little letter "H" Papa used to indicate when he was on duty as the hardware guy, a part-time position he held up into his 90's.
When Jimmy sang a solo called "Grandma's Bible," I got all teary, remembering how MY Granny loved the Word, marking in it with her green pen. (Yes, it was always a green pen.) I signed Elmer's guestbook, "Karis Pratt, granddaughter of Hubert Lusby, Seattle, WA." He always told my mom and aunt to "remember who you are." I know I will.

01 July 2016

Five Years and a Full Heart

The close of one season and the beginning of the next. It's a certain cycle of life. Most of the time there is stability on one area while we fade out and back into something new in another. Sometimes all the major pieces reshuffle all at once, causing a cyclone of thoughts and emotions, unable to be fully experienced because of the sheer number of to-dos on the list.

Today I am in the eye of this storm; it is hectic, it is scary, and it is beautiful.

Today was my last day at work, almost exactly on my five-year anniversary. This place, these people, it was just what I needed, when I needed it. When I needed them. By divine orchestration, and to my great surprise and delight, I think *I* was just what *they* needed, too. 
Editing a report at Hart Crowser's Edmonds office
At first, I did not see myself someplace like this. But then again, I didn't know what "like this" even was. Yes, it's an engineering firm. They do some environmental stuff. But I have come to know and love a team of people with passion, life, intelligence, a strong work ethic, great senses of humor, people who are sometimes aggravating but always likeable. They have shaped the person I am continuing to become, and know I have impacted them as well. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the relationships built here. I'm thankful for people who helped me see myself through THEIR eyes, and though that, have built me up. I hope I have done the same for them.

Today is just the beginning of a series of transitions and changes. It is the end of a season but not the end of the friendships I have made. They were carefully formed and will always be a permanent part of who I am. This version of "me" is better than who I might have been without them.

The END of something is often the time we can most truly appreciate it, so for that reason, I treasure this ending. I hope to carry the seeds of this chapter into the next, where every now and then I will remember what I had here, and I will smile.