Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Home Again

One of the things about being back in NY is visiting places we use to go and live. We went to dinner at a friend’s house and found ourselves in our old neighborhood in Queens Village. We drove by our old house (pictured above) and it’s changed. There was a chain linked fence that that wasn’t there before and a new door.

We also passed by this little bodega we would go to a block away (pictured below). I remember my daughter wanting to be a big girl and walk to the store for milk for me by herself. After she kept begging for so long, I let her, but what she didn’t know was that I followed her. Seriously, it’s NY. I hid behind the trees and cars and watched her the whole way.

The neighborhood was changing when we lived there and I was feeling unsafe. I always felt like our block was in a protective bubble. There wasn’t any trouble on our block. My next door neighbor was a retired policeman.

A crack house popped up two doors down but was quickly closed. What were they thinking – operating a crack house next to a policeman’s home? I guess they would have liked to know that information before moving in.

I remember going to Jamaica Ave. (which was only 3 blocks away) for something one day and saw a lone prostitute walking the streets. I begged God to take me somewhere safer for my kids.

We knew we were moving to West Virginia at that time, but didn’t know the exact timing of the move. It wasn’t long before we moved. Our time in West Virginia was challenging for us. We learned a lot about the ministry there. We did have the opportunity to touch the lives and be touched by some awesome people. It was really great to see some of them on our way back to NY.

We live on Long Island now and our neighborhood is nice. The neighbors are friendly and the church is not very far away. I’m very excited about this new phase in our lives. It seems like we have come full circle. We are not the same people who left 16 years ago. We have grown and matured. At least I would like to think so.

We are reconnecting with friends we had 16 years ago and it feels like no time has passed when we get together. Tom and I are grateful for the wonderful church family we have now and are honored that God would choose us to be a part of their lives. We’ve only been here about 7 weeks, but it feels in so many ways we have been here all our lives. I guess you can go home again.

© Nadine Zawacki 2009


Jourdan said...

You guys have come a long way, huh? New York, West Virginia, Washington, New York again...man! I can't imagine moving that much...but then again, I just did. Ha! Love you,

LDH said...

So nice to hear about some of your past and seeing the pictures. I know you like to protect your children but it would fun to see picture of them sometime. Glad you feel so at home :)
Kindly, ldh

Scarlet said...

What a cute and tall house...just like in the movies! Here in Miami, not only is the land flat, we don't see too many two-story houses.

Congrats on the move to Long Island. I feel like singing you the song from The Jefferson's ♪ "Movin' on up..." ♫ ♪

Enjoy your new home, Nadine!! :)

Dawn said...

What a fun trip down your memory lane. I am happy for you guys that you're back home. I wonder if your accent is still as strong "New York" as Tom's, which I heard on your web site.

Lala's world said...

thats kind of how I feel about living where we do now, we left about 5 years ago and now are back, WAY more experience and kind of feeling like we have come full circle! but better!!!

elizabeth embracing life said...

What a journey to come full circle. I think your house is darling and much like one I lived in when living in Phili.

chelle said...

How interesting that your journey has brought you full circle!

Susan said...

Thanks for sharing this. Very interesting. We are never the same in our lives and walk with God...we are either going backward or moving forward. It is so wonderful that you and Tom are moving forward WITH the Lord leading.

jennifer said...

I would have followed my daughter too :)

Toby Parsons said...

Yes, welcome home. :)

Jillian, Inc said...

What a great "coming home" story. Love those photos of your old stomping grounds! (and too cute about following your daughter to the store. I totally would have done the same thing)

Bex said...

oh yes, and then there's texas - which is like doing missionary work abroad since we think we are our own country!

i love the story about your little girl. that is so sweet. i can just imagine you to some harry mancini music sneaking around so she won't see you!

Louise said...

WOW that was so neat to hear!
You have come a long way and are such a blessing to many people around you, including those in the blog world!
All the best to you!

Debz said...

Wow I'm so happy to hear things are going well, And that you feel welcomed home.
I'm looking at that house and it looks familiar....did you post an old pic of this one time on your blog?
Looking forward to how God plans to unpack your luggage in this new phase of life! I'm sure it will have wonderful things in it!

Tammy said...

It is so great that you are able to go back and reconnect with old friends after having been away so long. Interesting to hear about your old neighborhood in NY when your daughter was little...such a cute story!
I was only in NYC once...you might remember my posting on it before- during Fleet Week '97 when my hubby was in the Navy. I and some other wives flew up to meet our husbands for a long weekend. So much fun to see everything I had only heard about and seen on TV! You might remember my story of going to the top of the WTC during that visit, too...so incredible that this Oregon girl got to experience that before it was too late. But because of what I heard about NY, I had been a little nervous, and was pleasantly surprised to see how clean it seemed and how friendly everyone was! (At least where we were and during that year.)

Anyway, I love how God continues to take you on a journey and in doing so brought you back home.

Demara said...

Wow that did sound like a scary neighborhood. I'm glad you are in a great time in your lives!!

Reva said...

Sounds like you are both content in your new/old environment. Relax and enjoy and reminence.
I still drive by the old houses we lived in when I was a child and I enjoy picturing the things we did and played and how life was back then.
Mnay of the memories are sweet and fun but some are of course bitter sweet and those are part of our whole of who we have become as adults.
Thanks for sharing your stories with us.
I loaned my copy of your book to my sister, Brenda and we both enjoyed the story.
I have got to get mine going again but life is pretty busy at the moment. It's still coming someday.

Cheri said...

Fenced in front yards look so strange.
I love going back to the neighbourhood I grew up in. My parents moved from there 8 years ago...I love remembering the memories and seeing how small and old all the houses in my neighbourhood were.

palmtreefanatic said...

you guys are really seeing the sights! nice memories!

Christina said...

It must be funny how things change in so little time. It's nice that your new neighborhood is nice and safe.

Shionge said...

This is so cool Nadine and yes I think I get nostalgic if I visit New Jersey again.

Yes, it is NY afterall and one just have to be careful. I remembered walking along the streets at night during Thanksgiving and felt very very unsafe.