Well, it's official now. The refrigerator magnets are all packed away. We really must be moving! All the art work and photos are boxed up. All but two of my house plants are gone, given to friends who I know will give them good homes. The glass, porcelain, and china objects from my curio and china cabinets are all lovingly wrapped up and carefully tucked away, with hopes they'll survive the 2300 mile trek 2/3 of the way across America to their new home. Which hasn't even been looked at in person, let alone bought and ready for occupancy. But that should soon change. My daughter-in-law and I are flying out of Portland around 6 am in the morning to go house hunting for a few days together. Wish us luck, not only in finding homes but also luck with the weather so we don't face all kinds of delays or, perish the thought, cancellations!
I thought when we began this amazing odyssey to Michigan that I'd find the time to blog about it and update at least halfway regularly. Well, obviously that hasn't been happening. Too much to do and too little time to do it in. It's looking more likely we'll be moving in the first part of February. We're trying to prepare our house to put it on the market as well as sort and purge and pack. As well as taking care of my grandsons 55 hours per week. As well as trying to find time to see beloved friends and family one last time before our day of departure. I feel like my sinuses are made of sponge, I've done so much crying in the past few weeks. I've always considered myself pretty strong when it comes to emotions but when you're confronted with realizing that a lot of these goodbyes are probably final ones with a lot of people...well, it's a lot to take in. With the threat of gas prices reaching $5 per gallon in the not-too-distant future, it will be a real sacrifice for any one to come or go. When we're finally in Michigan, we're finally in Michigan. Very sobering.
But still....even so....we truly feel we're doing the right thing for so many reasons, many of which I don't feel like indulging in public. Suffice it to say we're very comfortable with our decision and can see the Lord working it out, every step of the way.
I had lunch with a very dear friend on Sunday, my lunch lady buddy Miss Ivona. We met in 1996 when we both first became lunch ladies for the Portland schools. We became instant friends. As we were talking I said to her, "Now, isn't this ironic? Isn't it the human condition? We may really like or love somebody for years but it isn't until we're faced with losing them, possibly forever, where we finally come forth and tell them how much they mean to us? How much we'll miss them?" She knew exactly what I was saying. And we never did say goodbye to each other. She said if we don't see each other here again on earth we'll see each other in eternity where we'll be lunch ladies together again feeding all the baby angels. Oh, I do LOVE that woman!
And so a new chapter starts tomorrow, finding homes. I am excited and full of anticipation as we prepare to step out into our futures. As much as I've loved this old house we've lived in for the past 28 years, like my daughter said the other day, with everything coming down off the walls, the boxes stacked all over everywhere, "It doesn't really feel like home any more, Mom."
No, it doesn't.
But when those things go back up on the walls, back on the refrigerator, when my bird feeder is hung outside a window and new birds I've never seen before perch to eat, when my grandsons come rushing in to stay with me in our new house...well, it will begin to feel like home.
I truly believe that.
Home is where the heart is.