noun a strong desire to travel
My first move was before I was one. By the time I graduated from high school, I had moved 7 times and had been in 2 different high schools, had friends all over the north east, and didn't realized how much traveling was a part of me. In our first 4 years of marriage, we lived in three houses, all in the same town, the third being our house, the one that we built, like we actually pounded in the nails ourselves. This is where we were going to live forever and forever. Roots. One place for our kids to grow up. Friends that they would have from birth to graduation. I was excited about the prospect. I have no friends, besides cousins, I suppose, that I have known my whole life. I was so excited about this for my kids. Seeing all their stuff driving down the highway on an 18 wheeler is something my kids would never know, and I was happy about that. Don't get me wrong, I love to travel, like L.O.V.E. to travel. I was just glad I wouldn't ever have to pack up all my crap and move it. I once mentioned to Mark that I thought that Virginia would be a great place to live with seasons but not cold winters, his response was something to the effect of, I'm not sure I could be a Maine Trooper in Virginia. But one thing about my husband that I'm so thankful for is his love for travel also. I made a list way back when, about things that I wanted in a husband. I didn't put "Likes To Travel" on my list, but God knew I needed a hubby who likes to travel, see new places and embrace adventure. We have seen so many parts of our beautiful country and state of Maine, but I had no idea five years ago that the love to travel, would turn into willingness to move.
Fast forward to today. In the past three years and eight months, we have had four addresses, soon to add a fifth (and final?) address.
|Island Falls, Maine, October - November 2010|
|New Limerick, Maine, November 2010 to June 2012|
|Carlisle, Pennsylvania, June 2012 to June 2013|
|Alexandria, Virginia, June 2013 - June 2014|
Counting this year we will have had 4 Christmases at 4 different mailing addresses in three states. And my confession is, I haven't minded it. I've loved it. When the four of us are together, no matter where we are, it's home. Whether it's the very northern end of I 95 or in the capital of the free world, bring it on, we are home. I asked the kids recently what is the thing that they have enjoyed most about our traveling adventures, Julia replies with: I've learned that it's fun to move to new places and met new friends, and even though I'm very excited to finally be going back to Hartland, I know that if we have to move somewhere else, I won't be scared like I was last time, but I will be excited to see where God takes us. YES! I couldn't have articulated it better myself.
Moving back home is bittersweet. I'm so excited to move back into our home, to be neighbors with my in-laws (yeah, I'm totally serious about that! If you don't know them, you would meet them and want to be their neighbors too!), to be back to our friends, to know half the people in Walmart, to wave at people on the roads, to ride 4-wheelers and get all muddy and to have impromptu bonfires at the Butlers. But doing that means that we are leaving friends and communities behind also. When I get home, I will be happy, but for now, please excuse me when I cry over our loss. I thought it would be fun to make a list of the things that I won't miss in Virginia to make me not cry so much. Okay, so some of these things will be totally tongue-in-cheek, but please know that I'm trying to see all the good about not living here anymore, because I totally love living here. I know it's so not cool to be a military wife and be excited about being stationed in DC, but I couldn't help but not be!
Things I won't miss about Virginia
Its unavoidable. You get stuck in traffic all the time. Sometimes the traffic moves, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes you know why you are in traffic, sometimes you have no idea. I have learned to not get on the beltway anytime after 3pm and not to go near it until closer to 7. In the morning, don't think about leaving the house much before 9:30. I have decided that I'm swapping out traffic for black flies. I'm not sure which is worse.
Having Georgetown Cupcakes Nearby
We were obsessed with watching DC Cupcakes in da County, who knew we would live so close and spend so much money there. They are ah-maze-ing cupcakes, but they have burned a hole in our wallet. We have spent our obligatory amount of money there...it's time to move away from it....but maybe just one more trip before we leave...please Hubs!
Being So Close to the Grocery
I'm not a list maker. This living so close to the grocery has been enabling my non-list making habits. Enabling is bad. Having a grocery store with in 2 minutes drive is not helping me with my poor habits. We need to move to where the grocery is 15 minutes away to help me be organized. Right? *cough, cough*
Museums, Zoos and Monuments
I have learned that these tourist things suck time out of my schedule. I mean, homeschooling and having all this stuff, like historical places and museums that relate to what we are studying, so close by really bites into learning. We have had less time at the school desk this year and more hands-on learning. Oooo. This has to be a bad thing. I mean, Hope was studying about George Washington and we took time out of our schedule to go to Mount Vernon to see some of the things that were in her book. Shame, shame. Good thing when we go back we will be so far from DC, it will give more time to study from a book. (You totally got all the sarcasm, right?) *I feel that at this point I have to make a disclaimer for any naysayers out there, that we have done all the book school work that was needed to be accomplish in a year of school, plus more, PLUS my kids could open their own DC tour guiding service, so there.
Our Neighborhood Filled With Kids
On weekends and after school, my kids go play with kids their own age right on our street! Imagine! They choose time with kids over time with me. I miss my kids so much when they don't spend all their time with me! hehe
All the Restaurants that We Have To Choose From
There are so many restaurants around here to choose from it's so hard to choose where to go given the opportunity to eat out, which has been frequent since moving here. It's awful! Besides, I'd rather be cooking myself.... Um...yeah, sure... I mean, Chick-Fil-A calls out to me every time I drive by. If I don't stop, I'm overcome with guilt of not supporting such a wonderful company or consuming their amazing shakes. Yeah, totally. I'm trying to convince myself this is all true.... My ever growing butt will definitely not miss all the restaurants.
Oh, I so won't miss VA winters. I mean, there's hardly any snow and my nose hairs don't freeze when I walk outside. Who wouldn't miss frozen nose hairs? I won't miss everyone complaining that 40 degrees is so cold. I won't miss seeing the poor kids trying to sled on 1/4" of snow during the school day because school has been cancelled because of the snow. I won't miss laughing at the huge plow trucks with tiny plows waiting for the slightest flurry to come down so they can plow it up....okay...I'll totally miss that!
Being So Close to Post
Living near post, being a part of the military community, always being on your best behavior, that's just awful. Having handsome, uniformed, courteous soldiers hold the door open for me, I mean, who likes that? Seeing helicopters over head, using the beautiful playgrounds, having great prices on gas, on groceries, on things at the PX....totally over rated. lol Who wants all the things that they need to buy all in once place? Me, I prefer running all around town gathering things I need. Ha!
There are so many things I'm missing...I have a feeling that this list will grow. I hope you laughed with me a bit and cheered me on as I am looking forward to life back in rural Maine!
I guess its all about perspective. All about moving on to a new phase of life. All about learning how to do life over again at home. I'm looking forward to finding all those roots again and making them deeper and stronger. I'm excited about the kids going back to school with their friends and me just being mom, not mom and teacher. I will miss having them around all the time, teaching them, seeing the light bulb go off when they get a new concept, but I'm happy for them to go back to "normal". I've already told Mark that I would like to go with him to Troop C on the first day of school, it's going to be hard, but wonderful all at the same time. Looking toward the future and anticipating the excitement of going home will hopefully over shadow the sadness of leaving.
Jeremiah 29:11 says, For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Here's another verse I'm clinging to, Proverbs 31:25 says, She is clothed with strength and dignity and has no fear of the future.