I’ve been everywhere, man

In the decade my husband and I have been married, we’ve moved 6 times and we are getting ready for our 7th. It will be the 6th different state for us to live in. We’ve lived in big Northern cities, tiny Southern towns, artsy places, snobby places, crunchy places. We’ve experienced many different DMVs, which adds character and endurance to a person, I’m certain.

After living here 4 years, we’ve got some roots. We had two of our four babies while we were here, we changed denominations, we helped with a church plant, and my husband grew up here– we’ve got some roots! It has been hard to say goodbye to friends and family here. But, unlike many of our moves, we have family here so it is a place we will return to now and then, which eases it a little. And we (especially my husband) would rank this is as probably our least favorite city to live in of all the cities (for me, my least favorite is my hometown). Living in a place is more than just the city though and the sweet friendships we’ve made here has also made it our hardest move.

Still, there is something in us that loves a move. I know not everyone has it, but we do. I’d like to call it a Sense of Adventure, but I know many may perceive it as a Grass is Always Greener. We’ve always moved for school or work, but we cast a little wider net and jump a little faster than most because we DO like the thrill of a new place, I’m not gonna lie. It is exciting to start over in a new town, to live in a place where hardly anyone knows you. It’s exciting to find your new favorite restaurant, your new family traditions, your children’s favorite places to play.

I do think this could possibly be our last move though. Our kids are getting older and there’s something to be said for a bit of stability for the Littles. I am heartbroken that they are having to leave friends and friends’ moms–other grown-ups that aren’t me, that they trust and look up to. This move will put us in the same city as my mom and my sister and her family though, so they’ll have some of that built in, luckily for us. We already know which church we’ll go to, and soon I’ll find a homeschool co-op to try out. Though leaving friends is so hard, the ability to move to a new place and put yourself out there to make new friends is a valuable skill, one I wish I’d had when I was younger.

So for the next few months, I’ll be house-hunting, which is only fun for those who do not need a new place to live, and packing, which is only fun for minimalists like me who like to see exactly how much they can do without.

I’ll leave you with an old poem I wrote about one of my myriad moves:

Moving North

We learn an empty house,
the look of a room as a cavity
to be filled. We learn to portion
and take everything to keep,
in labeled boxes that make
angles and a jigsaw fit.

In the story, the sisters cut portions
from their feet, to fit
the shoe. The prince knew
when the blood seeped
over the bridge of the foot,
down the pointed heel.

Cushion wedding
dishes with winter
sweaters, cradle picture frames
with newspaper, perfumes
with plastic bags.

Nothing will break.
It will all fit.

In the Smokies, vacationing
and young, we ate
at a catfish place where you
catch and kill from a pool.

Walking in, my sister’s shoe
(She was walking in
my shoes, that did not fit) fell
in the water. My sisters
held my heels, and I reached,

belly in the slime of the concrete bank,
and I pulled her shoe from the waters.

The boxes shift in the back.
The rear window, obscured.
The sun, obscured by clouds
rolling in from the North.
from Keeping Me Still (Winter Goose Publishing)


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