Harrisburg has been home for just over three weeks, yet I’ve caught myself in shock that more time hasn’t passed. With August fading into September, that rainy afternoon when I unloaded my car in the parking lot and shuffled through the new house feels distant. Walks along the river now seem normal, routine in the best kind of way, though a community member challenged us all to branch off from the path before us and venture into other pockets of the city. And we did just that. Turns out you can fit a lot into a week of orientation, and though we were tired, it didn’t escape our notice how much kindness was packed into each encounter we had.
It’s hard to identify the most exciting part of orientation. Was it the impromptu rally we joined at the state capitol, just blocks from our house? Or the delicious tacos handed through the window of a food truck in Allison Hill after a morning of gardening?
A personal favorite for me was the evening spent out on the covered porch of Harry Weber’s home, listening to the booming thunderstorm around us. The in-ground pool lay feet from where we all sat, reminding us of the original purpose of our visit. It was meant to be a pool party. But listening to the rainfall and eating around the table with friendly people, I preferred the change of plans. Funny how the unexpected moments so often are the ones that become good memories.
It wasn’t just Harry and Karen that made an impact on us. All through the week, board members of the Sycamore House stopped in, toting food along with them and making sure we were well cared for. That was undoubtedly a highlight of the week, pointing towards the beauty of a community that cares for its members, however new they are. We’re excited to have the chance to give back when we open our doors for our own community dinner. It’s difficult to name every single person who’s blessed us these past two weeks, but we hope to have the chance to thank you over this next year, with our words and with our actions. So to start us off, thank you!
Elisabeth Ivey, Sycamore House Member