I hope 2018 brings everyone much happiness and good health.
This certainly is going to be a New Year for me as I leave this place that has been home for nearly 16 years. In so many ways this plot of land and this house has been more than a home. It was the fruition of my lifelong dream to have some acreage where I could play farmer and have some critters, large and small. I had a horse, Banjo, and several sheep and goats, the last two being Marie – the Barbados sheep – and Lucy – the goat.
Saying goodbye to them has been hard.
But on a deeper level I realize that saying goodbye to this home and this land is the final goodbye to my husband, Carl.
That realization hit me as I watched my granddaughter drive off the property a few days ago in the truck that had been his. It was hard for me to sell it, and I was truly delighted that she wanted Grandpa Carl’s truck, but I had no idea how wrenching it would be to see it leave for the last time. It was almost as if I had some unconscious thought that as long as the truck was here, he might magically appear behind the steering wheel one day.
Sigh… the silly mind games we play sometimes to deal with tough situations.
The journey from last August, when I made the difficult decision that it was time to move, to now has been one big roller-coaster ride of emotions. At times I get excited about a new house – a brand new house – and the possibilities that await me in a new community. Not to mention how good it will be to be closer to my kids. But then I get incredibly sad, thinking about all that I am leaving. I’m sure that is typical for anyone making a big move. And I do remember similar feelings when Carl and I left Michigan those many moons ago.
This will be the fourth move in my life, which is not a lot compared to other people who have moved a lot more. But you have to understand that in addition to finding it difficult to leave family and cherished friends, I am a person who is resistant to change. I do not rearrange furniture and rarely even move a picture or a chair. I like things where they are and find great comfort in knowing that everything is in its place.
So, uprooting me and my things is a huge deal, but I am bolstering myself with remembering how each move brought new adventures and new blessings to my life. After leaving Michigan, Carl and I had a wonderful life raising our kids in the Dallas area, as well as a wide community of friends who were like family. Not that the life was always idyllic, but it was good, and leaving them for Nebraska was a challenge. I joke sometimes that there were heel marks from Dallas to Omaha when Carl said he wanted me to move there. But had I not gone, I would not have found chaplaincy and all the blessings that brought into my life.
Moving back to Texas nine years later was not as emotionally wrenching as leaving had been. We were coming back closer to our kids, and I was finally getting my place in the country. Still, tears flowed as we said goodbye to friends, and I said goodbye to the Pastoral Services Department at Alegent Health.
In addition to playing farmer here in East Texas, I have also been given many creative opportunities through my association with the Winnsboro Center For the Arts. I ran a successful summer drama camp for many years, directed a number of plays, and even got brave enough to get on stage.
So who knows what lies ahead for me in my new home.
My kids have been my cheering section as I went through my house and designated items to go into an estate sale and divested myself of half of the things in my closet. And I am charging ahead with their help and emotional support.
The actual move date is looming, so I am busy packing and planning and arranging all the details that go with changing a residence. That is why blogging will be sparse over the next few weeks. I keep thinking I am getting closer and closer to being done, but then I look around and realize how much more there still is to do.
What does 2018 hold for you? Any big changes in your life? Big plans? Do let me know. And whatever lies ahead for you, I hope this is a year of great joy.