Don’t Mess with Texas – what could Texas have to do with a very content country girl living in the woods of Washington? Well, it has everything to do with me and my family as we prepare to move to Dallas, TX. I should have titled this “Never Say Never” because for some strange reason – since childhood – I have said that I would never live in Texas. There is no basis for saying this, and I haven’t thought of it for many years. For some reason I had that in my mind when I was young – and now here we are, preparing to be Texans.
The northwest has a reputation for being tree-hugging hippies and granola girls with unshaven legs. Dallas has a reputation for big hair and bling. I have continued to shave my legs for the 21 years I have lived here – and so do all of my friends. Therefore I have hope that the Dallas reputation isn’t necessarily accurate either. I haven’t had big hair since the 80’s…
Hmmm, I just realized that today marks exactly 21 years since we left Provo, Utah with our two little boys, arriving on 6 July 1994. I remember the date because we wanted to stay in Provo for the 4th of July – they know how to celebrate in a patriotic way… an entire week of Freedom Festival. Our country could use more of this!! We moved from Oregon to Washington on 7 July 2001. I know this date because we moved and then hurried back to my friend’s home (Nedra) in Oregon where she had prepared David a one-year old birthday cake.
Stress – I believe that moving a family across the country is right up there with having children with serious illness… they are both major stressors on life and body. We are certainly deep into both of them at the moment. In fact, Mark received the word that he would need to plan to relocate the family last winter as I sat in the Huntsman Cancer Institute with Greg as he recovered from his surgery for colon cancer. We kept this news to ourselves for months as we awaited a final destination. It was certainly a weight upon our shoulders which has been lightened these past weeks as we have been able to talk with friends and make more definite plans.
|Getting into the spirit of things – Greg sent
Mark a Texas flag for Fathers Day. The boys
notice that all of their Texas roommates decorate
with it – so we are practicing!
I was walking with a friend this week and discussing the situation. I told her that I will give myself a year to let some of this stress and its effects begin to wear off. She pointed out that I have been saying this for a couple of years now. Hmmm, that seems about right. Well, we will just press on anyway – I know that these times will come and go. When I am not dealing with my own stress, I will be helping others deal with theirs… and thus goes our lives.
Sadness – to leave the Pacific Northwest with all of its beauty – living only minutes from lakes, rivers and waterfalls. To leave the dream home which we designed and built… not to mention our landscaping overhaul that isn’t even a year old… to leave friends of over 20 years. My sister and her family… Mark’s brother and his family… We certainly have experienced sadness. We have chosen to focus on the adventure of a move, but the sadness is also quite real.
We have overshadowed our grief with the rather fun game of staging our home and preparing it for sale. This has been almost non-stop for several weeks. So much work! We could do more, but we ran out of time. Two days ago I stopped, got out a new cookbook and proceeded to bake several new recipes. It was great therapy.
Last night we had a few families over for the Fourth of July. The sadness began to creep in as I relished the beauty of the summer evening spent with friends and family… then within a few minutes I learned that a friend had just lost her closest brother in an accident… and another friend had lost a grandchild that they had only known for six precious hours. My heart is so heavy for them. Someday they will be able to celebrate these lives, but for now there is grief. Grief is a part of our lives, without it we could not know Joy. Nevertheless, it can be so hard!!
I do not compare the loss of a loved one to the sadness of moving – yet the sadness is still there. We have had almost six months to deal with it, and from the beginning Mark and I have prayed together that we would be sent to a place where our children’s lives would be blessed. Many locations were discussed such as Denver, Salt Lake City, Chicago, Atlanta, Minneapolis… and then Dallas. We cannot focus on the sadness when it is so much more helpful to focus on the adventure – and even more so to focus on the trust we feel in the answer to our prayers. Sooo – we will see…
|I will miss running outside for sun warmed
blueberries to eat with my breakfast!! And
raspberries, and gooseberries, and blackberries…
Eggshells – This will sound silly, but this week I quit saving eggshells. For years I have kept them in a little crock on my counter. I like the crock – I got it from my grandmother’s farmhouse and it reminds me of her. I save eggshells because they are good for the soil – Apparently they are good for roses, so I decided they are good for everything. I am not a very scientific gardener. A couple times a week I dump them out in my garden and once in awhile I will smash them and work them into the dirt; and sometimes I crunch them up and place them around hostas, dahlias and other slug-favorites because slugs don’t like to cross them. Throwing away eggshells this week felt strange, but who wants to buy a house with eggshells on the counter?
Selling a house is quite a challenge. We like the clean, cleared off surfaces, but only in the same way that we like to stay in a hotel once in awhile. I really miss decorating with family photos and other memory-inspired paraphernalia. Real life means keeping things in a pile – and it is hard to find things from those piles when those piles don’t exist! Even worse when those piles have been put away into places where they don’t really belong because the piece of furniture where they should be put is now out in the shed in order for some prospective buyer “to picture their own furniture in the many blank spaces of our home.”
I am now going to go and make frosting for David’s 15 year-old birthday cake. We are celebrating early as each of us are heading different directions this week with youth camps and house hunting trips to Dallas. July turns out to be a significant time for our family I guess – it is going to be interesting to see where the events of this week will take us. If we find something in Dallas that feels right and we can swing the financing, we will be there soon. If nothing works out – and no one is buying my house, we could be here for quite awhile… so much unknown. It is exciting. Exhausting, but exciting.