It's been interesting to notice some small comparisons between this short one week trip and my ten-week trip to Ft. Bragg.
There's a huge difference in how Mrs. F and Ms. O dealt with having me in their household.
At the O house, especially towards the end of my time there, there were times when the Os would go out somewhere while I stayed home to clean. I wasn't part of the family: I was Cinderella left home to clean the carpet and scrub the laminate flooring. I shouldn't have been Cinderella, though- I should have been a servant("But in everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses...." 2nd Cor. 6:4). Wow, though, it's really hard to have a servant's heart when you're under-appreciated. It takes work!
Mrs. F has a totally different attitude, very respectful and considerate of my desires/needs. Very few people treat me so much like an adult as she has. For this short time the Fs have endeavored to make me feel like part of their family. That makes servant-hood so much easier!
Another funny happening is the Fs going to Medieval Times. When the Os and I went to Myrtle Beach, it was a possibility for a short time that we might go to the Medieval Times there. It ended up not happening. Almost-promises led to disappointments, another example of poor communication.
Now during this trip, Mrs. F actually apologized that I wouldn't be able to go, and explained she didn't feel her younger boys ought to go, so that's why they planned to have me stay with them. Her attitude and communication makes a huge difference, and I am fine with not going. It also probably helps that though Medieval Times was a big deal back(way back) in high school, I've got over it by now. If it was Colonial Times, though, nothing could keep me away!
I was too cowardly to confront Mrs. O about our struggles, and either she was just too emotionally stressed to maturely deal with it, or the hardships in her past kept her from being able to handle communication. I think she expected me to be like she had been: A single woman confident in being on her own. Mrs. F, though she doesn't currently have the stress of deployment like Ms. O, encourages openness and evaluation and understands the completely appropriate need for me to be part of a family.
I don't mean to make Mrs. O look like the evil stepmother and Mrs F like the fairy god-mother- they both have faults and so do I. Mrs O, despite her degree in counseling, didn't understand how to fit me in to her family, and Mrs. F does. Getting a grasp on the Biblical place for adult single women makes a world of difference.
On to a different subject; it's markedly different from Nebraska to see so many black people everywhere, with such a distinctly different culture, and it's good to see it and learn. It's positively amazing what some black ladies do with their hair! It's also kind of creepy to see groups of young black men in this neighborhood who apparently don't work, because they walk around during work hours. You know that style of wearing pants too big for your waist so your underwear shows and you have to actually hold your pants up so they won't fall down completely? It's really in here. I despise that style.