All Things New

Tomorrow we can say it’s been a month.  One official month since our family got all of our vehicles and belongings in the same general vicinity and we all slept in our new house(es) on our new land, in our new town.  In most every way, I feel like we’ve adjusted amazingly well.  Perhaps the lengthy trips we’ve taken over the past several years in various living conditions have helped us be prepared for new things.

But it doesn’t hurt that waking up here every morning is an utter joy.  We all feel like we are on vacation!  Except for the working part.  But like a vacation, we have new things to do and see when we are not working!  And it doesn’t hurt that we moved to a place we’d only laid eyes on once before we moved in.  Not only had we not seen the house but one time, we’d only seen this area and all of its surroundings once before we made it our permanent home..  It sounds crazy even to my own ears.  But in our defense we’d read a lot about it!  Ha!

IMGP3921No, really, we researched this area and all it has to offer us and our dreams and when God showed us the house and  acreage that accompanied the dream, we were all in!  And after having road-tripped forty-eights states, this place, well, it captured our hearts in a huge way.  It has all of the elements of our favorite locations from coast to coast.   It has mountains and lakes of all sizes and rivers and the breathtaking vistas to go with them.  And lots of privacy.  We fall in love with it every time we go the many miles it is into town, or to see the sights, or right here on our lots-of-land.

And before you ask or comment about where we are, this location will remain a mystery for now since this is the *www* and all.

We went from a ranch house in the city limits to a three-story home on lots of acres.  Before, we had a garbage man.  Now…not so much.  Then, we could walk to town.  Here?  Ha.  Hahahaha!  Going to town by car is an event!  At night in our old house, we fell asleep near street lights and hoped the neighbors couldn’t see in if we left a light on.  Now, we are lulled to sleep by the sound of wolves howling, and frogs, and birds we’ve never heard before.  Here, at night, I awaken in the dark and look out my third-story, feels-like-a-treehouse-window, and see the blackest of nights lit only by a blanket of a gazillion twinkling stars;  below me a carpet of green lightning bugs twinkling away for their audience of one.  Here, I have wildflowers and roses and apple trees and waterfalls and quaint little towns dotted with friendly people and fresh slices of Americana.

And room to breathe.

What I haven’t gotten used to yet are just little things.  How does one possibly collect laundry from three different stories without it becoming a full-time job?  And vacuuming?  Don’t even get me started.  This house is just going to be less vacuumed.   And where in the world is my box of summer sandals?  Summer is half over and I have little hope of finding them in time.  Sigh.  And then this big dilemma:  in which drawer should the cheese grater belong?

And another thing that will take some time…somehow, we stick out like a sore thumb.  Maybe it’s the car we drive?  Perhaps our lack of an accent?  It could just be that everyone knows everyone here.

We do know that we belong here.  But like with anything new and shiny, there was a price to pay.  To get here, we had some cost.  I don’t mean literally, though that was a certainly a part of it.  I mean that God has His own plans for us — big, BIG plans that exceeded our own imaginations.  But to get to them, we really had to be willing to lay everything else down and follow His call.  I see that now in our story.  With even a month’s worth of perspective, the massive trials we went through were tuning us into His voice more than ever.  Before we could follow Him into this new and promised land, He needed to make sure that we were listening with all of our might.

If I was leading my kids blindfolded toward the biggest, most amazing surprise imaginable, I would hope that no matter how rocky the path, or how many obstacles along the way that they would trust my heart for them.  That they would listen for my voice and trust me to hold their hand and gently guide them to what awaited them.  And once they got there and the surprise was revealed, I would hope they would see the absolute love behind not only the gift, but the heart and hands that led them on the journey to get there.

That place, of obedience and listening is where I long to be.  So that makes this place, the one on the map, even sweeter.

And with that, I think I have a box of dish soap to find…

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All By Myself…

By the time you read this, it’ll be over.  Life will be back to normal.  What follows was written last week:

As a family, we try not to publicize via the interwebs when we travel.  Somehow, telling the world my house will be empty doesn’t rank high on my list of wise ideas.

This time, however, my house will not be empty.  It will be a party of ONE.  For the first time EVER, yours truly is having days to herself.  EVER, people.  For several reasons that I won’t bother mentioning, my family is going without me to Florida.  Yup, they are leaving Miss Sunshine herself at home alone in a snowstorm.  And, oddly, she is blissfully happy.

Since the days where I required supervision, I have fed people all day every day.  Every single day, I have cleaned up after,  made plans for, and worried about everyone here that I love to clean up after (okay–that’s not really true), make plans for, and worry about.  I do love it.  Don’t get me wrong.

But time alone?  IN MY HOUSE????  By myself??? jumping

I’m kinda excited. But, you may have caught that.

I have big plans that add up to this many.   ZERO.  NADA.  ZILCH.

I’m not really telling anyone I’m alone.  I don’t want to have lunch or go shopping or visit.  I want to lay around and pick my own movies to watch and my own food to eat.

And the snowstorm just kinda forces me to stay put.  Since I won’t be going out, I won’t even have to worry about what underwear the emergency room guys could possibly see me in so that won’t be a big decision every day.

(Yes, I do think about that every single morning.  Can you imagine? “Oh, my.  This poor woman only has these old comfy undies and no cute ones.”  You worry about this, too, right?)

I might not even shave my legs.  Pure rebellion right there.  Heck, I might even grow my Tom.  (That’s a nod both to Liz Lemon and Tom Selleck.  You figure it out.)

I’m gonna eat all the salad and avocados, garlic and BEANS that I want to and no one can stop me or beg for MEAT, or complain about the after-effects of said beans and garlic!  Livin’ large!  

I might read several books–IN THE BATHTUB!!!  And no one will interrupt the ending!

Celine Dion and I might belt out some tunes very loudly–in the LIVING ROOM!

I’m gonna stretch right out in my king-sized bed and sleep until I wake up.  No shoulds or ought tos  calling my name.

And, I’m thinking about two days into my revelry, I’m gonna desperately wish someone would give me a hug, or need some advice, or watch a movie with me.   I’ll have no one to wake up with me on Saturday morning and drink a cup of coffee with while we play a game.  No one to say, “What do you want to do today?”  No one to notice my great hair day (which I’ll inevitably have when no one’s looking).  No one to brighten my day with a smile and an “I love you, Momma!”

And when they come home, I will RUN, I know I will, to the ones who make my life the fantastic life it is.  These folks are worth every single bit of all that I have to offer. Bottom line, they are what matters.

But, in the meantime, I plan to thoroughly enjoy missing them like crazy.

Epilogue:

What I’ve learned.

Too many rice krispy treats can scratch your mouth all up.  Never knew that because I limited myself to the amount that you can eat and still be fair to everyone else.  Now I know.

I am never alone.  First of all, I have these silly, ridiculously high-maintenance pets that have kept me hopping by peeing the bed and other such nonsense.  Miss Scratch-A-Lot, our little allergy dog, requires a 24 hour watch patrol so she doesn’t scratch herself bloody.  Hard to feel bored with this one around!  I did rename all the pets while the family was gone.  That was kinda fun.  It’s kind of a fresh start for everyone!

Plus, I am texting so much to my people that aren’t in this house that I don’t have time to really miss them.  We really don’t do well without each other.  I really, really love that.  My thumbs…not so much.

I cook just as much without them here!  I really did buy myself all veggies with the exception of a bit of chicken and some gelato.  But, I guess I just enjoy creating good food too much to really stop.  Which makes dishes.  Darn.  This really isn’t a vacation.  Still chores to do–just fewer plates.

Life is about the people I love all around me.  Without them, what’s the point?  And I feel gratified in the deepest part of me that these folks of mine MISSED me!!  They genuinely missed my presence.  They even bought me gifts!  They said it wasn’t the same without me.  I must be doing something right.  Welcome home, family.

Same time next year?